Category Archives: Cats care

Heartworm Infestation in Cats

We most often think of our canine companions as the ones who get heartworm. While heartworm is definitely more common amongst dogs, cats can also be infested! Learn more here from a vet in Rochester, NY.

How Do Cats Get Heartworm?

Cats get heartworm the same way that dogs do: from the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes bite an infected animal, then transmit the heartworm’s larvae—microscopic baby worms known as microfilaria—to a host.

What are the Symptoms?

Some cats may not show any symptoms at all even if they’re infected with adult heartworms; many times, the first sign in these cases is sudden collapse or death. If a cat does exhibit symptoms, though, they may include coughing fits, weight loss and lack of appetite, or occasional vomiting.

What’s the Treatment?

There isn’t a heartworm drug available for cats the way there is for dogs. Stabilization is the preferred treatment route, allowing your cat’s system to expel the worms on its own while closely monitoring your pet’s health.

Prevention is, of course, much more desirable than treatment—call your vets Rochester, NY office to get your cat set up on a monthly heartworm preventative. Better safe than sorry!

Three Common Cat Misconceptions

When it comes to cats, it’s important that you don’t believe everything you hear. There are many misconceptions floating around about our feline friends! Below, your pet clinic Livonia, MI sets the record straight on three of the most common myths:

Cats Always Land Upright

Cats don’t always land on their feet, no matter how graceful and poised they may seem. It’s entirely possible for cats to slip and fall of off high ledges or windowsills, injuring themselves quite seriously. Shorter falls are even more dangerous because cats may not have time to right themselves!

Cats Love Milk

This is a partial truth. Cats might love milk, but milk won’t show them the same affection in return! It turns out that most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, and drinking too much milk will result in vomiting or diarrhea.

Cats Purr When They’re Happy

While it’s true that cats might purr when they’re happy, they can also purr to express a variety of other emotions. Experts believe that cats might even purr to convey anxiety or anger!

Want more information on your cat’s behavior or health care needs? We’re here to help. Contact your vet clinic Livonia, MI today to set up an appointment.

Three Signs of Illness in Cats

If you own a cat, you know that they can be rather mysterious. It’s often difficult to tell when your feline friend is sick! Below, vets Frisco, TX tells you about three of the first signs of illness in cats.

Change in Behavior

Has your cat been hiding more than usual? Acting out aggressively when she’s usually friendly? Behavioral changes like these may not be simple chance—it’s possible that your cat is feeling sick or is in pain. To be safe, have them examined by your veterinary professional.

Lack of Appetite

A lack of appetite isn’t a good sign in just about any pet, your cat included. If you’ve noticed that your feline friend isn’t eating normally, it’s worth a trip to the vet’s office. All sorts of illnesses and injuries could be to blame!

Poor Coat Quality

Did you know that your cat’s coat appearance is a good indicator of her internal health? While a cat’s coat quality may diminish a bit with age, a drastic change may be a sign of a problem. It’s best to get your vet’s professional opinion.

To set up an appointment with your veterinarian, contact your vet clinic Frisco, TX today.

All About the Catnip Plant

You’ve heard of catnip—it’s our feline friends’ favorite plant! How much do you really know about catnip? Below, your vet Marietta, GA goes over some common questions.

What is Catnip, Exactly?

Catnip is an herb, categorized in the same “family” of plants as mint. It grows in the wild, having originated in Europe, and is now found all over the world. The wild plant is a leafy green plant with purple-spotted white flowers.

In a pet store, you’ll find dried and processed catnip that looks much like oregano or other cooking herbs. Catnip can also be included in toys or processed into sprays and other products.

How Does Catnip Affect Cats?

A chemical called nepetalactone, found in the catnip plant’s oils, causes a chemical reaction in a cat’s brain. Cats may run around excitedly for a few minutes or simply relax in a state of euphoria; there are a wide variety of reactions! These effects will typically wear off after just a few minutes.

Why Isn’t My Cat Reacting?

Cats require a gene, inherited from their parents, to respond to catnip. That’s why some don’t react to the herb at all!

For more information, contact your veterinarian Marietta, GA.

The Truth Regarding Cats and Milk

Cats and milk just seem to mesh. You may be surprised to learn, though, that it’s a misconception! It turns out that cats shouldn’t drink milk at all. Learn more here from your Thorold, ON veterinarian.

Why Can’t Cats Drink Milk?

Most adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant, just like many humans. This means that they can’t properly digest lactose, milk’s main enzyme. If a cat drinks too much milk, they’ll experience an upset stomach at the very least, and vomiting or diarrhea is more likely!

Don’t Kittens Drink the Mother’s Milk?

Yes, kittens require their mother’s milk (or a synthetic substitute) during the nursing period. This is the only time in your cat’s life cycle, though, that milk is a nutritional necessity! As cat ages, they usually become more and more lactose-intolerant.

What About Other Dairy?

Since other dairy products like cheese or yogurt contain less lactose than milk, they’re a bit safer for cats. They’re not necessary in the least, though. If you must give your cat dairy products, keep the portion size extremely small!

