banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

Recent Posts

Feline Pancreatitis

| January 5, 2019

By Arnold Plotnick, MS, DVM, ACVIM

Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) is a common gastrointestinal disorder in dogs and cats.  In the past, the incidence of pancreatitis in cats was thought to be low, but recent studies suggest the contrary. The true incidence of the disease is unknown, however, as many dogs and cats have mild disease and are not presented to a veterinarian.  Unfortunately, many cases of pancreatitis in cats go undiagnosed due to the nonspecific, vague clinical signs, and the lack of a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic test.  However, a new test has become available that may improve our ability to achieve a diagnosis of this elusive disease in cats.

The pancreas serves a dual role in animals.  It is an “endocrine” organ – it  produces hormones that regulate body functions, the most well-known of these hormones being insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.  It is also an “exocrine” organ – it produces enzymes that are involved in digestion of food.   Many things can go wrong with the pancreas.  The endocrine portion can malfunction in terms of hormone production.  The most common example would be diabetes, in which the pancreas produces insufficient quantities of insulin.  Disorders involving the exocrine portion of the pancreas are also common.  The pancreas can fail to produce sufficient digestive enzymes, causing a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.  The pancreas can also become inflamed, resulting in the digestive enzymes being released into the pancreas itself rather than into the intestinal tract, a condition we generally term “pancreatitis”. No one is sure what causes pancreatitis in cats.  Trauma, infection, parasitism, and idiosyncratic reactions to certain drugs are potential causes of pancreatitis, however, the vast majority of cases (> 90%) cannot be linked to any one specific cause.  Siamese cats seem to be at greater risk than other cats, which suggest a possible genetic component to the disorder.

Clinical signs of feline pancreatitis are quite variable, and usually differ from signs seen in dogs.  Dogs often vomit and have signs of abdominal pain.  Cats, however, may present with poor or absent appetite, lethargy, weight loss, dehydration, and diarrhea.  Vomiting and abdominal pain are variable clinical findings in cats affected with pancreatitis. Unfortunately for cats, pancreatitis is usually not a one-time occurrence.  Instead, it tends to be a chronic, intermittent problem.  Dogs, by comparison, are more likely to experience acute pancreatitis, a short-term inflammatory condition that may be completely reversible after the inciting cause has been eliminated. In some instances of feline pancreatitis, things can really get out of control, and the pancreatitis can trigger damage to other areas of the body, leading to respiratory failure, steatitis (painful inflammation of fatty tissue), and other damage, often with devastating consequences.

For years, veterinarians have grappled with diagnostic tests for pancreatitis.  The disorder cannot be diagnosed based on historical or clinical signs alone, because the clinical signs (lethargy, inappetance, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea) mimic many other diseases in cats and are not specific for pancreatitis. Further complicating matters, pancreatitis in cats often develops concurrently with other diseases, such as hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease), cholangtiohepatitis (inflammation of the liver and bile ducts), and inflammatory bowel disease.  (In fact, the concurrent occurrence of these three disorders in a cat has been termed “feline triad disease” or “triaditis”).

As for diagnostic testing, it has been suggested for years that two enzymes found in serum, amylase and lipase, were good indicators of pancreatic inflammation if they were elevated, but multiple studies have shown that almost 50% of dogs with elevated serum amylase or lipase levels did not have pancreatitis.  In cats, the situation is even worse.  Serum amylase and lipase levels have no clinical usefulness at all for the diagnosis of feline pancreatitis.  This is mostly because other organs in the body produce these enzymes, such as the stomach and small intestine.  Also, these enzymes are excreted by the kidney, and the presence of concurrent kidney disease (which is fairly common in cats) can falsely elevate the serum amylase and lipase levels. Occasionally, an elevated white blood cell count and elevated liver enzymes may be present, but these findings are also not specific for pancreatic disease per se, and in fact may mislead clinicians into thinking that the primary problem is the liver, rather than the pancreas.

X-ray findings are subjective and may not be apparent.  In most instances, radiographic findings are normal.  Ultrasound is a helpful tool for diagnosing pancreatitis.  In the past, it was suggested that if you could find the pancreas during an abdominal ultrasound, it had to be swollen and therefore abnormal.  This is no longer the case.  A skillful ultrasonographer using today’s state-of-the-art equipment should be able to identify the pancreas nearly every time the abdomen is ultrasounded.  Once identified, the ultrasonographer can then determine if the pancreas is of normal size, shape and density, or if it looks abnormal or diseased.  In feline pancreatitis, however, ultrasound detects pancreatitis only 11 – 35% of the time that it is present.

Several years ago, a test was developed to assess how well the pancreas was producing digestive enzymes.  The test, called the serum feline trypsin-like immunoreactivity (fTLI) test, was very accurate for diagnosing exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, the condition in cats described above whereby the pancreas produces inadequate digestive enzymes.  A low level confirmed that the pancreas was under-producing these enzymes.  Not long after the test became available, it was noted that cats with pancreatic inflammation would often have an elevated fTLI test.  However, elevation of the fTLI turns out not to correlate very well with pancreatitis.  A low fTLI is a meaningful find.  A high fTLI maybe suggests pancreatitis, but it’s very iffy.

Now there is a better test for assessing pancreatic inflammation in the cat.  This test measures serum pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (PLI).  Experimental studies and clinical experience have shown that the fPLI test correlates very well with pancreatic inflammation.  This test is now the blood test of choice for diagnosing pancreatitis in cats.

