sad cat

You may have come across this article after researching more about cat hepatic lipidosis. Maybe your veterinarian mentioned your feline may have this and you are wanting to learn more. If your cat has recently been diagnosed with cat heaptic lipidosis, you may have questions about your pet’s diet and cat litter box habits. The following will help you better understand what cat hepatic lipidosis is, the symptoms, and the treatment involved.

What is Cat Hepatic Lipidosis?

Cat Hepatic Lipidosis, otherwise known as feline fatty liver disease, is a serious condition, which left untreated could be deadly. When a feline has cat hepatic lipidosis, often this is simply the underlying issue. There is almost always a primary issue at play, which can be inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, or other bodily system inflammation. Your vet can help you determine if there are any accompanying problems when cat hepatic lipidosis is present. Cats most commonly affected by fatty liver disease include overweight and middle-aged felines.

Symptoms of Cat Hepatic Lipidosis

sad cat with blue eyes

Early treatment of fatty liver disease in cats is crucial for recovery, therefore understanding the associated symptoms is going to play an important role in care. Noticeable symptoms include avoidance of food or little appetite for one to two weeks. You may also notice a gradual decline in your cat’s body weight. Other symptoms may include jaundice, vomiting, lethargy, or excessive drooling. Since cat hepatic lipidosis occurs when a cat is malnourished, noticing the first signs of food avoidance can help with early treatment.

It is important to watch out for subtle signs you may miss. Maybe your feline is avoiding the new food you have offered or possibly your pet is making fewer trips to the litter box. With avoidance to new pet food, this can quickly turn into cat hepatic lipidosis simply from the lack of nutrients. If you have offered a new pet food and you notice your pet is not interested in eating, consult a vet to ensure your cat’s health. If you notice your cat is making fewer trips to the litter box, than this could also be a sign of malnourishment that needs to be addressed. PrettyLitter is designed with your cat’s health in mind and works to keep moisture and odor away. Keeping a clean and tidy litter box for your feline is crucial to your pet’s health.

Treatment of Cat Hepatic Lipidosis

cat with vet

As previously mentioned, cat hepatic lipidosis requires early treatment for survival. It is recommended that your feline get proper care as early on as possible, as most cats who get treated within the first 96 hours stand a chance of going on to make a full recovery. Treatment usually requires lengthy hospitalization and can often be costly. After hospitalization, treatment at home is going to be just as important to your cat’s recovery. This will usually involve multiple doses of medication daily and possibly a feeding tube as well. Your vet can go over what the at home treatment will entail so that you can best meet the needs of your pet.

You should now have a better understanding of what cat hepatic lipidosis is, the symptoms, and the treatment involved. As previously mentioned, the fatty liver disease in cats is commonly treatable, if caught early and with proper veterinary care. If you have experience with cat hepatic lipidosis, we would love to hear about it! Comment below and share your experience to help others.

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cat birthday
You know the special day is about to arrive -- it's your kitty's birthday! Although many people think cats don't know what day it is, pet parents know their fur kids can sense when it's a special occasion. How do you make it -- "purrfect" -- for your cat? Why, by bringing out on these great gift ideas! One might even help keep your kitty healthy so there are many more birthdays to come.

1. Human Furniture With a Cat Door

cat door in furniture
You know kitty loves to hide, and in the most inconvenient spots -- at least from the human perspective. One company decided, "why fight it?" and developed a side table with a custom-made hole for kitty to sneak in and out. It's at once a clever hiding spot for your feline buddy and a place to stash your magazines.

2. Tricked-Out Sleeping Spots

cat on hammock
Your cat probably sleeps everywhere -- and that may or may not include that cozy bed you picked up from the pet store. Kitty's birthday is another chance for you to give her a space that's all hers for a delightful snooze. Consider a cave made of wool, a window perch, or a comfy mat that warms up according to kitty's current temperature. It's all for the love of your cat, so have fun with it -- even if she still decides to sleep in the laundry basket.

