COMMON HEALTH CONDITIONS IN CATS – A QUICK INSIGHT

cat health issues

Written by: Dr John Abbass, DVM. M.Phil (Pet diseases)

“What greater gift than love of a cat”.

Charles Dickens

Cats are such lovable and precious creatures. They are the most commonly kept pet animals. Just like humans, they are also prone to a number of health-related conditions. The worrisome thing for every cat owner is how to evaluate and manage these health-related issues, to stop further complications in their family pet.

If you are worried about your cat’s health and looking for useful tips and recommendations to keep your cat healthy then you are in the right place.
Cat Informers, along with offering you with its other services, is also providing you guidelines related to the health and wellbeing of your cats.

What health problems can cats have?

There are a number of diseases which affect cats ranging from mild to life-threatening conditions. Cat owners must have sufficient knowledge of these common issues to save the precious lives of their beloved furry friends.

Feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukopenia virus, diabetes and obesity are common health problems in cats. Here, we will provide an overview of common gastrointestinal health conditions.

Cat Vomiting

Vomiting is basically the evacuation of food from the stomach. Generally, there are many causes of vomiting in cats. It is often normal, if a cat vomits occasionally, but this may be due to some serious underlying problems.

cat health issues

Types of Vomiting in Cats

There are mainly two types of vomiting in cats and they are acute vomiting and chronic vomiting.

Acute vomiting is all sudden and lasts for less than two to three days and resolves by itself. Cats don’t show any other symptoms. There are possibly no other underlying causes in this case.

Whereas chronic vomiting lasts for many days and the vomiting is more frequent. This leads to serious complications in cats such as depletion of electrolytes and severe dehydration that is life threatening. In this case, cats also show some other symptoms such as abdominal pain, dullness and reduction in weight.

Main Causes of Vomiting in Cats

There are dozens of reasons your cat might vomit. Here are some major reasons.

Cat Poisoning

This is noteworthy that, your cat may ingest any foul substance or spoiled food that may be less harmful or highly detrimental if it is any herbicide, pesticide or household cleaners, these toxic chemicals badly disturb the cat’s stomach and induce sudden vomiting. These poisonous substances may be life-threatening for your cat. It is suggested that if you suspect, your cat has ingested any chemical, seek veterinary attention immediately.

calico cat health problems

Do cats throw up if they eat too fast?

At times, you might have noticed that your cat eats too fast and ingests too much food. This habit can predispose it to frequent vomiting in cats just after eating their meals. The vomit include digested or undigested food.

The only panacea of this is to divide your cat’s meal into smaller portions to stop obesity along with other problems.

If you have more than one cat you must make sure that each cat takes their meal only. Otherwise they may eat the food of others which is causing the overeating. So, you can prevent this occurring by feeding cats in separate rooms or keeping a different feeding schedule for each cat.

Hairballs and Vomiting in Cats

Hairball (trichobezoar) is a mass of undigested hair moistened by bile and other gastric fluids that get into the gastrointestinal tract of your cats when they lick hair while grooming themselves.

cat health problems

This is the most common cause of vomiting in cats and pet parents usually complain about this. This is quite normal, if your cat expels a hairball after one or two weeks. If this doesn’t happen occasionally, these filthy hairballs can clog the intestine which can lead to life threatening conditions.

Vomiting, retching, coughing, lack of appetite, constipation and dullness are common clinical features of hairballs.

Preventing Hairballs in Cats

research study explored that adding insoluble sugarcane fibers into a cat’s diet can reasonably reduce the development of hairballs in the gastrointestinal tract. There are specific hairball preventive chews or diet formulas which help in dealing with this condition by facilitating fecal elimination of hairballs.

Mild laxatives and a number of other products are available which can help cats in passing hairballs through stools.

It is suggested that you should do regular grooming of your furry friend. This can reduce the hairball formation and develop a bond between you and your cat. Long haired cats, such as Persian cats, which shed a lot of hair are more prone to develop hairball formation. 

So, it is advised to specially take care of them and give them proper grooming, even a hair cut every six months.

Train your furry friend to stop compulsive grooming by herself. This can be achieved by encouraging her to play with toys and engaging her in other activities.

Intestinal Parasites in Cats

There are a number of intestinal parasites which reside inside the gastrointestinal tract of your cat.

Common ones are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and other protozoan parasites such as toxoplasma and isospora species.

Parasitic infestations lead to sudden vomiting in cats along with dullness and drastic weight loss.

A proper parasite control regime should be made and appropriate antiparasitic drugs must be used as prescribed by the registered veterinary practitioner.

Does Kidney Disease in Cats cause Vomiting?

Some chronic kidney disease and liver diseases can cause vomiting in cats. At times, there is no direct link between vomiting and these diseases. But vomiting can be a non-specific sign of these diseases.

Cat owners should request a liver function test (LFT) and Kidney function test (KFT) if they are concerned and what to understand the root cause of the problem.

Other causes of Feline Vomiting

There are other reasons your cat may vomit which include any infectious gastroenteritis (inflammation of alimentary canal), any medication and pancreatitis. Chronic vomiting may be due a neurological disorder, long term parasitic infestation, intestinal obstruction or chronic toxicity in cats.

Conclusion

Despite being normal in cats vomiting may be an alarm for any underlying medical condition. Give your cat a high quality diet and keep an eye on her behavior. It may be necessary that a proper examination be done with different diagnostic tools. If you are unsure you should seek advice from a veterinarian to figure out the underlying cause to save the precious life of your cat.

Timely diagnosis, long term benefits.

     

The Ultimate Guide to Cat Grooming

cat grooming

Cat grooming is an essential requirement to ensure that the cat stays happy and relaxed. Cat grooming usually involves trimming its nails, bathing, performing activities to keep its fur, eyes, hair, and teeth healthy and clean. Cat grooming is necessary because it is quite evident that a clean cat is a happy cat.

Cats Are Self-Grooming

Most of the cats take real pride in their appearance and hence, are self-grooming, and they opt to keep themselves clean and tidy. However, some cats find it difficult to groom themselves. That’s because these cats have fleas and long fur. Hence, these cats require proper grooming, and the owners have to ensure that they remain clean and tidy.

