Your cat’s veterinarian advises you to change your pet’s diet. Perhaps she is overweight and should be eating food that is lower in calories. Or she has developed heart or kidney disease and requires a prescribed meal plan that has more or less of particular nutrients. Or maybe she needs more fiber or more water to restore her health.
January 22 is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Nope, we didn’t make this up.) Here are the answers to five of the most pressing questions on felines.
It’s safest not to assume that your cat has started meowing more because she has become more demanding. More vocalizing than usual means something’s wrong. It could be behavioral — fear, grief for the loss of another pet, even boredom — or it could be medical. Medical causes for an increase in vocalizations include anything from a respiratory infection to hearing loss (which may be expressed by yowling rather than meowing). Persistent vocalizations that hadn’t been going on previously could also be an indication of pain.
Your cat starts regurgitating food and water. Or a kitten is born with the problem. What is meant to be swallowed just pools at the back of the mouth and then comes back out when the cat leans forward. What’s going on?
When a person gets dental sealants, they are applied directly to the teeth to help prevent cavities and other forms of dental disease. The teeth have little fissures, or grooves, that trap food residue (often sticky in nature) and pave the way for tooth decay. The sealants keep the grooves covered and may stay in place for a person’s lifetime.
We all know that just about any cat appreciates a tight fit in a cardboard box lined with tissue paper or a soft towel. But there are a number of other free or near-free accouterments you can give to your pet that will brighten her day. Here are five of them.
The rule of thumb for the number of litter boxes you should have is the number of cats in your home plus one. You’ll truly have a happier cat if you follow that advice. No cat enjoys using a dirty “toilet.” But what if you live in a small apartment or have a larger space but truly have no room for a second litter box?
You know how cats like to knock things off counters and table edges? It’s for that reason that you should never place a holiday snow globe where your cat can get at it. If in her curiosity she keeps batting at the glass globe filled with snow-covered pine trees or Santa in his sleigh, it could fall and break — and she could end up licking the spilled liquid and becoming gravely ill. That’s because some snow globes contain ethylene glycol, the same odorless but sweet-tasting chemical that’s in antifreeze. It doesn’t take a lot to prove fatal.
Contrary to popular belief, there are cats who may actually enjoy being bathed occasionally, says Tufts veterinary dermatologist Ramón Almela, DVM. They like the water if it is applied soothingly. And they like the attention.
It turns out that cats have a much better sense of smell than we do, and not just because they have 40 times more odor sensors in their noses. It’s also about how air makes its way through the feline nose. Scientists have just figured out that when a cat breathes in, the air gets separated into two different flow streams.
There are a number of negative things many cats experience but that yours doesn’t have to if you head them off at the pass. Here are four ways to keep a problem from ever happening — or at least to keep it from getting worse.