If you read my blog on a regular basis you might recall that I have a “min-zoo”. No, I’m not talking about my teenagers (ha ha). I’m referring to our five cats, dog and fish. We used to have snails but the fish ate them. Poor snails!
I love my pets dearly. They mean the world to me.
Two of our cats are a bit old. Our oldest cat, Velcro (named for the sound he made when we would peel him off the side of the couch – LOL) is 12+ and Kitty is 10 years old. We also have Padmé (6), Anakin (5) and Bella (17 months). Our dog Espn is the same age as Anakin (Anakin is 2 months older).
We anticipate health issues as they get older. Velcro hasn’t been looking well lately (his coat looks horrible) and Kitty has urinary issues (already addressed with the vet). Just like humans, the older you get the more thinks tend to “fall apart” with your bodies.
Never in a million years would I expect our youngest pet to have the most health problems.
Bella is our youngest. She was born June 5, 2011. She was found in a dumpster in an industrial park. Apparently people who live and work in the area find kittens all the time and toss them in the dumpsters to get rid of them. THANKFULLY one lady makes it a point to check the dumpsters on a daily basis looking for kittens and bringing them to the local animal shelter.
My family opted to become foster parents to puppies and/or kittens in need. The same day Bella and another kitten (we’re not sure if they were litter mates) were brought in we got the call to ask if we could foster them. We never fostered newborn kittens before. All our cats were adopted when they were three months old.
The animal shelter didn’t have high hopes for Bella surviving. She was very tiny (much smaller than the other kitten she came in with) and she wasn’t eating.
In a strange twist of fate Bella survived and the other kitten, Emma, had to be put to sleep when she was 3 weeks old. She was suffering from a disease (she couldn’t breath!)
We ended up adopting Bella. We raised her from a teeny, tiny kitten to a lovable ball of fur. She was part of our family. There was no way we could give her back to the animal shelter to be adopted out to another family.
Bella is a super sweet little girl. She still thinks I’m her mom. She loves to cuddle up with me while I’m at the desk working. At night she crawls into bed next to me and “suckles” on my pajama sleeve. She even sits on my chest and puts one paw on either side of my neck like she’s hugging me and nuzzles her face up against mine. She even misses me when I’m gone! I’ve been away on a few press trips over the past year and my husband always tells me she would cry for me and she seems restless without me.
A few months ago I noticed her making an awful gasping/wheezing noise. Initially we thought it was a hairball but after a while my instincts told me it wasn’t a hairball. I took her to the vet to get checked out. It turns out she has Asthma. Currently she’s on her second round of steroids. The first time around it didn’t seem to help her. Right now she takes a steroid pill daily. After two weeks I have to play around with them to see what works best (two days on, one day off… every other day… every three days…). The goal is to get her to take the least amount of steroids and not let her have any “attacks”. Sadly without the steroids she has frequent attacks.
To make matters worse Bella was also diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. From what I know it’s not common in young cats. It tends to strike older cats.
Bella has to take Thyroid medication for the rest of her life. I actually have to get the prescription filled at my local pharmacy. I take Thyroid medication too. It’s weird that she’s on human drugs.
Bella needs three pills a day (at least until I can get the steroid thing to work out). She has to take a Thyroid pill in the AM and in the PM. Have you ever tried to give a cat a pill? It’s easier said than done!
First of all, Bella might be the sweetest little girl at home. At the vets office she is a BEAST! She has to be knocked out just for a blood test or an examination. She just went for a blood test the other day and it cost me $220 because I had to not only pay for the blood test but also to knock her out and for a 1/2 a day vet stay. With my other cats the doctor can do what he needs to do right there in the examination room.
Bella does not like taking pills. But she has to. She can die or have other health problems if she doesn’t.
At first I would crush up the pills and put it in her food. That worked a little bit then she was on to me. I tried to add some Tuna or the juice/fluid from Tuna fish into the food. That too worked a bit then she would stop eating it if there was a pill in it.