Contrarily, some cats aren’t used to the grooming process. These cats show resistance if any grooming activity is tried upon them. So, to avoid and injury or a mishap, you must consult a professional veterinarian and ask him to groom your cat.

Here in this guide, we will provide detailed guidance on how you can groom your cats and will also discuss some of the benefits of cat grooming.

Benefits of Cat Grooming

Let’s enlist some of the benefits of cat grooming

  • Grooming your cat helps in preventing the formation of hairballs which can lead to intestinal blockages
  • Cat grooming helps you to identify fleas, ear mites, lumps or bumps
  • Grooming your cat improves its muscle tone and also stimulates the skin to produce oils that give their coat a healthy shine
  • It strengthens the bond between you and your cat
  • Cat grooming keeps your cat clean and tidy

How to Groom Cats?

Having read all the benefits of cat grooming, you might now be interested in grooming your cat. Here we have listed a complete guideline on cat grooming that will make the grooming easier for you.

1.    Brush Your Cat’s Fur

Usually, the cats groom their fur. However, brushing their coat will keep it clean, free from dirt, grease, and other such filthy stuff. Brushing your cat’s coat will keep the cat relaxed as a result of which the bonding between you and your cat will enhance.

However, make sure to brush slowly so that the cat does not show any resistance. Once the brushing process is complete, you can treat your cats with their best food 

You can use specific brushes for this purpose. One such brush for the grooming of your cat’s fur can be purchased by clicking here. This brush is incredibly helpful for removing mats and tangles.

Furthermore, you can also use pet grooming brushing gloves to brush away any dirt and loose hair from the cat’s skin. You can purchase a pair of such pet grooming gloves by clicking here.

2.    Trim the Cat’s Fur

To give an attractive look to your cat, you must frequently trim its fur. The cat might not feel comfortable when it comes to trimming their fur. However, this must be done because the long fur may cause health problems for your cat.

Use professional and specially designed clippers for this purpose. Also, take frequent pauses so that you don’t end up burning the cat’s skin.

If you aren’t experienced in this process, then consider hiring a professional cat groomer to do this job for you.

The thick and long hair is referred to as a fur coat. You can Chom Chom Roller to remove your cat’s hair, especially from the couches, beds, comforters as well as blankets.   

3.    Bathe Your Cat

It would help if you bathed your cat occasionally to give her a feel of relaxation and comfort-ability. Bathing will keep her clean and tidy and will remove sticky dust from its body.

Bath your cat when she is most mellow. Also, trim her claws, brush her fur. Don’t forget to place a piece of cotton in its ears before the bath to minimize the risk of getting scratched.

Fill up the sink up to 3-4 inches with lukewarm water and put a rubber mat in that sink so that the cat does not slip.

Place your cat in the sink and massage it using a shampoo. Avoid putting shampoo in its eyes, ear, and face. Rinse the cat with lukewarm water and, finally, wipe her face with a cloth.

Wrap it in a towel and let her dry in a warm place. Once the cat has taken a bath peacefully, treat her with some good food as a reward for its patience.

4.    Clip the Cat’s Nails

Get a professional nail clipper to cut the nails of your cat. You can use Casfuy Grinder to cut the nails of your cat. This clipper uses an advanced Diamond Bit Grinder to ensure safe and comfortable pet claw grinding.

It is recommended by veterinarians and many other pet grooming professionals. The tool helps to trim your cat’s nails painlessly and precisely with utmost comfort-ability. Initially, your cat might feel uncomfortable getting used to this tool and passing the nail cutting process, so you have to be careful in making sure that it does not get hurt.

5.    Monitor Your Cats Ears and Eyes

Get a routine checkup of your cat’s eyes and ears. These both are susceptible organs of their body. Make sure to take your cats to a veterinarian for a thorough checkup at least once a year.

Also, in between the vet visits, you must check your cat’s ear monthly for wax, debris, or infection. During the examination, make sure that the ear flap has no bald spots and that its inner surface is clean and light pink.

If any debris is found, you can wipe it away by a cotton ball dampened in a liquid cat ear cleaning solution.

Similarly, monitor your cat’s eyes to ensure that they are clear, bright, and free of any swelling or redness. These symptoms are a sign of the presence of an infection. If found, consult the veterinarian instantly.

Conclusion

So, the outcome of the above discussion is that cat grooming is essential to maintain the cat’s overall health. It helps to keep the cat’s clean and tidy and free from any diseases.

Use professional cat grooming tools to ensure cat grooming and also take it to the veterinarian at least once in a week for a thorough checkup.

My Cat Has a Runny Nose and is Drooling

cat has a runny nose

It can be quite distressing for cat owners to see their feline friend unwell. It is also difficult to know when you should take them to the veterinarian or seek advice online or just wait. In particular when my cat has a runny nose and is drooling I become quite worried they may have a feline upper respiratory infection. In the current coronavirus pandemic it can be additionally concerning as not a lot is know about the virus yet.

Symptoms to check for

A runny nose is a discharge of fluid from the nasal passage. It can be watery or thick and can be clear or it may have streaks of pus or in some cases blood. This would give the discharge a slightly red, green or yellow color.

In addition to the runny nose you should look out for discharge from your cat’s eyes and whether they have a stuffy nose. Your cat may also be sneezing and lost some of their appetite. If your cat has lost weight this should be of particular concern.

Possible Causes

There are many possible causes your cat has a runny nose and is drooling and whilst we will mention them here none of these may be the cause for your cat. If you are concerned you should ask a vet.

