Hello Cat Parent!
Welcome to Cats Gone Healthy! It’s great to see you here checking out the possibility of switching your cat(s) from dry cat food to a more species appropriate diet of canned cat food, and hopefully with the goal of going RAW! Raw feeding cats is a big movement as more and more cat parents want what’s best for their cats.
The biggest roadblock I see for cat parents to make the switch is getting their cats off the very addictive dry cat food. Maybe this is you, and that’s why you’re here. And maybe you have tried all the tricks and tips you could find on the web for transitioning foods. Maybe you have not tried yet, and you’re just not sure about taking the plunge. So many cat parents give up and are left feeling like they have failed at giving the healthiest and best type of food for their cats.
Veterinarians are treating more and more cats as they are getting unhealthier: overweight, skin allergies, cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems, emotional frustration, urinary tract infections and blockages to name a few. We are all familiar with the verse: “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food” by Hippocrates. This really does apply to all living beings.
I have a long history with cats. Rescue, fostering, volunteering at cat rescues, and my own pet cats. I have seen the damage that can result from a poor diet, repeated vaccinations, flea & tick treatments, prescription drugs, steroids and lack of exercise. And, I have witnessed the incredible health and well-being in cats that is the result of feeding a species-appropriate diet and using natural remedies (when possible).
And that is why it’s my mission as a Healthy Life Cat Coach to inspire and help as many cats and their human parents to successfully make the change from dry cat food to either canned and/or raw food with as few emotional setbacks and frustrations as possible. I call it “Banishing the Bag.” We all need support sometimes, especially for big changes. And cats do not like big changes! The little rascals that they are.
Let’s get you started! Become a well-informed conscious cat parent and consumer!
Get my Free Resource: 10 Ingredients to Avoid in Cat Food that Make Your Cat Sick and Unhealthy
If you are the type who likes to read more details about a person and business that you’re considering spending time with and sharing your email address with…read more below for my cat history.
My life with cats and why I decided to become a Healthy Life Cat Coach
Bona Fide Cat Lover
I was born in Illinois with cats (and dogs, fish, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles, and rabbits). In fact, I think I might have been a cat in a former life. As a child, I put the family’s cats in my doll strollers and pushed them around the house.
As a pre-teen in the 1970s, I got the urge to help shelter cats. My mom took me to a local animal control to see about volunteering. My tender young heart couldn’t handle knowing some of these precious creatures would be put down if they weren’t adopted, and I was so upset about the dirty nasty conditions of the facility. (These facilities have sure come a long way, thank goodness.) So, I set the urge aside for later.
Fast forward to adulthood
Cats that needed homes always seemed to cross my path. My first kitty as a working adult on my own was given to me by an elderly coworker and friend, who just simply wanted to gift me his cat. She was an older beautiful, shy black and tan calico I named Kitty.
Later, I moved to Arizona and went a few years without a cat, until a coworker’s cat had kittens. This was 1980, when neutering and spaying cats was even less common than it is now. I adopted two from the litter, a girl and a boy, and named them Mikona and Brittany. Brittany was supposed to be a girl, but turned out to be a boy.
The three of us moved to California, and I rented a room in a house. The owner of the house had many dogs and cats that all lived outside but came indoors on occasion. Mikona and Brittany were kept indoors. The owner did not use any flea control, and Mikona and Brittany got full of fleas, as did my room and bed. I started using chemical-based flea shampoo and collars on the kitties. The fleas were so bad, I bathed them in these toxic chemicals weekly, completely unaware of the danger I was placing my precious cats in.
Back then, Feline Leukemia was not as prevalent as now, and not much was known about it. In fact, there was not even a vaccine for it. Brittany, still under one year old, suddenly became very ill–lethargic and not eating much–and the test showed positive for FeLV. “The only thing we can do,” said the veterinarian, “is put him out of his misery.” It was a dismal day, and Mikona was depressed for a couple of months. The veterinarian thought perhaps Mikona was a carrier of FeLV because if one kitten had it, then she should too. Yet if I remember correctly, she tested negative.
A few years later, I adopted Katy, a beautiful black medium-haired kitty, from the local animal control. Mikona had gotten accustomed to being alone, and wasn’t very thrilled to share her mom with Katy. But, they did end up friends.
Fast forward again
Mikona is 12 years old and suddenly becomes ill–lethargic and not eating. Her tests show liver and pancreatic cancer. The vet opened her up to remove the tumors, but it was so bad, it was too late for surgery. It was a very emotionally painful time for me. I was just starting to put together the pieces about what we put into and on our bodies and how it affects our health.
When I became ill with many health problems,
I began searching for answers and learning about natural healing approaches for myself and then for my kitties. Natural remedies healed all of my health problems, and I very soon started using them for my cats with amazing results. I read about the dangers and toxicity of flea products, as well as many other toxic products we expose our cats to, including ingredients in pet food and cat litter and regular vaccinations.