I’ve tried other things… wrapping the pill in Liverwurst, cheese, trying to shove it in the back of her throat and closing her mouth (I thought she was going to kill me!), crushing it up and adding a little bit of milk to it… nothing really works. It might work once or twice but then she’s on to me and she won’t eat or drink whatever the pill was in.
I Googled options for giving cats pills. I also went to the various pet sites to see if they had something that would help. I found a product called Greenies Pill Pockets. They make them for both cats and dogs. They are little treats with a hole in the side of it where you stick the pill in and then mold the treat around it to cover it up (the treats are very soft). It’s best to use one hand to insert the pill and the other hand to mold it around the pill, that way the scent of the medication is not on the treat.
I bought both available flavors (Chicken and Salmon flavors), not knowing which one she would like.
When they arrived (I had to order them online) I gave Bella one of each flavor (without a pill inside) to see if she would eat them. We don’t normally give the cats treats so I wasn’t sure if she would like them.
WOW! She gobbled them right up! Not only that she was looking for MORE!
The next day I tried giving her a Greenie Pill Pocket treat with her pills (one pill in each pocket). She ate them with no problem. So farm so good. She’s taking her pills without fighting me about it and I don’t have to stress out about her not having her pills when she needs them.
I know I do a lot of reviews on my site. Most of the products are sent to me specifically for me to review. I need you to know that I purchased the Greenies Pill Pockets on my own. I am so impressed by them and how it’s such a huge relief for me to easily be able to give Bella her medication. I also like that they are 100% all natural and I don’t have to use unhealthy things (like cheese) to try and get her to take her pills.
If you find that you have to give your cat medication (pills), you might want to look into Greenies Pill Pockets. I found them on Amazon for $4.95 for 45 pill pockets. I’m not sure if they are less expensive elsewhere. Since Bella will be taking pills for the rest of her life I’m going to have to buy them on a regular basis. I’m going to see where I can buy them in bulk. My other cats like them as treats too.
If you would like to learn more visit www.Greenies.com. They have other dog and cat products. The only one I’ve tried is the Pill Pockets.
On a side note, does your cat have Asthma? Our vet says she has to take steroids and that is our only option. It’s just a matter of finding out how frequently she needs them. The “game plan” is to get her to take only a few a month to control her Asthma, as well as find out what is triggering them. So far there is no rhyme or reason to her attacks. She has them in the middle of the night and during the day. She has them when she’s fast asleep or just walking around our home. SOMETIME triggers them but so far it’s impossible to figure it out.
We have an air purifier. I am using non-toxic/natural cleaners. I don’t spray air fresheners when she’s around, I use baking soda to freshen up the carpet. It’s just been hard to figure out her triggers.
If your cat has Asthma, what are you using to treat it? Have you been able to figure out the triggers?
She also have Hyperthyroidism. Does you cat have that? Is he/she taking pills? I know there are other treatment options. One is surgery (but the cat would still need to take pills for the rest of their life – or so I heard). The other is radiation therapy where they actually inject your cat with radiation in a special facility. It’s expensive ($1,500 – $2,000). And I’m not happy about the idea of sending her far away for several days.
Our vet is pushing for the radiation therapy. He said it’s going to be expensive to keep her on pills, and the pills might not be affective down the road. I need to bring her back in a month to check the levels and see if the medication has to be adjusted. That means another $220. Then he said she’d need to come in every 3 months for a while ($220 each time) until she stabilizes, then it would be very six months. Plus the pills ($16/mo). With the radiation therapy its a one time thing and she’d only need a couple of follow up visits and she’ll be done with it. Financially speaking it’s certainly better, but I’m still not sold on the idea.
I’d love to hear from other cat owners who have a cat with the same conditions (either one or both).
I’m sorry to ramble. I just wanted to let people know how much I love the Greenies Pill Pockets and to reach out to my readers to see if anyone has a cat with the same conditions Bella has.
On a side note… I love my pets. They are so lovey-dovey and super sweet. ♥
*I was not compensated for this post. Nor was I asked by Greenies to mention their products. This is 100% entirely my own doing and I am the one who purchased the product from Amazon.