Showing posts with label Cat Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cat Health. Show all posts

Friday, October 19, 2018

KITTEN VACCINATIONS: Types of Vaccinations

Feline viral rhinotracheitis infection
Feline viral rhinotracheitis infection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In recent years, the vaccination of cats has become more popular. The three most common vaccines give protection against feline infectious enteritis (FIE), feline influenza (cat flu) and feline leukemia (FeLV). An initial course of two injections, the first at nine weeks are usually given, and yearly boosters are recommended thereafter.

FIE causes vomiting and diarrhea, and the cat develops a very high temperature. Before the vaccine was introduced, it killed a great many cats by dehydration due to the bowel symptoms. Cat flu is caused by two viruses: the feline rhinotracheitis (FCV). FVR is the more severe of the two, causing coughing, sneezing, and nasal and eye discharges.

FVC has milder discharges but more gum inflammation and mouth ulcers. Neither FCV nor FVR is usually deadly but the infection can linger on in the form of snuffles, and some cats become symptomless carriers of the disease. When stressed, these cats develop mild symptoms and spread the virus.

FeLV suppresses the activity of the cat's immune system, allowing a wide range of symptoms to develop. It often results in the death of the cat after several months of illness. The virus is spread mainly in the cat's saliva. It is a disease of cats that fight a lot, and of cats in large colonies, who share the same food and water bowls. It should not be a threat in a well-run boarding cattery, where the feeding and grooming utensils are properly cleaned, and the cats do not mix with each other.

A vaccine exists against the chlamydial organism, which can cause not only mild eye and nasal symptoms, but more importantly, infertility and abortion. This vaccine is used mainly in breeding colonies to protect against infertility.



Saturday, September 29, 2018

CATS And PILLS - Tablets.

Русский: КошкаРусский: Кошка (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly everything alive becomes ill at some stage in its life, and pets are no exception. I have been very fortunate in that my two cats have been very healthy for most of their lives. Recently the oldest cat becomes ill and had to go to the vet. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with a form of cancer. The treatment options were pills or radiation 'therapy'. The radiation therapy was very expensive so that left the pills. Pills are fine for humans, but if you have ever tried to administer pills to your cat then you would know some of the problems I have had.

I usually feed my cats on a dry 'all in one' biscuit diet. This diet and a supplement of fresh food have kept them very healthy for over 14years. But now I need to add pills to her diet every twelve hours. So what do I feed her that will hide the pill well enough for her to eat it without complaining? Well after some experimentation I came to the conclusion that hiding a whole pill was not the answer. Not the answer at all. Whole pills are located and removed from the food with amazing accuracy. The simple answer is to crush the pills before adding them to the food.

(Note: The pill should be added to a small quantity of food - half a normal service or less, and that small quantity should be given to your pet BEFORE the rest of the meal. This helps to ensure your cat is hungry enough to eat the entire pill. Once the pill food is eaten you can give them the rest of the meal.)

Pills are usually quite easy to crush into powder, I use two spoons, one small teaspoon as the crusher, and a larger desert spoon to hold the pill. Place the pill into the larger spoon and using the edge of the small spoon as a blunt knife, carefully break the pill into smaller chunks. Now use the small teaspoon to gently crush the chunks into powder. In less than two minutes you should be ready to sprinkle the powdered pill onto a small serve of food. Crushing the pill gets much easier once you have done two or three.

This is how I prepare chicken or fish for my cat at pill time :

Chicken: Cooked (cold)

Cooked chicken is a favorite food of my cats so it is a good pill food for them. To make the most reliable pill hiding food from cold chicken is really quite easy. First of all, you need to prepare the pill by crushing it into a powder as described above. Then you need a small serve of chicken that you can break up into smallish pieces - use your fingers, it gives the best results. Once you have broken up the chicken add a small quantity of water to the serving plate and roll the chicken in the water until it is wet all over. Now drain the excess water from the plate - too much water will leave the pill on the plate and not on the food where it needs to be.

The next step is optional, but it makes a big difference for my pets. The next step is to place the food in a microwave oven. All you want to do is VERY GENTLY warm up the food, I use about 6 SECONDS on high. What you are looking for is to remove the coldness of the food - which activates the SMELL of the food. Do not make the food hot! ( The heat could damage the pill that you are trying to feed them, and not many cats will eat hot food anyway.) Now that you have a very gently warmed serve of food it is time to add the pill. Just sprinkle the crushed pill over the wet, warm chicken and serve it up!

Note: Always add the Pill LAST!

Fish: Raw

If you want to use raw fish as a pill serving food then it pays to make sure that the cat in question likes the fish that you are going to use. ( Cats are fussy!) I have two cats, one eats fish at every opportunity, and the other will walk right past it and ask for something else...

