Cats crave routine and seem to be in sync with your work schedule. But they know that the daily routine is about to be upended when they see you bring out the dreaded suitcase. Even though you look forward to a much-needed vacation, you may find yourself worrying about how your cat will fare during your absence.
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 cats 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.
Cats depend on their claws to grip while climbing. They serve as weapons in a fight, hold their prey and release scent to declare ownership of your sofa. While many cats are fastidious about grooming, indoor kitties depend on their owners to keep their claws in top shape. They dont do enough digging and scratching on abrasive objects to keep the claws short.
Fur, primarily made of the protein keratin, grows from follicles in the skin. While human follicles each grow a single hair, animal follicles may grow many. Each follicle has an oil gland to lubricate the skin and hair, and to keep the coat lustrous. If your cats coat turns dull and dry, you may suspect a medical problem and make a veterinary appointment. Meanwhile, you might also want to check the labels on his food.
Although high temperatures and humidity are most favorable to the cat flea from June to August, it breeds in the U.S. year-round. Ctenocephalides felis is an intriguing little insect - no more than an eighth of an inch long but capable of jumping eight inches. A female can lay 50 eggs a day on its host. But heres where intrigue can turn into irritation and beyond.
Your cat has always sported a shiny coat, soft to the touch. You marvel at the time he dedicates to grooming. But lately when you pet him, his coat feels greasy and you detect an odor. His grooming clearly is off, and its a worry.
Lyme disease bacteria live in deer ticks that feed on deer, rodents and other hosts. A tick in search of a meal may lurk on a blade of grass or bush. When a promising animal passes by, it grabs hold and hitches a ride. Once aboard, it crawls along, seeking an unobtrusive patch of skin, then latches on with its front legs, cuts open the skin with its mouthparts and inserts a barbed feeding tube that makes removal challenging.
Ticks used to be most active in spring through autumn, but rising temperatures attributed to global warming have shortened their long winter naps and in some areas eliminated them entirely. The result: Tick bites have become a year-round risk in many parts of the U.S.
If clouds of cat hair dont complement you, your furniture or your home, you may be among the owners looking for solutions to shedding. Dermatologist William H. Miller, VMD, Medical Director of the Cornell University Companion Animal Hospital, has a simple two-step prescription to tame it: a brush and a vacuum.Shedding is a normal function. However, Dr. Miller offers this cautionary advice: If your cats shedding appears to be unusually heavy or results in bald spots, make a veterinary appointment to determine if he has an underlying medical condition. High fevers, allergies, the hormonal imbalance hyperthyroidism, pregnancy and parasites like fleas and ticks can cause a cat to shed excessively.
Ticks can be found anywhere on a cats body but usually attach near the head, neck, ears and feet. If you discover one, remove it as soon after attachment as possible, says Meryl Littman, VMD, ACVIM, at the University of Pennsylvania. Do not cover the tick with Vaseline, gasoline or anything else beforehand. And do not remove it with your bare hands - a crushed ticks bacteria could get into your cuticles and infect you.
The Louisiana SPCA has found a novel solution to overpopulation at its New Orleans shelter. It sends dogs and cats to partner shelters miles away, where they can often be more quickly adopted. Its service is part of a small but growing trend in U.S. shelters and rescue organizations to save animals lives and find them forever homes.
If your cat is more than 10 years of age, and you see him arising from a nap in a puddle of urine or with a moist rear, he could have age-related urinary incontinence. The problem, frequently occurring in senior and geriatric cats, has several causes.It often results from urinary bladder or sphincter problems, says Leni K. Kaplan, DVM, MS, a lecturer in the Community Practice Service at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. However, incontinence can also be related to anything obstructing urine outflow, such as a tumor or stone. The bladder may then over-distend, and the cat may leak if he remains in one place for a while.