Cat Health: March 2008 Archives

1. Start Early - a kitten will be more open to the daily brushing than an older cat. But cats are smart and they love attention so even older cats can be trained to accept the brush.

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2. Gauge Your Cat’s Mood Before You Begin – a playful cat is not a good candidate for tooth brushing! Wait until he is in a more relaxed mood.

3. Reward, Reward, Reward! – Cat’s respond to treats and grooming so include plenty of both in your brushing routine.

4. Stay Calm - even if you don’t think so, your cat senses your mood and responds to it, so if you are calm, your cat will be too.

5. Talk To Your Cat - Keep talking to your cat in a gentle soothing tone to keep in as calm and relaxed state as he can be.

Senior cats need their teeth cared for too – they are at higher risk for gum disease and liver damage, heart disease and the list goes on! It maybe stressful for you and your senior cat to get into a tooth brushing routine, but it is really necessary. And unlike old dogs, you can teach an old cat new tricks!

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There are products on the market that help keep their teeth and gums clean and to strengthen their jaw muscles.

I hear of so many senior cats that can’t eat properly because they don’t have the strength to chew. Not good. Get your cat a chew toy and brush his teeth.

cats in grass.jpeg Thinking about herbal treatment for cats? There are so many theories and so many people selling stuff that is toxic to cats that it's really a buyer beware market. The problem is that there are no regulations and no real evidence to show what works and what doesn't. Its a bit of a risk, but if you are concerned about your cat's health, herbal treatment for cats might be the way to go. But first, always ask a vet, if your vet is not into herbal treatments, refer to this list of vets who practice alternative medicine. Some safe herbal treatment for cats include:

-Acidophilus - to restore intestinal health and maybe even correct diarrhea and constipation in cats.

-Catnip - it doesn't work for all cats, usually unneutered males like it the most because it resembles female cat urine.

-Topical Epsom Salts - don't let your cat lick it because it caused diarrhea! But it has been helpful to draw out infections from nail beds and soothe itchy paws.

-Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids - for a shiny coat and tests are showing that they help relieve cats of allergies.

-Glucosamine and Chondroitin - are used to treat arthritis in cats with much success.

-Milk Thistle - for when your cat's liver is under stress from some form of poisoning - but make sure you see your vet, cats have very sensitive livers.

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Of all the herbal treatment for cats I've researched over the years, these are the only ones that are proven safe for cats. But please, please, talk to your vet before giving any herbal treatment for cats. Your vet can alert you to harmful reactions and write it in your cat's medical chart for future reference. If your vet is not into herbal treatments and you are, then maybe it is time to get a new vet

If you see the symptoms bloody stool in cats, you need to collect a sample of the stool and get to the vet for a complete exam. Your vet is going to ask you a few questions so be prepared by taking stock of what could cause the blood.

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Twelve questions your vet will ask you about symptoms bloody stool in cats:

1. Did your cat eat any bones or chew on other non-food items such as wood?

2. Did your cat eat any spoiled food? (did you leave the soft food out too long in his food dish?)

3. Have you changed his diet recently? (this includes treats, hard and soft food, and water or other liquids)

4. Has your cat eaten any people food? If so, what did he eat?

5. Has your cat been bitten by or playing with another animal?

6. Has your cat experienced any injuries to the anal area? (like a pelvic fracture, or a fall, or an anal temperature probe?)

7. Has your cat been rubbing his anus on the floor or carpets?

8. When did you first notice the blood in his stool?

9. Has your cat been straining or constipated? (your cat could have hemorrhoids)

10. How many times has your cat defecated in the past 24 hours?

11. Are there other symptoms your cat has? (such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, drinking a lot of water, and lethargic?)

12. Have there been any changes in the cats environment? (are you renovating? did you move the litter box? a new kitten in the house?)

Basically the bottom line is this, if you see the symptoms bloody stool in cats, put the stool in a plastic bag and get your cat and the stool to your vet as soon as possible.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

Woman gets tackled by a lion at a Photoshoot!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

What can be causing the symptoms bloody stool in cats? There are several possible causes so it is really important that you take a sample of the bloody stool and your cat to the vet right away.

Symptoms bloody stool in cats could be caused by:

1. Parasites - yep, worms, round worms, tapeworms, get your cat treated right away, parasites kill your cat slowly and painfully.

2. Allergy to food - if you've recently changed your cat's diet or if your cat has been on the same diet for a really long time, allergies can develop and cause intestinal bleeding.

3. Polyps

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4. Cancer - cats can get cancer.

