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33 faqs found.
Browse FAQs » Cats » General Cat Questions
  • Put out several bowls of fresh water to encourage it to drink. Pet water fountains are a great investment as well. They keep the water fr...

    Put out several bowls of fresh water to encourage it to drink. Pet water fountains are a great investment as well. They keep the water fresher longer, making it more appealing to the cat. Cats prefer to drink from stainless steel or glass bowls rather than plastic.

    You can try to make a “soup” by mixing equal amounts of canned cat good with water. This is something a cat won’t refuse and you get more liquid in them. For a cat that likes milk, add some of the milk to water to give it that flavor. You can also add ice cubes to the water to encourage more drinking. Many cat owners find it best to let water trickle out of a faucet for the pleasure of their cat’s drinking needs – and many felines prefer this method. If you think there’s a bigger problem please consult your veterinarian.

     

    If you would like to read more on breeds of cats, visit our about pets library.

  • Hairballs are known as trichobezoar or fur balls. They are more common in the long-haired cats. Hairballs are the result of a cat’s...

    Hairballs are known as trichobezoar or fur balls. They are more common in the long-haired cats. Hairballs are the result of a cat’s self-grooming antics. That hairball can form into a mat which can lead to gastrointestinal problems in your cat and possibly constipation. Hairballs are quite common but there are steps you can take to keep your cat safe from any digestive problems as a result of all that grooming. To help, you should groom your cat frequently with daily brushing which can reduce the amount of hair the cat will ingest. Many pet supplies on the market, petroleum-based, that act as a laxative to pass hairballs more easily. Also with these products you add them to a cat’s food, some pet food companies also provide cat foods and treats with specific remedies for the recurrent hairball and fur ball problems.

     

     

    If you would like to read more on cats please visit our library about pets.

  • When you get a new cat, you need to be sure it is protected health-wise through preventative vaccinations. For the health of your cat, th...

    When you get a new cat, you need to be sure it is protected health-wise through preventative vaccinations. For the health of your cat, the vaccinations necessary are for the prevention of Rabies, the Feline Calicivirus or FCV, Panleukopenia virus or distemper and Feline herpes virus. Distemper, FCV and the herpes virus are typically started when your kitten is about 8-10 weeks old and repeated at 12-14 weeks and a year old. These vaccines are then repeated every three years. Rabies is given when a cat is about 3-4 months old and repeated every year (or every three years, if you choose that option.) Please consult your vet about this.

     

    You can read more on different breeds of cats from our library.

  • The last thing you want is for your cat to be affected with any type of cancer. Cats can have many of the same cancers and symptoms as do...

    The last thing you want is for your cat to be affected with any type of cancer. Cats can have many of the same cancers and symptoms as dogs although there are some differences. You can help your cat with a better prognosis if you know the signs and symptoms of cancer. The disease is described as uncontrolled cells in the body that spreads to invade other cells and tissues. Older cats over the age of 10 are prone to cancer which is a difficult disease to avoid. The most common cancers, signs and symptoms in cats are – 

    Skin tumors are not most common in cats and if one is detected, they are most often malignant. You should examine your cat’s body often as tumors will be evident with a lump or mass on the skin – anywhere on the body.
    Abdominal tumors are complicated to detect, just as they are in dogs and the best you can do is note any unusual signs and symptoms such as weight loss, a change in eating habits, protracted vomiting, constant diarrheal issues and an enlargement of the abdomen.
    Mammary gland tumors are common in older female cats, especially one that has not been spayed. Over 85 per cent of mammary gland tumors are malignant and this type of cancer is the third most common cancer disease in cats. The most common types of cancers affecting a cat are skin tumors and lymphoma. The most common symptom of this cancer type is a lump in the breast tissue.
    Lymphoma in cats is most often associated with the feline leukemia virus and can affect the digestive system. Normal symptoms are vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea. At least 25 per cent of cats with the feline leukemia virus are prone to lymphoma.

  • Cats are known to be when it comes to eating but sometimes the issue can be due to a medical problem. If changes in eating are a sudden c...

    Cats are known to be when it comes to eating but sometimes the issue can be due to a medical problem. If changes in eating are a sudden concern, contact your veterinarian to be sure your cat is healthy.

    To encourage your cat to eat, try offering some aromatic foods like canned tuna or sardines. Most cats cannot refuse these foods as well as liver. Warming up the cat’s normal food is sometimes more appealing to stimulate the appetite. Meat flavored baby food can be enticing, warmed – being careful there is no onion or garlic in any of the foods you offer your cat. 

    Catnip can help a cat feel less stressed and acts as a natural appetite stimulant. While offering your cat a regular cat food, try mixing in some fish oil, broth or cooked egg. Don’t leave the food out too long as it will spoil. If the cat is hungry, it will learn to eat when the food is given. Cats will eat what their bodies require. You can alternate different foods for variety to reduce finicky habits. 

     

    Read about different breeds of cata

  • Seizures can be a common problem in pets and sometimes just a symptom that something is wrong with your animal. Seizures are described as...

    Seizures can be a common problem in pets and sometimes just a symptom that something is wrong with your animal. Seizures are described as a sudden disruption of the nerves in the brain. The seizure is evidenced by involuntary tightening of voluntary muscles, abnormal behaviors and sensations and can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Some causes of a seizure may be liver disease, low blood sugar, tumors, diseases from inflammation or infection, as well as head trauma or a blood vessel disorder within the brain.

     

    Seizures can be genetic with congenital problems from birth such as hydrocephalus or water on the brain. There is no definitive reason for a seizure and they are known as idiopathic. Treating a seizure disorder is all dependent upon the cause and underlying issues. Treating the primary cause of the seizures will cause them to stop.

     

    Watch the video on what causes seizures in pets by Dr. Karen Becker

  • Choosing a pet insurance most often depends upon your needs and cost. There are pros and cons to consider in making your decision with th...

    Choosing a pet insurance most often depends upon your needs and cost. There are pros and cons to consider in making your decision with the first pro being the option to care for your animal in the face of an emergency. There are a variety of insurance companies, policies and coverage options. Some will cover unexpected medical issues as well as annual checkups and immunizations. Of course, the more coverage you get, the higher the premium. The younger the animal, the lower your premiums will be. If your pet is healthy at the time of signing up for the insurance, you have no problem qualifying for coverage. Some policies will let you choose your own vet and some may not. If you can, you can choose extended care for your pet such as dental care and accidental death. 

    Cons you might think about are the cost of treatments vs. the cost of insurance. Some insurance policies have maximum benefit amounts so you need to consider that when choosing. It is a con when faced with choosing a vet that you are unsure of. Some policies will not let you use your own doctor. Also consider the fact that some policies require pre-authorization before treatment – which can mean the life of your pet in an emergency. Be leery of the policies that require a physical and do not allow pre-existing conditions such as flea problems, past injuries, chronic ailments and oral hygiene. A select few companies will not cover older pets. Read all the fine print before choosing your policy. Most pet insurance companies require out-of-pocket and deductibles. Make sure there are no penalties for cancelling a policy at any time.

    Having a pet insurance policy for your animal can give you peace of mind. If you can afford a policy for the health of your animal, it is a good choice and safety net in the event of an emergency.

  • Many pets are fearful of thunder and storms and that includes cats, although it is rare. Even though they do have an independent nature, ...

    Many pets are fearful of thunder and storms and that includes cats, although it is rare. Even though they do have an independent nature, some felines are startled by the sudden noises. You can help by counter-conditioning your pet. Distract your cat during a storm and do something you know your cat enjoys. Use a lot of praise and treats during this fun time. In extreme cases, your veterinarian can prescribe anti-anxiety medical treatments. 

    Most importantly, when a storm occurs, keep yourself calm as pets reflect off your feelings many times. If redirecting the cat to other activities during a storm is not working, try to provide a safe place for your get to feel secure. The most popular spots are under the bed, behind furniture or a secret basement location, any place that may muffle the noises it fears. If your cat does not have a “safe haven” chosen, you can provide a safe place by placing some of its favorite toys (with catnip) and some food bits to encourage your cat to go there. 

  • Any changes in diet should first be discussed with your doctor to be sure there are no health issues. Once assured your cat is healthy, t...

    Any changes in diet should first be discussed with your doctor to be sure there are no health issues. Once assured your cat is healthy, try changing foods to find one your cat prefers. Experiment with varieties to find something your cat will love. If you have been using a dry food, add a little water to make it more appealing. Mix canned and dry together. Warm the regular food to make it more aromatic and enticing. Pour a small amount of olive oil over its food for the same effect or try adding tuna in oil. If your cat eats dry food, leave it out so he can access it whenever he wants. To put on some extra pounds, try offering your cat homogenized milk or a mixture of milk and cream if your cat can tolerate it.

    Eating habits and problems may be psychological where you may need to praise and encourage your cat in a soft tone of voice to eat its food. Provide his food in an area away from disturbances and distractions. Because of the finicky habits, changing the foods often may work as well. If you still have concerns, your veterinarian may be able to advise you about a dietary supplement or a high-calorie food specific for cats that need to gain weight. Remember to consult your vet about this. Please remember, even though your cat seems skinny some breeds are naturally thin.

     

    You can read more on different breeds of cats.

  • It is common for cat’s to self-groom themselves although biting their nails can be one of their bad habits, just as it is for human...

    It is common for cat’s to self-groom themselves although biting their nails can be one of their bad habits, just as it is for humans. Biting the nails can be a compulsive problem because of conflict, stress, tension or anxious situations. Maybe the nails are just getting too long and the cat needs a nail trim. Whatever the cause, excessive nail biting can cause bleeding, irritation and infection to the area. If you feel there is a constant problem with your cat biting the nails, contact your veterinarian before irritation occurs. You can try to stop the behavior with anti-itch spray on the paws to ease any irritation along with an Elizabethan collar to give the paws time to heal. 

     

    Read more on breeds of cats from our about pets library.

  • If your cat wants to go in and out with easier access, you can install a fitted cat flap that can swing both ways, making it easier for t...

    If your cat wants to go in and out with easier access, you can install a fitted cat flap that can swing both ways, making it easier for the cat. However, you will need to get your cat used to this new “doorway.” With your cat on the inside of the flap, try enticing your cat through it with a treat. Call your cat in a loving, calm tone of voice and when he/she comes through, give them treat. Repeat this again on the other side of the flap with praise and treat as he/she goes through.

    If the training has not worked, you may need to enlist an assistant to help you through the process. Choose someone that your cat trusts. You are on one side of the flap with your cat while the helper is on the other side, both holding treats. With the flap slightly open so it can see your assistant, have the helper call the cat with treat in hand until it comes through the flap – give a treat and praise. Nudge your cat through if necessary. Have the cat turned around so your helper can hold the cat while you call him or her with treat in hand. Keep practicing this process until your cat is comfortable going through the flap on its own. Remember, a ton of praise when he/she goes through the flap successfully. Your cat will soon learn and appreciate going through the flap on its own without fear.

     

    Learn about different breeds of cats.

  • Separation anxiety can be a common problem for many pets – more for dogs than cats, since cats can be extremely independent and car...

    Separation anxiety can be a common problem for many pets – more for dogs than cats, since cats can be extremely independent and carefree. Separation anxiety is a behavior condition and affects an animal when most often left alone. It may be evident in dogs through howling and barking as well as destruction of the home, trying to escape and possibly causing self-injury. 

    Cats are not quite as obvious although they may stick to you like glue when you return home. It is a lack of confidence and its insecurity that causes the condition in cats, especially certain breeds such as the Burmese and Siamese

    Helping an animal with separation anxiety may require medical treatment by your veterinarian and/or special training to ease your pet’s transition in your absence. The pet needs to feel more secure that when you leave, for whatever reason, you are indeed going to return home.

     

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  • Outdoor cats are prone to many diseases, most of which are zoonotic and transmittable to you. Some of those diseases spread by an outdoor...

    Outdoor cats are prone to many diseases, most of which are zoonotic and transmittable to you. Some of those diseases spread by an outdoor cat are the cat scratch fever, rabies, roundworm, ringworm and toxoplasmosis. 

    Cat scratch fever is a bacterial disease as the result of a cat ingesting flea feces through self-grooming. It can also be from an infected tick. You can get it by a bite or scratch from your cat. It can also be transmitted by the saliva of your cat by licking your open wound.

    Roundworm is a parasite common in cats. If the eggs of the parasite is ingested by you through unclean conditions while handling cat feces, it can produce a worm that migrates to the liver, brain, lungs and eyes. Children are more susceptible to the parasite if they eat dirt contaminated by feces or any form of the parasite. The biggest form of contamination is when the kids don’t wash their hands after playing outside.

    Toxoplasmosis is another parasitic disease common in cats and a danger for pregnant women because of a compromised immune system. It usually comes from a feline eating an infected prey or raw meat and is passed on through contact with the feces of the cat. 


    Rabies most often occurs when a cat is in contact with a rabid animal and in turn bites their human. If the outdoor cat has never been protected with the rabies vaccine, it may be rabid. If it bites you, wash the area immediately with soap and water, apply an antiseptic such as Iodine and call your doctor.

    Ringworm has nothing to do with worms. It is in fact a fungal infection in cats. Ringworm is very contagious if you are in close contact with your cat through petting or any other close connection. Ringworm will show up as bald circular patches on the skin and fur. The skin may be greasy or dry, and the nails may be deformed. It usually heals itself in cats.

    Preventing most of these diseases from cats can be avoided through common sense and cleanliness. Always wear disposable gloves when cleaning litter boxes or handling feces in any way. If controlling fleas or other parasites on your cat, remember to wash your hands well afterwards. With a little personal hygiene, you can lessen the chances of contracting any of these diseases tremendously. 

     

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  • Glaucoma is an abnormal pressure of the eye in dogs and cats. A normal eye drain of watery fluid and when that process becomes difficult,...

