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January 2019

Full Issue (PDF)

January 2019 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

 

Feature

The Challenges of Feline Dental Care

Cats don’t get cavities. Their teeth don’t touch each other in a way that lets cavity-causing bacteria collect between them, and they don’t have little pits and fissures in their teeth, like people do, to serve as natural places for cavities to form. The pH of their saliva also stops cavity formation.   More...

Rabies Remains a ThreatSubscribers Only

After a second cat tested positive for rabies in North Miami Beach this past fall, Florida’s Department of Health issued a rabies alert. The disease had been found in an unvaccinated stray, and at least one person in the area received rabies treatment; a second person was scratched by the cat and was being examined.   More...

Walk This Way

A cat, a giraffe, and a camel walk into a bar…in exactly the same way. These are the only three species who move the front and back legs on one side, then the front and back legs on the other.   More...

You Still Don’t Have Pet Health Insurance?

Only 5 percent of cats are covered by health insurance, according to a survey of more than 450 cat owners conducted by the American Pet Products Association. But 100 percent of cats get sick at one point or another, just like people. That’s why we firmly believe that cat owners should seriously consider buying a health insurance policy for their pets.   More...

Cats Won’t Share Whether They’re in Pain, But Here’s How to TellSubscribers Only

Ask someone with a cat what happens if the pet wants breakfast at 4 A.M. and you don’t feel like getting up and feeding her. They’ll keep annoying you until you do,” says Alicia Karas, DVM, a pain specialist at the Tufts Cummings School. “But when they’re not feeling well, they act more like prey species rather than the predators they are,” Dr. Karas comments. “They lie low. We don’t really know why. Unless you’re very astute about reading your pet,” you’ll very likely miss the cues.   More...

The Right Way to Perform CPR On Your PetSubscribers Only

Even the most caring cat owner probably wouldn’t list mouth-to-snout as the preferred way of expressing affection. But what if it could save the life of a companion animal who has stopped breathing?   More...

Introducing Your Kitten to Your HomeSubscribers Only

It’s a dilemma. You want to give your new kitten the best start in life, but so much of how she feels about people and the world in general is going to be imprinted on her brain between the ages of two and seven weeks, before she ever reaches your home. That’s because those critical weeks are considered a cat’s sensitive period of learning, when she picks up information about her world like a sponge. After that, her window of opportunity for learning begins to close. It never closes completely; but making new adjustments goes more slowly and doesn’t come as effortlessly.   More...

Walking Your Cat on a LeashSubscribers Only

So many house cats want what we can’t safely give them: the great outdoors. Their natural instinct is to explore, yet cats allowed to roam outside face multiple risks, including preying wildlife, fast-moving cars, parasites, accidental poisonings, and disease. For instance, a cat can get feline leukemia or upper respiratory infections from tangling with a feral cat, or become poisoned from lapping up sweet-tasting anti-freeze or nibbling on chemically treated lawns.   More...

Wet Bath, Dry Bath, Moist BathSubscribers Only

You’re not imagining it. Your cat does spend an inordinate about of time self-grooming—fully a third of her day. And she does it consciously, using her teeth to separate her fur and dig down and comb, and her tongue to brush everything smooth. So why even consider giving her a bath, given her already fussy dedication to self-cleansing?   More...

Ask the Doctor

Dear Doctor: Stoner CatsSubscribers Only

Q. Just what is it about catnip that gets cats high? And why do they go from being so intrigued by catnip to bored by it so quickly? Joe Easterbrook Eau Claire, Wisconsin Dear Mr. Easterbrook, A. Not just pets but also lions and tigers and other big cats are very susceptible to a volatile oil in catnip called nepetalactone. When the odor hits the nose and the nose alerts the brain, they exhibit behaviors common to females in…   More...

Dear Doctor: How long do they live?

Q. We just got our first kitten and are very excited. What is a cat’s life expectancy? Melissa Reardon Sunapee, New Hampshire Dear Ms. Reardon, A. The average life span of a pet cat is increasing as a result of advances in health care. Today it is somewhere between 13 and 17 years, but some house cats live well into their 20s. Obesity can shorten a cat’s life up to two years. House cats that are let outside to…   More...