Why Your Cat Needs Good Dental Care

February is dental month! Dental disease has become the number one health concern in adult cats. Your cat needs good dental care just like you do. Without it, cats are more prone to problems associated with poor dental hygiene and can get serious and painful dental diseases. Without good dental care cats can suffer from having a painful mouth and as a result, can even stop eating. Good dental hygiene is as important to cats as it is to humans and contributes to your cat’s overall well being, comfort and happiness. The good news is most periodontal disease in cats is completely preventable with good dental care and annual wellness checks.

Roughly 4 out of 5 cats develop periodontal disease. Why? Partly because dental care in cats is often overlooked and left untreated. Cats hide their pain very well though they may be silently suffering, and many cat owners don’t take their cat for regular annual wellness exams each year. Untreated gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) often progresses into gum infection, chronic disease and can even impact vital organs.

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A Tribute To My Beautiful Cat, Angel

On Sunday, December 10th in the early morning hours, I lost my greatest friend, my sweetest love, the most beautiful soul I have ever come to know on Earth. My Angel was beyond beautiful, she exceeded all definitions, and words can hardly describe her most profound and deeply beautiful spirit, but I will try in words to share our story and honor my beloved Angel in this written tribute to her. With a broken heart forever at her passing, and the deepest grief I can possibly feel, I want to share Angel’s deep soul, beautiful spirit and most profoundly loving being.

A Tribute To My Beautiful Cat, Angel
On my lap, her favorite place

Angel came to bless our lives when she was brought to our home in early spring of 2004. We bought our house in June of the previous year, bringing two rescue cats, Pumpkin who was homeless in Seattle and Red who was rescued from being dumped at the Oakland Airport. With our new house, in August, we decided to adopt another rescue cat, which quickly turned into two rescue cats from Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek. We were sure that — that would be the end of our kitty family!

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What are the Signs Your Cat is in Pain?

It can be easy to miss the signs your cat is in pain since cats try to disguise when they’re suffering, but if you know the signs you’ll be able to quickly detect if your cat is in pain. Some signs are more obvious, but others are harder to detect. Most signs can be seen in a cat’s physical posture, facial expression, behavior, response to touch, vocalization, or change in daily habits.

Cats in severe pain may become more aggressive and agitated—even sometimes frantic—and behave more erratically. They can pace about in their restless discomfort and vocalize more. But often the signs are more subtle and easy to miss. They may hide in a corner or closet, or sit in a “crouched” position, and may even purr when they are distressed and uncomfortable. Here are some common signs of pain in a cat to be on the lookout for:

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10 Important Considerations in Preparing to Adopt a Cat

Adopting a kitten or adult cat is a long-term responsibility and commitment. It’s a decision you want to give careful thought to and be prepared for, not one to take lightly or impulsively. Owning a cat is a large financial and emotional responsibility lasting anywhere from 14 to 22 years, typically. Your cat will depend on you for its health, happiness, safety and well-being, so here are 10 important considerations in preparing to adopt a cat.

Renting Your Home? Check with Your Landlord First

If you live in an apartment or rental property be sure to confirm with your landlord beforehand that cats are allowed and know whether a pet deposit is required. Avoid adopting a cat and bringing it home, only to find out the landlord does not accept pets.

Lifetime of Costs

Getting a cat is exciting, but the reality is there is a lifetime of expenses associated with caring for a cat. Be aware of and ready to commit to spending money for quality cat food, litter, toys, cat carrier for trips to the vet and emergencies, a scratching post and cat tree, but most of all for needed routine veterinary care and emergencies. Annual checkups are recommended to keep your cat healthy, and dental cleanings are part of health maintenance, but if your cat gets sick he will need to see a veterinarian. As cats age and get older health problems can arise, so it’s important to be prepared for when that time comes. Like people, cats get sick and sometimes develop chronic illnesses as they age.

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Need a Pet Sitter? How to Find a Great Pet Sitter for Your Cat

Cats love routine, consistency and familiarity, so when we go on vacation our absence can be stressful for them. Hiring an in-home pet sitter can reduce the stress and anxiety your cat can experience while you’re away. Keeping your cat in the safety and comfort of your home with an experienced pet sitter provides the best alternative to the physical and emotional stress caused by kenneling or boarding your cat away from home. If you plan to leave your cat home alone for more than a night, it’s best to hire a pet sitter for the time you’re away. Here’s how to find a great pet sitter for your cat.

Why Hire a Pet Sitter?

Cats can become anxious and worried while we’re away from them for longer periods than normal. They may be independent, but cats don’t like changes in their daily routine or being away from home. Leaving them alone for several days can be a risk to their physical and emotional health and overall well being. Hiring an in-home pet sitter can reduce your cat’s stress and provide the quality of care, attention and reassurance she needs while you’re away, and give you peace of mind too.

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Does Your Cat Have High Blood Pressure?

Feline high blood pressure or hypertension can be a dangerous problem for your cat’s health. If left untreated it can affect your cat’s organs including their eyes, kidneys, heart and even brain. A simple blood pressure test can be done during your cat’s annual veterinary exam to quickly determine if your cat’s blood pressure is in the normal range. Detecting it early is the key to success and will minimize damage to vital organs.

