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Spikelets in cats: beware of danger! How to act ?

In spring and summer, an enemy of the cat makes its great return, it is the spikelet. Often forgotten and underestimated, this plague is nevertheless a real danger. It's a simple spike that comes off when it dries, but when it gets caught in the fur of a moped, it can cause serious damage, as it continues its journey through the skin and tissues and penetrates the orifices. Here are our tips on how to deal with spider mites on your cat.

Spikelets are an often overlooked source of danger for cats!

Spikelets are dry grasses that cats may encounter on their spring and summer walks. It's simply a spike that, as it dries, detaches from its stem. Unfortunately, when the cat walks by, the spikelet can get caught on the cat's fur and become embedded in the skin or in an orifice.

Once planted in the skin or hair, the spikelet always progresses in the same direction by its pointed end. It can thus be embedded between the pads, but also introduce itself in an orifice like the ears, the nostrils, the eyes, the genitals or the anus. This seed travels and moves until it pierces the skin and tissue, sometimes deeply.

The presence of a spikelet can therefore have serious consequences for the cat. It can lodge in the paw pads and cause lameness, but it can also creep in unnoticed and remain invisible, despite the damage it causes. In fact, the wound formed by a spikelet is not always clearly visible, especially if it is located in a thick or long hair. Generally, an abscess forms at the level of the wound, but it can be more or less deep and detectable depending on the location of the spikelet.

Signs that should alert you

To detect the presence of a spikelet on your cat as soon as possible, here are the signs you should watch for:
  • If a spikelet is in the skin, the cat may lick the affected area excessively.
  • If the spikelet penetrates the nose, the cat may experience bleeding, runny nose or sneezing.
  • If it has penetrated the eye, the eye will be red, watery and may be swollen.
  • If the spikelet has entered the ear, the cat may shake its head or scratch.
  • The presence of an abscess on the surface of the skin may be a sign that a spikelet has penetrated the cat's skin and caused an infection.
Never underestimate a spikelet, as it can seriously injure your cat.

What to do about a pimple in a cat?

An untreated spikelet can leave serious damage without proper management. Depending on where it penetrates and how deep it goes, it can cause serious internal damage.
  • A spikelet that penetrates the cat's eyes can cause ulceration of the cornea and the cat can lose sight if infected.
  • If it gets into the ears, it can cause inflammation, such as otitis, or even perforate the eardrum, causing the cat to become deaf.
  • If it gets into the nose, the spikelet can progress to the bronchi and lungs and cause respiratory problems.
  • If it enters the genital tract or anus, it can cause a vaginal, bladder or rectal infection.
A spikelet keeps advancing into the heart of the tissue, which can cause severe damage, but also a lot of pain for the cat. It is therefore imperative to consult the veterinarian, even if you don't see it.

Additional tests may be necessary if the spikelet is not visible to the naked eye, such as an ultrasound or x-ray. Sometimes the spikelet can be very simply removed by the veterinarian. Unfortunately, in other cases, its removal requires more or less important and numerous interventions. So don't wait to consult the specialist at the slightest doubt!

How to prevent spider veins in cats?

It is difficult to protect a cat that has free access to the outdoors. The only way to protect your cat from spider mites is to inspect its body after each walk, hoping that an intruder has not already penetrated its flesh.

If your pet only walks in your yard, be sure to remove any spikelets that may be there to limit the risk.

Taurine: does the cat need it as a food supplement?

Taurine is an amino acid that cats need for good health. Since his body is unable to synthesize it alone in sufficient quantities, it is essential to provide it through the diet. However, is it necessary to supplement your cat with food supplements? What are the signs of taurine deficiency? Our answers in this file.

What is taurine?

Taurine is an amino acid that cats are not able to synthesize in sufficient quantities for their health, unlike dogs, which is why it is important to provide it through a balanced and quality diet.

Taurine is present in animal proteins, i.e. in meat, fish and shellfish dishes. Vegetable proteins do not contain taurine, which is why a vegetarian diet is not suitable for our little lounge felines.

To ensure that your cat is getting enough taurine, make sure his diet contains it. Kibbles and cat food contain cooked animal protein. Cooking these foods destroys the heat-sensitive taurine. This is why taurine is added as a supplement to these foods, despite the presence of meat, fish or shellfish.

If, on the other hand, you prepare your dog's meals yourself, be careful about the amount of taurine. If you feed your dog fresh meat and fish and don't overcook them, his taurine intake will be sufficient. If you feed your dog fresh meat and fish and do not overcook them, the taurine content will be reduced and insufficient.

Taurine plays an important role in the cat's metabolism and particularly in its digestion. It also helps regulate body temperature. Taurine is also involved in the cat's brain development and promotes the absorption of good dietary fats.

What are the signs of taurine deficiency in cats?

A cat whose diet does not meet its taurine needs may show several symptoms, some of which may be serious:
  • The animal may develop dilated cardiomyopathy, which is a severe heart condition that causes the heart to dilate significantly and not function properly.
  • The cat can suffer from a degradation of the retina. Its vision is diminished and it can lose its sight irreversibly.
  • Reproductive disorders are noted.
  • Pregnant females are at high risk of fetal death.
  • The kittens that are born have a long development and are often affected by malformations.
  • The animal's immune system is weakened.
  • The cat tends to be more aggressive, nervous or irritable.
It should be noted that the first clinical signs appear very late, after at least 6 months of deficiency.

Should I supplement my cat with taurine?

Cats do not produce enough taurine on their own, so they are not able to meet the needs of their body. Your little friend needs an average of 500 mg of taurine per day, even more for older cats and pregnant females.

Taurine deficiencies are rare, as a diet of kibble and food generally covers your cat's needs. Be careful, however, if you feed your cat dog food, as it does not contain enough taurine.

If your pet is taurine-deficient, you can choose a high-quality, healthy, high-end diet to ensure a good supply of essential nutrients and amino acids. It is also possible to give him taurine-based dietary supplements.

Choose a pure powdered taurine to mix in your pet's food or to dilute in its water. Tasteless, it is rarely detected by the animal and therefore swallowed without difficulty. You will notice that your pet's coat is more beautiful and shiny after a few weeks of treatment.

In short, giving taurine to your cat as a food supplement is not necessarily necessary. A healthy animal fed a quality diet will not need it. On the other hand, if your cat shows the above-mentioned signs, if you give him a low-quality diet or if his coat is dull, you can give him taurine. Be careful though, as the symptoms mentioned can be related to other conditions, some of which are serious. So be sure to consult your veterinarian if you have any doubts.

Gastroenteritis in cats: symptoms, causes, treatments and prevention

Gastroenteritis, whose two major symptoms are vomiting and diarrhea, can have very diverse causes. The cat must therefore be treated quickly so that the origin of this digestive inflammation or irritation can be identified and the veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate treatment. It should never be neglected, because in some cases, its consequences can be serious. Zoom on gastroenteritis in cats.

What is gastroenteritis?

Gastroenteritis is the term used to designate either an inflammation or an irritation of the mucous membrane that covers the internal wall of the digestive tract. It affects the gastric mucosa (stomach) but also the intestine (enteritis), hence the name gastroenteritis. It is common in humans and occurs every year, especially during the winter, and can reach or even exceed the epidemic threshold. This disease also affects some pets, but it can be at any time of the year. The cat can therefore suffer from gastroenteritis.

Gastroenteritis in cats: symptoms

The main symptoms of gastroenteritis are:
  • Vomiting,
  • Diarrhea.
But these manifestations are also present in case of poisoning or are part of the clinical picture of many diseases such as pancreatitis, liver or kidney failure ... That's why it is preferable to consult the veterinarian so that the exact origin of vomiting and diarrhea is clearly identified.

Other symptoms are possible, and they generally vary according to the origin of the gastroenteritis. For example, they may include:
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Loss of weight in just a few days,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Hyperthermia,
  • Asthenia,
  • Dehydration,
  • A deterioration of the general state,
  • Blood in vomit and/or bloody diarrhea.
Depending on the cause of the gastroenteritis, the consequences can be serious for the cat and can even engage its vital prognosis.

Gastroenteritis in cats: the causes

Its causes are variable since gastroenteritis can be due :
  • A toxic substance (detergent product, plant ...) very irritating for the digestive tract of the cat,
  • A virus as is the case with Feline Typhus, but this extremely contagious disease - which is a serious form of gastroenteritis - is fortunately not very common because domestic cats are vaccinated. On the other hand, it is still prevalent in small felines that have not been vaccinated.
  • To a Salmonella or Escherichia coli type of bacteria (this is quite rare in cats),
  • An intestinal parasite,
  • An inadequate diet (cow's milk in an adult cat, food intended for humans...) or a sudden change in the animal's diet. Irritation or inflammation of the stomach and/or intestines can also result from the cat eating a bird or rodent that it has hunted.

