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The Siamese, the prince of cats

It is nicknamed the Prince of cats. Sacred animal of the kings of Siam, the Siamese attracts by its elegance and its strong character. Although he is an excellent pet, it is sometimes necessary to learn to acclimate to his strong personality. But how to resist in front of its beauty and its intelligence?

Characteristics of the Siamese cat

The physical characteristics of the Siamese cat make it possible to recognize it at first glance. It has a triangular and long head, of medium size. The ears are also triangular. The muzzle is long and straight. Its face is always of a darker color than the rest of the body. A kind of dark mask appears at this level and contrasts with the large azure blue eyes of the animal which are almond-shaped. Moreover, in the standard of the race, this blue color is the only one which is allowed.

The Siamese is muscular and slender, with a long body type. It benefits from a fine bone structure. Its physiognomy reminds that of the oriental cats. Its short, silky and fine coat has a variety of colorpoints. In general, the darkest parts are always at the level of the extremities i.e. the legs, the nose and the ears.

History of the Siamese breed

The first written traces relating the presence of the Siamese go back to the XIVth century. The manuscripts that would have been discovered in Siam, the current Thailand, speak of colorpoint cats. According to the legends, these cats were considered sacred by the Siamese. They held the role of guardian of the temples.

It is only from the XIXth century that this breed is introduced in Europe, more precisely in Great Britain. In 1884, Major Owen Gould who was the British Consul General imported a couple of Siamese cats whose kittens were exhibited in 1885 at the Crystal Palace in London. From there began the craze for the breed. Recognized in 1889, the breed flourished from the 1920s onwards.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Siamese

In addition to its distinctive physical characteristics, the Siamese also develops a very specific character. Unlike other cats, this breed will be more attached to its master than to a territory. Therefore, changes of environment will not be a problem for them when moving or on vacation. Because of all this affection for his master, he can be a bit invasive. He also needs a lot of attention and can't stand solitude.

Faithful and playful, he is very intelligent. Moreover, its training is simple and fast.

The Siamese can evolve as much in the apartments as in the habitats with garden. He will nevertheless need some hiding places to isolate himself when there are too many guests who are unknown to him in the house.

Diet and main health problems of the Siamese

Being a purebred cat, the Siamese needs a healthy diet. If your Siamese is not very active and is spayed or neutered, it's best to keep an eye on the portion size to avoid weight gain. The ideal is to opt for special kibbles that you can find in specialized networks. The first prices sold in supermarkets are of lesser quality and your pet may develop digestive problems.

A good hydration is also necessary because the Siamese is prone to urinary disorders. Certain hereditary diseases can also appear such as cardiac, liver or pulmonary diseases.

How to socialize your kitten?

The kitten's socialization is a fundamental step for his future life. If it is successful, he will not have any difficulties in terms of social relations, with his fellow creatures, other animals but also with humans. The socialization phase is quite short and is followed by the socialization phase. Let's discover from which age the kitten is concerned and which are the main strategic points on which his master can intervene.

Socialization or socialization?

The adult cat's level of sociability is impacted by his life history, i.e. by the different experiences he has lived through since birth. This learning process can be broken down into two major phases: socialization and socialization.

What does the kitten learn during the socialization phase?

The kitten's socialization takes place from the time the animal is born over a period of about four weeks. It is during this period that he learns, generally from his mother, to distinguish his fellow creatures from other animals and at the same time to integrate the fact that he belongs to this species. He also learns to live like a cat and to communicate in the same way as his fellow creatures. The kitten finally perceives during the socialization phase that cats only reproduce among themselves.

Socialization to gain experience and grow up well

The socialization phase follows the socialization period since it starts when the kitten is about 1 month old. Learning intensifies. It is indeed during this period of its life that the kitten reacts to different situations. He learns from his own experiences. This is the time for him to integrate the communication codes. Socialization thus allows him to apprehend differently all the situations he is confronted with and to react according to each of them. He is thus enriched by multiple experiences and this is how the future adult cat takes shape, with all the particularities that differentiate him from other cats.

It is important that during its learning of life and codes, the kitten is not confronted with traumatic situations but on the contrary with moderately intense experiences. This will allow him to become a serene cat, able to react non-violently to a new situation, in other words, he will be a perfectly socialized cat.

All the experiences the kitten has had during its first months can only be fully integrated if the animal does not have any illness, congenital or motor problem.

How to help your kitten socialize?

The kitten learns a lot from his mother. But his master can perfect the kitten's socialization so that he becomes a perfectly balanced little companion. This intervention can start as soon as the kitten is born with light massages, caresses and some delicate manipulations so that the animal gets used to this type of exchange and that its tactile sensitivity is later well developed.

From the end of the 4th week of life, the kitten starts to be interested in some objects and to play. This is the time to develop his cognitive abilities through play, of course, by confronting him with smells, objects and sounds. It is important to limit this emotional and sensory stimulation in terms of duration but also of intensity. This will allow the kitten to get used to its rhythm, thus without trauma.

Socializing a kitten means helping it to acclimatize

It can be difficult to get an adult cat used to changing environments. If he has spent a good part of his life frolicking in the wild, he has little chance of getting used to life in an apartment where the windows look out onto a large, noisy boulevard but always remain closed.

On the other hand, a cat born and raised for three or four years in an apartment and used to spend his days and nights in front of a bay window, will have some difficulties if he is suddenly installed in a huge house in the middle of the fields. However, it is easier to get an apartment cat used to life in the country than the opposite.

A good socialization (and socialization) is therefore useful to allow a cat to better acclimatize when it finds itself in this type of situation.

Can we transform a cat by socializing it?

It is possible to help the kitten to enrich its experiences so that it can handle as many situations as possible when it is an adult and react without violence to changes or unknown situations. However, you can't model a cat as if it was created in a mold. That's why many owners find it difficult to keep an adult cat in their world when they adopt one. This one is undoubtedly very different from the one in which he grew up. It is therefore necessary to take into account its personality before welcoming a cat at home, but also the conditions in which it spent its first months, even its first years.

The more changes a cat undergoes as an adult, the more likely it is to react violently or to develop some kind of stress-related syndrome. The cat is indeed a territorial animal but it also needs a certain ritual because it is very anchored in its habits. It is therefore always very important to get him used to it in order to avoid any trauma. If this rule is not respected, the animal, which was previously serene, may become fearful and not be able to bear living with its fellow creatures. The relationship between the cat and its owner can also suffer seriously.

To perfectly socialize a cat and then, and if later it must radically change conditions of existence, the watchwords are patience, understanding and respect.

Cat hair on carpets, mantles, sofas and chairs: how to get rid of it?

Owners of a small feline are regularly confronted with cat hair that invades carpets and rugs, living room furniture and does not spare the coat hanging in the favorite closet of the kitty. This can be unpleasant as it can leave your clothes and home looking less than perfect. Fortunately, there are some very effective and economical solutions to remove cat hair from furniture, cushions, carpets and even the dressing room.

Thorough vacuuming

When you can track your cat just by the pile of hair he's left everywhere, there's no need to grumble. It's better to save your energy for vacuuming. Ideally, we equip it with tips specially adapted to the surfaces to be vacuumed. This allows you to avoid damaging anything on the one hand and to be more efficient on the other. For a few years, the major brands have been marketing vacuum cleaners with specific brushes for fabrics and curtains, armchairs and sofas and of course floor and wall coverings either in carpet or fabric, or in tiles or in wood and laminate. Cushions should not be forgotten because cats love to curl up on them. They are therefore also transformed into hairballs.

The rubber glove or microfiber glove

On some fabrics, the vacuum cleaner is not the most efficient because cat hair remains embedded despite careful vacuuming. But don't worry, just put on a rubber glove and rub. The hairs are removed as if by magic.

You can also moisten a microfiber glove that is generally used to dust wooden furniture, glass tables and even bay windows. Simply wipe it over any surface where cat hair is still visible. Generally, this solution is unstoppable to remove almost all of it. This technique is ideal for carpets, sofas and fabric chairs, and of course for coats, pants and other clothing. You can also take advantage of the microfiber glove that has been lightly soaked in water to get rid of cat hair embedded in the pet's basket.

Don't hesitate to try it with a slightly damp washcloth: it works too!

A pair of used tights

Nylon tights with holes or threads can still be used... at least for cleaning. They're great for cleaning all kinds of surfaces, including fabric and leather. Socks that are rubbed over a coat or a couch will remove cat hair like magic. Sticky tights are very handy because they can be easily inserted between sofa cushions to remove accumulated cat hair from these gaps.

