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December 13, 2012

Cat is addicted to Kitten Chow, has sore left eye

NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: My 11-year-old male cat will eat only dry Kitten Chow. He will sometimes eat cantaloupe when we have it in the summer.

He is a house cat who scratches up furniture and is timid. He has never been ill until lately, and he now has a sore left eye. Forget about changing food — he tries to bury anything besides Kitten Chow. Is it OK if he continues eating this? I have plenty of fresh water around. What can I do for the eye? The last cat I took to the vet was so afraid, he died of a heart attack.

— V.T., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Dear V.T.: Considering your cat’s age and evident addiction to dry food, try transitioning him onto a dry food that has no corn or soy ingredients. There are several improved brands on the market. Visit my website, DrFoxVet.com, for names of brands that I recommend.

His eye condition concerns me. He may have an infection or a turned-in eyelash, which could lead to ulceration of the cornea or blindness. There are veterinarians who make house calls, so check your local Yellow Pages to find one who will come to your home to examine your cat and provide appropriate treatment. Going to the veterinary hospital can be extremely stressful for some cats, and I sympathize with the loss of your other cat.

Putting cats in a boarding facility can also be stressful and result in post-traumatic stress disorder. This is why I advise either an early in life boarding experience or in-home care for people going away on vacation without their cats.

Dear Dr. Fox: We are concerned about our 2-year-old female Maltese’s diet. Last January, she started to vomit and have bloody diarrhea every day.

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