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Showing posts with label pills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pills. Show all posts

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Six-toed, highly active, and taking supplements....

Dear George, 
I’m following (silently) your blog for a while. I must say I enjoy it very much. At times I found it quite amusing and at times I found it quite informative.
Lately I’ve seen that one of the reoccurring theme was food – what should cats eat.
I’ve learned that Gizmo is eating his broccoli, Chico has his food homemade, Jasper is eating a raw diet from the pet food store and the list goes on and on! But, I have one question: do we need to take supplements and/or vitamins?
I’m a very, very active polydactyl baby (see the picture attached) – I have lots of energy and I can run and play all day (of course having 6 toes helps), but I wonder if it’s the supplements my mummy gives me (she’s in the business - or am I naturally active?
Honestly, what’s your take on this?
Yours in health

Dear Baraboo,
My preferred diet would be mice, other small rodents, the odd bird and the occasional insect , a completely natural diet. But I don't lead a completely natural life as I live in a human home. Instead I get given very good quality complete cat food. No human food, except what I steal off the kitchen floor, the occasional bit off a plate that hasn't yet been put into the dishwasher, and the odd mouse. A little of what I fancy does me good.
I seem to be completely healthy. So I would say that if you are given a good quality complete diet (and there are now raw food diets available in envelopes here in the UK with no risk of salmonella), you shouldn't need anything else. Would a supplement be a good idea? Only if your human knows what she is doing. 
Humans sometimes think what is good for them is good for us. Wrong. Human medicines, like aspirin, can kill us. There are foods like onions, grapes and raisins, and chocolate, which are good for humans: bad for dogs and for cats. There's a list here.
So tell your human always to check with a vet before giving us human food, human supplements or medicines or veterinary supplements. Stay safe.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

I’m watching you….and everybody else!

Dear George,
I must say…THIS IS the advantage of our “color”- sometimes …we can go undercover or….notoriously unnoticed.
We can act as the “eyes and ears” of a spy agency or a hidden camera for different purposes! (see the photo attached) But the reason I’m writing to you today is actually to get your secretary’s advice concerning a health issue of one of my friends.
I know she’s busy with her exams but one of my friends has an eye problem – his eyes gets “tears stain” without any eye infection or anything. The tears are not clear either; the tears/stains are reddish/brown and are bothering him only once in a while.
His vet put him first on an antibiotic unguent that did nothing and then on Lysine.
Is he safe to be on Lysine for the rest of his life? Any idea? Even while on Lysine the tears stains come back once in a while. Any other cat that had this problem? Any explanation why is this happening?
Grateful (on behalf of my friend)

Dear Bentley,
Humans occasionally, very occasionally, are useful.  Celia, whose studies I find extremely irritating, nevertheless was able to research several papers about Lysine. Apparently about 90% of animal hospitals in the USA, UK and Australia give Lysine to cats that have the Feline Herpes Virus 1 (FHV1). FHV1 causes "goopy eye" in cats, stays in the body life long and like cold sores in humans is likely to surface during times of stress.
The theory of giving Lysine, a food supplement, was that it reduced arginine levels, an amino acid, which in turn reduced the herpes virus's ability to reproduce. Thus cats treated with Lysine shed less virus and would recover faster. It's a great idea. And because an attack of FHV (like cold sores) usually goes away eventually anyway, vets thought it was the Lysine that was working.
But it doesn't work. In practice it makes no difference at all. The latest scientific paper on this drug says it is ineffective and should not be used (details in a PS). This isn't just because it doesn't work, it is because cats need arginine, an essential amino acid. So lowering the level of arginine may be bad for the cat's health. I suggest Bentley gets his human to find the full paper on Google Scholar, downloads it, and shows it to his vet.
It looks as if it would be better for Bentley's humans to concentrate on giving him a stress free life (look here).  He needs good nutrition, lots of interesting things to do (look here) if he is an indoor-only cat, a settled routine, and sensitivity to how much affection he wants from humans. 
Lysine supplementation is not effective for the prevention or treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection in cats: a systematic review 

