Got a 'Squitty Kitty' ??? - Yep - that's a cat that basically has less than perfect #2's - but why?
We humans and our feline (& K9 friends) all react differently to what we eat on a regular basis....

Longtime friend and well known Feline veterinarian from the Chatswood Cat Palace in Sydney Dr Kim Kendall joins us to explain a bit more about 'squitty kitties'!

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TRANSCRIPT:

BRIAN: 
Now, have you got a squitty kitty? Yep, that's a cat that basically has less than perfect number two’s.

But why?... We humans and our feline and canine friends all react differently to what we eat on a regular basis. So long time, friend and well known feline veterinarian from the Chatswood Cat Palace in Sydney, Dr. Kim Kendall joins us to explain a bit more about squitty kitties!


KAYE: 

Dr. Kim… Looking into cats, nether regions is something you do on a regular basis,  how common is it for cats to have problems related to their nutritional intake. 


Dr. KIM: 

I don't see that much problem with nutritional intake. It's not my area, but there is a lot of cats with inflammatory bowel disease and my personal theory is that the intake that they've got a problem with is actually the pollutant contaminants that we're surrounded with now because they lick that off their coat.

So a lot more cats are getting furballs. And once the cat starts vomiting, it brings the bugs from the lower bowel to the upper bowel and then they react to those.

They become allergic to those bacteria and that sets in train inflammatory bowel disease. The problem then being that the body thinks it can't be just, you know, hair and contaminants, so it starts to react against individual proteins, so you end up on this search for protein that doesn't cause a problem, and in my experience you can get a cat right with inflammatory bowel disease or you can find a protein that doesn't react to, but eventually it will react to that one as well.

It's an internal…. Derangement if you like that little, that cat I showed you also has has inflammatory bowel disease.

About 50% of ragdolls do, and they often lead on to lymphomas. So if you can get it right, you can extend the time before the gut gets cancerous. 


KAYE: 

Wow, that's incredible. I guess there are similarities between cats and humans and and now that I think about it, we're all surrounded by contaminants. So what is the solution? Because we like to have our cats close to us, so I guess we're all experiencing the contaminants except we don't lick ourselves. 


Dr. KIM: 

We don't…. we only drink it in the water cause it doesn't get you know….. I mean I start to sound like a conspiracy theorist!!!  but they now talk about forever chemicals that are in people.

They did a study to look to see how many people had one particular THP or something and to see if it was affecting anything. And the problem was there was no one that didn't have it.

So they didn't have a control group, so some people are more affected by it and have higher levels of it. But there's no control group, so I think humans are starting to enter the chain that the cats have.

So what do you what do you do about? Well, we spend a lot of time washing cats.

You know, the stuff's nasty and they're talking about what's in a wildfire and how toxic is all that, so mostly that'll show up as vomiting.

One of the areas that we've developed a significant amount of expertise in as it were is ’squitty kitties!’

We used to home out cats and kittens, and in fact we homed out five thousand of them over a period of about 18 years, and I could tell by the smell what trees that they knew!...

Now I'm not sure that that's a skill that can be passed on or that anybody wants passed on. 


KAYE: 

Ohh think so. Think so. You know no one wants to send their kitty straight to the kitty litter tray as long as they actually make it to the tray it's probably a good thing… so squitty kitties, and this is common? 


Dr. KIM: 

Oh, 80 to 90% of kittens. And if it's not addressed properly, I used to think cats could grow out of it, but in fact they can't. And I've treated cats, you know, 2-3 years old, who've the owners have heroically put up with leaky bums and, you know, having to wipe their bums. And stinky poos that clear the room and you know, it's no fun for the cat either, because they do feel obliged to, you know, tidy up down there.

Here's an interesting factoid… I did want to ask how come dogs, with their sensitive noses and taste, how could they lick their own bums?

And apparently they can switch their smell off so they can lick a bum. And eat poo or you know, cow poo or whatever. They can switch it off.

So cats must do the same as well in order to be able to tidy up. So interesting you say that poo and pee are related because I've had a couple of cats where inflammatory bowel disease was actually the cause of their peeing outside the tray.

Now peeing outside the tray we've discussed before is always a message, never a mistake, and it was just because the whole pelvic area was inflamed. And so they were just looking for relief and so they just go and pee outside.

Once we fixed up the inflammatory bowel disease, they went back to peeing in the tray…

BRIAN: 

Ok… now you mentioned before, you don't necessarily concentrate on nutrition and all the rest of it, but obviously you know something about it? Little things like giving a cat milk or giving a cat human food… What are some of the ‘No No’s’ with all that. 


