Low-Fat, Moderate-Protein Diets Work Best

Cats on the mend - or ones prone to acid reflux - fare better when they consume low-fat diets designed to strengthen their esophageal sphincters and moderate-level protein diets that seem to lessen the production of stomach acids. Meredith Miller, DVM, at Cornell also recommends:

Short Takes: September 2015

Cute cat videos are all over the Internet and morning TV news shows, but to judge by a national survey of 1,023 people by PetSmart Charities, opinions about cats and their owners remain divided. A majority of respondents believe cats are intelligent, loving, cuddly and attractive but also invoked stereotypical adjectives such as moody, stubborn, aloof and grouchy. (You can bet grouchy cats have legitimate reasons for their mood, such as illness, pain or stress.)

The Impact of Those New Food Labels

By the end of the year, almost all pet food labels will provide information on calories per cup as part of the growing movement in veterinary medicine to counter pet obesity. The change has been several years in the making and would seem make it easier to feed our cats, but just like the challenge of deciphering the terms on labels - guaranteed analysis, ingredients vs. nutrients and total crude protein - determining the calories might not be simple. Nutritionist Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine offers one example: The average indoor cats diet should be based on resting energy, similar to a human couch potato who watches TV most of the day. The problem is that pet food manufacturers recommendations are based on a theoretical activity level that doesnt exist for most indoor cats.


Determining how much to feed your cat comes down to your portion control and his body condition, according to nutritionist Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., at Cornell.

Can a Homemade Raw Diet Offer Complete and Balanced Nutrition?

I am interested in feeding my 4-year-old Siamese cat a homemade diet and would like to make this a raw diet, as I have read that it is more natural for cats. Cat foods have so many artificial ingredients, and I am concerned that these additives may be harmful to him. What are your thoughts about these ideas?

Should They Regularly Feed Their Adult Cat Cows Milk?

I have a 12-year-old calico kitty who eats a regular diet of commercial fish cat food and some assorted cat food pates. She also loves whole milk, and we give it to her after her meals on a daily basis. A friend of mine told me that I should not give her milk, as this can be harmful. Is this true?

Short Takes: May 2015

Despite the potential consequences of obesity, up to 59 percent of cats are overweight, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. It lists some of the effects in Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats, published in the Journal of the AAHA: chronic inflammation caused by fat tissue releasing hormones and proteins called cytokines, skin and respiratory disorders, renal dysfunction, diabetes and orthopedic disease.

Techniques and Treatments From Stem Cell Therapy to Massage

These are among the treatments that veterinarians increasingly use to improve cats well-being:

A Cat on an Underwater Treadmill?

The cats hip problem was so painful that he required a femoral head osteotomy, the surgical removal of the top of the thighbone forming the ball and socket joint. Afterward, the supporting muscle needed to be strengthened to bear the cats weight, but he refused to use his limb.

The solution: Exercise in an underwater treadmill twice a week for two or three weeks. Movement is easier underwater, and the resistance of the water helps strengthen muscle. It got the cat jump-started into using the leg better, says Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., one of 83 specialists in the U.S. certified by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. He heads the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation service at Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

Looking Beyond the Ingredient Label

In our quest to eat healthy food, we often extend that enthusiasm to our cats. We evaluate their diets with the same scrupulous care we give our own, but commercial cat food can still remain somewhat of a mystery. We question if preservatives are safe. Should we avoid genetically modified ingredients? What about artificial coloring?

Whats Your Cats Age in Human Years?

If there were an AARP for pets, your cat would get his membership card when he turns 8. Thats about 50 years old in human years, according to Feline Life Stage Guidelines from the American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association.

An Unmistakable Sign of Anal Problems: Scooting

Scent is one of the ways cats communicate, and their anal glands help in that effort. The pea-sized glands, or sacs, produce an odor that aids in establishing identity and territory. When a cat defecates, the scent glands empty through two ducts located at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions of the anal sphincter, the band of muscle encircling the anus.