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Osteofibrosis in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Osteofibrosis is a rare disease, but one that requires treatment because its complications are irreversible. Generally due to a lack of food, it mainly affects young cats, whose rapid growth requires an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals. Let's discover the symptoms of osteofibrosis, the most effective treatments and how to prevent it.

Osteofibrosis in cats: symptoms

Osteofibrosis affects cats that are fed a diet that does not meet their needs. It is indeed due to a lack of minerals, especially calcium, but sometimes to an overdose of vitamin D. It is therefore a pathology whose cause is generally dietary.

It should be noted that it can very exceptionally be due to a renal problem or a parathyroid tumor.

The skeleton of the animal suffering from osteofibrosis becomes fragile, the bones become irreversibly deformed and fracture easily. Affected cats are prone to what is known as green wood fractures. This is a fracture that affects only one side of a bone. It is therefore incomplete.

The symptoms of osteofibrosis in cats are mainly:
  • Pain on palpation of the limbs and sometimes of the spine,
  • Difficulty getting up,
  • Lameness in a front or rear limb, or even in several limbs.
It is important to consult a veterinarian when a cat presents these symptoms.

Osteofibrosis in cats: diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of osteofibrosis in cats can be confirmed by the presence of osteopenia, which is a decrease in bone density, and by imaging (x-rays), the veterinarian can clearly see that the cat's bone growth is abnormal. This osteodystrophy inevitably leads to bone fragility and increases the risk of cracks and fractures.

The treatment of osteofibrosis is based on the prescription of :
  • Analgesics (for pain),
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (to reduce inflammation),
  • Anabolic agents (to increase muscle mass),
  • Calcium supplementation,
  • A balanced diet.
Note that if osteofibrosis in cats is not due to deficiencies but to a kidney problem or a tumor in a parathyroid gland, the prognosis is unfavorable.

How can osteofibrosis be prevented in cats?

A cat's diet should not consist solely of meat products. However, this is a mistake that some owners make because they believe that a cat is a carnivore and should only eat meat. This is an aberration! In order for his diet to be balanced, and thus to meet the needs of the animal's body, it must be sufficiently supplied with proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, minerals, trace elements and vitamins, without any excess however.

Fortunately, more and more cats are receiving a well-balanced diet, especially because their owners take care to buy excellent quality cat food, whether it is kibble, pate or a mixed diet. That's why osteofibrosis is so rare today.

Feeding your cat well does not prevent you from having him regularly monitored by a veterinarian. This is essential so that any health problem can be diagnosed as soon as possible and the animal can benefit from an adapted treatment if necessary. It is also necessary to receive sound advice from the veterinarian in terms of nutrition and to be able to protect his little companion against deficiencies that can be the cause of osteofibrosis.

In order for veterinary expenses not to have too much impact on a master's budget, it is in his interest to insure his cat with an animal health insurance. This way, he will be reimbursed, partially or totally, for the expenses incurred and, consequently, take care of his cat's health at a lower cost.

How to tame a feral or stray cat?

Feral cats and stray cats are totally different. They should not be confused. Is it possible to tame both? Certainly not for the feral cat. As for the stray cat, which has long since regained its total freedom, it can eventually be approached, or even tamed, provided that one adopts the right attitude. These are felines that are generally wary of humans. The slightest mistake with them can compromise any type of approach. Let's take stock of the situation.

Wild cat : particularities

Let there be no mistake: the wild cat (Felis silvestris silvestris) is not a domestic cat. In appearance, it looks a lot like the alley cat with its tabby coat, except that it is much larger and more massive than most domestic cats.

The feral cat, which rarely lives to be 10 years old, can reach a length of 80 cm and weigh up to 8 kg. It stands on fairly short legs, and its large feet are much larger than those of Felis silvestris catus, the domestic cat. On the other hand, the number of its toes is identical: five per front foot and four per rear foot with pads, retractable claws and dewclaws in front.

Except in the summer when its tabby coat is the least dense, it wears a thick coat the rest of the year until the next moult which takes place in the spring. It is recognizable by the black line that runs down its spine to the tip of the tail, which is also bushy, and the black rings that encircle it. The wild cat has a coat always tigrée. No points or spots as in many breeds of domestic cats.

The wild cat has white vibrissae, rather long ears of triangular shape at the end of which there are never brushes like those found in the lynx for example. It also has thirty sharp teeth, and its little muzzle is all pink.

The wild cat is a great loner who is mostly active at night. It hunts insects, amphibians, mice, rats, field mice and more generally all the small rodents that roam its living area, lizards, squirrels, rabbits and hares. It does not disdain a few birds and is ready to get its paws wet to catch a good river fish.

Easily frightened, it does not let itself be approached easily. Like our domestic cat, to scare away what seems to be an enemy, he bristles, spits, shows his teeth and meows. We can especially cross it during an outing at dusk in the undergrowth, the forests of deciduous trees where he likes to live because he probably feels safe there.

The female cat can give birth to up to six kittens after a gestation period of two months, at a rate of one litter per year. In rare cases, however, two litters may be born between April and September. The female cat, unlike the male, spends a lot of time raising her babies until they reach their fifth month. This is a special time for them as they learn to become fully independent from their mother. Male kittens reach their sexual maturity at least at 1 year old while small females are a little earlier.

Feral cat: capture prohibited by law

In France, few of us have the chance to admire a wild cat because this animal is relatively rare in our country. It is however more frequent in Eastern Europe, but like many wild animals, it disappears little by little from our landscapes because of the deforestation which intensifies everywhere in the world. It also suffers from the activity of local hunters and the increase in the number of cars that kill dozens of wild cats every year. It is also the prey of some predators like the fox, the golden eagle or the ermine. This cat is difficult to tame, if at all. It is now protected by European measures and it is forbidden to capture a wild cat.

Taming a stray cat

Stray cat is the term used to describe a domestic cat, regardless of its breed, that has been acclimatized to humans and then lives in an almost feral state after its abandonment, its stray or the death of its master. A stray cat may also have been born in the wild and eventually had very little contact with humans. It has ancestral habits, feeds itself thanks to hunting and fishing in perfect autonomy. Before trying to tame a cat that seems to be abandoned, it is necessary to start by knowing if it is a wild cat or a stray domestic cat.

You can then try to approach it without brusqueness, and without insisting especially because the animal may feel attacked and seek to defend itself. If it is a cat that has previously known life in a family, it should not take long to accept to be stroked, two or three days at the most. However, caution is advised, because having regained its wild instinct, even after a sufficient period of time, it may not tolerate the onslaught of the family's children, and this can go very badly.

The best way to try to tame a stray cat is to give it food and water every day by placing its bowls outside the house, out of sight. You can also make him a little shelter where he may like to rest from time to time. He will be able to eat whenever he wants and will gradually get used to the place, the smells and the surrounding noises.

Finally, if it is possible, it is recommended to get him into a cage by means of a subterfuge in order to take him to the vet. This will allow to know more about him, his age, his health condition, and to have him vaccinated and identified if he is not yet. But the task promises to be arduous and rather risky if the little feline is very resistant to the proximity of men. The only solution is to report it to the town hall, to the veterinarian or to an association.

