The Myth of the Grain-Free Diet

Youve probably heard a lot of this lately: Grain free. No gluten added. Have you seen descriptions such as these on cat food - or in advertisements? Grain-free is a big new trend in cat food. Proponents argue that cats are healthier without grains or gluten - that they have fewer allergies and better digestion. But do they actually have any scientifically-established benefits?

What is Hepatic Lipidosis?

Aging cats are especially prone to a number of diseases, and feline hepatic lipidosis is one of them. Also known as fatty liver syndrome, its an accumulation of fats (lipids) in the liver tissue. While the predilection of cats to this disease is incompletely understood, experts theorize that it may result from the way they metabolize proteins and fats. This disease is unique to cats - overweight cats are particularly predisposed - and is one of the most common liver diseases seen in the species.

Understanding Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are fairly common in cats - they are among the more common surgical problems we see in the urinary tract, says John Berg, DVM, DACVS, Professor of Small Animal Surgery at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. We usually see them in middle-aged or older cats. Bladder stones are rock-like deposits of minerals and organic material that can range in size from tiny pieces the size of grit or sand, to small pebbles several millimeters across. They are unrelated to gallstones, which are rare in cats.

How to Encourage Your Cat to Drink More Water

Convincing our cats to do whats good for them isnt always easy. But if your cat has a history of bladder stones, or is simply getting a little older, you may want to try these approaches to get him to drink up: Feed canned foods. Canned foods contain more water than dry food.

Dear Doctor October 2014

reservatives in cat foodQThere used to be a lot of talk about the dangers of BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin used as preservatives in certain pet foods. Have they been replaced by different ingredients, or are there simply fewer concerns about them now?

Genome sequence analysis; organ donors; Hello Kitty turns 40

Three cats - Cinnamon, Boris and Sylvester - have shared a small part of their genetic material to help researchers sequence the entire domestic cat genome.

What to Know About Blood Tests

The main function of your cats blood is to transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues throughout her body and to carry carbon dioxide and wastes away from those tissues. But her blood plays many other roles as well, contributing to such diverse processes as cell development, tissue repair and the warding off of infection.

Diagnosis: Feline Pancreatitis

The feline pancreas is a slender strip of tissue, shaped somewhat like an upside-down L that is tucked snugly within the right-hand side of a cats abdomen, at a junction between the animals left kidney and her duodenum - the beginning portion of her upper intestinal tract. Despite the organs modest size, the multifaceted role that it plays is huge. Indeed, your cats good health depends on a properly functioning pancreas.

Is It An Emergency?

Unfortunately, cats dont do a good job of telling us when theyre sick, says Tufts emergency and critical care veterinarian Armelle de Laforcade, DVM. Their signs can be subtle. Sometimes, their response to illness is just to be quieter, and that can be easy to miss. To help you know when to make an appointment for your cat at the vets office - and when to jump in the car and get him there as soon as possible - Dr. de Laforcade goes over some common signs, and how seriously to take them.

How to Winterize Your Cat

With the arrival of winter, youll want to take the necessary measures to protect your cat against the health hazards that cold, inclement weather can create - especially if you live in those areas of the U.S. where plummeting temperatures, harsh winds and heavy snowfalls commonly occur. Most vulnerable to various cold-weather disorders, of course, are those cats who spend all or the bulk of their time outdoors.

Research linking FIV to potential anti-HIV drugs; the Lykoi cat

FIV helping HIV researchBecause cats can contract FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) - which is the feline equivalent of HIV seen in humans - they may be helpful in the continued search for anti-HIV drugs, according to a new study published recently in the journal Cell Structure.

Feline Hemophilia

The eight-month-old kitten was referred to Tufts because he was bleeding excessively after being neutered. This type of reaction was not normal, leaving veterinarians at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University briefly puzzled - and concerned.