  1. Upper Respiratory Infection (commonly known as Cat Flu). In some cases cats develop ulcerations in their mouths which increase saliva flow causing drooling.
  2. Allergies can cause similar reactions in cats as they do with humans and may be the cause of your cat’s runny nose and drooling.
  3. Infections such as bacterial or fungal in your cat’s nasal cavity can cause the runny nose.
  4. Foreign objects in your cat’s nose can cause issues. This could occur if you cat swallows a blade of cat grass, a small fish bone or another object which becomes stuck in their mouth or esophagus. In addition to the runny nose your cat may paw at their mouth or try to vomit to dislodge the object. Swallowing will be uncomfortable for them.
  5. Dental disease is another potential cause of cat drooling due to an irritation that is caused in the cat’s mouth. The drool is the cat’s natural way to sooth their discomfort. Following a good dental care plan, as detailed in our article “The SECRETS to Cat Teeth”, will help prevent this occurring.
  6. Oral cancer, nasal polyps or tumors in a cat’s mouth, nasal cavity or throat can result in excessive and ongoing drooling.
  7. Extreme emotions in your cat can cause them to have excessive drooling such as fear and happiness. If they are very excited, upset or scared this can cause the cat to have some nausea which may lead to drooling.
  8. Pneumonia is another potential cause of your cat’s runny nose and drooling as this is a respiratory problem.

What Should I do?

Depending on the number of symptoms your cat has you could monitor them initially. Make sure they have a quiet and warm area in which to rest; just as we humans do when we are unwell. It is very important to make sure your cat is eating. If your cat’s nose is blocked they may not be able to smell their food and may not feel hungry. If you have wet food you should try feeding it to your cat as it has a stronger smell that may attract them and it also will give your cat some fluids.

If your cat’s chest is congested you can try using a humidifier as you would do with a young child or for yourself to help clear the nasal passages. If you do not have a humidifier you can try running hot water in your shower a couple of times a day and taking your cat into the bathroom so the steam helps clear their nasal passages.

When should I contact a veterinarian?

If your are concerned you should ask a veterinarian immediately either online or by calling your local vet. If have decided to wait and monitor your cat you should look out for the following symptoms and if they present themselves you should contact a veterinarian immediately.

  • Not eating for more than one day for kittens or two days for adult cats
  • The color of discharge from their nose or eyes is slightly red, green or yellow.
  • Your cat is panting, breathing with their mouth open or they are panting or having difficulty breathing.
  • If your cat does not respond to you, they are lethargic and seem very despondent.
  • Any diarrhea or vomiting that last for more than 24 hours.

How does the veterinarian diagnose the issue?

Often the veterinarian can diagnose the issue by observing your cat but they need to understand all symptoms you have observed in addition to the runny nose or drooling. This will allow the vet to diagnose any underlying issues.

If the discharge from your cat’s nose is clear the vet may diagnose an allergy without further testing but in some cases they may recommend a further test. If the discharge is slightly red, green or yellow they will like want to do further testing such as a blood test or nasal swab. the swab and blood sample will look for abnormalities such as infection. If these are clear the vet may perform a scan or endoscopy to look for foreign objects, polyps or tumors.

my cat has a runny nose and is drooling

Possible treatment

Depending on the diagnosis your cat may need antibiotics, if an infection is the cause. These will most likely be an oral medication you will need to give your cat and ensure they swallow. If your cat has polyps or a foreign object in their nasal cavity the vet may need to perform surgery to remove them safely.

Other potential treatments for possible causes can be anti-inflammatory or anti-fungal medication. Regardless of the diagnosis and treatment, ensuring your cat is drinking plenty of water is critical to their recovery. It can also help to keep their nose and eyes clean; but be careful to avoid further contamination by not using the same side of the tissue or wipe you are using to clean each area.

How long will recovery take

Recovery time is difficult to estimate without knowing the true cause of your cat’s runny nose and drooling. Recovery from allergies is usually quick if you have worked out what they are allergic to and removed it from their environment.

If your cat has had surgery to remove a polyp or foreign object they may need at least a week to recover and a check up with your veterinarian. For infections the recovery will occur after the course of antibiotics or anti-fungal medication has been taken.

Summary

There are so many possible causes if your cat has a runny nose or they are drooling it is hard to know sometimes what action you should take. We hope we have provided you with some suggestions to help.

If you are unsure it is always recommended you contact a vet. To ease your mind there are cat veterinarians available online 24 hours a day 7 days a week; simply click here.

When Should You Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian?

When Should You Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian?

Cat owners are always wondering if their cats need to pay a visit to a veterinarian or not? The answer to this question is not that simple. Your cat is never in a position to be able to tell you directly what’s going on with them. Do they require a visit to the veterinarian or not? It’s the job of the cat owner to identify the symptoms and plan a visit when required.

Regular check-ups are necessary to maintain your cat’s health. To ensure your cat stays healthy and free of diseases, you must ensure you take it to a veterinarian for a thorough check-up once a year.

Identifying the Hidden Symptoms

Apart from these regular visits or the general symptoms which your cat may show such as sickness, seizure, eye injury or severe allergic reaction, cats may also experience specific symptoms which are hard to identify. It becomes necessary for you to visit the veterinarian with your cat before the condition gets worse.

It is a known fact that cats do a great job in hiding their illness from their owners until they experience severe pain. Hence in such conditions, medical attention might not be apparent but is important. 

Most of the time, it becomes difficult to identify such symptoms and to decide if your cat requires a visit to the veterinarian or not.

So, here in this article, we have listed some of the symptoms your cat may exhibit, which will indicate they may need to see a veterinarian to get a thorough check-up. Let’s discuss some of these conditions.

1.      Your Cat is Showing Abnormal Behavior

If your cat is showing abnormal behaviour which may include irregular activities, poor eating schedule and other such things, then there is a great possibility that it may be experiencing some disease or pain.

Usually, when a cat experiences any problem, it avoids interaction, becomes lethargic skips grooming or simply may not want to interact with the people. If this happens, you must take your cat to the veterinarian and ask for suggestions accordingly.

2.      The Eating Behavior of Your Cat Has Changed

If your cat is not feeling well, it may refuse to eat anything. In some cases, an illness may also increase the appetite of the cat. Not only eating habits but also the drinking habits of your cat may change when it is experiencing any health problems.

So, if your cat is facing abnormal eating or drinking habits, you should consult a veterinarian.

If you aren’t able to take your cat to the vet or you just are not sure what to do another option is to can use the an online veterinarian to discuss the situation. Experienced veterinarians are available 24/7, and you can easily find a meaningful solution to the problems your cat is suffering. So, to discuss the situation with a veterinarian online click here.