3. Great Monuments Made Out of Cardboard

cat in castle
Ah, yes -- the box. Cats do love "the box," but why does it have to be the boring, brown kind? One company decided to up its kitty cardboard game by creating landmarks like the White House and the Kremlin, all cat-sized and made out of that beloved tough paper material. Your cat will never know he became a world leader for an hour or two before dozing off to sleep in his castle.

4. Organic Catnip for Birthday Celebrations

cat and catnip
Cats of all ages love the 'nip, for the playful effects it can have. Sure, you can buy toys that are filled with the stuff, but why stop there? For your kitty's birthday, you can get catnip in the shape of fleece fortune cookies. If you -- or your feline guest of honor -- is partial to the loose herb, you can get organic catnip to keep him free of unnecessary chemicals during his party.

5. New Wand Toys

cat and feather toy
Sometimes, all it takes is feathers on a stick. That's enough to get your kitty going crazy, swatting at the inanimate object as if it were a real-life bird just out of his reach. Sure, you may have a few wand toys tucked away in the cat supply box, but since it's his birthday, don't you think he'd love a new thing to chase?

6. The Ultimate Cat Luxury Cat Litter

cat in prettylitter
Kitties love to keep clean, and they know when their litter box becomes a bit more odorous than normal. There's a fix for that! Although you may already be using an odor-control litter, it may contain chemicals that get into their digestive tract. A healthier cat litter alternative is made from natural minerals, so there's no harm to kitty when they are scratching inside the box.
PrettyLitter is the ultimate in luxury litter, as it actually changes color according to your cat's excretions, so you'll have a heads up of any potential medical problems. Clean and functional -- a gift for kitty and kitty's pet parents!
Do you celebrate your cat's birthday? Tell us your favorite gifts for your feline in the comments!

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person holding tiny kitten

It’s hard to think of anything else quite as cute as a kitten.

With their big eyes, tiny necks, and perky ears, a new kitten looks just like a living bobblehead doll.

Add a kitten’s awkward gait and uncontrollable curiosity to the mix, and you have a sure-fire recipe for heart-melting cuteness.

Sadly, there are thousands of kittens living in animal rescue shelters waiting for good homes. Until they find their forever homes, they’re left to learn the ways of the world from inside a cubicle surrounded by chaos.

While animal rescue professionals do their best to care for kittens and give them as much socialization time as possible, nothing beats raising a kitten in a home with a human family.

By being a cat foster parent, you can help foster kittens become properly socialized, minimize feline anxiety and the numerous health issues that stress can cause, and prepare that kitten to be accepted into a forever home.

If you’re considering being a cat foster parent, here’s what you need to know to earn that “#1 Foster Mom” coffee mug.

Helping Kittens Learn the Ropes

tiny kitten by window

canna-pet.com

As a cat foster parent, your job is to help your foster kitten learn how to live with humans and adapt to changes in a healthy way.

If you don’t plan on homing your foster kitten through adulthood, your foster kitten will be adopted by another individual or family when the time is right. That sort of drastic change can be difficult on a cat, so teaching your kitten how to cope with change is crucial.

The best time to socialize a kitten is between the ages of three and nine weeks. Hopefully, your kitten will still have access to her mom during this time, but many rescue kittens do not.

However, don’t let that window deter you from being a cat foster parent to an older kitten. All kittens need love and guidance and are capable of learning new social cues.

Positive Reinforcement, Not Punishment

little girl kissing cat

In the early stages of kittenhood, your adorable little friend is taking in every bit of information from her environment that she can. With you being one of – if not the only – other living things to learn from, she’s going to take your reactions to her behavior very seriously.

Start by finding a cat treat that your kitten loves. Then, use that treat and positive attention to reward her whenever she does something or encounters a new situation that you want her to repeat.

For example, a great foster kitten will know how to travel in a cat carrier like a champ. Practice with your foster kitten by encouraging her to walk into her cat carrier on her own and giving her a treat. Close the door, give a treat. Sit with her with the door closed, give a treat. Pick the carrier up, give a treat. Place the carrier in your car, give a treat. Drive around the block and return home, give a treat.

While that may seem like a lot of treats, what you’re actually doing is making sure your foster kitten associates things that often stress out other cats – like traveling – with positive feelings.

