My 20 year old Woody has gotten pretty creaky in the last few years. He has arthritis. But he gets around with the help of some special arrangements, supplements and pain medication. He still jumps in my lap and onto the bath tub. Lots of our older cats have aches and pains and you can help them have a more comfortable time enjoying their older years. If you use words like “my cat’s just acting her age,” or “my cat has just been slowing down,” you are probably recognizing your cat doesn’t feel great. We don’t slow down or change what we do because we’re old, we change these things because it’s painful or uncomfortable doing them.
The drought that has plagued the northwest for four years has many unforeseen consequences. We all think more about washing the car or not, watering the lawn or not, and how long our showers last. These are the obvious things to think about.
Veterinarians have been talking to cat caretakers about the importance of dental health and encouraging regular dental care for at least the past decade or two, and with good reason. The American Veterinary Dental Society estimates that 85% of cats over 3 years of age need dental care. The trouble is, dental cleanings seem expensive because cats require general anesthesia for the procedure. Although we humans understand why our mouths are being poked, prodded and scraped with pointy things, this is not true for cats. There is no doubt that general anesthesia does involve some risk. Here at Chico Hospital for Cats our anesthesia procedure is quite advanced and the risk and discomfort to your cat is minimal.
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My next two blog entries will focus on appetite disorders in cats. Part 1 will discuss loss of appetite, and part 2 will discuss increased appetite. Remember, as always, that the vets at Chico Hospital for Cats are always happy to help you with you cat’s health needs.
A depressed appetite in the cat can occur for many medical reasons, and is not specific to any one disease. Kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, dental disease, GI tract pain, GI tract inflammation, urinary tract disease, musculoskeletal pain, anxiety,
We all know you love your cats but what else could you do to show them how much you adore them? How about a few simple gifts? When we assess our cat’s lifestyles, whether they are indoor only or go outside, there are a few important things to help our cats live in a healthier, more enriched environment.
What does a coughing cat look like? The descriptions are very consistent from and between cat guardians. It almost always is described as an “expected furball” that never materializes. In fact, most cats who cough are not seen immediately because of this confusion. The neck is outstretched and the wretching sound is mistaken for imminent vomit filled with a wad of fur.
Three weeks ago, a long standing and wonderful client of ours scheduled a long-awaited dental procedure for her cat Lily. Until we could get her scheduled, she was on pain medication for the cavities we had previously diagnosed. Since we know that dental pain is the same in the cat as it is in people, we knew she was uncomfortable despite the fact that she was still eating. The only significant change the client noticed was that she tilted her head just slightly to one side while eating.
Bubba is a young male cat that shares his home with two other cats. They are all indoor only and had been quite healthy until Bubba suddenly became lethargic and stopped eating. About 24 hours later he was drooling, sneezing and had excessive tearing of his eyes. When he came to see me he had 104 degree fever and ulcers on his tongue. He had to be hospitalized for 36 hours with intravenous fluids, pain control, and antibiotics until he started eating on his own again. It took 2 weeks for him to fully recover.
1. Make Yearly Vet Visits a Routine -- Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian. Preventive care examinations or check-ups for all cats should occur a minimum of once yearly, and more frequently for senior cats and those with chronic conditions. During the physical examination, veterinarians assess your cats current health, and also can often detect conditions that may affect your cat’s health long before they become significant so they can be managed or cured before they become painful or more costly. Cats need routine veterinary check-ups to promote longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Meet Jeffrey. In March, Jeffrey weighed 17 pounds, 1 ounce, and had a jungle pouch that he liked to show the world. When he strode across the room, that jungle pouch swung to and fro like a gelatinous pendulum, and when he rolled onto his back, he loved to ooze his extra inches sexily onto his owner’s lap. We could call Jeffrey “Everycat” in that he represents a cat we all live with now, or have lived with at some point in time: the overweight, carbohydrate-addicted, indoor cat.
My cat, Yuki, is a determined hunter. I am fascinated as I watch her slowly stalking across the expanse of the living room, with her eye keenly focused on her prey, I know that the mouse, stuffed as it is, does not stand a chance of escape. Cats have always been a source of fascination for mankind throughout history. Todays cats have become one of the worlds most popular pets perfectly suited for the lifestyle of our day. But, where did the domestic cat originate and how have they survived when many other animals have become extinct?
As the days start becoming shorter and the mornings colder, something changes in my household: my normally independent cat, Trader, starts using me as his own personal heating device. Days off transition from yard work and bike rides to sedentary Downton Abbey marathons and copious cocoa consumption. I put on some pudge. So do Trader and Frankie. (Well, just between us, Frankie is always pudgy.)
Sammy the Cat is a 9 year old boy that gets very stressed while travelling in the car. He meows constantly, drools, and pants most of the trip whether it is 15 minutes or 2 hours. Although many cats do very well with travel, there are many cats as anxious as Sammy and need some help to make the travel more manageable for them and their worried kitty parents. Some people think actual sedation is the only option.
A microchip is a key form of identification to help prevent your cat from being permanently lost. There is nothing scary about the microchip itself but a cat without a microchip is a frightening thought.
A one year old cat is thought to have the equivalent maturity of a 25 year old person. Imagine what it would be like had you never been to a dentist before your 25th birthday. You might not have been allowed to go to school if you had never been seen by a doctor. Though we don’t know for sure how to equate age between cats and people, the cat’s rapid maturity makes him a senior at about 12 or so, about to hit a retirement in humans of about 64.