Retirement: Health for your Aging Cat

Caption: Somewhat precariously balanced senior mini loaf (16/f). Credit: dimsimprincess
Source: Flickr

Age is just a number, right? A Human who is 60 years old may act like a young adult, while another human the same age may at like he or she is on a deathbed. Cats are the same way! Your pet may act like a kitten for many years or may be gray and achy quite young. Specific breed, environment, and genetics play a role, but in general, a well-cared for house cat usually lives to be at least 15 years old. Some cats live to be well over 30.

There are things you can do, however, to provide your cat with the chance for the longest life possible. For example, have your cat spayed or neutered. Statistics show that fixed cats live longer, because this causes the cat to stay closer to home and be exposed to few dangerous situations and disease. Good nutrition is also important. Make sure that you are buying cat food that is appropriate for your cat’s age.

As you cat ages, certain medical conditions may cause you to make special considerations for your cat. Examples include reduced tolerance to extreme temperatures, decreased sensory perception, susceptibility to infection, arthritis and joint stiffness, digestion problems, liver and kidney problems, weaker bones, cancer, muscle weakness, slow reaction, memory loss, high blood pressure, and irritability. As you can see, aging cats have many of the same problems as aging humans!

Along with a good diet, promote healthy amounts to exercise in your cat. You can do this by allowing your cat to go outside and by playing with your cat every day. Toys and environmental pieces, like scratching posts, are great for encouraging your cat to exercise. Remember, cats may spend a lot of the day sleeping, which is fine. If you are overly concerned, talk to your vet about your cat’s sleeping habits.

Preventative health care is, of course, important. Make sure that your cat has regular checkups with the vet to make sure everything is in check. You should also brush your cat’s teeth daily and have your cat groomed regularly to prevent skin diseases. As cats age, most grow to love grooming. Monitor your cat for diet chances, changing sleep habits, and unsafe water consumption. The key to graceful aging in a cat is and owner who is well involved in his or her life. Make sure that you provide advanced care for your cat as he or she grows, and your pet should be a part of your life for a very long time.

Horrible Hairballs

Harry and Tigger like it on the dashboard of the van because it's warm :)
Source: Flickr

Your cat’s health is important. Your veterinarian can teach you all about the many health conditions your cat could experience, but it is also important to learn about such things on your own. If you want to be sure that you cat is getting the best care possible, you need to watch for signs that something may be wrong with your pet. One common medical condition that affects many cats is hairballs. While hairballs are normal for a cat to some extent, you should contact you veterinarian immediately if you think the problem is out of control.

Cats get hairballs mainly because they spend so much time cleaning themselves. Although cats do not like water, they do like being very clean at all times, and they do so, of course, my licking their fur. You cat probably grooms many times every day. Because cats also shed, they swallow a lot of their own hair. Most of this passes naturally through the cat’s system, but occasionally the hair becomes matted and entwined in the stomach, causing a hairball that is too large to pass through the system. When this happens, the cat vomits the hairball.

If your cat seems to have an abnormally high amount of hairballs, you should talk to you veterinarian. About a quarter of all digestive blockages in cats come from hairballs that cannot pass or be vomited and this can make you cat very sick. Huge hairballs that size of baseballs have been known to form in a cat’s stomach. A hairball of that size can easily kill your cat.

There are a number of signs you will see in a cat having a problem with hairballs. If your cat is retching often, has a change in digestion, or has a swollen abdomen, he or she may have a problem with hairballs. Your veterinarian can give you cat flavored medication that your pet will love. Contained inside are non-digestible oil lubricants that will help your cat pass hairballs easier. Taking this medication regularly will prevent your cat from ever forming such hairballs. Another great way to prevent hairballs from forming is a high-fiber diet, possibly including a fiber supplement. Home remedies, on the other hand, are not a good idea, because they could cause other problems with your cat’s digestive system.

When in doubt, call your cat’s veterinarian. Animal doctors are specially trained to help you help your pets. When you report health abnormalities to your veterinarian, you are able to best keep your cat healthy and safe, no matter how many hairballs may form.

Feline Diabetes Is Not A Cat And Mouse Game!


Your pet is caught in a serious type of disease!

And do not be under the impression that this disease is the ‘privilege’ of human beings alone!