You can use the same technique to take your kitten in to visit the vet, even if it’s just for a quick exam without any shots, to introduce her to a new family member or another pet,

Meeting New People

cat sniffing persons hand

One of the most difficult things for many cats – kittens and adults – to overcome is the fear of meeting new people.

However, if you teach your kitten at an early age that new people are not to be feared, you can dramatically reduce your fur baby’s anxiety and help her transition to a new home smoothly.

Recruit a few friends to help you get your foster kitten used to new encounters. Start by having one friend come over and ply your foster kitten with treats, positive attention, behind-the-ear scratches, and toys.

A week or so later, have two people come over. The next week, invite three. If your kitten seems spooked by more people, continue the process until she comes around. Sometimes it takes a shy kitten a few opportunities to make friends before she’s willing to come out of her shell.

Foster-Parenting Must-Have Supplies

kitten in blanket

If you plan on being a repeat foster parent, first of all, good for you! It’s not easy to part ways with a dear feline friend when she’s ready to move on to her forever home, but remember that you’re doing your foster kitten and her new family an incredibly selfless service that will bring joy to them both for years to come.

As a cat lover, you probably know that cats are incredibly territorial. Just the smell of another cat can cause your foster kitten anxiety, especially if she is young and separated from her mother. Therefore, it’s important to use supplies that won’t carry the scent of one foster kitten to the next.

If you can’t afford to purchase a new litter box for each foster kitten, use strong litter box liners (we like these) as a barrier to prevent smells from permeating as much as possible.

Use laser pointers and edible treats as toys rather than plush toys that can easily absorb oils and saliva.

Have a “one kitten, one blanket” policy. Each kitten gets her own new blanket to lay on in her favorite perch. Not only will this help your kitten feel at home in her own space, but also it will provide some consistency when your kitten goes to her new home and gets to take her blanket with her.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to completely eradicate the subtle smells left behind by a previous foster kitten, but these supplies will help you make a significant improvement for your next little one.

If you’re a cat foster parent or thinking about providing a home to a foster kitten in need, we commend you. Have questions? Post them in the comments below!

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long haired cat

Many people understandably assume that a cat's coat is determined by - or interchangeable with - its breed, but like everything pertaining to your favorite regal, furry beast, it's complicated. Remember the Human Genome Project, which brought scientists from around the globe together to map the entire genetic blueprint of the human race? Well, the cat genome sees the human genome and raises it to a new level of weird, fantastic, and just slightly crazy.

Watch the Fur: The Science Behind Why Your Cat is a Prince Harryesque Ginger or a Deaf Albino

Unlike basic humans with their lack of genetic intrigue and variety, cat coats do not consist of merely a color, but a pattern as well, which along with other features like hair length are determined by a kaleidoscopic interplay of a number of genes. Like people (but better, obviously), cats inherit their genetic traits from both parents, with a few twists.

Color Coat

color coat
Despite the grand variety of colors and patterns that cats display and how original they'd like us to believe they are, all cat hair comes in two basic colors: red and black. Think of white-haired cats as bottle bleached blondes, except that in this case nature does the bleaching for them, but at heart, every cat is really either a brunette or a ginger. Some just have better highlights and shading than others. Just like blending two colors can create unlimited shades when painting a work of art, so it goes with a cat's coat.
Not surprisingly, lady cats inherit a significant array of beautiful colors and patterns thanks to the XX chromosome, just like their humans. Since certain traits like coat color are determined by sex-specific genes, lady cats can be both black and red, whereas male cats are stuck with one or the other. So, certain fur palettes, like calico and tortoise, only occur in female cats. However thanks to what is known as a dilute gene, a basic red or black coat can manifest into anything from a classic ginger (orange) to a blue or gray.

Pattern Genes

tabby cat

  • Pointed
  • Shading
  • Bicolor
  • Tricolor
Fun fact: all cats are technically tabbies because they all carry the gene, despite any protestations to the contrary.
Bonus: A cat's tongue is basically a built-in comb, containing special ridges that allow them to groom and style their coat to perfection at will, frizz, and static be damned.