So get a small piece of fish to test the cat with, and assuming that the fish is accepted it is easy to prepare. I use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the fish into small pieces. A sharp knife is ok but the skin on fish is very tough, so for safety and ease of preparation I use scissors. Once you have the fish cut up all you need to do is sprinkle the powdered pill over the fish and serve it up. Raw fish is usually wet and quite smelly, so it doesn't require water to be added or the microwave to warm it up.

Fish: Cooked (cold)

To prepare a cooked cold fish you basically follow the steps outlined for cooked chicken. Prepare the pill, get a small bit of cooked fish and cut or break it up into small pieces. Make it wet, drain off the excess water and zap it in the microwave for a few seconds - do not make the food hot! Add the crushed pill to the warm wet fish and serve it up.

Note: Always add the Pill LAST!

The purpose of warming up the food is to make it smellier. Most food has a much stronger scent or smells when it is at room temperature than it does straight from the fridge.

If you need a small quantity of fresh raw fish it can usually be purchased from your local take away food shop. If you want to use cooked fish from a takeaway shop bear in mind that the batter or breadcrumbs should be removed before it is served to the cat. (Well, it should be removed if your cat won't eat the fish with it still on there...) Also, remember to cool the fish down to about room temperature before you add the pill - otherwise the heat may damage the pill.

Never microwave any pill - it could damage the active ingredients or even make them toxic to your pet.

For those that are interested, my cats' name is "Eff-Gee" ( "F"+"G" ) and she can tell the time as well if not better than I can. Every 12 hours (+ or - 30mins) she is asking me for her pill food :-)

My other cat - that doesn't like fish, is called "Sox". He doesn't really like chicken either. Actually, he prefers the biscuits over most other foods - unless it is meat with chili on it. He is a nice cat :-)



Friday, September 7, 2018

FLEA CONTROL: The In's and Out's of Getting Rid of those Pesky Critters

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Photo  by Christina Welsh (Rin) 
Bleh – fleas! ‘Tis the season – are you prepared? It’s not just at home where you need to be ready either. Different geographical areas have different climate conditions so the flea season varies depending on where you are – keep that in mind whether you are at home or traveling. Something else to be aware of is that fleas, in various stages of their disgusting lives, can survive indoors even during the cold weather. Following are some helpful facts about fleas and information on how you can prevent them from infesting your pets and your home.

Even though there are more than 2,000 known species and subspecies of fleas, only one class of flea called the ‘cat flea’ is to blame for almost all the fleas found on cats and dogs in the United States. What is really daunting is that there is evidence of fleas dating all the way back to the dinosaur era which means they obviously aren’t going away by themselves – all the more reason to do something to protect your pets and family.

Most fleas can survive for an average of two to three months without ‘food’ which is actually the blood they suck from their ‘hosts’.  A female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily! You should also know that while adult fleas suck blood from a cat, dog or other mammals, their larvae live and feed on organic debris in the host animal's environment – that’s your home! Be aware that some fleas can jump 150 times their own length – that compares to a human jumping 1,000 feet. So if you happen to see one flea, there may be more than 100 offspring or adults looming nearby in furniture, carpeting or on your pet.

Now let’s talk about how to prevent these gross little parasites from getting into your life and how to get rid of them if they do. As a pet owner, one of your main responsibilities is to keep your pet healthy. Taking them to the vet for their annual check-ups is very important. While you’re there, be sure to talk to your veterinarian about a flea prevention method for your furry friends such as Advantage, Advantix or Frontline. Certain products can also help to prevent ticks in addition to fleas.

If you see fleas on your pets or in your home, take action immediately. Not only are fleas a huge annoyance, but they can also transmit diseases and tapeworm. If your home becomes infested, you will probably need to purchase flea bombs – make sure read and adhere to the directions carefully and contact your vet to get further advice and relief for your pet and family.



Saturday, August 4, 2018

DIABETES: Could it be Affecting your Cat?

Three-legged, orange tabby cat -- Truman.
Three-legged, orange tabby cat -- Truman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cats and humans may not look much alike, but remember, both are mammals. Therefore, there are a number of diseases, disorders, and other medical conditions found in humans that are also found in cats. One such disease is diabetes. If you believe that your cat may have diabetes, it is important to talk to your cat's vet as soon as possible so that your cat can get the right medical treatment needed.

There are two types of diabetes in cats, just like in humans. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the insufficient production of insulin in the cat's body. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is when a cat develops an intolerance for handling the insulin. In both cases, diabetes can develop in cats of any age, but it is more common for cats that are old, male, or obese. There is what is known as secondary diabetes as well, in which a drug or disease causes diabetes, sometimes forever and sometimes for a certain period of time.

When caring for your cat, there are symptoms you can see that point to your cat having diabetes. These symptoms include excess thirst, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, loss of weight, breathing abnormalities, and unhealthy skin and coat. Your vet can then test your cat's blood sugar levels and urine sugar levels. Both tests are needed, as temporary blood sugar levels may be high in cats that are stressed or nervous.

