Top Ad 728x90

How to clean your cat's eyes?

Some breeds of cats are more prone than others to obstruction of the tear ducts, which results in poor flow of tear secretions, and consequently certain health problems. But in all cats, it is preferable to clean the eyes regularly to limit the risks of bacterial proliferation. This one can in the long run lead to various pathologies. Let's discover how to clean the eyes of your cat and why.

Choosing the right products for your cat's eyes

It is recommended that all cat owners check with their veterinarian beforehand to find out which products are best for their cat's eyes. They must be adapted to this sensitive and fragile area. There is no risk in using saline solution to clean your cat's eyes. Eye drops should only be used if they have been specifically prescribed by the practitioner.

Alcohol-based lotions should be avoided. If you use a product that is not suitable for the eyes, you increase the resistance of bacteria. The cat is then much more exposed to the risks of allergies, some of which are important.

Tear secretions: the case of Persian cats

Brachycephalic breeds of cats, i.e. those with a wide face and a short, crushed nose, such as Persian cats, are particularly prone to the accumulation of tear secretions. If the eyes are not thoroughly cleaned, the discharge will eventually form dark streaks from the corner of the eyes to the wings of the nose.

The excess secretions dry up and crusts form. They represent then nests of bacteria. Once these are well established, they contaminate the animal which can develop
  • A respiratory disease,
  • Repeated conjunctivitis.
But Persians are not the only ones who are sometimes subject to lacrimal secretions and other eye problems. The slightest dust can be enough to irritate the mucous membrane of the eyelids. The small feline then presents a more or less red eye that cries incessantly, which shows an ocular inflammation. In addition to a good eye cleaning, it is usually necessary to administer an eye drop, but only if the veterinarian has recommended it.

How to clean your cat's eyes

If the cat is particularly docile and allows itself to be pawed without flinching, the task should pose no difficulty. On the other hand, when the little kitty can't stand to have its eyes touched, it's best to be patient and to do it as well as possible so as not to frighten it, not to irritate it either, and to protect yourself against the risk of scratches and/or bites.

We start by preparing a sterile gauze for each eye or two good quality make-up removal discs that do not lint. This is highly preferable to absorbent cotton, which inevitably leaves a residue of fibers in its wake. As for the cotton swab, it is to be proscribed because the risks of wounding the cat in the eye are too numerous with this type of accessory.

It does not remain any more but to soak the gauze or the disc to remove make-up with the physiological salt solution then, by maintaining firmly the head of the cat sufficiently raised, to carefully plug an eye after the other by taking care that the eyelids are lowered. Don't worry, however, if the cat keeps its eyes wide open: saline is a non-irritating, non-stinging product, and its safety is widely recognized.

At the end of this session, it is necessary to take care to dry well the eyes of the cat with a small clean and not fluffy fabric.

It may be necessary to get help from a third person if the cat struggles. In this case, not too many people are needed to hold the cat's head and all four legs.

In order to facilitate this care, it is important that the owners accustom their kittens to this type of handling very early. They will not try to rebel later on. As a result, cleaning the eyes, nose and ears will be done easily (and confidently too), without stress and in a minimum of time.

Can we know the future character of a kitten?

We can't be 100% sure that our kitten will have a good character or, on the contrary, a dog-like character. But there are some elements that can predict if he will be rather docile and cuddly or on the contrary completely temperamental. It is important to know that the life history of a cat has a considerable impact on his character. Let's take a closer look.

Signs that can give indications about the future character of a kitten

When the kitten is only a few days old, it is possible to assess its ability to be handled to get an idea of what its character will be later. If you pick it up in the same way as its mother does - by the skin on the back of its neck - and put it on the ground, you can see two types of reactions:
  • The animal struggles, moving in all directions, meows and sometimes even spits: this is a sign of hyperactivity,
  • The animal, serene, does not struggle. On the contrary, it adopts a position folded on itself: it is already socialized thanks to the education given to it by its mother.
This is a test that can be done when choosing a kitten in a shelter, a breeding or in private homes.

What makes a kitten's character evolve?

The kitten inherits some character traits from his parents, but he will later have his own personality because over the months, different factors will lead to certain evolutions. Here is what weighs heavily in the formation of a kitten's character.
  • The age of weaning,
  • The environment in which it develops,
  • His own experiences as he discovers the world around him (environment, humans, other animals),
  • The sterilization.
Thus, a kitten that is born and grows up in a loving and patient family, eager to give him good care and a balanced diet, where people never shout at him, and where young and old alike show him many signs of affection, has every chance of becoming a balanced adult cat.

If this same kitten is raised from birth with brutal people, who don't give him any sign of tenderness but on the contrary put him down all the time or, worse, mistreat him, he will undoubtedly become a stressed cat, distrustful, not cuddly at all and who won't hesitate to scratch or bite, or even to run away. This cat become adult will be more exposed than in the previous example to the risks of developing serious pathologies due to stress.

Evolution of the character of a motherless kitten

It is quite frequent that an orphaned kitten or a kitten that has been separated too early from its mother has behavioral problems later on. His owner must therefore take the place of the absent mother to teach the kitten to control himself. This teaching of self-control is done through play. It is necessary to teach him very quickly not to bite. If the kitten has a tendency to chew on the owner's hands, the owner can dissuade it by simply blowing on the kitten's nostrils. This is usually enough to get her to break this annoying habit of hurting while playing. On the other hand, if you bully the kitten to stop chewing, you won't get the same result at all!

It is well understood that the evolution of the cat's personality depends partly on the mother's education but also on the attitude of his owners towards him, and the first weeks after his birth represent a decisive period. But even if he has been very well educated and socialized by his mother, the serene and trusting kitten can totally change into a fearful or snarling animal if he is mistreated. His personality is therefore never totally acquired.

Influence of sterilization on a cat's personality

A cat or a female cat changes a little in character after sterilization. But the factor here is hormonal. The male cat no longer has a tendency to run away and is less tempted to mark his territory by urinating. The female is no longer in heat. Castration in the tomcat and sterilization in the cat have the effect of inhibiting attitudes and behaviors related to the reproductive instinct. This makes the little felines calmer and they stay more willingly in their environment without trying to enlarge their territory.

The cat's toilet, what are its habits?

The cat is by nature a clean animal. Washing himself is essential to his well-being and he is fully aware of the importance of cleanliness for his health. It is not really for aesthetic reasons that he washes himself. The cat spends many minutes each day washing itself, which is a daily ritual that is reproduced in an almost identical manner. Discover what his habits are in this file.

Why does the cat make its toilet?

The cat likes to be clean and to stay clean. Grooming is therefore essential to him and he learns to wash himself from a very young age, in contact with his mother. If he spends long minutes every day, it is not for nothing and the act of grooming is made of small rituals that are very important, essential and reassuring.

To wash himself, the cat licks his body. Very flexible, he is able to contort himself in all the directions to not forget any small corner and thus to take care to clean each part of his anatomy, and this from the head to the tail. Only the area between the shoulder blades is difficult to access, which is why it is recommended to pour antiparasite there.

For cats, grooming means cleanliness, but it's also important for other reasons.

The desire to preserve its health

Grooming is a good way to keep your cat healthy. When a cat licks and pulls at its hair, it releases a natural substance that its skin glands produce. This is a kind of sebum that keeps the coat beautiful and waterproof. Licking this sebum also allows him to ingest vitamin D, which is useful for the health of his teeth and bones.

Licking is also a good way for cats to naturally stimulate their blood circulation. It's also a great way to cool off in hot weather, thanks to the moisture in its saliva. The cat cannot sweat, so it is a good way to regulate its body temperature.

Finally, the toilet is a good antistress for the cat, because it allows the secretion of endorphins, which are soothing hormones. It is for this reason in particular that the cat tends to lick itself when it feels stressed, anxious or upset.

The aesthetic dimension

Cats lick themselves patiently every day to keep their coats beautiful. This way, he eliminates dust and parasites that are embedded in his hair and he naturally gets rid of dead hair that scatters his fur.

Its tongue allows it to smooth the hair and to untie the knots. Nevertheless, he is not really aware that licking makes him more beautiful!

What are the cat's grooming habits?

Reassured by the routine, the cat performs the same gestures to wash itself day after day. Most of the time, the ritual is very precise.
  • The cat starts by cleaning its head, using its paws which it wets with its tongue before passing them over its face and behind its ears.
  • Then, he cleans his front limbs, probably because he considered them soiled by the face.
  • He cleans his shoulders, belly and flanks.
  • He then spends some time washing his genitals.
  • Finally, he finishes with his tail and hind legs.
This ritual is essential to your cat's well-being, as it conscientiously cleans, detangles and dries each part of its body.

