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When Your Cat Keeps Eating Things That Aren’t Food

Wool and other fabrics, plastic (including plastic casing surrounding electrical cords), rubber, pins and needles, newspapers. These are just some of the items that might be chewed on and swallowed by cats afflicted with pica, which is the eating of non-food items. The word pica is based on the Latin word “picave.” It means magpie — a bird with indiscriminate dietary habits.

4 Ways to Act Proactively for Your Cat

There are a number of negative things many cats experience but that yours doesn’t have to if you head them off at the pass. Here are four ways to keep a problem from ever happening — or at least to keep it from getting worse.

Cat drools while purring

Q: I have had more than one cat that drools while being petted, particularly when the petting gets them purring. What’s that about? Is it something I should be concerned about?

Rodent ulcer

Q: My cat has developed a reddish-brown sore on her upper lip. It doesn’t seem to bother her, but it looks awful. And while I thought it would go away on its own, it hasn’t. What should I do?

Download The Full November 2023 Issue PDF

  • Why You Absolutely Can’t Take a Cat Scratch or Bite Casually
  • Morsels
  • Things That Don’t Go Together With Cats
  • Integrative Geriatrics For Your Senior Cat?
  • Losing Excess Weight Does Much More Than Make a Cat Healthier
  • 3 Ways to Help a Scaredy Cat
  • Deciding How to Take a Cat’s Temperature
  • Dear Doctor

Why You Absolutely Can’t Take 
a Cat Scratch or Bite Casually

A recent report in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases describes the case of a healthy middled-aged man who went to a hospital emergency department because both of his hands swelled so much that it was painful. He had been bitten several times by a feral cat, sustaining puncture wounds and scrapes.

Morsels November 2023

A Second Reason Your Cat May Jump onto the Kitchen Counter

6 Things That Don’t Go Together With Cats

You already know to keep the doors of the washing machine and dryer closed unless you are putting in or taking out clothes. Cats have gone in and died when people, unaware, have turned on those appliances while their pets were snuggling inside. (For the same reason, litter boxes should not be kept in the laundry room. It’s better to keep your cat away from temptation.) But there are other household items that pose dangers for cats, too. Here’s a rundown.

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.

3 Ways to Help a Scaredy Cat

Cats in general like a fair amount of alone time, but if your cat’s “MO” is one of almost complete avoidance of you and others in your home, something’s wrong. A cat should not want to spend his entire day under the bed, behind the bed skirt, or at the far reaches of some other piece of furniture. He should not consider it a risk to walk across the middle of the floor and instead always slink around the perimeter of a room in order to try to avoid being noticed. 

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.