Treatment of pancreatitis in cats can be equally as frustrating as the diagnostic process.  Supportive care is the mainstay of therapy.  Efforts should be made to try to identify and eliminate any inciting cause.  Intravenous fluid therapy in crucial, to keep the pancreas well perfused with blood.  Medication to control pain and vomiting may be necessary, and antibiotics may be needed if an infectious cause is suspected.   Appetite stimulants may be helpful in cats that won’t eat.  In most cases, cats recover from pancreatitis, although future flare-ups are always a concern.

How To Treat The Rare And Deadly Nasal Cancer In Dogs And Cats

| January 5, 2019

Nasal passage cancer generally develops very insidiously in older pets, so find out the signs of this disease and how to treat it.

The symptoms of nasal cancer are often attributed to another condition. Biopsies and cultures should be taken if a patient exhibits any signs of infection or allergies.

Nasal passage cancer generally develops very insidiously in older pets.

It is rare in cats and not common in dogs. It composes about 1 percent of feline tumors and up to 2.5 percent of canine tumors. Long-nosed breeds (dolichocephalic) and senior dogs are at higher risk.

Clinical Signs Of Nasal Passage

The early signs of nasal cancer in dogs or cats are:

  • Unilateral nasal and/or ocular discharge 
  • Epistaxis
  • Stridor
  • Loss of smell
  • Loose teeth
  • Sometimes pawing at the face

Late-stage signs may include a facial deformity along the dorsal aspect of the maxillary bones or over the paranasal and frontal sinuses. Some cases develop a raised or pitting facial bone deformity.

Some cases may exhibit a firm or soft focal, raised mass protruding around or between the eyes. Some cases may have a palatine deformity from the softening and bowing out of the hard palate due to demineralization of the palatine bone and growth of the mass.

In every case of facial deformity, there is bone lysis and tumor invasion at that site. If the lesions extend into the brain, seizures and behavior changes are often exhibited.

A complication of nasal cancer is the over production of mucus. It collects and clogs the nasal passages and sinuses.

How To Prepare The Pet Owner

The stridor and mess from sneezing out phlegm along with the vivid color of blood during episodes of epistaxis cause great distress for pet owners.

Most animals with nasal cancer exhibit sporadic signs in the early stages, then show progression over a period of about three months before diagnosis.

Initially, the clinical signs fit the assumption that the pet has one of a variety of nasal conditions. Most clinicians would suspect or that a foreign body is lodged in the nasal passages.

A search for the offending material finds nothing. If the nasal passages are cultured, pathogens are often found and identified on culture and sensitivity reports.

So, the diagnosis of rhinitis may suffice for a time. Some elder pets have oronasal fistulas from infected or extracted teeth to complicate matters.

If the symptoms persist, the working diagnosis is often presumed to be either a foreign body that remains wedged in the upper turbinates or chronic rhinitis.

In some case histories, the nasal passages were explored several times without locating a foreign body yet no biopsy or culture was taken.

Since the problem is presumed to be either infectious or allergic, the patient is placed on symptomatic treatment with antibiotics, steroids and antihistamines or nose drops for topical therapy.

The patient often gets relief from symptoms. This is why most nasal cancers go undetected for three months and why some cases may go undetected as long as six months in dogs and up to two years in cats.

 

{NOTE FROM KITTYCAT – IF  SYMPTOMS PERSIST FOR LONGER THAN 2 WEEKS, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR CAT/DOG IS OLDER, PLEASE ASK YOUR VET TO FURTHER INVESTIGATE AND CONSIDER DOING A CT SCAN IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT !!!!!   EARLY DETECTION IS VERY IMPORTANT !!!}

Diagnosis Of Nasal Cancer

The best radiographs for visualizing the nasal cavity are taken under general anesthesia with the X-ray film placed into the open mouth for an intranasal view.

You May Also Like  Reducing the fear factor

Teach your X-ray technicians to use the positions from a good radiology text for open-mouth studies of the nasal cavity.

Place the X-ray film inside the mouth. Place one corner extending as far back toward the tonsils as possible and take a DV image. This provides the best exposure of the nasal passages.

Intra-oral radiography is best accomplished with high quality non-screen film; we use mammography film.

The A-P skyline position for the best view of the frontal sinuses of the skull is also very important to complete a full skull series. Look for space occupying or lytic disease in the nasal passages or sinuses. Look for an asymmetrical density or lysis or interruption of the fine scroll pattern of the nasal turbinates, a break in the fine lines of the nasal septum or a density in one of the frontal sinuses.

Too many cases of nasal cancer are initially missed on the first X-ray series because of poor visualization.

Magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography scans of the nasal passages and paranasal sinuses have become the gold standard for imaging nasal tumors. Localization of the lesion is necessary for treatment planning.

A small number of patients may have lymphadenopathy. It is important to discuss the usefulness of MRI or CT scan in this setting with the pet owner.

CT technology is used for computerized treatment planning for radiation therapy patients. So, if the patient will be receiving radiation therapy, it may save time and money to order a CT scan from the start.

Since general anesthesia is needed for these studies, it may be the best opportunity to also request tissue samples for definitive diagnosis. Some imaging services are set up to accommodate biopsy procedures and some are not. I prefer to refer cases to facilities that will do a biopsy.

Perform A Biopsy

If a geriatric patient is going to be anesthetized for X-rays, a biopsy should be done at the same time. The radiographs will suggest the best area to sample.

Various instruments can be used but all require precautions to avoid penetrating the ethmoid plate. Rhinoscopy with direct biopsy of the abnormal tissues is most direct.

A long true-cut biopsy needle, a plastic cannula or biopsy forceps is passed through the nostril into the nasal cavity and thrust into the suspected lesion to harvest a sample for histopathology.

For safety, always measure the distance between the tip of the nose to the area just in front of the ethmoid (cribriform) plate. This should be just in front of the medial canthus. Mark the biopsy instrument with tape or ink.