Don't disturb your cat during its grooming. Let him do it quietly, don't disturb him, don't try to interrupt him and don't touch him, because he might feel forced to do it all over again. This moment is sacred, respect it.

It goes back to your little friend's earliest years, when he first let himself be licked by his mother before learning to repeat the same gestures. Cats can spend three to four hours a day grooming themselves. Imagine its importance!

Can you help him with his grooming?

No, not really. Cats need to wash themselves quietly and undisturbed, as we explained earlier. Think of this time as a ritual, a ceremony. The slightest hiccup can disrupt the process and cause your cat anxiety.

On the other hand, you can help him in your own way by brushing him from time to time. This action is even recommended and highly necessary for certain breeds of long-haired cats. Brushing removes dead hairs from the coat, which prevents your little friend from swallowing them. Indeed, they form balls by accumulating in its stomach that the animal sometimes tries to vomit and that can prove to be dangerous.

Use a cat-friendly brush or comb and be gentle. Brush his entire body, taking care not to hurt him, especially on his head and genitals. If your pet is reluctant to be brushed, be patient and let him slowly gain confidence. Introduce him to the brush so he can feel it and never force him. Little by little, he will accept it and even try to let it be done, happy to be scratched.

Take advantage of brushing to check that no parasites have invaded your pet's coat. Also look for any abnormalities such as skin problems or subcutaneous lumps. If there are any problems, consult your veterinarian.

You can complete the brushing by cleaning your pet's eyes and ears. Use appropriate solutions, purchased from your veterinarian, pharmacy or pet store. Avoid large surface products, which are too aggressive. Always use clean cotton pads, one for each eye and for each ear to avoid transmitting an infection to the other. At the slightest abnormality, consult your veterinarian.

If your dog is cooperative, you can check his mouth. Proceed gently, check the cleanliness of his teeth and make sure his gums are pink and free of wounds. If not, consult your veterinarian.

When should I be concerned?

Grooming is an important part of your cat's daily routine, and you know his habits from watching him. So any change should alert you.
  • If your cat is washing excessively, she may be trying to express pain or irritation.
  • Excessive licking of the front paws and lower back is often a sign of stress or obsessive-compulsive disorder. It's important to find the cause before the situation gets worse.
  • If, on the other hand, your cat no longer washes, it may be suffering from an illness that makes grooming painful, or an oral problem that interferes with licking. But it can also be a sign of aging, as older cats are less flexible and have difficulty washing themselves, especially when they suffer from arthritis or bone and joint pain.
In any case, don't wait and consult your veterinarian if you have any doubts.

Catnip : why cats love it?

Catnip has an incredible attraction for many cats, hence its nickname, catnip (not catnip, which is different). The proof? You just have to put a pot of catnip in front of the little feline to make him change his behavior completely after having consumed it and seem to be at the limit of ecstasy. Zoom on this aromatic plant with recognized medicinal virtues, which acts effectively on cats and can be, for the owners, a precious help in many circumstances.

Catnip, main characteristics

Catnip (Nepeta cataria), from the Lamacieae family, is a perennial herbaceous plant. Like many other aromatic plants, it is used in phytotherapy and in cooking. It is also appreciated as an ornamental plant for its large clusters of lilac, purple or white flowers which bloom throughout the summer, carried by stems sometimes exceeding one meter in height. As for its foliage, it is composed of downy leaves with crenellated edges and a pretty silvery green color.

Native to Asia and Europe, it is now very present in the United States. It grows spontaneously, like many weeds, and can therefore become invasive.

This plant has a strong peppery scent and contains an oil that acts as a repellent against many insects, menthol and a terpene, nepetalactone. It is a hydrocarbon which acts unquestionably on the major part of the cats.

The frantic effects of catnip on felines

One often evokes the aphrodisiac effect of the catnip on these small felines because its euphoric power involves in these animals exalted attitudes analogous to sexual behaviors. They sniff, shake their heads, purr, rub themselves intensely, roll on the ground and lie down with their stomachs in the air. The consumption of catnip leads to a kind of trance like when the animal perceives pheromones from other animals and associates it with the rut.

This intense emotional state lasts for a good fifteen minutes. It is only seen in sexually mature cats, i.e. from the age of 6 or 7 months.

However, not all cats are equally sensitive to catnip. React those who are carriers of a particular gene (allele) making the subject sensitive to the molecules of this plant, what represents all the same approximately 70 % of the cats. Scientific studies have made it possible to study these cases, but they have also led to the following observation: catnip triggers the same type of frenzy in other felids than cats, such as jaguars, lions, ounces, tigers, ocelots, leopards and pumas.

Catnip: Not to be confused

Catnip is known by different names: catnip, catmint or botanical catnip. Be careful not to confuse it with catnip, which is obtained from seeds of grasses such as barley, oats, wheat and rye, and which is grown in pots to allow cats to purge.

This catnip is especially useful when these pets live in apartments and do not get to go outside often. It does not cause any behavioral manifestations of any intensity. While cats do eat catnip, which allows them to regurgitate ingested hair when they lick themselves, they merely smell catnip but do not eat it.

There's nothing to stop owners from growing both to meet all their little kitty's needs. Catnip can be very helpful in calming excess stress. It's a good idea to place some in your cat's new environment when you move or if you've just welcomed a new feline into the family. This can help the cat acclimatize more easily and feel more confident.

How to take care of your old cat?

From the age of 7 or 8 years, the cat enters the category of senior citizens. Fortunately, he is not yet at the end of his life, but he starts to need more attention in terms of health and his owners must give him more attention than before. Here are some tips on how to take care of your old cat, this little companion who deserves a little bit of our time to continue living happily and in good health.

The main signs of aging in cats

As cats age, they need a little help from their owners because they may have more difficulty
  • Chewing certain foods, such as kibble or pieces of meat,
  • Climbing on the window sill to watch the outside,
  • Do his toilet,
  • Enter his litter box,
  • Playing alone.
At the same time, we can notice in an aging cat:
  • The presence of tartar on his teeth,
  • A more or less important weight loss,
  • A less secure gait due to a stiffening of its joints,
  • A change in the condition of his fur:
    • it becomes dry, rough, dull and/or tangles more easily than before,
    • the cat loses its hair whatever the season,
    • his coat does not always look very clean.
  • A change in mood: the animal seems sad or depressed.

What can you do to help your cat age well?

The first thing to do is to make it easier for your cat to get to its food bowl. If until now, we used to put it on a windowsill, outside, it is high time to put it on the ground. The cat may no longer be able to access this elevated level easily, as his joints may be sore from the physical exertion. Another solution is to make it easier for the cat to access the high level by placing a garden chair under the window. This way, your pet can use this outdoor furniture to continue to reach one of its favorite promontories.

Make sure your pet maintains regular physical activity

Be careful not to go overboard and forbid your pet to move around. Inactivity is a very bad ally, even in older cats. Every day, the animal must remain active. It is necessary to limit the too violent efforts. And to keep your cat alert enough, both physically and mentally, it's very important to keep playing with him every day.

Give him a balanced diet adapted to his age

We tend to think that only kittens need special diets. This is also true for the older cat who must eat very good quality food. We therefore avoid as much as possible the low-end industrial preparations because - like those reserved for humans - they are usually too fatty and may contain too much cereals.

Instead, choose foods that have been specially formulated for older cats, as they provide the necessary energy and meet their nutrient requirements. The food must be sufficiently supplied with Omega-3 and Omega-6, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. This is essential for the good health of the cat's muscles, skin, coat, but also its brain, heart, eyes...

The older the cat gets, the more useful it is to reduce its daily portion, especially if the cat is ultra sedentary. The goal is to protect the animal against the risks of overweight, even obesity. That's why his owner must do everything possible to keep him active, the best way being to reserve small interludes dedicated to playing with family members.

Consult the veterinarian very regularly

A senior cat must be seen two or three times a year by the veterinarian because he is more exposed to many risks of diseases of all kinds (bacterial, microbial, viral). At home, his teeth, gums, ears and eyes are inspected, as well as his skin because the cat's body can be the seat of fleas and ticks. We also take care to give him a dewormer if necessary. Finally, it is highly recommended to make sure that he drinks enough water every day in order to protect him from dehydration.

As soon as you notice the slightest change in his attitude, his coat, his intestinal transit or the slightest discharge (ears, nose, eyes) you should not hesitate to have him checked. Complementary examinations may be necessary to diagnose a problem accurately and to prescribe the treatment the cat needs to get better. Remember, the earlier a condition is detected, the better the chances of treating a sick animal, even if it is old.

And if you want to take care of your cat as well as possible without spending a fortune, it is better to take the precaution of insuring it with a health insurance company for pets. It is necessary to be vigilant and to take it early enough, because many insurance companies do not accept any new contract for a cat considered "too old".

