Cat Health

Cat Phone Fanatics

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by on March 7, 2013 · 0 comments

What is it about cats and telephones that brings on the pester-bug? When the phone rings, does your kitty come a-running? At my house, a telephone conversation brings my cat Seren quicker than a bag of catnip.

Cat Phone Fanatics

Some cat lovers are sure the cat simply is jealous of the attention humans give the phone. And due to super-kitty hearing ability, cats may also be selective and demand more attention when they recognize a particular voice on the other end of the line. I posed this question on my Facebook page and it turns out that cats aren’t alone. Dogs do it too, and a “Wordy Bird” parrot raises a ruckus with whistles when his owner gets a call. Another friend’s horse tries to grab the phone. [click to continue…]


Substances Unsafe for Cats

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by on February 14, 2013 · 0 comments

This is by no means a list of everything on the planet that’s bad for cats. But it’s a few of the things that should be avoided by themselves or as an ingredient in something else.

Alpha lipoic acid
Also referred to as lipoic acid. It’s an antioxidant that increases production of glutathione and can cause gastrointestinal distress and low blood sugar in cats.

This contains the alkaloid theobromine which is toxic to cats. It also contains caffeine and may contain sugar.

Dairy products include milk, cream, butter, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, whey, sour cream, kefir, casein, and ice cream. Milk is a hormonal growth fluid produced by a mother for her young of the same species. Cats do not “milk” cows (or mice) and, after weaning, have no need for dairy products. A weaned cat isn’t equipped with the enzymes needed to digest the protein and sugar in dairy products. Plus, studies with cats show that casein (a protein in milk) interferes with the absorption of other nutrients. [click to continue…]


Why Switch to a Raw Food Diet?

Cats are obligate carnivores and their systems have evolved from thousands of years of eating a raw food diet in the wild. A raw meat diet supplemented with grains, vegetables and fruits, taurine, certain enzymes, and essential fatty acids will closely approximate the food your cat would get in the wild. Controlled tests using two groups of cats, getting either raw or cooked food (otherwise identical) revealed:

  • After three generations, the “cooked food” group could no longer reproduce
  • The same group developed serious medical problems, including mouth and gum infections, bladder problems and heart lesions
  • The weakened colony was switched back to raw foods and within four generations became completely healthy again [click to continue…]


We all agree that a clean house is not only desirable, but essential to the health of both humans and the cats who share our homes. Ironically though, our homes are full of household cleaning supplies which can be harmful to our cats, things like chemical cleaners, disinfectants, and insect repellants. In an effort to protect our cats from exposure to toxic substances, while keeping our homes free from dirt and germs, the About Cats Forum members brainstormed and came up with a list of helpful “clean green” tips and ideas. We have discovered that there are a number of safe products we already have on hand that can be diverted toward safe cleaning.


Vinegar has a multitude of uses both inside and outside the home. Here are just a few:

  • Windows: Mix 1/8 cup vinegar with a pint of water for a great window and glass cleaner. Use in a spray bottle and use newspapers to wipe and polish. For a particularly dirty window, add a tablespoon of dish detergent to the mix. [click to continue…]


Cats’ Grief Over Pet Loss

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by on December 29, 2012 · 0 comments

Pet loss and grief can be difficult and heartbreaking for people, but it can be an even greater challenge to help the surviving pets deal with pet loss. Cats do, indeed, grieve.

They cannot tell us how they feel. And the owners in the family may overlook behavior changes while dealing with their own sense of loss. Not every pet will react at all, while a percentage seems to suffer greatly. When pets grieve, they usually show their sense of loss with behavior changes. In fact, separation anxiety is one form of grief–your cat only understands someone she loves is gone.

Pet Loss and Kitty Considerations

The surviving pets often begin to act differently when the cat or dog first becomes sick or starts to decline. For people, this can be a time of preparation, and some of our grieving may be done well in advance of the pet’s actual death. Dr. Barbara Kitchell, a veterinary cancer specialist, says that grief counseling often is part ofwhat caring veterinarians naturally do.

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How to Play With Your Cat

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by on December 21, 2012 · 0 comments

You enjoy playing with your cat, or you wouldn’t be reading this article. Interactive playing with cats is not only fun, but it provides valuable exercise for cats of all ages; just as important, it strengthens the feline-human bond, which is all-important to genuine cat lovers.


Kittens will play with anything. Just keep dangerous items like string, plastic bags, small ingestibles, and just about everything else away from the insatiable Mr. Kitten if you’re not supervising him. Many kitten owners will tell you that the only thing known to mankind that can keep up with a kitten is…another kitten. You’ll enjoy playing with him with interactive toys, but be aware that he should learn early-on that your hands are not toys. Ignore this advice, and you may learn to regret it when he grows up and develops full-sized teeth and claws.

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It is always with concern when we witness what seems to be angry aggression between cats who have been good buddies in the past. Two cats will be engaged in mutual grooming one minute, and at the next, are locked in a tooth-and-claw battle. Our instinct is to break it up before someone gets hurt, and indeed, sometimes that intercession is called for. However, aggression between housemate cats comes in several forms, with associated causes, and it behooves us, their human companions, to fully understand these kinds of aggressive behavior so that we can take appropriate steps, when needed. [click to continue…]


Human Foods for Cats?

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by on July 13, 2012 · 0 comments

Let’s face it: some cats are inveterate “bums” and will beg and plead most appealingly while you try to eat. While I will (rarely) give a cat a tidbit of chicken or turkey from my plate, it’s a practice I don’t encourage as a regular habit for a few reasons. First, because cats need the nutrients specifically provided for them in good, premium cat foods, and any “extras” that they consume will take away their appetites for their regular meals. A sliver of turkey or chicken from your dinner plate certainly won’t kill a cat, but you’re helping him develop bad habits. What happens when Aunt Phoebe comes for dinner and Simon jumps on her lap to scarf up her meal?

However, the main reason I’d discourage feeding cats “people food” is that there are a number of foods that are toxic to cats. You may have forgotten that the gravy slathered over your Thanksgiving turkey used broth that was flavored with onion, among other things. While it is tasty and harmless to humans, onions  are very toxic to cats. The following is a list of foods that cats should nevereat: [click to continue…]


Feline Arthritis

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by on July 12, 2012 · 0 comments

Oh, My Aching Joints!:

Senior cats that exhibit the symptoms of aching joints may be afflicted with Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease. Excess weight may be a contributing factor, and weight control (including exercise) is an important part of any treatment program for Osteoarthritis.

Fortunately, new developments in veterinary medicine have provided products that can help relieve the pain, and even to repair existing damage to the cartilage which normally protects joints from damage due to wear.

Symptoms of Feline Osteoarthritis:

  • Altered Gait
  • Stiffness upon arising from rest
  • Reluctance to Jump
  • Obvious Pain When Walking
  • Personality Changes (Increased nervousness, depression, or aggression)


Your veterinarian will take a detailed history of the problem, and perform a physical examination. Since “lameness” may also be associated with other conditions,  blood tests, radiographs, ultrasound, or other procedures may supplement the examination. [click to continue…]