In cases with nasal bone deformity or a bulge over a sinus, one can generally pass an FNA needle directly through the skin and softened bone into the lesion and aspirate a sample for cytology.

One can also insert a true cut instrument through the bulging defect and into the sinus to get a sample for histopathology.

In most cases, the harvested material is gelatinous and difficult to distinguish from phlegm. Expect bleeding and if necessary, use cotton soaked in epinephrine to pack the nostrils.

You May Also Like  New research for canine, human Type 1 diabetes holds promise

It may be necessary to keep the patient under anesthesia or quiet with sedation until bleeding is controlled.

Pathology

Pathology reports identify most canine nasal tumors as carcinomas. Most of them are respiratory adenocarcinoma followed by squamous cell carcinoma and a few miscellaneous or undifferentiated carcinomas.

About one third of nasal cavity neoplasia in dogs are sarcomas, with fibrosarcoma being most common followed by chondrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, lymphoma, and then other miscellaneous and undifferentiated sarcomas.

North Carolina State University summarized 320 cases of nasal tumors in cats, finding that 60 percent were carcinomas, 18 percent sarcomas and 12 percent lymphoma.

There is no correlation with grade and survival. However, some tumors may have a low mitotic rate or a slower rate of growth or a less aggressive biological behavior than others, such as low-grade chondrosarcoma.

Treatment

Surgery for dogs with nasal cancer was routinely performed until data showed that rhinotomy (opening the nasal passages and scooping tumor out) was a negative factor for survival time.

However, rhinotomy followed by orthovoltage radiation therapy yielded the longest survival times but rhinotomy was not necessary if the pet was to receive cobalt radiation therapy.

This information and the poor survival data made treating nasal tumors confusing and frustrating.

Today the norm is to avoid surgical rhinotomy. However, if pet owners are interested in radiation therapy, they should be referred for imaging studies to locate the extent of disease.

Then refer them to a radiation oncologist for consultation regarding the risk-benefit ratio and an honest survival time discussion based on the tumor type and the individual pet’s stage of disease.

The owner needs to reconcile his psychological, emotional, financial and ethical considerations regarding treatment for the pet.

Most facilities use cobalt radiation therapy and CT scan technology for treatment planning. Some facilities treat pets with linear accelerators. There may be no difference in the survival times with either machine, but side effects may be less severe in animals treated with the higher energy linear accelerators.

Of all nasal passage tumors, nasal lymphomas respond the best to radiation therapy as well as to chemotherapy.

Most oncologists recommend systemic chemotherapy in addition to radiation therapy for nasal lymphoma because lymphoma is considered a systemic disease rather than a focal disease. This is especially true in cats.

Drugs that enhance the effect of radiation (radiation sensitizers) such as mitoxantrone or carboplatin (some use low dose cisplatin) have been used. However, the advantage for survival is not yet firmly established.

I think it makes sense to use systemic chemotherapy because it may enhance the radiation’s effects and also addresses the metastatic potential.

This is important because 10 percent of patients present with lymph node metastases and 40 percent will go on to metastasize. Local recurrence and metastases are the main reasons for death of pets treated for nasal cavity cancer.

You May Also Like  Veterinarian enrollment open for 2018 Diabetes PetCare Alliance

So, there is a need to keep searching for better ways to enhance local control and control of metastatic disease.

The side effects of radiation therapy for nasal cancer are quiet severe, especially if the tumor approaches the ethmoid plate or invades the orbit.

Patients experience radiation-induced oral mucositis, chealitis and conjunctivitis.

The client must be informed and prepared for the responsibilities of home care during and following treatments. Pet owners must also be told to expect chronic nasal discharge following treatment.

The normal delicate tissue of the nasal turbinates will never again function properly due to permanent injury from the radiation therapy. Cataracts and blindness following radiation therapy will occur if the orbit is invaded by the cancer and if the eyes are included in the treatment field.

Chemotherapy is often elected as a palliative and less aggressive therapy, especially in advanced cases that have poor prognoses. Many oncologists offer medical management for clients who decline conventional radiation therapy for their pets.

I like to use carboplatin rotating with mitoxantrone every 21 to 30 days for most adenocarcinomas and carboplatin rotating with adriamycin for sarcomas.

I also use long-term doxycylcine as my antibiotic of choice and an NSAID such as piroxicam, deracoxib or meloxicam for pain control and their anti-angiogenesis action.

Clinical improvement is often reported for pets on chemotherapy with reduction of epistaxis, sneezing, snorting, stridor, nasal discharge and pain relief. Patients do not seem to have extended life spans with chemotherapy but many seem clinically improved for a variable amount of time.

Prognosis

The prognosis is generally grave to very poor. Untreated dogs and cats usually die within two to seven months of diagnosis. If rhinotomy is the only treatment, survival is actually shorter.

In selected cases that receive radiation therapy (plus or minus adjuvant therapy), survival can be raised to a range of eight to 25 months.

The one-year treatment survival may be 40 percent and can go up to 80 percent in select cases. Half of the one-year survivors die in the second year. Palliative chemotherapy may improve clinical signs for a time but does not seem to extend survival.

If you are trying to select a good case for radiation therapy, sarcomas do better than carcinomas and respiratory adenocarcinomas do better than other carcinomas.

Tumor size and location are also factors. Localized lesions in the rostral to middle part of the nasal passage do better; most are in the caudal two-thirds of the nasal passage.

Lymphomas respond the best and low-grade chondrosarcomas have the potential to survive the longest.

Radiation therapy for nasal passage cancer is a difficult process for the patient and caregivers. The risk-benefit ratio must be weighed carefully in each case.

