From the June 2017 Issue

Cats Are Predators But Also Prey

Cats Are Predators But Also Prey

Cats have a reputation for being fearless and lethal predators, but there’s a flip side to this characterization: While domestic cats who live with us still retain their hunting skills, they themselves are also prey — to dogs, urban coyotes, even birds such as hawks and owls. Cats, then, have a well-developed sense of fear. They are often cautious in the presence of strangers, loud or unexpected noises startle them, and they dislike changes in their…

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Current Issue

Cats Are More Likely to Have ‘Hot Zones’

Unlike dogs who typically develop discrete hot spots in response to irritation, insects and allergies, hot spots in cats are less common for one surprising reason: “Although they can have an identifiable trigger event, they can pop up for no apparent reason,” says dermatologist William H. Miller, VMD, a medical director of the Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital. …

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Breeds’ Distinct Ears Offer Clue to Arthritis

At least two cat breeds — Scottish Folds and American Curls — have atypical ears. Scottish Folds’ ears fold forward, while American Curls’ fold backward. Only the ear cartilage is malformed in American Curls, while Scottish Folds can suffer additional bone malformations and crippling osteoarthritis. The Morris Animal Foundation is supporting research at the University of Sydney in Australia to identify genes in both breeds that may be responsible for these traits. The possible outcome could…

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A Rare Polyp Impedes Breathing

If your cat has difficulty swallowing, shakes his head, sneezes and breathes noisily as if hacking or snoring, you could dismiss the behavior as fleeting. But while you might think the cause will clear up on its own, the problem may be a nasopharyngeal polyp — an uncommon, noncancerous bump at the very back of the throat or in the ear canal that must be removed through a fairly simple surgery. …

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Three Top Allergens: Food, Fleas and Airborne Substances

Food Allergies Can Mimic Skin Conditions “Incidence figures on food hypersensitivity in cats are hard to find, since cats often won’t eat the special diets needed to either diagnose or treat food hypersensitivity,” says dermatologist William H. Miller, VMD, at Cornell. Cats with a suspected food allergy usually visit either the gastroenterologist or the dermatologist, but not both. “Animals with vomiting and diarrhea rarely have skin issues associated with their diets and those with itchy skin rarely…

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A Push to Screen for Earlier Diagnosis of Hypertension

  A Push to Screen for EarlierDiagnosis of HypertensionCatWatch has previously reported that hypertension in humans can damage the heart and arteries, and cause stroke, kidney damage and vision loss. The Lancet journal predicted that the risk of becoming hypertensive during a lifetime exceeds 90 percent for people in developed countries. Even more alarming, it cautioned that “Screening is not done systematically, and the diagnosis is often made at a late stage when target organ damage…

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Is Heartworm Cause for Worry? About Her Indoor-Outdoor Cat?

Q We live in Maryland and have a 6-year-old indoor/outdoor cat who is in apparently good health. I was recently talking with a friend of mine whose dog was infected with heartworms, and this made me worry about my kitty. Is this something I should be worried about? AI certainly understand why you are worried. The first thing I should say is that you should ideally be keeping your kitty indoors, although this would not preclude…

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Cats Are Predators But Also Prey

Cats have a reputation for being fearless and lethal predators, but there’s a flip side to this characterization: While domestic cats who live with us still retain their hunting skills, they themselves are also prey — to dogs, urban coyotes, even birds such as hawks and owls. Cats, then, have a well-developed sense of fear. They are often cautious in the presence of strangers, loud or unexpected noises startle them, and they dislike changes in their…

Click here to read more.

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