Bol and Bunnik BMC Veterinary Research (2015) 11:284
Background: Feline herpesvirus 1 is a highly contagious virus that affects many cats. Virus infection presents with flu-like signs and irritation of ocular and nasal regions. While cats can recover from active infections without medical treatment, examination by a veterinarian is recommended. Lysine supplementation appears to be a popular intervention (recommended by > 90 % of veterinarians in cat hospitals). We investigated the scientific merit of lysine supplementation by systematically reviewing all relevant literature.
Methods: NCBIs PubMed database was used to search for published work on lysine and feline herpesvirus 1, as well as lysine and human herpesvirus 1. Seven studies on lysine and feline herpesvirus 1 (two in vitro studies and
5 studies with cats), and 10 publications on lysine and human herpesvirus 1 (three in vitro studies and 7 clinical trials) were included for qualitative analysis.

Results: There is evidence at multiple levels that lysine supplementation is not effective for the prevention or treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection in cats. Lysine does not have any antiviral properties, but is believed
to act by lowering arginine levels. However, lysine does not antagonize arginine in cats, and evidence that low intracellular arginine concentrations would inhibit viral replication is lacking. Furthermore, lowering arginine levels is highly undesirable since cats cannot synthesize this amino acid themselves. Arginine deficiency will result in hyperammonemia, which may be fatal. In vitro studies with feline herpesvirus 1 showed that lysine has no effect on the replication kinetics of the virus. Finally, and most importantly, several clinical studies with cats have shown that lysine is not effective for the prevention or the treatment of feline herpesvirus 1 infection, and some even reported increased infection frequency and disease severity in cats receiving lysine supplementation.

Conclusion: We recommend an immediate stop of lysine supplementation because of the complete lack of any scientific evidence for its efficacy.


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Finding a chiropractor for cats

Dear George,

You didn’t hear from me lately as I was busy seeing a chiropractic doctor twice a week. I would like to share my experience with you all. I’d like to educate other cats and their human pets as too many times humans are not aware that there are other alternatives to allopathic (medical) care and they give up on us way too easy! My mommy read some of Dr. Schoen’s articles and somewhere he mentioned that a “good chiropractor can do miracles” and a “bad chiropractor can do much damage.” The problem is how do you recognize a good chiropractor? I’d tell you how – by the results he/she gets! One way is to ask around, wait by his/her door and ask the patients. Another way is by referrals from people you know and trust. But, I’m sure that anybody interested will find a way.

Last time you heard from me I was doing some intense chiropractic treatments at the holistic vet but, neither I or my mommy were too excited about the VOM geek – it was painful, too much pressure on my spine! Mom gave me a break and start asking around. She came across Dr. Leo Rosenberg, a chiropractor doctor for both us and our human pets! How wonderful! His nickname is “Dr. Miracle” and indeed he did some amazing things healing lots of cats, dogs, horses and of course humans. He is in practice for over 50 years. But, let me tell you about Dr. Leo. When I first got to his office I thought we got the wrong address and actually this was an “emergency vet clinic”; as one dog was going in and one dog was coming out! I learned that people travel from a long distance with their pets to get treated by him. I was a bit scared but he was such a sweetheart: very gentle, soft spoken, pocking fun and giving me the best massage I ever had on my back! He was very gentle in giving the adjustments, no cracking bones! It is a gentle, cumulative process! Actually I was so relaxed on his lap that I started purring. I felt much better right away and I could see progress in my getting back to normal; no more pain after treatments, actually being pain free and more active! Honestly….after his treatments l felt like I was coming from a spa not a doctor! I even got a” pink bathrobe” at home for the occasion (as you can see in the photo).

The funny thing is that Dr. Leo has two sons: Paul who sacrificed himself for humanity – he treats only our human pets (as they are more twisted then us) and Mark – who is a much younger but identical copy of Dr. Leo (even the voice) – who treats both animals and their human pets. Just like his daddy! But George, I don’t want to take to much space with my letter. Anybody interested can visit Dr. Leo’s website at:

There are some videos posted there. And anybody interested in my particular condition and treatment can ask me privately. I’m sure you have good chiropractic doctors in UK as well. Amanda is one of them (you posted her contact info in an older post).

