Morsels November 2022

Put the Scissors Down! If a stubborn mat develops in your cat’s fur that can’t be groomed away, you may be tempted to cut it off with a pair of scissors. Don’t! A mat can pull skin into it, and the skin can all too easily be cut in the process, causing great pain. Only […]

Antibiotics Losing Their Effectiveness in Cats, Too

You’ve probably heard of antibiotic resistance — the ability of bacteria that are causing an infection to resist the antibiotics prescribed to kill them. That means the antibiotics have a reduced chance of curing an illness brought on by the growth of harmful bacteria, whether it’s a respiratory infection causing breathing problems, a gastrointestinal infection […]

How Not to Diagnose a Food Allergy

Your cat’s skin often seems to irritate her — she either scratches or licks excessively. Or she somewhat frequently experiences digestive issues in the form of vomiting or diarrhea. Is it a food allergy? Probably not. Food allergies are quite uncommon in cats. If she has any allergies at all, they’re more likely to be […]

Dear Doctor: September 2022

Stubborn belly fat Q: My cat was overweight, and I managed to trim her down with more careful feeding and cutting back on treats. I even started playing with her more both so she would burn off some more calories with exercise and also to help take her mind off food. She looks great and […]

Dear Doctor August 2022

Helping at a shelter — virtually Q: I would love to be able to volunteer at my local cat shelter, but my schedule makes it really hard to get over there when they need me. Is there anything else I can do to help that doesn’t involve physically being on site? Johnna Owens Taos, New […]

If Your Cat’s Pancreas Starts Digesting Itself

In dogs, a bout of pancreatitis often occurs around Thanksgiving or Christmas. People feed their pets fatty scraps from the holiday table, and it’s the consumption of too much fat that generally sets off the disease in that species. In cats, the triggers of pancreatitis — inflammation of the pancreas that can make a a […]

Illness, in Four Breaths

An untoward odor emanating from your cat’s mouth may be a clue to whether she has a specific type of disease. Here’s a rundown. Fruity breath. This can signify diabetes. In cats with this condition, sugar is not metabolized properly, and that’s what produces the fruity scent. Ammonia-like breath. Kidney disease may be the culprit […]

Vaccination Anxiety Overblown

Lethargy, temporary loss of appetite, fever. Here and there a cat will suffer one of these adverse reactions to a vaccination. And once in a great while, more serious complications develop. But the fear of vaccinations for cats is much greater than the harm they might actually cause. A survey of a half million cats […]

What’s a Veterinary Technician?

Imagine if someone who didn’t go to nursing school could pass her or himself off as a nurse, work in a hospital or doctor’s office, and not lose their job or even be penalized if they were found out? That’s exactly the situation in most of the country for impersonating a veterinary nurse, known professionally […]

Removing a Nasal Polyp

Here and there a cat will develop an upper respiratory illness that makes it hard to breathe and can also cause wheezing, teary eyes, and nasal discharge. It typically passes within a week to 10 days. If it doesn’t, even with medical treatment, your cat may not have had an infection at all but, rather, […]

Is Your Cat Suffering from Oligoanalgesia?

Were you aware that in people, inadequate treatment of pain following procedures like C-sections and chest surgeries can pave the way for chronic pain that lasts long beyond the recovery period? The same is true for cats. It’s because neurological and chemical pathways in the body that relay messages of pain to the brain become […]

Dear Doctor: What a seizure looks like

Q. My cat had an episode the other day where his body kind of tensed up and then relaxed a number of times in succession. It seemed like he wasn’t really aware of what was going on, and his teeth were chattering. The strange behavior lasted only a couple of minutes, and then he came […]