Don't Judge a Cat By Its Coat

Except that people have done exactly that, and here's what they've come up with:
  • Torties and calicos - feisty and sassy as the day is long
  • Shorthairs - reach for the Ritalin
  • Longhairs - will (probably) not sass you that much
  • Gingers (orange) - friendly and fun
  • Tricolors - just don't even
  • White - aloof and just not here for your issues

 

38andKitty

Have you mapped out your cat's genome down to the last chromosome? Does your cat think she's a Charlotte when she is obviously a Miranda? Did you have to break it to your British Shorthair that he is not, in fact, a member of the Royal Family? Share your feline genetic sleuthing tips and results in the comments section!

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grey and white cat

Do you know what bicolor cats are? Bicolor cats are any cat with two colors of fur, and those two colors can be any colors at all! Bicolor cats can be black and white, ginger and white, grey and black... You get the idea. Here are three examples of bicolor cat types and why we love them.

Turkish Van Bicolor Cats

turkish van hybrid cat

The most exclusive and rare bicolor cat, the Turkish Van can possibly boast ancestors that go back thousands of years. There are only around 100 Van kittens born each year, and each cat is recognizable for its long, luxurious fur with patches of color only on the ears and tail. These bicolor beauties are known for being intelligent and independent and benefit from lots of human interaction in early life.

Unlike most cats, Turkish Vans are quite fond of water and have even been known to voluntarily take a dip in the family bath. They’re usually kept as pampered indoor pets, but if you let them roam outside, their excellent hunting instincts can take over. They will pursue prey for long distances and can return home bedraggled, and maybe with a gory present for you!

Tuxedo Bicolor Cats

tuxedo cat

Most bicolor cats are black and white. In fact, around 75% of all cats worldwide are black and white! That’s a lot of chromatic kitties. There are many ways a cat can be colored this way, but when a cat is mostly black with a white front, they are often called a Tuxedo Cat. The white chest and often front legs are reminiscent of a shirt peeping through a black Tuxedo, giving these cats an odd, sort of formal look.

Some cat breeds have a greater chance than others of producing a Tuxedo cat when bred. These include Persian cats, Manx cats, and Oriental shorthairs, but Tuxedo kittens can appear in any breed of cat. It’s just pot luck! Because Tuxedo cats are a color pattern, not a breed, they tend to follow the characteristics of their genetics. But Tuxedo cat owners have reported that these posh looking cats are energetic, social and very affectionate. It’s thought that William Shakespeare, Beethoven, and Sir Isaac Newton all had Tuxedo Cats.

"Cow" Bicolor Cats

cow bicolor cat

Another black and white favorite, Cow Cats, are so called because their markings are reminiscent of dairy cows. Also called Moo Cats, Piebald, Harlequins and even Magpie cats, these bi-color cats can be any breed although most tend to be short-hairs. The markings tend to be primarily one color with large spots of the opposite color, and sometimes Cow Cats appear as though they are wearing a mask. The piebald markings are a great evolutionary advantage, as they actually help the cat hide in patches of light and shadow. This can make hunting a breeze!

One of the sad things about Cow Cats is that because black and white kitties are so common, they tend to get left at the animal shelter much longer than other, more exotic-seeming cats. So next time you’re looking for a new cat, don’t overlook the Cow Cats. They make fantastic pets and as they’re usually crossbreeds, may live for up to 20 years as an indoor cat.

What bi-color cats have you had in your life? Do you prefer the pure-bred Vans or the quirky Cows? Let us know in the comments!

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different size cats
Having a cat as a pet is a wonderful way to enjoy a companion in your home, care for another creature, and teach children responsibility. There are many ways you can choose a pet cat, from deciding on the breed to determining where you want to get the cat from (a rescue, a friend, etc.).
One of the most important considerations to keep in mind when picking a pet cat is the size of the cat. The size of the cat can have many effects on what it is like to live with them as a pet, and knowing more about cat sizes can help ensure you're making the right choice before you bring your new can home. Here's everything you need to know about cat sizes before you pick out your beloved pet.