Gastroenteritis in cats: treatments

To treat a mild case of gastroenteritis, the veterinarian usually prescribes a treatment that will quickly stop abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and spasms. This treatment can be an intestinal bandage, an anti-vomiting medication, an anti-diarrheal medication or an antispasmodic medication.

For a day or two at the most, the animal should be put on a diet (but always have clean, fresh water available) and then given a high-digestible food so that the resumption of feeding goes well.

The cat may also be treated with antibiotics or antiparasitics. It all depends on the cause of the gastroenteritis. Finally, in case of severe dehydration, the animal can be put on a drip to be rehydrated very quickly, and if its health condition is very worrying, a targeted injectable treatment is essential. In this case, hospitalization is inevitable.

Preventing gastroenteritis in cats

Prevention includes systematic vaccination against panleukopenia (feline typhus) and regular treatment against parasites such as intestinal worms.

You must also always take care to give your cat perfectly adapted food, of very good quality. Contrary to popular belief, a cat should never drink cow's milk because it cannot digest it, and if it is a kitten, only a specific milk should be used. It is also important to avoid sudden changes in its diet because this animal is sensitive at the digestive level.

Tumors and cancers in cats: what are they?

The cat can have a benign tumor or a malignant tumor. The first is non-cancerous, the second is also called cancer. It is very important to consult a veterinarian as soon as you notice a drop in form or symptoms that persist beyond two or three days in order to protect your pet's life. In some cases, it is even necessary to consult an emergency doctor. The earlier a tumor is diagnosed, the better the chances of recovery. Let's take a look at tumors and cancers in cats.

Benign and malignant tumors: differences

A benign tumor does not pose any particular problem in most cases because it can be cured. A surgical intervention is enough to remove the localized mass. It should be noted, however, that some benign tumors become cancerous - but these are quite rare cases - and others, too large, cannot be surgically removed.

As for the malignant tumor or cancerous tumor, it can engage the vital prognosis of the cat. It is more frequent in older cats, but can sometimes affect a young cat. Primary tumor refers to the initial tumor and secondary tumor refers to the proliferation of metastases (cancerous cells) from a primary tumor. Cancer can develop in any tissue or organ and metastasis can spread to organs distant from the primary cancer.

Cancers in cats

Here are the main cancers that can be diagnosed in a cat.

Lymphoma: it is a cancer of the lymphatic system it can affect different organs, but the most frequent form is the digestive lymphoma. Cats between the ages of 9 and 13 are frequently affected, as are young cats with leukemia or AIDS. Some forms of lymphoma are preventable, especially through neutering. Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice.

Mammary malignant tumors: frequent in older cats, this cancer can cause metastasis that can affect other organs in nearly 50% of cases. If it is admitted that the contraceptive pill favors this cancer in cats, on the contrary the sterilization made as soon as possible considerably reduces the risks.

Fibrosarcoma: the causes of fibrosarcoma in cats are still poorly identified today. Mainly located between the shoulder blades, this cancer of the subcutaneous tissue frequently leads to recurrences because the malignant tumor cannot always be removed 100%. Metastases are possible in 25% of cases.

Squamous cell carcinoma: This is an extremely common cancer in cats and the prognosis is very poor when the tumor is advanced. The risk in white cats is thirteen times greater than in cats of other colors.

Tumor in cats: the importance of diagnosis

To know the exact nature of a tumor in cats, the veterinarian must take a sample (biopsy) or remove the tumor (excision) for analysis. Once the diagnosis is made with certainty, a care protocol is put in place. Depending on the type of tumor, its severity, its location, the fact that there are or are not metastases, the treatment can be long and the convalescence of the animal too.

It is essential that the cat's owner be able to inform the veterinarian of the changes he or she has noticed in the animal, both physically and behaviorally. This can really put the practitioner on the right track. Apathy, diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, unexplained aggressiveness, lymph nodes or a mass that can be felt by palpation, or even balance problems should not be overlooked.

Cancer in cats: treatments

Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy are the different forms of treatment of a cancer in cats. But unfortunately, they do not always allow to save the animal. Taken in charge too late, a cancer does not cure. Hence the importance of regularly taking your little companion to the veterinarian, especially since some cancers are insidious and are, at least at the beginning, totally asymptomatic (i.e. they do not cause any particular symptoms).

It is recommended to have a health check-up done at least once a year to verify that your cat is in good health. This also allows to detect problems that the owner did not suspect and therefore to set up an adapted treatment at an early stage. Veterinary expenses can have a heavy impact on the pet owner's budget if he has not taken out health insurance. It is therefore recommended to insure your cat as soon as possible in order to be reimbursed, partially or totally, in case of a problem. Let's not forget that a cancer in a cat implies a heavy and long treatment that can be very expensive.

Cat litter: how to choose the best one?

The cat is a clean animal, that's why the choice of its litter is important. It must be suitable for the cat so that it uses it regularly and it must meet the comfort expected by the master to avoid strong odors in the house. There are three types of cat litter.

Mineral litter

This is the most common type of litter. It comes in the form of granules and most of the time, it is made of clay. The advantage of this litter is its price, it is the cheapest on the market and it absorbs urine and odors properly. However, the mineral litter is more dusty, which is not recommended for owners and especially for cats with allergies. It is changed once or twice a week.

Silica litter

Silica litter is composed of a mixture of zeolites, a material that gives it the power to absorb odors and urine. With this good absorption capacity, the litter lasts longer, from 3 weeks to 1 month. The litter appears as transparent crystals, with small blue tips. The cost of this type of litter is a little more expensive, but it is more practical and comfortable for both the cat and its owner. The particularity of this litter is that as the days go by, its color turns to yellow.

The vegetable litter

If you're feeling green, this is the 100% natural litter. It comes in the form of fibers and granules. Fiber litter is composed of wood fibers, sawdust or shavings that have the advantage of containing the multiplication of bacteria. The disadvantage of fibers is that they are quite light and stick to the cat's paws, which can cause the cat to reject the litter. Granular litter is more comfortable for cats because it is made of small sticks, which are less light and non-volatile. The advantage of this eco-friendly litter is that it is biodegradable for the environment so it can be flushed down the toilet. As an environmentally friendly material, it is not necessarily more expensive than other types of litter. Litter, whether fiber or granular, is changed every 4 to 5 days.

The particularities of certain cat litters

Clumping cat litter provides real comfort for the cat and its owner. When the cat urinates, the soiled part of the litter forms small balls while leaving the rest dry. Simply remove the clumps and the litter will last a little longer.

The scented litter also exists in several types on the market. Its "plus" is its ability to cover bad odors, a point that the master will appreciate, but we must be careful with the cat who likes to be attached to its smell. Cats are very sensitive to odor, so it is important to take this into account when purchasing a litter box.

The goal is for the litter box to be attractive and comfortable for the cat to be clean. The best litter box is the one that will suit your cat, probably after several tests. Paying attention to your cat's daily behavior can help you choose the right litter box for him.

My cat has motion sickness: how to solve the problem?

Meowing, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea... Your cat's motion sickness turns your trip into a real ordeal. Why is your cat sick? What solutions can you provide to make everyone's journey a pleasant one?

Motion sickness in cats: the symptoms

An animal suffering from motion sickness shows various clinical signs. Throughout the journey, he meows, agitates, vomits, urinates, has diarrhea... Some cats may show anxiety disorders as soon as they become aware of an imminent departure. Stress and motion sickness can complicate any car trip, but where do these symptoms come from?

Causes of motion sickness in cats

Your cat's problems have two causes:
  • A physiological reason. As with humans, car sickness can be related to an inner ear problem, which for cats is the center of balance. The organs in the cat's ear do not properly analyze the situation between the stationary cat and the movement of the vehicle. This malfunction - which particularly affects young cats whose inner ear is not yet fully formed - causes nausea.
  • A matter of stress. A car trip is a source of anxiety that manifests itself in the various clinical signs mentioned above. The situation can get worse when the cat, remembering the previous bad experience, develops a car phobia with each additional trip. And the more stressed he gets, the sicker he gets.

Before getting in the car: 3 Tips

  • Don't feed your cat for two hours before departure and give him light meals 48 hours before.
  • Consider the travel essentials: a comfortable, large enough carrier, a thin cloth to cover it, a small litter box (or disposable box), a bowl with fresh water, a blanket or your pet's favorite toy.
  • Don't force your cat into the car. Encourage your cat to enter your car with a treat or favorite toy.