Therefore, during consultation with the pet owner, it may be difficult to recommend conventional therapy over palliative therapy, especially for advanced cases due to the overall poor prognosis.

 

 

 

COPYRIGHT:   https://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/

 

 

 

IN LOVING MEMORY OF AMBER FERREIRA – 10 MAY 2004 – 18 DECEMBER 2018

3 Crazy Cat Facts That Are Actually True

| October 5, 2018

3 Crazy Cat Facts That Are Actually True

 

Unlike dogs who are the open books of the pet world, cats are enigmas. Spending large parts of their days hidden away, appearing sporadically when it is time for some food or a back scratch.

 

One can only guess half the things they get up to when they are out of sight!

 

It turns out that cats get up to a remarkable array of things!

 

Here are three surprising cat facts which may make you think twice about what your own cat is capable of:

1. Unsinkable Sam survived 3 shipwrecks during World War 2. One with the German navy and 2 with the British Royal Navy.

The aptly named Unsinkable Sam AKA Oscar was a German ship cat that survived three shipwrecks.

Two with the German Kriegsmarine, the second of these on the famous German Bismarck ship.

Unsinkable Sam was plucked out of the sea by the British navy following the sinking of the Bismarck and lived happily on the British HMS Cossack before he was transferred to the HMS Ark Royal which was sunk following a torpedo strike.

Thankfully the ship sank very slowly allowing all but one of the crew and Sam to escape with their lives in tact before Sam officially retired from the navy.

2.Cats were able to detect Russian spy microphones hidden in the Dutch Embassy in Moscow, Russia in the 1960s.

 

If it wasn’t for the incredibly sharp hearing and intense curiosity of cats officials at the Dutch embassy in Moscow would never have discovered that the Russians were spying on them.

 

Russian spies had installed wireless microphones inside the walls, two cats heard these switch on (they would emit a very high frequency noise imperceptible to human ears when they came on) and frantically started scratching the wall.

 

Suspecting some sort of rodent infestation the wall was opened up only for the microphones to be discovered!

3. The smallest cat of all time is Tinker Toy, at a teeny 7 cm tall and 19 cm long.

As small as a guinea pig Tinker Toy was the runt of a litter of 6 other kittens, his remarkable lack of size was believed to be due to a genetic defect.

 

Raised in Taylorville, Illinois by Scott & Katrina Forbes Tinket Toy was a male blue-point Himalayan-Persian cat who is full of mischief and is just as likely to get lost down the back of your sofa as he is to be found halfway up your curtains!

Litter Box Strategies For Disabled Cats

| July 19, 2018
Litter Box Strategies For Disabled Cats

Cats that are blind, partially paralyzed, have a missing limb, or very old can develop litter box problems that affect you as well as them. Owning one of these special kitties is challenging, but you can develop solutions to work around cat litter box issues.

Cats that are blind, partially paralyzed, have a missing limb, or very old can develop litter box problems that affect you as well as them. Owning one of these special kitties is challenging, but you can develop solutions to work around cat litter box issues.

This article will touch upon some of the cat litter box issues and corresponding solutions you can implement for your blind, paralyzed, amputee, or very old cat.

Blind cats:

If you have owned kitty for a long time and her vision fades, it is critical that you keep her surroundings as static as possible. She will continue to navigate her way around by memory, and it’s vitally important that her cat litter boxes remain fixed in her memory. This doesn’t mean there won’t be accidents, but you can eliminate the possibility by maintaining her cat litter box location.

You can also develop a system where you keep her confined to a room with her food, water, litter box, and toys when you’re out of your home. This way, she’s in familiar surroundings with all her essentials. If she does have an out of litter box experience, it’s confined to one room. When you’re home and can monitor her wanderings, she has the freedom to travel around the entire house without getting into too many difficulties.

Please stay in close contact with your kitty vet if you have a blind cat. She can suggest more ideas and processes to help you and your kitty.

Partially paralyzed cats:

Some cat owners will opt to keep their partially paralyzed kitty alive. This is a personal choice made in coordination with the cat’s vet. Paralyzed kitties have absolutely no control over their elimination functions, so the feline owner is faced with a constant task of cleaning up the mess and the cat.

Again, close owner supervision will be necessary. If the cat moves around the house quite a bit, the feline owner will need to inspect the home several times a day to discover and clean up cat urine stains and feces. Conversely, the paralyzed kitty can be given a room of her own, with her food, water, toys, and possibly some cat litter on the floor, contained by a very low box, or on a protective piece of plastic. It’s possible the kitty will be in the vicinity of the cat litter if her system eliminates cat urine or feces.

Your vet and you can further consult on additional techniques and solutions. One such solution is learning to express your cat’s bladder to cut down on the number of cat urine puddles you will find in your home.

Missing a limb:

Cats who are amputees will want to do the right thing by using the cat litter box, but due to limited mobility, may get frustrated and use the floor. They lose the ability to scratch at the cat litter to cover their production, as well as maintaining balance while eliminating waste.

You can find a plastic storage bin that has high sides. On one or both ends, cut a “U” shaped opening so that the bottom of the “U” is about two inches from the container bottom. This will help the amputee kitty get in and out of the modifiied cat litter box easily.

You may wish to consider confining your special kitty when you’re not home to cut down the number of places to find cat urine and feces spots. Give her a nice room with her favorite food, clean water, toys, and a clean cat litter box that she can easily hop in and out of.

Consult with your vet. She may have experience with other feline patients and can pass on “lessons learned” to you.

Very old, or senior kitties:

One of the most frequent problems for senior kitties is they can develop confusion and dementia. The cat then forgets where her litter box is located, and finds the nearest convenient place to eliminate. Another very frequent health issue for old cats is stiffness in their joints, which can limit their mobility.

