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How likely is a white cat to be deaf?

Q: You always hear that white cats are likely to be deaf, but I have an all white cat who has no hearing problems whatsoever. How can that be?

Unnecessary nutrients in the cat food?

Q: I noticed that some of the nutrients listed in the Guaranteed Analysis panel on the label of my cat’s food have an asterisk that leads to the following statement: “Not Recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.” If it’s not recognized as an essential nutrient, why would the manufacturer add it? The nutrients are not named in big letters on the front of the package as a marketing point.

Can an old cat withstand the anesthesia?

Q: I have a 14-year-old cat who needs surgery. But at that age, will she be able to tolerate the anesthesia?

He can’t learn to read music, but you can still teach him a lot of other fun tricks. 

Cat’s got rhythm

Q: My wife and I have noticed that when we put on soft classical numbers, our cat seems to settle in and become calmer. Are we imagining this, or might she actually be responding to the music?

Increased Thirst May be Something Other than Diabetes

People often assume increased thirst and drinking — medically termed polydipsia — results from diabetes, but it can have a number of other causes:

Download The Full March 2024 Issue PDF

  • If Your Cat Were a Person, How Old Would She Be?
  • The Meaning of “Veterinarian Recommended” on Cat Food 
  • New Guidelines for Helping an Itchy Cat
  • Older Cat Less Active? Maybe Your Floors are Too Slippery
  • If Your Cat’s Ears Look Dirty, Don’t Clean Them!
  • Can Cats Use Facial Expressions to Signal Friendliness to Other Cats?
  • Dear Doctor: Worried about dehydration; Cat’s got rhythm; Mental illness in cats.

If Your Cat Were a Person, How Old Would She Be?

Forget the old saw that the way to calculate a cat’s age in human ears is to multiply each year by seven. That simply won’t give you an accurate assessment of where your cat is at in life, say the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).

Why You Should Feed Your Young Kitten a Variety of Foods

Sometimes, to treat a medical condition, it’s necessary to change a cat’s diet. Diet changes can be a challenge with cats, however. They develop their food preferences very early on in life and may be reticent to adjust them. That’s why, until a kitten is about four months old, it’s a good idea to feed him a variety of foods — different flavors, shapes, and textures of both dry and wet. That way, if he develops an illness in adulthood that requires he eat food that’s different from what he’s used to, he will be less likely to resist the switch.

How to Make Your Cat Smarter

People tend to rate their cat’s intelligence by how much their pet interacts with them. Cats deemed smart are often those who spend time connecting with their people. But it may not just be a perception on our part.

The Meaning of “Veterinarian Recommended” on Cat Food

You know those television commercials that have a dentist in a lab coat recommending a particular toothpaste? Well, the marketing ploy has drifted over to products meant for our pets, in a manner of speaking. A number of cat food manufacturers have a burst in large letters on the front of their packages that says the product is “Veterinarian Recommended.”

New Guidelines for Helping an Itchy Cat

A healthy cat scratches himself for a total of about one minute per day, and he spends about one hour altogether grooming himself by licking his coat. Much more than that, and there’s a good chance something is wrong.

Older Cat Less Active? Maybe Your Floors are Too Slippery

Laminate and tiled floors and even wood flooring can prove very slippery for an old cat who’s not as steady as she once was. And that, in turn, can make her less likely to be active. If your cat is avoiding a particular room or space in the house that she used to frequent, consider putting a runner there. You might be happily surprised to find her confidently making her way across.