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Ask Dr. Richards: June 2014

Q I live in southern Pennsylvania, and I have two domestic indoor/outdoor shorthaired cats, one 3-year-old male and one 7-year-old female. I have never given them heartworm preventive because I thought that cats do not get heartworm, but a friend recently told me that this is not true. Do I need to be worried about my kitties getting heartworm, and should they be on preventive medicine for this?

Ask Elizabeth: March 2014

Q. Why does my cat have such bad breath? The vet anesthetized her for a dental cleaning and found that her teeth really didn’t need it. (She didn’t let the vet look in her mouth at her checkup.) She has had two teeth removed, but apparently the remaining teeth are in great shape, so what else might be causing the foul breath?

Ask Elizabeth: February 2014

Q We have two Maine Coons and a Pixie Bob, all longhaired cats. A friend told me that they do not cause allergies in humans, as shorthaired cats do. People will not come to our home because they say they are allergic to cats. But a few people who have come not knowing that we have cats do not seem to have a reaction. I would greatly appreciate some discussion from you.

Ask Elizabeth: January 2014

A major concern for cat loversQ. I just had to euthanize my 10-year-old kitty, Luna, after she developed a fibrosarcoma following a rabies vaccination....

When a Health Scare Hits Home, the Tests Begin

Dear Friends, Nothing brings home the seriousness of a medical condition like the frightening prospect of having the condition yourself, and I’d like to...

Ask Elizabeth: November 2013

A Tabby’s Destructive Grooming Leads to Extensive Bald Spots

Ask Elizabeth: October 2013

We have two young male domestic shorthaired cats we love dearly, and we are always trying to find ways to make them happy and keep them occupied. We recently brought some catnip home, thinking that this would be a great way for them (and us) to have fun. One of the cats goes crazy for the stuff, while the other seems completely unimpressed. Is this normal?

Ask Elizabeth: September 2013

I understand why you may want to use these devices for cleaning the air with three kitties in the house, and you are certainly not alone in doing this. Although kitties (and their food and waste) smell great to me, households with cats can sometimes generate odors that some people find objectionable, and there are a number of ways that owners choose to deal with this. Ionic air cleaners are one of the newer technologies that have been developed to address air pollutants.

Ask Elizabeth: August 2013

It’s true that moving to a new location can be exciting, but it can be a source of anxiety for people and their four-legged friends, kitties certainly included. While some tension is unavoidable, there are a few things to consider when determining the safest, most comfortable and least traumatic way of getting your kitties to their new environs.

Ask Elizabeth: July 2013

I completely understand your thoughts on this matter, as recent developments have caused many owners (and cats … believe it or not!) to reconsider their habits and the effects that their lifestyle may have on native populations. The recent study suggesting that domestic cats are contributing to the demise of billions of birds and small mammals points out the fact that the interaction of domestic species with native wildlife is an important issue, one that requires careful thought and action.

Ask Elizabeth: June 2013

First of all, I want to thank and congratulate you for the obvious care that you have provided and concern you have for your baby. Given his age, you have clearly done something (many things!) right, and today’s question is an extension of the dedication that you have shown.

Ask Elizabeth: May 2013

Thank you so much for recognizing how adorable it is when we cock our heads to one side. We’re only trying to look cute when we do this … it really serves no function. I’m kidding, although I’d have to think about this, which makes me want to tilt my head to the side, too! Seriously, though, this behavior is to be distinguished from the dramatic tilting of the head that may suggest an inner ear infection (the inner ear is important for the maintenance of balance) or that may be seen when cats have ear mites or an external ear infection. Cats with abnormalities of the brain, including tumors, may also tilt their heads to one side, and any cat who demonstrates persistent head tilt and/or shaking of the head should be evaluated by a veterinarian promptly.