Cats Can Be Bigger Than You Think

large house cat
You may think of cats as delicate and graceful creatures (which they are), but some cats are actually very big and heavy! So, you should decide whether you're looking for a lithe and light little animal before you pick a cat, or whether you're looking for a sturdier and stockier pet. The biggest cats can weigh around 25 pounds or more, and these cats require more food in order to keep them fed and healthy. To figure out if you're going to end up with one of the largest cat breeds, check out this list of the top 10 largest cat breeds. One of the most popular is the Maine Coon, which typically weighs between 10 and 18 pounds.

Small Cat Breeds Do Well in Small Spaces

munchkin cat
If you live in an apartment without a lot of room to roam, you could benefit from picking a small cat. Small cats do better in small spaces, since they can curl up and relax, and the space that you have will still fun and exciting for them to explore. Some of the most popular breeds of small cats include the Munchkin Cat, the Balinese cat, and the Singapura cat. If you want a large cat, be sure that you have enough space in your home.

Pay Attention to Litter Box Size

black cat in litter box
Whether you choose a big cat or a small cat, you should make adaptations based on that size—particularly when it comes to choosing a litter box. The litter box should be at least 1.5 times the size of the cat, so that they can easily get into the litter box and use it. Cats too large for their litter box may start going to the bathroom outside the litter box, which can create a mess for you.
When you decide to bring home a pet cat, there are lots of things you need to keep in mind, including what size that cat will be. By learning about each size cat and what having one will entail, you can ensure you're picking the right animal for your family and prepare to have the right supplies and space. If you want to make the process of getting kitty litter simple and convenient no matter the size of your cat, consider signing up with PrettyLitter. We can make regular litter deliveries to your home to ensure that you always have the supplies to keep your cat healthy and happy.

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Do you have experience taking care of a cat that is particularly large, and if so, how has that been unique? Let us know by dropping a line in the comments!
happy cat sleeping
Cats have a reputation for being aloof and hard to read, but thanks to their expressive body language, they're actually pretty upfront with their emotions--if you know what to look for. That's why we've compiled a few tell-tale signs you can observe to check whether your cat wants to play, sleep, or just take a nap. Keep reading to learn what your furry friend is trying to tell you, such as . . .

"I want to play!"

cat playing with toy
You might be able to predict the next bout of play before Fluffy starts charging through the house. If her ears are pointed forward slightly, this usually indicates she's feeling playful and curious about something, whether it's her favorite toy or that shoestring across the room that's suddenly grabbed her attention. Her eyes will probably be wide open with dilated pupils as she focuses her attention on whatever she's about to go pounce on. The tip of her tail might twitch or flick, a sure sign that playtime is about to commence.
Perhaps the most well-known sign of a playful cat is the infamous butt wiggle, which is when a cat's rear end begins to sway back and forth just before they spring into action. No one knows for certain what causes the wiggle, though theories range from cats preparing their back legs and muscles for strong leaps, testing their footing and the ground beneath them, and simply displaying excitement. Whatever the cause, the butt wiggle is possibly the surest sign that kitty is about to pounce, so you might want to make sure you get out of his way!

"I'm scared!"

scared cat
Your cat's ears tend to move certain ways depending on mood. If Fluffy's ears are flattened backwards or to the sides, he's putting out a very clear signal that he's feeling out of sorts. He might be a little nervous, scared, or irritated, so it's probably best to leave this cat alone until he calms down.
If your cat's tail is swishing violently from side to side, you'll want to give him some space. He's obviously frustrated about something, and he's liable to take it out on you if you try to touch him, even if you aren't actually the source of that frustration. Hey, we all have our bad days, right?
Other tail hallmarks include when it's puffed out and the fur is standing on end. This is the sign of a very unhappy kitty and one that is either angry, threatened, scared, or all of the above. Finally, whether they're scared or angry, cats who feel threatened will usually arch their backs, pin their whiskers back, and growl or hiss.
If your cat is doing any of these, try to coax him into a less stressful setting. Don't pick him up unless absolutely necessary, though, as you might end up with a lot of scratches for your trouble.