Feline Chlamydia: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

This infectious disease of the cat is recognizable by its very specific symptoms that can also make you suspect a coryza. It is therefore essential to consult the veterinarian as soon as a nasal and/or ocular discharge is noticed in the animal. But the symptoms of chlamydia do not stop there. Let's review the causes of this feline pathology, its manifestations, the solutions to cure infected cats. Let's also take the opportunity to review the ways to prevent feline chlamydia.

What is feline chlamydia?

Feline chlamydia is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydophila felis. It is essentially transmitted from a carrier cat to a healthy cat through secretions from the nose (nasal) and eyes (ocular).

Feline Chlamydia: Symptoms to be aware of

A cat with feline chlamydia first develops unilateral and then rapidly bilateral conjunctivitis, which manifests itself as a purulent discharge from the eyes. This is accompanied by discharge from the nose as mucus escapes from the nostrils. Subsequently, the cat sneezes and the sneezing attacks intensify. The eyelids become swollen, which means that they swell up due to the inflammation, which also leads to a reddening of the eye area. Sometimes the swelling is so severe that the cat cannot even open its eyes.

The cat is usually feverish at this stage. It eats less than before, seems to have lost its appetite completely, and is no longer lively. The cat's state of fatigue intensifies.

The disease leads to other manifestations such as breathing difficulties. The sick cat then multiplies the dry coughing fits and sneezes even more frequently. If at this stage he does not benefit from any veterinary care, his health is very exposed because, in the absence of treatment, the feline chlamydia leads to :

  • Serious complications at the :
    • pulmonary,
    • renal,
    • cardiac.
  • A chronicity of certain respiratory pathologies.
There are even cases of miscarriage in female cats and infertility in both sexes following untreated feline chlamydia.

It is extremely important not to wait to consult a veterinarian.

How do you treat a cat with chlamydia?

The symptoms of feline chlamydia can, at least in the early stages of the disease, be mistaken for those of coryza. Many owners don't worry too much, believing that it's just a bad moment to pass and that their little friend will eventually get better on its own. This is a mistake! Feline chlamydia does not heal without treatment. Worse, it gets worse and puts the animal's health at risk. In some cases, fortunately quite rare, it can even be fatal.

The diagnosis of feline chlamydia is not easy during a simple auscultation. It usually requires additional examinations. The presence of the bacterium is confirmed by analysis of samples of the fluid draining from the eyes of the sick cat.

The treatment of this infectious disease is based on :
  • Antibiotics,
  • An adapted eyewash,
  • Fumigation.
This protocol allows to get rid of the germ in question and to calm down the symptoms little by little until they disappear completely, which lets predict the cure of the cat. To obtain good results, it is therefore necessary to :
  • Consult the veterinarian as soon as possible,
  • Give the cat the treatment prescribed by the veterinarian, respecting the dosage and duration to the letter, even if the symptoms seem to fade. Do not discontinue treatment without the advice of the practitioner who prescribed it.
A cat that is treated and completely cured is still a carrier of the disease. It is therefore likely to contaminate many other cats.

Can this infectious cat disease be prevented?

Vaccination is the best way to limit the risk of contamination with the bacteria that causes feline chlamydia. It is very important to have your cat vaccinated as soon as possible. This act can be reimbursed by a mutual insurance company for pets, totally or partially depending on the chosen formula. You should not hesitate to insure your small animal to protect it because this disease, let's remember, can be serious.

As a general rule, the vaccine against feline chlamydia is administered at the same time as those against coryza and typhus. One must be very careful when owning several cats because this disease can become a real problem because of the ease with which unvaccinated cats can be contaminated.

Finally, it is important to be aware that in order for your cat to stay healthy, it is essential that his body be able to defend itself against germs and bacteria. To do so, the animal must benefit from good care, which implies a regular veterinary follow-up but also a very good quality food perfectly adapted to its needs.

To know all the preventive measures to take in order to save the good health of your cat, whatever its age, and consequently prolong its life expectancy, do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice.

Why is my cat's hair dull? What can I do about it?

The appearance of a cat's coat can give some indication of the animal's condition. A dull coat is not normal in a healthy cat. When, in addition to this change in the appearance of its coat, the little feline has been showing certain symptoms for some time, there is no longer any doubt. A visit to the veterinarian is necessary.

What can make a cat's coat abnormally dull?

The main causes that can explain why a cat's coat is so lacking in shine are :
  • A diet that does not meet the cat's needs and leads to a lack of nutrients,
  • Poor maintenance,
  • External or internal parasites,
  • The presence of fungi (mycosis),
  • A digestive problem,
  • A dysfunction of the immune system,
  • A serious pathology such as cancer.
In addition to being dull, the hair of the small feline does not seem as soft as before. To the touch, it is rough and sometimes tangles abnormally, at least in long-haired breeds of cats.

It is very important to detect the cause of this lack of luster and general change in his coat as soon as possible. The earlier a condition is detected, the better the cat's chances of recovery.

Dull hair in cats: rebalance his diet

As a reflection of a cat's health, the coat and skin must be in perfect condition. If it is, it's usually a good sign. If the little feline has a dull coat and the veterinarian has identified the cause, it is imperative to give his companion the prescribed treatment, respecting its duration and dosage. When the identified problem is relatively benign, things will soon return to normal, which can be seen by a beautification of his coat.

When the cat's coat is dull because it is deficient, it is necessary to rebalance its diet. A cat's hair can be compared to a human's hair. It loses its shine, its texture changes and hair loss can even occur in case of dietary problems. This phenomenon is quite common in cats fed with poor quality kibbles. They usually contain too much bad fat and not enough polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are also very low in vitamins and proteins.

It is therefore necessary to reintroduce all the nutrients essential to the cat's health into his diet without delay. Fibers, lipids, carbohydrates and proteins are essential. We therefore opt for high-quality, easily digestible premium food products to enable the animal's body to assimilate all the nutrients properly. To give him a boost, it may be useful to use food supplements rich in :
  • Vitamin A,
  • Vitamin B,
  • Amino acids,
  • Essential fatty acids.
However, no supplementation can replace a balanced diet.

Maintaining your cat's coat to get rid of dullness

A lack of care can be enough to dull a cat's coat, even if the animal spends a lot of time grooming every day. It is essential that the owner brushes once or twice a week if his little companion has short hair, and every day if it is a cat with long hair. A wire brush is used for brushing, a comb for detangling, and a nylon brush for shining.

Brushing is very useful because it removes all the dust particles and pollution residues as well as dead skin that can choke the hair, as is the case with cats that lack attention for a long period of time. These care sessions are also the occasion to check that under the fur there are no parasites (fleas, ticks) or that the animal is not affected by mange.

From time to time, you can finally give the cat a bath (the ideal is to get him used to it as soon as possible) using a non-aggressive shampoo, specifically designed for cats. However, you should not abuse this type of product to avoid irritating the skin. One bath per month should be enough. Finally, you can use a lotion that gives the coat its shine back. A regularly brushed and maintained coat is less likely to form knots and it protects the animal from itching.

How to make your cat happy? Our tips and tricks!

A happy cat is more likely to stay healthy than an unhappy one, if only because it is less exposed to stress. However, we all know that cats are sensitive to stressful situations and that this can have serious repercussions on their physical and psychological well-being. Every owner must therefore do everything in his power to keep his little companion happy, whether at home or in an apartment. This is within everyone's reach, and the solutions to achieve it are not very difficult to put in place. Here is a short guide.

Happiness through play

It's almost unnatural to have a cat and not allow it to play. For the little feline, whatever his age, play is vital and occupies a good part of his days. There's no need to invest in expensive toys, because nothing is too much fun for him, and he has more than one trick up his sleeve. From a piece of string to a cork, from a bouncing ball to a mechanical mouse with a bell, cats have plenty to keep them busy for hours on end and keep their natural cheerfulness.

Playing is essential for the cat's development and contributes in one way or another to its education. It is therefore important to give your cat the opportunity to play alone at times and with its owner at other times. Cats can also share their playful activities with another animal, whether it's a fellow cat or not. Playing is fundamental to the cat's development and to the development of its balance, muscles, visual, olfactory and auditory acuity, its ability to concentrate and analyze as well as its hunting instinct. It also acts as a real anxiolytic.

To avoid boredom in the absence of his master, especially if the cat has to stay alone at home or in the apartment for several hours, it is very important to leave at his disposal the toys with which he likes to play alone.