5. Colitis - a very painful condition caused by poor diet.

6. Damage to the bowel - could be caused by your cat eating something or a bite from another animal.. or lots of stuff..

7. Blood clots - a dark tar-like blood indicates a problem higher up in the intestines of your cat.

8. Constipation - what are you feeding your cat?

9. Diarrhea - again, what are you feeding your cat?

10. Treating your cat like a little dog. Cats have a completely different physiology from dogs so if a product says it's safe for cats and dogs, then you need to stop giving it to your cat. There is a lot of misinformation about cat health out there and it is leading to many loved family cats suffering needlessly.

If you see the symptoms bloody stool in cats, it isn't good. Take a sample of the stool and your cat to the vet right away.

Other posts I think you might be into:

12 cats that will be extinct by 2020

See a 400 lbs African Lion hug and kiss his rescuer!

Woman gets tackled by a lion at a Photoshoot!

These ringtones will drive your cat crazy...

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Cats and Teeth Cleaning: Top Five Tips for Healthy Teeth.

1. Brush your cat’s teeth daily. Just once a day will keep him from experiencing painful gum diseases and will also keep his liver, heart, spleen and other internal organs healthy.

2. Check for signs of trouble such as bad breath, bleeding or inflamed gums, or loose missing or broken teeth and tartar. If your cat simply will not allow you to brush his teeth, it may be too late – see a vet immediately because he may already have a dental disease.

3. Feed your cat high quality cat food and treats. Lower quality foods and treats contain too much starch and sugars that stick to teeth and cause damage and tartar build-up. Ask your vet about foods and treats designed for healthy teeth.

4. Get special cat toys designed for chewing, and that promote dental hygiene. Petstages has several different ones for teething kittens, adult cats and senior cats.

5. And most importantly, have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian at least once a year. Sometimes cats need a professional cleaning every six months.

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Herbal treatment for cats' illnesses seems like a good idea, but beware of the risks. The truth is, most herbal remedies sold for cats are formulated for dogs and are actually toxic to cats. Cats can become really sick or even die with prolonged use.

Pretty scary huh?

It seems that cats process toxins and chemicals very different than dogs do, so even if it says it is safe for cats, you need to look out for....

You've spent some time getting your cat used to the toothpaste and you are relaxed and your cat's happy, so now it is time to go in with the brush!

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Hold on....not so fast. Introduce the brush slowly, put some toothpaste on the brush and let your cat chew on the brush - it'll floss and clean the teeth at the same time.

If kitty is getting suspicious, stop for the day but if you think you can get the brush right on his teeth, go for it.

Sometimes, all I have to do is just hold Neo's mouth open with one hand and brush with the other, but other days... it's not so easy...

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On those days, here's how I can brush his teeth. I have to hold Neo's whole body, otherwise he pushes me away with his powerful legs. So I sit on the floor with my knees up to my chest. I hold Neo's body on my lap (so he is facing to the right) and press my legs against my chest just enough to retrain him but not to hurt him of course.

Then that leaves both of my hands free - my left hand holds his mouth open and I brush his teeth with my right hand.

I work quickly and often he gets toothpaste all over his cheeks, but when I release him, I pet him and tell him what a good boy he is.

He is very forgiving.

Products you can use for brushing are outlined here

The final word on supplements. Do cats need supplements? or is this just something that health conscious humans think their cats need?

There are basic requirements that your cat needs daily to live a healthy life. Good quality proteins and amino acids are essential, especially taurine, without it, your cat will likely die or suffer serious medical conditions such as heart disease.

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Then there are vitamins and minerals that cats need in the proper ratio and in the proper form. And of course, Essential Fatty Acids - yes cats need fish oil too! Maybe that's why they like fish so much!

So with all these requirements, how do you know if your cat is getting enough? The bottom line is talk to your vet about it. So here are some guidelines for answering the question, do cats need supplements?

Ok folks, serious stuff here. For the second time in recent months, Hartz is performing a voluntary recall of one of their cat related products.

According to the press release, Hartz believes that there may be concerns with bottles of Vitamin Care for Cats within a certain lot; they may have Salmonella.

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Salmonella is a serious health concern for cats. If you give your cat the Hartz Vitamin Care for Cats, you might want review the bottles for lot code SZ 22771, UPC number 32700-97701. According to Hartz, this effects 739 bottles. If you can't find the lot code or UPC number on your bottle, you should stop using the product just in case.

If your cat is exhibiting symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, nausea or fever; you should contact your vet right away.

Kudos to Hartz for reacting very quickly on this one. You can call them at 1-800-275-1414 if you have any questions or concerns.

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