Category Archives: Pet health
Are your cats giving up partying or napping for Lent?
We cats at the Paws household plan to have one big partying bash on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) before getting ready for some super-duper napping during Lent.
And we wanted to share our plans with the many feline families participating in this Sunday Selfie Blog Hop kindly sponsored by the Cat on My Head. We invite all of the kitties and their humans to come on over and do some serious pawtying today, or any time before the pawty ends on Ash Wednesday.
While we won’t be at N’aw-lins’ Bourbon Street, or even in the French Quarter (Our Mummy would be terrified we’d get trampled by all the reveling pawtiers specially after the drunken driver plowed into a crowd of by-standers yesterday, injuring some 28), we’re planning to have one last pawty at home.
Our Mummy wouldn’t dream of letting us pawty with bourbon, as pictured here, because we kitties should never drink alcohol. It’s not because we are teetotalers, it’s cause it’s really bad for us – it could even kill us. We find lots of people leave out a glass of something like bourbon and water to find kitty taking a few sips. Best to call the Pet Poison Helpline in that case.
Feline Arthritis, a silent epidemic, affects most senior cats
Feline arthritis, a silent epidemic, affects 80 to 90%t of all senior cats, and 33% of cats of all ages.
It’s painful, causes decreased mobility, and can be debilitating. Things that were once easy and second nature become difficult, if not impossible to do.
Our Pink Collar has arthritis, and it is progressing. She is in pain, and she’s been telling us it’s not fun, and she hurts. It’s harder for her to get up to the counter with her water bowl. She struggles when she goes up and down stairs, even missing a step, here and there. Some days, she even has a hard time jumping onto the sofa.
Is it in her elbow and the wrist in the front leg; the hip, the knee and the ankle in the back leg; and the smaller joints between vertebrae, both in the neck and the back? It could be in some or all of these.
Her human has arthritis in her knees, so we can well appreciate how painful it can be, say nothing about making you think about getting down on all fours to wash the floor or weed the garden.
Cats are masters at hiding illness and pain
While there’s a lot of talk and research into dogs with arthritis, cats have not gotten that same attention, and it’s only in the past few years that the subject has come to the forefront.
While the majority of dogs with arthritis show some lameness, only about 15 percent of cats appear to be lame. The most common sign your cat has arthritis is their reluctance or inability to jump up or down. We have put out crates and boxes making it easier for Pink Collar to take a small hop, rather than a big leap to the counter, sofa, and even the cat tree.
We all know cats are masters at hiding illness and pain. This well could be hard-wired into survival mode dating back thousands of years. Because of this, responsible cat owners must learn what to look for.
If you think your cat has asthma or any other health issues, schedule a visit with your veterinarian immediately. The contents of this blog post are for informational purposes only, and should not be used in place of professional advise from your veterinarian.
Litter box issues are unique for long-haired cats, and if they have health issues, they are even more challenging.
Finding the right litter, litter box placement, and location are one thing, and the cats at the Paws’ household have agreed their human’s decision is OK for now. Cats can be fickle, and the decisions of today, may not be the right ones for tomorrow. Additionally, the manufacturers of cat litter are always trying to improve their products. That doesn’t necessarily always sit well with the felines or their human(s). We all know all too well, cats don’t like change.
Aging can affect litter box use
As cats age, they may develop health issues, and the litter box may become offensive if one cat is putting out too much urine or poop. That change can leave the others to find another box, making it so very important to strategically place one box plus one for the number of cats in the house.
Litter box issues are unique for long-haired cats
While covered boxes keep the poop out of sight, they are intimidating for the cats. Paws has 2 covered boxes, and 3 uncovered. However, 2 of the uncovered ones sit underneath specially made cat furniture, and the cats really like this. They have plenty of head room and the sides do not hem them in. These specially designed store-bought pieces keep the litter out of sight and give the cats ample room to do their business in privacy, but not with the fear of getting ambushed. At Paws, we strongly recommend investing in the furniture.
Persistent coughing is a tell-tale sign of feline asthma, but despite one in eight cats having asthma, but it’s often overlooked as veterinarians rule out more serious diseases.
We found out the hard way as Little Yellow has finally diagnosed with asthma. It was misdiagnosed, as we will talk about more in a post detailing our journey through the medical maze. Today, we want to explain what the disease is.
General symptoms of feline asthma include:
• Coughing and wheezing
• Persistent cough
• Squatting with shoulders hunched, neck extended and rapid breathing or gasping for breath
• Gagging up foamy mucus
• Open mouth breathing
• Blue lips and gums
• Labored breath after exertion
• Overall weakness and lethargy
When an asthma attack occurs, the passageways in the lungs thicken and constrict, making it very difficult for the cat to breathe. As Paws reflects, we do believe that fateful day of June 13, 2013. Little Yellow was having a full-blown asthma attack. At only 5 years old, he was too young to have these health issues.
Persistent coughing is a tell-tale sign of feline asthma
A full-blown asthma attack may at first resemble a cat trying to cough up a hairball, or possibly choking on food. However, the body posture is somewhat different. With asthma, the cat’s body will be hunched lower to the ground and his neck, and head will be extended out and down in an effort to clear the airway of mucous. The gagging may also be accompanied by a typical coughing sound, and possibly even sneezing. The cat may or may not expel foamy mucous. Open mouth breathing or panting not associated with exercise in the cat is a sign of severe respiratory distress.
5 Reasons to bring your cat to the Vet. August 22 is National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day, and Paws for Reflection wanted to share this infographic explaining why you should make sure kitty gets regular vet visits.According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, 83 percent of cats are taken to the vet in the first year of ownership, yet over half of them don’t return!
Why do you think people don’t bring their cats to the vet? Is it money or lack of knowledge? Please weigh in and share your thoughts.