We also care about cats | VailDaily.com

We also care about cats

Nadine Lober

We don’t tend to see cats being walked outdoors or taken on trails, so we sometimes forget to talk about them. Unless you have cats at home, you don’t take the time to ask someone about their pet cat.

Kittens need vaccines for rabies and other diseases, just like dogs. Our pets can contract rabies if bitten by a rabid animal, or even if a rabid animal’s saliva penetrates an open wound on your pet’s body. If you have an outdoor cat, it should also get a feline leukemia vaccine.

Most adult cats are free fed and sleep about 16 hours, so they tend to get overweight. A fat cat can develop a fatty liver disease called hepatic lipidosis which can be fatal. So it is very important to keep your cat at an appropriate weight. If your cat is overweight then there are less active cat diets and even weight-loss diets.

Cats can get most diseases, such as diabetes, skin allergies, gastro-inestinal problems, heart diseases, cancer and others, but a more common problem in cats is erratic behavior.

I seem to be asked every week about some cat’s strange behavior; most common is a cat who decides one morning to urinate but not defecate ” or vice versa ” in its litterbox.

Trust me, there usually is a psychological problem there but it’s hard to sit cats on the couch and ask what’s bothering them. We have to ask their owners many questions about the recent changes in the cat’s life or in the household.

For example, a cat named Teddy started to urinate on his owner’s bed when her boyfriend moved in. Well, we had to deal with that problem and try find a solution besides the obvious: get rid of the boyfriend.

Sometimes a cat can become aggressive out of nowhere, as did another patient of mine, when the owner’s grandkids started visiting a lot.

Cats can live a long time, some till they are 20 years old, but many develop kidney failure as they age. They will get thin, might vomit or become lethargic. If caught early enough, it can be managed for a while or longer. It is beneficial to get blood work done on older animals to detect problems.

When cats develop arthritis they will start walking cautiously and avoid jumping. They can benefit from arthritis medication, too.

A common problem is a cat that strains to urinate and does so frequently. It’s a good idea to check the litter box often, even if it does not smell bad enough to change the litter. This will tell you if the cat is defecating and urinating.

Small amounts of urine might indicate an infection or blockage. Look for blood in the urine, too, and if there is no urine make sure that the cat is not using the carpet as a box. If the problem persists, usually the cat will start acting sick, becoming lethargic and not wanting to eat.

These are just a few topics for the cat owners, but as you know there are many more. Always observe your animals, because you owners know their behavior better then us vets and we you can help us diagnose the problem.

For further questions Dr. Nadine Lober 949-7972

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