During the trip: 5 recommendations

  • For your cat's safety, place her in a carrier on the floor. This is the place where your pet will feel the least amount of vibration.
  • Adopt a smooth driving style, avoiding jerks and sharp turns. Also, don't turn up the volume of your music too loud.
  • Provide plenty of ventilation, as heat can aggravate your cat's motion sickness. Turn on the air conditioning or open the window if necessary. If the trip is very sunny, place a sun shade on the window.
  • Schedule regular breaks. A stop every two hours will allow your pet to relieve itself and drink. To avoid the risk of your pet running away from traffic, tie him up with a leash.
  • Don't pet your pet when it appears to be frightened, as you may reinforce the idea that its behavior is normal. Instead, you can talk to him in a gentle voice. Your presence will soothe her.

Teaching your cat to overcome motion sickness

The best treatment is to get your cat used to travel. Positive conditioning involves teaching her to perceive the car as a pleasant place. This technique is the best way to get rid of motion sickness in your cat for good. This method is done in several steps over a period of three weeks.
  • Get your cat used to its carrier by putting it in it with a toy and a blanket. Put him in the car every day for fifteen minutes. Stay in the car without turning on the engine. Pet your cat and play with him to give him confidence. He will see that the space does not move or vibrate.
  • Repeat the experiment daily for a second week, still without driving but with the engine running. This time, your cat will get used to the vibrations of the car.
  • From the third week on, make short trips: ten minutes at first, then lengthen the distance each time so that your cat gets used to the vehicle's movements.
  • Don't forget to reward your pet for his progress at the end of each training session.

Medication for motion sickness in cats

If, despite positive conditioning, you haven't been able to put an end to your cat's motion sickness, other solutions exist. :
  • At first, try natural solutions aiming at decreasing the cat's anxiety (Zylkene, Bach flowers, homeopathy...). Most of them are taken in cure, it is necessary to think about it a long time before the trip. The diffusion of pheromones in the vehicle can also calm the stress of your cat.
  • In a second step (if natural products don't work on your feline), you can try antihistamine treatments (against vomiting) or tranquilizers. Be careful, however, because some medications are not suitable for all cats, especially the elderly or those with kidney or liver problems. In any case, do not administer any medication without the advice of your veterinarian.

My cat fractured a limb: what should I do?

Cats have a more or less robust bone structure, depending on the breed. But they are all globally adapted to climb and jump. A cat will always land on its feet, if the height is sufficient for it to turn around. Despite this, accidents do happen, and often with cars. It can also be a fall that could not be controlled. If, as a result of an accident, your cat has broken a limb, here is what you should do.

Make the diagnosis

If your cat is just limping, she may have something that's bothering her and preventing her from putting her paw down, or it may be a simple muscle or tendon injury. You can then inspect it, observe how it reacts to manipulation, but there is usually no emergency and you can take the time to observe how the situation evolves over a few days.

In the case of a fracture of one of the legs, the cat no longer puts the limb on the ground. In the case of a closed fracture (without injury), the urgency is less than in the case of an open fracture where there is a wound and therefore a risk of infection.

In the case of an impact with a vehicle, it is not the fracture that is most urgent to treat but the impact-induced damage to the internal organs.

In all these cases, take your cat to a veterinarian without delay! While on the road, monitor her breathing and alertness and report back when you arrive.

Once you've made the decision to take your cat to the vet, you should try to immobilize her to prevent the injury from getting worse. If you feel this is too difficult to do and your cat is quite calm, take him or her with you.


The veterinarian will first take x-rays.

The treatment of the fracture will then vary depending on the severity and location of the fracture, but also on the age of the animal.

With a little luck, your cat will only have a splint or a cast. This is quite rare because it is impossible to prevent an animal from using a fractured limb. The repair is therefore complicated by this.

The injury may therefore often require surgery to place screws, pins or plates. A 3-day observation period is then often necessary after surgery so that the veterinarian can make sure your cat is recovering properly.

Upon discharge, your cat will probably need to take medication and wear a collar, which is the only way to prevent him from removing his bandage.

The cost of care

A simple broken paw costs between 600 and 1500 euros, plus the cost of hospitalization and medication.

If you have taken out a mutual insurance policy, you will be reimbursed, depending on the options you choose and any deductibles. Insurance is always expensive until you need it. And the definition of an accident being unpredictable, these are costs that are difficult to budget for. If your cat has a serious accident, it's already a heartbreaker for you, it shouldn't be one for your wallet.

Is the GPS collar for cats really useful?

It's well known that cats like to snoop around their homes to the point of sometimes forgetting the way home. Rest assured, manufacturers have developed a technological device to locate the little rascal. How does a GPS collar work? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Is it really useful? Our guide.

What is a GPS collar for cats?

A GPS collar for cats is a connected object that identifies the geographical location of your pet. This device receives data from the orbiting satellite system to define the exact position of the animal to which it is attached. This information is then transmitted thanks to the cellular module on an electronic receptacle: computer, phone, tablet... This transmission - which is done in real time and at any distance - requires an internet connection. The GPS tracker can also send information by SMS. In all cases, the device requires a SIM card with a subscription.

How to find your cat quickly with GPS?

To locate a lost cat, there are three ways to use a GPS: the map (satellite view or classic map), the compass and the radar. The map is the most used technique to determine the perimeter where the animal is, but once on the spot, the accuracy of the radar will accelerate its location through the mobile application. The compass will be especially useful to find the animal in a large territory.

The radio beacon, another tracking system

The radio beacon is an alternative to the GPS collar and its principle is simpler. If the cat is in the area, the device emits a radio signal that you will receive through a small box. Lights and sounds will then put you on the right track by indicating the direction and the distance to go. The search radius is up to 1.5 km on some models, which usually covers the cat's territory. Beacons are generally lighter and less bulky than GPS trackers. The radio transmitter that is placed on the cat's collar weighs about 5 grams and is the size of a 2$ coin.
  • Advantage: they do not require a SIM card or a subscription.
  • Disadvantage: its localization perimeter is rather limited and is reduced according to the obstacles (for example, if buildings in concrete walls are located between the transmitter and the receiver).

Criteria to check before buying a GPS collar

Before buying a GPS collar, you should consider the following criteria
  • The size and robustness of the collar. Efforts in miniaturization have been made but a GPS tracker remains heavy for the cat which can be disturbed by the dimensions and weight of the device. However, light models (25 grams) are available on the market. The IP67 certification guarantees its waterproofness.
  • Autonomy. To avoid having to recharge the device daily, an autonomy of at least 3 days is strongly recommended. On some models, the battery does not discharge before 72 hours and up to 8 days depending on the selected parameters.
  • The telephone network. As the GPS collar uses a SIM card, its performance will depend on the quality of the local GSM telephone network. If you live in a white zone and you have poor reception at home, the effectiveness of the GPS collar will suffer. In this case, a radio beacon may be more suitable for you.
  • Accuracy. Make sure that your GPS collar is as accurate as possible in order to locate your cat as quickly as possible, even in the most inaccessible places.
  • The frequency of transmission. The minimum requirement is a transmission every hour in order to know where the feline wanders without necessarily launching a search. This regular update is crucial when you have lost your pet.

The various functions offered by the GPS collar

Manufacturers are not lacking in imagination when it comes to providing their products with optional features. Among the most interesting are :
  • Safety zone. This virtual fence sends a notification when the cat crosses the geographical limits you set on its GPS collar.
  • Voice, sound and vibration call. This option allows you to contact your cat and talk to it when it gets lost. The ring and vibrate function will be very useful when the cat has associated this signal with a return home.
  • Location history. This feature summarizes your pet's activity when he is away for hours. You'll know where he's been all day and what he's been doing.
  • Fitness option. More fun than necessary, this feature shows how far your cat has traveled, how fast, how much energy it expended while out. The information will help you to adapt its nutritional needs.

Price of a GPS tracker for cats

It is difficult to find a quality collar for less than 60€. In general, you will need to spend around 100 $ to get a reliable device that will meet your selection criteria (sturdiness, accuracy, emission frequency, autonomy, etc...) It is better to spend more on a first purchase than to have to buy another one. To the price of the tracker, you will have to add the cost of the telephone package since all the GPS collars work with the network. Count on a budget of about 4 to 7 € maximum per month. Do not look for a GPS collar for cats without a subscription: this product does not exist.

GPS collar for cats: review

The only negative point of GPS cat trackers appears in case of theft of the animal because the criminal will only have to cut the collar to remove the possibility of location.
Note that bad weather conditions can slightly affect the tracking system.
If you take the time to choose your GPS collar carefully, this technological tool will be very useful in two ways: it will reassure you when your cat goes out and it will help you find him if his absence is unusually prolonged.

How to take the temperature of your cat?

A cat's body temperature is an important indicator to communicate to the veterinarian when the animal doesn't look well. But the kitty may not appreciate it. To avoid being bitten or scratched, it is highly recommended to get help from someone. Here's how to take your cat's temperature and then interpret the data indicated by the thermometer.

