From the September 2015 Issue

The Impact of Those New Food Labels

By the end of the year, almost all pet food labels will provide information on calories per cup as part of the growing movement in veterinary medicine to counter pet obesity. The change has been several years in the making and would seem make it easier to feed our cats, but just like the challenge of deciphering the terms on labels — guaranteed analysis, ingredients vs. nutrients and total crude protein — determining the calories might not be simple. \nNutritionist Joseph \nWakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine offers one example: “The average indoor cat’s diet should be based on resting energy, similar to a human couch potato who watches TV most of the day. The problem is that pet food manufacturers’ recommendations are based on a theoretical activity level that doesn’t exist for most indoor cats.”\n

Current Issue

Reducing the Risk of Lymphoma

Lymphoma is the most common form of cancer in cats and unfortunately one of the most deadly. Although it has no cure, vaccinations against two viruses linked to the cancer can reduce your cat’s risk of developing the disease. Feline lymphomasarcoma is a malignant cancer of lymphocytes, cells in the immune system that travel the body through the lymphatic system — the network of tissues and organs that influences virtually every aspect of a cat’s health. Lymphoma can arise in lymph nodes as well as organs, including the spleen, liver, intestinal tract and skin. The disease can sometimes lead to tumors; however, the cancer usually involves the blood-forming organs and lymph tissue.

Short Takes: September 2015

Cute cat videos are all over the Internet and morning TV news shows, but to judge by a national survey of 1,023 people by PetSmart Charities, opinions about cats and their owners remain divided. A majority of respondents believe cats are intelligent, loving, cuddly and attractive but also invoked stereotypical adjectives such as moody, stubborn, aloof and grouchy. (You can bet “grouchy” cats have legitimate reasons for their mood, such as illness, pain or stress.)

Sounds Linked to Seizures in Older Cats — and More

An evaluation of 96 cats’ medical records and owner questionnaires suggests that some high-pitched sounds can cause seizures in older cats. At the same time, the study uncovered a mystery: Half the evaluated cats were deaf or hearing impaired, according to their owners. How did they hear the sounds?

When Rough Play Gets Out of Hand

Your indoor cat needs and deserves daily play sessions to keep him physically and mentally fit. Play can help prevent him from engaging in destructive behaviors like shredding the sofa out of boredom or becoming obese from overeating to pass the time.

Understanding the Incidence of Deafness in White Cats

I am a breeder of Turkish Angoras, and recently I’m seeing references stating that the incidence of deafness in white cats is 80 percent. This is much higher than the approximately 30 percent that we have seen in our breeding population. Can you shed some light on this discrepancy?