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Dear Doctor: New diet not agreeing with cat

Q. We needed to switch our cat to a different diet to help manage her heart disease, but I can see after only a couple of days that it’s making her sick. Her stomach is gurgling, and she has diarrhea. How are we supposed to slow the course of her disease with food when the […]

Dear Doctor: Feline acne

Q. My cat has developed small black dots on his chin and around his mouth. They don’t seem to be bothering him, but I’m wondering if they’re something I should be concerned about. Can you let me know if I need to take any action? Rosa York New York, NY Dear Ms. York, A. It […]
More toes here than cats typically have.

Dear Doctor: Poly what?

Q. How many toes is a cat supposed to have? A cat I just adopted from the shelter seems to have an awful lot — more than is normal. Emerson Coyle Canton, Ohio A. Dear Mr. Coyle, A cat normally has a total of 18 digits — five on each front paw and four on […]

Dear Doctor: Timing the weaning

Q. We have taken in a cat off the street who turned out to be pregnant. That’s okay with us. She just gave birth to four beautiful kittens, and we know we will be able to adopt them out and can hold onto them until loving homes have been secured. But at what age should […]

Dear Doctor: Mast Cell Tumors

Q. During a routine check-up, my cat was diagnosed with mast cell tumors on her skin. How worried should I be? Danielle Castellani Hoboken, New Jersey Dear Ms. Castellani, A. While a diagnosis of mast cell tumors on the skin is of concern, it’s not super-high on the list of physical ailments to worry about. […]

Dear Doctor: Helping a Cat in Mourning

Q. We had the same two cats for 19 years. They were from different litters but were the best of friends. One of them died several weeks ago, and the remaining cat definitely seems to be experiencing deep grief and distress. She follows me around constantly, wanting to be petted, and she seems to require […]


Q. My cat has started seeing a new doctor at the clinic I take her to, but I noticed on her diploma hanging on the wall that she is a VMD instead of a DVM. Does that mean she is not actually a veterinarian? Patrick McCarthy Doylestown, Tennessee Dear Mr McCarthy, A. VMD is a […]
Tim Watters’ three cats, Nemo, Muzzy, and Choo-Choo, are fine outside as long as they’re not too close to the mosquito repellent diffuser.

Q. Is the mosquito repellent toxic to cats?

Q. I have found conflicting information about the safety of Thermacell mosquito repellent devices for cats. It sounds like the active ingredient, allethrin, is toxic to felines if ingested or absorbed through the skin, but the device I’m talking about diffuses it into the air outdoors. If I have one of these devices on my […]

Dear Doctor: How often for blood work?

Q. I know I should take my cat to the veterinarian every year for a wellness exam, but does he really need blood work and a urinalysis at each of those visits? Together they run at least $200. Martha Fierstein Rhinebeck, New York Dear Ms. Fierstein, A. First, it’s important to point out that the […]

Dear Doctor: Silent Meow

Q. Sometimes my cat meows at me, but no sound comes out. What is the significance of a silent meow?Lorraine SchneiderOmaha, NebraskaDear Ms. Schneider,A....
Why do they always seem to know who they can make sick?

Dear Doctor: Sidling up to people who are allergic to them

Q. You often hear people who are allergic to felines saying that when they go to the home of someone who has a cat,...

Dear Doctor: A clowder of cats?

Q. I just read that a group of cats is called a clowder. Where does that term come from?Susan MaleMadison, New JerseyDear Ms. Male,A....