Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 12/21

Well wouldn’t you know it-The Human forgot to set our post for publishing yesterday so the feline staff had to take matters into our own paws.

Now, not to be too hard on her, she’s still recovering from her “flu-ey” state and not operating at 100%, not to mention it has been C-O-L-D in our neck of the woods! The sun is shining today and this is the current temperature according to Weather Kitty.

Here’s an early morning photo of our lake.

We are sending you all Christmas Greetings and purraying you are all staying safe and warm.

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

What medication flavors do cats prefer? Science says none.

The Human is quite familiar with the finicky reactions we felines have toward medicine. She has become fast furiends with our local compounding pharmacist and has spent much money looking for a medicine taste we would say “yes” to.

Amy Nichelason, a board-certified canine and feline practitioner and assistant clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine says that pills, forced into our mouths can negatively affect the human-animal bond, increase inflammation of the esophagus and make us  more apprehensive about future treatment. Liquid forms of medication are typically easier to administer to cats, but acceptance of the medication hinges a lot on the taste.

Nichelason and colleagues recently studied ways to increase medicine acceptance among cats by comparing flavor acceptance in liquid medications. They published their findings in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

If your human doesn’t know about compounding, its where the formulation of a prescription drug is changed to make the cat accept it.

In the study, healthy pet cats received a variety of flavorings, like chicken, beef and fish, in unmedicated oil- and water-based formulas. Owners gave the cats different flavors at home and observed which their cats ate. However, no flavor stuck out as the favorite.

One interesting finding was that cats don’t like sweet flavors in water-based formulations. This surprised Nichelason and her peers because cats can’t taste sweetness.

“They lack the gene to taste sweetness, so it’s interesting that they actively disliked the sweet flavor,” she notes.

Another standout finding was that owners struggled to accurately guess which compounding flavor their cat would like. Owners’ perceptions of their cats’ preferences in the study were only moderately associated with flavor acceptance.

“They’d say, ‘oh, my cat will like chicken,’ and then the cat preferred fish,” Nichelason says. MOL, you humans should know better than making blanket statements like this.

Although no individual flavor stuck out as a winner overall, cats favored oil-based flavorings over water-based flavorings. There were some trends toward preferences within the oil-based flavorings (specifically, chicken and fish), but these findings were not statistically significant.

In other words, all those trials and tests proved what everyone who knows cats already understands, we’re finicky.

“The moral of the story is to try something that has the best odds of working,” Nichelason says. “What I took home from this as a veterinarian is that I should avoid sweet flavors and use oil-based flavorings when possible.”

Nichelason offers a few general recommendations for lessening the stress of giving your cat medication: Try different formulations – chews, liquid or tablets – based on what your cat likes. If you aren’t sure of their preference, many compounding pharmacies have unmedicated samples owners can try giving their cats before adding the medication.

Additionally, rewarding your cat after any medication with a treat or extra affection can reinforce a positive outcome. But being honest with your veterinarian is most important.

“If the formulation isn’t working and it is creating stress, let us know so we can work together to create a better medication plan,” Nichelason advises.

FDA approves oral treatment for cats with diabetes

And while we’re talking about medication, the Food and Drug Administration announced Dec. 8 that the agency has approved the first oral animal drug to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin.

Bexacat is an inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2, the first SGLT2 inhibitor approved by the FDA for any nonhuman animal species. Bexagliflozin, the active ingredient in Bexacat, prevents a cat’s kidneys from reabsorbing glucose into the blood, causing excess glucose to be passed out in the urine and resulting in lowered blood glucose. Bexacat is given to cats orally once daily via a flavored tablet. he Food and Drug Administration announced Dec. 8 that the agency has approved the first oral animal drug to improve glycemic control in otherwise healthy cats with diabetes mellitus not previously treated with insulin.

An SGLT2 inhibitor is not insulin and is not for use in cats with diabetes mellitus that requires insulin treatment. The labeling for Bexacat includes a boxed warning regarding the need for appropriate patient selection and the potential for certain severe adverse reactions.

Although there are notable safety concerns with the use of Bexacat, according to the FDA, they can be mitigated by carefully screening cats before starting the drug, continued diligent monitoring regardless of the duration of or response to treatment, and knowing how to promptly recognize and appropriately treat serious and life-threatening adverse reactions.

The data from two six-month field studies and an extended-use field study demonstrated that Bexacat was over 80% effective in improving glycemic control in cats with diabetes mellitus.

If you are going to talk to your vet about this t4e3atment, be sure and read the client information sheet (PDF) from Elanco informing them of the potential risks associated with Bexacat treatment, signs to watch for, and what to do if their cat becomes symptomatic.

There are always risks with medication but we’re purraying that this treatment will be a breakthrough for our diabetic furiends.

Southend lotto winners credit their good luck to stray black cat

Tony Pearce, 71, and his wife Deb Pearce, 63, from Southend, England started to feed a stray cat they named Billy when they were in financial difficulty. They were facing perhaps losing their home but they refused to turn their backs on a needy kitty.

Six months later, they won £1m on the National Lottery in 2017 and put the change in their fortunes down to Billy, the black cat.

“People say black cats are unlucky, I’d say nothing could be further from the truth” Mrs Pearce said.

Billy lives his best life with the couple and even goes on holiday with them to their second home in Norfolk.

“When Billy appeared we were close to selling our beloved home and becoming strays ourselves. “Tony had stopped working due to ill health and we were in serious debt.

“It looked like our only option was to go into rented accommodation then, six months after Billy arrived, lady luck struck and our lives changed for good.

Billy is firmly part of the family and the couple have spared no expense in looking after him, paying for twice-daily insulin injections after he was diagnosed with diabetes, and placing him on a tailored hypoallergenic diet.

“Aside from having us on call for his twice-daily injections, we also jump through hoops for his catering whims,” said Mrs Pearce.

“If he has more than three days on the same flavour he turns up his nose and while he enjoys the chicken and vegetable meal, Billy doesn’t like the peas.

“I find myself rooting through his food, picking out the peas and wondering who is the National Lottery millionaire around here?”

Mr Pearce said: “When I find myself paying the bill for vet care or Billy’s specialist diet – that comes in at more than our annual trip to The Savoy – I can’t help thinking that it might be Billy who is also lucky.”

I wonder if they’ll check out the new oral medication for Billy’s diabetes. If this isn’t a purrfect Christmas story, I don’t know what is!

Someone Photoshops Cat Faces Onto Animals And Things, And The Results Are Disturbingly Amusing

As our readers know, at Feline Opines believe that the world is better from a feline point of view and this article from Bored Panda shows us why the world is better when everything has a cat face.

This scenario is made real by this fluffy Instagram account known as “Koty Vezde” (“Cats Are Everywhere”). The page run by Galina Bugaevskaya is dedicated to sharing the most amusing photo manipulations of random animals and things with furry feline faces.

Whatever creature  you can think of shows up with a kitty face and the feline faces are not just put on other animals, but food as well.

How did cats become domesticated?

After studying the DNA of about 350 mummified cats, scientists believe they have the definitive answer as to how we felines were domesticated.