3.      Your Cat’s Gums Change its Color

The color of a cat’s gums reveals a lot about their physical health. A healthy gum will be pink in color. If you press that gum the color of the gum will return to the same color within a few seconds after removing your finger.

If the color of the gum stays different for longer this is indicative of potential problems. For example, a bluish colored gum is indicative of a lack of oxygen, whereas a yellowish color may be a sign of liver disease.

If you see a change in the gum color of your cat you should consider consulting a veterinarian.

4.      Abnormal Walking of your Cat

If you observe any abnormality in the way your cat walks, you should take this issue seriously. In most cases, cats are unable to put weight on their limbs, which is indicative of arthritis, an infection or a fracture.

If you observe this condition, plan a visit to the cat hospital or discuss the issue with an experienced veterinarian online by clicking here.

5.      Cat’s Inability to Urinate

If you see your cat visiting the litter box again and again in a short duration, then you must pay close attention to them. Pay careful attention to see whether your cat producing urine or not.

There is a possibility that your cat may be experiencing bladder blockages (stones), infections or possibly cancer. A more specific disease associated with the cats is the Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD causes severe inflammation in the urethra causing them the inability to urinate. This condition quite distressing for your pet. So, if your cat is experiencing any such symptoms you should consider consulting a veterinarian.

6.      Coughing or Abnormal Breathing

These respiratory issues can be symptoms of tumors, respiratory diseases, parasites or any other such toxins. So, consult the veterinarian and find a proper solution to this problem before the condition gets worse.

If you feel that your cat is experiencing any respiratory system changes such as coughing, increase in the number of breaths or more shallow breathing, then the cat needs to be taken to a veterinarian for a thorough check-up.

7.      Your Cat Resists Self-Grooming

Cats are known to be self-grooming creatures. They usually spend a lot more time in grooming themselves. However, if you see they are not paying attention to their grooming and their fur is starting to become greasy, filthy and matted, it means they are suffering from some sort of disease. It is recommended you seek the advice of a veterinarian.

Conclusion

The outcome of the above discussion is that the cats rely on their owners to for cat care. As a cat owner, you must pay attention to ensure they stay healthy and fit.

Carefully analyze any behavioral changes of your cat, and if you experience any abnormality in its behavior, contact a veterinarian and discuss the situation. Veterinarians are available 24/7 online by clicking here.

The Secrets to CAT TEETH

The Secrets to CAT TEETH

We all love pets and spending our leisure time with them. As we cat lovers know, felines are among the most loved pets in homes across the world.

However, keeping pets is one thing, and taking care of them is another. Even the most low maintenance pet, like a cat, places demands on us as owners as they can be vulnerable to diseases and health issues. If you are one of those who loves to keep cats as a pet, then this article is worth reading. We highlight all the secrets you need to know regarding your cat’s teeth to ensure you keep their teeth healthy, clean and strong.

Helpful Information Regarding Cat Teeth

The inside of a cat’s mouth is nothing else than a mystery to humans as we avoid being nipped by sharp teeth. However, staying on top of the condition of your cat’s teeth is necessary to maintain the overall health and wellness of your pet.

Dr. Dan Carmichael, who is a board-certified veterinary dentist at NYC’s medical center, explains that cats are born without teeth just like humans. Their baby teeth start coming out when they are about two weeks old.

After about three months, the baby teeth start falling out to make room for their permanent, or adult, teeth. If properly taken care of, the cat’s adult teeth last for their entire life.

How Many Teeth Does a Cat Have?

We all know that cats have very sharp teeth. Their teeth are sharp enough to pierce through your skin and cause severe damage. Cats usually have 30 teeth in total. Fourteen are in the lower jaw and 16 in the upper jaw. The cat also has four molars at the back of its mouth.

The teeth that are the most important ones are the four canines, which are very sharp and long. Cats do not chew their food because their molars are not flat. So, instead of crushing their food, they simply eat it.

Diseases Associated to Cat’s Teeth

Like humans, cat’s teeth are also vulnerable to diseases such as gum disease, oral inflammation, and oral cancer. They are also prone to a severe condition called tooth resorption. These conditions can be quite painful for your beloved cats.

Hence, it becomes necessary for the owner to clean the cat’s teeth regularly. Let’s find out how you can clean your cat’s teeth and what products are best for cleaning purposes.

Cat Teeth Cleaning

Cleaning your cat’s teeth is essential for maintaining healthy and strong teeth. Cleaning and brushing your cat’s teeth with a specially pet-designed brush regularly can prevent the buildup of bacteria, which causes severe dental conditions.

Brushing your cat’s teeth might feel a challenging task for you. However, it is not that difficult. You can train yourself as well as your cats to get their teeth cleaned with patience.

How to Clean the Clean the Cat’s Teeth?

Let’s now discuss a complete procedure to clean your cat’s teeth.

1.    Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian

If you prefer, and can afford it, you can take your cat to a professional Veterinarian. They will let you know if your cat has a buildup of plaque or tartar.

Plaque may be cleaned by careful brushing, but tartar requires the use of specific tools that are only available at the Veterinarian’s clinic. The Veterinarian will also describe the overall oral health of your cat’s teeth and will recommend the best products that can be used safely for teeth cleaning.

2.    Purchase the Cat Teeth Cleaning Products

The essential cat teeth cleaning products include a specially designed toothbrush for cleaning the cat’s teeth and a pet-safe toothpaste.

Never opt to use human toothpaste because they contain fluoride, which is toxic to cats. Also, be careful while choosing the toothpaste because a toothpaste containing xylitol as a sweetener in it can be deadly to the cat.

You can purchase a pet dental kit, which contains the right toothbrush and toothpaste by clicking here.

3.    Place Your Cat on a Comfortable Surface

Placing your cat on a comfortable surface helps it to stay relaxed during the teeth cleaning process. You can also wrap it in a towel to avoid any scratches if it tries to run away.

4.    Introduce Your Cat to the Tooth Paste and the Tooth Brush

Allowing your cat to interact with the toothbrush and the toothpaste will make it more comfortable and ready for the cleaning process. Put the toothpaste on the toothbrush and nicely introduce it to your cat. Make sure that the cat stays relaxed and does not get panicked.