If their cat litter box is far away, or is in a now-inaccessible location, kitty will once again develop her own cat litter box location that is more convenient.

In these cases, keep more litter boxes available, and limit your cat’s traveling distance. For example, if your cat starts voluntarily confining herself to one particular part of your home, put a cat litter box nearby. You may also have to change the type of cat litter box you’re using, if it’s too difficult for her to get in and out of.

Once again, your local kitty vet may will have more solutions to discuss with you.

If you have one of these special kitties, it’s essential that you keep a good enzyme cleaner in stock at all times to quickly and efficiently clean up cat urine and feces spots. Good luck, and bless you!

Copyright & Credit:
About the Author Nancy has successfully eliminated cat urine odor from her home, and kept the kitty who caused it. Learn how you can save money and time by applying any one, or a combination of 18 proven solutions to get rid of cat urine odor in your home. http://www.stopcaturineodor.com
Published At: www.Isnare.com


The Older Cat

| July 17, 2018
The older cat

The most important aspect of living with a geriatric cat is to understand their needs. In human terms cats are considered to be elderly when they reach about 8 years of age. Equally a cat at any age may be sprightly, playful and healthy but the process of aging is irreversible and gradually wear and tear begins to show.

Ask anyone who has shared their home with an older cat and they will most likely answer “I just don’t know what I would do without him”. This is despite the extra time and attention they demand and the more frequent visits to the vet. While they quietly go about their life, we take it for granted they are there in the background, however we really do miss them when they are gone.

The most important aspect of living with a geriatric cat is to understand their needs. In human terms cats are considered to be elderly when they reach about 8 years of age. Equally a cat at any age may be sprightly, playful and healthy but the process of aging is irreversible and gradually wear and tear begins to show. Therefore it is easier to deal with these changes when you know what is possible.

They will begin to slow down, lose their sight, sense of smell, get arthritis, go deaf, go potty or get cranky. There are some things which can be done to keep our cats healthy and comfortable in their old age. Allow the cat a warm and sheltered environment – if this means keeping the cat indoors at night always ensure a litter tray is available at all times. Some cats may become lazy are prefer not to go outdoors at all. But if your cat does venture out of doors bear in mind that roaming cats may start to threaten his territory when he can no longer defend it adequately. He might become anxious and unsettled with unwanted visitors, particularly if you are not home or asleep. Perhaps letting him out when you are home and then indoors when you are either out or sleeping would minimise this stress.

Provide ramps for him so he is able to get to his favourite spots with minimal fuss, move bedding and litter trays downstairs (if you have stairs) so that access is easier for him. Grooming your cat is also important because as he gets older, reaching those hard to reach places such as the base of the tail, becomes difficult. A daily groom and wash over the face, eyes and mouth and bottom will help ensure your cat is clean. Grooming is such an integral part of your cat’s regimen, so helping it along in this area will surely brighten his day.

Two important preventative health measures for the elderly cat are regular (6 monthly) checkups at the vet as well as a good quality, complete and balanced diet. Regular check ups might help pick up early signs of disease such as cancer, eye problems, kidney disease, arthritis and heart disease etc. Many disorders can be treated, others monitored and some prevented. Because old cats are generally less active, they require relatively less food. The goal of nutrition for old cats is to maintain a healthy body weight. Your vet can also recommend a diet which suits your cat’s needs depending on the situation – weight loss or weight gain.

It is important to allow your cat to lead a relatively unstressed life. Keeping to a routine with feeding, grooming and regular sessions of watching the TV or reading a book together are intrinsic to maintaining overall wellbeing. Watching the first white whiskers appearing is sometimes sad, but the later years of a cat’s life can also be the best – old cats have had time to really develop their character and purrsonality and are a delight to have around.

Finally there comes a time when important decisions need to be considered. There are no easy answers to the subject of euthanasia and everyone will have a different approach to this emotional time. Always involve all members of the family in this process so that they have time to say goodbye and prepare. Close consultation with your vet should help you make your decision but if you don’t feel right about it take your time. Most suffering can be relieved to a certain extent with medication and you may have a little more time to prepare. When the decision is made, expect to feel the same grief that you would feel if a family member has died. In essence this is what has happened. You have lost the companionship and unconditional love of your cat. Grieving is very normal. In time, the sadness lessens and is replaced by fond memories, and in time, who knows? You may even be ready to open your heart and home to another whisker embellished friend. The company of a cat is truly therapeutic to a sad soul.

Copyright & Credit:© CATMATCH Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from Catmatchwww.cat-match.com.au
CATMATCH began with an idea to help reduce the tens of thousands of cats and kittens that are put to sleep each year because they can’t find a home and someone to care for them. And yet there are people like you who would enjoy life with a cat.

Photo copyright and courtesy:Michelangelo Di Schiena

Alarm Clock Kitty, How to Stop Early Morning Meowing

| July 15, 2018
Grudgingly, I drag myself out of my warm bed and look at the clock; 3:47 am. I reach over to the night-stand and turn on the light, pain is the result, the light, so bright, the light is, so, so bright. My wife rolls over on her side and I can see the annoyed look on her scrunched up little face

Grudgingly, I drag myself out of my warm bed and look at the clock; 3:47 am. I reach over to the night-stand and turn on the light, pain is the result, the light, so bright, the light is, so, so bright. My wife rolls over on her side and I can see the annoyed look on her scrunched up little face

Meow! Meow! Meow! I bury my head underneath my pillow. Meow! Meow! Meoooooow! The high pitched meowing persists and penetrates through my feather stuffed shield. Meow! Meow! Meow! My eyes open only with the greatest of efforts. Grudgingly, I drag myself out of my warm bed and look at the clock; 3:47 am. I reach over to the night-stand and turn on the light, pain is the result, the light, so bright, the light is, so, so bright. My wife rolls over on her side and I can see the annoyed look on her scrunched up little face. “Must…. feed…. demon… cat….” I say to myself as I trudge to the kitchen to empty a can of cat food into the little yellow cat dish. The cat has by this time woken up the entire household and I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighbors were also awake.

