Cat Health

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Diet

A good diet is the key to a long and healthy life for any indoor or outdoor cat. Your cat's coat is the easiest indicator to her health. It should be soft and shiny, not too oily, not to dry. Her stools should be firm, but not too hard. With the right diet, your cat won't get fleas and will be able to shed worms without the need for drugs or worming poisons.

We feed our Pixie Bobs on a diet of raw meat and poultry on and off the bone, and a high quality dry complete food. Raw meat AND bone really make a huge difference. Gnawing on the bone will keep a cats/kittens teeth clean, and the raw bone marrow is essential to good health.

There is every indication that cats fed on such a diet avoid the now common degenerative diseases of old age: diabetes, heart disease, kidney problem to name but a few. For more information on the benefits of a raw diet, please refer to the BARF (Bones And Raw Food) diet website.

It is important to also provide a good dry kibble. Not too high in carbohydrates and enriched with micro-biotic's and anti-oxidants. This will provide the variation and the additional vitamins and minerals which might not otherwise get from a diet of the same type of raw meat (e.g. rabbit only, chicken liver only or beef heart only).

We recommend Eagle Pack Holistic dry kibble or Hills Science Plan. Although, if giving your cat a raw food diet, then Iams, Proplan or any of the premium Cat completes are adequate. We would not suggest purchasing supermarket brands, or average ranges. As these often have bulking agents, additives, and fortified with substances that will undo the good from raw feeding, and we wouldn't want you to waste your money. Now and again, we also let them have some leftovers, including potatoes, vegetables, rice, cooked poultry and meats.. (but NEVER any cooked bone and not processed meats like burger or sausages.. because these have high salt content amongst other things). As an occasional treat they also get some tinned fish in oil or water (avoid brine as again it has too much salt). Tuna tuna, mackerel, salmon, pilchard's are ideal.

Changing a cat's diet dramatically can and usually does cause diarrhea. Don't change too many things at once, if introducing a new Cat complete variety.. I'd suggest mixing it with the existing type and gradually switch to the new. Introduce raw food as small snacks and gradually over a period of a month increase the raw and decrease the amount of available cat complete. Persist and you will be rewarded!

Worming

Worms inside a cats body can cause dull fur, bloated tummy, chronic diarrhea, loss of weight. General opinion is that all cats are born with intestinal worms. Holistic opinion goes further, and maintains that there are good and bad types of worms, similar to good and bad intestinal bacteria. Repeated, unnecessary worming can cause intestinal stresses in adults, and in kittens can overwhelm them (and at worst, can kill a kitten). It is our experience that healthy cats, naturally deal with harmful worms without the need for poisons. We give a combined wormer every other month, rather than monthly as suggested. If worms are visible in the stools, onset of chronic diarrhea or a dull coat without change in diet, then we would of course administer as indicated by the manufacturer.

Fatal litter trays

Certain clumping litters have been known to kill kittens, as they ingest the fine powdered clumping additives. This stays in their system, soaks up liquid from their body and clumps and becomes unmovable by the bowels. The following article makes interesting reading. We opt for natural fibre based litters, like hemp, paper or wood. Many of these can also be flushed down the loo, which make discarding of litter safer.

Vaccinations

Pixiebobs can be susceptible to vaccines that are fine for other breeds. I have used (as recommended by another Pixiebob breeder) without problems Fevaxcyn, also known as Fel-o-vax IV, made by Fort Dodge.

However there are risks (unknown by most people)vaccinating any cat. In short, please do not wander away from this brand of vaccine (if you wish to vaccinate your cats, or need to for Showing and/or PET Passports). Please contact your vet in advance to find out if they stock this, or can order it in for you. Then book your vaccination appointment accordingly. It contains only DEAD viruses. Do not accept any others types of vaccine, never accept vaccines with LIVE virus... even if the vet tries to convince you that he has used an alternative without any problems. Your cat is very precious, please do not play a lottery with it's life.

Disclaimer The advice provided in this article is based on personal experience and is given in good faith and without liability. Please consult your own advisers and trusted veterinarians before changing your cat's diet and care.