Thursday, June 30, 2016

The kittens are now on Purina's Fortiflora probiotics thanks to #chewyinfluencer

Diarrhea continues to be an issue with the kittens. Things are starting to 'firm up', if you will, but we still have some inappropriate elimination which is incredibly frustrating. I know they don't have any concept of why I'm ripping my hair out, and it is not just because I'm sick and tired of cleaning up poop. I know that they are pooping out of the box because they aren't feeling well and that is sad.

Diarrhea happens. The stress of being captured, or moving to a new place, or from being taken away from mom, or drinking different water than you were used to, or eating new foods than you were used to all can lead to digestive upset... well that and the fact that most kittens have parasites of one kind or another (or several) can lead to one very unhappy digestive system.

Probiotics help in that regard. The gut is populated by hundreds of thousands of bacteria that all work to help you digest food properly. One reason why antibiotics cause diarrhea is because they kill off the good bacteria in your gut. Your body assumes that without the good bacteria to help there must be an abundance of bad bacteria and it starts 'cleaning house' if you will, getting rid of everything so it can start over.

Providing sources of good bacteria can help with that. There are a lot of different sources. Some people prefer to use yogurt or other fermented products, some prefer to go with probiotics you can find at your local health food store for humans because they have multiple strains of bacteria (the more the better) and vets tend to recommend FortiFloria because it is made by Purina.

I first heard of FortiFloria years ago, coincidentally enough through my vet. The boxes were much bigger back then and the powder was white and the dose contained much more powder, so when I saw the small box and the tiny packages that Chewy sent me, I was a bit surprised.

But having a more concentrated product is a good thing, it makes it easier to get it into the cat. Fortunately, the kittens were more than happy to eat the food (the Whole Earth Farm canned duck that I blogged about yesterday) and I feel better about them having a little bit of help on board.

FortiFloria is made by Purina, so it is generally recommended by veterinarians because they understand products made for pets. There are a lot of options out there and researching them all would take a great deal of time. It is also easy. Purina packages them individually, makes palatable, and it generally works. The bacteria is microencapsulated which they say helps ensure that it will make it to the gut.  It also contains vitamin C, which I'm also a huge fan of.

A couple of reasons why I'm not a huge fan are because of its ingredient list. There is only one strain of bacteria, Enterococcus faecium SF68. One helps, more would be better. The other ingredient I have a problem with is "animal digest" because as the regulations stand this product is basically unregulated and could contain any number of unsavory things in it. Does it? Maybe not, but we can't know because there is no one stopping it from happening. Like a lot of products "big pet food" makes it could be better, but it is what it is.

I'm giving it to the kittens along with some digestive enzymes and fingers crossed by the time you read this, things will be much better for them and (selfishly) for me.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Ready Player One kittens test out a new food for you #chewyinfluencer

This one is mine

I am a little late getting my influencer reviews up for this month. Probably had something to do with the box being occupied for a few weeks every time I went to open it.  I am a sucker for a cat sitting on a box.. (Yes, Fleurp gets away with way more than she should)

This month I was offered a new food I hadn't heard of before. It is by Whole Earth Farms and it comes in several different varieties. My cats tend to like duck and since I feed chicken pretty exclusively and I like the idea of rotating my proteins, I try to get non-chicken foods whenever I can.

I took a look at the ingredient list and was impressed.
Duck, Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Agar Gum, Flaxseed, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Salmon Oil, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Locust Bean Gum, Xanthan Gum, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract
Not a fan of flaxseed for cats, but if that is my biggest complaint, sign me up. (While alfalfa is a plant, it gets a pass from me into the 'okay' column because it is green and low glycemic. My cats seem to do better when they have a very small amount of low glycemic greens in their diet vs a zero plant matter diet. The fact that it is organic is a bonus. Considering that the alfalfa meal falls under the 'natural flavor' ingredient, it is fairly obvious there isn't much in there.)

Daito thought the cats were "superfun" to play with.. but how would he like the food?

I just love Parzival's tongue in this last shot. The Crew loved it too.  The new kittens love it. I totally wish this came in large 'multi-cat' sizes.  3oz sizes are nice for people with just one cat, but the trend is moving to multi-cat households - which is how we can have more owned cats in the US, but more dog households.

My not yet famous pro/con summary.
Pros: canned food, interesting proteins, not a lot of plant matter, yummy
Cons: flaxseed, they need to make bigger sizes.

Fairly certain I'll be buying some of these for those times we are out of raw for my cats.  Opening seven cans at meal time isn't going to be fun, but The Crew will love it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kittens attempt to catch a fly, excuse me, a sky raisin.

Hate to bother you kittens, but even though that fly sky raisin is mighty chunky, I don't think it is enough for both of you.

(actually, they failed to catch it and I ended up killing it with the fly sky raisin swatter)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Getting to know the kittens

It has been a rough week for me and the kittens.  It has been hard on me that they see me as the enemy, but this isn't anything I haven't been through before. I know it is something I can overcome and will overcome, but it is challenging when I'm the enemy and they are having medical issues.

Yes, the kittens have diarrhea. They came with solid stools, but the transition and maybe the stress of it all has caused things to loosen up. They are also small for their age, so I've been trying to give them food to help them catch up and they are eating it, and pooping it out.  With the diarrhea, they are filling up litter boxes rather quickly and they are choosing to go on the couch or on the towels, or other places in the room, I have added two more boxes, so *knocks wood* hopefully this is the end of it.

I've had the stool tested at the shelter and nothing is showing. I've started probiotics so hopefully this will end soon, and if not I'll bring another sample to the shelter to double check since most parasites don't shed 100% of the time.  If they have a second clear sample I'll start them on raw food and hopefully that will clear this up.

As you can see from the video the little black kitten isn't afraid of me anymore. He is not a fan of my hands, so if I want to pet him or touch him he can't see it coming. He will purr when I snuggle him, which is causing his siblings to give me the benefit of the doubt - as long as I don't look at them.  I have broken out the Spirit Essence and the Rescue Remedy. We just need to break the gut reaction they have that I'm bad. If I can get them to stop and think about it I know this feral part of things will be over... well I hope.

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