Our cat is a loud cat. Unnervingly loud. 747 jet-engine loud. And there was a time that she woke up every morning before even the sun had the nerve to peek over the horizon. Our loveable little ball of fur wanted to be fed. While the rest of the household was fast asleep our sweet little kitty wanted to have some food to suck down her gullet. This caused quite a bit of frustration for us, especially since this was not a one time thing. No, this was indeed becoming her morning ritual. Every morning, our cat would sit in front of our door and meow at the top of her little kitty lungs the most blood curdling meows I had ever had the displeasure of hearing. Our initial reaction, after caving in and feeding her several nights/early mornings in a row, was to put her in the laundry room before my wife and I went to sleep at night. This, however, was not the best solution in the world, our cuddly little black mass didn’t seem to like it very much and after a while she wasn’t the warm and cuddly cat we knew before.

There must to be another solution to this dilemma. Fortunately, there is. What your cat is, is what has been termed as an “alarm clock kitty”, what that is, is a cat that wakes up very early (or stays up very late) and begins to meow at approximately the same time every single, bloody day in expectation of being fed. Unfortunately for those of us who enjoy sleeping at night this is a natural behavior in cats and while the problem may not happen to every cat owner it happens to many. So what can you do? Even though cats have been domesticated animals for thousands of years now dating back to ancient Egypt, they still have retained most of their wild instincts and this is a cat’s natural instinct; hunt and feed. Cats are predatory animals, they hunt, and the cat’s natural time to hunt generally falls between dusk and dawn because most of the prey they hunt are nocturnal (rats, mice and other rodents). So, if you can’t or don’t want to let your cat out at night to hunt on her own what should you do?

Training your cat to stop this behaviour may be fairly easy, but be warned, it will take a little patience on your part but a good night’s sleep may be the reward. What you need is a cat toy, preferably a mouse or something similar, a piece of string and a stick. Attach the cat toy to a string and the string to the stick. While you are watching your bedtime TV or doing whatever your before bedtime ritual is take your cat toy and play a hunting game with her. Cats love to chase things because of their hunting instinct. Play with your cat for about 15 minutes, enough time to tire your cat out and give her the satisfaction of having hunted. During your game create as realistic a hunting scenario as you can, make noises like a mouse (or whatever animal you are emulating) squeaking or scurrying through the brush. Let your cat catch the toy from time to time so that your cat will feel as if she was involved in a successful (rather than a frustrating) hunt. Towards the end gradually slow down the game drawing your little hunt to a close. Your cat will probably be sufficiently tired by this time. At the end of the game feed your cat something you know she likes. You don’t need to feed her a full sized meal, but feed her an amount sufficient enough to satisfy her hunger. A handful of cat treats or a little piece of left over pork chop may be sufficient. Then go to sleep. In all likelihood your cat will be satisfied and will not continue her ritual of waking you up every morning.

You may need to continue your hunting game with your cat for a week or two before the early morning meowing goes away, and even after it does its a good idea to play this game with your cat from time to time in order to keep the behavior from returning and to keep your cat feeling like an accomplished hunter. But if you follow this routine you should be able to satisfy your cat and get a little shut eye at the same time.

Copyright & Credit:

Andy Markison is an illustrator, graphic designer, animal lover and pet owner living in Germany. His website, ZapGraphix.com, sells fun and humorous pet related merchandise.
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Photo copyright and courtesy: Red~Star

Benefits of Cat Ownership

| July 14, 2018
Benefits of Cat Ownership

Scientific studies over the last 20 years have shown that pet owners are generally healthier than non pet owners

Cats have been associated with humans for at least 4,000 years – in ancient Egypt, their role in controlling rodents in grain was so important that cats were even worshipped as gods.

These days, over 31% of Australian households own a cat, and this probably has more to do with their popularity as companions than their ability to answer prayers. Cat owners receive many benefits from that companionship.

Scientific studies over the last 20 years have shown that pet owners are generally healthier than non pet owners – they suffer fewer minor illnesses and complaints, have better phychological health scores, and generally an improved overall feeling of “wellbeing”. The recent National People and Pets survey showed pet owners also visit the doctor significantly less.

Children who are raised with pets have a higher self esteem, and learn nurturing and social skills, as well as a sense of responsibility for others. Pets have been used very successfully as adjuncts to therapy, and the benefits to an elderly person of sitting with a cat curled up on the bed cannot be overestimated.

But perhaps the most compelling evidence for the benefits of cats came from a study of over 5,000 people conducted by the Baker Medical Research Institue in 1992 which found that cat owners (and dog owners) have significantly lower risk factors for heart disease than non cat owners, and that’s despite the fact that they drink more alcohol.
The key to these benefits is to be found in their unique qualities as companions.

Cats are extremely tactile, or “touchy” animals, and love to be patted and stroked, or just lie contentedly in the lap of their owners. Touch is a basic requirement for humans, as it is for all social species, and the companionship of a cat can be especially important for people who live alone.

Cats are also very entertaining, retaining a kitten-like playfulness and curiosity well into adulthood. People gain hours of relaxing pleasure watching their cats play, or just sitting listening to them purr. This relaxation is probably one of the major clues to the cat’s health effects – cats provide an easy antidote to the stresses of modern life.

