Short Takes

Urinary Problems: Herbs Are Not the Answer

A study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery looked at using Chinese herbs to treat cats with urinary-tract problems. As we wrote in our September 2017 issue (go to catwatchnewsletter.com archives to read the article), lower urinary-tract problems are common in cats. The cause might be infection, crystal formations, or may be without known cause—the infamous “idiopathic cystitis.”

Considering a Raw Diet?

As cats are obligate carnivores, a raw meat-based diet sounds like the perfect option. Unfortunately, that “natural” diet also comes with some all-natural risks, including parasites and bacteria, such as Salmonella.

Stem Cells for Feline Asthma Woes

Stem-cell injections are common in veterinary medicine, but mostly for joint and lameness problems in dogs and horses. A pilot study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery may change things for cats with asthma.

Help for Stressed Cats

A study at UC-Davis looked at using gabapentin for short-term stress relief in cats traveling to the veterinary clinic. Gabapentin has been used in cats for seizure and pain control, but human studies show some reduction of anxiety as well. An earlier study used gabapentin for feral cats involved in trap/neuter/release programs to reduce fear responses.

Vitamin B12 for Cats With Intestinal Disease

A study published in the November 2017 Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine looked at cats admitted to a teaching hospital with gastrointestinal signs and low blood cobalamin (vitamin B12) levels. Twenty cats completed the study.

Treatment Option for Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinomas

A new treatment called “microbrachytherapy,” which is used to treat inoperable feline oral squamous cell carcinomas, may be gaining momentum, according to a recent study published in Veterinary and Comparative Oncology.

Happening Now: New in Kitty Litter

Move over, clay. You’re boring. PetAge, a pet-industry business journal, reports that kitty litter options are changing rapidly in 2018. From litters that claim to stop ammonia buildup to diagnostic litters that monitor cat health to neon-colored litter to gel-based litter to reduce tracking, we can choose almost any attribute, assuming we’re willing to pay more for, well, litter.

Happening Now: New Jersey bill to hold Shelters Accountable

Alley Cat Allies reports that The New Jersey Senate Economic Growth Committee is considering a bill that would save the lives of shelter animals and community cats around the state.

Catnip Wins Again

A study published in BMC Veterinary Research confirms catnip works. Olfactory enrichment, i.e. great smells, can cause a “euphoric” reaction in most domestic cats, says the study, which compared catnip to other plants.

Mouse Patrol

The Telegraph, a United Kingdom publication, reports that Great Britain’s cats are great for public relations and diplomacy and keeping keeping the mouse problem down in public buildings. “We have wooed many world leaders with the Foreign Office’s (cat) Palmerston,” says the report, “and he and the four other government cats, including Number 10’s Larry, keep Downing Street’s mouse problem down. Now, other countries are getting in on the cat action, with the French government announcing it has brought in two cats to sort out their rat problem.”

Kitten Kindergarten

It makes us purr when we hear of an effort to help cats remain in their homes. A veterinarian in Australia is using education to help prevent relinquishment of cats by educating new owners about cat behavior.

Short Takes: January 2018

When New Year’s Eve arrives, many of us make promises to ourselves—those infamous “resolutions”—to improve ourselves somehow. That’s because the new year is a traditional starting point, and we’re happy and motivated. Popular resolutions include losing weight, quitting smoking, and getting the most out of life. Inevitably, however, most of us fail. The reason? Unrealistic goals. Well, we’re here to help fix that! Spending more time with your cat and improving her life is realistic and satisfying, so we’ve put together five New Year’s Resolutions. Are you with us?

Happening Now: Ponce’s Law

The Daytona-Beach News Journal reports that there is a bill pending in Florida that would allow judges to forbid people convicted of animal cruelty to own pets.

Denver Considers Declawing Law

Animal shelters in Denver, Colo., may soon be able to prohibit anyone who plans to declaw a cat from adopting one. Declawing would be allowed only when medically necessary, according to the Denver Post.

Happening Now: Pilot’s Found

A cat rescued from the Northern California fires will be reunited with his family 10 years after he went missing, says the Sacramento Bee.