Used wipes

Why not give a second life to the different wipes that we have already used for cleaning and softening the laundry? It's economical and finally a little ecological, while proving to be particularly effective. We pass a wipe where we have located the cat hair, namely on the carpet, a coat, the sofa and the armchair and hop, everything disappears since the hair adheres to the wipe.

A sticky brush

The sticky brush is an old accessory like Erode. That's why it is so useful. It is cylindrical in shape and has an adhesive film that holds all the lint and cat hair visible on many fabric surfaces. Once the sticky paper is saturated with hair, the first layer of film is peeled off, releasing a new layer for the next cleaning session. If you don't have this type of brush, you can use a piece of adhesive paper such as the wide scotch tape used to close boxes and cartons of all kinds.

A smooth velvet cloth brush

Perfect for picking up cat hair, hair, lint and dust, the velvet cloth brush is another mechanical solution that is known to be effective. As for the sticky brush, you just have to pass it on the surface full of cat hair to remove it in a minimum of time.

Finally, there is no lack of solutions to catch your cat off guard when he is shedding impressive layers of hair. No need to invest in miracle products. Just look around your closet and you'll find a pair of old socks, a microfiber glove or a rubber glove that are perfect for this task.

But just because we now know how to remove cat hair from clothes, carpets and living room furniture doesn't mean we shouldn't take a moment every day to brush our little companion. A careful and almost daily brushing of his fur will remove all dead hair and prevent the cat from ingesting it by licking. It is very important to maintain the hair of his cat to limit the risks of intestinal obstruction.

Why does my cat spit up? Possible symptoms and treatment

When a cat spits and fires, it is trying to be impressive. Normally, it does this to defend itself from an attack by another cat or animal, to keep anyone away from its food bowl or from the prey it has just chased. He also spits to tell his master that it's time to leave him alone. But this sometimes hides a behavioral problem, a malaise, an illness. For example, the cat spits when it is in pain, especially when its owner carries it or caresses it. In case of doubt, it is better to consult the veterinarian.

What does a spitting cat express?

The cat spits and accompanies this mimicry with a more or less hoarse or plaintive cry to express different messages. It is an attitude that all cats adopt from their youngest age, either against animals, or against a human, even if it is the master of the little feline.

It is never reassuring to be confronted with a cat that spits, even if it is his own. It usually sends a clear message. You should therefore leave it alone and not insist on approaching it at such times.

A cat that spits can therefore want to express :
  • Fear,
  • aggressiveness,
  • Disagreement,
  • Annoyance,
  • Pain,
  • Anxiety.
Various symptoms can accompany this attitude. Nothing should be overlooked.

Spitting cat: a socialization problem

In a particularly anxious cat, spitting and hissing are frequent and last throughout its life if the animal is not helped to gain confidence. Poorly socialized cats frequently spit when approached and will not tolerate being petted, for example. The same type of attitude can be found in cats that have been mistreated.

Spitting cats: pheromones for behavioral problems

When this attitude is repeated frequently, even in front of people well known to the animal, it is a behavioral problem. The animal must be seen by a veterinary behaviorist. If necessary, several sessions may be considered in order to improve the animal's behavior.

In some cases, good results can be obtained with synthetic pheromone sprays alone. You just have to spray them in the strategic places of the house or the apartment, where the cat stands the most often, they help the little feline to be in confidence, to feel better. Calmed, he is less anxious and stops spitting for anything.

Spitting cat: this may justify an emergency consultation

A cat may also start spitting at its owner a few hours or days ago when it never did before, which means that something is wrong. It is important to try to identify the cause. To do this, we must be particularly attentive to our little companion in order to detect what has changed physically or in his behavior.

Some manifestations justify a veterinary emergency because they can be due to a shock, a trauma. The animal may have been poisoned. The main symptoms that should alert in this case are the following:
  • He moves his head in a jerky way,
  • Its pupils are dilated,
  • He regurgitates whitish foam,
  • Traces of blood are visible in his regurgitation or vomiting,
  • He has difficulty breathing.
It is necessary to be able to describe all the symptoms to the veterinarian with the greatest possible precision, as well as their frequency, duration and intensity. It is useful to mention to the practitioner if the cat has a fever, if it eats less recently or if on the contrary it eats more than before, if it drinks a lot, if it sleeps badly and also if it tries to hide.

Finally, in case of intoxication or poisoning, it is useful to specify to the veterinarian if the cat could have been in contact with plants, a chemical of any kind or with medication.

The veterinarian begins by examining the animal. Sometimes, the owner is surprised to learn that his cat is expecting kittens, which explains why she can no longer stand being stroked. In other cases, complementary examinations are generally essential to search for an underlying disease. Urinalysis, blood tests, X-rays, CT scans or ultrasounds are all means that will help the practitioner to make his diagnosis. Treatment will depend on the results.

A cat that suddenly spits at people it knows deserves a lot of attention from its owner. The owner must be patient and not force his little companion to accept petting or to climb on his lap. On the contrary, you must let him find his calm. Under no circumstances should he be scolded or punished, as this would only aggravate his anxiety level, his fear and his uneasiness.

How do I know if my cat is sick?

For a few days, Minou has hardly touched his bowl, he isolates himself and his coat is dull. He limps, he bites, his eyes run or he vomits and seems to suffer. It is obvious that something is wrong. When a cat is sick, it usually does not go unnoticed. In fact, there are many symptoms that warrant a visit to the veterinarian.

The cat has a fever

Body temperature is a good indicator. A cat is considered to have a fever when the thermometer reads 39°C or higher. Below 38°C, it's a sign of weakness. In any case, it is essential to take the rectal temperature of the kitty to check the situation. If the animal doesn't let you do it, you can either get help from a family member who will have to hold him while his owner introduces the thermometer in his animal's anus, or you can entrust the task to the veterinarian.

Unusual behavior

When sick, the usually lamb-like cat may become aggressive, not hesitating to scratch or bite. Similarly, a cat that frequently communicates with its owner through various meows suddenly becomes silent. He is probably in pain. Pain affects the behavior of a cat and only the attentive owner can realize that his little companion is not as usual: he buries himself in a corner or on the contrary agitates, he moans, takes distance. It will be necessary to determine the cause of this change in behavior. Illness, stress? We consult as soon as possible.

His eyes are running

When a cat is sick, you can see it by his eyes. They are watery, become glassy, are sometimes inflated. They run and crusts form... These are symptoms of many pathologies. He needs care.

A loss of weight

The weight loss of the cat must be considered seriously because it is a symptom of many diseases, some of which are serious. If the animal has lost a lot of weight in a short period of time, it may be suffering from kidney failure or even cancer. We don't wait to consult.

The cat keeps going to the litter box

This is a recurrent symptom in case of urinary or genital tract disease. Urinary obstruction, stones, cystitis, uterine infection: nothing should be left to chance. The cat must be taken care of quickly because some urinary or genital problems can lead to complications.

The cat vomits

Vomiting is a symptom that occurs in many cases. Ingestion of hairballs, spoiled food, intoxication, poisoning can be the cause of vomiting sometimes painful. It is better not to wait to take your cat to the veterinarian because it can be an emergency.

Bad breath

Halitosis can be a sign of a dental or gum problem. If the cat has bad breath, the first thing to do is to check the teeth, gums and tongue to make sure there are no abscesses or excessive scaling of the teeth. It is necessary that the little feline be examined by a veterinarian specialized in animal dentistry. But be careful, bad breath can also make you suspect a digestive disorder. It is therefore better to refer to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Breathing difficulties in cats

Sneezing, coughing, panting, hoarse breathing, snoring are respiratory symptoms not to be neglected. They are common in cases of coryza or asthma. It is important that the cat be treated as soon as possible.

The cat shakes

Intoxications, poisoning, infectious diseases are all health problems that can cause the cat to tremble, or even convulsions, which are neurological symptoms. The veterinarian must examine the cat urgently.

The cat's mucous membranes have changed color

Pale or yellowish mucous membranes, even punctuated with red spots, are in some cases a sign of serious disease or intoxication that can endanger the cat's life. It is very important to consult the veterinarian when the color of the gums has changed, knowing that normally they are pink.

The cat is limping

Lameness can be a symptom of a bite, an abscess, an injury or even a fracture. But some pathologies such as a thrombosis of the aorta lead to difficulty in walking or even paralysis of the limbs.

The cat is constantly scratching and licking itself

These are common dermatological symptoms in cases of allergy or parasitic disease. The condition of the animal's skin should be checked for any changes. Redness, pimples, swelling, sores, ticks, fleas are to be taken seriously. A diagnosis is necessary so that an adapted treatment can be prescribed.

