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Cats Use Bacteria to Talk to Other Cats

It’s well known that cats recognize each other through their scent and also use their odors to mark territory, attract mates, repel rivals, and communicate in various other ways. It now appears that the bacteria in cats’ anal glands are doing a lot of the talking.

The Brain-Bladder Connection in Cats Can Cause Disease

Your cat starts urinating more frequently and often does so outside the litter box, straining while he relieves himself.  He also has started over-grooming “down there” and may even have blood in his urine. Is it a urinary tract infection? Nope. The vet checked for that. A bladder stone? No, not that, either. In fact, the doctor has screened for a number of conditions that fall under the umbrella of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), and all the tests came back negative. So what is it? Is your cat just being difficult?

The Cat Myths that Won’t Die

If you believe cats can see in the dark, you’re not alone. More than four in 10 people with pets think that, according to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by a company called OnePoll. But it’s not true.

Yet Another Reason Not to Let Your Cat Become (or Remain) Overweight

Diabetes, orthopedic complications, urinary tract disease, liver problems. These are just some of the illnesses associated with excess weight in a cat.

Dear Doctor February 2024

Claritin for cats?

Download The Full January 2024 Issue PDF

  • Why Do So Many Cats Have GI Problems with New Foods?
  • Morsels: National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day; Increases in Vocalizations
  • Is Your Cat’s Litter Safe for You?
  • Should You Be Giving Your Cat Fish Oil?
  • When Your Cat Must Be Fed in an Upright Position to Stay Alive
  • Dental Sealants to Help Your Cat Avoid Gum Disease?
  • Feline Vaccine Hesitancy
  • Five Feline Fixes on the Cheap
  • Dear Doctor

Why Do So Many Cats Have GI Problems with New Foods?

Your cat’s veterinarian advises you to change your pet’s diet. Perhaps she is overweight and should be eating food that is lower in calories. Or she has developed heart or kidney disease and requires a prescribed meal plan that has more or less of particular nutrients. Or maybe she needs more fiber or more water to restore her health.

National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

January 22 is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Nope, we didn’t make this up.) Here are the answers to five of the most pressing questions on felines.

Increases in Vocalizations? Something’s Wrong

It’s safest not to assume that your cat has started meowing more because she has become more demanding. More vocalizing than usual means something’s wrong. It could be behavioral — fear, grief for the loss of another pet, even boredom — or it could be medical. Medical causes for an increase in vocalizations include anything from a respiratory infection to hearing loss (which may be expressed by yowling rather than meowing). Persistent vocalizations that hadn’t been going on previously could also be an indication of pain.

But is Your Cat’s Litter Safe for You?

An estimated one out of every 100 people in the United States has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder characterized by sometimes severe and dangerous reactions to ingesting even a microscopic amount of gluten — an ingredient in wheat and many other products. Those afflicted work assiduously to avoid gluten, which is in everything from bread to soy sauce and beer. It’s also in many brands of cat litter.

Should You Be Giving Your Cat Fish Oil

The board-certified veterinary nutritionists at Tufts are commonly asked by clients whether they should be adding fish oil to their cats’ daily food regimens because they’ve heard there are benefits to the oil’s omega-3 fatty aids. The answer: maybe. There are some diseases for which research suggests fish oils can augment treatment.

When Your Cat Must Be Fed in an Upright Position to Stay Alive

Your cat starts regurgitating food and water. Or a kitten is born with the problem. What is meant to be swallowed just pools at the back of the mouth and then comes back out when the cat leans forward. What’s going on?