Feeding our Canine and Feline Friends

Many of you know that late this winter we lost our beloved feline companion, the ‘Magical Mr. Mistoffelees’, (a.k.a. Misty).  This posting is dedicated to Misty.   I hope that all of you who have four-legged companions will feed them as well as you feed your families, after all they are members of the family too.
Misty, our Maine Coon Cat fell ill quite suddenly on February 9th,  just three weeks after his 6th Birthday.  Concerned, I took him to the vet who informed me that he was suffering from Feline Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy, commonly known as Congestive Heart Failure.  Unfortunately this is a genetic mutation of the heart, frequently found in Maine Coon Cats.  The veterinarian was astonished by Misty’s age, not because he was so young, but because he was so old!  She told me that that most Main Coon’s with Feline Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy do not survive beyond 1 or 2 years.  She wanted to know everything…..what he ate, and did I give him supplements.  I explained that I fed all of our feline and canine family members a natural diet, in other words a diet for Carnivores. I also told the vet that all of our 4 legged family members were given a high quality probiotic daily.  
Oddly enough, I figured out that our furry friends needed to adhere to a grain free diet before realizing that my husband, son and I did.  Misty was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), shortly after my son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  The veterinarian prescribed medication, but poor Mr. Mistoffelees was wasting away;  and had horrible and explosive bowels.  Thankfully I made the connection quickly, and after two weeks I realized the medication was not working.  I began to think if my son reacted so violently to gluten could it be so far fetched to think Misty might be sensitive to gluten too.  I drove to our local health food store which carried a wide variety of pet foods and found a cat formula which contained no grains.  I immediately purchased a six pound bag along with a high quality powdered probiotic and drove home.  We saw a dramatic improvement the first day, and normalized bowels within 3 days.  Two weeks later I took Misty to the vet for a check up and everyone including the veterinarian was amazed.  He had not only stopped loosing weight, but had gained 3 pounds!  That was the day I began to purchase high quality grain free foods for all of our 4-legged family members.   Misty taught me a valuable lesson, and I continue to feed our feline and canine family members a natural diet, supplementing with daily probiotics.
I have suggested this Carnivore Diet to several friends and acquaintances and all have reported dramatic improvement in their pets’ health and happiness.   While many of these grain free foods cost a bit more than a store brand food, it’s worth it.  Many of my friends have told me they are no longer spending hundreds of dollars at the vet each month, I think that is a great return on investment!
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2 responses to Feeding our Canine and Feline Friends

  1. Anonymous

    I am so sorry to see you lost your Maine Coon, Misty, to HCM. What a terrible disease HCM is.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to share information with me concerning the ancestry of Misty? I am a pet-owner of two Maine Coons who are heterozygous for the Meurs-Kittleson (HCM1) defect which causes HCM in Maine Coons . My female has an arrhythmia but otherwise both cats are negative for HCM at this time. I have begun researching HCM in various lines of Maine Coons in an effort to correlate DNA status with clinical disease. The purpose of my research is private: I am merely seeking to trace current Maine Coons who are positive, negative or untested for the HCM1 defect back through lines that may or may not have presented HCM in the past. None of my data will be published or disseminated in any form.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to give me the names of the parents & grandparents of Misty? It is very helpful in studying HCM to have ancestral information on cats who have HCM – sometimes it is even possible to hazard a guess as to whether or not the cat might have been positive for the known defect (which was identified in 2005.)

    Any information you can provide would certainly be appreciated. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. Breeders have better tools now to control HCM, but there is still much work to be done to eradicate this terrible disease. I am grateful that research continues on the genetic defects that can cause HCM in Maines. Hopefully, some day soon we will be able to screen genetically for HCM and thus sharply reduce the number of cases among Maine Coons (and other breeds including domestics as well.)

    Best Wishes,

    Ellie Kimmel
    Charleston, SC

  2. Laura

    Ellie, Thank you for your warm thoughts.

    I wish I could provide you with detailed information, but my husband adopted Misty, he did not come from a Breeder. HCM is a horrible disease and I applaud you in your efforts to better understand this terrible disease. I understand that Misty came from the Southern part of Virginia….beyond that I can't tell you a thing.

    He was a joy, and I miss him as much today as the day I said goodbye.

    I wish you and your Kitties all the best and I hope your continued efforts in the research of HCM provides answers for others. Feed your kitties well and love them often.


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