Cat Health, My Cats

Cats and Wasp Stings

I had never given much thought to my cats coming in contact with a wasp until this summer when one happened to sneak indoors.

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I had just put them into the closed in porch when I noticed Teddy and Mookie jumping at the window. A wasp was crawling up the glass on the inside.  I chased the cats back into the house, caught the wasp in a jar and set him free outdoors.

I checked the cats over for any signs of a sting, but saw none. Cats are curious and will go after a wasp or any insect with their nose or paws.  If they had been stung, these areas would have been swollen and tender, causing them to cry out in pain.

VCA Hospitals suggests applying an ice pack to the area to reduce swelling.  A thick paste of baking soda and water can also be applied to the area.  If you have any concerns you should call the vet for advice.

Some cats are allergic to wasp stings.  If they are showing signs of hives, trouble breathing, vomiting, get them to the vet immediately. This can be life threatening.  

Since that day I check the porch each time I let them out.  I don’t want to take any chances.

Cat Health, Mookie

Mookie’s Year With Kidney Disease – Katzenworld

This is a story I did for Katzenworld. I share how Mookie is doing with his kidney disease and what has happened over the year since he was diagnosed.

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A year ago Mookie was showing signs of weight loss and loss of appetite.  He was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease with only 25% of his kidneys functioning.  It was a scary time getting the diagnosis, then leaving him at the vets for three days of fluid therapy.  I didn’t know what the outcome would be.

via Mookie’s Year With Kidney Disease – Katzenworld

Cat Health, Teddy

Encouraging Teddy To Drink More Water

ted1Ever since Teddy lost his brother Sammy, I haven’t seen him at the water bowl as often. It used to be a game with those two. He would lay at the bowl and keep drinking, while Sammy sat waiting for him to finish.  Now he’s lost his water bowl buddy

I never really thought about how much water a cat should drink each day.  My cats have always loved water.

According to preventivevet.com, cats need between 3.5 -4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight each day.  Cats get moisture from their canned food as well as the water bowl.

Teddy may still be drinking when I’m not looking, but there are a few things I’ve done to encourage him.

I’ve placed water bowls throughout the house and keep the water fresh.  The cats have three water bowls and Mookie reminds me to change the water several times a day.  He sits and stares at the bowl until I do.

I’ve heard that ice cubes in the bowl can be fun for the cats and encourage them to play, then drink.  Teddy wasn’t amused.

Changing the water bowl may help too.

The thing that works best for Teddy is adding water to his canned food.  He loves the extra wet food and clears his plate.

Hopefully he’ll surprise me and I’ll see him at the water bowl again, but at least I know he’s getting a lot of water from his meals each day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Health

Cats and Lilies

It’s hard to believe that such a pretty plant could be so toxic to our cats. 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Many people don’t realize how toxic. The Easter, Tiger, Asiatic, Stargazer, Japanese and Day Lilies can cause kidney failure if the cat eats the smallest amount of the flower or leaves. 

It’s not a good idea to have lilies in the garden, but cats also come in contact with them in the home.  Many people like to have the Easter lily in their home this time of year.  If your cats are like mine, they are curious about new things and would most likely chew on the plant.  They may be tempted to drink from the vase of cut lilies or a bouquet.  The water is just as toxic as the plant.  

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Photo by heather bozman on Pexels.com

Even if you keep the plant out of reach, your cat may come in contact with the pollen which is also toxic.  

If you suspect your cat has eaten a piece of the plant or they are showing signs of vomiting, drooling, loss of appetite or dehydration, get them to the vet right away.

If your cat has only recently ingested the plant material and has still not vomited, your veterinarian will try to induce vomiting. Activated charcoal will be given orally to absorb any toxin that might remain in the gut. The key to survival is high volumes of fluids given intravenously (IV) to try and prevent dehydration and the kidneys shutting down. The fluids will be given for 1 to 2 days, while monitoring your cat’s kidneys as well as urine output. Lack of urine production is a sign that the treatment was unsuccessful.

via Lily Poisoning in Cats | petMD

We don’t have to go without beautiful flowers in the garden and home.  There are many non toxic plants  we can enjoy while keeping our cats safe. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Health

Tips To Keep Cat’s Paws Healthy

Some cats may not like having their paws touched, but it’s important to take time to look at their claws and pads to see if there are any problems.

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Photo by Aleksandar Cvetanović on Pexels.com

Claws

Check the claws twice a month to see if they need trimming.  If your cat uses a scratching post, you may not have to trim as often.

If you have a kitten or new cat that isn’t used to having their claws trimmed, take it slow. Choose a quiet time and place where your cat feels relaxed. I try to get my cats just after they’ve woken from a nap.

You may have to do one paw then continue later.    Make it a positive experience by giving them a treat when they’re done.

I have someone hold my cats while I trim their claws.  It works much better for me.

There are a few different style nail clippers to choose from.  I prefer this one in the photo.  It’s lightweight and has the rubber handle for a good grip.  It’s sharp enough to trim the claw in one cut. nail clippers

How To Trim Claws

Press down on the toe so the cat extends the claw.

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Trim the tip of the claw, careful not to get too close to the quick that is located at the top.  If you do cut the quick you’ll cause it to bleed.

Check The Pads

Check the pads over for cuts and cracks. If they’re really dry and cracked, talk to your vet for the best solution  Don’t use any of your own creams for dry skin.  The cat will lick their paws and ingest the cream which could be toxic.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Litter may become caught between the pads from time to time. If there pads become wet in the litter box the litter may stick and make it uncomfortable for them to walk.  Wipe their paws over frequently.  