Create a space of its own

The space dedicated to the cat must be enriched with material intended for him. Therefore, don't hesitate to install :
  • A small comfortable corner where he will like to curl up safely: it should not be in a place of passage because during its phases of rest, the cat does not like to be disturbed.
  • More or less hidden and elevated areas so that he can observe his environment without being seen, an occupation he loves.
  • A cat flap that facilitates access to the outside world in complete freedom, provided that the garden, yard and balcony are secure.
The diversity of the arrangements allows him to have the choice. Cushion, old blanket, cardboard: the cat must have free access to everything. Note that he likes to watch the surroundings from the window sill, the back of an armchair, the shelf of a bookcase or the top of an old cupboard. It is simply necessary to avoid putting fragile objects there if you wish to limit the risks of breakage, even if the cat is an animal known for its delicacy.

Respecting its tranquility

To be happy, the cat must feel free. You should only hug it if it wants to be hugged, and the same goes for petting. It's also essential to respect the times when it grooms itself. In other words, the cat is an animal that we never force to do something if it does not want to.

As for the location of its litter box, which is ideally chosen with a lid, it should be located a little away from the comings and goings and if possible in a place where the animal does not risk being observed because it hates it.

Gently give him all the necessary care

Even if the cat is an independent animal, it is nevertheless eager for cuddles and attentions. They know how to beg for affection from their owners. This type of expectation must be met in order for the cat to be happy.

You should never raise your hand to your cat and there is no need to yell at him. When he needs to be reprimanded, just use a firm tone. The cat knows very well how to distinguish the different intonations and understand the meaning of each of them.

At the same time, we give him all the care he needs, namely :
  • To feed him of course by choosing very good quality food and adapted to his age as well as to his lifestyle (active or sedentary).
  • Allow him to eat frequently but little at a time so as not to exceed his daily ration because an excess of food on a daily basis increases the risks of obesity in cats as in humans.
  • Make sure that fresh water is always available.
  • Offer him a scratching post to satisfy a natural need. Some basic models consist of a simple cardboard tray and contain catnip. Others, more sophisticated, are made of a central pillar and several observation trays. It can also be a scratching tower with different openings allowing the cat to hide inside.
  • Brush your cat every day if it is a long-haired cat and every four days if it is a short-haired cat.
  • Have your cat's health monitored regularly by a veterinarian.
  • Opt for sterilization as soon as possible because it limits the risks of running away and protects his health. It is an excellent solution to increase its life expectancy.
  • Fight against all parasites because they carry diseases. There are very effective shampoos and specific lotions, natural preventive treatments and collars impregnated with an antiparasitic.
  • Clean your cat's house as frequently as possible.
Taking good care of your cat is very important for him to be happy because he is able to realize, in this way, how much his master loves him. This requires a lot of availability from the family members and patience. Finally, for the happiness of the kitty, it is recommended to respect the different areas that are essential for him to be able to perfectly organize his territory.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP): symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Feline infectious peritonitis or FIP presents itself in two distinct forms, each manifesting itself in a very different way. This disease due to a coronavirus is extremely serious since it systematically leads to the death of the animal. There is currently no cure for FIP, and there is not yet a sufficiently reliable vaccine to prevent it. Here's a look at the dry and wet forms of FIP.

What is feline infectious peritonitis?

Feline infectious peritonitis is caused by a Coronavirus, which is also responsible for a mild intestinal infection called FeCV (Feline Enteric CoronaVirus). All cats with FIP are initially affected by the enteric FeCV form since it is caused by the mutation of the Coronavirus. However, it is not automatic that mutation occurs.

Cats between 6 months and 2 years of age are more frequently affected by feline infectious peritonitis than others, and this disease is more often diagnosed in breeding cats and those used to cat shows. On the other hand, the disease develops more specifically in animals with feline AIDS or feline leukemia. It should be noted that only 5% of cats infected with the enteric form develop FIP.

Symptoms and course of feline infectious peritonitis

There are two forms of FIP, the dry form that progresses slowly and the wet form that has more dramatic symptoms.

FIP, dry form

The disease causes the following symptoms:
  • Fever,
  • Loss of appetite, even anorexia,
  • Weight loss,
  • Anemia,
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Icterus when the liver is affected or liver failure,
  • Eye problems,
  • Nervous system impairment (incontinence, convulsions, loss of balance, paralysis).
Since these manifestations can be due to various pathologies, the diagnosis of the dry form is difficult.

FIP, wet form

It is easier to diagnose than the dry form because its manifestations are rapidly visible. Various effusions are possible, causing the following symptoms
  • Breathing difficulties due to a thoracic effusion,
  • Digestive disturbances and abdominal swelling when feline infectious peritonitis causes abdominal effusion.
This form of FIP is life-threatening and the cat dies within a few weeks of the onset of symptoms, sometimes even sooner.

Treatment of feline infectious peritonitis

Additional tests allow the veterinarian to diagnose either form of FIP. These include blood work, antibody testing (serology), and in the case of the wet form, abdominal fluid sampling.

The protocol is essentially based on a palliative treatment because there is no solution to cure FIP, an incurable disease that leads without exception to the death of the cat. The important thing is to limit the animal's suffering and allow it to live its last weeks as serenely as possible.

It is essential to relieve the symptoms of FIP depending on its form (dry or wet) with medication and other solutions. These may include antibiotics, analgesics, punctures, anti-vomiting medication, anti-diarrhea medication or anti-inflammatory medication such as cortisone. At the same time, the cat is fed through infusions. Finally, with the owner's agreement, the veterinarian euthanizes the animal.

Extremely contagious, the enteric coronavirus can mutate in an unpredictable way. One can of course submit his cat to a screening test, but this does not allow to distinguish the form of virus that contaminates the animal. In many countries, cats can be vaccinated against the feline coronavirus, but the effectiveness of the vaccine being considered insufficient, this preventive solution is not available in France.

Brachycephalic cat, explanations, breeds concerned, health

Brachycephalic is a term used to designate a very particular morphotype found in cats with short skulls and crushed noses. It is also a particularity more frequently found in many breeds of dogs such as the Pekingese for example. Let's discover more precisely what brachycephaly is in cats and the serious health problems that are linked to it.

What is a brachycephalic cat?

The brachycephalic cat has a short skull. Its nose is more or less crushed. This particularity being sought after by many people, breeders have selected the most marked breeds and specimens and then combined them in order to obtain what is called a hypertype, that is to say an accentuation of this specificity. Over the years, the manipulations continued to push to the extreme the differences that brachycephaly causes on the physical level without worrying about the repercussions that it can have on the animal.

Today, brachycephaly is a selective anatomical criterion for all those who wish to welcome in their home a cat whose small nose particularly crushed gives him a very sympathetic or original air. Cats are thus selected on this physical criterion more and more marked, the man making with the liking of his desires evolve the races, and it is not with a drift near. It is an absurdity because the brachycephaly is at the origin of pathologies which poison the life of these cats because of certain anatomical modifications.

And because the skull changes are not enough, there are also brachycephalic cats with legs so short that they sometimes measure only a few centimeters. Some people find this distinction so appealing! Snobbery or stupidity? One may wonder if there is a limit to the drift.

Brachycephaly in cats: which breeds?

Several breeds of cats are concerned by brachycephaly, namely:
  • British Shorthair,
  • Burmilla,
  • Exotic Shorthair,
  • Himalayan,
  • Munchkin,
  • Persian,
  • Scottish Fold,
  • Selkirk Rex.
In these cats, the brachycephalic character is more or less important. For example, the nose of the Burmilla is not very crushed compared to the Exotic Shorthair, and the skull of the Scottish Fold is particularly short.

Health problems of the brachycephalic cat

As we mentioned earlier, the health of brachycephalic cats is at risk. By selecting certain anatomical criteria and doing everything possible to amplify them, some anatomical changes have been favored, for example in :
  • Eyeballs,
  • Of the nostrils,
  • Of the trachea,
  • Of the larynx,
  • Of the veil of the palate.
The worst thing is that some transformations have to be corrected by means of surgical interventions because they can put the animal's life in danger.

In the vast majority of cases, brachycephalic cats suffer from :
  • Dental malocclusion,
  • Dystocia in females, which means difficulties during delivery,
  • Problems of obstruction of the tear duct,
  • Respiratory difficulties.
In addition, they have difficulties to bear heat and cannot provide great physical efforts. They are particularly prone to snoring. They must regularly consult and sometimes in veterinary emergency.

Voices are beginning to rise, especially among veterinarians, to stop genetic manipulations on cats, but also dogs and other animals. There is enough awareness nowadays that playing with genes can expose these living beings to serious diseases. It is proven that brachycephalic cats have a reduced life expectancy.

This is where the ineptitude of aesthetic choices and the criteria of standardization of a breed lead to. A Persian cat that would not have a sufficiently crushed nose risks not being confirmed and consequently sees its financial value collapsing... Without comment.

How to transport and travel with your cat in the car?