Some diseases take hold in an insidious way. They are asymptomatic at the beginning, and when the symptoms appear, it is sometimes too late. That's why a cat should have an annual check-up, which allows the veterinarian to diagnose a disease early.

Of course, visits to the veterinarian are expensive, as are check-ups, preventive procedures and medications. But these expenses can be covered, partially or totally, by the mutual insurance companies for pets. It is therefore very useful to take out a contract to take care of your cat's health without breaking the bank.

The sexual cycle of a cat

The sexual maturity of the she-cat is effective between 4 and 10 months. On average, a cat is fertile at about 7 months. How many periods of heat can a cat have in the year, how does it happen? Why do we talk about induced ovulation? What are the health benefits of spaying your cat?

Sexual maturity in cats

Some cats reach their sexual maturity very early, around 4 months, while others are almost 1 year old. This is partly due to the fact that many cats reach puberty in the spring. Depending on the time of birth, a female cat may be only a few months old, or she may be quite close to her first year when she comes into heat. But other factors intervene in this field being able to explain for which reasons certain cats are much more precocious than others, namely:
  • The weight of the cat: she is generally not sexually mature before having reached two thirds of her adult weight. For example for a cat of average race which normally weighs 3 kg at the adulthood, the sexual maturity intervenes theoretically when she reaches the weight of 2 kg.
  • Her breed: we note indeed that certain cats reach their sexual maturity much earlier than a Persian Chinchilla type long-haired cat. The Burmese is a particularly precocious breed as well as the Siamese.
  • Her lifestyle: a female who spends most of her time in an apartment is sexually mature later than a female used to roaming in the wild.
The age of sexual maturity of the cat is thus extremely variable and the causes are finally rather complex to identify. It is almost impossible to determine an average age.

Frequency of heat in a cat

There is no particular seasonality so that a cat can be in heat at any time of the year, except during the shortest days. This may have something to do with the decrease in light.

The period during which the cat is fertile is called "heat". The consecrated terms are :
  • Pro-estrus, which refers to the follicular phase, i.e. the beginning of the cycle,
  • Oestrus, the moment when the she-cat is fertile and waiting for a mating in order to reproduce.
This is manifested for example by attitudes, meowing. A few days before her heat, the cat is generally more affectionate than usual, she rolls on the floor, minces and sulks more or less her meals. When she is ready to mate, she is more aggressive and may suddenly urinate anywhere to attract a sexual partner. This is her only goal, so she forgets about other basic needs.

Induced ovulation in the cat

It is the mating with a tomcat that triggers ovulation. This is called induced ovulation. The cycle can then be :
  • Anovulatory: there is no ovulation,
  • Ovulatory :
    • but not fertilizing if the mating took place with a sterile cat: it is a cycle of pseudo gestation,
    • with fertilization: it is a cycle of gestation.
The cat is polyandrous, which means that during the estrus, she can be covered by several males. Estrus can last for months if the female has not found a partner to mate with. Otherwise, three heat periods normally occur each year. Between two estrus periods, she goes through a sexual rest phase, the anestrus.

The fact that the heat is prolonged in the absence of mating increases the risk of tumors in the cat. But if she is not sterilized, even if she is mated by one or more cats, she is more exposed to various diseases more or less serious than a sterilized cat. This is why it is recommended to have your cat spayed as soon as possible if you do not want kittens. Sterilization protects the health of these pets.

Cat and pregnancy: is it compatible? What about toxoplasmosis? What precautions should be taken?

Pregnant women should avoid the risk of toxoplasmosis. This disease caused by a parasite can indeed be dangerous. It is responsible for malformations in the fetus and spontaneous abortions. We know that future mothers can be contaminated by certain foods but that the cat is also a big risk factor. Is it necessary to cut the bridges with its kitty during the whole pregnancy? Let's take stock of toxoplasmosis, its causes, its consequences and the precautions to be taken by pregnant women.

What is toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease. Humans can become infected by handling soil, eating contaminated or undercooked food, or touching a cat or its litter box, which may be contaminated by the pet's feces.

Pregnant women are at risk because, although toxoplasmosis is generally a benign disease, it can cause serious problems for the fetus in the case of congenital toxoplasmosis. After birth, the infant may develop :
  • A severe eye infection,
  • Seizures,
  • Jaundice,
  • Hepatosplenomegaly, i.e. an increase in the size of the liver and spleen.
This parasitic disease transmissible to the pregnant woman by the cat (among others) can also cause a miscarriage.

It is recognized that during the third trimester of pregnancy, the consequences of toxoplasmosis for the unborn child are less frequent than during the first trimester, but the risks are not completely eliminated. The mother-to-be must therefore continue to take all necessary precautions to limit the risks of contamination.

It should be noted that regardless of the pregnancy situation, this disease also represents a danger for people with a weakened immune system.

Main symptoms of toxoplasmosis

The symptoms of toxoplasmosis go completely unnoticed in 8 out of 10 cases. When they do occur, they may suggest a flu-like illness. At most, a pregnant woman may present with:
  • A moderate rise in body temperature (between 37.5 and just 38°C),
  • Headache,
  • Submaxillary nodes,
  • Occipital nodes,
  • Muscle and/or joint pain,
  • Fatigue that lasts for several weeks,
  • A skin rash all over the body.
The mother-to-be should consult her doctor as a matter of urgency if she experiences one or more of these symptoms.

Toxoplasmosis, precautions to take during pregnancy

The risks of being contaminated by toxoplasmosis are greatest through poorly washed or badly cooked food. Every pregnant woman must therefore take precautions when shopping and preparing her meals, especially if she is not immune to toxoplasmosis.

Food preparation and feeding during pregnancy: precautions

To avoid contamination by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, a pregnant woman should take the following precautions:

  • Wash fruits and vegetables well,
  • Cook foods such as meat and fish thoroughly,
  • Exclude completely from her diet :
    • raw and semi-cooked meat and fish,
    • salted, smoked or raw meats,
    • undercooked eggs,
    • non-pasteurized dairy products,
    • goat cheese.
  • Do not rub your eyes or touch your face or put your fingers to your mouth after touching food without first washing your hands.
  • Wash your hands and brush your fingernails thoroughly after handling food.

Managing your cat when you are pregnant, risk of toxoplasmosis

Precautions should be taken when you are pregnant and own a cat. Common sense dictates that the following points be respected.
  • The mother-to-be should never come in contact with her cat's waste. It is essential to wear gloves when cleaning the litter box and the cat basket, a role that can be assigned to another family member. The litter box should be flushed with boiling water very frequently.
  • If the litter box was previously stored in the immediate vicinity of the food preparation area, it is best to place it further away.
  • You should also avoid all situations that may expose the cat to scratching, such as brushing. Here again, the spouse or children can take care of it.
  • It is forbidden to adopt a kitten throughout the pregnancy.
  • One avoids as much as possible the immediate proximity with a stray cat.
Finally, it is very important, as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed, to take your cat to the veterinarian so that it can be tested for serology. This will determine if the cat is a carrier of the parasite in question.

Gardening and green plant care

It is strongly recommended that all expectant mothers who love to garden or take care of their houseplants always wear gloves before indulging in their favorite occupation. The Toxoplasma gondii parasite develops in the soil. It can therefore also contaminate your cat if it has the habit of scratching the soil of pots, planters and beds.

It is well understood that it is not imperative to separate from your cat when you learn that you are expecting a baby. But if you decide to keep it at home, caution is required, and the rigor in terms of hygiene and precautions must be flawless. But if keeping your cat at home during pregnancy makes the mother-to-be feel guilty or even stressed, it is highly preferable to entrust your pet for a few months to a trusted person. The most important thing is to live her pregnancy serenely, for the good development of her future baby.

How to calm a cat in heat?

Owners of an unspayed cat should expect to have to endure heat from their little kitty, in some cases from the age of 4 to 6 months. This heat is not the best time to be in heat, as it can last up to 2 weeks and occur several times a year. So you have to deal with it. Some tricks can however calm the ardors of a cat in heat, but it does not work every time. The only solution that is 100% effective and has only advantages is sterilization. Let's review.

Main signs of heat in cats

One of the most frequent manifestations - and burdensome for the entourage - during the period of heat in the cat is the meowing. The cat vocalizes day and night, more or less desperately, and sometimes even screams loudly, the purpose being to attract the neighborhood cats. The hour of the reproduction sounded, therefore not question for her to pass to side.

The cat in heat is more nervous than usual and gets very agitated. When this excitement continues, it can be unbearable for people who share their living space with their little animal.