If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, lifestyle changes are necessary to make sure that your cat's health is restored as much as possible. Diet is very important. Remember, your cat should only get enough food during a meal as is necessary. Cats typically need food the size of one large mouse to be content-more will cause weight problems. Not only is the amount of food important, but you should also be concerned with your cat's types of foods. Your vet can recommend specific cat food brands that are high in fiber and protein in order to control diabetes.

Insulin, oral medications, and supplements may also be necessary. Again, your vet can tell you what is needed, as well as show you how to administer treatment to your cat daily. It is important for you to monitor your cat's health to make sure that the diabetes is in control and that he or she is staying happy, healthy, and comfortable. Diabetes is not the end of the world, in either humans or cats.


Monday, July 16, 2018

The Temperament Of CATS

Ti-Rat, Montreal born red cat, showing his cla...
Ti-Rat, Montreal born red cat, showing his claws with pride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Perhaps you imagined yourself as a sleek young woman like Selena Kyle. But is a cat the right pet for you? To decide, you must have an idea what to expect from a cat. You must be familiar with the temperament of cats.

First of all, a domestic cat is a highly intelligent and fiercely independent creature. It can never be placed on a leash the way dogs are. Cats do things they want to do and when they want to do it. They will demand the things they want, such as food and play. And they will also make it clear when they want to be left alone. Thus, the owner of a cat cannot expect his pet to do “work” for him.

Different breeds of cats have different personalities. Some cats are quiet while others like to meow all the time. Can you tolerate a cat who meows almost every hour? Some cats are fussy and choosy about the food you give them while others will eat just about anything. Can you afford the kind of food that your cat prefers? Some cats don’t mind being surrounded and petted by strange people while others will wield their claws if they face a person they haven’t met before. Does your house accept many strangers or are you alone most of the time? And some cats love to climb and curl on the lap of their masters. But others prefer to be left alone, watching TV or listening to the radio. Are you a cat owner who likes to cuddle all the time?

You will know when your cat is trying to get your attention. It will endlessly meow at you or it will follow you around or it will rub its body against your leg. You will also know if your cat is comfortable or scared by lifting up your cat. If the body is loose, then your cat is relaxed. If the body is tight, then something is scaring the daylights out of it.

Cats like to sleep. And the specific personality and breed of the cat will determine where the cat chooses to sleep. Some like to be in secluded places where no one can disturb them. They like to lie in high cupboards and similar places. Other breeds of cats like to sleep in places where everyone is converging. These cats like to be noticed. So they sleep at the center of the foyer, in the middle of the stairs and even on the couch, especially when there are guests.

Cats like to sharpen their claws. It is their nature, similar to wild cats such as lions, tigers, panthers, and cheetahs. This may irritate the owner, especially if the cat chooses to sharpen its claws on the couch. The owner may consider giving the cat a scratching post. The cat can be taught to scratch its claws on this post.





Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Cruelty Of CLAW REMOVAL

Cat Claw
Cats use their claws for various purposes.  The claws are important to cats, as they are an essential part of balancing.  If you’ve ever noticed a cat jumping and latching on to a high object, you’ve probably noticed that he uses his claws to pull himself up.  When climbing trees, cats tend to use their claws to latch onto the bark and climb towards their destination. 

Cats also use their claws for stretching, walking, and running as well.  The claws are also a cat’s primary source of defense against other animals and humans as well.  Most cats keep their claws extremely sharp, as their claws and teeth are basically their only weapons.  The claws are also essential for using the bathroom as well, as cats use them to cover up their mess with dirt.

Cats also use their claws to scratch things, which mark their territory.  Their claws have glands, which contain a secretion.  When they leave their mark on something, the secretion is transferred to the area they scratched.  This is detectable to other cats although not to humans.  Sometimes, they will also scratch something to remove the older claw which will fall off and give them a brand new claw that resides underneath.

As sad as it is, a lot of pet owners choose to put their own possessions above their cats, such as their expensive furniture or carpets.  These cat owners are afraid that they cat will ruin their furniture or carpet, and therefore will choose to get their cat de-clawed.  Getting a cat’s claws removed is a surgical procedure, one that can only be performed by a veterinarian.  The owner will need a good reason though, as a vet won’t do the surgery just to keep one’s furniture or carpet protected.

If you’ve been thinking of getting your cat de-clawed, you should know that the process can totally change his personality.  Once the cat is de-clawed, he will be in pain and confused.  He may not be able to jump in the window or on the couch, and he may not be able to play like he once did.  Some cats, after being de-clawed, tend to get aggressive and bite with their teeth.  To make a long story short, the cat will be completely miserable – which is a tough thing to bear for those who love their cats.

Those who decide to own cats should know that a cat can scratch on occasion.  If someone isn’t prepared to deal with that fact, they shouldn’t own a cat in the first place.  Cats are great pets, although they do have claws and they will use them on occasion.  There are plenty of other great pets out there if you aren’t up for handling a cat.  If you’re just worried about your furniture or carpet, there are ways that you can keep your cat from scratching on your belongings.