It is essential to take precautions when you decide to transport your cat by car, and even more so if you have to make a long trip. It is a question of safety, but also of comfort for the animal, the driver and the passengers of the vehicle. The ideal is to get your pet used to the transport basket and to spend some time in the car in order to avoid disappointments on the big day. As for motion sickness, which is frequent in stressed cats, it can be relieved with a drug treatment or a more natural solution and by adopting certain attitudes while driving. Let's take stock of the situation.

Cat, a sensitive animal

Cats are pets that are sensitive to stress. The slightest change in its habits disturbs it to the highest degree. It is out of the question to take him on board at the last minute: kitty does not like the unexpected. It is therefore essential to prepare the departure well in advance, namely the day before, the day before, or even during the previous week. The goal is to get him used to the transport trunk but also to the car.

Getting your cat used to the carrier

To do this, it is necessary to give him free access to the transport basket in which he will be installed during the car trip. He must be able to sniff it at will, settle in and get out as he wishes.

It's a good idea to place either your cat's favorite toy or blanket inside the carrier, as these items are impregnated with the cat's scent. This is essential to instill confidence in the cat. Finally, once the cat has spent some time in the carrier, one or two small treats will completely reassure it. Thus, on the day of departure, the little cat will gladly accept to be installed in its transport trunk.

Getting your cat used to the car

Many cats have a phobia of the car because they have not been accustomed to traveling in it. Depending on the cat's tolerance level, it may be necessary to acclimate the cat to the new environment several days or weeks before the trip. For example, the cat can be allowed to visit the cabin from time to time (with the engine off) without ever being forced. The animal must be able to be conditioned, but always in a positive way so that this discovery is done of its own will. Patience is therefore essential. By rubbing itself on the car seats, the cat will deposit its scent and consider this new space as part of its territory.

Once the animal seems confident, you can make a few short trips after putting it in its carrier. This will make things much easier afterwards. Once the cat is familiar with the vehicle, it will travel more comfortably, without fear or stress.

Equipping your cat's carrier properly

It is recommended to equip the transport basket with a disposable mat or a special ultra absorbent mat because the stress during the car trip can lead to uncontrollable peeing or vomiting. It is also important to put something that belongs to the cat and that it usually likes to play with. In addition, a small water dispenser that is not likely to spill and possibly a pot containing some kibble are installed.

At the time of departure, the trunk of the cat is to be placed either on the back seat - in this case it is attached using the seat belt - or on the ground. This second solution limits the risks of seeing the cage tipping over in case of a brake failure. For everyone's safety, under no circumstances should the cat leave its cage while the vehicle is moving.

Cats and motion sickness

Some cats have difficulty with car travel because they get motion sickness. Common sense dictates that the cat should not be fed within two hours of departure, as this may increase discomfort and cause vomiting. Ideally, digestion should be completed by the time you leave.

It is still better to take precautions if you have a sick cat in the car, by opting for an anti-vomiting medication, but also a tranquilizer and/or antihistamine. It is strongly recommended to ask your veterinarian for advice before taking your cat on a car trip. Some medications are not suitable for all small felines, especially in case of liver problems or kidney failure.

It is also possible to use natural solutions such as synthetic pheromones that have the effect of calming stressed cats. As a result, this may be enough to free the animal from motion sickness. Finally, a few weeks before departure, one can start a homeopathic cure in order to calm the anxious cat. Here again, a short consultation with the veterinarian is necessary.

Attitude to hold during the trip

The responsibility for the well-being of a cat during a car trip lies with the driver. If the driver wants everything to go smoothly, it is in his or her best interest to adopt a zen driving style. This means a reasonable cruising speed, a smooth driving style (no more sporty driving), as bumping, sudden braking and violent acceleration increase fear and motion sickness.

Driver and passengers of the vehicle must imperatively abstain from smoking or vapourizing, the smell of the cigarette, the pipe or the cigar being likely to support the nauseas in the cat. The e-cigarette is not better if the e-liquid used has a strong smell. Similarly, it is essential to renew the air in the cabin by opening a window or two. In any case, this can only do the greatest good to all occupants.

You should also take regular breaks (theoretically every two hours). It is beneficial for the cat of course, but also for the whole family, including the driver. We take advantage of these breaks to take the animal out of the car, but in no case out of its cage, only if we stop in a quiet place, quite different from the highway areas. A corner of nature is more secure. If the conditions allow it, we allow the animal to relieve itself by taking it out of the trunk, as long as it is held on a leash. However, in the case of a cat suffering from phobia, it is better to leave it in the car during breaks.

Every owner must remain vigilant so that the car trip with his cat goes as smoothly as possible. He must adapt the transport conditions to the needs of his little companion and to his particularities (stress, phobia, nausea...).

What are the natural sedatives that can be given to your cat?

Easily stressed, the cat may need a specific treatment to regain its calm and balance. But even if you opt for natural tranquilizers, it is necessary to ask for advice from a veterinarian, if only to administer to your pet the dosage perfectly adapted to its age, weight and needs. The duration of the treatment must also be defined by the professional. Let's take a look at the different natural calming agents for stressed cats that give the best results.

Stress in cats

The cat is an animal easily subject to anxiety and stress. It is very vulnerable in case of change of living place, when a new pet is welcomed in its home, during a trip in cage, during vacations, and more generally at the slightest change in its habits.

Stress can considerably modify the master-cat relationship, but also the animal's attitude. A cat under stress may suddenly start spitting, scratching or biting its owner, scratching the furniture, refusing to eat, or relieving itself anywhere in the house.

In many cases, the cat may also self-harm. When the little feline is destabilized, it is very important to act without delay by giving it a natural calming agent rather than a chemical treatment that causes dependence and undesirable effects in animals in the same way as in humans.

Zylkene, a natural calming agent for cats under stress or depressed

Zylkene is a natural stress reliever that is safe for small felines and seems to work well, according to veterinarians and cat owners. It has been the subject of several clinical studies. It is considered to be the most effective natural calming agent on the market.

Zylkene is made from a peptide (or polymer of amino acids) of milk proteins. It contains alpha-casozepine, a molecule with a relaxing effect. This product is classified as a dietary supplement that can be given to cats for a period of 30 to 90 days, preferably on the advice of a veterinarian.

The positive effects of Zylkene can be seen after two weeks of treatment. This natural tranquilizer is a good solution for calming a stressed cat. As long as the recommended dosage is followed, it does not expose the animal to the risks of intolerance, side effects and dependence. Moreover, this product has no negative impact on the animal's appetite.

Bach flowers

These elixirs can give quite satisfactory results for a cat that is a victim of stress. The ideal is to opt for a mixture of five Bach flowers, namely:
  • Rock rose,
  • Clematis,
  • Impatiens,
  • Star of Bethlehem,
  • Cherry plum.
This Rescue® Original is administered to the cat at a rate of three drops at each intake. It is a natural calming that can be effective in some small felines, before a visit to the veterinarian or a trip especially if the animal must be held in its cage.

Other Bach flowers are used alone or in combination for cats suffering from anxiety. It is for example the case of :
  • The elixir of Honeysuckle,
  • The elixir of Chestnut,
  • The elixir of white chestnut.
Although Bach flowers are a natural calming agent, it is recommended to always seek advice from an animal health professional before use.

Pheromones in diffusers

If you don't want to use an oral calming agent, you can choose another natural calming solution to get your cat back to a zen state. This is the case of the pheromone diffuser. Clinically proven, this alternative to medication works well on kittens during the weaning period (an extremely stressful situation for the young feline) as well as on adult cats.

The pheromone diffuser can also be used in conjunction with anti-stress treatment.

Finally, a depressed, anxious or stressed cat can be successfully soothed by reintroducing play into its daily activities. This allows the owner and pet to spend time together, which is extremely soothing for the cat. The company of a human or other animal is an effective solution when the cat is suffering from boredom and loneliness, both of which cause stress.

Giving your cat lots of attention and taking care of it every day is essential to calm it down. It is advised in particular if one welcomes a cat having been brutalized by its former masters. But in any case, it is necessary to show a lot of patience, especially if the life history of the little animal is quite complex. And if nothing is done, there is still the possibility of taking your cat to a behaviorist veterinarian.

My cat can't stand his flea collar: what are the alternatives?

The neurotoxic insecticides found in flea collars and products can be avoided in favor of natural solutions that are not dangerous for the health of our little companions. Alternatives to flea collars include non-calcined diatomaceous earth, pyrethrum extract and margosa extract. Let's review.

Diatomaceous earth, fossilized microscopic algae against fleas

Diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective natural insecticides, and it really deserves to be studied. It is sometimes found under the German name Kieselgur. Known for its powerful action, it can destroy many insects and mites. Bedbugs and fleas are no match for it. But be careful to buy the version that suits your needs because it comes in two categories.

