February 2019

When Your Cat Demands

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

Download the Full February 2019 Issue PDF

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Soothing the Savage Beast

Many family cats show signs of stress at some point. It may be a short-term stress, which is a swiftly passing stage that may occur after a move or the addition of a new pet. But some cats show long-term stress. Stress may manifest itself as urinary marking, aggression toward people or other pets, scratching inappropriate things like furniture, or overzealous grooming leading to hair loss and possible skin lesions. Some physical ailments, such as idiopathic cystitis and chronic gastrointestinal problems, can also be stress-related.

FDA Approves Revolution Plus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Revolution Plus (selamectin and sarolaner topical solution), a new combination topical product that provides protection against fleas, ticks, ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, and heartworms for cats and kittens as young as eight weeks of age and weighing 2.8 pounds or greater. Revolution Plus combines the proven broad-spectrum protection of selamectin (found in Revolution) with the advanced flea- and tick-killing power of sarolaner.

Veggies Make Good Treats

If your cat loves treats, but you see her weight increasing, consider vegetables as treats. It may take some experimentation to find out what she’ll eat, but many cats like veggies. Two ounces is about 20 calories. Cut them up to the size of kibble and put it in a bowl. Hint: Some cats really like zucchini.

AVMA Releases Stats on Pet Ownership

Pet ownership is on the rise in the United States, with dogs leading the way and large increases in less traditional pets like poultry and lizards, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Excess Gastric Acid in Cats with Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common in older cats. Decreased appetite, vomiting, and presumed nausea are commonly seen in cats with CKD, and it’s been assumed this is due to hypergastrinemia (excess of the gastrin hormone that releases gastric acid), with subsequent increased gastric acid production and mineralization/damage to the mucosal lining of the stomach. To address this presumption, gastric acid suppressants are often administered, despite the fact that there is no evidence that cats with CKD have reduced gastric pH nor that cats diagnosed with CKD derive any benefits from gastric acid suppressant therapy.

Litterbox Covering at 1 Month of Age

Why cats cover their feces in a litterbox is a subject of debate, but we know it begins at a young age. “Kittens cover their eliminations by 1 month of age by raking loose dirt over the excrement,” says Pamela J. Perry, DVM, Ph.D. “The specific site and substrate tend to be learned from the queen. It is believed that the odor of the feces initiates the burying behavior. In fact, some cats will cover the feces of other cats in the household.

Tooth Resorption

Subscribers Only - Tooth resorption, still sometimes referred to as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions or FORLs, is a common and painful condition affecting cats’ teeth. In cats with this condition, one or more teeth slowly break down and resorb, exposing the pulp of the tooth. Estimates of how many cats are affected by tooth resorption range from 20 to 60 percent.

Good-Bye Severe Sinus Problems

Subscribers Only - Despite the disturbing definition that will first appear if you do an internet search for “rhinotomy” (mutilation or amputation of the nose), this procedure can be beneficial to cats experiencing chronic nasal problems. There are two primary surgical techniques: dorsal rhinotomy and ventral rhinotomy. In both cases, the surgeon removes part of the bone surrounding the cat’s sinuses in order to gain access to the sinus and remove the source of the problem, be it a foreign body, a tumor, or infected tissues.

Five Things to Know About Supplements

Subscribers Only - Colorful advertisements boasting enticing benefits may compel us to purchase nutritional supplements for our cat. After all, we all want what’s best for our kitty. But if you’re feeding a quality cat food, you’re likely all set. Good cat food manufacturers hire veterinary nutritionists who follow guidelines from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to ensure that the foods are nutritionally complete and balanced. You shouldn’t need to purchase a supplement unless your cat has a specific problem.

Feline Pancreatitis May Be Chronic

Subscribers Only - When pet owners think of pancreatitis, often the image that comes to mind is a dog who does a garbage raid and consumes a bunch of spoiled or fatty food. Dietary indiscretion usually is not considered a cause of pancreatitis in cats, perhaps because cats are more fastidious in their eating habits!

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 I’m worried about my cat and confused about these tests and what they are telling us. Can you shed some light on this issue?

Free Download AVMA Coloring Book:

The American Veterinary Medical Association has a downloadable PDF for your kids called “Owning a Pet: