Feline Health

AAFP rolls out Cat Friendly Practice Initiative

cat friendly practice

Going to the vet’s could soon become a little less stressful for cats. The American Association of Feline Practitioners unveiled its “Cat Friendly Practice” initiative last week at the North American Veterinary Conference in Florida.

According to Veterinary Practice News, the initiative provides strategies to help practices become more accommodating to the needs of cats and certifies practices as “Cat Friendly Practices.” The AAFP launched the program in response to declining clinic visits by cat owners and intends to help clinics increase veterinary visits for felines and boost the level of healthcare cats receive.

Studies show the number of feline veterinary visits is declining steadily each year. For example, a recent industry survey revealed that compared with dogs, almost three times as many cats hadn’t received veterinary care in the past year.Continue Reading

Feline Obesity: Don’t Let Your Cat Become a Statistic

feline-obesity

percentage of overweight or obese cats in recent decades

Did you know that a staggering 53% of America’s cats are considered overweight or obese? This trend has been on a disturbing increase, and mirrors the equally disturbing increase in human obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one third of adults in the United States are obese.

The serious health problems in cats which result from obesity are the same as in humans:

  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis, joint problems and and torn or strained ligaments
  • Heart and respiratory problems
  • Gastro-interstinal and digestive problems
  • Compromised immune system
  • Increased risk during anesthesia and surgery

There are several factors that contribute to weight gain in cats:Continue Reading

Free e-book: 6 Natural Ways to Help your Cat Live Longer by Liz Eastwood

6 natural ways to help your cat live longer

Liz Eastwood, the publisher of the Natural Cat Care Blog, has put together a wonderful e-book titled 6 Natural Ways to Help Your Cat Live Longer.

When Liz, a certified nutritionist, lost her soulmate cat Bastet to cancer at barely 12 years of age, she was shocked and devastated. Says Liz “most people seemed to think that it was perfectly normal for a cat to get cancer and die,” but Liz refused to accept that. Her childhood cat had lived much longer than Bastet, even though, on the surface, he hadn’t received nearly as good care as what she thought she gave Bastet.

With a background in holistic health, plus some of her own “miracle” health changes through natural means, Liz knew there must be something she could do differently in order to help her dearest feline friends live longer. So Liz began her research. She put a lot of time into it because she wanted to know – and share – how to help cats live to be 20 years old.

Topics in Liz’ book include:Continue Reading

How to keep your cat happy and healthy in 2012

feline-new-year's-resolutions

Happy New Year! With the start of a new year, many of us make resolutions, and most of them revolve around our health. We vow to eat better and exercise more. We resolve to spend more time with loved ones and enjoy life more.

For most of us, our cats’ health and happiness takes priority over almost everything else, so while you’re making resolutions to improve your own life, here are five simple things you can do for your cats that will keep them happy and healthy this year and beyond.

1.  Feed a species appropriate diet.   Nutrition is the foundation for good health.  Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to thrive.  If you’re not already feeding a raw or grain-free canned diet, consider making this the year you make the switch.  Your cats will thank you for it.  You’ll find a wealth of information on feline nutrition, and on how to switch your cat to a healthier diet, right here on The Conscious Cat.Continue Reading

Could your cat benefit from Omega-3 DHA supplements?

tuxedo cat and kitten

Guest post by Dr. Serge Martinod

Sometimes it seems like your cute little kitten is growing up in the blink of an eye. In order to ensure that your kitten grows into a happy and healthy mature cat, it is important to understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle so your cat can get the most purring, toy chasing and ear scratches out of life.

Aging is a complex biological process that predisposes cats to chronic diseases including behavior changes, limited mobility or kidney malfunction. To help them develop properly as kittens and age gracefully into senior cats, added Omega-3 DHA is a major dietary need for all cats.

Benefits for kittens

DHA is an important building block of the brain and, kittens will experience a sharper nervous system and visual abilities when supplemented as pre-natal kittens and up until the first nine months of life. Daily supplementation of DHA is recommended for pregnant and lactating cats for proper brain and nervous system development of their offspring. Improvement in neurological development will not only better your kitten’s life, but play a significant role in enhancing the bond between the two of you.Continue Reading

This Trendy Dental Procedure May Do Your Cat More Harm Than Good

cat-chewing-on-wood

By Dr. Karen Becker

Nonprofessional dental scaling (NPDS), also known as anesthesia-free dentistry, is gaining popularity with an increasing number of pet owners. These are well-meaning pet guardians who may be fearful of anesthesia or may not be able to afford professional veterinary dental care. They want to provide some form of oral care for their pets, so they opt for NPDS.

