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April 2018

Full Issue (PDF)

April 2018 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

 

Editor's Note

The Bright Side of Goodbye

Many readers of Catnip followed my chronicle last winter of raising a litter of six newborn kittens (with a lot of help from their young mama, thank goodness!). All seven moved into their new homes by Christmas time, with the kittens at the ideal age of three months old.   More...

Our Cats Are Too Fat

It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of American cats may be overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. This excess weight can lead to a variety of health conditions that are reversible with weight loss.   More...

Feature

Understanding Food Allergies

On the surface, food allergies may appear to be straightforward — the body reacting negatively to something ingested. When taking a closer look, however, food allergies are considerably more complex than that, and often require much trial and error to reach a solution.   More...

OTC Diet is Not the Same As a Prescription Diet

Many premium commercial pet food manufacturers now include foods that offer “novel” proteins and “limited ingredient,” “hypoallergenic” and “grain-free” formulas. Most comply with AAFCO guidelines and are easily available in a variety of price points. Many cat owners prefer to pick one of these instead of buying a therapeutic diet from a veterinarian’s office — especially when the ingredients on the labels appear to be so similar.   More...

Feline Cognitive DysfunctionSubscribers Only

According to census figures from the Humane Society of America, well over 90 million cats currently reside in U.S. homes, a record high for the nation’s domestic feline population. Much of the dramatic and steady increase is due to the pleasure that a rising number of people derive from having a cat around the house. However, the increase can also be attributed to the fact that cats are living longer nowadays than they did in the past.   More...

The Real Danger of FLUTD

It is very common in veterinary practices — especially feline-only practices — for clients to present a cat with the problem of straining to urinate. Typically, the straining is often accompanied by other signs, such as urinating more frequently, urinating very small amounts, and doing it in inappropriate places, i.e. places other than the litter box.   More...

How to Plant a Pet-Safe GardenSubscribers Only

You may still be shoveling the last vestiges of snow off the walk, or cuddling near the fireplace soon after the sun goes down. But spring is just around the corner, and now is a good time to think about your warm weather goals while you still have some time to plan. For instance, maybe you’re thinking about how to enhance your outdoor environment for your pets, or wanting to grow some indoor greens that are cat-friendly.   More...

Safe Plants That Are Especially Enticing to CatsSubscribers Only

Obviously, it is very important to know which plants are safe for cats and which ones are not. Fortunately, there is a long list of safe grasses and herbs that can provide your cat lots of enjoyment. Among them are:   More...

Nutrition for the First Year of LifeSubscribers Only

Something didn’t seem right,” recalls Kim Feild of Montgomery, Texas. The kittens she and her children had brought home from an animal shelter were surprisingly small for their stated three months of age. And alarmingly, one of them had taken to sleeping in a quirky way, head thrown back, body straight up. Mrs. Feild’s husband, Marc, drove that kitten to the shelter to see a veterinarian, but it died en route. It was heartbreaking because her son, Cody, had picked out the cat and had already named it Cottonball.   More...

Ask the Doctor

Dear Doctor: The Signs of Asthma

My small three-year-old female cat, who weighs just under seven pounds, will suddenly go through what seems like a coughing/choking spell. She crouches low to the floor and struggles through an episode. Then she stands up and goes about her regular business.   More...

Dear Doctor: What is Brittle Bone Disease?

A friend recently adopted a young kitten from a local humane society, and soon after, the kitten was diagnosed with brittle bone disease. Neither of us had ever heard of this, and now it makes me worry about adopting a new kitten.   More...