Friday, March 18, 2011

Daffodils are Toxic to Cats; New Cat Food - Blue Buffalo

Greetings! It's been over a year since we've posted! We have simply been very busy with life. However, we plan to do our best to post a bit more regularly now.

Earlier this week we bought some cut daffodils and brought them home and put them in a vase. We planned to take them to work the next morning to enjoy in the office. As with all cut flowers, unless we know for certain that they are not toxic to cats, we planned to put these in a closed room overnight so that the cats could not get to them. However, we were distracted and forgot to do so.

The next morning we got up and fed the cats as per the normal morning routine. Ivan wasn't terribly interested in his kibble, which is unusual, but he scarfed down his ration of canned food. However, almost immediately he threw it up. Then he went and sat in his "don't bother me" spot, and we knew he didn't feel well. Was there something in his environment that may have caused this? We spied the daffodils. Hmm. We inspected them for signs of cat chewing, and there we found that a cat had eaten about the equivalent of one petal. We immediately hit the Internet to see whether daffodils are toxic to cats.

We found quite a bit of good information that indicated that daffodils are toxic. The bulbs are the most toxic (they contain all the energy that the plant needs to survive). Thankfully Ivan had eaten only one petal. The consensus seemed to be that if he did not vomit again and did not get diarrhea, that he had probably thrown up all the offending material and would recover on his own. This is exactly what happened. We did read about instances where cats got very sick from daffodil ingestion, requiring veterinary care, and there are one or two documented cases of cats dying from the effects of daffodil ingestion. WHEW! We were lucky!

As some cats are wont to do, Boo cleaned up Ivan's vomitus. Later that evening Boo didn't seem as hungry as usual. We wondered if that might be because he had eaten some of the daffodil material in the vomitus. But he was fine the next morning. However, the moral of the story is that you should be careful with any plants in the house. Ivan does have pica (he eats things that he shouldn't, namely fabric), but any cat might eat plants, even poisonous ones.

Now to things that cats should eat. You may recall that we have discussed cat food here in the past. We wanted to make sure we gave Ivan and Boo the best food possible, to try to avoid the cancer that struck our two previous cats, who, though aged 20 and 7, died only 10 days apart. We were also concerned about obesity in our cats, and after discussions with our vet and some research on our own, we decided to put them on grain-free diets. Our vet recommended Evo.

The cats really like Evo, but it's not always easy to get. Only two stores in the San Jose area sell it, and neither is terribly close to us. So we started looking around at the PetSmart near our house to see what kind of grain free, high protein options they had. We found something called By Nature and By Nature Organics. They had a grain-free variety in dry and canned form. The price was good and the cats liked it. End of story.

Not exactly. This week we went to stock up, and there was one bag of By Nature left, and no cans. There was a sign saying that PetSmart would no longer be carrying it. THANKS, PETSMART. So we had to do some quick research to figure out what to get!

We found Blue Buffalo. They have a high protein, low carb, grain free line called Blue Wilderness. It is supposedly patterned after the diet of the wild lynx, and the line sports a lynx on the bag and cans. Their other lines are wheat and soy free, but they do contain rice. However, our vet really has no problem with rice as long as there are no other grains or soy in the mix.

We have just started feeding the boys the Blue Buffalo canned food (we bought the Blue Wilderness cans, as well as the Spa Select and Healthy Gourmet cans - the latter two contain rice). We have a little By Nature kibble to finish before we start them on the Blue Wildnerss kibble. We will keep you posted on their progress.