It hit me that the weekly baths in flea shampoos, while may not have been the entire cause of Mikona’s cancer or Brittany’s immune system succumbing to FeLV, certainly contributed to their immune systems weakening and breaking down. The body cannot fight off illness or cancer cells very easily if it is busy trying to clear out the chemical toxins.
At a visit to the vet, I heard tiny kittens meowing behind the front desk. Two darling fuzzy kittens, Pooka and PoKai, joined the family. By now, I was full fledged into living a natural-based lifestyle for myself and my cats. This provided all of us with a safe and non-toxic household, and helped save on vet bills.
Helping the unwanted
There were stray cats roaming in my neighborhood. This is how I started trapping for spaying/neutering and fostering. A beautiful buff color medium hair young female with blue-green eyes. Hanalei was a princess, sweet, easy-going, laid back. Nothing bothered her. She became part of my family.
Next, I trapped a momma cat, who was very wild, and returned her outside after being spayed. I trapped four of her five kittens (one got away never to return), and gave them “temporary” foster names–Six Toes (yes, she had six toes), Fluff, Red, and Fussbudget. They required lots of time to socialize and tame them and I became very attached to them. I tried to adopt them out or have a rescue or vet clinic take them, but three of them were too skittish to be handled by anyone but me. I decided to also keep the only tame one, darling Six Toes. So, now I had seven cats and I was an official foster failure.
In 2005, I moved to Hawaii. That was quite an ordeal, especially with pets. Six Toes, Hanalei, Fluff and my dog Sierra went to Hawaii with me.
In Hawaii, there are far too many homeless dogs and cats. I became a cat colony feeder for a non-profit called Hui Pono Holoholona (which means doing right by animals in Hawaiian). They focused on TNRM–Trap, Neuter (and spay), Return, Manage (feed and care for the cat colony). I started bringing home abandoned kittens and some adult cats. I tamed, fostered, adopted them out, and assisted at the surgery clinics. Cried tears of sadness and happiness.
In almost every case, the kittens would be sickly, anemic, full of fleas and starving. With the assistance of my personal homeopath, I treated and healed most of them with natural products, bringing them to good health. Cats came and went.
Tiger became part of the family. Tiger went from being on his death bed as a tiny, starving, sick, anemic kitten to a vibrant, healthy boy–using all natural products. Callie and Maxwell would get frequent urinary tract infections and both healed using natural homeopathic remedies and improved diet.
I volunteered for an animal sanctuary, Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary. At their in-house cat “hospital,” I was given the opportunity to experiment with homeopathy to help the sick cats. We witnessed some miracles. I was so excited that the group exclusively used pine pellet litter, which I had been using for at least a decade. Under my recommendation, we started using digestive enzymes for the sick cats with severe chronic diarrhea, which provided some help. I urged them to try a grain-free dry cat food for the entire facility, and we noticed a decrease in the diarrhea and an increase in the quality of the cats’ fur. (Note: while I don’t recommend dry cat food, most rescues have very limited funds and must use dry food. In these situations, grain-free is a better choice.)
In 2013, I returned to California, minus some cats and with a few extra other cats. My new neighborhood had it’s share of community cats well cared for by residents. Cats were abandoned and wandered in to find food. I had trapped a few for spaying and neutering, found homes for kittens, rehabilitated a scraggly Siamese into a beauty, and adopted Edgar. Edgar was a crazed, wild, nasty un-neutered tomcat. After being neutered, he turned into a sweet, loving, funny man who is perfectly content living safe and sound indoors
Inspiring cat parents and helping their cats
I have spent many years volunteering for cat rescues. In this environment, I have seen so many cats in subpar health. I have talked to many human cat parents who really want to do the best for their cats. They are confused and misdirected by all of the commercial cat food products. In fact, I would say the cat food industry works hard to brainwash human cat parents in to believing that their overly-processed foods are actually beneficial for the health and well-being of cats. This just can’t be further from the truth! Dry cat food is just not natural for cats. In fact, even canned cat food (which comprises 50% of my cats’ diet) really is not natural. That is because natural for a cat is raw meat, bones, cartilage and organs. However, canned cat food is much healthier than dry food due to the high moisture and protein content.
It is because of seeing the frustration that human cat parents experience in navigating the cat food industry and switching their cats off of dry food, that I was compelled and inspired to assist people just like you to Banish the Bag!
CATS GONE HEALTHY’S MISSION:
It is to whole-heartedly use my vast experience, trial and error, and knowledge to inspire and help you, the cat lover — whether cat parents, fosters, rescue groups, volunteers — provide a natural healthy lifestyle and healing for your cats to:
- Be energetic and lively at any age,
- Reduce costly trips to the vet,
- Avoid harmful, toxic products and drugs
- Live in a safe, non-toxic environment
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian or formally trained animal practitioner. I have acquired natural cat health knowledge through decades of: self-education, trial and error, research, experience working with holistic animal practitioners, and the guidance of my personal homeopath.