Trick or Treat

Who doesn’t love the word ‘treat’? A wellspring of happy anticipation arises for what is coming our way. We’ve conditioned our pets in a similar way. After all, they take their cues from us! However, can you imagine a dog, wolf or lioness in the wild saying, ‘You know, after I ate that rabbit, I think I’d like a treat!’ Kinda makes you smile, right? Now for the trick…projectile vomiting.

A dear cat friend of mine, we’ll call Cat, startlingly awoke her human in the middle of the night with projectile vomiting. I received a phone call the following morning.

A Hunting Reward

When Cat and I spoke, I remembered feeling really nauseous in my stomach and the sensation of a headache. I saw a tail and an impression of something small and green. A memory came to me of Cat’s person, Roberta, telling me how much Cat liked to hunt a type of local lizard. Cat would capture the lizard, the lizard, following its instinct, would release its tail and Cat would have a tail treat. This time, Roberta had watched as Cat, who was out of reach, swallowed the lizard. Apparently this lizard had some kind of toxin in it that would cause a cat to be sick and throw up, one of the symptoms I felt. It seemed we had at least one contributing factor.

Something Small and Green

During the conversation, Roberta shared that Cat had been having problems with her wet food. The food she had eaten for years had been reformulated by the manufacturer. Roberta thought that was why Cat was very upset and why she was over-licking her body, presenting bald spots, especially on her belly.

I checked in again with Cat and confirmed her food was a problem, but I also uncovered a deeper issue, the cause of the vomiting and bald spot: the manufactured cat treats. This is what was small and green in my vision!

Emotional Substitutes

It turned out, Roberta was so frustrated and feeling bad about Cat’s wet food, she was giving Cat way too many treats. Although Cat was devouring them, they were proving to be unhealthy. We would like to feel safe and confident thinking that pet treats are both delicious and nutritious. In this situation they had become almost addictive poison, to Cat’s system.

So, a whole new approach unfolded. It was the end of the treats for Cat. A new wet food was introduced which agreed with Cat, and a new healthy diet was established. Within a week of discontinuing the treats, Cat’s fur began to grow back and there have been no unexpected wake-up calls in the middle of the night!


We need to not only be conscious with our own diets, but also with our pets!

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