Cat Health: October 2008 Archives

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Pictures_Cat_first_aid.jpgWhen cats are injured or sick, sometimes people think cats can get better on their own. And cats are very stoic, they rarely show that they are in pain or suffering, which makes it even more difficult to know when to take your cat to the vet. Here are some circumstances that are warning signs of major health issues that only a vet can diagnose properly. So always take your cat to see a vet, even if it has to be an emergency clinic in the middle of the night, if he has any of these symptoms:

1. If your cat has been hit by a car, even if there are no outward signs of injury. My cousin had a kitten who was hit by a car at night, his leg and spine were broken but he walked home! My cousin saw that he was very close to the car that hit him but didn't know the cat was hurt until the next morning, when he was showing signs of shock. When he took him to the vet, he had to put him down.

2. If your cat has been in a cat fight, again, even if there is no sign of injury. There could be subtle injuries that if left untreated could cost you your cat's life. I had a cat, her name was Chloe, she got into a fight, and her tail was bitten. I didn't know to take her in to the vet right away and the bite got infected. She almost lost her tail because of my negligence.

3. If your cat has suffered from trauma of any sort like a fall from someplace high, as a passenger in a car, hit by something, kicked, or abused in anyway. (see my post Driving Miss Kitty for tips on how to keep your cat safe in the car) Internal injuries and shock can have a devastating effect on your cat.stray_cats.jpg

4. If your cat is in shock, even if you don't think anything happened to him, take him to the vet if he shows signs of shock. Watch for weak or rapid pulse, gums start out red or pink then turn grey, dazed or lethargic, shallow breathing, nervousness, difficulty standing, pupils dilating at different rates, or your cat being cold or shivering.

5. If your cat is dehydrated. How can you tell if your cat is dehydrated? pull on the skin on his back, if it kind of stays up in the shape when you pulled it, your cat is dehydrated and needs an immediate IV of fluids. Your cats skin should be elastic and return to its normal shape after it's pulled.

6. If your cat might have ingested something toxic like antifreeze, human medications, or anything that cats aren't supposed to eat, things that may be find for you could be deadly to your cat.

7. If your cat loses consciousness, even for a second or two, is a sign of some sort of brain trauma.

8. If your cat is bleeding and you can't stop it, even when you apply pressure and bandage it.

9. If your cat has bloody urine or diarrhea with blood. Not good, internal injuries, get him to the vet now.

Pictures_of_cats_grooming.jpg10. Obviously, if your cat is having trouble breathing take him in, or if he isn't breathing, start breathing for him by administering CPR and get him to the vet immediately.

If your cat has any of these signs, stay calm and talk to him in a calm voice, wrap him gently in a large towel or blanket and place him in his carrier and get him to the vet immediately.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 

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cats-heart-disease-attack.jpgIn what is becoming a semi-annual event, another institute has released results that prove what many cat lovers have known for years; owning a cat dramatically improves your quality of life.

According to the Minnesota Stroke Institute, cat owners benefit from a lower incidence of heart disease and are 30% less likely to suffer a heart attack. Pretty amazing isn't it?

Many other studies that we've spoken about in the past show that owning a cat can also lower your cholesterol levels and improve your reaction to stressful situations.

No one really understands the correlation between cats and lower heart disease levels; we can only assume that it has to do with stress levels being lowered by our feline friends.

I know there's been a million times when I've been stressed out only to have my cat Maddy lie on me or kneed my face. Do you have any stories about your cat making your life better? Share them below, we'd love to hear from you.

Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news. 
If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day.  Thanks for visiting!

bengal_cat.jpgAs your cat gets older, he may not have the same energy as he had when he was younger. Usually what this means for older cats is that they neglect to groom themselves as well as they used to. Here are a few things that you can do to help your older cat stay well groomed:

  • Daily brushing of your senior cat's teeth is essential. Bacteria from the teeth and gums can enter your cat's blood stream and actually damage vital organs. If you can't brush your cat's teeth every day, a couple of times a week is still better than none. I would strongly urge you to visit your vet and get some ideas on how you can keep your cat's teeth clean.
  • Older cats tend not to scratch their scratching posts as much as they used to. Take the time to clip your cat's nails every week.
  • It's a good idea to brush your older cat's fur at least once a week. This will not only keep your cat looking and feeling better, it will more importantly alert you to any bumps, bare spots or any other general oddities that you may have not noticed before. If you notice something on your cat's scalp that isn't normal, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.
  • Over the next few days, I'll be posting some other tips for taking care of your older cat. If you have any ideas or recommendations on how to take care of an older cat, feel free to comment below and give us your ideas.

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers.  Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.
    If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day. Thanks for visiting!

    litter_box.jpgIs your cat pooing or peeing outside of the litter box? Join the party. I don't know of any cat owner that hasn't had this sort of problem. It happens. Depending on how fussy your cat is, it may happen more than you like. My cat Maddy usually lets me know (if I forget) that the litter needs cleaning by meowing in the basement.

