Raw Information and Resources

Feline Nutrition Foundation Archive

Feline Nutrition Home PageBeginner
Feline Nutrition's Easy Homemade Cat Food RecipeBeginner's Luck: Where Do I Start?How to Transition to a Raw Cat Food DietJust What is a Raw Cat Food Diet, Anyway?Easy Raw Cat Food for the Busy PersonYour Cat's Nutritional Needs: The BasicsThe Benefits of Raw Food for CatsThere's No Such Thing as a Vegan CatEight Effective Bribes for the Kibble AddictDon't Let Your Senior Cat Become a Skinny Old KittyThe Skinny on Senior Cats: Metabolism ExplainedSlimming Your Cat: What Works, What Doesn'tHigh Pressure Processing: The Future of Raw Cat Food?No Bull, Taurine Is a Must for KittyAdding Taurine to a Raw Cat Food DietHomemade Cat Food, a Balancing ActThiamine in Raw Food for CatsCalcium Supplements in Homemade Cat FoodDon't Let Calcium/Phosphorous Ratios Scare YouVitamin E: Liquid vs. PowderArginine: Essential and Abundant for Cat NutritionLysine and Raw Cat Food DietsCare to Compare? Wild vs. Domesticated PreySpooked By Salmonella: Raw Cat Food!Tips for Transitioning Your Finicky Kitties'Natural' vs. 'Grain-Free' Cat FoodFiguring Out the Carbs in Canned Cat FoodTake Heart, But Not Too MuchThe Case Against Cod Liver OilFeeding Kitten Food to an Adult CatRaw Cat Food vs. More FiberProbiotics, Digestive Enzymes and Raw Cat FoodRaw Cat Food and Kibble Don't MixFeline Nutrition: Who Bears the Responsibility?Pet Food and Feeding: Personal RuminationsReading a Pet Food Ingredient Label
Bio-Inappropriate: The Dangers of Dry Cat FoodFeline Diabetes: The Influence of DietFeline Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Nature and TreatmentFeline Hyperthyroidism: What You Need to KnowA Diet for Your Cat's Urinary and Kidney HealthConstipation: Real Help for Your CatPhosphorus Can Be Key for Cat KidneysWater, Water and Water Battles CrystalsFeline Cystitis and Bladder/Kidney StonesHigh Blood Pressure: Yes, Your Cat Can Get It, TooNutrition is Vital When Treating Feline LeukemiaFeline Pancreatitis: Signs of TroubleAnother Furball? It Might Be Feline AsthmaOpen Wide: The Basics of Kitty DentalsCat Scratch Fever: How It Affects CatsDiet and Your Cat's Cancer RiskChunks and Bones For Your Cat's TeethA Cat's Food Allergies and Intolerances ExplainedHow Toxoplasmosis Affects CatsAvoiding Hepatic Lipidosis in Your CatHow Raw Food for Cats Affects Blood Test ResultsGet Kitty Exercising to Trim DownSalmonella: The Chicken or the EggSafe Handling Practices for Raw MeatIf You're Feeling Stressed, So Is Your CatChoosing the Right Insulin for Your Diabetic CatA Veterinarian's View on Raw Cat Food: Andrea Tasi, VMD
Answers: What Exactly is an 'Obligate Carnivore?'Answers: What Dry Food Does to Your Cat's AppetiteAnswers: Why Won't My Cat Eat?Answers: Who Were Pottenger's Cats and Do They Matter?Answers: To Grind or Not to Grind Raw Cat Food?Answers: What Dry Food Does to Your Cat's TeethAnswers: What Dry Food Does to Your Cat's FurAnswers: What Dry Food Does to Your Cat's PeeAnswers: What Dry Food Does to Your Cat's GutAnswers: One More Reason to Ditch Dry Cat FoodAnswers: Do Cats Need Dietary Fiber?Answers: Cats in a Bind over PhosphorusAnswers: Let's Talk About Cat BarfAnswers: Making Raw Cat Food Kitty-SizedAnswers: Raw Food for Cats, What About Eating Bones?Answers: Getting Kitty to Like ChunkyAnswers: Are Exotic Meats Nutritious or a Novelty for Cats?Answers: Raw Food and Outdoor Cats, What About Worms?Answers: Take a Deep Breath and Cut the Mouse in HalfAnswers: The Stomach Contents of PreyAnswers: Flaxseed Oil for Kitty?Answers: Plant vs. Meat – The Protein Feud for Cat FoodAnswers: Kitty That Only Wants FishAnswers: Is It Okay for My Cat to Have Milk?Answers: Feed My Cat a Raw Egg Yolk?Answers: Raw Cat Food for My Cat's Mystery Allergy?Answers: Your Cat's Acid StomachAnswers: Cat Urine Ph, Why It MattersAnswers: Kittens Go Through Teething, TooAnswers: Raw Cat Food for All of Those Kittens!Answers: Why Did My Cat's Fur Get So Silky?Answers: Goaltending the Cat Food BowlAnswers: Who Are AAFCO and the NRC?Answers: Taking the Complexity Out of B Vitamins for CatsAnswers: The Paradox of Prescription Diets for Cats
How to Think Like a CatRaw Meaty Bones for Cats: Adult Supervision Required!Let Me Tell You About Raw Cat Food. Hey Come Back!But Kitty, What Nice Teeth You Have...Sasquatch vs. My CatI Worry About My CatYour Cat Worries About ThisYour Kitty May Need to Go to Chunk SchoolAre Cats Clandestine Consumers?Dry Cat Food – The Big EasyEight Cat CuriositiesCats and Cantaloupe: A Method to their MadnessThe Myth of the Finicky CatFalling Off the Cat Food Recipe CliffCat Daddy Talks Cat DietThe Popularity of Cat PoopThe Most Important Member, YouYou Said You Feed Your Cat, What?Oh! Those Dirty Little Kittens!It's My Cat's House, I Just Live ThereBlack Cats Are Not Unlucky at AllLessons From the Stoic CatIs There a Cat in the House?Rice Isn't NiceDon't Let it Bug You Kitty!Tell Your Cat to Chew on This!Cat Longevity and the Ultimate Test?Bug Patrol and Cat Stampedes: Life with Lots of CatsWhat Scraps?
Feeding Raw Food In Australia: What's Up Down UnderThe Cemetery Cats of Buenos AiresCats Are Paying Attention to Your FeelingsCheetahs in Captivity Need a Better DietIt Started With a Caracas Cat Named CaterpillarConsidering a Hybrid Cat?Tales from the Trenches: Feeding Kittens a Raw DietSaving Alistair: How Lyn Thomson Helped Stop IBD 11,000 Miles AwayRaw Cat Food Essentials and Fun Stuff, Too!There's No Kibble Served at the Big Cat RescueWhat Bob Dole Taught Me About Raw FoodAn Answer For Alex: Raw Food and Tight RegulationMangiare Crudo in Italia (Raw Fed in Italy)Melamine to Frankenprey: A Documented JourneyCould Everything We Know Be Wrong?A Brief History of Commercial Pet FoodWhen a Vegetarian Feeds A Raw DietRead Me! Great Books About CatsDuke's Story: Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseAdoption: What Should We Feed Our New Kitten?Malaysian Kittens Meet Frankenprey!Raw Food Co-ops: Make Buying Less Trying!Feeding Cats Ring Dings and Krispy Kremes
One Page Guides
Cats Are Cats!What Should You Be Feeding Your Cat?The Dangers of Dry FoodRaw Feeding for BeginnersTransitioning to a Raw DietEasy Recipe for Success
About Us
Welcome to Feline NutritionThe Feline Nutrition FoundationA Message from the FounderThe Feline Nutrition Foundation Mission StatementThe Feline Nutrition Team