However, anesthesia-free dentistry is essentially a cosmetic procedure that addresses only the parts of your pet’s teeth you can see. The question many pet healthcare professionals are asking is whether NPDS procedures are doing more harm than good. One of the biggest concerns many veterinarians have with just scraping teeth is that the mouth is full of blood vessels, which can launch oral bacteria into the bloodstream. Once the bacteria is in the bloodstream it can infect other organs like the valves of the heart, resulting in a disease known as vegetative valvular endocarditis. (Read the American Veterinary Dental College’s (AVDC) position statement on dental scaling without anesthesia.)Continue Reading

How Cats Drink

how-cats-drink

Ruby has a pretty elaborate ritual before she starts to take a drink of water. First, she sticks one paw into her water bowl and flings some water out of the bowl. Then she repeate the same thing with her other paw. Then she’ll lick her paws. It’s only after she’s apparently satisfied herself that yes, there is indeed water in her bowl (and after she has made a big mess all around her bowl!) that she will settle down and take a nice long drink of water.

Watching her go through this sequence again this morning made me wonder how many other cats have strange drinking habits. I’ve heard of cats who like to drink from a faucet, cats who prefer to drink from a cat fountain, cats who will only drink by dipping their paws in water and then licking their paws. Regardless of how cats drink, it’s important that they have fresh water available to them all the time.Continue Reading

Caring for your cat’s ears

how to care for your cat's ears

Guest post by Vetdepot.com staff 

Cats rely on their hearing to stalk squirrels, hear approaching cars, and sneak up on unsuspecting pieces of string. Regularly cleaning your cat’s ears and checking for problems helps prevent infections and conditions that may interfere with hearing or health. Take five minutes out of your busy week to monitor your cat’s ear health and spend some quality time with your furry feline in the process.

Caring for the outer ear

A cat’s outer ear is the part that is visible. A layer of hair should cover the outer surface of the earflap, with no signs of trauma, infection, or baldness. Look inside the inner surface of your cat’s earflap to check for redness, discharge, swelling, or other problems. The inner surface should appear light pink and clean. Consult your veterinarian if you notice any problems or if your cat pulls away or becomes upset when you attempt to examine her outer ear.Continue Reading

New Partnership with Spirit Essences

Spirit Essences flower essences holistic remedies for pets

I previously introduced you to Spirit Essences, the line of flower essences owned by nationally known feline behaviorist and star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” Jackson Galaxy. The company was founded in 1995 by Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veteriarian.

One of the many things that drew me to Spirit Essences was the fact that the spring water used in the essences is enhanced with Reiki energy. Both flower essences and Reiki are vibrational healing modalities, and as such, the two compliment each other perfectly. When Reiki energy is channeled into a vibrational remedy, it provides a balancing energy that further enhances and optimizes the specific energies within the remedy.

I am honored to announce that I have been asked to provide the Reiki that goes into the spring water used in the essences.

Continue Reading

Healing Stone Cat Collars: Natural Healing from Mother Earth

healing stone cat collars

Precious and semi-precious gemstones have been used for physical, emotional and spiritual healing for thousands of years. Jewelry made from gemstones can have positive healing effects on a variety of conditions. And now, you can harness the healing power of stones for your cat with handmade, one-of-a-kind collars from RockSpirit Designs.

The artist behind RockSpirit Designs is Fern Slack (Fern Crist, DVM). Fern was Buckley’s and Amber’s vet, until she was forced to take a sabbatical from her beloved profession due to family health issues. With RockSpirit Designs, Fern has combined her love for cats and their health with her passion for gemstones and crystals. Continue Reading

Chemotherapy for Cats

Feebee cat in blue chair

While cancer in cats is not as common as it in dogs, it is still one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. And because cats are masters at masking illness, it is often harder to detect.

Cancer used to be a death sentence for cats, but recent advances in feline cancer research have made treatment possible in many cases. Just like with human cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment.

Treatment options for cats are almost as varied as treatment options for human cancers, and will depend on the type of cancer. Surgery is the most common treatment for any lumps or growths that need to be removed. In some cases, surgery can be curative. Other cancers may require chemotherapy or radiation.Continue Reading