Cats are curious animals, and because of it, they can get themselves into trouble at times. This list of dos and don’ts will help you be a more responsible guardian of your cat, and help to keep your cat safe from harm; free from unnecessary injury and accidents; free from unnecessary disease and suffering; and keep your cat as healthy and happy as possible!
DON’T leave your cat unattended in your car. NEVER leave a cat inside a car on a warm or hot day, not even for one minute.
DON’T let your cat roam free in the neighborhood.
DON’T re-home or give your cat away. Always try to keep your cat even when life requires making unexpected changes or facing unexpected challenges. If you must re-home your cat, be sure to screen and interview the potential adopters in person for their experience and history with cats; learn everything about them and meet all family members that live in the home; check their work/landlord/school/personal references; and visit their home in advance to make sure the cat will have a safe and loving environment to live. Here is a list of tips for preparing to adopt a cat.
Continue reading Safety and Protection Checklist for Cats
Your cat’s body is made up of 70-80% water or three-quarters of your cat’s body weight is water, so it’s critical that your cat gets enough fluids daily to maintain good health and prevent dehydration. Water is essential for cat’s urinary and kidney health, circulation, digestion, and waste removal. With hot summer days now upon us, it’s even more important that your cat has access to and drinks enough water, as dehydration can lead to a number of serious medical problems and even death. Here are the signs of dehydration in cats and why it’s so important to treat dehydration immediately.
Why Hydration is So Important
Dehydration happens when your cat loses body fluids faster than he can replace them, and it can happen when your cat is either not drinking enough water or is losing too many fluids. Fluids lost through daily urination, elimination and respiration all need to be replaced to normal levels everyday. But if your cat hasn’t been drinking enough water; has been vomiting or has diarrhea; or has been ill or had a fever; or your cat is old, then rehydration is even more critical as all of these can leave your cat severely dehydrated.
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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.
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.
Continue reading Why Your Cat Needs Good Dental Care
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.
Don’t miss the warning signs your cat is sick and may be in pain. Research shows that cats feel pain just like we do. But they tend to hide their pain—so just because they don’t show you obvious signs of pain, doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering or in distress. It’s up to you to know the signs that something is wrong and advocate for them by getting them the help they need.
When cats aren’t feeling well they give us clues. The clues may be physical or behavioral, or both. Some signs require immediate veterinary attention like respiratory problems or changes in breathing; straining to urinate, defecate or crying in the litter box; dilated pupils, or having any dramatic changes in behavior from normal. Some signs may increase over time with illness and won’t go away until your cat is diagnosed and treated by your veterinarian.
Continue reading What Are the Warning Signs Your Cat is Sick?
Adopting a new cat or kitten is exciting, but it’s important to understand the initial and long-term costs of cat ownership before you actually bring your kitty home. There are the initial expenses of purchasing supplies to prepare for your new cat, and there are recurring expenses that you’ll incur throughout the year and over the cat’s lifetime. In addition, there are often unanticipated veterinary costs that can happen at any time during the year that need to be factored in to your annual expenses.
Continue reading The Costs of Cat Ownership – Can You Afford a Cat?
Believe it or not, shopping for a safe cat food bowl is an important decision, and one that can make a huge difference to the health of your cat, especially over time. Here I will share my research on the safest cat food bowls to use.
Decisions about bowl size and shape are less important than the material of the bowl. Material really does matter and there are real reasons why to avoid certain materials like plastic, and very good reasons why to choose safe materials like glass and stainless steel.
The safest materials for cat food bowls are glass, stainless steel, and some ceramics. Avoid plastic altogether. And here’s why.
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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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Getting older is a normal, natural part of life for all of us. Today domestic cats are living longer than they ever did in the past—thanks to improved nutrition and better food, improved medical care, and more people keeping their cats indoors. But advancing age does not necessarily mean automatic degeneration. And aging does not necessarily mean inevitable disease. Many cats do grow old remaining relatively healthy into their geriatric years, while other cats in their senior years develop chronic or degenerative diseases. And know that even cats that do develop chronic diseases can live well into their late geriatric years—or 20+ years old—given excellent care and attention.
Never assume that changes in your older cat are simply due to “old age,” then write it off as normal aging for them. Most likely there is an underlying medical condition that is causing the changes you are observing in your cat’s behavior or physical appearance. That should always be the first consideration. The main thing is to give your cat the healthiest and best quality of life possible—by watching them closely, noticing any changes that take place, then getting them to a veterinarian to get the medical help they need.
Cats age much faster than humans, and they hide illness and pain very well, plus they aren’t able to tell us when and where something hurts, or if they feel sick, or when they want to see a doctor. So it’s up to us to pay attention, pick up on the early signs that something is wrong and is changing for them, and get them to a vet for help.
Continue reading How to Provide the Best Care for Your Senior Cat