Ringworm in cats: description, symptoms, treatment

Caused by the presence of filamentous fungi, ringworm is a disease that affects certain mammals, including cats. It represents a danger because it can also contaminate humans, hence the need for rapid treatment at the first symptoms.


Ringworm is caused by a fungus called dermatophytes that develops everywhere on the skin surface of dogs and cats, but also under the nails and in the hair of humans. These mycoses belong to the Microsporum canis species and as they contaminate humans, they are "zoonoses".

Very contagious, ringworm can affect the cat through contact with the hair or skin of another contaminated animal or indirectly, through contact with carpet, wool and other fabrics. It is important to note that the spores can survive in an outdoor environment for up to one year.


Penetration of the fungus into the skin occurs through micro-lesions that resemble insect bites. The lesions are present in cats that are stressed, have suffered from nutritional deficiencies, have changed environment or are affected by digestive parasitism. The lesion causes depilation on certain areas of the body, especially the head and back. Other manifestations are linked to this pathology, such as the appearance of crusts or diffuse alopecia (hair loss). Fungi also develop in the animal's claws. It should be noted that ringworm does not cause any itching. The cat's general condition may remain stable depending on the case.

In humans, ringworm causes lesions on the skin. These are delimited, reddish, round and itchy. They usually appear on the face, neck, arms, wrists and hands, in short, on all parts of the body that have been in contact with felines.


As soon as hair loss appears on the animal's body and ringworm is suspected, it is important to carry out various diagnostic tests. The first examination is performed with a Wood's lamp. When the lamp is used, the fungi become fluorescent, which confirms the presence of ringworm. The veterinarian then performs a microscopic examination of the hairs. The hairs appear in a very characteristic way, as if they had been gnawed. If these two examinations are unsuccessful, but the veterinarian still suspects ringworm, medical laboratory tests are performed.


To avoid that the spores settle permanently, and to avoid a human contamination, a treatment is to be done as soon as possible. The veterinarian prescribes a solution to be applied locally on the external lesions. If a resistance of the fungi is observed, a treatment by internal way is prescribed. In addition to these treatments, it is de rigueur to carefully disinfect the cat's environment, using an antiseptic product such as chlorhexidine. All objects in contact with the animal, such as pillows, blankets and sheets, should be washed with bleach. Smoke-releasing candles or smoke bombs are also available to eradicate the fungus throughout the house.

My cat spends his time at the neighbor's: how to solve the problem?

The cat is a very autonomous pet and, in the eyes of its masters, it can pass for an ingrate, totally disconnected from its host family, insensitive to the trouble that its master goes to so that it is well, that it does not lack anything... This disarray is manifested, for example, when the cat spends its time at the neighbor's house... Fortunately, there are solutions to avoid this type of situation.

Educate your cat from a young age to respect limits

Kittens are most easily taught to go outside and respect property lines. This can be useful to prevent him from running off into the next garden, especially if the neighbors don't tolerate this type of irruption. The cat is a curious animal, certainly, but it is possible to canalize it by getting it used to go out accompanied by its owner, who can at first hold it on a leash thanks to a collar or a harness (which is even better).

Of course, in spite of this education, you can never prevent your cat from exploring the neighborhood. Be careful not to be too strict, because some cats can't stand being led around, and this can lead to behavioral problems. You should educate your pet with gentleness and consistency.

Have your cat spayed or neutered so that it doesn't go to the neighbor's house

If the neighboring household has a female cat, there is a good chance that a tomcat will spend most of its time there. The best solution is to have it spayed or neutered. But it is also essential if it is a female cat and the neighbors have a male. Spaying is highly recommended to limit the risk of vagrancy. It can sometimes be enough to keep your cat at home and see that it no longer spends its time at the neighbor's.

It is important to remember that spaying and neutering allows for better birth control. It also protects the health of these pets. Indeed, a neutered male cat or a neutered female cat has less risk of undergoing hormonal disturbances, of developing a tumor or a cancer in particular of the genitals and the udders, of being contaminated by the feline FIV responsible for AIDS or by the leucosis virus (FeLV) and of fighting with other cats. It is also important to know that neutered males are much less likely to mark their territory with urine markings than whole cats. Finally, they are also much calmer and less prone to behavioral problems.

Spend more time with your cat so he doesn't wander off
No matter how well you educate your cat and have it spayed or neutered, if, despite all these precautions, it seems to be attracted to the neighbors' property (or to the neighbors themselves), you may need to reconsider. The main questions to ask yourself are for example:
  • Does my cat enjoy the food I give him?
  • Is my cat getting enough to eat?
  • Am I being too strict with my cat?
  • Am I being present enough with my cat?
It is important to know that if the kitty prefers to eat at the neighbor's house, it may take up residence there permanently. Similarly, if he is pampered there, if the neighbors play with him while his master is almost always absent or busy with something else, this may explain his desire to move away. It is certainly better elsewhere than at home because it is an animal that does not really like solitude.

Change his food gradually or radically change his attitude towards him by being closer to him, more complicit, more cuddly, there is a good chance that he will come back little by little and space out his visits to the neighbors.

A cat doesn't need much to feel good and appreciate the environment of his masters. He must feel that he is loved and receive a quality food of course but which brings him satisfaction on the gustatory level. Finally, if his owners are only present in the evening, it may be wise to adopt a second cat so that the little felines can share games and hunting parties. This can be the key to keeping your kitty entertained.

FUS or Feline Urological Syndrome: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Feline Urologic Syndrome is a condition that should be taken seriously because it can lead to a total obstruction of the bladder, which justifies the emergency care of the cat by a veterinarian, as the animal is then at risk of imminent death. Let's take a look at the possible causes of this condition that affects the bladder and urethra, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and how to prevent FUS.

Feline Urologic Syndrome: the causes

As far as we know, the cause of FUS is not precisely identified. Some abnormalities (endocrine or nervous system) are suspected, but there is nothing to confirm this theory at this time. Tumors, strictures and urinary tract infections may also be associated with FUS, but less frequently.

In 50% of cases, however, chronic stress in cats is implicated. It over-stimulates the bladder and causes recurrent cystitis without apparent cause (idiopathic cystitis). FUS is also diagnosed in cats with calcium oxalate or ammonium magnesium phosphate (struvite) stones in the urethra or bladder. Finally, some cats managed for FUS have a mucous plug in the urethra.

FUS: Symptoms to be aware of

Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) can be a sign of Feline Urologic Syndrome. These usually include:
  • Difficulty urinating (dysuria),
  • Pain during urination (stranguria),
  • Increased frequency of urination (pollakiuria),
  • The emission of very small amounts of urine each time the cat goes to the litter box,
  • Excessive licking of the genital area,
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria).
Each of these symptoms is a reason for consultation, and one should not wait because a worsening of the syndrome can lead to total retention of urine. In the most serious cases, the bladder is completely obstructed. Veterinarians refer to this as a "blocked cat". This is a very serious situation because the little feline can die if it is not treated immediately.

