Educational Articles

Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Over 60% of cats in North America are either overweight or obese, so paying attention to the balance between activity and calorie intake is important. Nutrient formulation and portion control are the two most important aspects of weight control. Once you have chosen a formula and have calculated a reasonable daily portion based on calorie density, the best way to stay on track and prevent unwanted weight gain is to combine portion control with regular, formal weigh-ins.

  • Mature, senior, and geriatric cats often require different nutrition than adult cats due to their changing ability to digest nutrients and underlying medical conditions. Senior diets vary widely in nutrient profiles as there are yet no established standards. Recommendations for senior cat diets need to be based on clinical examination and discussion between veterinarian and owner. It is very important to ensure adequate water intake for senior cats.

  • Orphaned kittens will need extra care for survival to compensate for the loss of their mother. Kittens must be kept warm, very clean, and fed frequently using an appropriate amount and type of formula by bottle or less often tube feeding. To ensure nutrition is adequate, daily weight checks should be performed for the first 4 weeks, then weekly thereafter. Kittens must be stimulated to urinate and defecate. Environment, feeding instruments, and the kitten must be kept meticulously clean as they are more susceptible to infection than kittens cared for by their mother.

  • Interactive feeders that require a pet to think and work for their food call upon the natural instinct to hunt or forage. Besides being fun, these food puzzles may help both physical and behavioral problems in cats and dogs. When used correctly, interactive feeders may benefit pets that eat too quickly, become bored when alone, or suffer from separation anxiety.

  • Special attention needs to be given to a cat’s nutrition before and during her pregnancy to promote a healthy birth and healthy kittens. It is important to maintain a good body condition throughout pregnancy as her weight increases. A good quality kitten or all life stages diet is recommended during the entire pregnancy; ideally one evaluated using feeding trials. This diet is usually fed throughout the lactation period, but attention to body condition is essential here as well, and the diet may need to be restricted if there is a small number of kittens or the cat starts becoming overweight. Weaning is usually aided by feeding significantly less food for a few days while restricting access to nursing to decrease milk production.

  • Feeding your cat can be easily accomplished with mealtimes on a set schedule. At least two meals per day are best for your cat. The use of food toys or interactive feeders adds interest to your cat’s mealtime. Routines help your cat adjust to changes that may occur in your home as well as allow you to monitor her health.

  • Once your cat has reached adulthood, their nutrient profile will change from when they were a kitten. Your veterinarian can help you determine what proportion of each nutrient is needed based on your cat's lifestyle and current body condition. It is important to lay a good nutritional foundation to maximize the health and longevity for your cat and reduce the potential for developing obesity.

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a virus that infects only cats. There is no treatment for FeLV, therefore preventing infection through vaccination is highly recommended. Testing prior to vaccination is needed to ensure the cat is not already infected with FeLV, as it offers no protection to an infected cat. A small few cats may experience a mild reaction to the FeLV vaccine, but the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.

  • The internet covers a lot of terrain and includes vast amounts of knowledge. Unfortunately, copious amounts of information doesn't always equate to accurate information. While we know that the internet is a great source of information, we must also realize that it can be a source of misinformation. So how do you know what internet sources you should trust when it comes to finding information on pets and pet care?

  • Broken nails are acute painful injuries that require first aid, and in some cases, a veterinary visit. Nails are made up of a collection of blood vessels and nerves covered by a hard protective layer of keratin. Bleeding should initially be controlled with pressure from gauze or a towel, followed by cauterizing powder if needed. Any remaining damaged part needs to be removed which usually requires veterinary care. Depending on the level of the break, your cat may need to be sedated and/or the area numbed with a nerve block prior to trimming the nail above the break. Depending on the severity, a bandage may be placed to protect the injury. Antibiotics and pain medications may be prescribed if indicated. Broken nails are best prevented by keeping all nails short through regular trimmings.

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