The cat will try to get out by any means necessary. This is a risky moment when you live in an urban environment or near a road where trucks and cars follow one another day and night. The kitty has more than one trick up her sleeve and can be very persuasive with her master so that he will finally give in to her wishes and open the door or the window for her. This is very risky because she will soon have to feed a whole litter. If you don't want other cats, you should lock up your kitty for the duration of the heat.

The little female can even urinate next to her litter box, or even in any part of the house, by adopting a particular position, namely the tail in the air. This is too much, and even if she is particularly affectionate during this period of heat, it is understandable that her master can no longer stand her.

Of course, it's important to put your anger or exasperation aside because the little cat is not responsible for her hormonal system. It's better to deal with her than to scold her.

Useful tips for calming a cat in heat

You should try to divert her attention. Of course the result is not guaranteed, but it can be worth a try. It is by the game that of certain Masters manage more or less to calm the ardors of their cat during the periods of heat. This means being available at different times of the day to play with your little pet. It's best to opt for games that make the cat very active. Once she's tired, she'll be more tempted by a nap in her basket than by the neighbor's horny tomcat.

Get out the coat care kit and take the time to brush her thoroughly. If she enjoys a bath, this is the time to shampoo her. We take advantage of this beauty session to check that no parasite has taken up residence on the skin of the little cat. If a tick is spotted, it is removed with a tick remover, and if the kitty is covered in fleas, an anti-flea lotion is used without delay. During this time of care, the knots in her long hair are removed and most of the dead hair is removed. This will prevent the cat from ingesting too much hair while licking.

Do not allow her to go out of the house or the apartment but especially make sure to close all the doors, the windows, the bay windows. Beware of the cat flap, which should be made inaccessible for a while.

Take all precautions to prevent male cats from entering the house because let's not forget that they are able to spot a cat in heat from a few kilometers away, especially since the cat does nothing to go unnoticed. At the slightest contact, there is a high risk of finding yourself with a litter of kittens a few weeks later.

To have your cat sterilized to avoid her heat

Contrary to popular belief, a cat does not need to have at least one litter of kittens to live happily. There is no risk of frustration either if she has no opportunity to mate during her life.

Spaying is the perfect solution that can, in addition to eliminating heat in the cat, protect her health throughout her life. Don't hesitate to talk about it with your veterinarian. The sterilization costs, certainly, rather expensive, but the mutual insurance companies for pets can take care of it as soon as the cat is insured.

Sterilization remains the most effective way to calm a cat in heat. It is an act which allows in addition to limit considerably the risks of transmission of diseases of which some are serious, and which improves visibly the character of the animal. It is also thanks to the sterilization of female cats and the castration of male cats that we manage to limit the number of abandoned cats.

The anti-parasite collar for cats: what is its use? How to choose it ?

The anti-parasite collar for cats is one of the best solutions to protect your little feline against fleas and other undesirable animals. It releases molecules for several months as long as the animal keeps its collar on. However, it is advisable to choose the model best suited to your cat so that it does not cause any discomfort. But are antiparasitic collars safe for humans and animals ? How does it work exactly? What are the specificities of natural and chemical devices? It's best to review the question before choosing a cat collar against fleas, ticks and other parasites.

Anti-parasite collar for cats: what is it for?

It is a skin device that is essential to protect your cat's health. Indeed, the latter is very exposed to external parasites during its walks in the nature. Fleas, lice, ticks, larvae, and even diptera such as sandflies and mosquitoes are real dangers because they are vectors of diseases. Depending on the model, an anti-parasite collar can act as a preventive or curative measure.

What is the difference between anti-parasite and insect repellent?

Often confused, these two terms do not have the same meaning. A pest control collar is used to kill parasites while the insect repellent collar acts only as a preventive measure since it keeps unwanted pests away so that they do not settle on their host. However, it does not kill them. The preventive and curative collars are therefore both anti-parasite and insect repellent.

Anti-parasite collar: how does it work?

This type of collar is impregnated with several active ingredients - veterinary medications - that act in synergy against insects and mites. As soon as the collar is put around the animal's neck, the molecules are permanently diffused in its skin. They can act on two levels (curative and preventive) as they treat the infested cat and/or protect it against parasite infestation. This protection is continuous, as the active ingredients are diffused throughout the cat's body and not just in the neck area.

There are two types of collars against external parasites for cats.

Natural anti-parasite collars

They contain plant extracts with repellent properties that act effectively against biting insects and mites. They can be, for example, essential oils or margosa. Some of them can be used on kittens, and even on pregnant or nursing cats, but you should always ask your veterinarian for advice before equipping your pet. You must be careful with essential oils because some cats may be allergic to them. After use, these collars are generally biodegradable.

Chemical anti-parasite collars

As their name indicates, they contain synthetic products created in a laboratory, therefore not at all natural, which is not without risk. Among these chemical substances, we find for example flumethrin (a pyrethroid insecticide) or imidacloprid (a pesticide).

In sensitive animals, they can cause itching, and in the most serious cases, ulcers on the epidermis and even hair loss (pelade) or respiratory problems. Several years ago, some of these devices were the cause of health problems in humans (especially children) in almost permanent contact with their animal equipped with this type of collar. Of course, these collars have been withdrawn from the market.

For an even greater efficiency, it is strongly recommended to equip your cat with an anti-parasite collar during the whole duration of the action of this device. It is advisable to respect the supplier's information, clearly stated on the product packaging.

Finally, regardless of the type of pest control collar chosen, it is necessary to wash your hands after handling it or after touching the cat.

What to do in case of massive infestation of the cat by parasites?

In order for the anti-parasite collar to be effective on a cat that is totally infested with fleas, it is essential to start by shampooing the cat against these parasites and to wait until the next day before putting the collar on the little feline. In the same way, if you notice one or more ticks on the cat's skin, you must first remove them one by one with a tick remover and only then put the collar on. You should therefore always inspect your cat thoroughly before fitting it with this type of accessory.

In any case, if you notice a lot of undesirable organisms on your little friend's body, it's best to consult your veterinarian and ask for advice on what solution to consider.

How to choose and use a pest control collar for your cat?

There is no question of buying a curative, preventive or curative and preventive collar at random because this device must perfectly meet the animal's needs. Should you prevent, treat or combine these two actions is the question to ask yourself first.

Once the collar has been chosen on the advice of the veterinarian, it remains to put it on the animal. It must be well adjusted to his neck without squeezing him. The ideal is to leave a space of 2,5 to 3 cm between the neck of the cat and the collar which avoids the risks of strangulation. As this device must be worn for several months, it must be readjusted regularly for a kitten still growing.

Equipping your pet with an anti-parasite collar does not exempt you from taking good daily habits to fight against parasites. The hygiene of the house must be exemplary. We regularly vacuum the places where the cat likes to settle, without forgetting the armchairs, the sofa, the box springs, the mattresses, the pillows, the quilts and the cushions. Dusting the furniture is no exception to the rule. And if you have several infested cats (or dogs), the only solution is to call on a company specializing in pest control for houses and apartments.

Why does my cat have a swollen belly? Possible symptoms and treatment

A cat's swollen belly can be caused by hairballs, an unbalanced diet that leads to long-standing constipation, colonization by parasites or feline infectious peritonitis, which is a serious disease. It is therefore very important to consult a veterinarian when the cat has a swollen belly so that the exact cause can be diagnosed as soon as possible. Some associated symptoms should alert the owner of the animal. Let's take stock of the situation.

Swollen belly in cats: constipation is the cause

A constipated cat's belly gradually swells, which is quite logical. It is necessary in this case to modify his diet because it is generally the first cause of a bad transit. It is important to ensure that the cat consumes enough food rich in vegetable fiber, which helps to fight against constipation, and consequently, to limit the risk of bloating. It is necessary to choose the dry or wet food best suited to your cat in order to limit digestive problems.

Other causes of constipation in cats include
  • Insufficient water intake: to function properly, the cat's intestine needs to be well hydrated. Therefore, a bowl of fresh water should be left freely available and changed as often as possible.
  • Hairball accumulation in the digestive system: with its raspy tongue, the cat plucks out a lot of dead hair when it licks itself and then swallows it. Daily brushing for a long-haired cat or every other day for a short-haired cat is essential to avoid the absorption of too much hair.
  • Sedentary life: a cat that does not go out often gets used to moving from an armchair to a chair, from the sofa to the bed of his masters. As for humans, a sedentary lifestyle is a health hazard. In cats, it favors obesity but also intestinal transit problems. For his body to function properly, the cat must be able to have enough physical activity every day.
  • Food intolerance or allergy: at the slightest doubt, it is necessary to refer to the veterinarian. There are more and more cases of food intolerance in cats, which tends to prove that our little companions do not always tolerate very well the industrial food we give them.
Be careful, intestinal obstruction can occur in a cat that has been constipated for a while. It represents a veterinary emergency,

Swollen belly in cats: what if parasites were the cause?

