August 2008 Issue

Feeding the Stressed Cat

Good nutrition is important for our pets, but never more so than during times of stress and illness. Here are some meal-time tips.

Fires in California last fall caused more than 300,000 residents and their pets to flee their homes. This spring, an estimated 1,000 dogs and cats in Iowa, Indiana and Missouri were temporarily relocated or found stranded as a result of recent flooding in these areas. And donít forget Hurricane Katrina, which displaced an estimated 50,000 animals in 2005. A house pet that suddenly finds itself in a noisy, unfamiliar shelter, or worse yet, barely clinging to life from the peak of a rooftop, suffers from a high level of stress. Though your feline hopefully will never experience this level of stress, the physical responses to stress ó whatever the cause ó are similar. So, whether the cause of a catís stress is a catastrophic disaster or the addition of a new kitten into the home, much can be learned from those who routinely work with stressed felines and applied to our house cats ó particularly when it comes to feeding and nutrition.

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