What started all this was that I took Misty to the vet for an eye problem on September 14, 2008. She had scratched her eyeball and the vet gave me some eye ointment to treat it. She has been fine until about two weeks ago. Misty has been “snoring” at night. She then she started panting last week during the day. As her caregiver, I used her visit to the vet as a starting point to track what had changed in her life.

The first thing I did was wash the “blanky” that was in the cat carrier that accompanied her to the vet. My first step was to put the cat carrier and her “blanky” in the closet where she couldn’t get to them. Three days passed but the wheezing was increasing. So, I went back and thought about what else had changed in her life. I bought the same food, but stopped by a local store and picked up kitty litter. AWWWW! The cat litter.

For the last 7 years I have used the same brand of kitty litter. Three weeks ago I bought a different brand, I admit it only because it was convenient for ME, and guess what! The kitty litter was the only change in her life that I HAD MADE ON HER BEHALF. Man, I feel bad!

My husband and I started researching cat allergies on the Internet at 3:00 in the morning. WHO KNEW- cats can have allergies just like us! The first tip was to take a washcloth soaked in hot water and wash it from head to toe. Meanwhile, Steve, my husband, was conducting his own experiment in the bathroom. He had taken the kitty litter I bought and stuck his hand in it. He came out covered in DUST. Running into the living room, he said “look at this!” I thought OK, if Misty is in the litter box and stirs up the “dust” by covering her business, not only is she breathing in this dust, but her paws are covered and when she grooms herself; she is licking her paws and swallowing the dust too.

The solution wasn’t just to change his cat litter to a DUST FREE cat litter, but I took a washcloth, soaked it in warm water and washed it from head to toe. I figured if my husband put his hand in the bag of kitty litter and came out covered in dust; so when Misty washed up she was not only breathing in the dust, she was also licking it off her paws to get clean.

Mando I feel like a fool, going for cheap and convenient on behalf of my cat, I may have hurt her. The good news is that he is now well and on the road to recovery.

I guess the point of this article is that what’s best and convenient for us isn’t always what’s best for our cat family members who don’t have a voice and can’t tell us what’s bothering them. We have to be their guardians and caretakers.

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