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A cat is never comfortable during the momentary hacking, gagging, and retching it takes to cough up a hairball. Nor is it comfortable to watch your pet having to deal with getting rid of one. But for the most part, it’s not harmful. It’s simply something that comes with being a feline. Fortunately, most hair […]
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Long-haired cats are more prone to hairballs, but regular brushing can cut down on their frequency. 

Hairballs Are Nothing to Worry About — Usually

A cat is never comfortable during the momentary hacking, gagging, and retching it takes to cough up a hairball. Nor is it comfortable to watch your pet having to deal with getting rid of one. But for the most part, it’s not harmful. It’s simply something that comes with being a feline. Fortunately, most hair […]
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Newborn kittens can’t hold their body heat. Their mothers curl around them to keep them warm.

What to Expect When Your Cat Is Expecting

Breeders, people who have taken in a stray who has not been spayed, and those who tend to feral cat colonies may all find themselves looking after a pregnant cat. Here’s what to know. A normal cat pregnancy generally lasts 63 to 65 days but can be as short as 57 days and as long […]
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If a male cat is straining to urinate, get him to the veterinarian immediately.

No Time to Lose

You know that if your cat starts eating less or keeping to herself more, something might be amiss and you should schedule a doctor’s visit. But there are other signals that your pet may well be in the throes of a life-or-death emergency and needs to see the veterinarian now. Here’s a rundown. Straining to […]
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“Senior” on a bag of cat food means whatever the manufacturer decides. There’s no legal definition.

Thinking of Switching to “Senior” Cat Food?

It’s not just pet owners who assume that cat food labeled “senior” has a different nutritional profile than food labeled for use by adult cats in general. Veterinarians often make the same assumption, according to researchers collaborating at Oregon State University, Colorado State University, and the University of California, Davis. But that’s not the case, […]
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Declawing Banned from Certified Cat-Friendly Veterinary Practices

It’s official. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has banned the elective declawing of cats in veterinary offices that receive certification as cat friendly establishments. Unnecessary declawing will join the list of things that have to be in place to officially be called a cat friendly office, including a cat-only reception and waiting area. […]
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To Induce Vomiting Upon Poisoning, Or Not?

If you know that your cat has swallowed a poisonous pill or chewed on a toxic plant, don’t waste time trying to induce vomiting,” says Tufts emergency and critical care veterinarian Elizabeth Rozanski, DVM. In fact, Dr. Rozanski points out, “there’s no safe way to do that at home. You could end up sending the […]
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With a blanket and toys, a cat carrier becomes a fun place to hang out.

How to Adjust Your Cat to the Carrier

You’ve got to take your cat somewhere — the vet’s, a boarding facility — but shoving her into the carrier in a struggle just before walking out the door is not the way to go. You can accustom your cat to her carrier by leaving it out for her to see and examine — and […]
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She may actually be trying to groom you.

Love Bites, Or Just Bites?

You are gently stroking your cat, and she is clearly enjoying it, when out of nowhere she begins biting you. The bites are not aggressive. There’s no hissing or tail swishing involved, and she’s not trying to scratch you with her claws. There’s something almost casual about the bites, in fact. But while these “love […]
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Dear Doctor: When rough play is too rough

Q. My cat likes to play rough and sometimes scratches me in a tussle. My wife says the scratches are not safe and I should stop encouraging such play. I think she’s overreacting. Can you help us put this matter to rest? Otis Curtin Mobile, Alabama Dear Mr. Curtin, A. Yes, we can. Stop encouraging […]
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Dear Doctor: Cat leaks urine while sleeping

Q. My 10-year-old cat has begun to leak urine while sleeping and sometimes when she is awake but close to dozing. This did not happen when she was younger. It’s not like a full release of urine, just a dribble. She is not at all bothered by it and in fact is totally unaware when […]
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They may put up with this, but they’d probably rather eat away from each other.

Cat Food Serving and Storage Quiz

You correctly choose a food from a reputable company with a label that carries a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which indicates that the contents are right for your cat’s stage of life. But do you have a healthy and safe way to store and serve the food you give […]
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If your cat becomes angry in ways he didn’t when he was younger, he may be suffering from physiologic changes that need to be tended to.

Has Your Cat Grown Grouchier Over Time?

You expect your cat to slow down as he grows older — more sleep, less frenetic darting around that seems to start out of nowhere. But some cats grow increasingly temperamental. They’ll swat you away with little warning — or no warning — when you try to stroke them or give them attention in other […]
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