To make the process easier for the cat, you can also put a little bit of toothpaste on your finger and let the cat lick it.

Allowing the cat to interact with the brush and the paste for at least once a day for 2-3 days before actually starting the actual cleaning process will make it easier for them to get used to the tools before use.

5.    Start the Teeth Cleaning Process

Once the cat gets used to the dental kit, now you can start the teeth cleaning process. Make sure to acclimate the paste gently along with the gum and teeth.

It will take 30 seconds to 1 minute to brush your cat’s teeth.

6.    Reward Your Cat with Healthy Food

Once the teeth cleaning process is complete, and your cat has patiently cooperated with you throughout the cleaning process, you should reward your cat with healthy food at the end.

However, if you felt that the cat was reluctant throughout the process, do not offer it a treat as it can reinforce a negative image in its mind regarding the toothbrush and toothpaste.

If this happens, then in the future, the cat would assume that she would only be rewarded once she stays away from these cleaning tools.

To ensure that your cat’s teeth stay healthy, you should aim to brush its teeth at least twice in a week

Alternatives to Brushing Your Cat’s Teeth

After putting all the effort in, if you still feel your cat is reluctant to the brushing or you struggle with time, then you can include cat dental treats as part of its diet. One such treat is the Feline Greenies Natural Dental care cat treat.

There are also some dental care solutions available that are great for eliminating cat’s bad breath. These solutions also fight tartar, plaque, and gum disease. They are simple to use and can be applied by simply adding them to your cat’s water. One such dental care solution is the oxy-fresh premium.

Final Words

Cat teeth cleaning is essential for maintaining the overall health and wellness of your cat. If you are fond of keeping cats at home, then develop a habit of cleaning its teeth regularly. We hope the above information helped make the cat teeth cleaning process more manageable and we have removed the mystery for you.

What is the Best Cat Food?

royal canin cat food

Everyone has an opinion or idea of what they think they should feed their cat or kitten. Whether it is milk or fish or chicken or supermarket cat food, the options are exhaustive. In fact there is such a vast amount of information it can be overwhelming and confusing for cat owners. This article aims to demystify things it for you so you can make an informed decision.

Check out our list of the Best Cat Food and Best Kitten Food at the end of this article.

Cats are Meat Eaters

Cats are meat eaters. As carnivores they must have meat protein to maintain their health. There are cheap cat food options but to ensure you cat has a long healthy life it is important you choose a good quality food. Cat food is produced for age groups and it is important you choose the food that is for your cat’s age as it has been designed for their optimal health. Sometimes cats require special diets such as urinary tract cat food or sensitive skin. If you are not sure you can always seek advice from your vet or via our Online Vet. They can determine the health of your cat and what the best diet is for them but if they haven’t had any health concerns you can start with a diet that is designed for their age.

How much should I feed my cat?

This is a very important question to ask so you avoid having an overweight cat. Your cat’s weight, age and size are key determinants in how much food they will need. Just like humans each cat’ body works a little differently so if you are getting advice from a friend, what they feed their cat may not be the right amount for yours. Being careful to avoid having an overweight cat is extremely important to your cat living a longer life. One of the other most critical things is to ensure your cat always has plenty of clean water to drink. Checking their water daily will ensure they have sufficient water and also it is clean and fresh.

Can I feed my cat a vegan diet?

Humans can survive quite well on a vegan diet as they can consume many alternate protein sources. However, our feline friends are not able to eat the same items as we can and will perish if fed a vegan diet. As carnivores they must have meat as it will provide the nutrients they need to survive and thrive.

Meat does not mean only red meat. How many times have you heard someone refer to their tuna lunch as “cat food”? A lot of cat’s love fish but it is not something they should eat daily. High levels of fatty acids, contained in fish, can cause a deficiency in vitamin E in your cat. Moderation is warranted. We recommend focusing on a mainly dry cat food diet with some wet food and a little raw meat such as raw chicken wings.

Is Cat Milk Good for Cats?

We have grown up seeing kittens drinking milk on TV all the time so it is no wonder we all think that is what cats and kittens should be given. Let us dispel that myth as milk is not at all good for cats. It can cause stomach upsets, cramps and diarrhoea. One of the most common misconceptions is that all milk is good for cats! Milk can be high in fat, in fact one saucer of milk is the equivalent of four burgers (based on a 4.5kg cat and an average size woman) – but giving your cat ordinary cows’ milk can also cause upset tummies, cramps and even severe diarrhoea.

A relatively unknown fact is that most cats are lactose intolerant. This means that when a cat drinks milk the undigested lactose passes through their digestive system drawing water from their intestines. Cats and kittens are unable to pass lactose easily through their intestines and then into the bloodstream, so it essentially gets stuck in the intestines causing pain and discomfort. In extreme cases of diarrhea it can also be fatal for kittens.

If you really want to give your cat or kitten milk we recommend one specifically developed for felines, like

royal canin cat food

Just as with growing children it is important to give your kitten the right diet to allow them to grow strong and healthy. this includes making sure their bones and joints grow well so issues arising with age are minimized. Starting from this young age, and continuing throughout their life, kittens should be given a well balanced and good quality dry kitten food.

Our top 5 recommended best dry cat food for kittens are:

  1. Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet Kitten Food Variety Pack
  2. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Kitten Food
  3. Purina ONE Grain Free Natural Pate Wet Kitten Food
  4. Iams Perfect Portions Healthy Kitten Grain Free Wet Cat Food
  5. Wellness Natural Grain Free Wet Cat Food for Kittens

Adult cats

As with kittens your adult cat needs a good quality dry cat food as the base of its diet. If your cat seems to have health issues you should consult your vet, or our Online Vet, in case your cat needs a special diet. For most cats a good quality dry food will provide them with the nutrition they need for a healthy life.

royal canin cat food

Providing your cat with some raw chicken wings will not only give them more protein but help with their teeth. If decide to provide any fresh meat products to your cat please make sure it is fit for human consumption as tht will ensure it does not contain any preservatives which may be harmful to your furry friend.

