Ask Max Monday: It’s Not My Fault!


I’ve been the heck here. Waiting patiently. Mousebreath had a hiccup that meant I took some time off, and then it got fixed and I was without access to a computer because the Woman was off watching That Damned Dog Butters and his sister Lady, and the SHE CAME HOME SMELLING LIKE THEM, but she’s home now and I have the computer turned on, and I’m back!

Max, you’re late again.

See the question above. But I’m fashionably late, no? Like, you were all waiting for me and HERE I AM.

Hey Max,

Our human has been thinking of getting an essential oil diffuser to help with some ailments. She wants to feel better with natural remedies and not have to take prescribed or over the counter pharmaceuticals.

Can our owner use one of these things, or will it be harmful to us kitty residents? 

Yours in head bonks,

Goldie, Porter, and Squeeks

We have Feliway diffusers, but I’m guessing she means a different thing. Something to which I don’t have an answer. Hopefully someone else out there knows…doods” What say ye? Essential oils, yes or no?

Max, I recently adopted an older cat, and he’s been through a lot. I know of four homes in the past four years, and for a cat that’s been passed around so much, he’s fairly even tempered and quite sweet. He’s frantic about food, however. I’ve always fed my cats a wet diet; they eat food when I give it to them, and there’s no snacking in between. This little guy wants food in his dish 24/7. He doesn’t eat it all, but he’s desperate to have something available.

My worry is that if I leave wet food out too long, it will spoil. If I give him dry (he’s used to it) he might develop crystals. I need your advice, oh wise one.

If he’s been bounced around that much, he might be terrified that if there’s no food where he can see it, there might not be any more coming. For now—if it were me—I’d feed him wet for his meals and leave dry out for munchies, at least until he’s fully settled and knows you’re not going to starve him or get rid of him.

We get dry food left out in addition to our wet food. We barely nibble at it, but it’s nice to know it’s there, and neither of us have ever had problems. Not every male cat does.

To me, what’s more important is keeping him reassured. Let him see there will always be food and water there for him, and later on you can wean him off it if you still want to. I hope he comes to understand sooner rather than later that he really does have his forever home, and it’s gonna be awesome.

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Category: Ask Max Monday, Featured

About the Author ()

Max the Psycho Kitty is 14 pounds of sleek black and white glory. With an attitude ... and opinions ... on everything. He's a put-upon and under-appreciated domestic feline with an addiction to Kitty Crack and an appetite for Stinky Goodness. A pioneer in the Cat Blogosphere, he began his popular blog "The Psychokitty Speaks Out" in October of 2003. Max is the author of SIX blockbuster hit books, "The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Diary of a Mad Housecat,", its sequel "The Psychokitty Speaks Out: Something of Yours Will Meet a Toothy Death,", "The Rules: A Guide For People Owned By Cats," "Bite Me," "There Once Was a Cat from Nantucket" (a book of poetry), and his new smash hit, "The Emperor of San Francisco [The Wick Chronicles]."

Comments (5)

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  1. Eilu says:

    Re: essential oils, I know Tea Tree Oil is toxic. Not sure about the others though.

  2. Max, I dunno about essential oil diffusers and kitties, so I’ve got nuthin’ there. I like your advice to the older cat adopter! First off…yay! Taking in an older kitty is fantastic! We stopped feeding kibble due to bladder problems in Chucky, but giving him what he needs while he’s transitioning into his new home is very wise. Wean him off of that kibble in awhile is good!

  3. Alexis &Mizi for GinnyCat says:

    Re: essential oils, wood based like cedar, citrus, many of the flowers could be problematic as they could contain compounds toxic to the liver or kidneys throughly diffuser exposure. Best to check on each ingredient if using a blend and make sure your cat can leave the room where the diffuser is located and make sure house is well ventilated. I have bee using a diffuser but there doesn’t seem a consensus on all the varietys so I use caution when diffusing.

    Re: older cat and wet food. Mitzi had to be put on a diet when I adopted her but with her life upturned she was older and frantic about food. I first split her wet food meals into three times daily with last meal before bed and that helped a lot. Then I slowly transferred more and more of her dry food to puzzle feeders and slowly reduced the amount. Mitzi always has kibble available in one of four puzzle feeders but 1/2 of what I started out and most days she has kibble left over. More frequent meals of the stinky goodness (wet) and having to work for her kibble (dry) allowed her to loose the weight and maintain her figure. Most important she is patient waiting for meals and is not destroying the kitchen searching for food.

  4. Dorothy says:

    Re essential oil diffusers: I’ve used many different forms of diffusers and oils and none of my four kitties have had any problem. Now, no one, human or feline…or canine or avian, should ingest the oils. They are ment to be, (suprise!) diffused. I like a vaporizer type of diffuser because it runs on electric and there’s no open flame to worry about with my kittie roommates but the diffuser that use a tea light are often prettier and actually diffuse the oil more uniformly, so it’s really a personal preference. Just keep your four legged friends from licking the oil and there should be no problem… least that’s been my experience and I use at least one diffuser whenever the house is closed up. I don’t bother when the windows are open because it seems like a waste of time…but the cats don’t seem interested either way. Good luck, I hope the diffusing of essential oils help you feel better.

  5. Valentine says:

    Hi Max! What brand of dry cereal do you like to eat. Mom makes sure I have dry cereal in my bowl at all times, so I can snack throughout the day. I’ve never gotten “crystals” & I’m a male kitty. She dishes me up some moist food a few times a week. I used to eat mostly moist foods, but there are so many that have ingredients I’m allergic to, which made my ears & skin so itchy. Are there any ingredients you are allergic to? Mew Mew!


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