One has no insecticidal power and is used for other purposes, generally as a liquid absorber, polisher but also as a filter in many industrial and private areas (e.g. swimming pool maintenance). It is crystallized silica, obtained by calcination of diatomaceous earth at 900°C.

The other, amorphous silica, is THE perfect diatomaceous earth, at home and in the garden, to get rid of fleas and many other undesirable. It has not been modified in any way, and is a 100% natural and ecological product, which contains neither dioxin, nor heavy metals, nor any of the chemical products that are extremely dangerous for human and animal health, which are found in other insecticides, including flea collars that many cats cannot stand.

Note that it also acts as a dewormer. There are food products for animals containing extra pure diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth anti-flea is easy to use. Simply spread this powder on carpets and rugs, not forgetting the cat's basket, the corners of rooms and nooks and crannies of the house as well as on the animal's coat. A time of action of 24 hours is necessary. Then, all that remains is to vacuum the house from top to bottom and give the cat a good bath. The operation can be repeated once a week.

Outside, diatomaceous earth is spread on the places where all kinds of crawling insects pass through and even in flower beds. It remains active as long as it has not been soaked by rain.

As it is a very fine powder, it is volatile and can be easily inhaled. It is therefore recommended to wear a protective mask when using it, especially for people with asthma or any type of respiratory problem.

Diatomaceous earth can be bought in DIY stores and garden centers, or directly from a producer via the Internet. The 2 kg pot costs between 15 and 24 $ depending on the brand.

Pyrethrum extract, a natural flea repellent to be used in moderation

To be sprayed on the carpets, the cat's cushion as well as in the places where it frequently settles (terrace, porch, doormat, balcony), this natural flea repellent is very effective. And if the cat can't stand its flea collar and is infested with small bugs, it is still possible to protect it against these undesirables by using a product that contains pyrethrum extract from dried flowers, usually combined with Lavandin and Margosa. The latter is derived from Neem, a tree found in India. However, be careful: although pyrethrum is a powerful natural insecticide, it should not be abused because, like any active product, it can cause undesirable effects in large doses.

To buy the right anti-flea product with pyrethrum extracts, it is best to ask your pharmacist or veterinarian for advice. Professionals are likely to recommend anti-parasite repellent pipettes. They contain an extract of Margosa and Pyrethrum. They are marketed by certain pharmacies and stores specializing in health products for pets. Their duration of action is about 3 months. They act against fleas of course, but also against ticks and mites. The product must be applied on the skin of the small feline. It is thus necessary to spread the hairs in order to distribute the product well on the zones where the cat cannot lick itself, then to carry out a careful massage of the fur.

Regularly cleaning the house or apartment, not forgetting the hidden corners and all the cat's accessories and baskets, is absolutely necessary to limit flea invasions. At the same time, it is essential to check your pet at least once a week by lifting its undercoat to detect any fleas.

As for the use of natural products against fleas, whether for preventive or curative purposes, it should always be preceded by a consultation with a veterinarian because any product, even if its harmlessness is recognized, may not be suitable for certain animals that may be allergic to it. Cats are particularly sensitive to essential oils, for example. Finally, be careful not to apply on your cat an anti-flea product intended for dogs because it can be extremely toxic for the little feline.

My cat can't stand being touched or stroked. What should I do?

The cat is an animal that hates being forced to do anything. If many small felines like to be cuddled, others hate caresses and even reject any contact with a certain vehemence. It is then illusory to try to modify the behavior of your cat if it has never liked this type of contact. But by trying to understand why your cat doesn't like affection, you can make your little friend more tolerant, provided you are patient.

Don't force your cat if it doesn't like cuddling

Cats are very stressful pets. And contrary to what many people think, cuddling doesn't always succeed in calming him down, quite the contrary. They can also be a source of stress if the cat doesn't appreciate them.

Depending on the animal's character and/or life history, its reaction to being touched can be quite violent. It growls, spits, and you risk being scratched or bitten. It is thus necessary not to impose caresses to him if it is not applicant, and especially when it rests. Independent, he likes to be in peace and can't stand it if you come and disturb his peace of mind. Moreover, if we take the time to observe a cat that does not like cuddles, we notice that it settles preferably next to a person who never tries to touch it.

The fact that a cat categorically refuses affection from its owner can be explained in different ways:
  • The cat was not accustomed to being petted or hugged as a kitten,
  • It grew up with owners who were not interested in it,
  • His former foster family never played with their cat,
  • The animal has suffered traumas such as abandonment or abuse.
When a cat's life history is complicated, it is quite difficult to get it used to being petted. If it has been beaten, for example, it may not trust its new owners easily. This is quite frustrating.

How to make a cat accept to be stroked?

To try to change this behavior, it is necessary to have a lot of patience and understanding. The most important thing is to respect the animal. As time goes by, if it feels loved, it may come to beg for a pat on its own. In any case, you should never force a cat that does not want to be touched.

In some cases, an overflowing affection, even suffocating, on the part of a master for his cat can make the animal so distant that it can't stand the slightest contact with a human. You must therefore always be measured and make sure that your little companion keeps his independence. This is vital for his development and well-being.

And let's not forget that before establishing physical contact with this type of cat, it is essential to talk to him. The intonation and the softness of the master's voice are sometimes more reassuring than an unwanted physical contact.

No matter what the owner does, there is no guarantee that the cat will accept to be touched. When all the efforts made by all the members of the family are in vain, you should not hesitate to consult a veterinary behaviorist. This specialist is more likely to achieve good results where the cat's owners have failed.

How to safely remove a tick from your cat?

The tick is a mite that can bite both humans and animals. The cat is therefore not safe, far from it, especially when it wanders according to its instinct in the garden, the meadows and the undergrowth in particular. When he returns, it is better that the tick buried in his fur be removed without delay to protect the health of the little feline. But how to avoid hurting your cat and avoid being scratched or bitten?

Tick bite: what are the risks for the cat?

The cat is exposed to various diseases transmissible by the tick because it is very present in its daily environment. They like to stay in bushes, trees, and even in the heart of tall grass and all kinds of grasses. It is precisely in these places that the little feline likes to roam and hunt small rodents and birds.

The risk of being bitten by one or more ticks is therefore particularly high for cats that leave the house or apartment every day. But beware: a sedentary cat that never puts its nose outside can also be a carrier of a tick that would have been transmitted by its master or by another domestic animal. It is therefore necessary to consider that no one is safe from this mite, a real plague.

It is recommended to spend some time to inspect your cat when it comes back from a walk. A tick can very well be attached to its skin and that's not why the little feline will show any particular signs, at least for a few days because the tick's saliva is anaesthetic. Unfortunately, after a more or less long period of time, the cat's health starts to decline if it has been contaminated.

A tick first settles between the animal's hair and feeds on its blood for several days, embedding itself in the skin. Then, it detaches itself and lays eggs. Although it measures only 3 millimeters before feeding on the blood of its host, it is capable of doing a lot of damage. The different risks are the following:
  • Inflammatory reaction,
  • Abscesses,
  • Transmission of bacteria, viruses and parasites.
  • Lyme disease also called borreliosis,
  • Piroplasmosis,
  • Ehrlichiosis,
  • Feline hemobartonellosis
The consequences of a tick bite can be very serious. This mite can indeed transmit to the cat the following deadly diseases:

How to detect a tick in a cat?

To pass its hand on the fur of the animal allows sometimes to perceive by touch the presence of a tick. But in a long-haired cat with a particularly dense coat, it's best to pull the hair apart to look for ticks, just as you would if you were checking for fleas. Sometimes the mite has already caused local redness or even a small swelling of the skin.

You may also find a very small brown head with 8 legs or, if it has already sucked a certain amount of blood, a head with a large abdomen.

After each return from a walk, it is therefore recommended to carefully brush the coat of your little companion and then to proceed to a visual check.

Ideally, each tick should be removed less than 24 hours after it has settled on the skin of its host so that it does not have time to transmit a disease. Using a magnifying glass can be helpful if you do not have very good visual acuity. The areas where the tick sits most readily are:
  • The spaces between the pads,
  • The armpits,
  • Around the eyes,
  • The eyebrows,
  • Cheeks,
  • The chin,
  • The ears,
  • The neck,
  • The tail.
However, it is important to know that no part is spared and that it is possible to find a tick on other areas of the body.

Removing a tick from a cat: the safest method

When removing a tick from a cat, care must be taken to remove the entire tick (abdomen and head). The best solution is to use a tick remover, sold in pharmacies for the modest sum of 6 to 7 euros at most.

You should not use tweezers, which are not adapted to this task, because this way you risk to remove only the abdomen and to leave the head of the tick bitten in the skin of the cat. You can also puncture the tick's abdomen with the tweezers and be contaminated by the pathogens it contains.