Our top 5 recommended best dry food for adult cats are:

  1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
  2. Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food with Chicken
  3. Purina ONE Natural Dry Cat Food
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food Adult Perfect Weight
  5. Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

For those preferring to add a wet food to the diet, here are our top 5 recommended best wet food for adult cats:

  1. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Adult Minced Savory
  2. Purina Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food Variety Pack
  3. Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Natural Adult Flaked Wet Cat Food
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Adult Healthy Cuisine
  5. Iams Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Grain Free Wet Cat Food

Senior, or older, cats

As your cat ages you will need to adjust what they eat to make sure they maintain their health and limit issues which may arise. Age can change how your cat’s body processes their food and what type of diet they need. Unlike when your cat is younger, as a senior cat they may benefit from having more wet food than they have had previously. This will help them to maintain their fluid intake. It may be prudent to check with your vet, or our Online Vet, if you are not sure what type of diet to put your older cat on.

blue buffalo cat food

As with our recommendations for kittens and adult cats, whatever diet your cat is on should be good quality so it provides the nutrients they need to keep them healthy. Your older cat may become less active so being aware of the amount of food you are feeding them will be important so you don’t end up with an overweight cat. Whilst obesity is one thing to watch you need to ensure you do not underfeed your older cat as they can have equally harmful effects on their health. As they age your cat may prefer to eat more, smaller sized, meals each day so try to do that where possible. If your cat eats smaller meals more frequency it can aid in better urinary tract health. If you are ever in doubt you should consult a veterinarian.

Our top 5 recommended best dry cat food for senior cats are:

  1. Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Natural Mature Dry Cat Food
  2. Purina Pro Plan Senior Pate Wet Cat Food
  3. Royal Canin Aging 12+ Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Cat Food
  4. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Adult 11+
  5. Purina Friskies Natural Grain Free Senior Broth
  6. Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Natural Mature Pate

Your Cat is Not a Human

Lastly a little reminder that your cat is not human. It’s dietary needs are different to ours so it is important to make sure you feed your cat a well balanced good quality cat food plus some raw meat. If you are ever unsure whether your cat needs a different diet you should consult your vet. Most cats live healthy uncomplicated lives with the right diet for their age.

Is Cat CBD Worthwhile For Your Pet?

Medical marijuana has a surprising growth market: pets. People looking to help their senior cats regain mobility or ease the pain of cats battling cancer are turning to a hemp-derived product called CBD, or cannabidiol.

The stories are compelling—older cats playing like kittens again, cats battling cancer once again devouring their dinner, cats (and people) who suffer from seizures seeing a diminished or complete cessation of incidents. And that’s not all. From anxiety reduction to diminished pain, CBD seemingly does it all.

Q: But what exactly is it?

CBD is derived from hemp but, unlike THC, is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you—or your pet—high.

CBD is said to offer relief from pain, anxiety, and depression, stimulate the appetite and quell inflammatory response. Proponents testify it’s a remarkably effective, natural way to deal with all manner of ailments, including seizures while helping people and pets alike relax. Many, many cat people have found that their cats have a new lease on life following the administering of CBD.

Q: Where can I find it?

You’ll find pet-specific CBD products available in tinctures, oils, cat treats, and orally administered sprays, available in pet stores, dispensaries, and online shops.

Owners report that cats suffering from pain, anxiety, loss of appetite, and seizures, among other ailments, have shown remarkable improvement without suffering the side effects of conventionally prescribed medicines. The anecdotal evidence from pet owners that have seen a remarkable turnaround in their pets after administering CBD is pretty darn compelling, but as with everything, check with your vet. There are many proponents within the veterinary community who have seen success in treating a wide variety of ailments.

Q: But is it Legal?

In the U.S., if you are in 1 of the 10 cannabis-legal states (meaning they allow for recreational use—think California and Colorado), you can pick up CBD anywhere. Other states allow for medicinal marijuana (and derivative) use, and still, others allow access to CBD. Most retailers, advocates, and aficionados say that CBD products derived from hemp are okay to use, buy, and sell.

In Canada? No problem. Canada is the second nation in the world to legalize both the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana and marijuana-derived products like CBD. And Health Canada recently approved a clinical trial to research the use of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat animal anxiety.

CBD + Your Cat

Get started with CBD with these products designed for cats!

Made from organically grown hemp oil and wild Antarctic krill oil, Grizzly Pet Product’s Calming Aid for dogs and cats is designed to help your cat cope with nervousness, anxiety, and external stressors, all without drowsiness! $25, grizzlypetproducts.com

Your little tiger will love Green Roads purr-fect CBD pet formula! These pharmacist formulated, non-intoxicating, third-party lab-tested CBD pet drops can help your cat with anxiety, pain relief, and more. $20, greenroadsworld.com

Your cat deserves to chill and Chill Paws is on a mission to make that happen! Their full-spectrum CBD oil uses 100 percent hemp-derived CBD and can help with your cat’s anxiety, arthritis, and more. Plus it won’t break the bank for pet parents! $25, chillpaws.com

Made with organic and natural ingredients, Pet CBD from Myriam’s Hope is formulated for maximum absorption and efficacy making it a great option for your kitty. This full-spectrum oil is also sugar-free and vegan so you know your cat is only getting the best. $35, myriamshopehemp.com

HOW to GET RID of FLEAS on KITTENS

capstar for cats

It is hard to know what the right flea meds for kittens are. Many cat owners experience the issue of fleas with new kittens and cats. One of the questions we are asked is “are cat fleas and dog fleas different?” In short the answer is yes, scientifically, but in reality the issues they cause are much the same. Symptoms of flea infestation in your kitten include excessive itching, red skin and there can be secondary infections. In some extreme cases cats may develop flea allergy dermatitis. This is not a common outcome and as long as you treat the flea infestation quickly your kitten or cat should recover well. Unlike dogs, our feline friends are good at hiding they have fleas. Fleas are more prevalent in outdoor cats but any of you with indoor cats may still have a flea problem. Fleas are fast moving and hard to spot. They are very small which makes them hard to see even if you have great eyesight! Fleas feast on your cats blood, similar to mosquitoes, and cause itching. Depending on the level of infestation, and your cats skin sensitivity, the severity of the itch and potential hair loss can vary. As recommended with children, if you have seen fleas on your kitten remain calm and treat with the right medication.

