information DOES NOT replace professional veterinary care. It is
intended solely for educational purposes. Your pet's medical condition
should be evaluated by a veterinarian before implementation of any
medical or husbandry changes.
there is a potentially life-threatening emergency involving your
pet, take your pet to a veterinarian or veterinary facility IMMEDIATELY!!!!
Responses can take 1-2 weeks.
I recently added a female kitten to my small homebased no- cage
cattery. She's litter trained by her breeder and uses litter box
properly. However from time to time she pees in the middle of my
bed. Why does she do it and how can I make her stop doing that?
Inappropriate elimination is a problem commonly encountered by veterinarians
and in most cases medical and/or environmental causes are involved.
In some cases, bladder infection or irritation may cause the cat
discomfort during urination, which he then associates with the litter
box or other usual elimination spot, prompting him/her to try other
locations. These conditions require medical attention from your
In other cases
poor litter box hygiene or conflict with other cats in the house
may make the box less inviting. Many cats are very particular about
their litter boxes so it is important to keep them very clean and
to provide additional boxes to give the cat another option if one
box is not acceptable. The rule of thumb is to have one more litter
box than the number of cats! Make sure that the cat has some privacy
and that he/she is not being tormented by another animal when using
box. Use a pet odor neutralizer to clean any soiled areas and
restrict access to those areas until the cat is using the litter
box consistently. If it is not possible to restrict access to an
area then try placing a food dish in that area as cats are reluctant
to eliminate next to their food. Even though the cat may resent
being confined, it may be necessary to keep him/her in one area
that has been cleared of inappropriate “targets” until
use of the litter box has been established. Good luck with your
kitties and please discuss your cats’ problems with your veterinarians
who can best help you to determine the cause of your cats’
behavior and find a solution!
I have a short
haired Persian cat. Her eyes run constantly. Is there anything
that can be done about that?
The distinctive look of a Persian cat comes from it’s flattened
face – this is called brachiocephalic. This facial structure
makes the eyes stand out somewhat and may cause the tear ducts to
be compressed. If the tear ducts cannot drain properly then the
tears run from the corners of the eyes. Like an apple that turns
brown when exposed to air, the tears also oxidize and cause a brown
stain. Unfortunately for many Persians this problem is built in
and the only solution is frequent gentle face washing. Of course
your cat’s vet should be consulted if the condition worsens
or if the cat is squinting or has yellow or green discharge.
wants to know:
I'm about to become a new cat owner of a Cornish
Rex, who will be 3+ months old when he arrives. What is the
best piece of advice can you give to a new cat owner?
Congratulations! I am sure you will quickly fall in love with your
new feline companion! The most important things to remember when
dealing with any youngster – human or otherwise – is
to show lots of love and affection, be consistent about rules, and
focus on rewarding good behavior (it is never ok to punish a pet
for bad behavior - they do not understand).
other really important pieces of advice that I have for all pet
owners come from my work at a municipal shelter. 1) Identification!
Everyday, stray pets are turned in to the shelter, but without identification
the chance of being reunited with their families is very slim. A
microchip provides permanent identification but it is the responsibility
of the owner to make sure that the chip’s registration is
kept up to date. A tag on a cat safety collar (with elastic or break-away
buckle) is also very helpful as it provides the finder with immediate
information. 2) Make an emergency plan for your pet! Please make
a plan for your pet in case something happens to you. I see so many
animals surrendered to the shelter because their owners have died,
gone to the hospital, been arrested, been evicted etc. Many of these
pets are euthanized. Make a plan – with a friend, relative,
veterinarian or private shelter – to care for your pet if
you cannot. Make sure to tell someone what the arrangement is so
that your wishes can be carried out.
What are the side effects of Clavamox for a feline?
Clavamox ® (Amoxicillin-Clavulanic acid) is an antibiotic that is commonly
prescribed for treatment of a variety of infections in cats. It
is generally well tolerated and comes in both pill and liquid formulations.
The most common side effects of Clavamox are digestive disturbance
– vomiting, diarrhea and decreased appetite. These side effects
usually resolve rapidly once the drug is discontinued and may be
lessened by giving the medication with food. Although extremely
rare, any medication (or food or environmental substance etc.) can
also cause more severe adverse reactions such as hypersensitivity
reactions (“allergic reactions”), manifested by symptoms
such as hives, facial swelling or anaphylaxis or severe skin reactions.
These kinds of adverse reactions can be very serious and even life
threatening. If you suspect that your cat is having an adverse reaction
to the medication please contact your veterinarian who can best
advise you about your cat.
My cats, at times, sleeps on our bed. When my husband started
to go to bed he noticed a lot of little brown specs lying on the
blanket. Upon closer examination he found many of the specs were
moving and looked like tiny little worms . I have a microscope so
I looked at them and these things look awful. They are very very
tiny, sectioned and have protrusions that look like hairs along
the sectioned body. The head appears to have spikes protruding all
around it--nasty looking! They are very delicate, about 1/16 inch
long and easy to mash when trying to pick one up to place on the
slide. The body is brownish and have a bloodiness if mashed. These
things have never been seen on the bed or anywhere in our home before
now. Could you advise?
worms” sound suspiciously like flea larvae. You can find many
pictures of them on the internet. Adult fleas live on their hosts
where they feed on blood. The feces of the fleas can be seen on
the skin and often on bedding. It appears as black flecks called
“flea dirt”. These flecks turn red if water is applied
because they are actually digested blood. The fleas also lay eggs
that fall off of the host animal and accumulate on bedding and carpets.
The tiny worm-like larvae hatch from the eggs and feed on the flea
dirt and other organic debris. The larvae then pupate and emerge
as adult fleas. Bring your “worms” to your veterinarian
who can confirm that they are flea larvae and advise you on the
best flea treatments for your situation. Remember: NEVER use dog
flea products on cats and follow all label directions carefully.
Some dog flea products can be toxic to cats even if they are just
in contact with a treated dog.