The first thing to do is to get your cat a scratching post and let him know where it is and how to use it.  You can also get a rush mat as well, which will help your cat with his instincts to scratch.  You may have to demonstrate how to use the mat or the post at first, although your cat should catch onto it quick.  Once you have shown him the ropes, he will scratch on the post or the mat – and not your furniture or your carpet.


Although many don’t realize it, there are other ways to protect your things other than getting your cat de-clawed.  Getting a cat’s claws removed is very painful and confusing to the cat, and may totally change his outlook on things.  Before you decide to take the inhumane path of getting your cat de-clawed, you should look into your other available options- your cat will like these options much better.



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

4 Things to Think About Before DECLAWING your CAT

English: The right front paw of Jyou, a tuxedo...
The right front paw of Jyou, a tuxedo cat from Brentwood, Tennessee. Jyou was declawed on the instructions of the photographer, Allison Stillwell. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Declawing is a major surgery known as onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, that removes the tip of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the cat's forepaws. There is a slight chance of death in the surgery, and a declawed cat may have an increased risk of infection and life-long discomfort in its paws. This surgery is not recommended for an adult animal and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some countries (see below).

People generally have cats declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious cats are declawed. In the United States, some landlords require that tenants' cats be declawed.

Veterinarians are generally critical of the procedure and some refuse to perform it because of the absence of claws in a cat:

1. Deprives it of its main defense abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
2. Impairs its stretching and exercise habits, leading to muscle atrophy;
3. Compromises its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
4. Can cause insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.

This operation is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, declawing is forbidden by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless "a veterinarian considers [such] non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of (the) animal".  In Britain, animal shelters find it difficult to place imported cats that have been declawed and subsequently most are euthanized.


An alternative to declawing is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the cat will still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.



Monday, June 11, 2018

A HEALTHY CAT Knows What Tastes Good

A jumping cat trying to catch some food.
A jumping cat trying to catch some food. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As all cat owners know, a feline can be a wonderful addition to any family. One of the most basic aspects of cat ownership is proper health care for the cat. Healthcare for a cat encompasses a wide array of vaccine shots, flea protection, vet visits, medications, and even proper exercise.

However, the most important aspect of cat health is also often overlooked. People spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a cat to keep it healthy, but most cat owners don’t pay nearly enough attention to the proper cat food.

The right cat food is absolutely essential to a healthy, happy cat.

But what is the best cat food for your cat? While each cat will have slightly different nutritional needs, there are some general rules that must be considered when looking for cat food.

First of all, cats (like their human owners) need a high-quality diet. This means the best types of protein, fats, carbs, and the fewer preservatives and chemical additives, the better. Most of the research
available online does not compare specific brands of cat food, as much as specific ingredients to feed your cat, and which to stay away from!

Cats need a high protein diet. Wildcats are very carnivorous, and cats derive a lot of their nutritional needs from protein. House cats, while not wild, still have many of the same nutritional needs as their wild feline ancestors. So, the most important ingredient in any cat food is protein.

Carbohydrates are also an important part of a cats diet, though not as important as protein. Cats really should derive the majority of their nutritional needs from protein, so cat foods that are high in carbohydrates may not necessarily be the best for them.

Interestingly enough, many of the premium brands of cat food, such as Eukanuba and Innova offer exactly what most cats need, and aren’t necessarily more expensive in the long run. This is because high-end cat foods need a smaller serving amount than the low-end cat foods to give a cat all the nutrients they need to be satisfied and healthy.

When comparing a premium brand such as Eukanuba, to a lower cost brand such as Purina, the cost difference for the recommended serving size is only a nickel a day. Furthermore, because a cat will eat less of the high-end cat food, their waste will be reduced. This can cut down on the frequency of litter replacement and litter box related chores.


Another aspect of cat food to be considered is the quality of the protein in the food. Because of the way many pet food companies describe the meat in the food, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the difference between “chicken flavored”, and “chicken dinner” is.

Food that contains “chicken meal” can only be made from the skin, flesh, and bones only. This is really the best type of protein for a cat. Food that has “meat byproducts” can contain nearly any animal parts, and are of lower quality than “chicken meal”. Food that is “chicken flavored” only has to taste like chicken, but may not contain any animal meat at all. Also, chicken is generally better than beef for cats.

And it goes without saying, preservatives, as well as artificial colors, should be avoided whenever possible. Although specific research is lacking on this subject, we do know that preservatives and artificial colors can have a negative impact on human health. It is only logical that cats will also be negatively affected by artificial colors and preservatives in their cat food.



Friday, June 8, 2018

FELINE DIABETES Is Not A Cat And Mouse Game!

This mean cat is me
This mean cat is me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Your pet is caught in a serious type of disease!

And do not be under the impression that this disease is the 'privilege' of human beings alone!