Here's how to remove a tick with a tickscrew.
  • Put on thin disposable gloves,
  • Spread the cat's hair around the tick,
  • Take the tickscrew,
  • Position the hook on the skin area and slide it so as to frame the mite.
  • Grasp the tick without pulling, but make a rotational and upward movement as if unscrewing in order to remove the mite completely and smoothly.
  • As soon as you have removed it, put the tick in an ashtray and burn it with a lighter. This is essential to kill it, otherwise it will settle again on the cat, or on its owner, and will start to feed on the blood of its host before laying eggs.
  • Finally, pass a gauze soaked in a disinfectant for cats on the place where the tick was fixed. Hexomedin or dermal Betadine can be used, for example, which also helps healing.
It is of course important to get help from a third party if you have an aggressive cat or one that does not like to be touched. Some people prefer to take their pet to the veterinarian so that he can remove the ticks himself and disinfect the bitten areas if necessary.

It is really necessary to be vigilant in the days and weeks which follow because even if one succeeded in removing all the ticks, the cat can be contaminated. In this case, it starts to show some worrying symptoms or its behavior changes. It is then fundamental for the health of the small feline to consult the veterinarian without delay.

It is possible to limit the risks by preventing tick attacks. To do this, once a month you apply an antiparasitic on your cat's fur, and only on the areas that he can't reach with his tongue, that is to say from the shoulder blades to the back of his neck. There are now water-resistant antiparasitics.

What is a cat's normal temperature? How to detect a fever?

In addition to a large number of symptoms, varying according to the cause, the cat can present a high fever when it is sick. It is in any case a good indicator to communicate to the veterinarian during the necessary consultation. But to be sure he has a fever, you need to know what the cat's normal body temperature is. The best way to get a reliable reading is to use a thermometer. What is the procedure for taking a cat's temperature without stress?

Body temperature in cats

Between 38 and 39°C, a cat's temperature is normal. However, it can be a little below or significantly above the norm without causing concern.

For example, when the cat sleeps in a very cool place, its temperature may drop to 37.8 or 37.9°C. On the other hand, if the cat has been working hard or is in an extremely hot environment, such as a heat wave, it is not uncommon for a cat's body temperature to rise. Stress can also cause it to rise to 39.3°C.

A cat is considered to have a fever when its body temperature reaches or exceeds 39°C and it shows certain unusual signs. To be sure, it is necessary to detect fever reliably anyway.

Taking your cat's temperature: which thermometer to choose?

To know if a cat has a fever, the best solution is to use a rectal thermometer for cats, generally sold between 8 and 15 $. It is better to have an electronic model with a soft tip because :
  • The temperature is taken in a minimum of time (about 20 seconds at most),
  • The risks of hurting the cat are greatly reduced compared to a hard tip thermometer.
Some people prefer to use an ear thermometer or a forehead thermometer, but the data is not as reliable.

How do you take your cat's temperature?

Even if you have a patient, calm, non-aggressive cat, it takes two people to detect a fever with a rectal thermometer. Here is the procedure to follow:
  • First of all, disinfect the tip of the thermometer and then coat it with Vaseline.
  • The first person stands in front of the cat and holds it firmly while talking to it to reassure it.
  • The second person stands at the back of the animal.
  • Gently lift the cat's tail,
  • Gently insert the tip of the thermometer into the cat's anus and remove it:
    • Either after one minute if it is a non-electronic thermometer,
    • Or after a beep in the case of an electronic thermometer, generally within a few seconds of its insertion.
  • Stroke the cat to congratulate it and give it one or two specific treats.
  • Finally, disinfect the thermometer tip and store the device in its case.
  • Record the cat's temperature so that you can communicate it to the veterinarian.
Not all cats will allow themselves to be taken and make it impossible to take their temperature. In these cases, it is useless to risk being scratched or bitten! It is better to put the cat in its carrier and take it to a veterinary clinic or to the specialist's office. The temperature of the animal will be taken on the spot.

It is not advisable to take it more than twice a day, as this may make the animal very upset and increase its fever. Moreover, he will never let it be taken again.

What about fever in kittens?

The normal temperature for a kitten is also on average 38.5°C. The method for detecting a fever in a kitten is the same, but it's often easier because the little ball of fur doesn't rebel as violently as an adult cat might.

However, you must be extra careful when the temperature is higher than the norm in a very young kitten who is still very fragile. The same goes for a kitten whose temperature is too low, in which case you should try to warm him up with a hot water bottle. But whether he has too much fever (hyperthermia) or not enough (hypothermia), the baby cat must be urgently taken to the veterinarian.

Fever in cats and symptoms to watch for

A sick cat may have a fever, but in many cases it also has certain symptoms. It can be :
  • A loss of appetite,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Rapid weight loss,
  • Abundant urination,
  • Difficulty urinating,
  • A lethargic state,
  • Difficulty moving around,
  • A jerky and rapid breathing,
  • A bad state of its fur which seems duller than usual with hairs stuck together or soiled,
  • A change in the color of its mucous membranes,
  • A swelling of the mucous membranes,
  • Blood spots in one or both eyes.
Other less frequent symptoms can also be noticed by the owner of the animal. At the slightest alert, the animal must be seen by the veterinarian without delay. If left untreated, the cat may be in even worse shape after a few days, or even after a few hours if the cause of its discomfort is poisoning. The cat's owner must react quickly.

What is the equivalence between the age of a cat and the age of a man?

There is a real difference between the age of a cat and the age of a man because in terms of metabolism, there is not much in common. Animal health professionals have made multiple observations in order to provide the owners of these small felines with a reliable table on the correspondences between the age of one and the other. Let's take stock.

The aging of the cat is not linear

Contrary to popular belief, one does not multiply the age of his cat by 7 to know the equivalence to the human age because the degree of aging of a cat varies considerably from one year to another. Thus, it is during its first year of life that this animal ages the most since at 1 year old, its age is already equivalent to that of a young man of 19 years! This is quite understandable because during this period the physical growth of the cat as well as its development in all fields are extremely fast.

Thereafter, until 17 years, the cat takes each year the equivalent of 4 human years, then of 6 years per year between 17 and 21 years as established by the veterinarians following their observations.Beyond this great age, the ageing of the cat seems to stabilize somewhat and this, until the end of its life.

Of course, the equivalence between the age of a cat and the age of a human does not take into account possible pathologies, but the precise calculations are established for healthy animals whose natural aging takes place under normal conditions.

Extract of a table of equivalences between the age of a cat and the age of its owner

If for a kitten the age of 1 month is equivalent to 1 year in the infant, at 6 months its age corresponds to that of 11 years in a small man. When a cat reaches the age of 15 years, it corresponds to 76 years for a human. This shows how quickly they age. It should be noted, however, that neutering is an asset for both males and females who seem to stay young longer than others.

Aging in cats: the signs that don't deceive

The signs of aging are really starting to show in many cats between 10 and 12 years of age. For example, the teeth are heavily scaled and the gums are inflamed. When the older cat's teeth are of poor quality, it is necessary to give him food that is easy to chew.

His coat is less shiny, his eyes are not as sparkling, and he is less alert than his younger counterparts. He sleeps more and has even lost his conquering spirit to the point that he no longer systematically pushes away a neighborhood cat who dares to come and finish his bowl. In some cases, the 12 or 13 year old cat has a hard time jumping on the windowsill. You can make it easier for him by putting a garden chair under the window, which allows the animal to spare his efforts.

A senior cat is considered to be older than 7 years of age, which is about 43 or 44 years of age for a human. This is also an age when the little feline can start to suffer from joint and/or digestive problems. That's why older cats need to be monitored by a veterinarian so that they can receive proper treatment for any illnesses and live out their final years with peace of mind.

Some cats live much longer than their fellow cats, sometimes up to 24 years, which is the equivalent of 112 years for a human! But let's not forget that the fact that a cat is getting older doesn't mean that you can't continue to stimulate him every day by playing with him, and that - whatever his age - this little pet still needs affection as much as when he was young.

My cat got into a fight with another cat, how do I treat bites and scratches?

Between fellow cats, cats don't always make gifts. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, fights sometimes end badly. In many cases, the winner and the loser go home scarred, scratched, bitten, with a few tufts of hair missing, and sometimes even half-naked. All you have to do is inspect your pet, get out the first aid kit for your pet and if you have any doubts, take him to the vet. Untreated bites and scratches can lead to complications. Let's review.

A cat does not heal its wounds by licking itself

A cat's sharp teeth, especially its fangs, as well as its sharp claws can do a lot of damage during fights between cats. And contrary to false ideas that are hard to believe, the little feline will lick his wounds, his saliva having no disinfectant action, he will not heal without care unless, by chance, he returns from the fight with only a few superficial scratches. Worse still, his condition may go from bad to worse as he digs his wounds with his raspy tongue.

