Cat Health and Care

Cat Health and Care

Cat bites

You have an outdoor cat that comes limping home? Then there's a good chance that it was in a turf war. In this case, affected cats often have scratch and bite marks, which can lead to severe inflammations and dangerous bacterial sepsis if unrecognised. Along with cats themselves, we pet owners and other pets like dogs, rabbits or chickens can be affected by cat bites. Due to the very high risk of infection, early detection and treatment are of great importance. The following article tells you what you should concentrate on:

Bone health for cats

Healthy bones and joints are essential for little hunters like cats. However, unfortunately what appears self-evident isn't always obvious. Along with age and injuries, poor nutrition and illnesses can also affect a cat's bone health, cause inflammation and lead to long-term damage.

Cat Age

A cat’s age is not linear compared to a human’s age. During their first year a cat develops particularly fast and it’s only from its second year onwards that the age curve becomes more linear.

It is important to note that factors such as diet, care, environment and genetics will have an impact on how a cat’s age is comparable in human years.

On average, cats today live between 10 to 15 years old, whilst outdoor cats tend to live shorter.

Using the following table you will be able to approximate a cat’s age in human years.

 

Cat litter: Clumping or Silica Litter?

It’s not just the right type of litter tray that will make your cat happy, but also the right type of cat litter. The best litters are ones that are very absorbent and ideally neutralise odours too, but finding the perfect cat litter can be no easy task with so many varieties on offer from natural clumping litter made of clay, non-clumping litter, litter made of wood or silica. Silica cat litter and clumping natural clay litter are the most popular choices among cat owners and their cats. But which litter is better for the cat, the owner or the environment?

Cat Skin and Fur

Silky-soft cat fur isn't just nice to look at and stroke, but also fulfils important protective functions for cats, along with the skin that lies underneath. As fundamental parts of the feline body, they clearly signal when something is not right: if the metabolic processes are out of sync, the skin and fur often visibly suffer.

Cat Vaccinations

There is lots you can do to keep your cat fit and healthy! A proper diet, a stress-free environment and lots of affection benefits them as much as regular visits to the vet. Your cat’s annual vet check-up often includes vaccinations against common infectious diseases. But more vaccinations aren’t always better. So, which vaccinations are useful and which are not?

Colds in Cats

Like us humans, our pets can also suffer from colds. The typical symptoms of colds like coughing, sniffles and tiredness are mostly the consequence of a harmless viral infection, with the pathogens of the cat cold complex playing a primary role. The latter often emerges in animal shelters or households with several young cats. Some of the pathogens can have a serious impact on a cat's health, which is why a thorough diagnosis and effective treatment are very important.

Conjunctivitis in cats

Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, very regularly affects cats and can be triggered by numerous causes. It isn't a single disease, but rather a symptom. Although all cat breeds and all ages can be affected, young cats in particular suffer from cat colds, whilst older cats often have allergic conjunctivitis. Consequently, conjunctivitis with cats can also be accompanied by other symptoms, which influences treatment and prognosis.

Coronavirus in Cats

Coronaviruses don't just affect us pet owners, but our furry friends too. In contrast to the new type of coronavirus affecting humans, feline coronavirus (FcoV) has already been known for several years. These include feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) and the much better-known feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV). The latter causes fatal feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), which leads to peritonitis and abdominal dropsy. On the other hand, people suffer from flu-like symptoms, especially those with weakened immune systems like elderly or sick people.

Digestion problems in cats

The diet of our domestic cats rarely resembles that of their wild relatives. As a result, the change in cat food since they started living with humans is a key factor in many cats being constantly plagued by digestion problems. However, illnesses, contamination and other issues can also cause diarrhoea, vomiting and constipation!

Feline Hearing Ability

Cats have considerably better hearing and sound localisation than humans. For adult cats, the upper hearing limit is around 50,000 Hz, whilst young cats even hear sounds up to 100,000 Hz. In contrast, we just about manage to hear sounds of 20,000 Hz. This figure decreases rapidly amongst old people, which becomes very evident when they can no longer hear high frequency sounds such as dog whistles or bat calls, for instance. Likewise, dogs fall behind cats with a hearing range of up to 40,000 Hz.

 

Gum inflammation (Gingivitis) in cats

Gingivitis is the term for inflammation of the gums, which mostly manifests itself through redness and swelling of the mucous membrane surrounding the teeth. This usually painful gum disease is very common amongst cats and can be triggered by numerous causes. Thus, a detailed diagnosis is important in order to treat it correctly and at an early stage.

How a Sensitive Stomach Affects Cats

Around two-thirds of all cat owners think that their pet suffers to a greater or lesser extent from a food intolerance that has an impact upon its general state of health and predominantly the quality of its skin and fur. However, only in around a quarter of cases does an intolerance towards a food or certain ingredient manifest itself in the form of repeated vomiting and/or diarrhoea. It's important to differentiate intolerance from a real allergy, i.e. a reaction triggered by the immune system.

