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Grain-Free Diet Questions

Theres been a lot of stuff in the press lately about grain-free dog food being associated with canine heart disease and a mention of the occasional affected cat. Is there any reason at all to avoid grain in cat food?

Grieving Is a Natural Process

We recently lost our dear 22-year-old cat after a prolonged illness, and her absence has left a void in our lives that has been difficult. While we are considering bringing another cat into our home, the guilt associated with trying to replace her has caused us hesitation. Im not sure how you can help, but we thought others may be experiencing the same dilemma.

The Diabetes Battle

Q. My 17-year-old neutered cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and I am concerned about whether I can provide the care that he needs to stay healthy. Can you provide any tips for a novice to help keep him healthy?

New Hope for FIP

I recently lost a cat to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and this was a dreadful experience. No matter what we did, he continued to accumulate fluid in his chest and abdomen, and my veterinarian told me that there is no cure for this condition. All we could do was repeatedly remove the fluid until his quality of life became so poor that we decided to have him euthanized. Are you aware of any research that is being done that may improve this situation for other cats afflicted with FIP?

FIV-Positive Cat Battling Pain

I recently took a three-year-old male domestic short-haired cat that has been living outside on my property to the veterinarian to get him fixed and whatever shots necessary. I was informed that he is feline leukemia negative, but he is infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Is there anything I can do to make his life as good and long as possible? He seems fine most of the time, but he sometimes appears uncomfortable.

When Your Cat Demands

My cat is driving me crazy. I love him, but he wont leave me alone, even in the middle of the night. If Im sitting, hell be in my lap, walking around it, kneading my legs, meowing. Sometimes, hell just meow wherever he is until I respond to him. My veterinarian said that hes healthy, so I know its not a pain issue. I think hes bored. Maybe lonely. What can I do to decrease this increasingly annoying behavior?

Why So Many Tests for FeLV?

I recently took my 10-year-old Maine Coon indoor/outdoor cat to the veterinarian and had him tested for feline leukemia (FeLV). The initial test (ELISA) came back positive, and the follow-up test (IFA) came back negative. My veterinarian recommends retesting in 60 days or using PCR test, but Im worried about my cat and confused about these tests and what they are telling us. Can you shed some light on this issue?

Consider Radioiodine Therapy

We have a 17-year-old Tuxedo cat, Sox, who is still active, sharp-witted, and good natured. However, he has hyperthyroidism, and while he is being treated with methimazole and was doing fairly well, he has recently begun to lose weight again. In his prime years, he was a healthy 10-pound cat. Now he is down to six or maybe fewer pounds and looks boney, although he eats throughout the day and gets plenty of treats. Can you provide any advice?

Cat-Friendly Veterinary Hospitals

My 10-year-old female domestic short-haired cat has always been very nervous when I bring her to the veterinarian, to the point that her stress makes me hesitant to bring her for her regular check-ups. A friend of mine recently told me about veterinary practices that specialize in being cat-friendly, and I am hopeful that going to such a practice may make things easier on my girl. Can you tell me a bit about these practices, and where I can find one?

Why Not Give Itching Cat Steroids?

We recently adopted a 6-year-old male domestic shorthaired cat that was receiving steroid shots every six months when we got him, but our veterinarian opted not to give him this shot when we first brought him in, and now he is scratching all the time and has licked all of the hair off of his belly. Can you give us some advice about how we can help this boy?

Microchips and Fibrosarcoma

One of our cats recently escaped and was missing for three days before we (thankfully) found him at the local shelter. While we were picking him up, the associate discussed our cat being microchipped. While we understand that this can be helpful, we are concerned about the possibility of this inducing a fibrosarcoma, which we understand is possible with this procedure. Can you provide some guidance?

New Cat: Safe, Civil Introductions

We have opened our home to an additional cat, and we would like to know how best to introduce the cat to our existing cat and dog. Can you give us some advice on how to make this transition safe and easy?