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Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Many liquid potpourri products and essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous to cats. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.

  • Open and honest communication with your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team throughout a cat's life lays the foundation for effective communication when that cat's life begins to draw to a close. Discussion with your veterinarian will clarify any specific medical implications of your cat's disease that can serve as benchmarks to suggest that euthanasia should be considered. Most often, euthanasia is provided at the veterinary practice or in your home. The veterinary healthcare team will be an important partner as you negotiate the difficult days and decisions leading up to your cat's death.

  • Losing weight is often a difficult process and animals, like people, often take weeks or months to shed those unwanted pounds. Feeding a prescription weight reduction diet is certainly a good start in a weight loss program for your cat, but it is important to remember that food intake is only one part of the problem.

  • Obesity occurs when a cat is consuming more calories than it expends. Therefore, managing obesity in cats often requires both dietary changes and increases in exercise/activity. There are a number of methods for increasing activity in cats, including play, the use of cat trees and climbing structures, outdoor leash-walks, and intentional active feeding practices. Each of these can be beneficial in promoting weight loss.

  • The veterinary profession now understands that many cats do not receive the veterinary care they need and deserve. The veterinary behavior community has clarified that many cats experience fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) when faced with a visit to the veterinary clinic. FAS can be a problem at many points leading up to and during the veterinary visit. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done for cats who experience FAS around their visits to the veterinarian.

  • Cat food has been made so palatable that it can easily create gluttonous behavior. Meal feeding and portion control are important to prevent obesity. Owners should not give in to begging behavior. Cats that are still hungry after their meal can be supplemented with snacks such as green vegetables recommended by your veterinarian. Cats that eat too quickly can be fed creatively to slow down eating.

  • The goal of feeding growing kittens is to lay the foundation for a healthy adulthood. Portion feeding is recommended to maintain a good body condition. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of kittens, regardless of breed, and it directly influences their immune system and body composition. An optimal growth rate in kittens is ideal; it is a slow and steady growth rate that allows the kitten to achieve an ideal adult body condition while avoiding excessive weight and obesity. Growing kittens need higher amounts of all nutrients in comparison to adult cats, but excess energy calories and calcium can create serious problems. Preventing obesity must begin during the weaning stage and continue through to adulthood and old age. Together with your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team, you can help your kitten grow into as healthy of an adult cat as possible.

  • Over 50% of cats in North America are either overweight or obese, so paying attention to the balance between activity and calorie intake is important

  • 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.