From the March 2017 Issue
You see your indoor cat purring, even cackling while nestled on a window perch, eying the birdhouse on a tree limb in your back yard. But he suddenly becomes agitated and then angry when your other cat dares to share his window perch. Your otherwise sweet cat taps into his wild ancestry as he stalks, hisses and swats the other cat who dashes to another room.
Thanks to medical advances and improved nutrition, our cats are living longer than ever. However, longer life increases the likelihood of age-related diseases, including cancer. The Animal Cancer Foundation estimates that 6 million cats are diagnosed with cancer annually. They present a challenge to owners and veterinarians to provide the best quality of life with a minimum of pain.
Scientists have identified many factors that affect a species survival from diet and weather to the size of breeding groups to social relationships. However, researchers at Michigan State have found that some wild cats dont necessarily respond to the same evolutionary pressures as other mammals, including humans and primates.
Sometimes a cats bout of vomiting simply needs to run its course, similar to food poisoning or a viral GI bug in people. However, vomiting could indicate a significant medical problem, and if youre concerned, it is always better to err on the side of caution and check with the veterinarian. Vomiting can be due to factors that directly affect the gastrointestinal tract or to indirect effects from other conditions, says Meredith L. Miller, DVM, ACVIM, a lecturer in small animal medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
My 2-year-old cat, who we took in as a stray after gradually gaining his trust about a year ago, has been having a problem that I wonder if you can help with. He has started to pull his fur out in small cotton ball-sized clumps. I find these clumps all over the house, and its driving me crazy. He is an indoor/outdoor cat and there are no other pets or kids in the house. Can you provide some insight?
Diabetes mellitus commonly strikes older, obese male cats. In its most common feline form, the pancreas doesnt produce any or enough insulin, a hormone that regulates the flow of glucose used as fuel for a variety of metabolic processes. The patient lacks nourishment, and excess glucose remains in the bloodstream, potentially damaging organs and blood vessels.
To minimize resource guarding in a multi-pet household, strive to create a healthy feline indoor environment. Do not yell at or physically punish your resource-guarding cat because this punitive approach will cause him to want to protect his resources even more and it can damage your relationship with him. While resource guarding is less common in cats than in dogs, it can escalate into a serious behavior issue that requires intervention by a professional.