George, I sincerely hope that humans will consider all medical alternatives when it comes to their health and ours.

Love to all


Dear Cayenne,

Thank you for your experience which I am sure will be useful for other cats. Here in the UK chiropractic help cannot legally be given to animals without a vet's referral. Which is sensible because you need a chiropractor who understands animals and has experience in the field. The same applies to physiotherapists and osteopaths, some of whom also treat animals.

Celia says she isn't too keen on alternative health remedies but I notice she visits physios and osteopaths when her back hurts and takes a few supplements each day... sort of hypocritical, I think. But that is humans for you. She says she thinks alternatives should only be used as well as, not instead of, proper medical treatment. Grudgingly, I will admit that this makes sense.

Yours musingly,


Monday, August 03, 2009

I got a cold – help! Pills are so ugghhh

Dear George,
I must admit that we had a miserable summer so far! It was raining almost every day! Few days ago while I was on a “hunting” adventure I got caught in a really bad rain.
It was pouring and I got stuck between a bush and the house. Of course, I couldn’t get back in the house until the rain stopped and by then ….it was too late.
Next thing I know…there I am…sneezing, coughing and breathing “funny”.
My humans took me right away to the vet and of course, he did the whole protocol that I hate so much. He said that I have a cold and prescribed antibiotics…instructing my humans how to “push” them down my throat.
My question to you, dear George, is: how can a cat (that is vaccinated) catch a cold so easily? And a second question: can you make any suggestions to my humans on how to give me the antibiotic pill without “pushing” it down my throat?
Hopefully yours,

Dear Minnie,
Even if a cat has been vaccinated, it can occasionally get a mild dose of cat 'flu or other kinds of respiratory problems. I guess that is what happened. It's still important to vaccinate against cat 'flu because without the protection of vaccination a severe attack can leave lifelong disability.
Pills! There is now a cat-friendly device for putting pills into cats (forget the pill gun which isn't) - Easytabs, a meat flavoured cover for a pill made by Bayer. The fact that Bayer has made this suggests that in the cat versus human struggle over pills, we WON. Below my signature is the old joke about pills and cats which in this case reflects reality. There is more detail on this (from the human point of view) on
From our point of view pushing pills into our throats is just a huge and painful intrusion! We are not greedy like dogs. We don't just gulp things down. When Celia hides a pill in a piece of cat food, I can smell it miles away and I do not approve of eating stuff that smells bad. We cats like fresh mice not rotting carcases like omnivorous dogs (who actually eat poo, would you believe.)
My favourite ploy with pills is to give the sneaky impression that I have swallowed them. I hold them in the side of my mouth. I did this successfully for six months, in the days when worming came only in pill form (now there is a spot-on). Celia couldn't understand why I always seemed to have tapeworms (from the fleas on the mice I ate). She is a sloven so only vaccuums under the spare bed when somebody is coming to stay. Pulling out the bed, she found my stash of worming pills. I had held them in my mouth than sneaked under the bed and had spat them out!
In theory the way to put a pill into a cat, is to kneel down and place the cat between your legs, facing outwards.With thumb and middle finger, pull cat’s head back until it is facing straight up at the ceiling. It is crucial that the cat’s head must be facing upwards at 90 degrees Use gentle pressure from thumb and middle finger on either side of the cat’s jaw, at rearmost crease of the lips, to open cat’s mouth. Pop tablet on the tongue as far back down the throat as possible. Close cat’s mouth and keep the head pointing up at the ceiling. Hey presto, the cat will swallow the pill.
In practice I can usually evade this one! We almost all can. That's why there is the familiar joke about cats and pills - below my signature. Cats rule.
Love George

Instructions For Giving Your Cat A Pill

1. Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of 10.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, holding front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold cat's head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foilwrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with its head just visible from below spouse's armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force cat's mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologise to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Force cat's mouth open with small spanner. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour pint of water down throat to wash pill down.

14. Get spouse to drive you to emergency room; sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Stop by furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Arrange for vet to make a housecall.

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online