Category Archives: feline health

4 Signs of Dehydration in Cats

dehydration bartBy Langley Cornwell

When it comes to humans, dehydration can come from something as simple as a hot day without enough liquid refreshments. For example, a person might sweat so much that they become dehydrated because they lose water and electrolytes through their sweat. As we sweat, our pores open and release some of our body heat. Additionally, sweat covers our skin and helps to reduce body temperature. Cats get can get overheated too, but they have different methods of cooling down than humans do. Because cats only sweat through their paws, this is an unlikely method by which they might become dehydrated. However, it’s important to realize that cats can become dehydrated for a number of reasons, and to know the symptoms .

Signs of Dehydration

It can be difficult to tell at first glance when a cat is dehydrated. Since they are covered in fur and don’t sweat through anywhere but their paws, you can’t just glance at them and see that they are pale or not sweating when they should be. However, their behavior can be an indication of significant dehydration. In fact, dehydration in cats is often a symptom of another health issue but can oftentimes be overlooked. It’s vital to be aware of the signs of dehydration in cats, because if not caught early it can exacerbate the severity of other health complications.

Here are the major signs of dehydration in cats:
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Caring for a Terminally Ill Pet

sick pet 1By Julia Williams

Recently my cat, Mickey, was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). There is no cure for CKD, only management until “the end” which varies with each cat. Since then, I’ve been learning all I can about caring for a terminally ill pet. I don’t know how much time I have left with my sweet boy, but I do know I’ll do whatever I can to make sure it is quality time. I also know I will have done everything I could for him; that’s all any pet owner can do.

When you love an animal deeply, it’s a very scary time when they are sick, whether it’s a treatable illness or not. As I said to a friend, pet ownership is not for sissies. Caring for a sick pet can be an emotional roller coaster, but there are things you can do to help yourself as well as your pet.

Be Informed

This is, I believe, the most important thing you can do. When I first found out Mickey had a terminal illness, I felt hopeless. My discussion with the vet about my options was brief; I left thinking there wasn’t much I could do for my cat. As I soon found out, that isn’t really true.

Once home I logged into the cat blogging group on Facebook. I hoped there would be someone here who had experience with CKD and could give me guidance. The internet can be a great resource for pet owners, but it’s also rife with misinformation and it’s important to know where to go for help. My cat blogging friends pointed me to a reputable website devoted to kidney disease in cats, and a Facebook support group for the same. As a result, I’ve learned there are several things I can do that may help slow the progression of Mickey’s disease, none of which were mentioned by my vet.

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Can Dogs and Cats Get Asthma?

asthma nisa yehBy Linda Cole

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that affects around 25 million people in the United States. It can also affect dogs and cats. Fortunately, there are effective treatments that can help our furry friends maintain a good quality of life.

Although there is a difference between asthma and allergies, the two conditions go hand in hand. Certain chemicals in the body react to irritants in the air and can produce similar reactions. An allergic reaction can trigger a response in the nasal membranes, eyes, skin, tongue and breathing passages. Symptoms range from itchy watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose, to red, itchy irritated skin. Asthma is a disease of the bronchial tubes in the windpipe that moves air in and out of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Triggers in the respiratory system create an excess of mucus production and irritation in the airways which can narrow or block them. Pollutants that cause an allergic reaction can also trigger an asthma attack.

Asthma is more common in cats, but dogs can also be susceptible to it. The disease affects pets in the same way it does humans. An attack can be sudden and brought on by irritants and allergens in the environment. It can be difficult to determine which pollutants are causing the problem, but it’s important to try so you can eliminate them from your home, if possible, to help prevent future attacks.
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What Causes Anemia in Pets?

anemia Anna FoxBy Linda Cole

Anemia isn’t a disease, but it is an indication that something is wrong with your pet. It’s caused by a drop in the number of red blood cells and can be a result of a medical issue, parasites, or from eating certain human foods. It’s important for pet owners to know the signs of anemia, because it is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that needs immediate attention.

Red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, and their primary function is to transport oxygen throughout the body and collect carbon dioxide. When the number of red blood cells drop, the kidneys detect a decrease in oxygen and secrete a hormone called erythropoietin which sends a signal to the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. If there is a lack of certain vitamins and minerals, such as copper, iron and B12, the bone marrow doesn’t have all of the ingredients it needs to produce new red blood cells and can’t provide enough of them, which can result in a pet becoming anemic.
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Why Do Cats Grind Their Teeth?

cat teeth ianBy Langley Cornwell

While tooth grinding is generally considered to be a human problem, cats also do it. In fact, tooth grinding in cats even has a special name – it’s called Bruxism. Have you ever seen or heard a cat grinding his teeth? It’s not a pretty sight and it sounds downright painful. Any loving cat owner who has heard this sound will want to know what’s causing this behavior. They’ll also want to know how to make their cat stop doing it.

With cats, tooth grinding is not usually a habit or a “tic” like it can be with humans. If your cat is grinding or gnashing his teeth, there is likely a root cause and the Bruxism is simply a symptom. Here are some possible causes.

Oral Pain

If you’ve ever watched a cat play, you know they will put just about anything in their mouths. This could lead to dental problems, abscesses, burns and jaw problems. When your cat grinds his teeth, especially if the grinding is accompanied with drooling or excessive salivation, it’s likely that he is experiencing some kind of oral pain. If you can, check your cat’s mouth for sores, broken teeth or any inflammation. You may need to visit your veterinarian to safely and thoroughly check the cats mouth and throat, after all those teeth and claws can do some damage.
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White Cats and Deafness – What’s the Connection?

white cat warrenBy Langley Cornwell

You may have heard that most white cats are deaf, and for the most part, that’s true. This blanket statement gets thrown around a lot, but there’s an important caveat – there are varying degrees of what is actually considered a white cat in the first place. With that in mind, it’s important to note that a white cat is NOT an albino cat. And to make things even more confusing, albino cats aren’t usually deaf. Are you with me so far?

White or Albino?

Saying that a white cat and an albino cat are the same thing is like saying a fair skinned, blonde haired child is albino. Light skin and hair does not make a living thing an albino; it’s the complete absence of pigmentation that makes a living thing an albino. To learn if a feline is albino or white, one simply has to look at the cat’s eyes. A lack of pigmentation in the eyes causes them to be a pink color, and makes the cat sensitive to light.

White Masking

As far as what causes deafness in white cats, in some cases cats actually have colors in their genetic makeup, but they also have a gene that causes something called white masking. This masking covers all other colors and prevents melanin from developing. Because melanin has an impact on the ionic balance in the cochlea, the cochlea degenerates shortly after birth and the cat is permanently deaf.
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