Food Allergies in Cats

At least on the surface, food allergies can appear to be straightforward - the body reacting negatively to something ingested. When taking a closer look, however, food allergies are considerably more complex than that, and they often require much trial and error to reach a solution. Simply put, adverse reactions to food occur when a typically harmless ingredient is ingested and distinct clinical signs appear. A food allergy is a response to a food - usually a protein in the animals diet - that involves the immune system.

Over-the-Counter Diet versus Rx Diet for cats

Many premium commercial pet food manufacturers now include foods that offer novel proteins and limited ingredient, hypoallergenic and grain-free formulas. Most comply with AAFCO guidelines and are easily available in a variety of price points. Many cat owners prefer to pick one of these instead of buying a therapeutic diet from a veterinarians office - especially when the ingredients on the labels appear to be so similar.

According to Dr. Heinze, For a diagnostic trial, if youre trying to prove an animal does or does not have food allergies, you should never use an OTC diet, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, most of them that call themselves limited antigen ...

Tips for keeping your cat calm at the veterinary clinic

Make your next trip to your veterinarian less stressful for your cat -and you - by following these tips: Build up a positive association with the pet carrier by keeping itopen in your home and tossing in treats or a small toy for your catto retrieve. Cover the carriers floor with a towel to encourage your cat to takenaps in the carrier. Select a pet carrier that enables you to easily detach the top toremove…

Cat Litter box considerations

Cats do have preferences when it comes to the size, shape and design of litter boxes. The number of cats in the home as well as the age, mobility and health condition of the cats also influence litter box use. Some advice: - Most cats prefer open boxes to covered ones. Remove the hood if a house soiling problem develops. …

Litter Levels

When you go from one cat to two or more, your days of buying small, easy-to carry boxes or bags of litter are over. You have probably now entered into the world of the warehouse club shopper or at least learned which stores carry the super-duper jumbo-sized containers of litter. There are two things a cat owner never wants to run out of: food and litter. …

Help for Gum Disease in Cats

Even though gum disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed health problems in cats, relatively little has been understood about the bacteria associated with it. A new study - published in Veterinary Microbiology and PLOS ONE - provides new information that identifies the most common bacterial species associated with gum disease in cats for the first time.

Conducted by researchers from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition and veterinary dentists at the…

Give Your Cat the Brush-Off!

Use the correct brush for your cats coat:

Slicker brushes work on any coat.

Pin brushes are the top pick for longhaired coats.

Soft bristle brushes work well on shorthaired coats.

Always stroke in the direction of your cats fur. Going against the grain with the bristles can irritate your cats skin and make her want to flee the scene when she sees you pulling out the grooming supplies. Circular motions can …

Where to Put the Box

Location, location, location. It applies to real estate and it most definitely applies to litter boxes. Where you put the litter box is more important than many owners realize. You can have the perfect box, filled with the best litter in the world, but if its in an area that the cat finds unacceptable, it may be rejected.

There is one rule that cat owners should never break under any circumstances: Dont put the litter box near the cats food and water. Many owners mistakenly believe that having the box right next to the cats food will serve as a reminder to him. Unfortunately, this plan can only backfire and you lay the groundwork for litter box rejection. Remember, cats eliminate away from...

Where to Put the Box in a Multicat Household

In a multicat household, more than one box will be needed. This is not just because one box gets dirty too quickly (although it does), but also because some cats object to sharing and one cat may be too intimidated to pass another cat in order to get to the cats area. The litter box rule: have the same number of boxes as you have cats.

Multicat households can create litter box placement problems. If there are any territorial disputes going on or if your cats dont especially care for each other, the boxes should be place far enough apart so that if one is being guarded, there is easy access to another.. …

Who declaws their cat?

Many veterinary clinics across the country offer declawing, and policies regarding the procedure vary among university veterinary hospitals. Cummings School at Tufts University does not perform the surgery. University of California-Davis Small Animal Clinic normally does not perform it either, says spokeswoman Lynn Narlesky. The Ohio State University and the University of Georgia veterinary hospitals do offer declaw procedures, but only after making sure clients are aware of other management methods, representatives say.

Alternatives to Declawing your Cat

[From Tufts January 2012 Issue]

The American Veterinary Medical Association recently produced a five-minute video, available on its website, about the controversial procedure of declawing. Its recommendations for pet owners boil down to this: First, try some of the many non-surgical alternatives to stop cats from scratching your favorite easy chair or carpet. If these dont work, and it becomes a choice between declawing and surrendering your cat to an animal shelter or, even worse, euthanizing him, consider the surgery.

Heres what is involved in the procedure: Each of the cats claws and the third bone of every toe are removed with a laser, blade or nail trimmers. If the bone is not removed, the claw will eventually grow back. Most often, the procedure involves only the front paws. A laser reduces the risk of bleeding, and some veterinarians believe that it also …

Pet Dental Month

[From Tufts February 2012 Issue]

If you need further motivation to brush your cats teeth regularly, consider this alarming statistic provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association: More than 70 percent of cats show some sign of periodontal disease by age 3.

No, that is not a typo. It is age 3. Not only does periodontal disease cause bad breath, gingivitis and tooth loss, infection in the mouth can spread through the bloodstream to internal organs and lead to life-threatening conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease.

February is Pet Dental Health Month, a vital campaign sponsored by the AVMA and supported by the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Most people have no idea that dental health is so important to their pets, and thats why Pet Dental Health Month is such a great idea, says Larry Corry, DVM, AVMA…