Feline Diabetes is one of the most common feline endocrine diseases. Its direct link is to the high carbohydrate diet of dry food. Many canned foods contain too many carbohydrates, which your cat may eat with great speed and gusto; but your poor choices will definitely damage the health of your pet. Cats by nature are obligate carnivores and their system, as created by nature is not suitable for a carbohydrate diet. Just don't put anything and everything before your cat. Understand its requirements, from its biological point of view. Feline Diabetes is not a cat and mouse game.

Cats and insulin shots...sounds odd? But, it's true.

If the diabetic condition in your cat is a longstanding one, then insulin shots are necessary. Once you start giving it the low carbohydrate diet, and once the cats recoup their original health, no further insulin shots are required.

“Feeding a diabetic cat with a high-carbohydrate diet is analogous to pouring gasoline on a fire and wondering why you can't put it out.”

There are two types of diabetes - Type I and Type II. Type II is the more common, both in humans and in cats. But the cat has a unique metabolism.


Cats are obligate carnivores and are adapted to consume a diet that is high in protein, moderate in fat, and include a very small amount of carbohydrates (roughly 3 to 5%). Since nature designed them thus, cats do not have many of the important enzymes that are necessary to process these types of foods.

So, it is not sufficient that you love your cat. You have to understand the cat and its food habits! The food you give to your cat can put it in its grave!



Friday, June 1, 2018

GROOMING Your CAT

120206 LHS cat
Photo  by K Yim 
No cat wants to be dirty, and it’s up to you to ensure that your cat stays clean.  Grooming is very important, as it helps your cat remain clean and healthy.  Grooming starts with brushing, as brushing helps to keep the cat's hair from becoming hairballs.  Brushing will remove loose hair, and help prevent the risk of hairballs.  A lot of cats have trouble dislodging hairballs.  If the cat isn’t able to get a hairball out, it could result in a blockage of the intestines.  Blockages are very serious, and can quickly become life-threatening for your pet.

Cats that have long hair need to be brushed and combed on a daily basis, while cats with short hair need to be groomed on a weekly basis.  When you brush your cat, you should always watch for lumps in the coat and skin irritations.  You should start brushing along the cat’s back, going from his head to his tail.  Do this a few times on one side, and then switch to the other.  Each area should be brushed a few times in the direction of the way your cat’s hair is growing.

When you brush your cat, you should always avoid brushing his face and paws.  If a cat doesn’t like to be brushed, you can still groom him using another tool.  The grooming glove is an excellent alternative to the brush, as most cats don’t mind it at all.  Starting out young is the key to grooming, as it will get your cat used to brushing and grooming.  Some cats that have started grooming when they were kittens grow to love it, many of which often look forward to their grooming time.

When brushing your cat, make sure that you check his ears, eyes, teeth, and claws.  His eyes should be bright and clear with nothing residing in the corners.  His ears should be clean, pink in colour, and no sign of ear mites.  Ear mites result from dirt built up in a cat’s ears and can result in the ears shrivelling up and your cat losing his hearing.  Ear mites are very annoying for the cat and hard for you as an owner to get rid of.  The best way to get rid of them – is to ensure that your cat’s ears stay clean and healthy.


Each time you groom your cat, you should always aim to go a bit further with your examinations.  When your cat remains still, you should always praise him and give him a treat.  If your cat doesn’t cooperate and starts to struggle, you shouldn’t fight with him, but instead, let him go and try the next day.  Once your cat gets used to grooming he will look forward to it each and every day.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

CAT CONSTIPATION

A basic litter box and a bag of litter
A basic litter box and a bag of litter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Normally a cat has bowel movements once or twice a day. If the pet does not do it or strain to do it with hard feces, the cat is suffering from Constipation. It is a very common problem with cats and an occasional bout of Constipation is nothing to worry about.

But when a cat is chronically constipated it needs serious attention. As the cat's age, they are more prone to this problem. There are quite a few causes of Cat Constipation. Obstructions like hairballs, tumors and foreign bodies stop the movement of the feces inside the colon, and the fecal matter builds up. This becomes a hard dry mass and distends the colon, which loses its ability to contract and expel feces. This condition is known as megacolon.

When the cats are constipated they behave in a typical manner. They run to their litter box quite often and strain to pass stool. They make noise and start licking the anal area. They lose their appetite and become sluggish. Vomiting and passing a small number of liquid feces is quite common.

If the Constipation is not very severe, an enema will clear the colon. Hard impacted feces may have to be physically removed in a veterinary clinic under anesthesia. The intravenous liquid is also given to prevent dehydration.

After the bout of Constipation is cleared, the underlying problem, like an obstruction in the colon, has to be tackled. For the cats suffering from megacolon or an untreatable or unknown problem, a management regime has to be adopted. A high-fiber diet increases the bulk and assists in bowel movement. Increase the liquid consumption of the cat by feeding canned cat food rather than dry. Milk and soup can also be tried. We have to try and get the cat to consume liquid by a means that the cat likes.

If the megacolon is advanced, no amount of management can make it propel the stool to the exit. The only alternative is surgery. The colon is removed, and most surgeries are successful.



Friday, May 11, 2018

The Importance Of TAURINE For Cats

Gretel Eating Meat
Gretel Eating Meat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By nature, cats are very much carnivores. In order for them to live the healthiest - not to mention happiest - lives imaginable, it's important for them to take in sufficient amounts of meat from day to day. This is where the role of protein comes into play, though it's clear that some cats are not able to process this nutrient as well as others. I believe that this is why taurine is such a crucial talking point and one that Assisi can help to lead.

For those who do not know, taurine is a type of amino acid that pet owners may bring into the diets of their cats. It's not like this type of nutrient is hard to come by, seeing as how it is normally found in various types of fish and other meats. As a result, you can be certain that cats will require it in large amounts as well. You may wonder what can happen if cats are unable to process protein normally. To say that it would be unfortunate probably goes without saying.

Protein deficiency is unfortunate, to say the least, and there are a number of problems it can start as well. For instance, it's been said that the eyesight of cats can be negatively affected by a lack of protein, even to the point of blindness. What about tooth decay, which only hampers the issues related to a protein with cats? Pet owners must figure out solutions to this matter and I believe that there are quite a few worth looking into.

If you want to know about the ways in which Assisi can prove to be of help, it's important to look at the medical side of the situation. Veterinarians have been exposed to the issue of protein metabolism, and how many cats cannot go about it well. As a result, they can either tell you about different solutions or prescribe medication. When it comes to the aforementioned solutions, the increase of high-quality protein sources may be focused on. Take your vet's advice; your cat's health will be better for it.


There's no denying the fact that protein is a nutrient that every cat needs. It's one that can come in many forms, be it standard cat food or meat itself. However, it's not enough for the products themselves to be consumed, as nutrients have to process in the body. Cats go about this at different paces, which means that specific diets may be required for them. For this reason, you - as well as your cat - will be best served if you consult your vet.




Monday, April 30, 2018

AGING CATS' Nutritional Needs Change After Age 11


America's most popular pet, the cat, lives more than half of its life in the senior years. Although advances in veterinary care, better nutrition, and better-educated owners have helped improve the quantity and quality of these years, studies reveal that senior cats continue to struggle with weight as the result of reduced activity levels and a steady decline in senses, nutrient absorption and fat digestion. 

"One of the most important goals when feeding senior cats is maintaining an ideal weight and keeping that weight stable," said Dr. Arnold Plotnick, who developed a senior wellness program to address the special needs of aging cats at his veterinary clinic, Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York City. 

Owners of senior cats can help their aging felines maintain an ideal body weight throughout the senior life stage by feeding a diet that addresses their unique nutritional needs. Purina Pro Plan, for instance, has reformulated its entire line of senior cat foods to address the changing nutritional needs of aging cats in two different phases of the senior life stage: ages 7 to 11 (mature) and 11 and up (senior). 

As cats age, there's a gradual decline in the body's ability to repair itself, maintain normal body functions and adapt to stresses in the environment. Disease and weight changes are common throughout the senior life stage. 

Cats are more likely to face weight gain during the mature years when activity level declines and metabolism slows. But around age 11, weight loss becomes a greater concern.

The 11-plus years are particularly problematic for cats because their sense of smell and taste often diminish at this time, which affects their interest in food. The ability to absorb key nutrients and digest fat declines, making eating itself less efficient.

The undesirable result is that more food passes through as waste and less is used for energy, causing a drop in lean muscle mass and body fat that leads to potentially harmful weight loss.

In addition to providing the proper diet, owners of senior cats should pay close attention to their cats' activity levels, weight, and eating, grooming and elimination habits and report anything new or different to their veterinarian. 

Though many of these changes are a normal part of aging, others may signal a more serious problem. Scheduling veterinary visits at least twice a year is good practice during the senior years as many potentially serious conditions are treatable if caught early.  - NU



Sunday, March 25, 2018

Epilepsy in Dogs and Cats

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Epilepsy in dogs and cats is similar to that in humans. The main symptom is a type of seizure. Seizures can come in many forms and several of these are listed below:


Generalized Seizures


Generalized seizures are the most common type of seizures in dogs and cats. There are several variations of these seizures:

1. Absence seizures (petit mal): sudden brief loss of consciousness, rare in animals
2. Myoclonic seizures: muscle jerk of one or more muscles
3. Clonic seizures: rhythmic muscle contractions
4. Tonic seizures: increase in muscle tone in all skeletal muscles
5. Tonic Clonic seizures (grand mal): the most common form of seizure in pets




Tonic Clonic Seizures


Tonic Clonic (grand mal) seizures account for 60% of seizures in cats and 80% of seizures in dogs. They are usually accompanied by a loss of consciousness, and consist of a tonic phase, where the increased muscle tone causes the animal to fall on its side with its limbs extended, and a clonic phase, consisting of intense muscle jerking or paddling movements. 

