EVERYDAY CAT CARE

Integrative Geriatrics For Your Senior Cat?

Dr. Narda Robinson, a Colorado-based physician, points out that some doctors who treat elderly people now offer a type of medical care called integrative geriatrics. It means they rely on drugs and procedures such as operations when they need to but, as much as possible, make use of non-pharmacologic, low-cost, high-touch methods to treat their patients. Think: acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, and the like.

Losing Excess Weight Does Much More Than Make a Cat Healthier

Sure, if your cat is overweight (and as many as six in 10 cats are), you want her to be able to take off excess pounds in order to become healthier and live longer. Extra weight in cats is associated with such conditions as insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), urinary tract disease, and liver problems. And those conditions are expensive. People with cats who weigh more than they should spend 36 percent more on diagnostic procedures than people with healthy-weight felines. Now, a new study also shows that losing excess weight doesn’t only increase longevity while saving money. It also improves a cat’s quality of life.

Deciding How to Take a Cat’s Temperature

The three most dreaded words for many a cat owner are “Take her temperature.” The startled, angry reaction of a cat having a thermometer pushed into her behind — or even placed in her ear — is not something people look forward to.

Bad breath…Thanksgiving no-no’s…To bleach or not to bleach the litter box

Q: My cat’s breath has become kind of unpleasant in his old age. I’ve been assuming it’s just part of the aging process, but a neighbor said I should get it checked out. I hate to run to the vet for every little this and that. Please settle whether an appointment is necessary.

Nail Trimming: Not Just For Your Furniture But For Your Cat’s Safety

Because a lot of cats don’t like to be handled, a lot of people skip nail trimming, assuming the scratching post will take care of things by wearing down a pet’s nails. It won’t. Scratching does not really serve to trim a cat’s nails. It serves more to remove the outer layer of the nails, or claws, that have become frayed or worn. That exposes sharper layers underneath.

Why has she stopped grooming?

Q: My cat used to be incredibly fastidious, licking herself until her coat gleamed. But that has dropped off precipitously, and we can’t figure out why. She is on the older side — we think about 9 or 10 — but certainly not near the end of life. Why would a cat who used to be so particular about self-grooming let herself go?

Turn Down the Television! And Other Ways to Keep Your Cat Happier

Sounds, scents, sights — all of these are much different for a cat than a person because they hear, smell, and see things very differently than we do. Moreover, they often perceive things through their senses more acutely than we do, meaning that what’s just right for us may be too much for them. Here’s a look at some of the differences, along with how to accommodate your cat’s exquisitely tuned sensorial attributes so that your pet will feel more comfortable and relaxed in your home.

Avoid Whisker Fatigue!

Does your cat appear stressed and uncomfortable during mealtime? Does she pace back and forth in front of her food bowl or paw at her water rather than just drink it? She may be suffering from whisker fatigue, a condition in which her ultra-sensitive whiskers keep touching the sides of the bowl when she goes to eat or drink from it. It’s just too much sensory input for comfort.

Bored Cat? Scatter the Feline Doldrums with Agility Training

Whoever said that getting people to do what you want can be like herding cats never herded one. Cats in fact do like to cooperate, and you can use that to your advantage in brightening your pet’s day with feline agility. That’s right. You can teach your cat to jump through hoops, climb stairs, weave between obstacles, and clear hurdles. It doesn’t take special equipment to shake up your pet’s routine right in your own home. A hula hoop, stacks of books for the cat to weave around, a collapsable toddler tunnel, and a step stool to climb over will get you started. If you and your feline partner end up perfecting your routine, you can even enter an agility contest put on by the Cat Fanciers Association. Spectators will marvel at your pet’s ability to perform the feline equivalent of a triple lutz.

Keeping Cats from Reproducing Without Having to Spay Them

There are an estimated 600 million cats in the world, and almost 500 million of them are free-roaming. Up to 100 million homeless cats live in the U.S. alone. They often survive in suboptimal conditions while they prey on vulnerable wildlife. And they frequently enough get euthanized at overcrowded shelters even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. The answer is sterilization to prevent more unwanted cats from coming into the world, and dedicated cat lovers work hard in trap-neuter-release programs where they capture cats, take them to a willing veterinary facility to have them spayed or neutered, and then return them to their feral lives.

The Best Colors for Your Cat’s Toys

If it’s all the same to you, choose blue and yellow toys for your cats. Those are the colors that stand out to them. A red ball on green carpet, on the other hand, will look kind of like the first 20 minutes of The Wizard of Oz — shades of drab that don’t stand out. It’s because cats have fewer cones in their eyes than we do. They evolved learning to hunt in low light, so differentiating between colors was not very important for survival.