"I love you!"

happy cat
Is there anything better than a friendly cat curling up against you to join you for a lazy afternoon nap? This is just one way your feline friend will show their affection.
Another very common act is when Fluffy rolls over to expose her tummy. This is a very vulnerable position for most animals, and while cats will sometimes do this to show submission to another cat to avoid a fight, they will also do it to show trust around their human family and even other cats in the home. Some cats enjoy a quick belly rub, but others hate it. That varies from cat to cat, just like most personality traits, so you'll have to learn your own cat's preferences there.
As always, a cat's tail is a good barometer of their mood. A tail that's straight up usually means a happy cat who's glad to see you--and if the tail is quivering a little, that probably means you're her favorite human and she's really glad to see you!
Like many animals, cats often consider eye contact a sign of aggression. However, if your cat stares at you and blinks slowly before casually looking away, this indicates that she feels safe and happy in your company. If her eyelids are droopy, this can also mean that she feels so safe and content that she's about to doze off.
Ever had a cat "make biscuits" on you by kneading your lap, chest, back, or wherever they're perched atop you? That's a high compliment your kitty is paying! This is a holdover from kittenhood, when your baby kitty would let his mom know he was hungry and ready for milk. When your cat kneads you, it's not really because he's hungry; he just remembers the safe, happy feeling he got while kneading as a baby, and now he wants to share that with you. If your cat does this to you, you should feel honored and know that your kitty is head over heels for you.
Does your cat like belly rubs? Does she have a unique way of telling you how she feels? Let us know in the comments!

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cat with crown

www.istockphoto.com

As long as there has been civilization, there have been cats maneuvering around in the background, secretly running things. So irresistible is the feline charm and magnetism that some of history's most powerful and influential figures have spent their lives under their spell (or command, you decide). According to reports, famous cat people include everyone from Russian Tsarina Catherine the Great, to Mark Twain, Pope John Paul II, and none other than the 16th and 30th presidents of the United States, Abraham Lincoln and Calvin Coolidge, but much to their chagrin, cats are often relegated to the back burner and robbed of their due by their humans. From Socks Clinton to Smurf Village villain Gargamel's trusted sidekick Azrael, some of history's most famous and infamous cats (real and fictional) have gone on to become villains, moguls, legends, and icons in their own right.

3 Cats That Probably Had/Have a Much Better Life than You and Everyone You Know

From one percent-level riches to epic revenge stories on a global scale, here is an unscientific compilation of a few real and fictional cats that are beating most of us at life.

Tommaso the Roman Trustafarian and Influencer

black cat who inherits money
Tommaso sees your paycheck to paycheck existence and laughs as he sharpens his well manicured claws with 24K gold emery boards. After a rough start on the mean streets of Rome, Tommaso found his way into the arms of Maria Assunta, who upon her death bequeathed Tommaso a real estate portfolio valued at a cool $13 million. Rumor has it that he has also inspired some Drake lyrics.

Hello Kitty

hello kitty
This one may seem obvious, but creating a list of baller cats and overlooking Hello Kitty is like talking about rain and overlooking water. Hello Kitty, aka Kitty White, has been living the dream just outside Londontown since 1974 (and yet hasn't aged a day). While modernity has relegated some of her contemporaries to the dustbin of history (Garfield who?), Kitty's game continues to blow up. In addition to the show, the merch, and the legend itself, she also has a string of brick and mortar cafes popping up all over lands as far off and exotic as Southern California.

Lola the Cat that Got Chucked in the Bin

lola the cat
To be alive and not in a comatose state in 2010 was to have your summer captivated by the plight of Lola, a British kitty who was minding her own business (that we know of), only to be picked up by human villain Mary Bale and tossed into a garbage (or rubbish, as the Brits say) wheelie bin.
Lola may have come to prominence as an initial victim, but revenge was ultimately hers. The crime was caught on video, as 21st century crimes often are, and created an international scandal that ranged from comparisons to Hitler but more evil, to actual calls for the death penalty for the monster. Ultimately, a British court decided to fine Mary 250 pounds sterling because let's face it, the woman's life is pretty much over anyway. Lola, on the other hand, will go down in history as a progenitor of one of the 21st century's biggest phenomenons: the totally not irrational or blood thirsty internet mob. (Just ask the dentist who murdered Cecil the Lion, if you can find him).
The cat industrial complex is bigger than all of us. Share your thoughts in the comments section and let us know how much more you spend on food and toys for your cats than for yourself and family. We won't judge.