In order to diagnose true epilepsy, other causes of seizures must be first ruled out. Once a tentative diagnosis of epilepsy has been made (by excluding all the other known causes of seizures), the animal can be prescribed anticonvulsant drugs. These drugs are not appropriate for animals with seizures caused by a problem outside the brain. The overall goal of anticonvulsant therapy is to eradicate all seizure activity, but this is rarely achieved. A more realistic goal is to reduce the frequency of the seizures to a level that is acceptable for the owner, without having negative side effects for the animal. 


Since epilepsy is not curable, the owner must be prepared to give the medication for the rest of the animals life.




Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cats And RINGWORM

Granulomatous dermatitis caused by Microsporum...
Granulomatous dermatitis caused by Microsporum canis ringworm in a Persian cat; pseudomycetoma
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ringworm is a very common form of skin disease that is found in both dogs and cats.  Although its name makes you think otherwise, this skin disease isn’t caused by any type of worm.  It’s actually caused by fungi known as Dermatophytes that feed on dead tissues found in the surface of the skin, spreading them around the skin of the animal.

With cats, there is a certain type of fungi known as M Canis that is found with nearly 95% of all ringworm cases.  Normally, cats will get the ringworm disease from contaminated objects like bedding, clippers, or another animal that already has the disease.  If there are animals in your home or around your house that have the ringworm disease, your cat could very easily contract it this way.

If you have kittens or cats that are under a year old in your home, you should always use precaution, as they are more susceptible to ringworm.  Kittens can easily contract the disease, especially if you allow them to go outside.  They can easily come in contact with a contaminated object or another cat that has the disease.  Kittens take a long time to build their immune system up, and in the meantime, they are more apt to get a common disease such as ringworm.

The most common symptoms of ringworm in cats are rough or broken hairs, or hair loss around the head or the paws.  Ringworm can easily be identified by a patch of scaly skin on the body that appears itchy and inflamed.  There will also be broken hairs around the patch of scaly skin.  This area is very sensitive, and you should never try to touch it, as it will hurt your cat.

If you notice any of the above symptoms with your pet, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your vet.  If the vet diagnosis your cat with ringworm, he may prescribe ointment or tablets.  What he describes, however, will determine how serious the ringworm is.  If he prescribes tablets to your cat, you should give them with meals.  Ointment, on the other hand, is normally spread into the coat, topically.  You should always use what your vet prescribes on a daily basis, to ensure that your cat heals.  The healing process will take time, normally around six weeks or more.


Cats that have ringworm should be labeled as infectious.  If you have children in the house, you should keep them away from your pet. Whenever you handle your cat, you should always use gloves.  Ringworms are contagious, and you should always use caution.  Even though it’s a mild disease, ringworm can result in serious problems due to the slow recovery time and fact that it’s contagious.



Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Giving Your Cat MEDICATION

English: animal medication
Animal medication (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are times in every cat's life when he will need to take medication of some sort.  Cat owners who have been through this know how hard it can be getting the cat to cooperate.  Below are a few suggestions that may help in your endeavour.

The first choice is to hide medication in some of your cat's favourite food.  This may not always be easy, as in the case of capsules or pills.  The cat's keen sense of smell will also be a problem, so it is advisable to pick some of the smelliest food you can if you use this method.

Liquid medication works well mixed into food, especially salmon.  The liquid mixes well with the oils and is almost undetectable by your cat.  If at all possible, ask your vet for medication in liquid form.

Crushing a pill or emptying a capsule into food is risky.  The taste and smell are often bitter and easily detectable by the cat.  If you must use this method, make sure whatever you use is sufficiently strong in both smell and taste.  It will also be necessary to make sure your cat eats the entire portion in order to get all the medicine into his system.



If you must give medication to your cat without the benefit of food, pick him up by the back of his neck like a mother cat.  This will render him momentarily unmovable.  Gently pry open his mouth and place the medication as far back as possible.  Holding his mouth gently closed, stroke his throat. This will cause a reflexive swallowing reaction.  Once the medication is down, give him cuddles.

If all else fails, you can talk to your vet and have him show you how he suggests administering medication to cats.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Skin Disorders in Cats

Eosinophilic granuloma in a cat - Photo: Wikimedia
Most cats are covered with a thick, protective fur. This makes it extremely difficult to tell if a cat has a skin problem before it becomes extreme. It is important to take time on a regular basis to examine your cat’s skin closely for anything that may be wrong.

Run your hand gently over his body and explore the skin for any unusual patches. If you find any, part the fur by brushing it slightly, so that you can see beneath the fur and have a better look at the skin. If you do this often enough and understand your cat’s body, you should be able to spot any irregularity easily. You will learn to know what looks normal and what doesn’t.

