Most people look to their vet for the best advice on kitten care, or any animal care come to that.
But can you be sure that they are giving you good, sound, unbiased advice based on solid research?
The early months of 2009 have seen media reports about Harvard (US) medical students protesting that their professors have strong and lucrative ties to pharmaceutical companies. This compromises the professors integrity and can't exclude them from biased teaching.
If the most famous and most prestigious medical school in the largest democracy of the world has this problem, image what it must be like in less well known medical and veterinary schools.
Add into the mix the lucrative commercial pet food industry and you may want to consider if your vet, who may be the nicest person in the world, has had the best training. Or perhaps s/he has received very biased and limited training: limited to ensuring the burgeoning profits of already highly profitable companies.
You can't blame the universities who are always short of money. You can't blame the governments as they are always under pressure to deliver cheaper courses. It's probably best not to blame anyone.
But it does pay you to know what is going on.
Perhaps now you can appreciate why so many vets strongly promote commercial pet food. Their reception rooms are packed solid from floor to ceiling.
But stop and ask yourself if this is really the way to optimum kitten care. Or is it more for optimum profits in the commercial pet food industry? Or optimum vet care, with all the ensuing unhealthy cats?
I want to introduce you to Dr Francis Pottenger. He was a research scientist and conducted nutritional tests on cats between 1932 and 1942. He discovered that cats who were fed only a cooked diet, even though 'perfected balanced', showed a marked reduction in their immune responses. This lowered immune response was passed on to the next generation.
Further feeding of cooked food, further lowered the immune response. And so the cycle went on.
By the third generation illnesses such as heart lesions, hepatitis, feline urological syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, leukaemia, tumours, arthritis and a host of other immune deficient maladies were occurring.
Dr Pottenger went on to discover that the immune response could be improved simply by giving them a raw food diet. But it took another three generations for the immune system to be back up to a really optimum level of efficiency, that you commonly find in wild cats.
If you are still confused, and I can't blame you if you are, here's a suggestion to use when you search for the best kitten care.
Fads come and go. What 'science' discovers this year, is out moded next year as fashion changes, as inaccuracies are discovered, as more information comes to light.
On the other hand, nature has perfected herself over millennia. Cats have evolved on their raw diet and thrived. Man and his puny ideas, have not, and will never, alter a cats digestive system. How can it when you look at all the time nature has had to fine tune it?
Translating good kitten care feeding into practice is not without its problems. There are some do's and don'ts that you must adhere to. Such as:
- what meat can be overfed with disastrous results
- what ingredient, often left out, MUST be present is a healthy kitten's diet
- what additional supplements should you add to the diet
Once you get your head around the concept and get into the routine, natural kitten care comes easily. It will also deter most cats from hunting as an adult. Hunting domestic cats are normally trying to redress the lack of nutrients in their diet, rather than doing what comes naturally.
Feed your cat as nature intended, and the rewards will be endless.