Feline Diabetes is one of the most common feline endocrine diseases. Its direct link is to the high carbohydrate diet of dry food. Many canned foods contain too many carbohydrates, which your cat may eat with great speed and gusto; but your poor choices, will definitely damage the health of your pet. Cats by nature are obligate carnivores and their system, as created by the nature is not suitable for a carbohydrate diet. Just don’t put anything and everything before your cat. Understand its requirements, from its biological point of view. Feline Diabetes is not a cat and mouse game.

Cats and insulin shots…sounds odd? But, it’s true.

If the diabetic condition in your cat is a longstanding one, then insulin shots are necessary. Once you start giving it the low carbohydrate diet, and once the cats recoup their original health, no further insulin shots are required.

“Feeding a diabetic cat with a high-carbohydrate diet is analogous to pouring gasoline on a fire and wondering why you can’t put it out.”

There are two types of diabetes – Type I and Type II. Type II is the more common, both in humans and in cats. But the cat has a unique metabolism.

Cats are obligate carnivores and are adapted to consume a diet that is high in protein, moderate in fat, and include a very small amount of carbohydrates (roughly 3 to 5%). Since nature designed them thus, cats do not have many of the important enzymes that are necessary to process these types of foods.

So, it is not sufficient that you love your cat. You have to understand the cat and its food habits! The food you give to your cat can put it in its grave!

Grooming Your House Cat-The Items You’ll Need

Close Up
Source: Flickr


Cats are fascinating creatures.
They share a history with humans that rivals dogs. Some cultures have history’s that portray cat’s as good warm hearted creatures, while other cultures have folktales that tell tales about cats being the root of all that is evil. On one hand cat’s are warm creatures that look forward to cuddling and loving their humans, on the other hand the same cat can go for weeks without ever looking at its human.

One of the most intriguing things about cats is their cleanliness. Cats practically house train themselves, just show them where the litter box and they are ready to use it, if you keep the litter box clean you cat will reward you by never making a mess in your house, (although some do prefer potted plants to the litter box). Most cats are happy to spend hours cleaning themselves, using their tongues to remove the dust from their bodies and to straighten their hair. Watching a cat bathe itself can be a hypnotic experience for its owners.

We are so accustomed to our house cats taking care of their own hygienic needs that we sometimes forget that they, just like dogs, need us to help with their grooming. It is the cat owners responsibility to make sure that the cat’s nails are trimmed, that any particularly nasty mats and knots are removed from their coats, and that their teeth are kept clean and free of tarter and decay. In order to make sure that your cat is properly groomed you need a very basic set of equipment, your toolbox of cat grooming supplies.

The fist item you need in your cat grooming toolbox is a brush. This brush have bristles that are strong enough to remove mats and debris from your cats coat, but still soft enough that they won’t pull and tear at your cat’s delicate skin. If you have a cat that seems to be particularly susceptible to getting massive knots in its coat you will want to invest in a specially designed mat spreader.

Unless you have had your house cat declawed your cat will need to have its nail clipped. In the wild cats need their sharp claws to defend themselves and to help them capture and kill prey, Feral cats keep their nail from becoming overly long by walking around on hard surfaces that wear down the nail, keeping it sharp. The only real use house cats have for their claws is scratching furniture and occasionally swiping at their human caretakers. It is the caretakers responsibility to make sure the cat’s nail get trimmed whenever they get long. If you have never trimmed a cat’s nails watch a professional pet groomer or your cat’s veterinarian trim your cat’s nail first.

Dental care is an important part of your cat’s overall health. It is important to make sure that your cat’s teeth are clean and free of signs of decay. Consult your veterinarian will be able to help you select products designed for optimal feline health.

Diabetes: Could it be Affecting your Cat?

Paws
Source: Flickr

Cats and humans may not look much alike, but remember, both are mammals. Therefore, there are a number of diseases, disorders, and other medical conditions found in humans that are also found in cats. One such disease is diabetes. If you believe that your cat may have diabetes, it is important to talk to your cat’s vet as soon as possible so that your cat can get the right medical treatment needed.

There are two types of diabetes in cats, just like in humans. Type 1 diabetes is caused by the insufficient production of insulin in the cat’s body. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, is when a cat develops intolerance for handling the insulin. In both cases, diabetes can develop in cats of any age, but it is more common for cats that are old, male, or obese. There is what is known as secondary diabetes as well, in which a drug or disease causes diabetes, sometimes forever and sometimes for a certain period of time.