The relative ease of care of a cat makes it the preferred pet in many circumstances. Cats do not need formal exercise as they will exercise themselves during play, and they can live comfortably in much smaller spaces than most dogs. Add the fact that they are naturally clean and fastidious animals, and it can be seen they are ideal pets for busy lifestyles. Cats also sleep two thirds of the day and will save their active time for when owners get home – an added bonus.

The same advantages apply to the elderly or incapacitated, who may not be able to meet the care needs of owning a dog.

Of course, most people don’t own cats just because they are practical. Cats have a certain character or personality which is distinctly their own. They are friendly and affectionate, yet retain an individuality and grace. most people own cats for the sheer joy of their “catness”.

Copyright & Credit:

© CATMATCH Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from Catmatch www.cat-match.com.au CATMATCH began with an idea to help reduce the tens of thousands of cats and kittens that are put to sleep each year because they can’t find a home and someone to care for them. And yet there are people like you who would enjoy life with a cat.

Photo copyright and courtesy: Marcelo Camargo

Cat Eye Health Issues and Treatment Options

| July 8, 2018
Cat Eye Health Issues and Treatment Options. One of the most common issues with cat eye health is conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the inner lining of the lid and the white of the eye.

One of the most common issues with cat eye health is conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the inner lining of the lid and the white of the eye.

As a cat owner, it is important for you to promote good cat eye health by knowing what a healthy eye looks like as opposed to an eye with a defect. The eye should be clear and bright with the area around the eyeball showing white. If you see red inner lids, discharge, cloudiness, dullness, tear-stained fur around the eye or the “third lid” coming over the eye, you are seeing symptoms of illness in the eye. You need to have your vet examine your cat’s eye to determine the cause.

One of the most common issues with cat eye health is conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the inner lining of the lid and the white of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be a result of allergies or infections by viruses, bacteria, or fungus. One of the viral infections that will cause chronic recurrences is herpes. If the condition is caused by infection, it can be spread to other cats, so you should keep your cat away from others until you know what the cause is and can clear up infection. Infection can also occur if the cat has been in a fight or accident that caused an ulceration of the cornea. Most likely the vet will prescribe an ophthalmic ointment to treat infection.

Overly watery eyes is another common eye problem for cats. Generally, this is an inherited defect in which the tear duct is blocked causing over tearing.

Much like humans, cats can also develop cataracts and glaucoma. Cloudiness of the lens, or cataracts, usually starts in older cats just like in older humans. Eventually, you may have to ask your vet to surgically remove the cataract to help your act remain active and able to see. If fluid is not draining from the eye properly, the cat can also develop the serious eye condition called glaucoma. This disease involves too much pressure on the inside of the eye.

If the vet prescribes eye drops, you will need to know how to administer them properly. First, clean the eye of any discharge. You may need someone to help hold your cat on its side. Use one hand to hold the eye open has you use the other to squeeze the drops into the eye. Make sure the tip of the bottle does NOT touch the eye or surrounding surfaces since it will contaminate the bottle with the infection. Once you have the drops in, allow the cat to blink so that it spreads the medicine over the entire surface of the eye.

Ointment may be a little more difficult to apply. Again, start by using a moist cotton ball or cloth to clean the eye and surrounding area. With the help of an assistant, restrain your cat on its side. While holding the eye open, you will need to keep the tube parallel to the lower lid squeezing the ointment along the edge of the eye. Usually, it needs to be a line about the length of a grain of rice. This can be a challenge if the cat is moving a lot because you have to be close enough to the eye to allow the ointment to rest on the edge of the lid without touching the infecting area with the tip to prevent contamination of the medicine. Once you have the ointment in place, the cat’s naturally blinking reflex will spread it over the eye. To get your cat’s eye health back in balance, use the medicine for the full term the doctor recommends.

Learn more about looking after your cat with coverage on problems ranging from cat fleas to diarrhea and other treatable conditions at  http://www.takingcareofanewkitten.com

Copyright & Credit:
Originally published on SearchWarp.com for Richard Davies Thursday, June 26, 2008
Article Source: Cat Eye Health Issues and Treatment Options

Photo copyright & courtesy: Ilker – stock.xchng

Aggressive Cat Behaviour

| July 7, 2018
Aggressive Cat Behaviour

In case you are at the moment experiencing aggressive cat behaviour then I believe I may also help you out. I’ve a couple of cats and someday out of nowhere they began getting increasingly more aggressive and showing aggressive cat behaviour.

In case you are at the moment experiencing aggressive cat behaviour then I believe I may also help you out. I’ve a couple of cats and someday out of nowhere they began getting increasingly more aggressive and showing aggressive cat behaviour.

Get It Sorted Rapidly – The thing is with aggressive cat behaviour is that there is clearly a problem someplace in the house that the cats should not completely satisfied with. It’s a must to type this as rapidly as doable or it’ll simply give you more annoyance further down the road. When you get it sorted now I promise you will thank your self for it 100 times over.

What To Do? – Cats are very territorial animals and like a secure setting where everything remains the same. Suppose to yourself what has changed in the house recently? What could possibly be contributing to the stress? I discover issues like transferring furnishings round an excessive amount of or an irritating surroundings can truly rub off on the cats. Have you ever modified their meals? Has a youthful relative been intimidating the cats? Strive returning these things to regular and checking back in a few weeks to see if something has changed.

Ache And Pleasure – On the flip side you additionally wish to let your cats know that this aggressive behaviour is unacceptable. What you should do is use the carrot and stick or what is extra generally referred to as the pain and pleasure principle.