Cat Insects

Whilst there are many different types of fleas the most common for cats is the Ctenocephalides felis. If you see your kitten scratching, and you haven’t seen any fleas, first try using a flea comb. This will allow you to see whether any little black dots (fleas) appear. Flea dirt, as it is known, is the excrement of the fleas. I am sure you can imagine the excrement, flea dirt, is difficult to spot. Fleas are small so their excrement is even smaller and very hard to see yet irritating for your cat. If your kitten is still scratching and you haven’t spotted any black dots with the comb it does not mean no fleas are present. They are good at hiding in cat’s fur and harder if you have a multi-colored feline friend. An interesting experiment, if you do find some black dots, is to crush some with a paper towel dampened with some water. As the flea has been feasting on your cat’s blood the flea dirt will turn an orange, almost rust, color.

Flea Life Cycle

I’m sure when you decided to adopt a kitten you didn’t think you would want to know about the life cycle of a flea! Now your furry friend may have an infestation it is good knowledge to have. As with most insects there are multiple stages to a fleas’ life.

  • Animals are the host where fleas lay their eggs and often the entire cycle may take place on that animal. Some eggs naturally fall off around your home with your cat scratching and moving around. This means you may need to check your carpets, cat bed, couch and your own bed for fleas.
  • The next stage is a little gross. It is the flea larvae which hatches and feeds on the faeces left by the adult. For the next six months it continues to develop in your home and no doubt creates havoc.
  • Whilst nowhere near as attractive as a butterfly the flea larvae spins a cocoon in which it grows into an adult. Unlike butterflies the flea can hold off emerging from its cocoon for up to one year.
  • When the adult flea emerges from its cocoon it goes on a feeding frenzy on your cat before it mates and begins the cycle of life once more. I am sure none of us want this experience occurring on the skin of our kitten or cat!
One of the most common questions is how to get rid of fleas on cats
does bravecto kill flea eggs

Diseases Carried by Fleas

By now you are already looking for a solution to get rid of the fleas but in case you need a little more convincing I would like to share some common diseases carried by fleas which can cause more significant issues for your kitten or cat. As with many insects fleas can carry and pass on other conditions which can have a disastrous effect on your feline friend. These can include:

  • Being blood suckers, fleas can carry blood born parasites including haemobartonellosis (Mycoplasma Haemofelis). This parasite is nasty and can cause fever, severe illness and anemia. Haemofelis in cat’s. This disease is diagnosed by blood tests run by your veterinarian and will then be treated by antibiotics. Blood transfusions may be needed if your cat has a severe case.
  • If a flea infestation is not treated it can cause anemia due to the blood loss. In some cases this can cause the death of your cat with kittens at greater risk. To check for anemia you can look at the gums of your cat and if they are pale that is a sign of potential problems and you should seek immediate veterinary attention.
  • Tapeworms: A common parasite is the tapeworm which is another disease carried by fleas and found in cat’s who have a flea infestation.

Safest Flea Treatment for Cats

As a responsible cat owner you will firstly want to remove as many fleas as possible from your kitten or cat. You may have tried the flea comb mentioned in this article but you want to make sure they are all gone. The next thing to try is bathing your cat or kitten in specially designed shampoo such as a natural plant-based formula. If you have a kitten they may tolerate a bath as they are still young and you are able to handle their smaller size. It may be distressing for them so you should be as calm as possible. Cat’s do not like water especially around their ears so care must be taken when bathing older cats. It is critical you do not force a cat who is distressed from the flea infestation. The bath will not solve the problem on its own so if your kitten is too distressed you should skip this step and try either an oral or topical flea treatment. The combination of the comb and bath may be enough if you have caught the fleas early, but they are fast and good at hiding so well camouflaged rogues may remain. For the safest path to prevent further flea infestations we recommend using either an oral flea control or a topical flea control. Both work by focusing on the flea’s nerve receptors via your cat’s skin. In most cases these treatments are used once but if you have a well progressed infestation it may be wise to use the treatment two or three times as directed on the product packaging. Most veterinarians recommend an annual preventative treatment so you can stay on top of the situation before it becomes an issue. If you have more than one cat, or a dog, in your home it is recommended this treatment is done at the same time with all animals in your home. When using medications please make sure it is one designed for cats or kittens, like the one’s linked in this article, and that you take note of the size of your pet and purchase the one best suited to their weight. For alternate flea treatments to those mentioned above we recommend the following: Flea combs:

Flea shampoo:

Oral Flea control:

Topical Flea control

Do Not Forget to Remove Fleas From Your Own Home

Now you have dealt with the flea infestation on your cat, do not forget areas such as your carpet, bedding, mattress and areas where flea eggs may be hiding. It is important that you wash all bedding, vacuum your carpets daily and dispose of the vacuum bags so you are not leaving the fleas and their eggs in your home. While you have the vacuum out make sure you also do your mattress and any small crevices around your home. If you still have concerns you can apply a carpet flea treatment yourself or have your carpets cleaned professionally. The heat and steam from the cleaners will kill any remaining fleas and eggs that have been missed. You can also ask professional cleaners to add a flea treatment.  If you deal with your first infestation thoroughly and include an annual prevention regime you should avoid any further flea problems with your cat. Not only will your kitten or cat be grateful but no doubt everyone else in your household will be as well. Whilst our recommendations should resolve the issue in most cases, it is important that if you think your cat or kitten is unwell you seek advice from a veterinarian immediately. If you are unable to get to a vet you can try an online vet for on the spot advice.

Scooping the Litter Box is More Valuable Than You Realize!