Do you have questions about your cat’s dietary needs? Call the professionals at your veterinary clinic Thorold, ON. We are here to help!

Your Cat’s Dietary Needs

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your cat healthy for a lifetime is to feed them a high-quality diet. Your cat’s nutritional needs vary widely as she ages, though. Here, your Rochester, NY veterinarian gives you a crash course.

Kittens

Newborn kittens will require their mother’s milk for proper nutrition, or a milk substitute if the mother’s milk isn’t available. Gradually, kittens will start eating wet food and then can be transitioned to dry kibble as they get a bit older. Ask your vet for further specifics.

Adult Cats

Your adult cat should be eating a well-balanced premium diet made for middle-aged animals. This will give them all of the essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients necessary for a long, healthy life. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a great food choice for your adult cat.

Senior Cats

By the time your cat is a senior, her nutritional needs are quite different than they used to be. All aging cats should be fed a senior-specific diet to get the right balance of nutrients; ask your vet for his or her opinion.

For more information regarding your cat’s dietary needs, contact your veterinarians Rochester, NY today.

Understanding Your Cat’s Tail

One of the primary ways that your cat communicates is through her body language, and the tail helps to facilitate this. Have you ever wondered what your cat might be saying with her tail? Read on as your Fort Collins, CO vet offers some insight.

The Curve

Most of the time, you’ll see your cat’s tail held in a gentle curve. This is your cat’s “default” tail position, and it means that your pet is feeling relaxed, confident, and calm.

The Straight Position

You might see your cat hold the tail straight up in the air in a rigid manner; some refer to this position as the “flagpole.” It means that your cat is feeling poised and self-assured, and she’ll probably be up for a petting session or playtime. If you see the tail straightened but puffed, accompanied by wide eyes and hissing, your cat is upset and frightened—it’s best to get out of the way!

The Wrap

Cats have been known to wrap the tail around other pets or their owners; it’s a sign of affection, just like wrapping an arm around a loved one!

For more information on your cat’s behavior, call your veterinarian Fort Collins, CO.

The Basics of Catnip

How much do you really know about catnip and the way it affects our feline friends? Have you ever tried catnip on your pet? Learn more below as your Colorado Springs, CO vet goes over the basics.

What is Catnip, Anyway?

Catnip is a naturally occurring herb. It originated in Europe but has now spread all over the world. The wild catnip plant is a leafy green plant, characterized by white flowers with purple spots.

The catnip you’ll purchase in a pet store is a dried and processed version of the wild herb. There are also catnip sprays and toys available.

Why Does Catnip Affect Cats?       

The oils of the catnip plant contain a chemical called nepetalactone. It’s this substance that causes the reaction you see in cats. Experts believe that it induces a nearly sexual response in your cat’s brain—catnip is somewhat of an aphrodisiac to our feline friends!

Why Doesn’t My Cat Respond to Catnip?

Have you tried catnip out on your cat to no avail? Don’t worry—your pet is fine. Cats require a certain gene, inherited from their parents, to feel catnip’s effects.

For more information on catnip, call your animal hospital Colorado Springs, CO.

Feed Your Cat an Age-Appropriate Diet

The nutritional needs of cats vary greatly depending on their age. To find out specifics on your particular cat’s dietary requirements, read on as a Portland, OR veterinarian provides some insight.

Kittens

Very young kittens need their mother’s milk—or a synthetic milk product if the mother’s milk isn’t available—for the first weeks of life to grow up healthy and strong. As they age, they’ll transition into a commercially available kitten diet. Ask your vet to recommend a great choice.

Adult Cats

Your adult cat should be fed a well-balanced, nutritionally complete food that contains all the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for a healthy life. This is the best way to keep them as healthy as possible for as long as possible!

Senior Citizens

By the time your cat is a senior, they’ll need to be fed a specially formulated diet made just for older cats. Your veterinarian can give you more information on transitioning your cat to foods, and they can recommend a high-quality senior food choice.

Does your feline friend need veterinary attention? Do you have questions about Fluffy’s dietary requirements? Set up an appointment to see your veterinary Portland, OR professional.

Explaining Your Cat’s Kneading Behavior

In cats, kneading behavior is characterized by an alternated pressing of the front paws into a soft object; that object might be a pillow, a blanket, or your leg! If you’ve ever wondered why Fluffy does this, learn more below from a vet in Aurora, CO.

Territory Marking

Your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands, and your cat releases the scent when she kneads an object. In this fashion, she’s marking the object as her own in order to mark her territory. Consider it an honor if your cat kneads you—she might be claiming you as her own!

Napping Prep

You’ve undoubtedly seen your cat knead before napping. Many experts believe that the ancient ancestors of our domesticated cats kneaded grass or dirt in the wild in order to soften it up for bedding. Our current cats’ behavior might be linked to the actions of generations before!

Nursing Instinct

Kittens knead their mother’s belly during nursing in order to stimulate milk production. It’s possible that your adult cat associates the action of kneading with the positive feelings of nursing!

Do you have questions about your feline friend’s behavior? Contact your pet clinic Aurora, CO for help from the professionals.