In case your cats exhibits dangerous and aggressive behaviour you could punish the cat. Do one thing like squirt it with water or bang some pots close to the cats in order that they get a shock. What is admittedly essential right here is that you just guantee that the cats are actually not seeing you do it or they will nonetheless be aggressive, simply not if you end up there.

On the pleasure side of things you must reward not aggressive behaviour. If the cats behave effectively then reward then with a treat, a sit on your knee for a stroke etc. Or maybe even a new toy. Every cat is different. Simply ensure you reward them right away after good behaviour or after a day of good behaviour.

When you sustain this routine your cat will study in its mind that aggressive behaviour will not give it what it wants. Give it a try. What is the worse that could happen?

If you are at the moment experiencing unusual cat behaviour then I think I’d have the option that can assist you out. A while back now my cats just started appearing all nervous and fidgety and I puzzled why. I needed to find out because it was unfair on them if it was something I had been doing. Listed here are some of my top recommendations on strange cat behaviour.

Has Anything Changed? – Do you suppose that something major and even small has modified to the cat lately by way of the territory by which it lives. Animals like cats are very territorial and love a constant and stable environment. Perhaps you’ve moved their basket or changed their feeding time or moved furniture. All of these things can unnerve a cat and make them change behaviour, they’re very sensitive. Try transferring every little thing again to its authentic place and see if something adjustments in 2 weeks.

Stress In The House – You must be completely trustworthy with your self here. Have things bee tense across the dwelling lately? Cats can decide up on a people stress and they are practically all the time watching you if they don’t seem to be sleeping. Perhaps something needs to be carried out in that area. I do not mean to patronize you as a result of I know nothing about your life but it has been proven to be a problem.

Just Wild? – There is a high chance that the animals are just being their wild pure selves. Which means that they are just going to should be educated by pain and pleasure ti give the behaviours you need if they’ll stay in your house.

For example. You’d use the pain part to scare or shock the cats in the event that they act unhealthy like biting scratching. I shock them by banging some pots near their head or in any other case making a loud noise and spraying water onto them with a bottle I have nearby. It really works a charm they usually cease after a while but you need to bear in mind the opposite side of the equation.

It’s a must to use pleasure along with your cats. What do they absolutely love greater than most? Maybe it’s a new toy or simply one thing as simple as a stroke? Bond with your cats within the coming weeks. For those who make time to stroke them for 30 minutes each day they are going to behave so much better for you. Perhaps 30 minutes is an excessive amount of for you however it’s definitely worth the furnishings being saved from scratches and fixed meowing.

Here is what I came upon and my top suggestions for aggressive cat behaviour.

Copyright & Credit:

Article Source:  www.articles4reprint.com
by jennycogal alphones

Photo copyright and courtesy:  Kristi Falco – stock.xchng

Problems That Aging Cats Are Susceptible To

| July 7, 2018
Problems That Aging Cats Are Susceptible To

Cats are now living longer than ever before with the average age of a house cat that has been well cared for being around 15 years of age. Additionally, cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer than those that have not been.

It’s a given that a cat ages more rapidly than what humans do. Some veterinarians will tell you that a one-year old cat is equivalent to a 16-year old child, although I think this is extreme. The different schools of thoughts propounded by vets and feline experts will tell you that the ratio is anywhere from 4 to 7:1 when it comes to comparing the aging process of a feline to that of a human. Despite the difficulty in predicting an exact age, most vets and experts consider a feline to be “geriatric” once it is 10 years old.

Cats are now living longer than ever before with the average age of a house cat that has been well cared for being around 15 years of age. Additionally, cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer than those that have not been. The speculation here is that cats that have not been “fixed” tend to roam around a lot more and are there prone to even fatal injuries. It also holds true that they succumb to diseases and health maladies because of exposure to the outside environment.

Felines are amazing pieces of machinery, so to speak, in that they have the capability of repairing themselves. For instance, despite the fact that they have two kidneys, they only need a part of one of them in order to stay healthy. Eventually, the aging process in cats takes its toll on them, just like it does with us, and therefore they experience those bodily changes that are characteristically associated with getting older.

The bottom line here is that the key elements of exercise, health care, and proper nutrition, combined with the special care they need once they have entered their “golden years,” will affect your cat’s life expectancy positively. The following list, though quite lengthy, are the more common conditions and problems that older cats may eventually face and that you as an owner will have to deal with when they arise:

  • Anemia

  • Arthritis and stiff joints

  • Blood pressure problems

  • Bone brittleness and weakness

  • Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles

  • Cancer

  • Decreased brain cell count

  • Decreased control of body temperature

  • Decreased functions of the kidneys and liver

  • Decreased intestinal and stomach functions which oftentimes lead to impaired digestive processes

  • Decreased production of saliva and difficulties in swallowing

  • Decreased sensitivity to all the senses excluding touch

  • Dehydration resulting from a decreased sensitivity to thirst

  • Greater occurrence of infection due to increased susceptibility

  • Increased bone brittleness

  • Mouth ulcers

  • Muscle dysfunction and weakness

  • Periodontal conditions and tooth loss

  • Shallower sleeping patterns which leads to irritability and temperament issues

  • Skin abnormalities such as abnormally brittle or misshaped claws, alopecia, and dullness of the coat

From the time they are kittens, cats need to be provided with four critical elements in order to enter their golden years in the best possible shape – an appropriate amount of regular exercise, good health care, proper nutrition, and a stimulating lifestyle.

Copyright & Credit:
Published At: www.Isnare.com For more easy, practical tips on taking great care of your cat be sure to visit the author’s feline health site now.

Photo copyright and courtesy:Michelangelo Di Schiena

banner ad
banner ad