From the September 2014 Issue

House Soiling’s Causes and Solutions

If you have a cat who fails to use the litter box consistently, you may want to alert his veterinarian to a new set of guidelines for preventing and treating the problem.

Current Issue

Why Do They … Like to Hide?

They lie in wait around corners, ready to pounce on your ankles. They hunker in the outer reaches of closets, eyes gleaming in semi-darkness, or they stake out favored spots under the bed, in the clothes dryer, and in bags, boxes, mattresses and easy chairs.

Cataracts Strike Any Breed, Any Age

If your agile cat suddenly becomes clumsy, or your affectionate cat now flinches when you reach over his head to pet him, his vision may be cloudy because he has cataracts in one or both eyes.

The Remedy for Excessive Licking

Some cats lick so much they take their fur off down to bare skin. They’re what veterinary dermatologist William H. Miller, Jr., VMD, at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine calls fur mowers. “If the animal licks without too much vigor, the licked area will be hairless but not inflamed or infected,” he says, “but with more passion, the skin can be abraded and might become infected.”

Promising Drugs for Mast Cell Tumors

Mast cell tumors represent one of the most common types of tumors affecting the feline spleen, skin and intestines, yet few studies have focused on determining the optimal treatment for cats. While surgical removal of tumors continues to be the treatment choice for mast cell tumors (MCTs), new research indicates that certain chemotherapy drugs might offer promise for more serious cases of malignant MCTs.

Short Takes: September 2014

Researchers at North Carolina State have launched a study to determine if probiotics can protect kittens from deadly gastrointestinal disease. More than 15 percent of kittens at animal shelters in the U.S. die or are euthanized before 8 weeks of age because of illness. The majority have diarrhea or GI diseases, says the Winn Feline Foundation, sponsor of the study.

Ask Dr. Richards: September 2014

Q. My kitty was just diagnosed with bladder stones, and her veterinarian recommended a high-salt diet to make her drink more in an effort to dilute her urine and prevent future bladder stones. While I understand why we may want to make her drink more, I’m worried about the effects of a high-salt diet on her heart because I know that people with heart disease shouldn’t have much salt. Can you provide advice?