From the September 2016 Issue

Welcoming an Outdoor Cat Indoors

Welcoming an Outdoor Cat Indoors

A stray cat has begun visiting your yard and you’ve been feeding him. He’s open to friendly advances and you wonder if he would benefit from a real home. Or perhaps following a close call, you wonder if your indoor cat, who frequently goes outside, should remain in the house for safety’s sake. One significant challenge you may face in transitioning an outdoor cat indoors is an existing cat who doesn’t welcome newcomers and attacks the new cat.

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Current Issue

Cats Likely Candidates for Giardia

Every time your cat nuzzles up to a neighbor’s cat or scratches in wet soil where another cat has relieved himself, he runs the risk that he will pick up an uninvited guest: the parasite called giardia. It survives throughout the country in any place that’s wet or damp, and thrives inside its hosts. “Infection rates will vary depending on geographic location but one study has shown the rates to be about 10 percent in cats,” says Brian Collins, DVM, Section Chief of the Community Practice Service at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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Over Half of Cats are Overweight; Overactive Thyroids in Cats

Pets were evaluated as ideal, overweight or obese. The APOP’s survey also found that 54 percent of dogs were overweight or obese. The findings were nearly the same in 2014, when the association cited a “fat pet gap,” in which another of its surveys revealed that 90 percent of owners of overweight cats and 95 percent of owners of overweight dogs incorrectly identified their pet as normal weight. “No one wants to think their pet is overweight, and overcoming denial is our first battle,” said APOP founder Ernie Ward, DVM.

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Geography's Role in Feline Ear Infections

Ear infections are relatively uncommon in cats — infections of the external ear occur twice as often in dogs. However, you should be aware of these significant facts: A study shows that geography can determine if your cat is likely to develop an ear infection. Left untreated, an infection can become chronic, causing pain and irreparable damage to the ear canal or eardrum. You can become the first line of defense in identifying an ear infection. Simply check your cat’s ears by giving them a quick rub — something you probably do everyday. Whether your cat shows pleasure or discomfort is a clue to the ears’ condition.

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Welcoming an Outdoor Cat Indoors

A stray cat has begun visiting your yard and you’ve been feeding him. He’s open to friendly advances and you wonder if he would benefit from a real home. Or perhaps following a close call, you wonder if your indoor cat, who frequently goes outside, should remain in the house for safety’s sake. One significant challenge you may face in transitioning an outdoor cat indoors is an existing cat who doesn’t welcome newcomers and attacks the new cat.

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Ask Elizabeth: September 2016

There are number of ways to measure the blood pressure in the artery of a patient. The gold standard is the placement of a catheter directly into the artery and measuring the pressure within it, referred to as blood pressure, using a device called manometer. Although this technique is extremely accurate, it requires the placement of an arterial catheter (which generally requires sedation/anesthesia in veterinary patients) and specialized equipment, and is associated with risks such as bleeding and infection. For these reasons, this invasive method of measuring blood pressure is not usually employed in cats during a routine veterinary visit.

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Cats With Gum Disease Sought for Study

Cornell is seeking cats with chronic, non-responsive gingivostomatitis for a clinical trial using stem cells. The disease causes severe, painful inflammation affecting the gums and mucosa in the mouth. The cause remains unknown. The Dentistry and Oral Surgery Service at Cornell University Hospital for Animals will use the cats’ own stem cells in the research. Current treatments are less than ideal, unpredictable and associated with possible complications.

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Studying the Genetic Basis of Feline Heart Disease

The disease takes several forms: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where the walls of the heart are thick; restrictive, where the walls are stiff; dilated, where there is thinning and weakening of the heart muscle, and arrhythmogenic right ventricular, where fat and scar tissue replace heart muscle, primarily in the right side of the heart.

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Download the Full September 2016 Issue PDF

Another way to make life more fulfilling for cats: Enrich the environment. “Cats like to look out windows and see birds,” Dr. Houpt says. “They will greatly appreciate a viewing perch, such as a cat tree. You can also simulate outdoor life by playing games that allow them to stalk and hunt ‘prey’—such as a tossed catnip mouse or a wand with dangling feathers like Da Bird. I also recommend the CatDancer, a bouncy wire with rugged cardboard dangles, which moves in intriguingly erratic ways. Laser pointers make a dot of light that owners can wave for their cats to chase. And treat balls with holes that release kibble when batted around can keep life interesting while you are away.”

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