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By Jill Elliot, D.V.M.

Reprinted from ASPCA Animal Watch, *Spring 1999, Vol. 19, No. 1, with permission from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 424 East 92nd. Street, New York, NY 10128-6804 

"SNEEZING, # If a cat has a discharge from his nose he may have trouble smelling his food and stop eating. Offer different foods, preferably ones with a strong odor, or give him chicken, sardines, tuna or room temperature chicken soup. If there is a heavy discharge from the nose, be sure to clean the cat’s face well to keep nasal passages open. #Do not give aspirin. # Add 1/3 capsule Echinaccea, a human herbal preparation, to the food three times a day for two weeks. # Good nursing care and chicken soup should help the animal recover in 7 to 14 days. If the discharge lasts longer or the cat won’t eat, visit the Veterinarian." 

"DEHYDRATION: # Canned food usually has more than 75% moisture; dry food usually has 15 percent moisture. This is why cats eating all dry or a mix of dry and canned food tend to drink more water. In fact, older cats may develope kidney disease from being dehydrated. #If you are feeding all dry food and change to canned, you may see your cat stop drinking as much water. This is a good sign that the cat is more hydrated." 

"OBESITY: #Any weight loss program is best done under the supervision of a Veterinarian. #Play together actively 20 minutes a day. #First, feed only twice a day as opposed to free-choice feeding. Then, reduce the total amount of food in increments of 10% a month. # Monitor your cat’s weight weekly. He shouldn’t lose more than 1% to 2% of his weight in a month. #Feed a high quality cat food. Avoid "lite" foods; they have reduced protein and fats-the nutrients cats, especially overweight cats need. 



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