Cat bitten or scratched by a fellow cat: first aid

What must be limited at all costs are the risks of superinfection. The cat's owner must therefore intervene by respecting the following steps.

Clean the wounds with a sterile gauze soaked in soapy water. Gauze does not lint, so it is preferable to cotton. Genuine Marseille soap is usually used because it is a natural and gentle product.

Once all the impurities have been removed, it is advisable to shave the hair around the bitten or scratched area. The utensil must be disinfected before and after use.

Using a new gauze, the cat's wounds are sanitized with a non-stinging product such as chlorhexidine, which can be purchased in pharmacies. This broad-spectrum disinfectant has the added advantage of not stinging. If chlorhexidine is not available, betadine can be used.

Once first aid has been administered, it is necessary to monitor any changes in the wounds. In addition, for at least 8 days, and in any case until complete healing, cleaning and disinfection of the wounds is essential.

The owner of a cat bitten and/or scratched during a fight must make sure that his little companion does not scratch his wounds. Depending on their situation, the areas can be protected quite easily by :
  • A light bandage,
  • A collar,
  • A sleeve made with a thin stocking.
On the other hand, it is necessary to avoid the use of a bandage, more difficult to support by the cat. As far as possible, the outings should be limited during the healing phase in order to avoid contamination of the wounds by any germ. A walk on a leash can be a solution and if this is not possible, it is better to keep the little convalescent inside the house or the apartment. It is also important to know that germs may have been passed on to the cat by the other cat it fought with. The fact that the cat is kept under close surveillance allows the owner to react as quickly as possible if an abscess should appear.

Fighting between cats: possible complications

Pus pockets, abscesses and even septicemia can appear after a bite, even if the owner has disinfected the wound. The cat may have a fever and fall into a state of lethargy to a greater or lesser extent in the days that follow if it does not receive antibiotic treatment, sometimes combined with a topical ointment. Indeed, cat bites can transmit bacteria that quickly penetrate the body.

Finally, if a joint has been touched, complications are possible. It is therefore easy to understand that in this area, any negligence is an increased risk. This is why it is imperative to consult the veterinarian if in the few days following the fight between cats, the wounds of his little companion do not heal or that the animal does not look very well. It is also important to know that even after healing, an infection can develop if not treated seriously.

What does it mean to be a black cat?

The black cat, considered as a messenger of the Devil since the 12th century, has been associated with demons for much longer. This little feline, however, is no more demonic than its fellow cats - lucky enough to wear a dress of a completely different color - is still today often accused of bringing bad luck by men and women who are prey to superstitions from another age.

Black cat, a bad reputation that has a long life

This bad reputation was worth all the same to hundreds of cats to be voluntarily decimated by fire at the time of the witch-hunt to which the populations gave themselves during the Middle Ages. And this general phobia not always distinguishing between black cats and others, in those days any cat was burned during these singular hunts. And it was enough to possess a black cat to be accused of witchcraft. This is an accusation that all cats have always escaped in a large part of the African continent.

Accused of all the evils, the black cat was thus taken for an evil animal, but the Satanists loved it because it was the reincarnation of their Master. On the other hand, some sects could make an offering to the devil after having sacrificed the animal.

Black cat, an animal sometimes venerated

However, long before the Middle Ages, it was quite different since cats with an entirely black coat were venerated in ancient Egypt, as were other animals, each one being specifically associated with certain times of the day. But all is not so simple since many Egyptians assimilated the black cat to the devil or associated its color to death.

The contradictions around the black cat

From time immemorial, the black cat has been associated with evil deeds or adulated as the following examples show.
  • Lucifer's daughter was sent to Earth with her black cat by her father.
  • In Japan, a black cat killed the bride of the Prince of the Empire to take her appearance.
  • The day before the battle of Waterloo, a black cat crossed paths with Napoleon I.
  • A diabolical animal on the lookout for the soul of a dying man, a black cat would have attacked the innocent dove that was watching over the dying monk.
  • In Savoy, a black cat slit the throat of all the members of the fisherman's family who had saved him from the water by catching the animal in his net.
  • In the 13th century, in Barcelona, a black cat representing the devil attacked Saint Louis of Anjou - son of Charles II - who was held prisoner.
  • Marguerite Hessein de la Sablière or Dame de la Sablière (1640-1693) was a French salonniere who hosted Jean de la Fontaine for more than 20 years. At the same time, she gave up dogs and surrounded herself with many cats until her last breath... all of them were black and she was entirely devoted to them.
  • Louis Marie Julien Viaud, better known under the pseudonym Pierre Loti - French writer (1850-1923) - could not sleep in a place where a black cat was staying. But during a trip, he fell under the fascination of an ebony colored angora that he brought back from Turkey and gave it the name of Pamouk.
It is clear that superstitions and beliefs are still alive and well today, the black cat is the one that we do not want to cross paths with. To be a black cat is the traditional expression to designate - often in the world of sports - a person who "brings bad luck" although some sportsmen prefer to think of it as a good luck charm.

In Europe, the black cat has a hard time in the XXIst century to be totally rehabilitated. In France, in the shelters, it is always the last to be adopted, the preference going systematically towards a cat of another color. But isn't it said that the one who has the only white hair taken from the coat of a black cat is doomed to eternal luck? Whether it is considered as a Satanist being or on the contrary as a real talisman, hated or idolized, the black cat has been talked about since the dawn of time.

How to treat conjunctivitis in cats?

Sometimes benign, conjunctivitis in cats can also lead to the suspicion of a more serious pathology. It should therefore always be the subject of a consultation with the veterinarian. Even if it is quite frequent in small felines, this inflammation of the eye or both eyes must in any case be treated without delay in order to limit the risks of complications. It is of course necessary to identify the exact cause so that the cat can receive the most appropriate treatment.

Conjunctivitis in cats: the causes

Conjunctivitis is defined as an inflammation of the ocular tissue. It can be of origin :

  • Allergic: the allergen is often difficult to identify. It can be a chemical product, a material or a pollen for example.
  • Traumatic: this is the case when the inflammation is due to a scratch that caused an injury. But sometimes the cause is a dry eye, a foreign body in the eye. Conjunctivitis of traumatic origin can also be due to an ectropion or entropion. In the first case, the eyelid rolls outward, in the second case, it rolls inward.
  • Infectious: in this category we find :
    • conjunctivitis of bacterial origin (chlamydia),
    • conjunctivitis of parasitic origin,
    • conjunctivitis of viral origin (leucosis, coryza, feline infectious peritonitis).

Each form of conjunctivitis in cats deserves the full attention of the veterinarian. As for the master, he must take the necessary measures to ensure that his other cats are not contaminated because conjunctivitis is easily transmitted from one cat to another. It may be useful to keep the affected cat at home for a few days, if possible for the duration of the treatment.

Conjunctivitis: the main symptoms

Depending on the type of conjunctivitis, the cat may experience some of the following symptoms:
  • Watery eyes in one or both eyes,
  • The discharge of a clear or thick greenish or yellowish liquid, with or without pus,
  • Conjunctival hyperhemia, i.e. localized redness accompanied by swelling, which is a clear sign of the inflammatory phenomenon,
  • Involuntary closure of the eyelid. These are lateral or bilateral hemifacial spasms. This is called blepharospasm.
  • Respiratory disorders.
In most cases, a cat with conjunctivitis frequently puts its paw over its eye, but this does not relieve it. It may even make things worse, as the cat's coat may be more or less soiled.

Treatment of conjunctivitis in cats

Once the cause of the conjunctivitis has been identified, the veterinarian can administer the appropriate treatment. If the inflammation is due to the presence of a foreign body, it must be removed from the eye with great care. It is not advisable to remove the foreign body yourself, as this requires the use of suitable equipment to prevent injury to the animal and to avoid the risk of aggravation. The eye must then be cleaned with eyewash and sterile gauze whose fibers are not likely to remain stuck, unlike those of absorbent cotton. Finally, a special ointment is applied locally for a few days.

Anti-inflammatories, antihistamines and sometimes even corticosteroids can be prescribed if the conjunctivitis is allergic in origin.

When the cause is infectious, the veterinarian will first try to identify the virus, bacteria or parasite responsible and administer a specific treatment in the form of an ointment.

In case of dry eyes, the small feline must be given artificial tears several times a day to compensate for the lacrimal insufficiency that causes conjunctivitis.

Caution should be exercised in the presence of this type of inflammation. You should never decide to give your cat eye drops or even use ointments to relieve the condition (much less ointments intended for humans). This can be serious. As we have seen, before treating conjunctivitis it is imperative to be sure of its origin. Only a veterinarian can do this.

Top Ad 728x90