Cats that are particularly vulnerable to developing hypertension are often older cats as well as cats that have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, diabetes, heart or hyperthyroid disease. If your cat has been diagnosed with any of these diseases, you want to watch carefully for the signs and symptoms of hypertension, and get annual or bi-annual veterinary exams to avoid the possible damage caused to organs by hypertension. Since it’s more common in older cats, you’ll want to include regular blood pressure checks in your annual exams starting with cats that are 8 years of age and older. For cats that are 14 years and older, include a blood pressure test in their bi-annual exam.

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Preventing Lower Urinary Tract Problems in Cats

Lower urinary tract problems in cats can be life threatening, are extremely painful, and need immediate attention and treatment by a veterinarian. Preventing lower urinary tract problems in cats is critical for your cat’s health.

Urinary crystals can quickly turn into kidney stones, and kidney stones are deadly in a short period of time, so never wait or postpone seeing your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Your vet will determine if there are underlying medical conditions causing the symptoms through conducting a urinalysis, culture and cystoscopy and a complete medical review. If your cat is visiting the litter box repeatedly in a short period of time, straining in the box and sitting in the box trying to urinate, or urinating outside the litter box, it’s time to visit your vet.

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How to Create a Happier, Stress-Free Environment For Your Cat

Sometimes change is unavoidable for our cats, like moving into a new home, bringing home a new baby, having house guests, or adopting a new dog or cat. All of these can truly rock a cat’s world and trigger behavior changes. Sometimes even the slightest change can cause some cats to become uncomfortable, fearful, stressed, and anxious. Here’s how to create a happier, stress-free environment for your cat and ways to enrich their environment at home.

Cats are very vulnerable to changes in their life, and they will often show us when they are feeling anxious and uncomfortable by hiding more often, obsessively licking or vocalizing more, uncontrollably chewing or drooling, sleeping all day or more than normal, urine marking or even potting outside the litter box. Sometimes external changes in the cat’s home environment can even negatively impact your cat’s overall health and quality of life.

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Pet Fooled – How Commercial Pet Food is Making Our Pets Sick

“I don’t trust companies anymore. They don’t care about me or my pets, they only care about my money. That’s a terrible thing.”

“Once you start digging the evidence becomes overwhelming that the industry has significant issues.”

Domestic cats and dogs in the U.S. are experiencing an epidemic of health problems at levels that have never been seen before. Increasingly, our pets are more diseased than ever, getting chronic illnesses very similar to those in people. The rates of cancer, kidney and liver disease, arthritis, chronic degenerative diseases, auto-immune diseases, allergies, pancreatic disease, Inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal lymphoma, and diabetes—have all skyrocketed in recent decades, and all of them are linked to diet say veterinarians. Pet obesity is at epidemic levels. Yet, Americans have never spent more on their pets and on pet food. So why is this happening?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says that cancer in pets now accounts for almost 50% of all deaths of cats and dogs over 10 years of age in the U.S.

Consumers may think the pet food industry is heavily regulated with strong federal oversight. But that could not be further from the truth. The FDA, the federal regulating body with oversight for the industry, allows harmful standards of toxic and carcinogenic ingredients set by the Association of American Feed Control (AAFCO) and created by the pet food manufacturers themselves, for pet food in the U.S. That’s where the problems start. They end with sick pets being diagnosed with chronic health problems requiring long-term medical care because of the unhealthy commercial pet food they are eating.

Pet Fooled is a wake up call for today’s pet guardians. With interviews by leading veterinarians and prominent pet food experts, the film examines the highly unregulated pet food industry and the negative and deadly impact it is having on the health of dogs and cats in the U.S. today. Our cats and dogs are slowly and progressively getting sick and dying from commercial pet food. They are at risk of dying prematurely because pet food manufacturers are feeding them harmful, toxic, carcinogenic, and poisonous ingredients, and there is little to no oversight and accountability. Pet food companies are getting away with using toxic and poison-laden foods containing bio-chemicals, deadly preservatives, rendered animals (from road-kill, euthanized animals from vets, and dead farm animals), pesticides, industrial chemicals, drug residues, contaminated animals, along with foods lacking in the essential nutrients that our dogs and cats really need. The pet food industry is badly broken and the government is looking the other way and allowing it. Watch Pet Fooled to find out why.

Film Length: 1 hour / 10 minutes

Film Release: 2016

“Dogs and cats are nutritionally much more resilient than other species, what that means is we can nutritionally abuse them. They don’t die immediately, but they decline over time, they have overall vitality decline and an increase in health problems.”

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Preventing and Treating Fleas in Cats – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Summer is a favorite season for picnics in the park, enjoying the seashore, and dining al fresco—but with warm summer temperatures also come the fleas! Fleas can wreak havoc on cats causing discomfort, severe skin conditions, allergic reactions, parasites (tape worms), anemia and even death in the worst cases, if left untreated. So it’s important to protect your cat from fleas, but it’s also important to know the dangers of some flea control products on the market today. In this article, you’ll become knowledgeable about the different flea treatment options, some of the health consequences associated with them, and you’ll learn ways to provide your cat with the safest possible flea treatments and precautions available. Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly on preventing and treating fleas in cats.

Does Your Cat Have Fleas?

To check whether your cat has fleas, you can run a flea comb through your cat’s fur pressing along the skin to check for adult fleas or flea feces and eggs. These will look like little specks of salt and pepper or tiny black and white grains in the fur. The white grains are flea eggs, and the black grains are flea feces. If you have found and removed some grains on your flea comb, rub the grains onto a piece of white paper and if the grains turn a reddish-brown color, you know you have a flea problem.

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