Inadequate food is not the only cause of a cat's swollen belly. Parasites are sometimes the primary cause. When this is the case, the cat's belly is swollen and it shows other symptoms that should alert its owner or caretaker, namely:
  • Gums that are not very colorful, or at least much paler than normal,
  • Stools that are very different from what they usually are: the cat may have diarrhea or any type of intestinal transit disturbance,
  • A loss of appetite,
  • Vomiting, more or less important,
  • A drop in general condition: the cat seems sad or tired, it seems to have lost all its energy, it does not really want to play and abandons the walk.
If you notice a swollen belly in your little feline followed by any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment to see the veterinarian, but not without first inspecting the litter box of your little companion, where you may see parasites. You should also inspect his anal area because parasites (worms) can appear there.

To make sure that these are parasites, the practitioner usually proceeds to a parasitic coprology, which is essential to analyze the animal's fecal matter. This examination allows to identify the type of worms present in the cat's intestine.

The cat can have different kinds of worms such as tapeworms. This is the case of tapeworms. Roundworms are also common. These include hookworms and roundworms. Giving your cat a regular deworming treatment allows you to play the prevention card effectively. For information, a kitten should be dewormed every two weeks, and an adult cat about once a quarter. The ideal is to follow the advice of your veterinarian.

Finally, deworming a cat does not exempt you from regularly cleaning its litter box and removing the droppings that accumulate there every day.

Cat with swollen belly: beware of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)!

The feline infectious peritonitis can also involve a swelling of the belly in the cat. It is due to the presence of the feline Coronavirus. Many cats are inhabited by this virus and do not do so badly provided that they do not develop the FIP because it is a 100% fatal disease, and what is more, contagious.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis manifests itself by an inflammation of the blood vessels, a belly that starts to swell rapidly and significantly because the animal's abdomen fills with a yellowish liquid produced in excess by the vessels. In some cases, this fluid also spills into the thorax.

The main symptoms of feline infectious peritonitis are:
  • Swollen belly,
  • Yellowish mucous membranes,
  • High fever,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Difficulty breathing,
  • General fatigue.
These are common manifestations of many other diseases, which does not facilitate its diagnosis. At the slightest doubt, it is better to consult a veterinarian and to keep the animal away from other animals, because FIP is a very contagious disease. It is also recommended to disinfect the objects of the cat and the places where it spends the most time.

How to treat a cat with a swollen belly?

The treatment must be adapted to the health problem from which the cat suffers, because the swelling of the belly is only a symptom and not a pathology in itself. It is therefore essential to first diagnose the exact cause of the swollen abdomen.

If the cat's belly is swollen because of constipation, it's important to change the cat's diet so that his daily rations are better adapted to his needs. As we've seen, fiber should not be neglected, as should plenty of water.

If he has parasites that cause his belly to swell, it is essential to deworm him and then adopt a preventive treatment in order to limit the risks of infestation by intestinal worms.

If the cat is sedentary, the owner must do everything possible to get it used to going outside but also to being more active. You can share the game with your pet so that it is encouraged and takes pleasure in running, jumping, stalking and hunting, which is highly beneficial for its intestinal transit and its general health, whether physical or mental.

Of course, if the constipation is old, the veterinarian can prescribe an enema and a medicated treatment to soften the fecal matter and consequently to facilitate its evacuation. Be careful, constipation that has lasted several days requires the animal to be rehydrated.

Finally, there is no cure for a cat suffering from feline infectious peritonitis, but only palliative care based on antibiotics and cortisone to relieve the animal at the end of its life.

Orphaned kitten : how to feed and take care of it ?

A kitten whose mother has died must be given very special care. It is an extremely vulnerable animal and the slightest mistake on the part of its owner can later lead to serious behavioral problems and even in some cases cost it its life before it becomes an adult. Let's take a look at the different lessons to teach him by substitution, the specific food to give to an orphaned kitten and the basic care he needs.

Fulfilling his role of substitution with an orphaned kitten

A kitten that no longer has its mother must benefit from perfectly adapted care because the risks it runs are increased. His mother is essential for him to grow up as well as possible, to become a balanced adult cat. The mother teaches her kitten to eat, to be clean, to hunt, to become independent.

In addition to stimulating him, she helps him little by little to become sociable. The mother's role is therefore multiple and she instinctively knows how to give a lot of attention to her kitten. She is tender towards him, cleans him, watches over him at all times until he is completely weaned.

It is clear that the orphaned kitten does not have as good a start in life as the one raised by his mother. He can only rely on his master. This is an important substitute role that requires respect, love, common sense and patience.

In the presence of an orphaned kitten, start by consulting the veterinarian

It is fundamental to take as soon as possible an orphaned kitten to the veterinarian. This allows :
  • To check his health condition,
  • To get the best advice to take care of it,
  • To know exactly what food to give him over time and what are the rations to respect.
Taking care of a small cat that has lost its mother leaves no room for improvisation. You have to be sure that you really want to do it, that you have enough time and knowledge to do it. If this is not the case, it is better to immediately look for a new foster family or to contact a shelter. The veterinarian can provide some useful contact information.

How to feed an orphaned kitten?

The food to choose must be adapted to the kitten's age. Be careful never to give cow's milk to a kitten because it does not provide the necessary nutrients and its protein level is not at all suitable for the little feline. It is therefore an unsuitable food that can quickly lead to serious digestive problems, including diarrhea.

The kitten must drink formula, either bought in specialized stores or from the veterinarian, or by entrusting him to a nursing cat, provided she agrees to feed him, which is not easy. It is however the best solution so that the young animal benefits from the antibodies transmitted by the cat via her milk and which is the only one to be able to immunize the kitten.

In the absence of a nursing cat in the entourage, the only solution which remains is the feeding-bottle, that is to say that it will be necessary to nourish the kitten with the bottle by respecting the following rhythm:
  • Until the age of 21 days, the number of bottles varies from 4 to 12 since the kitten can drink every 2 to 6 hours either :
    • every 2 hours maximum during the 1st week,
    • from the 5th week, the number of bottles per day is reduced to 3. To give him a feed, he must be kept lying on his belly or standing on his 4 legs.
  • From the age of 3 weeks, we put in a bowl always accessible some wet kibbles for kittens who can discover the solid food at his pace.
  • From the 6th week :
    • we decrease gradually the doses of milk to push the kitten to eat kibbles, and that the weaning happens well when it will be the good moment,
    • we gradually switch to less and less moistened kibbles,
    • we add next to the bowl a small bowl of fresh water,
    • we give adapted food at will until the age of 4 months.
  • From 4 to 6 months of age, the kitten should be given food 3 times a day and no longer at will.
  • At 6 months of age, the kitten may already be at or near adult size. However, this does not mean that he should be fed an adult cat food. He is still too young and it is necessary to wait until he has reached the age of 9 months. We continue to offer him kibbles and/or kitten food because it is specially elaborated to strengthen the skeleton of the animal. However, if he is sterilized at 6 or 7 months of age, you should switch to a sterilized cat food.
If the kitten refuses the bottle presented to it by the person who is still taking care of it, don't wait to consult the veterinarian because if the kitten is not eating enough, it can lose weight and become seriously ill in just a few days.

Care for the orphaned kitten

During the first 16 days after birth, the young animal is very fragile. All the conditions must be met in order not to put its life in danger.

The food is essential as well as the temperature of its environment. The air currents are to be proscribed. It must never be cold. It is therefore necessary to provide him with a warm and cozy corner because his body cannot yet maintain a constant body heat. The best solution is to swaddle a bottle of hot water in a bath towel and to place this makeshift hot water bottle in the kitten's basket so that he can warm up without being in direct contact with the hot bottle which could burn him.

The owner of a newborn orphan cat should take care to :
  • Handle the animal with delicacy and take care that the young children do not have any brutal gesture towards him in particular by playing with him. The little ball of fur is not a plush toy.
  • Socialize the kitten: contact between the kitten and humans but also between his little protégé and other pets must be encouraged so that the young feline gets used to their presence little by little.
At less than 2 months of age, the kitten must be accustomed to the company of humans and other animals so that later on, it will become a sociable companion. It is through play that the interaction is established.