Feline Urology Syndrome (FUS): Diagnosis and Treatment

In the case of FUS, the veterinarian makes a diagnosis of exclusion. That is, he or she must eliminate all causes that could be responsible for the symptoms experienced by the animal, such as urinary stones, bladder infections or tumors of the urinary tract. The complementary exams that are necessary are :
  • A blood test to determine if the cat has electrolyte problems or is suffering from kidney failure,
  • Urine analysis to check for the presence of crystals, the existence of an infection and to verify the density and pH of the urine,
  • Bacteriological analysis, which is essential for the prescription of a targeted antibiotic, since it clearly identifies the germ responsible.
Sometimes, an imaging examination - and more precisely an ultrasound - is also necessary to better visualize the presence of stones, for example, which are not always detectable on X-ray.

The treatment of Feline Urological Syndrome includes
  • A urinary catheterization performed under general anesthesia to remove the obstruction as quickly as possible,
  • Emptying the bladder and then rinsing it completely through a urinary catheter, which allows the elimination of all small stones,
  • A perfusion,
  • The installation of a collar, this one preventing the cat from tearing off the catheter,
  • A prescription of medicines:
    • Antibiotics,
    • Painkillers,
    • Spasmolytics.
  • A cystotomy, a surgical intervention that can be considered since it allows the removal of large stones located in the bladder and/or those that cannot be dissolved.
Of course, the hospitalization of the cat is unavoidable and it can last several days. Afterwards, the owner must encourage his cat to drink enough to increase the volume of urine and must give him wet food.

Hospitalization and treatment costs, as well as veterinary consultations and even certain therapeutic foods, are reimbursed (partially or totally) if the owner has previously insured his cat with a health insurance company for pets.

FUS: risk factors and prevention

All cats are susceptible to Feline Urologic Syndrome, but FUS is more common in cats 2 to 5 years old.

Male cats are at the greatest risk of obstruction because their urethra is much smaller in diameter than that of females. It is also important to know that the diet can promote FUS if it is too rich in phosphorus or magnesium. Poor quality food such as kibble and low quality food that may alter the hydrogen potential (pH) of the cat's urine also increases the risk of FUS. Finally, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle (which are difficult to separate) are other risk factors for FUS that can be avoided.

Feline Urological Syndrome is a recurrent condition. Therefore, it is best to be cautious. To prevent FUS, it is necessary to ensure that the cat benefits throughout its life from a high quality and perfectly balanced diet. It is also essential that the animal remains active, can go out, hunt, play, as this limits the risks of obesity. Similarly, stressful situations must be avoided. For example, you can soothe your stressed cat by diffusing pheromones in its environment. Finally, a regular veterinary follow-up allows to check the good health of the cat and to detect early any problem.

Gingivitis in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

If it is absolutely necessary to take care of the good oral hygiene of its cat, it is to protect it from the risks of periodontal diseases of which one of the most frequent is the gingivitis. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems for the animal. At the slightest symptom, it is necessary to consult your veterinarian, or even a veterinarian specialized in animal dentistry, so that your small feline can benefit from an adequate treatment. Let's take a look at this inflammation of the gums and see how to prevent it.

Gingivitis in cats: symptoms

The master of the cat can be alerted if he notices :
  • An accumulation of tartar,
  • Halitosis or bad breath,
  • Excessive salivation to the point that the cat drools,
  • Red, swollen and/or bleeding gums,
  • Loose teeth,
  • Difficulty chewing food so that the cat is reluctant to eat,
  • A loss of weight,
  • A loss of dynamism, the cat seems tired or even down.
If left untreated, gingivitis worsens, leading to tooth loss. It can affect the ligaments, bones ... lead to glossitis, a term for inflammation of the tongue or stomatitis, that is to say an inflammation localized at the bottom of the mouth of the animal. Glossitis and stomatitis cause unbearable pain when the small cat eats. In the most severe cases, different organs such as the kidneys or the heart can be colonized by the bacteria. While gingivitis itself is not fatal, it is the consequences that can be life-threatening.

What are the main causes of gingivitis in cats?

Gingivitis can have different causes such as
  • An unbalanced diet,
  • Renal insufficiency,
  • Cancer,
  • A genetic predisposition,
  • A virus,
  • A dental lesion.
But the most common cause of gingivitis is tartar. In case of bad oral hygiene, dental plaque calcifies. It results from the accumulation of salivary proteins, food residues and bacteria. If you never brush your cat's teeth, a film forms on its teeth and gums and quickly turns into dental plaque. It then mineralizes and tartar appears in only a few days.

Gingivitis in cats: diagnosis and treatment

The veterinarian begins by looking at the gums to identify the type of gingivitis the cat has.
  • Reddish gums: erythematous gingivitis,
  • Swollen gums with bleeding and presence of lesions and dead tissue: ulcerative gingivitis,
  • Very red gums that cover more or less the crown of the teeth: chronic hyperplastic gingivitis.
He must also look for the possible presence of stomatitis or glossitis and make sure that the cat does not suffer from another pathology. To do this, additional tests are necessary, including a blood test.

The treatment of gingivitis is decided on a case-by-case basis since it depends on its level of severity and the diseases that are linked to it. However, it always involves scaling. At the same time, the teeth that are most loose and in poor condition are extracted. In case of severe gingivitis, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to eliminate the bacteria and stop the inflammation.

Finally, the veterinarian gives the cat's owner advice on how to prevent the main cause of gingivitis, namely dental plaque, from reappearing.

Gingivitis in cats: prevention

Tartar is not a fatality and can be avoided if care is taken to regularly clean your cat's teeth. It is a sign of the presence of an increasingly important dental plaque under which bacteria accumulate. Knowing that an unbalanced diet can also be involved in the onset of this periodontal disease, one must ensure that his pet receives food that meets its needs throughout its life. Thus, for the good health of your cat's teeth, but also for its overall health, it is essential that the animal be regularly monitored by a veterinarian and its vaccination must be up to date.

The Himalayan, a cat that loves to cuddle

Resembling the Persian, the Himalayan is also called Persian colorpoint. He is very attached to his owners and loves to be pampered. For those who love to cuddle, this cat is made for you.

Characteristics of the Himalayan

The Himalayan develops almost the same physical characteristics as the Persian. Short on legs, it is massive while being round. It has a broad skull and a round head also with a very important collar and provided in hairs. The Himalayan can be recognized by its snub nose which seems to be crushed. It has large blue and round eyes which reveal a beautiful expression of softness. The ears for their part are rounded, small and open. This breed has long and very shiny hair. The coat is basically white with colorpoint markings and this is what makes the Himalayan so special and what distinguishes it from the Persian. Nevertheless, at birth, the cat is white. The dark areas appear over time until the age of three years.

