Constipated? Try A Pumpkin Latte!

I know, it sounds awful to think about constipation, but some cats deal with it on a daily basis. Rocky, for instance, is always constipated. He’s seen several doctors for it but it still remains. Recently, he visited a holistic vet here in Chicago named Dr. C  (she’s fabulous, FYI) who suggested that we give him more water and even more pumpkin than we’d been doing, up to a tablespoon daily. Well, we tried, and it seems to be working. He strolled right up to momFOD and pooped in front of her. On the floor. Proudly.

The much happier camper Rocky, thanks to pumpkin.

The much happier camper Rocky, thanks to pumpkin.

Anyway, if your cat is suffering from constipation, first make sure that there aren’t any other problems. I’m not a vet (just a really well-educated cat), but here’s what we learned from our vet during our recent visit:

  • check your cat’s kidney function. If there are any problems there, the kidneys may pull water right out of the body and excrete it, causing your cat’s poop to be too dry and, therefore, difficult to pass.
  • check your cat’s thyroid function. Constipation can be a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Constipation can also be caused by:

  • dehydration
  • intestinal blockage
  • certain types of medication
  • diets low in fiber

All tests show that, in Rocky’s case, the cause is a low-fiber diet (he eats raw food, 2x per day, plus a dehydrated raw snack in the evening) and is remedied by adding more water and more pumpkin (fiber). MomFOD was giving us an afternoon pumpkin snack with a side of goat’s milk, which we enjoy just fine. However, we just received an email from The Honest Kitchen, the company that sponsors some of our giveaways, that had a wonderful recipe that’s perfect for fall and for helping relieve Rocky’s ailment. We thought it sounded tasty and wanted to share it with you! (We have not received any reimbursement for posting this recipe and do not plan to. You can see our original review of Pro Bloom goat’s milk here)

Cinnamon Pumpkin “Latte”

Recipe:

Mix 1 pack of Pro Bloom with 1 cup of warm water

Wisk in 2 tbsp of pure canned pumpkin

Lightly sprinkle the top with a smidgen of cinnamon*

*Do not use nutmeg. Nutmeg is toxic to pets, so please keep that in the “people only” cabinet.

 

Sounds tasty, right? This recipe makes a cup, which is usually enough to give to our four cats and dog in two portions. You may need to adjust the amount of pumpkin. Since Rocky is allowed 1 tbsp a day, per his vet’s instructions, we put a little more in his portion. As always, if you have any questions about your cat’s health, please see a veterinarian and rule out anything more serious before trying to change your cat’s diet.

We hope you’re enjoying the fall and our Halloween programming. Stay tuned for more great Halloween fun, all month! And if you’d like to get little thoughts from my kitty head throughout the day, follow me on Twitter @refrigeratorcat

Love,

Creeps.

 

Sources: Constipation in Cats

Hypothyroidism in Cats

Is Goat’s Milk Healthy for Your Pets?

Alana here again.

I’d like to continue the subject of nutrition that I started earlier this week on the topic of goat’s milk. By now, many cat owners have heard that cats could not and should not drink cow’s milk, but have you heard that your cat or dog can and even should drink goat’s milk?

©freefoto.com

The Mighty Goat

 

DIGESTIBILITY

For those familiar with milk in its raw state, cow’s milk separates into cream and a more watery milk if left to settle and must be shaken to combine them. This is where homogenization comes in; although a few small studies suggest that homogenizing milk may be harmful to one’s health, companies do this so people don’t have to shake the milk before drinking it. (I’d prefer to shake it if there’s any doubt.) Goat’s milk, on the other hand, does not ever separate (Edit: 6/30/15 Goat’s milk can eventually separate, but does not do so as easily as cow’s milk), does not need to be shaken, and does not require homogenization. Due to its smaller molecular size, goat’s milk is more easily digestible (it takes about 20 minutes to digest, compared to 3 hours for cow’s milk). In addition, raw milk (cow OR goat) contains the necessary enzymes to aid in its own digestion, something pasteurized milk is lacking. This is why those of us that are lactose intolerant can drink raw milk but cannot digest processed milk.

BENEFITS

Goat’s milk is a, or possibly THE, most nutritionally complete food. In fact, the American Journal of Medicine states that goat’s milk is “the most complete food known.” It does not stimulate the production of mucus (cow’s milk does) and can counteract inflammation. It also seems to have some antiviral properties that can benefit and enhance the immune system, and has a nutritional and compositional profile very similar to human mother’s milk. It is often well tolerated by infants, adult humans, and cats and dogs. Rescueguide.com advises that orphaned kittens should be fed goat’s milk when their own mother’s milk is unavailable.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

In my personal experience, goat’s milk has been extremely welcome in the diet of my cats and dog. Though they can be picky eaters, the occasion is rare that they turn down a bowl of goat’s milk. Two of my four cats have sensitive stomachs, one of them extremely sensitive. If he strays from his diet at all, the result is usually regurgitation of his meal, yet he’s able to easily tolerate goat’s milk without a problem. When Crepes was having herpes flare ups as a kitten, the change in her diet from a highly-processed, grain-based diet to an all raw diet that included goat’s milk cleared up her symptoms entirely and she no longer suffers from any respiratory issues.

WHERE TO GET IT

Goat’s milk tends to be seasonal; the goats do not produce milk year-round, so farmer’s often freeze their surplus to be able to accommodate customers during the off-season. You may not be able to find fresh goat’s milk, but the frozen variety works, as well. Ask your local pet store if they carry it in their frozen section.

Your cat or dog may benefit from the inclusion of goat’s milk in their diet, or they  might simply enjoy it because it’s tasty!

If you’ve tried it, what did you think? What did your pet think? Let me know!

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.naturalnews.com/031586_raw_goats_milk_health.html

http://dancingdogfarm.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/benefits-of-drinking-goats-milk/

http://www.roseofsharonacres.com/raw_goat_milk_benefits