    Cats are very smart animals and usually when something is "off," they'll show you their displeasure by doing something you probably don't want them to do.

    If you're not in the habit of removing your cat's waste on a daily basis, that may be the issue. Your cat's nose is far more sensitive than yours so he's probably peeing or pooing outside of the litter because it's dirty.

    Some cat owners like to mix a small amount of baking soda into the litter to try and control the smell. Some people say the baking soda helps and a lot say it doesn't work. It depends on your cat.

    The best way to control the odor of your cat's waste is to regularly clean the litter box pan. According to my vet, one of the best ways to do this is by cleaing the litter/pan with soapy water on a regular basis.

    If your cat is really picky, the absolute best option is to use a ten percent bleach solution. Bleach is very effective against odours and bacteria and it is a fantastic way to rid your cat's litter of unwanted smells. If you're going to use the bleach option, make sure that you rinse thoroughy.

    You should avoid using disinfectants or any other substance that has a strong scent. Remember that your cat's scent is about fourteen times more sensitive than yours. Scents that are slight to you will overpower your cat. The last thing you want to do is irritate your cat with the scent of their own waste combined with scent of pot pourri!

    If you have any suggestions that have worked or not worked for your cat's litter box, please comment below and share.

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers. Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.

    If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day. Thanks for visiting!

    schedule_cat_feeding.jpgHow do you feed your cat? Do you leave his food out or do you feed him at scheduled times? The one factor that will determine feeding patters will be the type of food you feed your cat. If you feed your cat dry food, you more than likely leave the food out for him to eat when he pleases. If you feed your cat canned food, you know that your cat likes his food fresh. Canned food almost forces you to measure and place your cat's food out on a schedule. This isn't a bad thing.

    Depending on your cat and her dietary needs, "free feading" or scheduled feedings can work. In my opinion, scheduled feedings are the way to go for most cats; here's why:

  • A great reason to feed your cat on a schedule is to deal with obesity. Feeding your cat measured amounts on a schedule usually prevents your cat from overeating.
  • Another good reason for scheduled feedings is due to cat illness. It's a lot easier to spot if your cat isn't eating if you're monitoring their food intake a couple of times a day. If you're "free feeding" your cat, it's going to take you longer to notice that your cat has lost his appetite. In many cases, a cat's loss of diet is the first sign that something is wrong.
  • With a rash of pet food recalls lately, scheduled feedings allow you to react more quickly to mandatory recalls. Cats that "free feed," eat throughout the day which makes it harder to know how much contaminated food your cat may have ingested. With scheduled feedings, it's easier for you to guess how much food your cat may have eaten in the event of a recall that effects your brand.


  • My vet told me about a really neat trick that you might want to try to switch your cat from a "free feeding" to a scheduled feeding program. The night before your first scheduled feed day, remove all of your cat's food from his bowl. Don't put out any food the next morning. In the evening, put some food out for your cat and leave it there for about half an hour. If you have more than one cat, you might want to supervise the feeding to make sure that both cats are eating enough food. Once your cat or cats are done, remove the food and follow the same procedure in the morning. In a couple of days, your cat will get used to a scheduled food regimen.

    If your cat isn't adjusting to a scheduled feeding, talk to your vet about other options.

    If you've had positive or negative experiences with either "free feeding" or scheduled feedings, post a comment below and share your story.

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers. Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.

    If you're new here, please consider subscribing to my feed. If you love cats, you'll enjoy the posts we place online every day. Thanks for visiting!

    fat_cat_weight_issue.jpgIs your cat starting to look like a ball with legs lately? Just like people, excess weight can shorten a cat's life. In most cases, excess weight in cats are a result of overeating and a lack of activity.

    There are several factors that will determine how much food your cat will need in a given day:

  • Quality of food: With cat food, you tend to get what you pay for. If your cat's food ingredients list fillers as the main ingredient, then your cat is forced to eat more to satisfy his or her hunger. This isn't an ideal situation for your cat. Ideally, you want your cat to be eating nutritionally dense food that will satisfy his needs. If you care for your cat's welfare, (I'm assuming you do because you're here) take the extra time to consult a vet about the ideal food for your cat's dietary needs. Good food is crucial to their health.
  • Activity level: If your cat is a couch potato (see video below) then your cat won't have the same nutritional requirements as a cat that is very active. Observe your cats activity and adjust his or her feeding accordingly. Remember that even a half a pound increase in your cat's weight is significant when you consider most domestic cats are in the ten pound range.


  • On a day to day basis, only you can tell if your cat is lethargic or active. Based upon their activity, vary your cat's intake of food. I can't emphasize enough that the quality of your cat's food will have a huge effect on his or her health.

    If you're not sure what your cat should weigh, do the smart thing and take him to a vet. I would also recommend that you bring the packaging/ingredients list of the type of food your cat consumes.

    I'd love to hear your horror stories or positive reviews of good cat food below.

    Click here for our past posts, our archives have hundreds of helpful cat information posts for cat lovers. Please subscribe to our RSS feed if you're a cat person that likes cat related information, cat care advice and news.

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