Taking a cat's temperature: procedure to follow

You need an electronic thermometer that detects the cat's temperature very quickly. There are specific devices, with a soft tip specially designed not to hurt the animal.
  • A person must hold the cat firmly so that it does not struggle. He or she must stand in front of the animal and talk to it in order to soothe it.
  • The other person coats the tip with Vaseline if necessary, lifts the cat's tail with one hand and smoothly inserts the tip of the electronic thermometer into the animal's anus with the other hand.
  • After a few seconds a beep will sound.
  • The thermometer should then be gently removed and disinfected.
  • To congratulate the animal for not moving, you can give it a treat.
Some owners are tempted to take the temperature with an ear or forehead thermometer. However, these are much less accurate than a rectal thermometer, which gives the most reliable result possible.

Temperature in cats: an indicator to watch

The average temperature in a cat is 38.5°C. It is considered normal if it is at least 38°C and does not exceed 39°C. It should be noted, however, that it may be slightly lower or higher depending on the environment in which the cat finds itself or on its current physical activity. For example, if the cat is sleeping on a cold tile floor, the temperature may be 37.8°C, and if the kitty has just been chased by the neighbor's dog, the thermometer may indicate 39.2°C or 39.3°C as a result of the stress this situation may have generated. These variations are not worrying.

More problematic is the heat wave which can make the fever rise to more than 40°C, especially if the animal is victim of a heat stroke. The cat should drink immediately to rehydrate and should be cooled with a wet bath sheet, but only if you are sure that it is a heat stroke, because in other cases, during a high fever, you should not cool a cat because the body will raise the temperature again.

Anyway, fever can be due to an infection, an inflammatory disease, a trauma, a tumor... You have to be particularly careful with an old cat or a kitten because they are more fragile. But whatever the age of the animal, if it refuses to eat, coughs, that its general state is not at its best and that its temperature is low or on the contrary too high, it is obviously essential to take it to the veterinarian without delay. However, it is not advisable to take its temperature every half hour to see if it varies because the cat could lose patience and not let itself be done in the future.

What are the common diseases in an old cat?

As cats age, they develop a number of diseases, mainly due to a weakened immune system. Most of these diseases appear after the age of 10. It is important to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Chronic renal failure in cats

Kidney failure is one of the most common diseases affecting older cats. With age, the body becomes defective. In particular, the kidneys begin to break down for many reasons, are no longer able to remove toxins from the bloodstream, and have difficulty absorbing water. When a cat has kidney failure, it develops several symptoms. They begin to drink a lot of water and urinate at a very regular rate. It has problems with motor skills, its skin loses elasticity and it becomes increasingly thin. He may also be prone to vomiting.

Hyperthyroidism in cats

Hyperthyroidism also affects many older cats. This is an endocrine disease that causes the animal to be hyperactive. The cat moves a lot and eats a lot. It also drinks and urinates a lot. Then, it begins to lose weight rapidly, stops eating and eventually stops all activity. He or she is also prone to severe vomiting. To treat this condition, the cat must take thyroid hormones in addition to various other medications.

Diabetes in cats

Just like humans, cats can develop diabetes over the years. This occurs when there is a failure in insulin production or when insulin no longer works properly in the body. The cat begins to lose weight, drink and urinate heavily. At first, it may seem like kidney failure. But it's important to test and detect the blood glucose level to be sure.

Cat cancers

Humans and animals alike are victims of tumors. The accumulation of carcinogenic substances in the blood eventually leads to the appearance of the disease when the animal gets older. Lung, intestinal, mammary... whatever the form of the tumor, it causes a decrease in form, appetite and weight loss. 1.5% of cats also have brain tumors that cause behavioral changes or neurological dysfunction.

Joint disorders in cats
Older cats are not spared from joint disorders. They suffer from degenerative joint damage. Osteoarthritis is also a disease they suffer from. They have difficulty moving, make whining noises and can no longer stand up. In such cases, it is important to adapt their living environment to offer them the best comfort. For example, it is advisable to move the bed so that it is easy to reach.

High blood pressure in cats
Hypertension is usually another symptom of hyperthyroidism and renal failure. But it can also occur in isolation and not show any signs. Hypertension is particularly dangerous because it causes retinal damage. Cats are at risk of blindness due to hemorrhaging in the eyes.

How many kittens can a female cat have in a litter?

When adopting or buying a female cat, it is important to find out how many kittens she can have in each litter, but also how many litters she can have year after year. This is a very serious subject because today we are confronted with feline overpopulation which is the cause of many problems on many levels. Spotlight.

When a female cat becomes a mother...

At the age of 6 months, a female cat reaches her sexual maturity. If she has not been sterilized, she can start having kittens as soon as she comes into heat. This period lasts at most a fortnight and for ovulation to occur, there must be mating.

A fertile female cat can easily be impregnated by a street tomcat or by a male whose owner is known, or even simply by the family cat if the family has a couple of small felines.

The gestation period lasts between 64 and 69 days, which is relatively short. A female cat can have between 4 and 8 kittens per litter, and 3 to 4 litters per year.

Reproduction in cats: a worrying subject

The fertility of cats has become an issue of great concern. As these animals reproduce exponentially, it is essential to ensure that a female cat is sterilized as soon as possible. The numbers are staggering, but knowing them helps us understand why there are so many cats in our country. It is indeed a question of overpopulation, and this one is at the origin of the animal misery that we cannot ignore any more.

It should be known that in only 4 years, a cat and a female cat can have a progeny of 18 000 to 20 000 individuals! The proliferation of cats must therefore be controlled, and this is the duty of each owner of a small feline. Sterilization is the only solution to protect these animals.

Feline overpopulation: serious consequences

The consequences of cat overpopulation have a considerable impact on animal shelters, which must take in several thousand kittens each year. Today, half of the cats taken in by the Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) are less than 6 months old. Most of them still need to be bottle-fed, which means that they are bottle-fed every day, at regular intervals.

Contrary to what many people think, spaying or neutering a female cat or tomcat is not cruel, but it is very helpful. It protects the health of the animals and their balance. There are more and more stray cats, and this promiscuity leads to a kind of saturation.

The free cats, that is to say left to themselves, fight fiercely to defend their territory, but they also live in great misery, lacking food and care. Many of them are seriously injured, even mutilated, have behavioral problems and/or are sick because they transmit all kinds of pathologies. Their life expectancy is reduced to 4 years, 5 years at the most, whereas a neutered cat raised by a responsible foster family can happily live 18 or 20 years.

Why is birth control for cats essential?

A drastic control of feline proliferation is everyone's duty. It can only be beneficial for all felines in our territory, whether they are street cats or cats living in a family. If you wish to have another cat, it is better to adopt a small cat from the SPA rather than to have your little friend reproduced, and it is better to have it sterilized.

Many of us are unaware that the cat is an invasive species. Cat overpopulation is the cause of an ecological disaster. There are so many cats now that they are unbalancing the ecosystems. Let's not forget that the cat is a great predator and that it is responsible for the disappearance of certain animal species, whether they are reptiles, mammals or birds, and this at the planetary level. Moreover, it is at the origin of the definitive disappearance of more than 60 species of animals, and in particular of endemic species which it decimated with the passing of time.

Many of them participated in the development of many plants by aerating the soil. The exponential proliferation of cats is a catastrophe that also has an impact on the flora.

Sterilization of male and female cats: the advantages

To sterilize his cat or her female cat has only advantages, namely:
  • Protects the animal against numerous pathologies, some of which are fatal,
  • Prolongs its life expectancy,
  • Allows to fight against the feline proliferation,
  • Helps maintain the balance of ecosystems,
  • relieves the congestion of animal shelters.
The sterilization of a cat or a female cat can be covered by a mutual insurance company for pets. It is up to each one of us to become more responsible by acting both for the safeguard of our planet and the good health of our little companions.

Why do we say that the cat makes the round back? Explanations

The language of the body says a lot about the mood of the moment, and not only in humans. Cats, like other animals, express themselves with their bodies. Observing your cat is very instructive because his different attitudes are a real means of communication. For example, if it makes the back round, it is far from being an effect of style. Let's take a closer look.

Puckering expresses fear in the cat

Cats exhibit a variety of behaviors throughout the day depending on their mood. When he arches his back, it's usually because he's afraid of some immediate danger. But what exactly is going on at that moment? The cat expresses its fear mixed with aggressiveness if it senses the presence of a hypothetical enemy. In a fragment of a second the cat bows and its hair bristles. Then the little feline starts to walk sideways. This posture of the crab has no other purpose than to impress an opponent.

Doing the big back to impose

The principle of the round back in the cat is strangely reminiscent of a fable by La Fontaine... Except that, unlike the frog that wanted to make itself as big as the ox out of jealousy, the cat adopts the round back attitude in order to appear bigger than it really is, with the simple aim of imposing to defend itself. Faced with a dog or another animal or even a human, for example, the cat frequently makes the big back.