Cheyletiellosis is a skin disorder in cats is caused by skin mites and is particularly contagious between cats as well as humans. In cats, the symptoms are itching and it usually results in heavy scaling and flaking of the skin, which is why Cheyletiellosis in cats is often known as “walking dandruff”. This skin condition is usually not deadly and can be easily treated with the right medication once the condition has been diagnosed and confirmed.

Alopecia is a skin disorder in cats that will cause hair loss due to endocrine disturbances, localized infections, or generalized illnesses. The condition can also be a result of stress. The symptoms included bald patches on the skin and can be accompanied by a reddened or inflamed skin. Not a deadly skin disease, and with proper treatment, the fur would most likely grow back. 

While most skin conditions are caused by allergies to food and pesticides bite and can be easily managed and treated, early detection is still important. A few minutes each day could very well prevent days of discomfort later.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Giving Your Cat A PILL

Giving a cat a pill can be a nightmare.  No cat wants something shoved down his throat, and he will fight you tooth and nail to prevent it. Although most cats are small in size, you’d be quite amazed by how much power they actually have.  There are ways that you can get your cat to take his pills, which we will cover below.

The easiest way to give a cat pill is to crush the power into a powdery form by putting it between two spoons.  Once the pill is powder, mix it in with some wet cat food.  Cats that are used to eating dry cat food will see the wet food and think of it as a treat.  They will normally eat it up, unaware that they just took their medicine.


If the medicine happens to be in capsule form, all you have to do is pry the capsule apart then sprinkle the medicine on some wet food and serve it to your pet.  If the food also contains the pill or if your pet is sick, chances are he won’t eat it.  In this event, you should look into a pet piller.  You can get these handy devices from your veterinarian.  They are plastic rods that hold the pill until you press a plunger.  When you get one, you should always get a long one with a softer tip.

When you get your gun, your vet should show you how to use it.  The most difficult aspect of using the gun is getting your cat to open his mouth.  The gun will more or less shoot the pill in the cat’s mouth, and down his throat.  You’ll need to hold him tight, to make sure that he doesn’t wiggle his way lose.  Once you have his mouth open, you’ll need to squeeze the trigger and pull the gun away quickly.  After the pill has been inserted, make sure you give your cat a treat.

If you aren’t comfortable using the gun, you can always try giving your cat his pills by hand.  To do it this way, you’ll need to hold your cat still and open his mouth with your hand.  Once you have his mouth open, you should aim for the back of his throat and throw the pill in.  Once it is in his mouth, you should close his mouth with your hand and hold it shut for a few moments.  This way, your cat will swallow the pill if he hasn’t already.

If you can’t get any of the above techniques to work, you can always go to a local pharmacy and get them to a make flavored gel or liquid using your cats' medication.  You should use this as a last resort though, as it can tend to get expensive.



Friday, January 12, 2018

HEARTWORM Treatment For Cats

Austin Community College Vet Tech Program
Photo  by Austin Community College 
As most pet owners already know, heartworm treatment for cats and dogs isn’t the same. Never, under any circumstances, should you give your cat heartworm treatment that is designed for a dog – or vice versa.  Even though you may own both dogs and cats, you should always give them medicine that is designed for their species.

No matter how you look at it, heartworm treatment isn’t easy.  Your goal is to get rid of the heartworms, although there are several factors that you’ll need to consider.  The first thing to do is take your cat to the vet, as he will be able to run tests to determine just how many heartworms your pet has.  He can also find out how the worms are affecting your cat and if your cat can deal with any side effects that the treatment medicine may impose.

Heartworms are a very serious condition, as the worms will feast on the vital areas around your cat’s heart.  Treatment can be serious as well, especially if something goes wrong.  Veterinarians are trained to deal with heartworms though, in both cats and dogs.  Even though you may be able to buy treatment medicine at your local department store, you should always consult with your vet before you give anything to your pet.

Treating your cat for heartworms may indeed be no treatment at all, as cats are extremely difficult to treat.  The dying worms have side effects as well, often times causing more than 1/3 of the treated cats to end up with serious problems.  Dying worms can become lodged in the arteries of the heart, which are already inflamed due to the worms being there.  When a lodged worm starts to decompose, it can lead to very serious problems.  Pets that have a serious infestation with heartworms may need to spend some time at the hospital, to ensure that they are properly treated.

Some cats may not be able to take a certain type of heartworm treatment medicine.  Depending on the side effects and how the medicine affects the cat, some breeds may not be able to take some of the better medicines.  To determine the best treatment options for your cat, your vet will need to run several tests.  Once the tests have concluded, your vet will be able to tell you the best options available for treatment.


With all diseases, prevention is a lot better and safer than treatment.  Be sure to talk to your vet and find out what heartworm prevention medication is the best to use.  Your vet can tell you what you need to get, and how to use it.  This way, you can prevent your pet from getting heartworms – and the serious side effects and life-threatening issues that go along with them.