    Glaucoma is an abnormal pressure of the eye in dogs and cats. A normal eye drain of watery fluid and when that process becomes difficult, it causes continual pressure within the eye. The increased pressure can cause harm to the optic nerve, creating vision loss. The primary cause of glaucoma is unknown and occurs without warning, usually later on in life. There are several secondary causes of glaucoma in dogs and cats. 

    Inflammation of the eye occurs because of debris and excess protein in the eye – very common in cats. These particles in the eye can block the normal drainage process of the eye. The fluid can block the pupil area and stick to the iris and lens of the eye, causing chronic inflammation. Dogs are highly affected as well with inflammation of the eye. 

    Lens luxation or dislocation can block fluid flow and drainage. This condition is more common in certain breeds of dogs, especially those with bulging eyes. The pug, Lhasa apso, Shih Tzu, certain other terriers, Border collie and Australian blue heeler are all prone to this condition. Premature breakdown of the fibers of the eye that keeps the lens in place can cause the lens to move around and sometimes pops out. Aside from glaucoma, this can also cause tumor growth and cataracts. Tumors and trauma of the eyes are contributing factors to glaucoma in dogs and cats as well, by preventing fluid from draining.

     

    View the video on What is Glaucoma in dogs and cats?

  • Siamese cats live approximately 15-20 years. Read more about the Siamese cat

    Siamese cats live approximately 15-20 years. Read more about the Siamese cat

  • One of the most common ear problems in pets is due to allergies. It can be caused by food ingredients, pollen, dust or any other environm...

    One of the most common ear problems in pets is due to allergies. It can be caused by food ingredients, pollen, dust or any other environmental irritants. Common symptoms of an ear infection in your pet due to allergies are inflamed itchy ears and sore paws, since the allergy signs affect more than just the ears. To help your pet, change the diet to a food that does not contain any corn, wheat or soy. Not all environmental pollutants can be avoided but you can provide as clean and dust-free an atmosphere as possible. If you see your pet excessively scratching its ears or biting its paws, contact your vet to have your pet looked at.

     

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  • Cataracts in pets are most often mistaken for glaucoma and consider a disease of old age. However, this is so far from the truth. Any dog...

    Cataracts in pets are most often mistaken for glaucoma and consider a disease of old age. However, this is so far from the truth. Any dog or cat of any age can be affected with cataracts, just as humans. Cataracts are a cloudy covering over the eye, which is normally clear. As a result of that opacity, it focuses and transmits light onto the retina in the rear of your pet’s eyes. A cataract blocks communication of light to the eye. Common causes of cataracts are genetics, trauma to the eye, metabolic diseases – diabetes and nutritional problems. Cataracts can develop in old age but is often confused with lenticular or nuclear sclerosis. However, this is not a cause for blindness. On rare circumstances, cataracts develop due to toxins, drugs, radiation, concentrated microwaves. This is something to discuss with your veterinarian.

  • No, they can see colors although maybe not as vividly. The cells that are called rods in their eyes are actually sensitive to dim light a...

    No, they can see colors although maybe not as vividly. The cells that are called rods in their eyes are actually sensitive to dim light and are located at the rear of the eye known as the retina. They also have cells known as cones that sees brighter light. Unlike humans with 3 cones, cats only have 2 cones that are more sensitive to blues and greens. So they may not see all colors the same as we do but they are not color blind.

     

     

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  • Maybe you have an indoor cat that loves to gaze out the window and you would like to bring it outside to safely enjoy some nature. Some p...

    Maybe you have an indoor cat that loves to gaze out the window and you would like to bring it outside to safely enjoy some nature. Some people do choose to walk their cats on a leash. Leash-training your cat is possible, it can take some patience on your part and is an easy task when done at an early age for your feline. It can be fearful for the adult cat so take your time and if the cat is not accepting of a leash, it may not be meant-to-be. 

    The best option is to use a halter for your cat rather than a collar. The harness should fit well enough so that you can get two fingers under it when on your cat. Along with the harness you will need a nylon lead, six to eight feet in length. A chain lead would be too heavy for your cat.

    Begin leash training your cat indoors to get the cat used to wearing the harness and lead. Do not take it outside until your cat is accustomed to it. At this point you can start outside with short trips, about five minutes at a time. Gradually increase your walk times. If you go out and your cat wants to just lie down and take in the sights, don’t force the issue of going for walks. Kitty is just happy to lie down and sight-see.

     

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  • No, they cannot see in complete darkness. In semi-darkness, they do have the ability to see a little, much better than humans. This is du...

    No, they cannot see in complete darkness. In semi-darkness, they do have the ability to see a little, much better than humans. This is due to the configuration of the cat’s eyes, not to mention their whiskers that helps them to navigate in darkness to semi-darkness conditions. The ears also stand erect and are keen senses in finding their way around in less-than-perfect lighting.

     

     

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