Arching up to demand peace

Sometimes, the cat may simply arch its back to express its dissatisfaction with its master, even if the latter is far from being its sworn enemy. In this case, the animal does not express fear but rather disapproval. This little ball of fur does not tolerate in any way that the limits are exceeded ... well, his own. To encroach on his territory is enough to see him physically transform into a terrifying monster (at least that's what he thinks...). It's the same if his master approaches his cat when he just wants to be left alone. The message could not be clearer.

Round back and other strange signs: the attack is imminent

Convinced to impress the attacker by arching their backs, kittens and adult cats, male or female, accompany this gesture with a characteristic yelp or a growl. They spit and seem to stand on their toes. They fold their ears back, their pupils dilate, the eyelids are wide open and the vibrissae are stretched forward. There, the attack is imminent. Better get out of here.

The cat, a talented interlocutor

When you own a cat, it's in your best interest to pay attention to its body language. It's a sign of respect and affection. You can't imagine the number of messages a cat can send with his body and his calls alone. Some tail movements as well as the position of the ears are means of communication. The cat even manages to change the shape of its eyes to make itself understood. As for its vibrissae, they are not only used as a radar but are another way to make you understand that you are either relaxed or angry.

In any case, the signs that this pet transmits are extremely revealing, and knowing how to understand them allows to set up a relationship of mutual trust between the master and the cat. If some mimics are not very telling, you can meet a veterinarian behaviorist who can speak volumes on the subject. It is also the professional who is needed when you suspect behavioral problems in your cat. The consultations, quite expensive, can be reimbursed by a cat insurance.

My cat is afraid at the vet's: what advice do I have to calm him down?

Annual surveillance visit, vaccination, consultation in case of illness... there are many occasions to take your cat to the vet. But these visits lead to a feeling of fear in some cats that can become uncontrollable. A difficult situation for everyone, which does not facilitate the examination and can even represent a danger. Let's take a look at how to calm your cat down when he is scared at the vet.

Take your cat in its carrier to the consultation

This is absolutely essential because a cat that is afraid at the vet's office can have a panic attack in the waiting room and go crazy. He may struggle, scratch, bite because he feels trapped in this type of environment, having no possibility to flee. This represents a danger for his master, but also for the other people and animals who are waiting. And keeping your cat on a leash is not at all a good solution in these moments.

It is very helpful to spray the inside of the carrier with pheromones, about ½ hour before bringing the cat in. They will have a soothing effect on the little feline. You can also put in his favorite toy and some treats to distract and reassure him.

Avoiding stressful waiting

If the owner has the possibility to schedule a veterinary consultation early, or even as soon as the office opens, it is preferable because the wait will be shorter. A fearful cat can be even more anxious if it has to stay for a long time in its carrier or in the company of other cats and other animals who are also more or less afraid.

Reassure your fearful cat

The owner who is anxious about taking his cat to the veterinarian unconsciously communicates his stress to his little companion. Indeed, the cat is very receptive to his master's moods. It is therefore necessary to take it upon oneself to speak softly to your cat during the trip, including in the waiting room where you choose, if possible, a quiet place.

Some cats get scared when they see other people and animals around them that they don't know. Placing a bath sheet over the carrier while waiting for the consultation may be enough to soothe your cat.

Use a cat soothing spray

To prevent your cat from suddenly turning into a raging beast in the vet's waiting room or during the consultation, it's a good idea to use a soothing spray. You can opt for an herbal product such as valerian, which reduces stress and helps avoid behavioral problems when anxious. The visit to the veterinarian is no longer experienced by the cat as a stressful event. More serene, it is no longer likely to behave like a furious wildcat.

Note that there are also diffusers of soothing plant extracts, pills, calming pipettes with valerian and even collars containing active ingredients that are released gradually over a period of one month. Perfect for fearful, stressed and anxious cats.

Socialize your kitten so that she is less afraid of the veterinarian

The lack of contact with humans favors the feeling of fear in the cat. The earlier your kitten is used to visits to the veterinarian, the less likely she is to be afraid in this type of situation. It is recommended that your cat be socialized as soon as possible. To do so, he must see strangers (friends, neighbors...), be gradually put in contact with other pets, but also have multiple opportunities to discover different noises, new smells, etc.

We also get him used to being handled, by stroking, playing, daily brushing... Thus, the kitten becomes less and less afraid and has all the chances to be much less anxious at all times. Visits to the veterinarian will be stress-free for the cat and therefore for the person accompanying it.

Finally, if despite all these precautions the cat is still afraid at the veterinarian's or in other situations, it is necessary to talk to the professional so that a solution can be found because this may be the expression of a psychological problem.

Polycystic Kidney Disease in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

This serious hereditary disease that leads to kidney failure most frequently affects Persian cats as well as many other related feline breeds. It is a fatal disease in the long term because there is currently no treatment that can cure it. On the other hand, common sense allows to avoid its transmission from generation to generation. Zoom on this disease of sometimes very slow evolution.

Cats with polycystic kidney disease: cat breeds most affected by the disease

It is also called PKD for Polykystic Kidney Disease. It affects about 40% of Persian cats worldwide. Some other related breeds and cats crossed with a Persian are also particularly susceptible. In this category we can classify cats such as:
  • The Maine coon,
  • The Ragdoll,
  • The Scottish fold,
  • The Chartreux,
  • The Selkirk rex,
  • The Exotic shorthair,
  • The Sacred of Burma,
  • The British shorthair.
A cat that is heterozygous (carries only one mutation) can develop PKD, a genetic disease, at some point in its life but PKD can take years to develop. This dominant disease is then passed on to 50% of his descendants. However, in the case of homozygous embryos, i.e. those carrying two mutations, they are affected during their intrauterine development so that they are not viable. Their mothers spontaneously abort or give birth to stillborn kittens.

Cystic Kidney Disease in cats: definition and symptoms

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a disease in which cysts develop inside the kidneys. Over time, the cysts become larger and larger to the point of invading and compressing the parenchyma (kidney tissue). The result is poor kidney function, leading irreparably to what is known as chronic renal failure.

The rate of progression of PKD into kidney failure varies greatly from cat to cat. While some cats become severely ill only after a few years, others die when they are only 1 to 2 years old. In any case, it is impossible to estimate the life expectancy of a cat with polycystic kidney disease.

The symptoms of polycystic kidney disease in cats are
  • Intense thirst resulting in more water consumption than before,
  • Vomiting,
  • Halitosis or bad breath,
  • Mild loss of appetite that gradually turns into anorexia,
  • A loss of weight,
  • A lethargy...
We realize that the symptoms are not characteristic of this pathology, so some owners let some time pass before taking their little companion to the veterinarian. This is a serious mistake!

Cats with polycystic kidney disease: diagnosis and treatment

Auscultation may reveal an increase in the volume of the kidneys or an irregularity in their contour. The veterinarian then subjects the cat to a DNA test (specifically a PKD test). The reliability of this test is almost flawless, as it is over 99%. Simple to perform and absolutely not painful for the animal, it consists of a collection of cells by a buccal smear. It only takes a few days to receive the result from the analysis laboratory.

Other ways to check if the cat has PKD are imaging, such as an ultrasound or a simple X-ray. These additional examinations allow the veterinarian to confirm or deny the diagnosis.

However, there is no cure for a cat with PKD. The animal receives palliative care if necessary, and its owner must ensure that it follows a strict diet due to chronic renal failure. Although these precautions allow the animal to live more serenely, this serious disease irreparably causes the death of the cat.

PKD: precautions to take to avoid transmission of the disease

It is crucial that the detection is as early as possible so that the heterozygous cat benefits from a management before the pathology has done too much damage. Regular monitoring by a veterinarian can help anticipate PKD-related kidney failure.

This test is also very important for cat breeders who need to select their breeding males. Eliminating those with PKD is essential to ensure that the disease is not passed on to the kittens. Each owner must take responsibility and opt for the sterilization of all his cats carrying the mutation. It makes no sense to let the number of kittens affected by PDK increase.

This is why it is recommended to ask the veterinarian to perform a DNA test to verify if your cat (Persian or not) is at risk of developing this disease. In addition to the results, the owner of the cat is also given a genetic certificate. This document is very important if you want to prove that your cat is not a carrier. This gives the cat the opportunity to reproduce and sell its kittens afterwards.

Water fountain for cats: what are the advantages? How to choose it ?

The water fountain is a device that deserves to be classified among the indispensable accessories for the well-being and health of cats. It is not a gadget, on the contrary, because it encourages these pets, who by nature do not drink much, to become dehydrated. Zoom on the cat fountain, its advantages, the criteria of choice, the different models and the price range.

