Dear Doctor- Catnip experts address litter box avoidance

[From Tufts March 2011 Issue]

Senior cat stops using litter box
We have two wonderful 14-year-old cats who are sisters. In November, our veterinarian cleaned their teeth and discovered that the one named Julie had a bladder infection that was treated with an oral medication for two weeks.

She lives a comfortable life, napping in a bed buddy located under our dining room table. She regularly uses the litter box located about 12 feet away. We also have a bed buddy in the kitchen.

She lives a comfortable life, napping in a bed buddy located under our dining room table. She regularly uses the litter box located about 12 feet away. We also have a bed buddy in…

Dear Doctor – Solutions for Feline Aggression

[From Tufts April 2011 Issue]

Frustrated by cats displaced aggression
Afew years ago, I lured a stray cat into my housebecause I felt sorry for her withwinter approaching.I named her Smokey. I had my veterinarian spay her and give her all the necessary vaccinations.However, there is a problem. My neighbors approached me and told me I have to keep her inside (she was killing chipmunks and birds) or they would notify animal control and have her picked up.

Ask The Doctor – Advice for Chronic Dandruff in Cats

Advice for chronic dandruff
Q My husband and I have four cats of varying ages, all of which we adopted as kittens. We take them for their yearly wellness checkups and all is well within our brood. However, we have one concern: Our eight-year-old female cat, Lucy, has unusually thick, dense and short fur - and she is prone to bouts of dandruff throughout most of the year.

The Benefits of a Cats-Only Vet Practice

All companion animals require regular veterinary attention. Cats arent little dogs - they have their own unique and specific medical requirements. Additionally, many cats are extremely anxious when being cared for at a veterinary hospital that cares for both dogs and cats. To provide cats with the most appropriate care - and the least stressful experience possible - there are many advantages in using the services of a feline-only veterinary practice.

Ask The Doctor – Choosing the Best Cat Litter

Q I had been using a store brand clumping litter for a number of years for my two indoor cats: One is a 16-year-old male, and the other is a two-year-old female. Recently, I needed to switch to a newspaper pellet-type litter for a couple of weeks, and I noticed that the smell is not as bad as the clay clumping litter - and it doesnt track!

A Garden to Grow Just for Your Cat

Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may still be shoveling snow off the walk, or cuddling near the fireplace soon after the sun goes down. But spring is just around the corner, and now is a good time for you to start thinking about your warm weather goals while you still have some time to plan. For instance, maybe youre thinking about how to enhance your outdoor environment for your pets, or thinking about growing some indoor greens that are cat-friendly.

Cat-Safe Herbs and Grasses

It is important to know which plants are safe for cats and which ones are not. Fortunately, there is a long list of safe grasses and herbs that can provide your cat with plenty of enjoyment. Among them are Catnip, lemon balm, lavender, valerian, and wheat grass.

Should I Buy a Covered or Uncovered Litter Box?

The next time you're in a pet store, take a look around - you'll be amazed at the variety of litter box choices that are available. You can purchase tall boxes, short boxes, small boxes, huge boxes, boxes with automatic scoopers, boxes of different shapes and colors, and covered and uncovered boxes. Most come with a lid, but not everyone chooses to use them. When in doubt, splurge a little - after all, litter boxes…

(Think Like a Cat#5) Interactive Playtime in Multicat Households

A cat has to focus completely on her prey and plan her attack. Two or more cats stalking the same toy will be distracted by each other. Also, the more assertive cat will take charge, leaving the other cat to sit on the sidelines. That certainly isn't much fun for her.

Interactive playtime should provide pleasure and confidence, so make sure each cat has her own toy. Your goal isn't achieved if they simulataneously pounce on a toy and one cat crashes …

(Think Like a Cat#6) Cat Problems with Hair Balls

Due to the backward-facing barbs on the cat's tongue, the hair he grooms must be swallowed. Some of this swallowed hair passes through the digestive system without a problem. If he swallows too much hair, the cat may vomit up a tubular-shaped glob of wet hair know to those of us who end uup stepping on them as hair balls. Not all hair balls get vomited up or passed with the stool, though. Some swallowed hair ends up trapped in the intestines, causing a blockage.

Skin Problems in Cats

Fleas and Other Itchy Things

Scratch ... scratch ... scratch. You hear it in the night when you're trying to sleep. During the day you notice your cat is about to pounce on a toy when suddenly he stops, sits down, and scratches frantically at his neck. It could be something as simple as being uncomfortable with his collar, or it could be any number of skin problems that can plague a cat at any age. Allergies, fungal disease, and parasites can drive a cat crazy. One of the most

In The Age of Google It

Increasingly, we seem to be living in a world where Google It becomes the answer to many questions and concerns, both ordinary and profound. Admittedly, there are advantages to finding the definition of an obscure word in far less time than it takes to pull out the tattered, old Merriam-Webster from the bookshelf. And locating a very good, well-reviewed Thai restaurant in an unfamiliar town has gotten a lot easier, too, thanks to the Internet.…