When caring for your cat, there are symptoms you can see that point to your cat having diabetes. These symptoms include excess thirst, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, loss of weight, breathing abnormalities, and unhealthy skin and coat. Your vet can then test your cat’s blood sugar levels and urine sugar levels. Both tests are needed, as temporary blood sugar levels may be high in cats that are stressed or nervous.

If your cat is diagnosed with diabetes, lifestyle changes are necessary to make sure that your cat’s health is restored as much as possible. Diet is very important. Remember, your cat should only get enough food during a meal as is necessary. Cats typically need food the size of one large mouse to be content-more will cause weight problems. Not only is the amount of food important, but you should also be concerned with your cat’s types of foods. Your vet can recommend specific cat food brands that are high in fiber and protein in order to control the diabetes.

Insulin, oral mediations, and supplements may also be necessary. Again, your vet can tell you what is needed, as well as show you how to administer treatment to your cat daily. It is important for you to monitor your cat’s health to make sure that the diabetes is in control and that he or she is staying happy, healthy, and comfortable. Diabetes is not the end of the world, in either humans or cats.

Taking Kitty to the Dentist

2015 Ferrari 458 Spider
Source: Flickr

It is important for you to go to the dentist at least annually for checkups. This is, however, also important to your cat! Many people never think about it, but good dental health can keep your cat happy and disease-free. Whenever your cat goes to the vet, make sure that dental health is checked and discussed, and if your cat is acting strangely at all, especially with eating habits, make sure that dental health problems are not a concern.

Kittens, like baby humans, have fewer teeth than adult cats. Each kitten has 26 temporary teeth, which begin to appear at about three weeks of age. An adult cat will have 30 permanent teeth-16 on the top and 14 on the bottom. A cat usually begins getting his or her permanent teeth when he or she is three of four months old. Some of these teeth have two roots while others have three.

The most common dental diseases found in cats are resporption lesions and gum disease (gingivitis). Resorption lesions are also known as cervical line lesions or neck lesions and often result in tooth loss. These lesions are difficult to detect, as they often grow below the gum line. Gum disease is found in over 70% of cats by the age of three. You can tell if your cat has gum disease by looking for yellow and brown tarter build up along the gum line and over the tooth, red inflamed gums, and chronic bad breath.

Oral disease is often an indication of other more serious health problems. For example, it is common for a cat with feline leukemia virus (FeLV) to have oral health problems. Dental conditions are also commonly found with feline immunodeficiency virus and feline calicivirus. Therefore, if your pet is have dental problems, you need to see a vet right away about these conditions to make sure they are symptoms of a much more serious disease.

Cats can also accidentally break teeth. This can be a result of a fall, a fight with another cat or other animal, or biting into something too hard to chew. Usually, the upper canine tooth will be the tooth fractured. This is the tooth in your cat’s mouth that looks like a large fang. If this is fractured, your cat may or may not be in pain. The first symptom of this kind of a fracture is continuous sneezing.

Overall, oral health is important in all mammals. Cats are susceptible to a number of dental disease and problems, just like humans. By taking your cat to the vet often and asking about oral health, you can make sure that you are providing the best health care foods and tools for your feline friend.

The Legendary Perfect Pet

Caption: Adopted this sweet boy last week from the local humane society and finally brought him home today. Meet Loken! Credit: soopingforcrumpets
Source: Flickr

Legend of Cats

People from all over the world see cats as the perfect
pet. Since time immemorial, there is a popular belief
that cats do posses magical powers. From the
fourteenth until the sixteenth century, most Europeans
have a notion that witches would turn their enemies
into cats. A strange cat that is left astray is
thought of as a victim or a witch disguising to be
one.
Superstitions involving cats are commonly heard
from then on. In fact, the black cat is feared to
bring bad luck, misery, or cause a disease. Even a
person’s death is attributed to a black cat’s
unfortunate omen. Even in some parts of the world
today such as Europe and the United States, there
exists a fallacy that once a black cat crosses your
path bad luck is sure to come your way.

Contrary to that, accounts about a cat’s heroism
redeemed them to many. The most popular legend is that
of “Puss in Boots”. The European fairy tale
exemplified a cat as a protagonist who helped his
owner in defeating an ogre and eventually marrying a
princess. This story left a mark and endeared cats to
many.

