Is your cat jumping up less? Sleeping more? There was a time when we believed that cats did not get arthritis, but really it was just that cats didn’t used to live long enough to show signs of arthritis! With longevity comes joint troubles.
The results are in - unlike humans, rats and dogs, there is no downside to being a 'Fat Cat'...until you become a diabetic, that is. Recent studies have indicated that obese cats are more likely to get arthritis, skin problems and diabetes. What does it really mean and what might you need to do about it?
Do they ever get bad breath from not brushing their teeth? Well, Dr. Kim certainly doesn’t have time to brush my teeth, and it is not an intimacy that I’m inclined to permit. Anyway, I do a perfectly good job of cleaning the inside parts of my teeth with my tongue, and I chew on chicken necks, wings and lamb brisket bones to polish the outside of my teeth.
'Sirus' is an eldery Siamese who has always had difficulties moving his bowels from about 8 years old, and treatment has progressed from 'petroleum laxatives' (basically multi-flavoured Vaseline, such as Catlax) through to high fibre diets and colonic stimulants.
The 'kitten season' is the busiest time of year for us, and 'Mischa' was one of the many baby cats we saw with digestive upsets during the summertime. She actually came in to board with us at 8 weeks old, and we got to know her quite well. She was groomed, de-fleaed, vaccinated and played with, so she went home after 3 days in good shape.
This is a desperate plea that we hear from cat owners every day. Really it stems from a misunderstanding of how cats view their world and how they leave messages for themselves and us!
Cats communicate with each other and with us in many different ways. Have you ever wondered what your cat is trying to tell you? Or why your cat twitches in its sleep? Do cats see in colour and are they actually smarter than us?
In recent weeks, we've had a run of 'thirsty old cats'. Since kidneys are the 'weak point' of cats (50% of elderly cats die of renal failure and most of the rest succumb to cancer), obtaining urine to test was the immediate goal.
'Dilbert' has always had a problem with his lower jaw. As a well-bred Persian, his lower jaw stuck out beyond his nose by a little bit. This gave him a rather endearing pugnacious look. However, this together with his long, dense coat meant that he was a 'high maintenance' cat - very regular and thorough grooming was needed to keep him happy and looking his best.
"...the flea, though he kill none, he does all the harm he can;" John Donne (1572-1631).
This may have been the case even a few years ago, but recently I have seen quite a few cats with severe (even fatal) illnesses and all initiated by fleas.
The culprit of our annual plague is, in fact, the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), so they are perfectly adapted to their feline hosts.