Water fountain: the ideal accessory for the cat

The water fountain for cats has many advantages. It is a device that dispenses water 24 hours a day. It is highly preferable to the water bowl that is placed in a corner of the house and that quickly stagnates, is full of cat hair and impurities of all kinds, stagnates, heats up and takes on an odor and a taste that the cat does not appreciate at all. The water fountain allows the animal to have water at will, and at any time of the day and night:
  • Perpetually moving, therefore perfectly aerated and oxygenated,
  • Clean,
  • Fresh,
  • Odorless,
  • Tasteless.
The water fountain is really recommended to stimulate the cat and encourage him to drink regularly because by nature, it is an animal that does not drink enough. It is therefore very important that he be encouraged to drink water for his health because it limits the risks of dehydration, especially when it is very hot in summer or when the house is overheated during the winter. Let's not forget that dry food, such as kibble, increases dehydration. In addition, cats are quite prone to cystitis and urinary stones. Encouraging him to drink regularly is crucial to promote urination.

Finally, as the water distributed by the fountain is always in motion, the cat can see it much better than when it is stagnant, as it has very poor eyesight. There is no need for the cat to judge the distance to the water before drinking. In fact, if you're a bit observant, you can see that many cats don't hesitate to drink from the tap, even though they tend to disdain their water bowl, as it's not very appetizing.

Water fountains: different models and selection criteria

Some water fountains are plugged into the mains, others are battery operated. The latter version may be considered less practical than the former.

The cat fountain comes in three different materials:
  • Ceramic, which is easy to clean and is much appreciated by cats. We like its aesthetic aspect.
  • Plastic, which is easy to clean but is not the cat's favorite material.
  • The stainless steel which guarantees a good resistance and is hygienic. Its decorative aspect is a plus and the owners are not insensitive to it.
To find the ideal water cooler for your cat, it is necessary to check the following criteria of choice:
  • The material,
  • The ease of disassembly and therefore of maintenance, knowing that it is preferable to opt for a water cooler that can be completely disassembled and where the majority of the elements are dishwasher safe for total disinfection.
  • The water level indicator, very practical to never let the fountain run dry.
  • The removable reservoir makes it easy to fill the fountain.
  • The presence of a reserve tank to avoid running out of water.
  • The presence of non-slip feet or pads so that the device is stable on the ground and does not slip.
  • The capacity, knowing that a 2 or 3 liters is well suited if you have several cats or if you have to go away throughout the day, or even a whole weekend and leave your pet alone.
  • With pump and activated carbon filter that distributes pure water, without bacteria, but also without odor and taste.
  • The type of jet that varies from one model to another so that we find :
    • The dome fountain: equipped with a sphere on which the water flows,
    • The cascade fountain: silent because you do not hear the noise due to the flow of water. It is also a model that is well suited to cats who like to drink from the tap,
    • The volcano fountain: the water spurts out of the bottom of the device to form a small spray that some cats like,
    • The multi-jet fountain: particularly suitable if you have several cats who can quench their thirst at the same time.
  • Silent for the well-being of all family members.
  • Equipped with a bowl and a waterfall allowing the cat to drink directly from the jet or from the container. Some fountains are even equipped with two bowls (one at the bottom and one at the top) so that they are suitable for both adult cats and kittens.
Finally, the price of a cat water fountain is also a criterion to consider. It depends on the material (knowing that plastic is less expensive than ceramic and stainless steel) but also on its operating system (battery or mains operated), the level of sophistication, the capacity, the brand. The price range for cat water coolers is therefore quite wide, since entry-level models cost around 15 $ and high-end models require a budget of around 45 to 50 $ at least.

What to do in case of cat scratches? What precautions should be taken?

Some infectious diseases are caused by cat scratches. These must therefore be followed by a local disinfection. But in many cases, a wound caused by a scratch given by his cat or an unknown cat must be shown to a doctor. Let's review the cat scratch disease and other possible infectious diseases in this type of situation, their symptoms, the risks of complications, and see what precautions to take to avoid being scratched by a kitty.

Cat scratches: what are the health risks?

Getting scratched by a cat is not harmless. In fact, an infection develops in more than 30% of people who are scratched. This is easy to understand: the claws of a cat, domestic or wild, are never perfectly clean. They are homes to bacteria, fungi and germs transmitted to humans at the slightest scratch. Therefore, one should not rely on the fact that a paw strike may be superficial because there is a real danger of having been contaminated.

If left untreated, a wound from a cat scratch can turn out badly and complications can arise. Although not transmissible from human to human, these conditions must be treated.

Cat scratches: beware of diseases such as lymphoreticulosis, sporotrichosis, pasteurellosis

The main diseases that can be transmitted by a cat's scratches are the following.

Benign lymphoreticulosis of inoculation

This is the most common disease transmitted to humans by licking a wound, biting and scratching a cat. Immunocompromised individuals and those with cancer are particularly affected by this disease, as are young people from birth to 20 years of age.

Benign lymphoreticulosis of inoculation is more commonly known as cat scratch disease. It is caused by Bartonella henselae, a bacterium carried by up to 40 percent of European cats, who transmit the bacteria to each other after being infected by fleas. The microorganisms are often found in the cat's mouth, and when the cat licks itself, it deposits them on its fur and claws.

Cat scratch disease causes the following symptoms:
  • Localized redness of the skin at the site of the scratch,
  • A lesion that forms one or more pimples containing pus (called pustules),
  • The appearance of a scab,
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes. The area varies depending on where the cat has been scratched:
    • Scratch on the hand, wrist or arm: lymph nodes under an armpit,
    • Scratching on the leg or foot: nodes in the groin,
    • Scratch on the face: nodes behind the ear or in the neck.
  • A sore throat,
  • A headache,
  • Sudden fatigue,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Pain:
    • Muscular,
    • Articular.
In a person in perfect health, the cat scratch disease heals spontaneously in a month at most and leaves no after-effects. On the other hand, in a fragile patient, the ganglions persist and are still present several months after the cat scratch. Sometimes a pustule forms, and fluid may even leak out through an abnormal opening in the skin.

Serious complications occur in 10% of people scratched by a cat:
  • One-sided conjunctivitis, which causes swelling of the eyelid, and a ganglion in the front of the ear may even appear.
  • Pneumonia, which is an acute lung infection,
  • Endocarditis, which is an infection of the inner lining of the heart muscle.


This is another disease transmitted by cat scratches. The culprit is Sporotrichum schenckii. It is a tropical fungus, so that sporotrichosis is rare in our latitudes. However, it is not impossible, especially when you travel with your cat in tropical and subtropical areas.

The symptoms of the disease appear between 3 days and 3 months:
  • Papules form and then nodules,
  • An ulceration of the nodules,
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the area near the cat scratch.
People with weak health can develop complications because of a weak immune system, the spread of sporotrichosis is possible to the lungs, joints, meninges, brain, bones...


This disease transmitted by a cat scratch is usually developed by newborns, infants (i.e., young children between 1 month and 2 ½ years of age) and immunocompromised individuals. These are particularly fragile segments of the population.

Pasteurellosis is caused by contamination with Pasteurella multocida, a bacillus that resides in the mouth of the cat and is deposited on its claws and hair while grooming. But it can also transmit the disease by biting. Symptoms of this infection, which is more common than sporotrichosis but less common than benign lymphoreticulosis of inoculation, are usually :
  • Localized pain at the wound left by the cat scratch, which is felt quickly after the incident, between 3 and 6 hours,
  • Redness,
  • Swelling of the wound (edema),
  • A slight discharge (oozing) from the scratch,
  • A rise in body temperature between 38°C and 38.6°C,
  • The appearance of lymph nodes.
It can be treated with antibiotics, but complications are possible for people suffering from alcoholism, diabetics, HIV patients who risk a more serious infection in certain organs (kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, brain ...).

Precautions to take to avoid cat scratches

To avoid the proliferation of bacteria transmitted by fleas, it is strongly recommended to limit the infestation by giving your cat flea repellent regularly. You should be especially vigilant with kittens that scratch frequently and have not yet been treated for fleas. They are among the cats most exposed to these parasites. But more generally, since cat scratch diseases can have different origins, it is important to be cautious on a daily basis.

It is important to protect your children from the risk of cat scratches and bites by teaching them not to paw cats, even their own, and by prohibiting the animal from entering the baby's room. Careful washing of hands and nails is essential after touching a cat, and it is recommended to brush your little feline every day to check for fleas. Finally, we take care to maintain the claws of his kitty and cut them frequently, and from a young age the animal should be educated. Kittens can be taught not to scratch humans. But in all cases of cat scratches, you should go to your doctor.

Fibrosarcoma in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Feline fibrosarcoma is a common form of cancer, the cause of which is not yet clearly identified. Therefore, it is not clear if there are any preventive measures. It is a particularly serious malignancy because recurrence is common in many cases despite surgical management. In addition, there is a risk of metastasis. Let's take a look at the symptoms that should alert us, the diagnosis and the possible treatments.