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happy cat
When you bring a new cat into your home, you're taking on a commitment that will most likely span several years. In addition to giving your kitty love and attention, you'll also need to be prepared to provide medical care. We all get sick from time to time, and cats are no exception. Here are a few of the most common ailments cats acquire, beginning with:

Obesity

fat cat
Just like us, our pets are prone to obesity too, and for many of the same reasons: lack of exercise and over-reliance on cheap, processed food full of sugar and extra calories.
Guess what most of today's dry cat food is made from? That's right: fillers and the feline equivalent of junk food. Combined with the fact our pampered pets don't have to hunt for their food anymore and instead spend most of their time snoozing, that's the perfect recipe for weight gain that can put unnecessary and dangerous stress on your cat's bones and organs.
You can help your kitty maintain a healthy weight by encouraging lots of play time, feeding her a nutritious meat-based diet, and limiting treats and carbohydrates.

Diabetes

sad cat
Often related to the obesity problem is the growing incidence of feline diabetes. An estimated 0.5% to 2% of cats suffer from diabetes mellitus, a condition in which the body can't produce or use the insulin needed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Left untreated, it can lead to malnutrition, organ damage, coma, and even death.
As in humans, diabetes may have a genetic component, and cats with certain attributes may be at higher risk of developing the illness. Obese, elderly, and/or physically inactive cats are especially at risk, but so are cats who are male, neutered, and/or undergoing steroid therapy. Burmese cats in particular are at a higher risk than other breeds as well.
Again, just like in humans, the first signs of diabetes are weight loss accompanied by increased appetite and excessive thirst and urination. If you notice these symptoms, have your cat checked by his veterinarian. The vet will likely order a blood test to confirm the diagnosis, and then she or he will develop a treatment plan with you that could include dietary changes with special food, exercise regimens, insulin therapy, and more.
The good news is that with proper management, your kitty can live a long and happy life.

Kidney Failure

cat at the vet
Kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death in cats. While it is sometimes sudden and unpredictable, there are some risk factors to keep in mind and some ways you can help prevent kidney disease or slow its progression.
In both acute and chronic kidney failure, symptoms to watch out for include increased thirst and/or urination, weight loss, vomiting, and bad breath. The earlier these symptoms are spotted and addressed, the better the outlook for your kitty's long-term health.
Pet parents should limit their cat's exposure to toxic substances, which includes things like antifreeze and household cleaners, human and veterinary medication, and certain plants, especially lilies, as all parts of the plant are highly toxic to cats.
Some breeds are more genetically prone to developing kidney disease, such as Abyssinians and Persians. However, all cats are at risk, so regular checkups are critical, most of all for senior cats who might have other conditions like diabetes that put them at higher risk for developing kidney disease.

Hyperthyroidism

cat getting shot
An overactive thyroid gland can dump too much of the thyroid hormone into the bloodstream, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. This ailment is most common in elderly cats around 13 years of age or older. Symptoms can mimic a host of other conditions, including diabetes and kidney disease, so only a veterinarian can make a proper diagnosis. Some signs to watch for include:
  • weight loss
  • increased appetite, thirst, and urination
  • dull coat
  • increased vomiting
  • weakness or depression
Diagnosis is made through a blood test, though sometimes a nuclear medicine test is ordered that will require hospitalization while the radioactive compound administered leaves the cat's body.
Your vet will go over treatment options with you, which include dietary therapy, surgery, medication, and radioactive iodine therapy. If your cat is otherwise healthy, the prognosis is usually good with appropriate treatment.