Blog & Newsletter

Current Specials

Current Specials

This content is archived from the Feline Nutrition Foundation

Lessons From the Stoic Cat

Updated: Sunday, May 26, 2019 04:19 PM
Published: Sunday, November 29, 2009 12:56 PM
Written by Margaret Gates

Cats are often described as stoic – they don't let it show when they're sick. I think that's partly true. In the wild, they don't want to be obvious about being sick or injured. Showing that kind of weakness is a good way to get yourself eaten. It's better to hide until you feel well enough to pounce or run away.

When you share your life with a cat, you get to know them pretty well. Watching the subtle things, it's usually easy to tell when something is wrong – usually.

I'm always paying close attention to my cats. I check their behavior for anything that seems "off." When I was younger, I had a gray and white tuxedo cat. One day, I came home and found CJ curled up in a ball. Her bright pink nose was pale, almost white. Her breathing was shallow. She barely responded when I touched her. I panicked. I just knew she was at death's door – something was terribly wrong. I put her in a carrier and rushed her to the vet. On the way, she opened her eyes, but seemed disoriented. The vet saw her immediately. By then she was a bit perkier. She was looking around and color was returning to her nose. The vet checked her over and concluded I had found her deeply asleep. The color of her nose could vary depending on what she was doing. I was embarrassed. Imagine rushing your cat to the vet because she was sleepy! I always wondered if I became an anecdote for that vet. Am I The Terrified Lady with the Sleepy Cat?

I don't regret my reaction. I would rather overreact when it comes to my cats' health. Time can be of the essence. Some years back, I woke up to find Stanley, the Feline Nutrition logo cat, acting oddly. She didn't greet me in the usual way and her eyes weren't fully open. Her ears felt warm. She'd been acting completely normal the night before. I got her to vet right away, calling ahead as I was driving to say I had an emergency. By the time I got her there, she was listless and woozy. The vet determined Stanley had an infected salivary gland. She drained it, and got Stan on antibiotics and fluids. It was close. She had gone from normal to acting oddly in about seven hours, and from that to gravely ill in about two. If I'd had a wait-and-see attitude, she probably would have died.

Then there are times when you can't tell anything is wrong. One day, when Kai was about a year and a half old, he jumped off a counter and gave a little cry. He was limping a bit, favoring his right rear leg. I checked his paw and leg and could find no obvious injury. He let me handle him, so he wasn't in too much pain. I made an appointment for him. The vet prodded and manipulated while looking thoughtful. She was pretty sure he had a broken hip! X-rays confirmed it. He had broken off the little round knob at the top of the femur – the one that rests in the hip bone socket in humans. I couldn't believe he'd done that jumping off the counter. Fortunately, I was able to get a 7:00 am appointment at a veterinary orthopedic surgeon for the next day.

Next morning, the surgeon examined Kai, looked at the x-rays and confirmed a broken hip. It had been broken for at least three months! Talk about feeling like the worst kitty mom in the world. My cat had been walking around with a broken hip for three months, and I hadn't even noticed. Kai had only started to complain – or even act any differently at all – when the bone had started to re-grow and was rubbing. Jumping off the counter that single time set things off. We never could figure out how he'd broken it in the first place.

Kai had his operation. The surgeon removed the knob entirely and smoothed the remainder. I had to give him physical therapy at home – which he hated – and after about eight months he was good as new. The muscles hold everything in place, so he does fine without that little knob.

The lessons learned are to pay close attention to your cats, err on the side of a wasted vet visit and hope what your cats do manage to hide from you isn't immediately life-threatening.

Margaret Gates is the founder of the Feline Nutrition Foundation.