Feline fibrosarcoma: cause and main symptoms

Feline fibrosarcoma complex is a single cancer or a group of malignant tumors that develop in the skin, most often in the area between the shoulder blades. These cancerous tumors are very aggressive and quickly invade other organs such as bones, muscles... 1 cat out of 4 affected has metastasis, in most cases to the lungs. Fibrosarcoma affects old cats but also young cats, and it is more and more often the case.

The cause of this cat cancer is not precisely defined at the present state of knowledge. For a long time it was thought that vaccination could be responsible, but it is now known that this is not the case. It is possible that repeated trauma and the subcutaneous injections it causes for therapeutic purposes may be the cause of feline fibrosarcoma. Chronic inflammation (especially subcutaneous inflammation) could be a predisposing factor for the development of this type of tumor, independently of certain specific sensitivities that may be found in some cats and then perfectly identified.

The main symptoms of feline fibrosarcoma are the following:

  • An indurated nodule that is not painful at the onset of the disease, noticeable to the touch but small in volume, which may be located in the area of the shoulder blades, on a flank, or in the thorax for example.
  • A large nodule when the cancer is more advanced,
  • Fragility of the affected skin area,
  • A rupture of the fibrosarcoma leading to blood flow and localized infection.
If left untreated, the fibrosarcoma may metastasize, causing other symptoms depending on the area affected. The cat may lose its appetite, lose weight, cough or die.

Fibrosarcoma in cats: diagnosis and treatment

It is very important that the diagnosis of feline fibrosarcoma is made as early as possible, because waiting until metastases have spread to other organs can be life threatening.

After an auscultation of the cat, the veterinarian will proceed to additional examinations such as blood work, imaging, biopsy or puncture and histological analysis. Even if the diagnosis of this cancer is relatively easy, it is important that the practitioner looks for possible metastasis.

The treatment of feline fibrosarcoma is not half-hearted as it must give very quick results. Surgery is necessary to remove the tumor and to clean the surrounding area for at least 20 mm. After the surgical removal, the cat is treated with radiation therapy:
  • Either by means of iridium wires (internal radiotherapy) which will be removed only 96 hours later, which implies the prolongation of the animal's hospitalization,
  • Or by a defined number of external radiotherapy sessions, spaced several weeks apart.
When the cat needs palliative care, the veterinarian may opt for chemotherapy.

It should be noted that 65% of tumors recur after 1 year following surgery alone and nearly 90% recur after 2 years. The results are less catastrophic when surgery is combined with radiation therapy, with more cats surviving up to 3 ½ years after management. Obviously, the chances of survival are greater in cats treated early and even more so if they receive the combination of surgery and radiation therapy.

It is not yet clear if there are ways to prevent feline fibrosarcoma. As new scientific discoveries are regularly announced, one should not hesitate to consult the veterinarian at least once a year for a small routine visit, which allows on the one hand to check the general state of his cat and on the other hand to be informed on the means of prevention of many diseases.

Cat body language: understanding what your cat is saying

You can tell if your cat is hungry, happy, sad, angry, anxious, stressed or scared just by looking at her. A cat's body language tells you a lot about how it feels. The same goes for its expressions and the meowing that the cat modulates according to its mood. By being attentive to his little companion, the owner can quickly understand what his cat is saying. This is the secret of a complicit and long-lasting relationship between man and his pet.

Cat expressions: beware of misunderstandings

In order not to risk a scratch or a bite, it's better to know how to decipher the cat's different modes of expression. Humans have the annoying tendency to attribute certain traits of their own behavior to their pets. This is called anthropomorphism, which is the cause of many misinterpretations.

For example, a cat lying on its back is not necessarily waiting to be scratched on its stomach. If he adopts this posture when he is relaxed, it is not an invitation to caresses. In fact, few cats appreciate being touched on their belly.

Cats' tail movements to be decoded urgently

Observing a cat's tail movements is very instructive. It is a part of the body that betrays many intentions or emotions. According to its position or the speed of its swing, it is easy to know if the cat is well disposed... or not. In fact, a cat's tail even sends signals when the animal seems to be sleeping.
  • Nervousness: the cat's tail whips through the air.
  • Imminent attack: the cat on the alert wags its tail or wraps it under its belly.
  • Aggressiveness: the tail is well erect.
  • Awake: The relaxed cat has its eyes closed but is not really sleeping. Its tail strikes the ground with regularity.
  • Dreamy: the cat is sound asleep and its tail is tapping the ground.
  • Confident: the tip of the tail is curved but the tail is straight.
  • Fearful: the cat's tail is bristling and arched.
Sometimes the position of the cat's tail can be confusing. It is therefore better to observe also the position of the ears, the pupils or the position of the paws in order not to interpret a message wrong.

Attitudes that express affection

The cat is an independent animal but far from being devoid of feelings towards his masters and he shows it well, even if sometimes the message is difficult to decipher. He can as well :
  • Rubbing against the legs of people he loves and trusts (but it is also sometimes a way to beg for food),
  • Lick his master,
  • Rolling on his back,
  • Curling up against a family member,
  • Putting his head or rubbing his nose on his master's neck or forehead,
  • Nibbling without hurting,
  • Knead its front paws on its owner's thighs before settling comfortably.
When the cat feels attachment to a person, it seeks by physical contact to impregnate the latter with its smell.

Body language of the angry cat

The tail is not the only body part that indicates anger in cats. If a cat not only stiffens and curls its tail or holds it upright, but also crouches on the ground with its paws outstretched, it's not doing well. He lays down his ears and straightens his vibrissae: this is not the time to approach him. He is very angry, all the more so if he does the big back, tries to appear more imposing by bristling the hair of his body and his tail. His eyes also reveal anger. They are wide open, the pupils contract and his look is not tender at all, far from it. Finally, he growls and spits. He looks more like a beast than a cuddly little ball of fur.

Signs of appeasement after the battle

When the anger is over, the cat's attitude changes completely. In a short time, he becomes a sweet and affectionate little companion. His gaze is more tender, his eyes are half closed, his vibrissae lower, his ears straighten. He shows a relaxed expression. After this adrenaline rush, many cats feel the need to yawn and stretch. So the storm has passed, and the cat's grooming confirms it.

Learning to better understand the cat's body language

Cats express their emotions instinctively. It is in the moment that he can totally change his attitude. When you have just welcomed a cat into your home that you do not know yet, it is important to note all the postures that it adopts according to the situation: when you give it food, when you pet it or scold it or even when it feels attacked by another cat in the neighborhood or when it is afraid of a dog. In addition to observing its body language, you should also listen for meowing, growling and spitting.

If the cat regularly exhibits excessive or inappropriate behavior - such as expressing anger when the owner puts food in the bowl - it is necessary to talk to the veterinarian. Extreme behavior usually indicates a problem. Has the cat been bullied or abused? Is it in pain? If the animal can't express the cause of a problem, its behavior really says a lot about its consequences.

Behavioral problems: treating your cat at a lower cost

Since a cat's body language is not always easy to decipher, the owner must seek the help of a professional specialized in animal behavior. To get everything back in order, it can take time and require a substantial budget. This is why it can be very useful to insure your cat with an animal health insurance company in order to be reimbursed for the expenses incurred so that the cat finds the peace of mind necessary for its physical and mental health. A small tour through a pet insurance comparison service allows you to discover in detail the different formulas offered and to choose the one that corresponds to the cat's needs and the owner's financial possibilities.

Giving your female cat the birth control pill: good or bad idea?

You may wonder if the contraceptive pill is not the best thing for your female cat. Indeed, sterilization is an impressive operation which can be frightening and which represents an important financial cost, in spite of the helps which certain insurance companies can propose in their offers.

We could therefore imagine that the contraceptive pill is a good compromise to this heavy operation, but is this pill really so effective, while being safe for our little companions? Let's see the positive and negative points of this contraceptive pill.

How to proceed to give the contraceptive pill to your cat?

Just like for humans, the contraceptive pill for female cats is not a medicine that can be bought at the pharmacy without a prescription. You will have to consult your veterinarian, with whom you will discuss it, and he will be able to prescribe it to you, if he considers the animal fit to take it, which will not be the case with all female cats, because as you will see, this pill can be a real source of health problems.

The advantages of the birth control pill for cats

Unfortunately, there are only a few positive points to this contraceptive pill, but there are a few:
  • the contraceptive pill stops the heat and therefore prevents the harmful behaviors that a female cat can have during these periods, such as meowing, urinating everywhere to mark her presence, fighting and marking with the claws more often than usual.
  • The contraceptive pill does not cause permanent sterilization, unlike the operation. If you want your female cat to have kittens at some point in her life, you can stop giving her the pill so that she can reproduce.

