Dr. Lynn Bahr is back! After taking a two-month hiatus to focus on her Dezi & Roo business, Dr. Bahr is resuming her column and will answer your questions once a month.
Dr. Bahr graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Unlike most veterinarians, she did not grow up knowing that she would become a veterinarian. “It was a cat who got me interested in the practice and I am forever grateful to him,” said Dr. Bahr. Over the course of her veterinary career, Dr. Bahr found that the lifestyle of cats has changed dramatically. As the lifestyle of cats has changed, so did Dr. Bahr’s client education. In addition to finding medical solutions, she also encourages owners to enrich their home environments so that their cats can live long, happy, and healthy lives.
This new understanding led Dr. Bahr to combine her passion for strengthening the human-animal bond with her veterinary background and knowledge of what animals need and want to start her own solution-based cat product company, Dezi & Roo, inspired by two cats of the same names.
For more information about Dezi & Roo and their unique and innovative cat toys, please visit their website.
Cat vomits frequently
My cat Eebie has been throwing up on & off for years. He is on Hills prescription i/d. Tried changing his food to blue buffalo grain free fish & potato, but it didn’t work & he didnt like it. He has bartonella & when changed his food to the blue buffalo he started scratching again & now he also shakes his head often. The vet ruled out fleas. Within the past few months he started lying on his stomach uncomfortably mostly after he eats or drinks, but now it’s become more frequent, even not after eating or drinking. The vet tried told me to go on to wet food twice a day but he threw that up too. I’m now thinking an xray should be done or another test, to make sure it’s not something serious. Would appreciate your advice. Thank you, Devorah.
I am so sorry to hear Eebie is not feeling well and it sounds like he might need more help than your vet is currently able to provide. While cats occasionally vomit, it is considered abnormal if they do so more than 1-2 times a month. All cats who suffer from chronic vomiting, and especially those who have done so for years, have intestinal problems that require medical attention.
There are numerous conditions that manifest as frequent vomiting and they should be ruled out first, before assuming Eebie is suffering from food allergies. I would encourage you to seek a second opinion, either from a feline only veterinarian or an internal medicine specialist. They will know what diagnostic tests are most reasonable to help identify Eebie’s problem and how to help him feel better.
Was his Bartonella treated and did he have a recheck to assure it was resolved? What is his body condition score – is he overweight, underweight, or just right? Have there been any fluctuations in weight? Without more details about his condition, I am unable to specifically address what his problem might be. However, I am sure that a competent veterinarian, with expertise in feline medicine, will be able to diagnose and treat him correctly and I urge you to seek their help asap. It is easier and less expensive to treat conditions like Eebie’s sooner than later. Good luck and let me know what he ends up being diagnosed with.
Cat is spraying walls
My kitty Rudi has been spraying all over our walls since we moved. He’s a neutered male 11 year old rescue. He’s been checked for urinary tract infection and other illness and is healthy. We are also transitioning him from an indoor/ outdoor cat to strictly indoor kitty. Any advice or suggestions would really help as I feel Rudi is really unhappy. (Jennifer Freitas)
You are right to believe that Rudi is unhappy. When cats spray vertically on walls it is typically a sign that they are feeling insecure and need to assert their territory. Rudi has had to deal with several new changes that are likely affecting his ability to cope appropriately with them. Since you have ruled out the possibility of any medical issues, I recommend you consult with a feline behavior specialist. Fortunately, Dr. Marci Koski now answers questions like yours right here on The Conscious Cat’s Ask the Behaviorist column. I am sure she will have some good advice for you. Rudi is calling out for help and I am grateful to you for listening to him. Good luck.
Kitten Chews Hair and Bites Feet
Why does my 1 year old kitten eat my hair? She will also bite at my fiancé and my feet when we are trying to sleep. Is this something she will grow out of? Or is this something that I need a cat behaviorist to address? (Courtney)
Your little bundle of joy is now a full-fledged teenager and just like human children of this age, she is full of energy, excitement, and looking for ways to stay entertained. If she is an “only child”, then you and your fiancé are the only companions she has to exercise and play with. When she is biting your feet or chewing on your hair, she is asking you to engage with her.
Indoor cats are limited in their ability to hunt, climb, run, explore, chase and investigate new surroundings and rely on their owners to make sure they are kept active, engaged, and entertained. I recommend you actively play with her at least times a day until she is tired out. You might also want to consider adopting another kitten close to her age that she can bond and play with. It is important to keep her stimulated throughout life with toys, games, and activities that help her stay physically and mentally happy and healthy. If you want to tips on how to keep you baby from waking you up at night you will find some here.
I would prefer she NEVER grow out of wanting to play and suggest you redirect her propensity to bite feet with more appropriate games that keep her entertained. Her behavior is appropriate for her age and I don’t believe you need to seek out a behaviorist yet. Instead, arm yourself with information on how to keep indoor cats stimulated and you and your kitty will be much happier living together. Remember, she is confined to life within four walls, which gets boring quickly, and will need added enrichment designed to keep her happy and healthy.