It is also important to provide basic care. The kitten must be kept in a very clean state without being immersed in the bathtub. Traces of feces and food are removed from its coat with a damp cloth. It is then enough to dry it by rubbing it delicately with a soft, dry and clean towel.

At the age of 3 weeks, the kitten can be dewormed. We think to make him vaccinate from the 8th week. This is the moment chosen by the veterinarian to detect certain infectious diseases through a test. Finally, from 6 months, the cat can be sterilized. This act allows to avoid unwanted births and to preserve the good health of the animal.

Hypoallergenic cats: what are we talking about? What are these breeds?

Many people are sensitive to certain allergens. They experience varying degrees of allergic reactions when a cat is in their environment, which can be very frustrating when they want to adopt this type of little friend. Fortunately, some breeds of cats are considered hypoallergenic and can therefore be welcomed by these allergic people. Let's take a look at the Fel D1 glycoprotein that causes respiratory, ocular or skin manifestations in humans, and the cat breeds that secrete the least amount.

What is a cat hair allergy?

Cats secrete allergens, the main one being Fel D1. This is a glycoprotein found in the salivary, lacrimal, anal and sebaceous glands of these animals. However, Fel D1 levels drop in cats and spayed cats.

Many people who are particularly prone to allergy have very specific symptoms when they are in a cat environment:
  • Sneezing,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Eye irritation.
In addition to rhinoconjunctivitis, some individuals may also experience skin reactions such as hives.

Fel d1 is one of the main allergens responsible for respiratory allergy in humans. Keeping a cat in the house leads to a concentration of this allergen, and in particularly sensitive people, the risk of asthma is predominant, especially in children. For this reason, a cat should not be allowed in the bedroom, and its litter box should be placed well away from the house. Another solution is to choose a hypoallergenic cat.

What is a hypoallergenic cat?

In common parlance, a hypoallergenic cat is one that produces a lower amount of allergens than other cats. However, this is a misnomer because there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic cat. Nevertheless, the most sensitive people have every interest in turning to these breeds of cats. It should be noted, however, that reactions can be triggered by contact with a so-called hypoallergenic cat in the case of an owner who is extremely sensitive to the Fel D1 allergen.

Ideal cat breeds for allergy sufferers

People who are "allergic to cat hair" should consider one of the following seven cat breeds.

The Siberian

This cat produces the least amount of Fel D1 of any breed. This proves that it is not the coat that causes allergy symptoms, since the Siberian has a sumptuous long-haired coat. The Siberian is adorable because it is cuddly, playful, loyal, faithful and very docile.

The Sphynx

This atypical cat is totally hairless so that the risk of spreading allergens is extremely low. Although it produces more Fel D1 than other hypoallergenic cats, the Sphynx can therefore be suitable for sensitive people. It is a sociable companion for whom the master counts a lot. Faithful, intelligent, affectionate, he has a soft skin with a velvet touch.

The Balinese

This beautiful cat with thick fur produces a low amount of Fel D1. They are also known to shed very little, which is an asset for allergy sufferers since this characteristic limits the risk of spreading the allergen. Attached to its master, the Balinese is very affectionate. This cat who loves to play does not like to be left alone for too long. It is therefore recommended for people who do not have to be away all day.

The Oriental Longhair or Javanese

It is also called Mandarin. It is classified among the cats that produce very little Fel D1. It is an independent cat, which appreciates its tranquility and adapts very well to solitude, which does not prevent it from being affectionate and showing a great attachment to the members of its host family. The Oriental Longhair is therefore the ideal companion for owners who are away from home for most of the day.

The Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is a short-haired cat with low shedding and a low level of the glycoprotein responsible for cat hair allergy. This elegant little feline needs a lot of attention. Very docile and affectionate, the Devon Rex does not like to be alone. It is therefore the ideal cat for people who are not away from home very much.

The Russian Blue

It has a double layer fur and like other hypoallergenic cats, it secretes little Fel D1. Moreover, this glycoprotein does not spread in the atmosphere because it is maintained on the skin of the animal thanks to this dense fur. The Russian Blue is a discreet cat with a flexible character. It is cuddly, playful, easy-going and loves company.

The Bengal

This splendid little feline produces little Fel D1. It is therefore recommended for people with allergies who will appreciate its beauty and its leopard-like appearance which makes it one of the most beautiful cats in the world. The Bengal is very lively, very curious and a bit of a runaway. It is better to have a closed environment and not to leave it alone outside. Playful, affectionate, sociable, he is exclusive with his master but is nevertheless affectionate with all members of his family.

As we mentioned earlier, some people may have symptoms of a "cat hair" allergy even in the presence of a hypoallergenic cat. There are no guarantees in this area. Before welcoming a cat into your home, it is therefore more prudent to test its sensitivity beforehand, for example by visiting a breeder. After a few sessions, if the person does not notice any reaction, he can without fear brush his cat regularly and take him in his arms.

Why does my cat cough or sneeze? Possible symptoms and treatment

In cats, coughing and sneezing that lasts more than 72 hours warrants a visit to the veterinarian because they can have various causes. Treatment must be adapted to the cause. In some cases, it can be serious for the animal. Therefore, symptoms associated with coughing or sneezing should also be monitored and reported to the practitioner. Sometimes a cough may even warrant emergency treatment. Let's review.

Coughing and sneezing in cats: the causes

Coughing and sneezing are completely normal and necessary, as they allow the evacuation of unwanted particles and mucus. However, when they occur several times a day, intensely, and last for more than three days, they can no longer be considered normal. It is necessary to identify the cause which can be :

  • Hairballs ingested in large quantities: this is the case in long-haired cats or during the moulting period even in short-haired cats. The animal's throat is completely irritated, and its cough is dry.
  • Pharyngitis: this is exactly the same as in his master. The cat has caught a cold and is coughing in fits.
  • Laryngitis: the cat has coughing fits that are sometimes heavy, it seems completely flat, and its meows, for once, are totally inaudible. His vocal cords are certainly in the center of a good inflammation.
  • Rhinitis: the kitty has a runny nose and sneezes constantly. His eyes are shiny.
  • Allergy to dust or pollen: this is relatively rare in cats, but it requires a short visit to the vet.
  • Coryza: a particular virus which the cat is probably carrier since its birth has just been reactivated. This is Coryza, a highly contagious disease that is most commonly found in communities of cats as they infect each other. But even if the kitty lives alone with his masters, he can also suffer from Coryza.
  • A chronic pathology: more frequent in the older cat, some diseases are the cause of a cough that has been raging for some time and can sometimes be virulent. These pathologies are for example chronic bronchitis, asthma, heart failure and respiratory insufficiency. Don't wait any longer to consult the veterinarian!
  • A foreign body responsible :
    • sneezing: the cat can have nasal polyps, a flower petal or a blade of grass in a nostril.
    • a dry cough: a pinprick in his throat, a small piece of toy swallowed askew are all foreign bodies that can obstruct the airways of the animal. In this case, he coughs and has difficulty swallowing. This is an absolute emergency as it can be serious.
A rarer cause is sometimes the cause of coughing and sneezing in cats with a congenital malformation. This is the case of the cleft palate.

Note any associated symptoms and consult a veterinarian

It is very important to pay attention to your cat when he coughs or sneezes and to note the different associated symptoms, their intensity and their duration. This will allow you to make a complete report to the veterinarian. Regurgitation or vomiting, nasal wheezing, watery eyes, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, weight loss, high fever, nosebleeds: the associated symptoms are very revealing, at least to the veterinarian.

How to treat coughing and sneezing in cats?

Since there are many causes for these manifestations, it is necessary that the cat be examined by the veterinarian. In order to make a definite diagnosis, the practitioner may find it useful to perform additional tests (blood tests, x-rays, ultrasound, etc.). The treatment prescribed will depend on the results obtained and the disease from which the little feline suffers.

A viral or bacterial disease is not treated in the same way as an allergy or a cleft palate! In the first cases, an antibiotic treatment or an antihistamine is enough, while in the last case, surgery is necessary. Similarly, if the cat has a chronic pathology such as heart failure, the care protocol is long and the animal requires increased surveillance.

Coughing or sneezing cat: no self-medication!

Even if you are sure that the coughing and/or sneezing is due to a good cold, you should never use medication for humans, thinking that it will cure the cat. This is totally irresponsible and the consequences can be extremely serious. In the same way, one should not try to clean his nostrils with a cotton swab. You should simply leave it to the veterinarian.