How to Correctly Deworm Kittens

Worm infestations affect young cats with relative frequency. If untreated, they can lead to severe ailments. Thankfully though, parasites are very easy to combat as soon as the problem has been recognised. Get your little “tiger to caress”, as Victor Hugo lovingly called cats, dewormed for the first time three weeks after it is born and then every three to four weeks recurrently. However, this is just a general guideline. Only a vet can make the final decision as to what deworming cycle is right for each individual cat. Vermifuges have to be administered very frequently in animal homes too, because unfortunately kittens are partly in a very bad condition when they are handed in there.

Kitten Diarrhoea

When a kitten enters your home, it¡s an exciting time for everyone! Regardless of whether you're an experienced or first-time cat owner, it's a time of change. Little cats require special attention. Enjoy every minute because they grow up ever so fast!

Loss of Appetite in Cats

In specialist medical jargon, loss of appetite is also known as anorexia or inappetence. This is a pathologically reduced food intake, which can be triggered by different causes. However, the term has to be differentiated from what is known as pseudo-anorexia. This condition describes a sense of hunger with simultaneously disturbed food intake (e.g. due to injuries to the jaw or difficulties swallowing). In order to be able to understand how a loss of appetite can arise with cats, it helps to take a closer look at feline physiology: The feeling of hunger is primarily controlled by the hunger centre in the brain. It receives important information like the expansion state of the gastrointestinal tract from the hunger receptors located there. If the stomach is extremely full, the expansion receptors are activated and send the brain the signal that no more food needs to be consumed. In contrast, a feeling of hunger comes to the fore when the stomach is empty and the expansion sensors aren't activated. Along with this signalling pathway, however, the sense of hunger is also activated by other factors like hormones or state of health, such as by the cat's acute phase reactions. This is an important immune system reaction in which the body reacts to diseases with an acute inflammation, which is meant to encourage wounds to heal, for instance.

Neutering your Cat

When it comes to contraception and neutering for their own cats, animal lovers are often unsure. Neutering at an early stage appears to be essential when looking at cats without owners and overcrowded animal homes. But is it going to affect my cat if I deny it the chance to have offspring? What is the right moment for neutering? What makes temporary procedures different from neutering? And when is the right time for the procedure to take place? Regardless of whether you have a cat from an animal shelter a home or acquired one from a breeder, the question of potentially neutering your feline friend will have come up at some point. Cats from animal shelters are often already neutered before they are re-homed and as long as you aren't interested in founding a cattery, neutering is also recommended for pedigree cats.

Parasites Affecting Cats: Removing Ticks and Fleas

Parasites are little pests that feed off the blood of our cats. Not only are they irksome, but they can also cause severe diseases. Find out everything you need to know about parasites affecting cats, especially ticks and fleas in the following article.

Precautions for Kittens

As long as kittens consume their mother's milk, they will be well protected from infections by all the antibodies it contains. This protection only diminishes when they start to eat solid food from the age of six weeks.

Tartar in Cats

Old cats in particular often suffer from severe tartar, which is made up of brownish-yellow deposits on the surface of the teeth. This forms through accumulated dental plaque, which is still soft in contrast to hard tartar. More precisely, it is a thin film of mucus made up of food particles like proteins or polysaccharides and microbes (e.g. fungi and bacteria). Tartar in cats can develop from inflammation of the mouth, such as in the gums or periodontitis. In addition, tartar leads to further inflammation through bacterial infections.

The First Visit to the Vet

Generally speaking, kittens are cared for exclusively and extremely well by their mother in their first six weeks and are protected from infections by antibodies in her milk. Should a kitten nevertheless fall ill, a quick trip to the vet is always advisable, since young cats in particular have little resistance, vital functions quickly malfunction and they can soon give in to severe illnesses.

The Right Medicine Cabinet For Cats

Although life with humans is comfortable and mostly not dangerous for cats, they can suffer from wounds or small injuries. With the right medicine cabinet for pets, animal lovers can soon fix up their pets or at least provide first aid!

Urinary Tract Diseases Amongst Cats

Although our domestic cats physically and psychologically resemble their wild ancestors, their living situation has transformed after cohabiting with humans. A diet of ready food, targeted breeding selection and infections lead to domestic cats suffering from many diseases not known to affect wildcats. These include urinary tract diseases.

Why Cats Purr and How They Do It

Is there a better sound than a cat purring? For cat lovers, there surely isn't. Cats purr when they feel happy and this good feeling is spread to their owner. But did you know that cats also purr when injured or stressed? Read on to find out why cats purr and how they make this continuous, deep humming sound.