History of the Himalayan breed

The Himalayan originated from American and Swedish research on the Siamese gene between 1924 and 1930. These researches and programs continued until France, but did not lead to the expected results, because the cats were too much oriental type. From 1947, new programs were undertaken in the United States and Great Britain. Crossbreeding between blue and black Persians with semi-long-haired Siamese cats was carried out. A long time work finally allowed the obtention of the Persian colorpoint which is considered as a breed in its own right by the WCF, the TICA or the AFCA. On the other hand, in the CFA, it has been integrated into a simple additional division.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Himalayan

The Himalayan appreciates very much the presence of his owners and demands a lot of attention from them. This cat needs people who have time to cuddle him. That's why it is very well suited to retired and elderly people. He is very affectionate, mischievous, but also a great player. Calmness and gentleness are other qualities that are attributed to him. One thing is sure: he will bring happiness to his family.

As it is a pet par excellence, the Himalayan can perfectly evolve in apartment. As it prefers the comfort of its home rather than roaming, there is no fear that it will run away.

Food and principal problems of health of the Himalayan

The Himalayan is not a big fan of physical activities. He likes to wallow in his basket all day long, which can lead to overweight if his diet is inadequate. It is preferable to give him two to three meals daily, but in small quantities.

Attention, because of its crushed nostrils, the Himalayan can be victim of respiratory problems. For the same reason, it does not support the heat nor the too intense physical activities. To know that the polycystic kidney disease is one of the genetic pathologies of which it can be victim.

Educating your kitten : the basic rules

It is often said that the cat does not live with us but that we live with our cat. As if a cat was constantly doing what he wanted, without ever taking into account what his master has to say and rejecting any form of education and authority.

Certainly, a cat is not educated like a dog, we will never see a cat sit when ordered, nor even lie down or give the paw. It is also very rare to see a cat come when its master calls it. However, there are a few things that can be taught to a cat, which will be easier to remember at a young age. We will see how.

The basics of kitten education

First of all, you must be aware of who takes the first steps in educating a kitten. It's not you who adopted her at three months old, nor the person, pet store or shelter that cared for her before you, but her mother. Many people think that weaning is only about feeding, that as soon as the cat can eat kibble, it is weaned. But be careful not to confuse a food weaning with an educational and emotional weaning. It is the mother who does most of the work, and especially the most important: teaching him not to put himself in danger by eating or doing anything.

Taking a cat away from its mother too early will require all the more work in terms of education, because it will be necessary not only to take over its role, which it did not have time to complete, but also that of the brothers and sisters, to teach it to behave with the other cats, and this last point is really feasible only with the help of a specialist, or if you are lucky enough to have another cat at home patient enough to take over this role on its own.

The owner's role in kitten training

Once you've adopted your kitten (as previously stated, not before it's three months old), despite all the hard work of its mother, there will still be things to teach it. The kitten will know how to behave with other cats but not with humans, or at least not completely.

At first, handle it regularly (also if the kitten is born at home, from one to two weeks, start to get it used to the touch), of course it is not a question here of harassing it, but to do it with constancy. Try to have contact with him for about 45 minutes or an hour a day, not in a row but in short sessions of five to ten minutes.

Put him on his back, scratch his belly, make him open his mouth, all this so that he understands that even if he doesn't like all the physical contact, at least it's not violent and doesn't hurt him, and therefore won't scare him in the future. Do this for a few months and he will eventually get used to it.

In the case where you have adopted your cat in a less conventional way, that is to say that it has a past that was potentially complicated (abandoned cat, coming from SPA, found lost in the wild, etc.) the work to do will be more complicated and a little different. It will be necessary to be much more gentle, not to have too much physical contact from the first days, and it will be necessary especially much more patience. Indeed, this cat may have undergone traumas, may be afraid of humans and may not want any contact out of fear. It will therefore take much longer to become sociable. If you find yourself in a case like this one and you really have too much trouble managing it, don't hesitate to call on a specialist, such as an animal behaviorist.

Training a kitten to scratch and bite as little as possible

First of all, be sure of one thing: there is no such thing as a cat that never scratches or bites. However, there are small techniques to make him do it as little as possible.

Let's start with the case of play. A cat that has not yet been educated will tend to scratch you to play. The first and most important thing to know is that you should not play with your cat using its hand. The cat will think it's a toy, so it will play with it in the most natural way for it: by scratching, and will thus get used to it. While it may be tempting to play "fight" with him when he's young and his little claws and fangs are harmless, those same claws and fangs as an adult will be much more painful. Prefer to play with balls, paper balls, corks, or with a "fishing pole" (a stick with a string attached and a toy at the end, guaranteed success). This way, he won't associate your hand with a toy.

Vocabulary to make the kitten understand

You will obviously not make him understand complex commands. But it will be necessary especially to make him understand orders of refusal. If, for example, he starts to scratch, a "no claws" in an authoritative tone will usually do the trick. At first, he will only hear a rise in tone, but as it happens, he will associate this sentence with the fact of scratching. The same goes for when he climbs on a piece of furniture you don't want him to go on, for example. A "no" or "you get off" in a commanding tone will let him know that you don't want him to do that.

It will take some patience and attention to train a cat, but it's within everyone's reach and not that difficult. Take the time to do it when he's little and he'll repay you throughout his life.

Feline Hemobartonellosis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Feline hemobartonellosis is an infectious disease that affects the red blood cells. All cats can be affected, young, old, males and females regardless of their breed. It is caused by a parasite and can be fatal in the most severe cases. It is transmitted to the cat by a bite during a fight, by a mosquito, a tick, a flea or even from the mother to her kittens. A blood transfusion can also transmit this disease to the animal. Let's see what the possible symptoms are, how to treat it and how to protect your cat from hemobartonellosis.

Feline hemobartonellosis: symptoms

This disease is now more commonly referred to as feline hemotropic mycoplasmosis. The parasites responsible for this disease, which affects red blood cells, are Mycoplasma haemominutum or Mycoplasma haemofelis. By attaching themselves to red blood cells, they destroy the cell membrane of these cells, which leads to anemia. The cat is extremely weakened.

This pathology can cause the following symptoms:
  • Fever,
  • Anorexia,
  • A dehydration,
  • A loss of weight,
  • A great weakness,
  • Jaundice (jaundice),
  • Discoloration of the mucous membranes,
  • An increase in heart rate,
  • An acceleration of the respiratory rate,
  • An increase in the volume of the spleen,
  • Mental depression,
  • Syncope.
There are three forms of hemobartonellosis, subclinical (asymptomatic), acute and chronic. The degree of anemia varies according to the parasite strain. The anemia is moderate in the case of a small strain and severe in the case of a large strain. In the latter case, it develops rapidly and can cause sudden death of the animal.

Seropositive cats are more susceptible to Mycoplasma haemofelis, and this parasite is more common in males than in females.

Feline Hemobartonellosis (or Feline Hemotropic Mycoplasmosis): Diagnosis and Treatment

Clinical examination may reveal an enlarged spleen, but to confirm the diagnosis of feline hemobartonellosis, the veterinarian must perform additional tests. A blood test is required, as well as a blood smear, an imaging test and a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The interest is to look for a possible increase in bilirubin and liver enzymes and to visualize the change in the volume of the spleen.

For information, bilirubin is a yellow pigment that accumulates abnormally when there is a degradation of hemoglobin. This explains the jaundice that some cats with mycoplasmosis (or hemobartonellosis) have.