Tiger syndrome in cats: symptoms, causes and treatment

The manifestations of the tiger syndrome in cats are quite destabilizing for their owners and represent a real danger because of the animal's great aggressiveness. Let's find out why a cat that used to be quiet and affectionate becomes violent, bites and scratches its owner savagely, and what the solutions are.

Tiger syndrome in cats: the symptoms

Aggression and bulimia are the most revealing symptoms of tiger syndrome. Aggression is directed at the owner. It can be an aggression by irritation, when the cat is very irritated, in particular when its owner prepares its bowl. The animal bites and scratches him. Predatory aggression can also occur at any time of day. In this case, the cat seems to go crazy, leaps on its owner to bite or scratch him. The reaction of the little feline is sometimes very violent and its caretaker can find himself in no time with lacerated arms, legs and/or face.

Such behavior can be seen in all types of cats, even the most cuddly or calm ones. It represents a real danger, as much for the human as for the animal.

Tiger syndrome in cats: the causes

This syndrome can have various origins:
  • Hunger, the main cause of this syndrome,
  • An unbalanced diet,
  • Frustration,
  • Boredom and lack of activity that lead to an accumulation of nervousness and tension,
  • Stress,
  • Fear,
  • Anxiety
  • Irritation.
The cat keeps its hunting instinct and this one can reveal itself at any time, especially in a cat that does not benefit from an adapted diet or if its ration is insufficient. In this case, hunting is no longer a simple entertainment but a means of survival and the stakes are quite different. If the animal is not socialized or if its weaning went badly, it has all the chances to become very violent.

It should also be noted that the cat is a routine animal, very attached to its habits. Aggression is likely to manifest itself against its owner if the latter does not meet the daily needs of his little companion.

Fear is another factor that promotes this syndrome. If a cat is locked in a room with a dog and the two animals do not get along, the cat will try to escape. If it has no way out, it will defend itself, as the dog represents a real danger for it. In the case of intense fear, the little feline can express a rare violence and once released from the room, it will not fail to attack its master savagely.

Tiger syndrome can also occur in a cat if the members of its foster family do not respect its tranquility. If he is constantly disturbed, his tolerance level drops dangerously. It is exactly the same thing after certain treatments such as nail trimming, brushing or, even worse, bathing, which generates great anxiety in many cats. It is essential for him, after having been more or less annoyed, that he can have a calm time to recover from his emotions and to be finally appeased. Otherwise, he remains irritated and this irritation can quickly turn into aggression towards the master.

Play, sometimes the cause of tiger syndrome in cats

Play is a less frequent cause of this syndrome. This is mainly a case of cats who are not in control of themselves. This is especially true when the owner allows the kitten to chew and scratch every time it plays. It is necessary to do everything possible to prevent this from becoming a habit, because these manias can degenerate into aggressiveness in the adult cat. Therefore, training should be done as soon as possible so that the cat learns what limits are not to be exceeded.

Excitement during a play session as well as deprivation of a favorite toy are other factors that can lead to Tiger Syndrome in a cat that loses all control.

How do you treat a cat with Tiger Syndrome?

It is essential to consult your veterinarian, or even a behaviorist veterinarian, so that the syndrome can be clearly identified. The treatment must be as early as possible to obtain good results quickly. The prescription of a psychotropic drug is necessary in the most severe cases.

In addition to treatment, or for cats that are moderately aggressive, behavioral therapy is needed to correct the animal's attitude. This involves, for example
  • Changing the cat's diet from kibble to wet food or vice versa, but this change must be gradual because if it is too abrupt, it may lead to significant digestive disorders.
  • Restore the food rations so that they meet the animal's needs: opting for free access food can be a good solution provided that the cat does not suffer from bulimia as it would then be seriously exposed to the risk of obesity.
  • Give only a small amount of food at a time, but spread these mini-portions throughout the day. This is the recommended solution for a cat with bulimia. Removing the food from his sight helps to divert his attention. However, it is important to keep him busy to avoid frustration. Play and outings in the garden, for example, are essential.
Of course, first and foremost, the owner must allow his cat to eat his fill because, as we have seen, the main cause of tiger syndrome is insufficient food. Adopting a cat is a responsible act. The owner must take care to provide for the needs of his pet so that it lives serenely and in good health.

Intestinal obstruction in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Intestinal obstruction can be partial or total. It is an obstruction of the colon or small intestine that prevents the normal flow of gases, liquids and solids. In other words, the intestinal transit is interrupted. The cat suffering from this intestinal blockage must be treated urgently because it risks complications, such as peritonitis or, even more seriously, a generalized infection called septic shock. Let's review.

What causes intestinal obstruction in cats?

Some cats suffer from compulsive licking syndrome, which means that they lick themselves incessantly, well above the norm. Such behavior necessarily results in the ingestion of a very large amount of hairballs that the animal does not regurgitate completely. The hair gradually clumps in the colon or small intestine and causes a blockage.

The owner is usually alarmed when his cat suffers from fecal vomiting that has a fecal odor. This is a sign that the fecal matter is moving up into the stomach. There is no need to wait to take your cat to the nearest veterinary clinic or office.

The two distinct forms of intestinal obstruction in cats

There are two types of intestinal obstruction:

  • The sub-occlusion which is a partial occlusion: it is not an emergency case, but it still requires a veterinary consultation.
  • The total occlusion, a case of absolute emergency because it leads to :
    • a strong dehydration responsible for the bad perfusion of the organs,
    • a cellular dysfunction,
    • an increase of the blood hydrogen potential (pH) which is called metabolic alkalosis,
    • a leakage of proteins into the bloodstream, a phenomenon responsible for poor healing.
In case of a total intestinal obstruction, the cat's life is in danger.

Intestinal obstruction in cats: symptoms

Intestinal obstruction can be suspected when the cat presents one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Fever,
  • A total cessation of bowel movements with episodes of liquid stools,
  • A very tense abdomen,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Frequent vomiting, usually with a foul odor,
  • A cough,
  • Anorexia,
  • A loss of weight,
  • Apathy.
It is extremely important to take your pet to the veterinarian within the next few hours (less than 24 hours) because if it is a total intestinal obstruction, the animal's life is at stake.

Diagnosis and treatment of intestinal obstruction in cats

The cat's owner must be able to communicate to the veterinarian a list of the different symptoms, their duration and intensity. It is also very important to be able to tell the veterinarian whether the cat is licking compulsively or quite normally. Every detail counts to allow the practitioner to make a quick diagnosis. It should be noted that a low-level obstruction is more difficult to identify than an upper obstruction, as the latter causes more severe symptoms.

In addition to auscultation of the small cat, it may be necessary to perform additional tests. An ultrasound can locate the blockage and reliably verify whether it is due to a foreign body or not. The cat could have swallowed a small piece of toy for example. In any case, this is a hypothesis that no veterinarian should rule out and that requires that the obstructive object be removed by the natural route. It is also important to check that the cat does not have an underlying disease.

The management of total intestinal obstruction in cats requires:

  • General anesthesia,
  • Surgical intervention (digestive surgery) to open the intestine or stomach, which are called enterostomy and gastrostomy respectively,
  • A resection of an area of the intestine when it is necrotic,
  • Post-operative follow-up.
It is a heavy treatment which involves important expenses. As no cat is immune to intestinal obstruction, it is strongly recommended to insure your little friend as soon as possible with a health insurance company for pets.

Can intestinal obstruction be prevented in cats?

It is essential to avoid recurrence in a cat that has already been treated for an obstruction. It is also important to be vigilant with young cats, as they are the most at risk of an obstruction. In all cases, the cat's diet must be sufficiently rich in fiber. Specific food supplements may be recommended by the veterinarian.

Finally, the animal's owner must make sure to brush his cat's hair very regularly, two to three times a week for a short-haired cat, every day for a long-haired cat. This prevents too much hair from being ingested. And if the cat licks compulsively, maybe it's bored? It's a good idea to provide a variety of toys to distract him and keep him busy. Finally, if nothing helps, it's best to seek the advice of a veterinary behaviorist.

What is cat scratch disease? How to prevent it?

It is called benign lymphoreticulosis of inoculation. It is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans by our little companions and vice versa. It is benign in most cases, but this zoonosis sometimes requires medical attention. Let's take a look at the main symptoms that can make you suspect cat scratch disease, the treatment of the disease and the possible means of prevention.

