EVERYDAY CAT CARE

If Your Cat Were a Person, How Old Would She Be?

Forget the old saw that the way to calculate a cat’s age in human ears is to multiply each year by seven. That simply won’t give you an accurate assessment of where your cat is at in life, say the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).

Older Cat Less Active? Maybe Your Floors are Too Slippery

Laminate and tiled floors and even wood flooring can prove very slippery for an old cat who’s not as steady as she once was. And that, in turn, can make her less likely to be active. If your cat is avoiding a particular room or space in the house that she used to frequent, consider putting a runner there. You might be happily surprised to find her confidently making her way across. 

If Your Cat’s Ears Look Dirty, Don’t Clean Them!

You notice some gunk in one or both of your cat’s ears and are tempted to clean out the dirt. Don’t, especially not if the debris keeps accumulating, your pet’s ears smell bad, she’s scratching or swatting at them, or she keeps shaking or tilting her head. It means her ears are not just dirty. Something’s wrong that requires a veterinarian’s attention.

Worried about dehydration

Q: I’m worried my cat is not drinking enough water. I never see her at the water bowl. She is on dry food. Should I try to switch her to canned food or other moist cat food that contains more water than dry?

The Brain-Bladder Connection in Cats Can Cause Disease

Your cat starts urinating more frequently and often does so outside the litter box, straining while he relieves himself.  He also has started over-grooming “down there” and may even have blood in his urine. Is it a urinary tract infection? Nope. The vet checked for that. A bladder stone? No, not that, either. In fact, the doctor has screened for a number of conditions that fall under the umbrella of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), and all the tests came back negative. So what is it? Is your cat just being difficult?

The Cat Myths that Won’t Die

If you believe cats can see in the dark, you’re not alone. More than four in 10 people with pets think that, according to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by a company called OnePoll. But it’s not true.

Yet Another Reason Not to Let Your Cat Become (or Remain) Overweight

Diabetes, orthopedic complications, urinary tract disease, liver problems. These are just some of the illnesses associated with excess weight in a cat.

Sticking to a Routine is Critical for a Cat’s Health

People often think of dogs as the pets who require a schedule, probably because they need to be walked several times a day. Their...

Why Do So Many Cats Have GI Problems with New Foods?

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.

National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

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.

Increases in Vocalizations? Something’s Wrong

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.

When Your Cat Must Be Fed in an Upright Position to Stay Alive

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?