The cat should be treated with antibiotics for at least 15 days, but the treatment can be extended to a month. To slow the destruction of red blood cells, cortisone is administered. Treatment may also include a blood transfusion and nutritional support is imperative to make up for the deficiencies caused by the anorexia.

Despite this treatment, the cat may continue to be a carrier of the parasite in question, putting it at risk for recurrence.

Feline Hemobartonellosis: Prevention

Cats that spend a lot of time outdoors are more susceptible to feline hemobartonellosis than indoor cats that don't go outside much. To protect your little companion, you must therefore prevent him from being infested by fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. We strongly advise you to have your cat sterilized as soon as possible so that it is less tempted to fight with its fellow cats. But it is also necessary to limit his outings to what is strictly necessary and therefore, not to allow him to roam.

Parturition of the female cat: stages and possible complications

When it's time for a female cat to give birth, the signs are more or less obvious. There is no need to worry too much because in most cases, female cats give birth to their kittens without any particular problem. On the other hand, when there are complications, they can be serious. They require emergency care. It's therefore better to know how to spot the signals that should give rise to alarm. Let's take a look at the birth process in female cats, the main stages and the possible complications.

Parturition in female cats: the main stages

Even if all the warning signs are not as obvious as each other, it is always interesting to know them. Knowing how to spot them is important because they mean that the time for giving birth is not far off. The different manifestations in a female cat who is about to give birth are the following:
  • Anxiety,
  • A decrease in appetite,
  • A drop in body temperature in some female cats,
  • The rise of milk which generally occurs just at the time of the birth.

Set up the delivery area and provide a first aid kit

Most female cat owners take precautions during gestation in order to perfectly anticipate the birth of the kittens. This includes regular monitoring of the little female by a veterinarian. This is essential to check her health condition but also to know how many kittens she is expecting and when the birth is planned.

It is then easier to have on hand the necessary material to take care of the kittens when the time comes, but also so that the babies are born in a perfectly adapted environment.

It is necessary for example to foresee a good eight days before the D-day to install the female cat in a clean room, the temperature of which is about 26°C because the kittens must absolutely not take cold. A room in full draught is not desirable. But if the future mother has installed her nest there, it is then necessary to implement everything so that this one is protected. Folding screens, cardboard boxes, infrared lamps, heating blankets or thermostatic radiators are very good solutions ....

It is also essential that the place chosen for the birth is quiet, far from the comings and goings of family members. It should not be stressed at all during this particular period because the farrowing can be stopped, which is extremely serious.

As for the material to put in an emergency kit, it is for example :
  • A pair of latex gloves,
  • A sterile kit for a clean ligation of the umbilical cords,
  • Compresses,
  • A saline-type eye wash,
  • An electronic scale,
  • Baby bottles,
  • Female cat milk for newborn kittens.
Do not hesitate to ask the veterinarian what is essential.

Giving birth to a female cat: the main phases

Three distinct phases constitute the course of the delivery in these animals.

1st phase: the preparation

The female cat licks her genital area insistently and suddenly appears much more agitated than usual.

Phase 2 : the expulsion of the kittens

This phase normally takes place over a period of 4 to 16 hours. The birth of each kitten is preceded and accompanied by strong contractions. Reddish-brown placental secretions precede the imminent expulsion of the first of the litter. The normal position is when all the kittens present themselves with their heads forward.

The kittens are still born wrapped in the amnion, the amniotic membrane that their mother breaks by licking them vigorously. But this is also how she stimulates the breathing of her offspring.

Note that in case of problems or intense stress, the duration of the expulsion phase can really extend to 2 or 3 days. This obviously justifies the intervention of a veterinarian as a matter of urgency to limit the risks of complications which can be very serious.

Phase 3: expulsion of the placenta

This 3rd phase of the birth in female cat requires from the owner a very great attention because he has to make sure that all the placentas are expelled. There must be as many as there are kittens.

During this phase, which is also called delivery, a placenta is expelled within 15 minutes after birth. But sometimes, several kittens are born one after the other and the placentas are expelled only afterwards. This is not a problem as long as none of them remain in the mother's uterus, as this can lead to a serious infection or even the death of the female cat.

Finally, the female will continue to have a bloody discharge after giving birth. This is normal. However, the veterinarian should be consulted immediately if the postpartum discharge is foul-smelling.

Birth of female cats: what are the possible complications?

The main complications to be feared at the time of the birth of the kittens are the following.
  • The birth does not take place: it may have been stopped because the female cat was disturbed by too much traffic or is in a state of excessive stress. This phenomenon is also possible when the contractions are insufficient.
  • The delay between the expulsion of two kittens is 2 hours or more: it is again the fact of a too weak intensity of the contractions. We also talk about inertia of the uterus.
  • The contractions are of great intensity and are almost continuous for at least ½ hour but no kittens are expelled,
  • The kittens are presented askew and not head first.
In all cases, the female cat's owner should not intervene. The only thing to do is to call the vet.

It's also possible that things don't go so well after the birth, as complications can occur at this time as well. As mentioned earlier, the female cat may not have expelled all the placentas. Incomplete delivery can lead to infection of the uterus (endometritis, metritis), but this type of infection can also be caused by the obvious lack of hygiene in the room where the delivery took place. Quite easy to diagnose, it causes the following symptoms
  • Dark red or yellowish-brown malodorous discharge,
  • Rapid weakening of the female cat's general condition,
  • High fever.
This condition is an absolute emergency because the little female can die in a very short time. There is also a risk that the kittens will be contaminated by the mother's milk. Their life is in danger as well.

Whatever the reason, if the female cat cannot breastfeed her kittens or if her milk is infected, the owner must absolutely bottle-feed the newborns with another milk provided by the veterinarian, i.e. a formula for newborn kittens, generally enriched with colostrum.

Finally, when the vital functions of a newborn kitten are not sufficient, the intervention must be imminent. It can be removed from its fetal envelope if its mother does not take care of it, cut the umbilical cord to 5 cm and if it does not breathe it is necessary to proceed with a cardiac massage and the clearing of its airways. Of course, the call to the emergency veterinary service is necessary without delay.

The 12 breeds of cats with blue eyes: who are they?

Many people are looking for a cat with blue eyes. Here are 12 breeds that have all the assets to satisfy them, both in terms of iris color and character. Intelligent, affectionate, easy to live with for the most part, they are adorable little companions.

The Balinese

Large ears, almond-shaped eyes, medium-length hair and long body.

Very close to the Siamese, the Balinese is very elegant and wears its tail like a feather duster. He likes to be in the middle of the attentions and meows very frequently, which is not always appreciated. Cuddly, close to his master, he likes to play with children.

The Bengal

Athletic body with a splendid coat whose spots are strangely reminiscent of those of the leopard.

Hyperactive and dominant, the Bengal is a cross between a domestic cat and a wild Asian leopard cat. It does not like to live alone, the ideal being that it can cohabit with a cat of another race, not dominant, patient and sociable. With its physique of a real wildcat, it generates fascination everywhere it goes. It needs to be channeled but also educated from an early age.