At present times versions of the cat magician have
evolved and innovations have been adopted across
cultures. In Asia, farmers from Indonesia bathe their
cats as a customary ritual in order to implore the
rain god for a rainfall. True enough, rain falls to
irrigate the rice fields they plow. On the other hand,
Romanians have a different belief about the cats’
control over fertility. For them placing a cat in a
cradle would help recently married couples in having a
baby. Newlyweds rock the cradle in order to have a
baby very soon. In the meantime, sailors coming from
various countries suppose that one could predict the
weather condition especially storms at sea by merely
observing the feline creature’s behavior. All these
positive anecdotes ushered the cats’ fame in being a
favorable household pet.

Cat’s Self Care

Cats are deemed to be affectionate and sweet animals.
They are friendly and love being around human beings.
Most of them are easy to have as pets. Handling them
won’t be difficult since they have fairly light
weighing barely four kilograms. Taking care of them is
almost effortless. Unlike dogs, cats do not
necessitate walks with their owners. Playing itself is
considered enough exercise for them already. All they
need is a pat or a stroke. Also, they do not take up
much space and could just lie silently on a corner
without proving to be a distraction to the people
around. A purr coming from them is an indication that
they are very relaxed. They like to stay in one place
claiming it as their personal space. They hate
travelling and it would take them some time to get
used to the new place. For the most part of the day,
majority of a cat’s time is spent sleeping
particularly while their owner has left the house.

Grooming them does not require much especially the
ones with short hair. Although they are neat squeaks,
there is still no worry since all cats maintain their
cleanliness by tidying themselves. Cats are extremely
graceful and walk lightly on their feet. They love
playing with balls of threads among other cat toys.
Even when they are quite old, being playful is
characteristic of them. Being independent is something
that they are known for.

Cats would make a perfect pet for those who love to
cuddle animals but do not have so much time to spare.
They are ideal to be given to kids who are just
learning to adapt to the responsibility of taking care
of another living thing.

Things To Know About Abused Cats

Cats that have been abused can appear severely maimed and damaged all over their exterior. Some may appear to be in perfect shape on the outside, although all of the damage they sustained may be internal or emotional. Even though physical damage is bad, emotional damage is much tougher to fix. Cats who have physical abuse will still answer to a soft touch and soft voice, as long as they know that the abuse has come to an end.

When you have a cat that has been emotionally abused, you’ll need to wait until the cat comes to you. You’ll need to use patience, as the cat will be confused and not know if you plan to hurt him or not. If you take your time and let him know that you are nothing to fear, he will eventually come to you. When he starts to come to you, you can let him sniff you and pet him. After a while, he will learn that he can trust you and he will come to you when you call him.

Yelling, raising your voice, or using disciplinary tools such as flyswatters or water guns the wrong way can lead to emotional damage. If you continue to use the wrong means of discipline on an emotionally damaged cat, the cat can become mean or lethargic. When a cat turns mean, it’s not always a bad thing. Meaner cats are easier to reach, as they still care a bit about what happens to them – while lethargic cats could really care less.

Cats that have become lethargic won’t play, take treats, or respond to anything you say to them. With a lethargic cat, the ideal way to get him to respond is to bring in a companion cat. Over time, a lethargic cat will eventually look for attention, normally a scratch or a pat. When this happens, you should always use a soft voice and snuggle with him. Never raise your voice at this point, and make sure you let the cat know that his behavior is a lot better.

You should make slow movements around a lethargic cat, as he is still quite traumatic. Once he is coming around and letting you touch him again, he is getting back to his normal self. Keep in mind that it may take some time, which is to be expected with this type of situation. If your cat starts to get upset again or if you raise your voice, he will hide again. If you continue to use a soft voice and have patience, your cat will eventually get past this. If you get a cat that is lethargic, you should prepare yourself for a long and very intensive healing period.

Angry or mean cats on the other hand, will either fight and scratch with you, or simply run away from you. With mean cats, the best thing to do is use gentle treatment with a soft voice. You can never try to raise your voice or use strict discipline, as it will only make the cat meaner. Never attempt to trap the cat either, as trapping it will only make the cat react. If you take your time and let the cat know that you are there for him, he will eventually calm down.