If you’ve read my books or are familiar with my advice, you know I always recommend cat caregivers scoop the litter box at least twice a day. Cats are very clean animals and when they go to the box for elimination, they certainly don’t want to have to climb over mounds of old fecal waste or clumps of urine. Frequent and consistent litter box scooping isn’t just about cleanliness though. Every time you scoop the litter, it’s an opportunity to monitor your cat’s health.

how to clean litter box

One of the reasons I don’t like self-cleaning or electronic litter boxes is that they take away your ability to monitor what is or isn’t happening in your cat’s litter box. Very often, one of the first signs that something medical might be going on with your cat is when you notice a change in litter box deposits.

I know this isn’t necessarily a pleasant job, but if you become familiar with how your cat’s urine clumps and poo look and smell, it may help you detect a potential problem in the earliest stages.

What to Look For

When it comes to urine, pay attention as you’re scooping, to the typical size of the urine clump and how often urine is deposited in the box. If you notice a change in the size, for example, if the urine clumps appear larger and are deposited more frequently, it could indicate something such as diabetes or kidney issues. If the urine clumps are smaller than normal, perhaps the cat may be experiencing pain upon urination or might also be urinating in other locations due to a sense of urgency. If you detect any blood in the litter, it could mean there’s a urinary tract problem. Since cats can be prone to urinary issues, it’s important to know what’s normal for your cat so you can be alerted to a potential problem and get your cat to the veterinarian right away.

For fecal deposits, pay attention to the normal size, appearance, and smell. Not fun, I realize, but it’s extremely important. If you notice the fecal waste appears very hard and is deposited in small balls, it may mean constipation. Examine the stool for signs of excessive hair, because there may be a hairball problem going on and you want to address that immediately to avoid the risk of a blockage. As you scoop, look for signs of diarrhea and loose stools as well. Look for anything out of the ordinary, such as slimy-looking stool, a change in color, or an unfamiliar odor. I know cat poop doesn’t smell great, to begin with, but there should be a consistency to the fecal odor.

scoop cat litter

Pay Attention to Your Cat’s Routine

If you scoop on a frequent and regular schedule, you’ll be in a better position to catch a potential problem in the early stage as well as be alerted to irregularities in routine. If your cat normally deposits a certain number of urine clumps each day and then you start noticing fewer clumps, it may be a sign that he’s eliminating outside of the box. This could be due to a medical issue, current litter box conditions, or something happening in the environment. The sooner you’re aware of the potential problem, the sooner you can address it.

Multicat Household Challenges

When you have more than one cat, it becomes more difficult to know which cat is doing what in the litter box. Provide an adequate number of boxes that are placed in the frequented areas of each cat to increase the chances of identifying individual litter box location preferences. This will make it easier to monitor each cat.

If you have a small multicat environment of about 2 or 3 cats, you’re probably familiar enough with each cat’s litter box schedule and how they eliminate in each box. For example, you may have a cat who never covers or one who always eliminates in a specific location inside the box, (such as one favorite corner).

Even if you absolutely can’t identify which cat is having a problem, you will at least be alerted that there IS a problem and can start watching more closely or take the most likely suspect to the veterinarian to start with, and then work from there.

cat litter scoop

Your Cat Depends on You

Very often, it’s a change in the cat’s litter box routine or in the urine/stool itself that becomes the first early warning of a problem. When at the veterinary clinic, even for a routine annual exam, the veterinarian will ask about the cat’s litter box habits. It’s a valuable diagnostic tool that may make a difference in maintaining your cat’s health. If you haven’t been scooping your cat’s litter box at least twice a day, then now is the time to start.

Pam Johnson-Bennett
Certified Cat Behavior Consultant & Best-Selling Author

Cat Behaviorist

Pam Johnson-Bennett is a certified cat behavior consultant and best-selling author of 8 books on cat behavior. She starred in the Animal Planet series Psycho Kitty, seen in Canada and the UK. She was a vice president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and founded their cat division. She has served on an advisory board for the American Humane Association as well as other animal welfare organizations.

Pam is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting, having started her career in 1982. Some of her books have been used as textbooks for behavior courses and she has influenced many practicing in the field today. Her book, Think Like a Cat, has been referred to as the cat bible.

Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, located in Tennessee. She lives with her husband, two children, a rescued cat, and a rescued dog.

What You Need To Ask When You Hire a Pet Sitter!

Have you ever considered using a pet sitter? What do you ask to make sure your fur baby is well taken care of?

pet sitter

I had an emergency visit with panicked cat parents. They had just returned from a three-week vacation and could not find their cat.  After a frantic search, they finally located her, comatose in the attic.  She had followed them up there when they had gone to retrieve their suitcases and they did not realize it when they shut the door behind them.  She had been locked in there for 3 weeks with no food or known water.  They had done everything right! The cat’s parents hired a house sitter to stay at the house to look after the animals.  The pet sitter just assumed the cat was hiding and scared when she did not eat or use the litter box….for three weeks.  Miraculously, we were able to save her and this family made a huge impact on me forever.

Traveling is a part of life for many of us whether it be for business or pleasure. Your cat will prefer to stay at home with a pet sitter and not go to a boarding facility.  Some pet sitters will stay at your house while you are away. Others will make a visit once or twice a day.

Pet Sitter Cat

To be extra careful, let your veterinarian know that you will be traveling and leave information for where they can reach you.  You can even leave a letter with your veterinarian about how to proceed with care, in the event that you are unreachable.

To make sure that there is no miscommunication, and to be aware if there is a problem right away, have your pet sitter send you daily updates with this checklist. You can enjoy your getaway when you know your cat is in good hands.

PET SITTER CHECKLIST

I saw the cat today.  Yes/No

I played with the cat for _____ minutes.

The cat is acting normally. Yes/No

If no, please explain.

The cat is eating normally. Yes/No

If no, please explain.

The cat is drinking normally. Yes/No

If no, please explain.

There was urine in the litter box. Yes/No

There was feces in the litter box. Yes/No

Was there urine or feces outside of the litter box? Yes/No

(If yes.)  It was located ________________.

The cat vomited. Yes/No  If yes, please explain.

Our veterinarian’s number is ____________________

Our veterinarian’s address is ___________________________________________

Our emergency/after hours veterinarian is ____________________________

If there is an emergency and we can not be reached, you are authorized to (eg. spend up to $500, spend any amount necessary to provide care, euthanize etc)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________