The British Shorthair

With its round head, its eyes in the shape of balls, its thick short and very soft fur, it has something of a teddy bear.

Good-natured, easy-going, cuddly, calm, the British Shorthair has everything to make owners happy, especially if they are looking for a cat that can spend most of its time indoors. It loves to play with children and gets along perfectly with other animals. Not all British Shorthairs have blue eyes, which are always matched to the color of the hair. It can be the case of the British shorthair colorpoint.

The Ojos Azules

Its Spanish name means "blue eyes", a magnificent look full of tenderness, always blue, whatever the color of its coat, which is quite rare.

With a great elegance with its long body despite its strong bones, this sportsman can live indoors and outdoors as long as the Ojos Azules can be cuddled when it wants and that we respect its moments of rest.

The Himalayan

Beautiful long and silky fur, rather short body and stocky legs, very bright azure eyes.

It is also called Colourpoint. The Himalayan chooses scrupulously the people with whom he will show himself full of affection. Very close to his master, he likes to be cuddled. Calm, it has a very good character.

The Siamese

Head wearing a dark mask, almond eyes.

The Siamese has a good character, is sociable was always very cheerful. He hates loneliness.

The Ragdoll

Very expressive look, long silky hair that never gets tangled, very easy character.

The Ragdoll is considered as the most cuddly of all, which lets itself be carried without any resistance, so much so that in the arms it turns into a "rag doll", hence its name.

The Burmese Sacred

Color of the Siamese and thick fur of the Persian.

Affectionate, calm, the Sacred Burmese follows its master everywhere and without respite.

The Snowshoe

Short or medium-length hair, white coat regardless of the color of the dress.

The Snowshoe loves to play, is very affectionate and loves to cuddle. He gets along well with animals in general and is an excellent companion for children. He is also appreciated for his delicacy, his easy-going, balanced character, his calmness and his gentleness. However, he meows quite frequently.

The Sphynx

Naked cat with a fine body, soft to the touch.

The Sphynx is intelligent, calm, pleasant, affectionate and likes to play. Very sociable, it can follow its master everywhere. It gets along well with children and is patient with animals in general.

The Tonkinese

Short or long hair, athletic body with fine bones, large almond-shaped eyes.

Some Tonkinese have amber eyes, others azure. Very affectionate and calm, he loves to play. He appreciates family life because he gets along with adults as well as with children. He hates solitude and is very demonstrative of the affection he has for his masters.

The Van Turk

Also known as the Noah's Ark cat or the Lake Van cat, the Van Turk is a large, semi-long-haired cat.

The Van Turk has an atypical personality because he is absolutely a fan of water! It is thus a swimming cat. Very intelligent, courageous and willing, he is quite independent, but still very attached to his masters with whom he likes to share all kinds of games. He easily welcomes strangers to his family even if he is sometimes shy, and accepts other animals as well, whether they are fellow cats or not.

Among these small felines, some can have quite frequently the eyes vairons as it is the case of the Ojos Azules for example. For others, within a litter can be a kitten with blue eyes that, a few months later, can quite display a look of another color. In the majority of cases, however, these cats have blue eyes.

The Ashera, considered the largest and most expensive cat in the world

The Ashera holds all the records. It is considered as one of the biggest cats in the world, dethroning the Maine Coon, the Burmese Sacred, the Ragdoll and others. But that's not all. He is also the most expensive cat in the world. A real luxury pet!

Characteristics of the Ashera

One would readily confuse it with a leopard. It must be said that its spotted coat does not facilitate the distinction. The Ashera is also noticeable for its large size since a specimen can be 1.50 m long for an estimated weight between 12 and 15 kg. This breed comes in four varieties. The first one is the standard Ashera with a brown coat punctuated with black spots and which has a communicative and affectionate character.

There is also the hypoallergenic breed, which was created to avoid the development of allergies in sensitive people. This hybrid breed is said to be sterile. The third variety is the Ashera snow cat which has a white coat with coffee-colored spots. This breed has a slim, long body, a small head and fairly large, erect ears. Last is the Royal Ashera, which has an elegant orange coat. The Ashera Royal represents less than 4% of the litters and is therefore very rare.

History of the Ashera breed

The Ashera is a cat that was created by man. This recent breed was born in 2005 in the United States under the initiative of the company Lifestyle Pets. The latter had two objectives. The first one was to create the biggest domestic feline in the world. Bet won. By crossing an African serval cat with domestic cats and an Asian leopard, the company succeeded in obtaining an animal with disproportionate measurements. The second objective was to have a hypoallergenic breed. The Ashera was genetically modified so that allergic reactions are neutralized upon contact. It is important to specify that this cat remains very rare. Lifestyle Pets produces only 100 specimens annually. It is also necessary to put the strong price to have some since a kitten costs around 20000 dollars.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Ashera

The Ashera is full of energy. It likes to jump and climb everywhere, it is curious and very playful. An important part of his care is to stimulate him mentally and physically. Despite its wild origins, it is a good pet that shows a lot of affection towards its owners. It is preferable to walk him on a leash when going out. The frequency of these walks should be reduced in winter because this cat has difficulty with low temperatures. As it has a rather unpredictable temperament, it is advised not to leave Ashera alone with children.

Food and main health problems of the Ashera

The Ashera needs a very high quality food to preserve its muscles and ensure the shine of its coat. As he is a large cat, he needs a higher ration than the one given to other cats to maintain his "health capital" and to give him all the energy he needs.

On the health side, so far, no specific disease is attributed to him.

How do I know if my cat is in pain?

There are many ways to suspect that a cat is suffering. The animal may be going through a period of psychological discomfort or may be experiencing pain due to trauma or illness. Some symptoms are unmistakable, while others are less easy for the owner to detect. Whatever the cat's or kitten's attitude, don't wait to consult the veterinarian. Here are a few revealing symptoms that should alert you.

Cat in pain: what if it's a depression?

Cats are generally active and playful pets. But they too can be severely affected by stress or anxiety to the point of suffering from a depressive syndrome.

Depression in cats can cause a wide variety of symptoms, and their owners often find it difficult to understand why their little companion doesn't seem to be doing so well. The animal is sad, lacks sleep or on the contrary sleeps too much, does not eat any more, shows aggressiveness, is frightened at all times. The cat or kitten is constantly licking itself or on the contrary neglects its grooming. Sometimes, the cat may have skin problems caused by excessive scratching.

These are just some of the symptoms caused by depression. If the cat has episodes of overexcitement followed by periods of apathy, it may be bipolar.

Depression in cats has a wide variety of causes, such as
  • Loneliness due to a prolonged absence of its owner,
  • The arrival of a new pet in the home,
  • The birth of a new baby to the family,
  • The change of the place of life (moving, change of foster family).
A traumatized cat can also become depressed. This is for example the case if it has been abused or if its owners attack it by shouting incessantly when they talk to it, if it has been attacked by another animal...

Generally, a caring owner notices quite quickly that his pet is suffering, but detecting depression in a cat is not easy. We often tend to put this malaise on the account of an organic disease. However, the psychological track is not to be neglected. At the slightest doubt, it is preferable to make an appointment with a behaviorist veterinarian or with a specialist in ethology.

