Owning A Pet Is Seven Times More Expensive Than You Think
Josh O’Connor
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I worry that you’re going to scare people off adopting that loving pet that needs a home with this article. I realize you’re just attempting to be very honest. It’s a nightmare for the poor when a beloved furry family member gets sick and they can in no way afford the surgery or whatever other treatment is exigently required. I shudder to think how many animals get “put down” simply because their human parents can’t afford the treatment. I’m an ailurophile (cat lover! that word sounds lurid) and I do shudder when I think of all the extra work that goes into dog ownership. I couldn’t keep four dogs the way I keep four cats. I never wanted four cats, actually. But two of my pets were abandoned to the streets by their former owners, probably for some of the “reasons” you cite above. And one of these turned out into snowy streets was a geriatric cat who had lived with his former owner for well over a decade. How do people do these heartless things? (His owner was in no way poor.) With regard to quality food, I would warn people to be very careful of the Purina brand. A little online research will reveal the huge number of pets which have suffered ill health or even died because of certain additives in many products in their line. I think Purina One might be a little healthier, but one cat out of four here can’t tolerate that. Admittedly, this cat might have some food allergies (not sure yet). But I keep her away from that. Also, please spread the word to cat owners that it’s not good AT ALL to be lazy and just give your cat dry food. Cats won’t hydrate properly and this can lead to all sorts of health woes (not speaking from personal experience but from research). Better to keep your cat on tinned meats, since that’s the dietary fare nature intended. Some insist a raw meats diet is best, but I honestly haven’t researched this in depth. Supplements in treats probably help. Another way to save on expenses and needless suffering is to keep your cat indoors. Life expectancy is going to be greatly shortened if you let your cat run free. Even if your pet avoids the jaws of someone’s escaped pit bull, cats spend their time walking through lawns sprayed with things like Roundup and God only knows what other toxic chemicals. And if they catch and kill little critters, they’re being exposed to parasites and diseases thriving in the reservoir of wild species. One last note: I’m a big believer in daily lysine therapy. Not only did two of my street cats with health issues from the feline herpes virus (don’t giggle, has nothing to do with the human forms of this virus and isn’t similar) stabilize and do wonderful with daily lysine added to their wet food. My geriatric cat who was losing muscle mass also stabilized once he got on lysine. There was initially worry that extended lysine therapy might lead to issues with another amino acid, arginine, but studies have put the kibosh to that phantom issue of lysine-arginine competition.

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