Parasites

cat itching
Fleas, ticks, and ear mites are some of the most common pests cats and cat owners have to face. Fleas and ticks are parasites that live on the animal and ingest its blood to survive, while eat mites are microscopic bugs that live on and in the cat's ear. Fleas and ticks can transmit dangerous diseases through blood contamination, and ear mites can cause damage to the ear drum and affect the cat's hearing and sense of balance. In all cases, these pests can cause discomfort and chronic itching, and when the cat bites and scratches at these spots, they can scratch their skin and leave themselves open to possible infections.
The best way to avoid such parasites is to limit your cat's exposure to the outdoors and to other cats. If you bring a new cat into the home, be sure to check it thoroughly for parasites. If you find any, try to keep that cat quarantined as much as possible. If you suspect a flea or mite outbreak, treat all of your cats and the places they like to hang out at the same time, as the bugs are highly contagious and can spread quickly.
Check your pets regularly for signs of fleas and other unwanted guests, and tackle any potential problems immediately to help ward off a full-blown infestation. If you live in an area where these nasty critters are common, or if your cat insists on going outside, speak with your vet about a monthly topical or pill treatment to kill off any parasites before they can cause too much damage.
Do you have any tips for managing these or other common cat health problems? Let us know in the comments down below.

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Cats and Babies

November 18, 2018

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cat life  

black cat and baby
Do cats and babies get along? The answer is usually, as long as you take the proper steps to introduce a new baby to the household and watch vigilantly in the first few meetings. If you're expecting, keep reading to find out how to prepare your kitty cat to meet their new sibling. Prepare for cute baby and cat pictures to send to friends and family!

Step One: The Preparation Starts During Pregnancy

pregnant woman and cat

www.pesanlab.com

Keep Cats Indoors

There is actually a disease called toxoplasmosis that can spread from cats to humans. The virus is typically harmless, but it can hurt your unborn child. Experts recommend keeping cats indoors, so they don't bring the disease home if they don't already have it. Expectant parents should avoid being the one to change the litter, and should wear gloves when gardening in areas where cats may have defecated because it spreads through feline feces.

Change Routines

Cats love habits and are sensitive to change. Once your little one comes there will be a lot of change happening all at once. So, change your cats feeding and care routines to what you think they will be when the baby comes months before your little one even arrives. To further prepare your cat for the coming changes, you can even play baby noises so they can get used to cute coos and goo-goos.

Step Two: When You Bring Your Little One Home

introducing baby to cat

www.bluecross.org.uk

Introduce Scents First

Before you introduce the baby, introduce something with the baby's scent. This could be a hat, piece of clothing or blanket the baby has worn. That way your cat can acclimate to this strange new creature before they even meet.

Supervision is Key

You never know how an animal is going to react, so you need to supervise each visit. Watch for signs of aggression. In general, keep your cat in a separate room while the baby is sleeping and never let it go in the crib with your newborn because they can't move much or turn over. A cute snuggle kitty could easily become a serious trap in a matter of moments.

Give Your Cat Attention When the Time is Right

When your new baby is finally sleeping and you have a moment to yourself, give your cat plenty of attention so they don't feel left out. Give them scratches, treats and play with their favorite toys so they know you still love them.

Step Three: Troubleshooting Baby and Cat Relationships

baby on cat

www.thesheffieldcatsshelter.org

The Peeing Problem

Some cats get mad or sad that they're not the center of attention anymore. They may feel competition with the new baby for territory. They may be upset that they can't go into the baby's room, or they may simply be stressed by the new changes. They may retaliate by peeing wherever they want. However, you can remedy this problem by giving them anti-stress medications, and making their favorite pee spots inaccessible. Remember, don't clean up the pee with smelly products because that can make them want to mark their territory even stronger!

Separation May Be the Solution

If things just really aren't going well, the best solution for the moment until the baby gets a bit older may be separation. Make your cat a really comfy room where they can stay while the baby is out and playing, and let them out when the baby is sleeping in their bedroom. Make sure your cat always has access to the litter box and some food and water.
Making your household work with a cat and baby really isn't that hard, and it's totally worth it for the adorable pictures and social media memes.
Have your own cute baby and cat friendship on your hands? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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