An underlying disease is first of all looked for thanks to complementary exams such as blood and urine analysis for example. Depression in cats may require medication. At the same time, the cat's owner must take care to be reassuring and do everything possible to help his little companion gradually regain a taste for life.

The cat sulks at mealtimes

A cat that no longer eats or is satisfied with only one or two bites when it was devouring its meal a few days before, has inevitably something wrong with it. It is important not to neglect a long-lasting lack of appetite in a cat because it can be due to a variety of causes, more or less serious, such as a dental problem, a digestive disorder, osteoarthritis, coryza. Many other illnesses cause loss of appetite or even anorexia in cats.

The veterinarian should be consulted immediately if the cat does not eat for more than 48 hours.

The cat is not breathing well

This is another case that warrants an emergency consultation. Respiratory problems in cats are due to coryza, laryngitis, asthma, or pneumonia, pulmonary edema ... Sometimes, breathing difficulties are accompanied by :
  • Sneezing,
  • Coughing,
  • Snoring.
The cat being exposed to risks of serious complications, it must be seen by the veterinarian without delay.

The cat loses weight

Cats can lose weight even if they eat all their meals without leaving anything in their bowl. If the cat has lost 10% of its initial weight, the cause of this abnormal weight loss should be investigated. It could be kidney failure, heart disease, oral disease, cancer, or depression.

Regularly monitoring your cat's weight by weighing him every two or three months is a wise precaution. This allows you to take your pet to the vet before it's too late.

Fever and hypothermia

A cat is considered to have a fever when his body temperature is above 39°C. If it is below 38°C, it is hypothermia. His temperature is therefore normal only if it is between 38 and 39°C, it is ideal at 38.5°C. It is the same for the kitten.

Whether it is a high fever or hypothermia, the cat generally presents various symptoms. The owner must be attentive in order to spot them and to inform the veterinarian so that a diagnosis can be made. Complementary examinations are necessary because they allow to confirm or to deny a diagnosis.

Before the consultation, it is recommended to take the cat's rectal temperature at different times of the day in order to note its evolution. This is not a simple task and it is preferable to have two people to hold the animal. This limits the risk of biting and/or scratching when the thermometer is inserted into the rectum.

Vomiting in cats

Frequent vomiting accompanied by pain may indicate intoxication or poisoning, or even a digestive disorder. Other symptoms are usually revealing such as:
  • Hypersalivation,
  • Ataxia (the cat has a hesitant walk),
  • Respiratory problems,
  • Tremors,
  • Great weakness.
The consequences are serious if the cat is not presented to its veterinarian as soon as possible. It can cause convulsions, even a hemorrhage and its life is in danger.

This vomiting has nothing to do with the regurgitation of hairballs that the animal swallows when it licks itself. There is nothing to worry about. It is even quite normal.

Heavy urination and diarrhea

A cat that keeps going to the litter box or relieving itself anywhere in the house when it was clean may be suffering from intestinal inflammation. These symptoms should not be allowed to fester, as this type of health problem in cats usually does not heal on its own.

In some cases, diarrhea in cats can be caused by parasites that require deworming.

It's best to ask your veterinarian for advice before giving any potion to your little friend. Self-medication can be more dangerous than useful because it is important to identify the exact cause of heavy urination and diarrhea. In case of blood in the urine or in the stool, the cat must be urgently taken to a specialist.

Typhus, toxoplasmosis, feline leukemia, scabies, diabetes, cancer... The cat's life can be turned upside down because of a health problem. If no care is given, his health condition will decline very quickly.

It is therefore important not to hesitate to consult. Depending on the pathology that affects the cat, the treatment can be long and costly. Fortunately, mutual insurance companies reimburse veterinary acts, partially or totally, depending on the formula chosen by the owner of the little feline. To insure your cat without wasting time, simply compare the contracts offered by using a pet insurance comparator.

Cat encephalitis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Cat encephalitis is a serious disease, fatal in many cases. Its causes are diverse and it manifests itself in different forms. It is a pathology that requires serious management, and the treatment can be long. Let's take a look at the cat's encephalitis and the different possible care protocols, but first of all let's discover what are the symptoms that should alert us.

Cat encephalitis: symptoms

The symptoms of encephalitis in cats differ depending on the form of the disease.

Neoplastic encephalitis

It follows a tumor - benign or malignant - in the brain, the most common being the meningioma. This form of encephalitis affects about 5 out of 100 older cats and causes behavioral and neurological problems. Its manifestations vary depending on the location of the tumor and may include spatial disorientation, seizures, abnormal eye movements, paralysis, or loss of vision (blindness).

Viral encephalitis

Rabies virus of the genus Lyssavirus, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Borna virus (Bornaviridae), feline Coronavirus, cat AIDS (FIV) can be the cause of this viral form of encephalitis in cats. It causes high fever (over 40°C), convulsions, loss of consciousness, excessive salivation.

Parasitic or bacterial encephalitis

This rare form in cats is due to an infectious agent and follows a pulmonary or urinary infection or even a heart infection such as endocarditis. It can also be due to the presence of the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii. Its symptoms are great weakness, convulsions, loss of consciousness.

Ischemic encephalitis

The symptoms of this common form of encephalitis in cats are due to the fact that the brain does not have enough blood supply. Symptoms may include blindness, loss of consciousness and/or seizures.

At the first sign of encephalitis, the owner should have the cat examined by a veterinarian without delay.

Cat encephalitis: diagnosis and treatment

After a clinical examination, the veterinarian performs additional tests to diagnose encephalitis in the cat. It is generally :
  • A blood test to find antibodies,
  • A spinal tap: the analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid is essential to check the rate of leukocytes (white blood cells), an encephalitis causing an increase in their number,
  • An imaging examination (CT scan, X-ray, MRI...): it is essential to visualize the tumor in question but also to see in what proportions it has spread.
If the diagnosis of encephalitis is confirmed, the veterinarian sets up a care protocol adapted to each case. The treatment varies according to the type of encephalitis, to the symptoms the animal suffers from but also to the cause of the disease. For example, he can administer antibiotics, analgesics, anti-inflammatories, anti-epileptics, glucocorticoids, and even chemotherapy. Surgery is possible in the case of a benign tumor.

Finally, palliative care is prescribed if there is no chance of recovery and in many extreme situations, the only solution is to euthanize the cat.

Some forms of cat encephalitis cannot be prevented. But every effort can be made to prevent encephalitis following a bacterial or viral infection, for example. To do this, the cat's vaccination must always be up to date. In order to protect the health of your little companion, it is very important that he is regularly monitored by a veterinarian. The early diagnosis of a pathology, whatever it is, multiplies the chances of recovery or at least limits the cat's suffering.

Cat too fat: how to make him lose weight?

A cat can be overweight or even obese, and this problem is becoming more and more frequent. It is often due to the fact that many owners make mistakes in feeding their little protégés. But it can also be caused by an illness or a behavioral problem for example. In any case, it is necessary not to let the excess weight settle because it is never good for your health. So let's see how to know if a cat is too fat and if so, what are the best solutions for him to lose weight in the long run without damaging his health.

