Correcting Misconceptions About Allergy Testing in Cats

People often wonder which is better for diagnosing allergies in a cat: skin prick tests or blood tests. The answer: neither one. For one thing, prick tests are not performed on cats. Rather, sometimes cats with suspected allergies undergo what is called intradermal testing. The difference is that with a skin prick test, a physician […]

Having Your Cat Tested 

With reports of pets becoming sick from COVID-19, you might very well wonder whether it is appropriate for your cat to be tested for the disease. Perhaps she is having respiratory signs like sneezing or shortness of breath, or she has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Despite concerns, neither the […]

Breathing Problems for Cats with Flat Noses

Does your cat have noisy breathing, snoring, and difficulty sleeping? There’s a reasonable chance it’s a Persian, Himalayan, or Burmese, or at least a cat who has one or more of those types of cats in her genetic makeup. Such breeds often have faces with a pushed-in look, and that could be a sign that […]

The Clinical Exam You Can Give Yourself

Your cat’s veterinary exams occur only once or twice a year. But you can give your pet physical exams at home to see if there might be a reason she should be brought to the doctor between scheduled appointments. Take these seven steps to assess your cat’s health, many of which are also recommended by […]
Does she seem to be engaging in less activity these days?

Is Your Cat Becoming Frail?

Frailty is a syndrome, according to the American Academy of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). It means a cat has a diminished functional reserve that leads to both physiologic and cognitive declines and thus a greater risk for adverse medical outcomes. Age in itself is not a risk factor for frailty, the association says, but it does […]
You might feel a lump by accident as you stroke your pet. They frequently make themselves known by touch rather than by sight.

You Found a Lump On Your Cat. Now What?

After the lymphatic system, a cat’s skin is the most common site for tumors, cysts, and other abnormal growths that manifest themselves as lumps. But it’s often the most alarming site to cat owners. Many people’s minds jump right from “lump” to “cancer.” Pet owners find lumps so troubling that while they may avoid bringing […]
A very scared cat might do better at the veterinarian’s office if she gets a dose of gabapentin beforehand.

A Drug to Keep Cats Calm During Vet Visits?

You try everything to keep your cat calm and agreeable during her trips to the vet. You leave out her travel carrier all the time so she’s used to it, and you keep soft blankets, toys, and treats in there so she won’t freak out when it’s time to bring her to the car. You […]

Generic Version of Common Drug Approved

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of the brand-name drug Clavamox, used to treat infections of the skin, soft tissue, and urinary tract in cats. The drug contains the antibiotic amoxicillin, which kills infection-causing bacteria. It also contains clavulanate potassium to inhibit an enzyme that can destroy the amoxicillin. Clavamox generally […]
These days, more veterinarians are asking people to wait in the car while they examine their pets.

Curbside Care on the Uptick

Curbside care for cats — taking your cat from the car and examining her in the office while you wait outside — became more commonplace for veterinary practices during the pandemic. Some vets now feel the practice is working so well for them that they plan to continue it post-COVID, says the American Veterinary Medical […]

Cytology Versus Biopsy

You notice a lump on your cat’s flank, and the vet says she wants to examine it with cytology but may have to proceed to biopsy. What exactly are cytology and biopsy, and what’s involved? Cytology is an examination of cells under a microscope. They are collected via fine needle aspirate. That means the vet […]
Roundworms can easily be transmitted from mother to kitten during nursing.

The Most Common Worms in Cats

First the scary news. Roundworms infect many cats in the United States. One possible route of infestation is through mother’s milk, which is why it is recommended that all kittens be administered medication at four different intervals to kill any of the worms that might be lurking in their small intestine; roundworms put very young […]
Veterinary technician Brandy Tabor with her own cat, Kitty Gumball. He’s clearly not in pain in this photo.

The Fifth Vital Sign

In 1996, pain began to be considered the fifth vital sign in human medicine, needing to be assessed along with temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. The same is true for cats, says a recent article in Veterinary Practice News, particularly in the emergency room or critical care setting. It makes sense. At least […]