Some cats have a lot of hair between their pads, like my Sammy and Teddy.

You don’t have to trim this hair unless you notice the cat having trouble walking or slipping off furniture when they jump.  

Cat Friendly Floor Cleaner

Many floor cleaners are toxic to our cats.  They walk across the floor, then lick their paws causing illness or worse.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Vinegar is a great product for cleaning.  I mix a small amount with water to clean the floors.  Don’t use full strength vinegar.  The acid could upset your cat’s stomach if ingested.  

Cat Health

Does Your Cat Like To Be Brushed?

My three cats love to be brushed.   

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It wasn’t always this way.  When Teddy was a kitten he  swiped at the brush with his claws.  Each time he did this, I stopped brushing and tried again later.  Eventually he decided that the brush wasn’t a bad thing.  

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There are many benefits from regular brushing.  It  reduces hairballs, shedding and dandruff.  It distributes natural oils through their fur which can reduce dry itchy skin.  Brushing also reduces knots.  

I try to choose a time when the cats are relaxed.  It’s not always easy to brush one cat while the other two are circling me for attention.  

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I let the cats choose where they want to be brushed.  Sometimes it’s the floor, other times they like the bed.  Some cats may prefer to sit on your lap.  

Getting Knots Out

Sammy and Teddy have long hair and they do get knots in their fur from time to time even though I brush them regularly.  If the knot is close to the skin you will need a comb and patience.   Gently pick at the knot with the comb without pulling. It may take a few days if your cat won’t sit still for a long period of time.  

If the knot is away from the skin, you may be able to just snip it with scissors

There are many types of brushes and combs available at the pet stores.  

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I’ve tried a wire shedding brush, but found it too harsh.  Combs are great for getting out loose hair.  Sammy has thick hair and the comb works well.  img_7223

Teddy has thin wispy hair, so he prefers the soft brush.

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The cats never get tired of brushing.  I usually give up before they do. 

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I’m lucky to have cats that enjoy brushing, but there are cats that don’t.  Here’s a few tips on getting them to like it too.

  1. Get into a daily routine of brushing
  2. Choose a time when your cat is relaxed. 
  3. Start slow.  If your cat will only tolerate a few minutes, then just start with that.
  4. Start by brushing their back and head, not their tummy.  Leave the tummy until they’re comfortable with the brush. 
  5. Give your cat a treat after each brushing.

Hopefully these tips will help to turn a stressful situation into an enjoyable time with your cat.  

 

Cat Health

Does Your Cat Have Dry Itchy Skin?

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

You may notice that your cat is scratching or see white flakes in their fur.  This may be more noticeable in winter when the air is dry in our homes and the heat is on.

My cats like to lay against the heat registers during the winter and I’ve noticed a few flakes.  Frequent brushing helps.  It distributes their natural oil through the fur.  

Cats may develop an allergy to mold, mildew, dust, cleaners, fabric and perfumes. 

My cat Joey started scratching when he slept on a blanket that was washed in scented soap.  I switched to a hypoallergenic soap and he was fine. 

During the summer you may notice your cat scratching more if they are outdoors.  They could be allergic to trees, grass and pollen.  Fleas can be a problem too.

An allergy test  can be done to find the cause.  This involves a skin or blood test.  

A poor diet can lead to dry skin if they don’t have enough Omega 3 fatty acids.  The vet may change their food or prescribe supplements.  Cats can also develop food allergies.  

Infections such as ringworm can be treated with medication.

Diseases that Can Dry Skin

Kidney disease, common in older cats, may cause skin problems. When your cat’s kidney function decreases, waste that is normally excreted through the urine builds up in the blood. The liver filters what it can, but some of the waste is secreted through the skin and appears as dandruff.

Heart disease can lead to poor circulation to your cat’s skin. When the skin does not receive the necessary amount of oxygen, skin cells will die. You will see this as dry, flaky skin.

Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) is rare in cats, but it can cause skin problems in your cat. The thyroid produces too little of the hormones that control his metabolism, so hair-producing cells slow down, leading to less hair growth. Likewise, skin cell growth also slows, and your cat develops dry, itchy skin and dandruff.

via Causes of Dry Skin on Cats

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com 

 

If you don’t know what is causing your cat to scratch, then it’s best to see the vet. It may be a simple thing that can be treated with medication or change of diet.  If your cat has a disease, you may be able to catch it in the early stages.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Health, Senior Cats

How To Keep Your Senior Cat Active

October 11/2018 is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day.  

Keeping a senior cat active is not always easy. My three 14 year old cats love to sleep.  I make sure they get exercise each day by introducing new toys and games.  
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Mookie loves to play in tunnels and his triangle toy.

8941584107_c90b922ed8_m (2)Sammy enjoys playing with the toys in his box and chasing them across the room.

 

The boys decided that the scratching post is more fun when it’s tipped over.

sammy ballSammy loves the soft ball with a bell inside.

mookiecastle A few years ago I bought a cardboard cat castle at the pet store.  The cats loved it.  You can get cardboard boxes at the grocery store for free and the cats will have hours of fun.

Turn treat time into a game too.  Instead of putting the treats on the floor, throw a piece across the room to get the cats running.  My cats love this game.

No matter what your cats like to play with, take time each day to make sure they are getting both physical and mental exercise.