Ask Elizabeth: May 2017

About a year ago, he started to leave feces in non-litter box areas. While he still used the litter box, he would also leave feces right next to the box and also in an area by the front door.

A New Definition for Animal Hoarding

Can you identify the animal hoarder in your community? Is she the neighbor who has cats gathering in her yard? Perhaps its the quiet man who keeps his window shades closed? Or an outgoing community leader? How can you determine the difference between an animal hoarder and someone who responsibly cares for multiple pets The majority of hoarders are women, and the most common animal victims are cats.

CPR Saves Lives When Minutes Count

Imagine returning home from work to see your cat lying motionless on the living room floor. You call his name, but he doesnt respond, and you quickly realize hes not breathing and fear his heart has stopped. The nearest veterinary clinic is 15 minutes away. Youre panicked, but for your cats sake, you realize you need to immediately begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to save his life.

Ask Elizabeth: January 2017

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 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.

The Challenge of Long-term Steroids for Cats

Corticosteroids have proven effective in treating a variety of conditions from allergic reactions to brain disease, but they present a balancing act for both owners and veterinarians. Owners, faced with their cats experiencing any one of a long list of health problems, must weigh if long-term use is worth the risk of steroids side effects. At the same time, veterinarians must determine the lowest dose of medication to control the condition.

20 Inspirational Ideas for Cat Owners

At the close of each year, do you find yourself writing a list of ambitious resolutions to eat healthier and exercise more? Perhaps you decide to eat more kale and spend more time at yoga and less lounging on the couch. We often craft New Years resolutions with good intentions but rarely fully achieve them.

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 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.

Acupuncture for Cats Heads Mainstream

Dusty was a black and white cat who hissed, swatted and squirmed anytime a veterinarian or technician tried to restrain her for an examination or, worse, tried to draw blood or give an injection. This same cat, however, transformed into a picture of serenity and calm during acupuncture treatments.

The First Clue: A Persistent Cough

You may be accustomed to hearing your healthy and usually demure cat making hacking noises to try to bring up a hairball. But you’d be wise not to ignore these sounds. They could be an indicator of asthma, an inflammation of the airways that can make breathing difficult. A persistent cough warrants a veterinary exam as soon as possible.

Feline Upper Respiratory Infections

Your seven-year-old cat is a generally healthy animal. Except for a fleeting bout of gastrointestinal upset a few years ago, shes never had a really serious sick-day in her life. But your neighbors cat always seems to be ill. Every couple of months, she shows up on your doorstep wheezing and sneezing. Her eyes are red and watery, and she acts lethargic. These disturbing signs persist for a week or so, but then she seems to be okay again - for a while. Its quite likely that the cat next door is suffering from an upper respiratory infection, a highly contagious disease affecting her nose, sinuses, pharynx and larynx - the structures that filter, heat and dehumidify inhaled air before it flows to her lungs. Why is it, you wonder, that your cat never experiences this problem, while the cat next door cant shake it?

Diagnosis: Lungworm Infection

Each year, numerous cats are brought into to veterinary clinics throughout the U.S. showing the telltale signs of respiratory distress: labored breathing, chest constriction, wheezing and coughing. In most cases, the animal will be diagnosed with asthma, a mechanical constriction of the airways, or bronchi, the narrow network of tubes that lead directly from the trachea to the lungs. The narrowing of the airways occurs when a cat’s immune system overreacts to the presence of an allergy-producing substance, such as cigarette smoke, dusty kitty litter or pollen and responds to the presence of the allergen by releasing stimulants that cause a swelling of the tissue (mucous membrane) lining the bronchi. But while asthma is by far the most common cause of feline respiratory difficulty, veterinarians will often refrain from diagnosing it definitively until they have reviewed the results of a microscopic examination of the patient’s feces. Why? Because such a procedure could reveal the presence of lungworms in the animal’s respiratory tract — a situation that would produce asthmalike clinical signs but would require a significantly different approach to treatment.

Nasal Disease: Understand the Signs

Does your cat have a bad case of the sniffles? Its probably nothing to worry about. Just like you, your cat is apt to come down with a minor respiratory infection now and then, and it will pass. But if the runny nose that persists for more than a few days - and especially if the secretions thicken and become darker in color - you should take your pet to the veterinarian for an examination.