Keeping your cat healthy is a fairly simple task.
Proper food, water and yearly trips to the vet, just about covers it all for most cats.
Many people have both cats and dogs and do not realize that the physical makeup of these two animals is not the same.
Cats are not small dogs and small dogs are definitely not cats.
Because of the differences there are some things that a cat owner should be aware of and this is what my blog for today is about.
A cat’s metabolism differs from that of a dog and thereby creates different reactions to some of the same situations that both species may get into.
Drugs: We all agree that drugs are very beneficial to both humans and animals.
Cats however, are very sensitive to certain drugs and should never be given any medication without first consulting your veterinarian.
Regular aspirin even in small doses can be fatal.
Tylenol® and Ibuprofen drugs like Advil® can cause organ damage.
Giving a cat a pill is a job I do not enjoy.
I think wrestling an alligator might be more fun,
Whenever my cats need medication, I try to get it in liquid form, so that I can wrap them in a towel and feed it to them with an eyedropper.
I understand that some medicines for cats are now being made in a gel form that can be absorbed through the skin.
Unfortunately, you cannot fool a cat like you can a dog and hide the pill in its food.
I think the best bet is to have your vet give the medication, if possible, by injection. That save a whole world of trouble.
Poisons: There is an old saying that says “curiosity can kill a cat,” and that can be true in the case of poisons.
If your cat is a plant lover, you need to be very careful of what you have growing around your home.
Most plants of the lily family are poisonous to cats, one quick bite can cause serious problems especially if not treated promptly.
We have often been told that Poinsettias are very poisonous to pets, however in cats it will just upset its tummy.
The ASPCA has a poison control website that lists all plants that are harmful to cats.
Antifreeze is also a deadly weapon to both cats and dogs.
For whatever reason, our pets love the taste and it can be the taste of death.
Be certain, if any antifreeze is spilled it is promptly cleaned up and be especially alert if your car overheats and the driveway gets the runoff. Clean it up at once.
Nutrition: Cats are carnivores which means they are meat eaters (mice preferably.)
Dog food is meant for dogs, cats need cat food, because it contains the nutritional substances necessary for a cat’s good health.
Obesity is as bad for a cat as it is for us humans so do not over feed your cat.
If your cat is overweight be very watchful of its eating habits, as overweight cats are good candidates for a condition known as “hepatic lipidosis” also known as “fatty liver disease.”
If your “fat cat” stops eating even for a 24 hour period or shows signs of vomiting, diarrhea or just plain strange behavior, a quick trip to the vet is highly recommended.
If your cat is overweight and stops eating, the liver becomes alarmed at the lack of food and starts utilizing the body fat so fast that it stuffs its own cells with so much fat that they cannot function properly. This is a very serious matter and needs veterinary help at once, as the liver cannot function.
Lean cats have muscle and little fat so if they stop eating for a day their body burns the muscle, while fat cats have little muscle and lots of fat for the liver to devour.
Do not think if your overweight cat stops eating for a day it will not hurt it because it has plenty of weight to live off of. That thought can create serious problems for you and your cat.
When it comes to illnesses cats tend to be “sneaky.”
Most cats do not hop around like dogs do. They are more or less sitting creatures, so unless you are aware of your cat’s normal behavior, it may be hard to tell if it is sick or not.
Cats are prone to upper respiratory illnesses and kidney problems.
Watery discharges around the nose or eyes could be a sign of a respiratory infection. Litter box problems could be a sign of urinary tract infections. Be alert to your cat’s normal routines so you can catch these signs early on.
Take time to pet and pat your cat, feel for lumps or bumps and if you find any, a trip to the vet is a great idea. Cats are known to have different kinds of cancers.
Cats can also develop “sarcomas” which are tumors generally caused by vaccination injections. These need to be looked after.
Cats are also prone to heart disease, this is why a good cat food with Taurine is necessary.
As your cat gets older instead of the once a year visit to the vet ii is recommended that you make it twice a year, just to be on the safe side.
Cat bites and scratches are two things that should get immediate attention, in order to prevent abscesses and /or the spread of any infectious disease that could be picked up from the other cat.
This was meant to be a “reminder primer” just to alert you to the fact that cats are different from dogs and you need to be more watchful of their behavior in order to prevent any unexpected problems.
If you are interested in learning more about cats and cat care see below.