Jun 11, 2010

Beware - Cats Can Become "Tuna Junkies"

I am very often asked cooking questions when people have concerns. Recently, a woman wrote to me and mentioned that she had heard that cats can become addicted to tuna fish, and had I ever heard of that? I had, and decided to provide you with some of the reasons you don’t want to feed your cats too much tuna fish, in case you run into this very issue. The term for a cat addicted to tuna fish is: “tuna fish junky” and it can be a very real problem for a cat. A cat that has become addicted to tuna fish will turn away all other offers of food. Not only that, they can also become aggressive or nervous.
While cats love all things fish, it is not advisable to feed only fish, as your kitty won’t get a balanced diet from a diet which is solely comprised of fish. They can even develop health problems and nutrient deficiencies from only feeding a diet of fish. Raw or undercooked fish contains the enzyme called thiaminase, which can actually destroy the thiamin in your cat’s system. This can lead to a deficiency of thiamin, which in turn can cause neurological problems.
Not only that, but feeding a diet solely comprised of tuna fish can lead to a serious Vitamin E deficiency. This can lead to a health problem known as “
steatites. This condition is also known as “Yellow Fat Disease”, and can be very painful and causes the fat in a cat’s body to harden. Tuna fish is also high in mineral salts, which in time can lead to bladder stones. Though you shouldn’t feed fish as a regular diet to your cat, this wonderful recipe contains no tuna, but doesn’t deprive your cat of their craving for fish, and they will love.
It summertime and as we spend time out of doors, sometimes our pets may feel left out. So I wanted to provide you with a fun recipe for your favorite feline companion, which will make them, feel so much more special. Since cats can become addicted to tuna fish, I wanted to come up with a fun treat with fish that they will eat with gusto. And I can guarantee that they will love this week’s offering. Not only good tasting for your finicky feline friends it is also very healthy for them too. This recipe provides Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils from the fish, calcium from the milk, protein from the eggs, Vitamin A and the amino acid Taurine from the carrots, and fresh breath from the parsley. The tomato sauce that the sardines are in supplies Lycopene which is good for the heart.
Wendy’s Sardine Loaf
1 15-ounce can of sardines in tomato sauce, with liquid from can
1/2 cup milk
3 cups bread crumbs
¼ cup butter
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons julienne carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced parsley
3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Drain and flake apart the sardine meat, and save the liquid from can.
Heat the milk.
Add bread crumbs and butter to milk. Let stand for a few minutes.
Add sardine liquid and heat.
Add egg yolks, carrots, garlic, parsley and sardines. Mix well.
Fold in the egg whites and pour mixture into well-greased baking dish or loaf pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. After removing from oven, let rest for 10 minutes before turning out on a platter or plate. Then let cool, slice and serve.

"Remember, the animals in your life are not just your pets; they're your friends." c2009 WNR

Jun 10, 2010

Pets - Italian Style

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Benvenuti! I hope you enjoyed out little foray into life and pets in Italy on Wendy's Animal Talk on Tuesday. If you didn't catch it then click here

I had a ball talking to Wendy about my life in Italy, my pets and my website www.petsinitaly.com which aims, among other things, to find homes for Italy's many homeless dogs. Some of these dogs' only hope of finding a home is through the internet. I never realised until I started the site just how many appeals there are circulating on the net, posted by the many different groups of
'animalisti' (animal lovers) in Italy who do their best, often at their own expense, to look after abandoned dogs or those from dog shelters. It is usually the old ones or the hunting dogs (cani di caccia) or the handicapped ones that have a hard time finding homes.

Italy has between 400,000 and 600,000 stray dogs and only about 150,000 of those are in shelters. Some of the shelters, like the one I volunteer at in the Casentino in Tuscany, are really excellent, the dogs are well looked after and the adoption rate is good. Others are quite bad, verging on shocking, including the notorious
canili lager (if I tell you lager is taken from the German word for prison camp, you will get the idea) and some dogs in these pounds have not been let out for many years.

I actually adopted a dog myself through an Internet appeal. He is an English Setter called Gaspare (Gassi for short, which Italians pronounce Guess-ee!) and he has been with us almost a year now. Although he is as mad as a hatter, he is my pride and joy. You can read his story here.

I hope this will be the first of many chats I have with Wendy on her fabulous show.

Fiona Tankard

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Wendy Nan Rees uses her 25 years of expertise to answer pet health questions and offer expert advice for pet lovers.

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