Abused cats are truly a sad thing, although they are out there. Abused cats can be a sad thing to see indeed, especially those that were physically abused. Abused cats need a loving home and a loving owner who will give them the type of lifestyle they deserve. Always remember that if you are dealing with an abused cat – you should always be as gentle as you possibly can.

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Health Care for Your Pet Cat

Here’s my Moby giving me the laser eyes while I’m trying to... - The Caturday
Source: Flickr


Pet cat health care may be similar to caring for other pets.
But such care may also have its own differences. One of them is that pet cats may suffer from a host of different diseases that other pets may not go through. Here is a list of some feline diseases that pet cats may suffer from at some point.

Feline Distemper

This disease usually affects pet cats at a young age. Known medically as feline panleukopenia, this type of viral infection lowers down the immune defenses of young kittens by severely affecting the production of white blood cells. This infection can make young kittens pass, liquid stool with blood due to the severe hemorrhaging that happens in their small intestine.

Fever may also be expected and will lead the young kitten to become depressed and then refuse to take any food and water. It may seem to the pet owner that the cat has a temperamental personality, hence the name feline distemper. The infection actually has no effect on the cat’s personality in any way. Sadly, recovery for such conditions is very rare for a cat.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis

This is another viral infection that is also fatal in cats. Once your pet cat shows signs of this infection, it can take years and years of trouble. This infection is usually common mostly in young adult cats and can be transmitted to other cats. There are two known types of this infection.

There is the “dry” type where the young adult cat is affected by high fever as well as problems with internal organs such as the kidneys, lungs and the intestines. With this type of infection, the cats never seem improve no matter how well the treatment is given.

There is also the “wet” type of the disease has the young adult cat having a fluid discharge within the abdomen. Occasionally the cat’s chest displays a golden and dense liquid that contains flakes within. This infection makes the cat run a high fever and would usually not eat well.

The only protection that cats can have over the disease is vaccination. But vaccines should be given to pet cats prior to any exposure to the virus or else the vaccine would not be very effective to prevent any infection.

Feline immune Deficiency Virus

This disease is similar to the Human Immune Deficiency Virus or HIV in humans. This virus in only found in cats and is being spread mainly through a bite from an infected cat. This disease suppresses the cat’s immune system and leads the cat to be more prone to all sorts of infection. There is an intranasal vaccine available to protect cats from the FIV infection although some veterinarians are not that convinced that it can protect more effectively as compared to other vaccines.

Feline Leukemia Virus

This virus can severely limit an infected cat’s immune system. With the affected immune system, the cat has limited ability to defend against all sorts of other infections. This virus can be spread from contact with infected cats. Many cats can become carriers of the virus for years without displaying any outside symptoms of the infection.

Cats harboring the virus may at times develop clinical signs of the infection if they undergo surgery, get injured or when they get lost outside their usual environment. These diseases may give pet owners an idea of how pet cat health care may be important to ensure that their pets live healthier and longer lives.

Why walk with your cat outdoors?

Gemma with a protective sock
Source: Flickr

Our homes have been the homes of our pet cats. This does not mean however that you just have to keep them inside your house. You have to let them feel what is in the world outside. More than the basic needs of our cats, there are things like walking your cat outside that would surely help boost the total development of your cat.

When you take your pet for a walk, this would really be great for your cat pet. There are really great benefits from doing this activity. To do so would let your pet and you take a relieving break. Strolling around would entertain your pet and as well as stimulate it.

Another good thing about walking with your cat outdoors is that it would be able to overcome the boredom of being constrained inside your home. Just like us, cats also need to take some time and go outdoors. Being constrained may just make your pet depressed. It is really best to pamper your pet in the right way; to pamper your pet is not to keep him secluded from the outdoors.

Cats are not that expressive but studies show that behaviors of cats like scratching the furniture and others. This common behavior is one of the signs that may tell us that cats get bored too.

One thing more is that it could be the best form of exercise for your cat pet as well. There are cats which stay at home all the time that become overweight and to worse, become obese. We all know that this is not good and it could post a threat to the life of our pet.

Walking with your cats outdoors for it does not entail too much hassle, all you have to do is not only for your pet but it would surely entertain you as well. It would let you also spend some time outdoors, free from your busy schedule or the pressures of your tasks.

There are really good benefits when you walk your pet outdoors. You have to take time and feel the fun outside the walls of your home. It would definitely be a time to cherish, a time to savor.