Sunday, November 25, 2012

Living With Sam my FIV Cat



 Sam my FIV cat was rescued in 2008 and his living arrangement has been hectic until we moved him permanently to the main house.   Moving Sam into the main house was the best thing that we could do.  My cats entire disposition changed and he is now one happy cat.   

Prior to this move I was keeping Sam at my office and would spend 8 hours a day with him and then he would come home with me on weekends and spend time in my home office.   

We needed to keep our FIV cat away from our other cats because they were not socialized and even if they were the older cats were grumpy and it would not be a good mix of cats.   

Sam always looked sad when I would leave him at the end of the day, but my home office was a remodeled hall closet and too small for him for a permanent basis.  Nonetheless I wanted Sam to spend more time with the family so my husband and I decided to bring him home.

Now Sam lives with us full time, he has permanent residence in our master bedroom and his litter box is in the bathroom.  Cat toy box in the corner behind the door, cat scratching post by the  window and he no longer needs his cat bed because he sleeps on my husband’s head.   

 Sam gets plenty of human and dog companionship.  His life is balanced as he has time to rest, be loved and play time with the family dogs. 

FIV cat playing with dogs on bed
Home alone cat plays with dogs on bed
When we are at work during the day Sam gets to share the bedroom with our dogs; Lilly and Benny.  When we are away the three of them have a real good time redecorating the room and playing on the bed.  

Sam has the good sense to go into his crate when he needs to nap.  When the cat sleeps the dogs will nap too. I think it is important that a FIV cat enjoy his life.  .   




An hour in the life of Sam

6:00 am - Bite the dogs tail as if to symbolize that it is time to get up and play.  Chase Benny around the room and under the bed until the master tells us it's not time to get up.
6:03 am - Lie on masters head and groom myself until he gets the message that it is time to wake up.
6:10 am - Jump for joy the master is up.  Run in between his or her feet to my food bowl.  
6:14 am - mm mm good....eating spa blue buffalo canned food, licking the plate, loving the succulent food.  Push the plate with my head across the counter top maybe she will feed me more?  Diet? No way I am not on a diet!
6:30 am - Protest for more food. Knock the bowl on the floor and push it around on the hardwood floors.  Get wet from a spray of water....wonder what that means.
6:40 am - Lie on window seat and sun myself, lick my paws for food leftovers. Ah...the warm sun on my back feels so good
6:42 am - Take a cat nap ..Zzzzz

An FIV cat is the same as any other cat, the only difference that I see is that Sam may sleep more and he has a problem with putting on weight but other than that he is normal in every way. 

Sam is a  wonderful companion as well as a comedian.   

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Diet Plan For Overweight FIV Cat




Planning a diet for an overweight FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency virus) cat  involves restricting the cats diet so that the cat does not nibble on food all day and changing the food from dry kibble to canned turkey food which is a low fat protein.

 Sam my FIV cat needs to shed some extra pounds.  He is ten years old  and weighs 12 pounds.  Sam is set in his routine.  He sleeps most of the day and plays with our dogs a total of fifteen minutes daily. The rest of the time he is cuddling with us on the sofa or sleeping.  

In February 2012 I was told that Sam needed to go on a diet.  He weighed 15 lbs and the veterinarian wanted him to weigh 10 lbs. In February I fed Sam Blue Buffalo spa selects a high protein chicken diet and gave him a combination of canned and dry kibble cat food.   

Sam would quickly eat the canned food and then leave the rest; this is the food that he snacks on throughout the day.  In the last eight months Sam's energy has decreased due to the FIV virus and he sleeps more which is why he is slow to shed those extra pounds. Older cats that are less active have a hard time loosing weight.

My veterinarian explained that overweight or obese cats are at risk of feline health conditions; heart disease and diabetes are the two main health concerns. Sam has a weakened immune system so I must be strong and not give into him when he begs for food.   

Diet Plan for Overweight Cat

Starting today my cats daily diet routine is going to change.  The plan is to restrict my overweight cats freedom from eating whenever he wants.  Sam loves to eat and in past when I took away his food in the afternoon he was getting into the kitchen cabinets and trying to scavenger food from the dogs bowl. 

My cats new diet consists of a low calorie turkey canned food,  that is high in protein.  His food is Hills prescription diet; c/d.  This is a maintenance food and it is good for a mature cat’s bladder.  He will be eating canned cat food only. 

Dietary portions will be adhered to. Sam will eat 1/2 of his daily required food portion in the morning and 1/2 in the evening. There will be no snacking on the all-day food bowl and no more cat treats. 

Along with his diet food plan he will begin an exercise routine.  I will be playing with him with his Da-bird, a feather bird on the end of stick.  Sam likes this toy and is always eager to play.  To encourage Sam to stretch more I am going to spray his scratching post with catnip.  

Tips:
 
Before starting a diet examine your cat to determine if they are overweight. Do this by trying to feel for their ribs.  If you can feel the indentation of the ribs then your cat is of normal weight. If you can feel a thickness around the ribs then this is a sign that your cat is overweight.
 
Make an appointment with your veterinarian to determine if your cat has an eating disorder or if your cat has an illness.  The veterinarian will do a wellness blood screen that will check for thyroid, blood sugar levels and they will check for heart disease and diabetes.  


Your veterinarian will advise you of their findings.  If your cat’s laboratory results are fine and do not indicate a health condition then your veterinarian will recommend that your cat lose weight and provide you with a diet plan.

Refrain from overfeeding your cat.  Feed a six pound cat  3/4 to 1/2 cup of food daily.  A 10 lb cat should be fed 1/2 to 3/4 cup of food daily.  A 14 lb cat should be fed 3/4 to 1 cup of food daily. 


 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Treatment for FIV-FeLV Cats - LTCI





LTCI is a New USDA approved treatment that is injected into FeLV and FIV cats. This treatment aids in restoring your cats ability to fight off infection. LTCI is not a cure, however it is a treatment that will restore your cat’s immune system so that it is normal. A normal immune system will prolong the cat’s life.   

FeLV and FIV have been incurable cat diseases.  Cats that are infected with FeLV or FIV have a greater chance at getting sick because of their suppressed immune system.  These cats get infections easily; colds, upper respiratory and many develop blood disorders and cancer.   

Studies show that cats that received the LTCI treatment have positive results within the first week.  LTCI increases the CD-4 lymphocyte function and numbers.  It also increases the IL-2 production as well as the red blood cell counts in severely anemic cats.

My cat Sam was diagnosed with Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency virus in 2009.  Sam’s immune system was able to fight off the FeLV however we were told there was no cure for the FIV and that Sam may live 10 years or less.  When I learned today of a treatment for my cats immune disease I knew my prayers had been answered.

Three percent of all the cats in the US are infected with FeLV or FIV.  The cat numbers are higher in cats that go outdoors and in feral and stray cats.  Thanks to this new treatment cat lives will be spared.

Treatment Locations

I checked my area and found that the closest veterinarian that has this new treatment is 250 miles away.  Sam does not like riding in the cars. I never do anything to cause him anxiety or stress.  So I searched online for information about the new FeLV/FIV treatment and then I contacted my veterinarian.  

I learned that Sam would need a wellness exam and blood screening before being considered for the treatment.  Presently Sam has a stable condition and he may not need the LTCI treatment. It is comforting to know that a treatment for FIV/FeLV is available and that cat’s lives will not be threatened.