Cat scratch disease: a bacterium involved

This infectious bacterial disease, whose scientific name is benign lymphoreticulosis of inoculation, is caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae. This bacterium colonizes the human body through the bloodstream. The population most frequently affected by cat scratch disease is under the age of 15. This bacterial infection, also known as bartonellosis, is transmitted from cats to humans:
  • In nearly 8 out of 10 cases by scratching,
  • In 1 case out of 10 by a bite,
  • In 1 case out of 10 by simple contact with a contaminated cat.
It is often stray cats that infect domestic cats, and each small feline can be infected several times in its life. People who come in contact with cats on a daily basis are therefore particularly susceptible to this zoonotic disease.

Although cat scratch disease is a benign disease, it can in some cases lead to serious complications in some patients. This severe form, considered atypical, can cause
  • Liver or other vital organ disease,
  • An ocular attack,
  • Endocarditis,
  • encephalitis.
It is therefore essential to know how to detect the symptoms of this bacterial disease in order to receive the fastest possible treatment.

Symptoms and treatment of cat scratch disease

The incubation period for benign lymphoreticulosis of inoculation is between one week and two months. Its main symptoms are as follows:
  • Momentary appearance of a redness or pimple in the area of the scratch or bite,
  • High fever,
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes: this manifestation tends to prove that the disease has already been established for about 20 days,
  • Headaches of varying intensity,
  • Possible skin rashes,
  • Weight loss.
In the majority of cases, recovery is spontaneous. But if there is any doubt, a doctor should be consulted. After confirmation of the diagnosis, the patient is prescribed a bactericidal betalactamine antibiotic treatment. Generally, the daily dose is a maximum of 3 g of amoxicillin, but it must be adapted to the patient, his age and medical history. If the dosage is followed to the letter, the patient's condition will improve markedly in just a few days.

How to prevent cat scratch disease?

Of course, disinfection of a wound, even a small one, is essential in case of a scratch or a bite by your cat or by an unknown cat. But daily hygiene is the first prevention against cat scratch disease. It is indeed imperative to wash your hands thoroughly after touching the animal. Similarly, the body areas that the cat has licked should be cleaned without delay. The fact that the little feline is clean and in perfect health does not mean that it cannot be contaminated, since nearly half of all cats are infected by the Bartonella henselae bacteria.

It is important to take special precautions when children play frequently with their cat or with a stray cat. And if you welcome a cat into your home, it is recommended that you educate the animal as soon as possible so that it does not get into the habit of licking, scratching or chewing its owners (young or old). At the same time, children are also taught to behave in an exemplary manner towards their pet in order to limit the risk of scratches and bites.

Feline borreliosis: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Feline borreliosis is a disease transmitted to cats by ticks. It is also called Lyme disease. Its consequences can be serious. The symptoms attributable to it are not specific to borreliosis. Therefore, it is essential and urgent to consult a veterinarian at the slightest doubt. Spotlight on Lyme disease which affects cats more rarely than dogs.

Feline Borreliosis: symptoms

Transmitted to the animal by the bite of a tick, feline borreliosis goes unnoticed during the first months, the symptoms of the disease only start to appear after at least 12 weeks. These include:
  • High fever,
  • A decrease in appetite,
  • General apathy,
  • Pain due to joint inflammation, mainly in the area near the tick bite. This inflammation can lead to joint stiffness in the cat's limbs, and in the most serious cases, to paralysis.
  • Vital organs such as the heart and kidneys can be affected.
Borreliosis can be fatal.

Feline Borreliosis or Lyme Disease: Causes

Feline borreliosis is an infectious disease transmitted by ticks. These mites attach themselves to the cat's skin and, by feeding on the animal's blood, transmit an infection. But in order to carry the disease, the ticks must have previously been contaminated by bacteria that they ingested while in the wild.

These mites live in coppices, ditches, woods and forests, meadows, but also simply in the garden in rural and urban areas. They can be found from January to December, but it is especially between March and September that the risk of being bitten is greatest.

As a rule, a tick will infect a cat after it has been attached to the skin for at least 24 hours. The risk of feline borreliosis is therefore considerably lower if the owner of the small cat removes a tick as soon as the cat returns from a walk.

Feline Borreliosis: Diagnosis and Treatment

When the owner notices that his cat has not been in good shape for some time, he must take him to the veterinarian. But the veterinarian may have some difficulty diagnosing feline borreliosis during a simple consultation. Additional examinations are essential. Generally, a blood test is done so that a serological test can be performed. This test is used to look for the presence of specific antibodies and to measure their quantity.

Based on the results of the serological test and the symptoms described by the cat's owner, the veterinarian can confirm or deny the diagnosis of borreliosis.

If it appears that the cat is a carrier of Lyme disease, the only possible treatment is the prescription of antibiotics. At the same time, painkillers and even anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve the joint pain.

Feline Borreliosis: Prevention

To prevent the risk of feline borreliosis, it is necessary to carefully inspect your cat after each trip to the garden or the surroundings. It is advisable to remove his hair to look for ticks that may have attached themselves to his skin. If so, simply remove the mites with a tick remover. It is also possible to entrust this task to your veterinarian.

It is also highly recommended to choose specific pipettes and/or to give your cat an anti-parasite collar. These products, which can be purchased in pharmacies, drugstores, supermarkets or on websites dedicated to pets, keep parasites away, including ticks.

Natural and ecological cat litter: what solutions?

Litter is a product that we use regularly when we have one or more cats. But not all commercial products are biodegradable or recyclable. We might as well opt for the most ecological litter because the planet is cruelly beginning to saturate. It must be said that our 13.5 million cats generate a whopping 400,000 tons of litter per year. Doesn't that leave you wondering? So let's take a look at the natural solutions that can be used as litter without harming the environment.

Impact of cat litter on the environment

A cat alone generates nearly 35 kg of litter in one year. One can imagine the impact on the environment that this represents for the totality of cats living in France within a household.

Non-renewable resources are used to manufacture the litter that is poured into a cat's toilet. One of these resources is clay, which can only be obtained after it has been extracted from a quarry, using large machines that need a lot of fuel to operate and that emit a good amount of CO2. In addition, the extraction process generates an impressive amount of dust.

To meet consumer demand, we now manufacture litters:
  • Scented,
  • Bleached.
  • Treated with :
    • insecticides to fight against parasites,
    • Fungicides to limit the occurrence of fungi.
These treatments entail risks, both in terms of health and the environment.

Finally, once soiled, the litter is thrown away, usually in the garbage bag that is taken by the household waste collection services to the nearest waste disposal center. Truck, fuel consumption and (re)-Co2. This is where the litter is then incinerated, a process that results in the formation of a large quantity of ash.

After this little reminder, it is easy to understand why cat owners should opt for the most natural litter possible.

What should be the qualities of a natural and ecological litter for the cat?

If you want to do something for the environment and public health, it's best to use a litter box with the following characteristics in your pet's toilet:
  • Natural,
  • Generates less waste,
  • Lightweight to be easier to carry,
  • Biodegradable,
  • Recyclable,
  • Non-polluting,
  • Generates as little dust as possible,
  • Hygienic,
  • Anti-odour (which is different from "perfumed"),
  • Free of any type of additive such as insecticide or fungicide,
  • Highly absorbent, i.e. capable of absorbing at least one and a half times its weight in liquid. It is also said to be hydrophilic.
Ideally, in addition to having all these characteristics, the litter you should buy should remain dry on the surface so as not to discourage your pet and, if possible, not amalgamate with its paw pads.

Natural and eco-friendly litters to choose from

Everyone can choose the option that suits them best between buying their litter from a large chain store or pet shop or preferring homemade.

Vegetable litter, wood is the must

A natural and ecological litter of vegetable origin can be composed of wood pellets of poplar, pine or fir from our region. The mini wood pellets are very small but heavy sticks that do not stay in the dense fur of long-haired cats.

Another solution is to use corn cobs, which have many of the qualities you would expect from a natural, environmentally friendly litter. The disadvantage is that if all small cat owners use this method, the farmland will be used only to create cat litter.

You can also opt for granulated hemp, which is very absorbent and non-dusty, or for crushed flax stems. But they do not retain bad odors. As for chopped straw, it is not sufficiently absorbent. Oat hulls can still be composted, but the excrement they contain after being used as litter favors the multiplication of many bacteria. Beware of toxoplasmosis!

Mineral litter

Clay, bentonite and sepiolite are among the minerals used in the manufacture of most commercial cat litters, and the diameter of the small granules varies from one brand to another or from one mineral to another. If you want to buy a mineral litter, avoid one that has been bleached, scented or contains a chemical treatment product.

Whichever solution you choose, it is essential to buy only NF-labeled components. This guarantees that the litter is safe, efficient, contains at least 95% recycled materials and is traceable, and generates a low rate of ash when incinerated. Very important too, the label guarantees that the litter can be used in compost.

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