Dr. KIM: 

I prefer to recommend cream. It's low lactose and much better. Cats can digest fat a lot better. Yoghurts always a good thing. We should all be eating yoghurt. Probiotics have now been developed specifically for cats and dogs.

My nutritional intervention in terms of squitty kitties can be complex. To track down the parasites, there are some good tests, but if the test is negative, interestingly, it doesn't mean the cat doesn't have it. Cats are a bit like that.

If it's positive, then you know which direction you're going, and there are 7 things that cause squitty kitties.

If you send a sample off to the lab for what's called a PCR test otherwise known as a polymerase chain reaction, and there's one little kitten had all 7. So my only nutritional test is if you’ve got a cat with soft poos, feed them chicken and yoghurt for three days, and if the poo's still stinky and soft, then you've got a colon irritant or small bowel irritant that's creating the problem, and so we can then start to look for parasites and that sort of stuff.

Because chicken and yoghurt is essentially 100% digested, I mean the yoghurts, low lactose, it's called Lactobacillus for that reason. And so that's the only diagnostic test I do.

If they've still got soft poos after three days of chicken and yoghurt, then worthwhile grabbing a sample and sending it off or starting some of the diagnostic treatments because, of course lab tests are not cheap, so sometimes it's easier to trial a treatment rather than look for something that may, you know, negative doesn't mean it isn't there….


KAYE: 

That's complicated. And for cats that actually are outdoors, and hide their poos, it's a bit hard to monitor what their output is. Are there any other tell-tale signs like do they bite or…


Dr. KIM: 

They're farty. They're farting. Some of them will rub their bums and leave a skid mark, but mostly if you've got a problem they'll be farty…

So if they're totally outdoor cat, you'll never know. I have had outdoor cats that have been in hospital and, you know, demonstrated the problem. You got to differentiate that from cats who poo when they're worried, but it tends to be if they're in hospital and not moving much and they've got soft poos, then you've got an issue that you need to look into.

So yeah, outdoor cats are not the ones that get brought to the Vet.

You know they and also I think that up until you know, 25 years ago cats were fed really rubbish. I mean, you know, the old dry foods were terrible, they're just awful. And of course, cats would go and catch mice and rabbits and things. I think there are micronutrients in mice and really think until we start thinking… . You know there's a  mouse plague!!

How come we can't capture them and put them through nitrogen, a liquid nitrogen? And they come out like little divers and then you can put them in a sardine can… That's my solution to nutrition. Until we do that, we're missing the micronutrients. 


KAYE: 

Mouse in a can. Who’d of thought!! 


Dr. KIM: 

Yep, I've told you I've talked to the big companies and one of them did actually put little mouse flavoured tidbits in one of their dry foods, but it didn't take off. They called it mouse flavoured.

I don't know if they are actually mice or not. And nobody knows how much fibre there is in a mouse’s coat. We know soluble versus insoluble, so we still don't know the answer to what's the perfect fibre combination for cats. 


KAYE: 

Well, maybe the people that provide provide the food for pet snakes… because they can get humanely raised and prepared mice for their snakes, so maybe people could get them for their cats?

Dr. KIM: 

I have had one client do that, they're about $3 per small rat and the only correlation between good teeth and what you feed them is feeding rats.

That's from old, old studies, but it's actually the chewing action and chicken bones and things don't really do it. It has to be rats for some reason and go to who!

So you're either born with good teeth or you're not. It depends on your genetics and your mother how your mother was fed. So all this ‘fannying about’ with special diets and dentals and stuff. In my experience, it does not work.

Brushing cats teeth doesn't work. I'm waiting for the actual evidence and I can't get any of the dentists to show me any evidence that brushing a cat's teeth or scaling or polishing every year does any good at all.

So anyway…. I'm not quite on this planet, but you know, there we go. 😊


BRIAN: 

Kim you good long time reputation as being someone who speaks their mind, which is fantastic. 


Dr. KIM: 

They ran into a problem with my sister in law because she didn't realise that I do actually say what I think as long as it's true. I forget how to fib!! 😊


KAYE: 

That’s not such a bad thing….Dr. Kim Kendall from Cat Palace in Sydney. Thank you so much for being with us on the PooCast Podcast!


Dr. KIM: 

I'm always interested in the variations on a theme that cats provide. 😊

 

 

 

 

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