Sign Up for Cat Talk
Get the latest health and behavior news and
advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

August 2019

Full Issue (PDF)

August 2019 - Full Issue PDFSubscribers Only

 

Feature

Hairballs 101

It’s not uncommon for a cat to vomit up a hairball every week or two. And while the momentary hacking, gagging, and retching it takes to make it happen doesn’t feel good to the cat, neither is it harmful — usually.   More...

A Website to Match Homeless Cats With Prospective Human Mates

More of Sweden’s homeless cats may soon be finding their way to permanent homes because of Kattis.net, which mimics social dating apps. Just as date-matching sites help people sort through potential romantic partners more quickly than traditional dating, Kattis compiles a database of all the cats available for adoption in the country’s 100-plus shelters, allowing an easier sorting of potential pets based on appearance and information about age, behavior, and so on. It provides much more promise for an optimal match than just visiting the local shelter.   More...

New York State May Join Cities, Countries, On Declawing Ban

Declawing, the surgical amputation of a cat’s toes to prevent the regrowth of nails that may scratch people and property, will become illegal in New York State if a bill making its way through the Assembly is passed. The procedure is already prohibited entirely in the U.K., Israel, and Switzerland. And here at home, 10 California cities and Denver have also made declawing against the law.   More...

Act Fast if a Male Cat Can’t Pass UrineSubscribers Only

Has the litter box remained dry over the last day or so, with no clumps forming no matter how hard your male cat tries to “go?” Get him to the veterinarian — now.   More...

Why Writing an Obituary For Your Cat May Be a Good IdeaSubscribers Only

People who lose a cat often experience what social workers have called disenfranchised grief, says veterinarian Karen Fine, a graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts. By which she means that the grief one feels upon losing a pet often is not considered socially acceptable and is given short shrift by others. “‘You’re still upset?’” people will ask cavalierly, Dr. Fine says. “That was a couple of weeks ago.” They don’t realize that people often have a closer bond with their cat than they do with many of the other loved ones in their lives, caring for their pet every single day and developing a daily rhythm through feeding the animal, perhaps sleeping in the bed with her, enjoying quiet kneading sessions, goofy antics, and being greeted by their pet when coming home from work.   More...

7 Subtle Signs Your Cat is Angry With YouSubscribers Only

If your cat lashes out at you or hisses and growls, or if she’s swishing her tail back and forth, you know she’s not happy. But can you tell her mood by the state of her pupils? Or how her whiskers look? You might think your cat is apt to keep her emotions to herself, but the signs described here will let you know if she feels something’s amiss.   More...

Your Cat’s Vital SignsSubscribers Only

Your cat doesn’t seem herself, but you’re not sure if it’s just a mood or passing illness or whether she needs to be taken to the veterinarian. One way to help you make a decision is to learn her vital signs, that is, her body temperature, pulse rate, and respiratory rate.   More...

Yes, Your Overweight Cat Needs Very Small Portions to Trim DownSubscribers Only

You might think what bothers cat owners when the vet puts their pet on a weight-management plan is the slow rate of weight loss the doctor sometimes recommends. Indeed, cats who should be thinner for their health can lose weight at a very modest rate — from only 0.5 up to a more aggressive 2 percent of body weight per week. For a 20-pound cat who should lose 5 pounds, that means an eating regimen that could result in as little as one tenth of a pound a week.   More...

Ask the Doctor

Dear Doctor: Cat eyes

I think one of the things that makes cats so attractive is their large eyes. But are they really large, or do they just seem that way because of their relatively small heads?   More...