In the United States, a fungal infection called sporotrichosis has been known as rose gardener’s disease. The fungus that causes it, Sporothrix, lives in soil and on plant matter that includes rose bushes and usually manifests as one or more open sores or deep skin ulcers when it enters the body through a small cut or scrape. But in South America, the disease has become an epidemic by spreading from cats to people via bites and scratches. It started in Brazil and has now spread to Chile, Argentina, and most recently, the United Kingdom.
Because cats do not give clear signals when they are in pain, their physical suffering tends to be inadvertently neglected — and therefore under-treated. Research shows that the lack of a reliable pain assessment tool that people can use for cats is one of the main reasons they are not given painkilling drugs often enough when they need relief. But a new study provides evidence that a tool called the Feline Grimace Scale can help people determine when their cats are in enough pain that they need medical treatment.
Have you ever sprayed a cat with a water pistol or a spritzer to make him stop doing something you don’t want him to, like walking around the kitchen counter?
Do you keep the cat carrier tucked away since you don’t use it very often? “Yes” is the wrong answer. The carrier is triggering for a lot of cats. They associate it with going to the vet’s office, which they hate to do.
Have you noticed your cat lapping up water more often, perhaps with more gusto than usual? Has it been going on a bit? Get her to the doctor.
Your cat regularly grooms herself, and you brush her, too, but no matter what, her coat always has a fair amount of dandruff.
Things that indicate your cat has been sent over the edge: hostile behavior toward another animal in the house that intends no harm; nervousness about being left alone for a few hours that leaves your pet meowing and miserable in your absence even though you come home every single time; thunder that has your pet diving for cover under a bed or couch. Cats, like people, develop all kinds of anxiety disorders that cause over-the-top, maladaptive reactions.
Your cat, older than 12 now and perhaps even older than 15, has started to urinate outside the litterbox and perhaps defecate on the floor sometimes as well. Why all of a sudden is she engaging in this undesirable behavior when she has known where to void her entire life?