The disadvantages of the birth control pill for cats

The disadvantages of this contraceptive pill are numerous compared to the advantages:
  • you have to think about it regularly for it to be effective. Just like the birth control pills that some women take, the female cat pill must be taken once a week or every two weeks depending on the brand. If you forget to take it, your female cat may come home pregnant.
  • this contraceptive pill prevents heat from occurring, it causes important hormonal disorders that sometimes lead to major health problems, such as uterine infections, diabetes and even tumors or cysts, to name only the most frequent ailments.
  • Hormonal problems can lead to behavioral problems; your cute female cat can suddenly become aggressive, no longer tolerate being touched or, on the contrary, apathetic, which can, over a long period of time, lead to obesity.
It is moreover advised when one gives the contraceptive pill to her female cat to make regular "pauses" to let her have heats and thus rebalance a minimum her hormonal cycle.

The contraceptive pill to her cat: good or bad idea?

You can already guess the conclusion of this article, the comparison of the pros and cons leaves little doubt. The positive points of giving the contraceptive pill to her female cat are only secondary advantages, absolutely not essential to the good health or even the well-being of the cat. The negative points are legion, in addition to the practical problems, this pill can be dangerous for the health of the cat, and even for its life (a mammary tumor which degenerates for example).

From an economic point of view, the pill is not to his advantage either, since it is obvious that to have your cat sterilized during a single operation, sometimes partially reimbursed by some insurance companies, is cheaper in the long run than buying a box of birth control pills regularly, not to mention the veterinary fees if ever the pill has harmful effects on your cat.

There may someday be a safe cat birth control pill that is a potentially good alternative to surgery, but that is not yet the case.

Why do the cat's eyes glow at night?

With 6 times less light than what is necessary for humans, the cat can distinguish its environment. And when it's dark, you can see its two bright eyes, strange, like two small mirrors. Here is the explanation.

Reflective fibers

The retina of a cat's eye captures a greater amount of light than ours thanks to a reflection phenomenon that allows the Tapetum lucidum. This is a choroidal carpet that is located on the wall of the eyeball. The Tapetum lucidum in the cat allows to increase the sensitivity of the eye to the light. The light rays are reflected thanks to this clear carpet and are then sent back through the cornea. This is why we can see the cat's eyes glow at night.

A choroidal carpet

The cat is not the only animal to have this ability to see better than us when the light is low. It is for example the case of the crocodile, the ray, the horse and of course all the nocturnal animals. They are equipped with a Tapetum lucidum which can be placed in the retina or behind. This is why we speak according to the cases of choroidal Tapetum or retinal Tapetum. The cat has a choroidal carpet.

The eyes of the cat are very well protected

Thanks to this characteristic, the small feline can thus watch for a prey and seize it if it is in difficulty. And as nature is well done, its eyes are protected by a "3rd eyelid". This is the nictitating membrane which comes to position itself on the eye in order to cover it to better protect it for example when the kitty crouches in the brambles during a hunting session. As for its retina, it is protected from the sun thanks to a non-circular pupil able to reduce to the maximum.

The cat does not see in the dark

The mystery of the eyes that shine being now elucidated, let's put an end to a myth: no, the cat does not see in the absolute dark! He needs at least a faint glow so that he can distinguish in the dark a little mouse to put under his teeth...

A bad vision compensated by other senses

In spite of the presence of this Tapetum lucidum, the cat does not have an extraordinary vision because the faculty of accommodation of its crystalline is rather limited. Thus, the cat sees blurred beyond 6 meters. As for its vision of very close (less than 10 centimeters), it is very far from being at the top since it does not allow him to distinguish perfectly an object. On the other hand, it enjoys a wide panoramic field. Anyway, its focal length being short, it compensates thanks to its other senses and in particular by its very developed sense of smell and by its vibrissae, sensory organs located on the carpals, the cheeks, the temples and the eyebrows.

Each living species has its own particularities and Man is no exception to the rule. Indeed, if we cannot see in the dark, unlike our cats, we beat them to the punch when it comes to distinguishing colors, since our little companions have to be satisfied with seeing life in blue and yellow.

Lolcats: what is it? Why such a success on the net?

A Lolcat is a picture or video of a cat with a humorous caption (Lol stands for Laugh out Loud) written in broken English.

The caption is supposed to be a thought expressed by the cat pictured, and the rough language mocks the way many cat owners address their pets.

In the 1870s, photographer Harry Pointer was already producing such images, but the phenomenon was not on the same scale as it has been since 2000. So, why such a success today on the net?

Lolcats: a mass phenomenon

Lolcats belong to the large family of Internet memes, that is to say, an element that has been taken up and declined en masse on the Internet. One of the first memes dates back to 1996 and represented a computer image of an infant dancing on a black background.
Internet memes spread virally on the web, reaching worldwide popularity in a few days and disappearing just as suddenly. The shifted register between the representation and the legend is a characteristic and the humorous dimension is essential to ensure the success of the diffusion.

Lolcats would not be a mass phenomenon without the need for each member of the community to contribute to the group by producing them themselves. The goal is to be noticed in order to stand out from the crowd.

Lolcats have of course attracted the attention of researchers and industrialists who are trying to understand their growth and their rapid impact for the former, and to reproduce the mechanisms to promote a product or a service for the latter. This could well be a lost cause, as the success of this easy online fun is also due to its free nature.

The place of chat on the Internet

The idea that cats would be the stars of the net is an idea that has taken hold but has not really been proven. Some journalists had fun researching whether cats were really the undisputed stars or whether dogs could also claim this title. All contents considered, the result is far from being clear-cut.

But the Lolcats phenomenon, which really took off in 2006 and has been going strong ever since, has put the cat at the top of the meme culture. Diane Lisarelli and Titiou Lecoq, journalists who have worked seriously on the subject, relay the idea that this success is the sign of a folklore, a term that designates the common traditions of a people.
The people we are talking about is the geek community. Indeed, some people do not hesitate to see in the cat a symbol of the geek because they are as selfish, asocial and hairy as each other.
However, the community of people using Lolcats nowadays goes far beyond the geeks: some people are now used to sending Lolcats to express their feelings in a more or less direct way.

The cat, a sacred animal in ancient Egypt

Allied to the Egyptians for its ability to chase away rats, mice, field mice, birds (and other invaders such as snakes, by the way) the cat was domesticated for the first time in this part of the world where the very sedentary people stored large quantities of food in order to resist as much to floods as to fruitless harvests. But the cat soon became a divine creature, and there are still many icons and texts from that time testifying to the place it occupied in Egypt more than 2,000 years before Christ.

The cat, an animal venerated by all social classes

The consideration given to the cat in ancient Egypt was quite different from that given to most other animals. More than a faithful companion, it was the protector and even a divine incarnation. Whether rich or poor, no one would have hesitated between saving his own life and that of a cat since it was the latter that would have been spared.

In Egypt, when a fire broke out, a human chain was formed in order to preserve the cats, while no one cared about extinguishing the flames to save what they had. When a family lost its little companion, all the members shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning, and then the body was embalmed, mummified, and placed in the grave. As for the death of the cat of a temple, it was painfully experienced by all the inhabitants of a city to the point that they mourned unanimously.

Countless Egyptians were convinced that a cat was among their ancestors. The priests poured a few drops of cat's blood on an incision made on the arm of children dedicated to the goddess Bastet, while the women painted their eyes in the image of those of cats.

Dying rather than killing a cat

It is said that the son of Cyrus the Great - that is, Cambyses - used cats against the Egyptians by making his troops carry these live animals attached to shields during an attack on Peruse. The Egyptian soldiers preferred to capitulate rather than to take the risk of killing these so venerated felines. Thus Cambyses won a victory without shedding a single drop of blood.

Much later, 30 years before our era, stoning was still inflicted on anyone who killed this animal, which was treated with the greatest respect. Sacred in ancient Egypt, the cat was venerated in the same way as the gods. Its export was very severely punished because it could not be allowed to leave the Egyptian land in any way whatsoever. Anyone who did not respect the law risked the death penalty.

Cat, an object of art in all its forms

An emblematic animal, it occupied everyone's mind at that time. The iconography frequently represents Isis and Ra in the form of a cat. Bastet, protector of humanity, goddess of tenderness and love, was represented with a cat's head over a woman's body. In the temple of the latter, there was a breeding of sacred cats and many small felines were offered by the visitors to their goddess. Excavations undertaken in the city of Bubastis have moreover allowed to find thousands of mummified cats.

Numerous jewels, frescoes and sculptures represent him, showing the privileged place he occupied then and he even appears on the burials of the most powerful of Egypt. Less adulated today, but still much loved, the cat remains for many of us a fascinating animal.

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