01 July 2013

Cats Were Not Very Well Designed

Whoever built cats, be it God or evolution, some sort of super intelligent space aliens or the ancient Egyptians, they made a pretty serious and, frankly, stupid, design flaw.

If for whatever reason a cat goes just a few days without eating, like all animals, they begin to metabolize their fat reserves for energy.  Like all animals, this fat metabolization (along with many other tasks) is the job of the liver.

But, unlike every single other animal, a cat's liver is actually damaged by the process of metabolizing more than a tiny amount of fat at a time.

And just what symptoms does that type of liver damage cause?  Why nausea, of course!  Which in turn leads to anorexia.  Which in turn leads to not eating.  Which in turn leads to the body needing to burn more fat.  Which in turn damages the liver further.  Which in turn leads to more severe anorexia...

So, even if the original cause of the problem is no longer an issue, this cycle leads to death.

Its called Hepatic Lipidosis, and it can be triggered in as little as 3 DAYS without food.

Often times it is triggered by some other disease or medical condition, but it can also be triggered by stress, (from a move, or a new cat roommate, for example), or by a new brand of food.  If they are wild, perhaps there just aren't any mice or birds around to catch for a few days in a row.

The treatment is regular food.  But since they have no appetite, a cat's human has to manually feed them.
And so the little Chairman gets a syringe-full or two of watered down canned food squirted into his mouth every hour or so, for at least the next couple weeks, or until whenever he decides to start eating again on his own.

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