Overweight cats: the signs that don't deceive

Regardless of what the scale may reveal, there are certain signs that indicate indisputably that a cat is overweight, namely:
  • A layer of fat covers its ribs to such an extent that they can no longer be felt when palpated,
  • With each movement of the animal, its belly and flanks seem to float due to excess weight,
  • Seen from above, the animal presents a too wide waist whereas it should be appreciably marked,
  • Its head is quite round and its cheeks a little too much rounded,
  • Its neck is fat and one can notice a bulge on the top, even a ball of fat under the chin.
In addition to these physical details, the overweight cat is not very dynamic, is out of breath at the slightest movement, and does not rush to play or go out. It just wants to sleep and as soon as it opens an eye, to eat.

Overweight cats: what are the health risks?

If his master does not react, the cat already overweight will continue to grow, and be increasingly exposed to many health problems such as:
  • Diabetes mellitus,
  • Early osteoarthritis, mainly in the spine and pelvis, leading to lameness and joint pain,
  • Hepatic lipidosis,
  • A respiratory disease,
  • A dermatosis, because being overweight is an aggravating factor,
  • Intestinal, urinary, gastric and digestive disorders,
  • Cancer.
It is of course urgent to make your cat lose weight to protect its health.

Making a cat lose weight: the right method

In order for a cat to lose its excess weight, it is necessary to combine diet and physical activity. Indeed, the animal must quickly benefit from a perfectly balanced diet, eat without excess, and at the same time exercise sufficiently every day.

Encouraging your cat to exercise

To lose weight, the body must burn more calories than the animal consumes because it is necessary to create a deficit at this level. In this way, energy is drawn from excess fat, resulting in weight loss. Physical activity also helps to maintain good quality muscles, because there is no question of the cat losing its muscles. The best idea is to limit the amount of time your cat spends on the couch. The owner should encourage him to play, which is possible if he is willing to devote some of his free time to his little friend.

You can use and abuse a few subterfuges to get a cat to exercise, such as hiding treats (light ones if possible), putting his bowl on the windowsill rather than on the ground so that he has to jump up every time he wants to eat, offering him an educational bowl or hanging up toys and, of course, forcing him to go out into the garden, even if this requires the use of a harness.

Encourage a gentle weight loss

Be careful not to make your cat lose weight too quickly because this would expose him to the risk of putting on weight again in the short term. Yo-yo dieting is not just for humans! So don't starve your pet and don't change your cat's diet too quickly, especially since your cat's digestive system may not appreciate such an upheaval.

If the little feline was used to finding a full bowl at all hours of the day and night, it is necessary to have the courage to end this bad habit. On the other hand, he must have access to his water bowl 24 hours a day. Small portions of food spread over the day are best, which can be facilitated by a kibble dispenser that delivers only a small amount of food. This is a good solution if you want to gradually regulate the appetite of a gluttonous cat.

We think it is important to point out that if the cat suddenly feels deprived of food, it may become aggressive, suffer from stress or even become fearful... in short, change its behavior quite radically.

Beware of nutritional deficiencies

Finally, one should of course take care to protect his little companion against dietary deficiencies. Even on a diet, the cat must not lack vitamins, minerals and trace elements. A visit to the veterinarian is highly recommended to avoid any mistakes. The veterinarian can draw up daily menus over a sufficient period of time to enable the cat to regain its figure in the best possible conditions and without risk to its health.

Overweight cats: identifying the cause of their overweight

It is essential to consult a veterinarian if you find that your cat is too fat because it is useful to identify the cause(s) of the overweight. Does he eat too much? Is he too sedentary? Is the overweight due to an endocrine disorder, to a medication or to a depressive state? The owner can also learn through this process if he has made dietary mistakes that have led to weight gain in his pet.

The diet is then elaborated on a case-by-case basis and can consist of home-made food or low-calorie cat food. As for the food doses to be respected, they are evaluated by the veterinarian who takes into account the age of the cat, its sex, its health condition, its lifestyle and of course the number of kilos to be lost.

Food for obese cats is sold in specialized stores. For example, these are hypo-energetic kibbles, i.e. low in fat but well supplied with nutrients, fiber and protein. Note that these products are sometimes reimbursed by mutual health insurance companies for animals in addition to veterinary expenses. It may therefore be wise to take out a contract and to find the best offers at the moment, the ideal is to use a cat health insurance comparison service.

Squamous cell carcinoma in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention

Cats, like many other animals, are at risk of developing various types of cancer throughout their lives. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a cancer that is more commonly diagnosed in hairless or white-coated cats, but this does not protect others. Let's take a look at this malignant skin tumor caused by sunburn, one of the most common in cats.

Squamous cell carcinoma: symptoms

This form of skin cancer, which is located in the epidermis, develops rapidly and can be particularly invasive. It is therefore a pathology that must be taken care of without delay by a veterinarian, even if its cure is not guaranteed. Squamous cell carcinoma is likely to metastasize.

However, it is possible to cure the cat if it is treated in time, that is to say before the ulcerations become cancerous. The main symptoms that may raise suspicion of squamous cell carcinoma are:
  • Ulcerations on the cat's skin with hair loss in the affected areas,
  • A crust that lasts,
  • One or more wounds that do not heal even after several months,
  • A change in the color of the skin...
It is strongly recommended to consult the veterinarian as soon as at least one of these manifestations is discovered.

Squamous cell carcinoma: causes

All cats, (but even more so those with white hair as well as naked cats), are very sensitive to UV rays. This is not only a problem for humans. Indeed, the fur does not protect the small felines at 100%. UV-B is particularly involved in the occurrence of certain pathologies, as is the case of squamous cell carcinoma. The lesions are mostly localized:
  • On areas of the body where the coat is sparser or thinner,
  • On the nose,
  • On the ears.
It may be tempting to believe that only cats that spend a lot of time outdoors are at risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. However, we know today that a cat called "apartment cat" who likes to lounge around near a bay window is just as exposed to this risk because UV-B rays are unfortunately not filtered by the windows. The danger is therefore all the more important as the cat has a phenotype at risk.

Squamous cell carcinoma: diagnosis and treatment

The veterinarian first looks for a pre-cancerous state by means of a microscope. This allows him to analyze a skin sample taken from the animal. The aim is to diagnose solar keratosis or actinic keratosis. This examination is very important because it allows the veterinarian to remove any possible ambiguity. Indeed, he must first make sure that the cat does not have another disease such as, for example, a fungal disease or a lupus...

Once the pre-cancerous state is confirmed, a care protocol must be put in place without delay. The veterinarian prefers surgery to limit the risk of developing a malignant tumor. There are two surgical solutions:
  • Cryosurgery, also called cryoablation. It consists in the destruction of the cancerous tumor by extreme cold (argon, liquid nitrogen, etc.).
  • Therapeutic otectomy, particularly well adapted to squamous cell carcinoma that has developed in the cat's ears. The medically justified operation is therefore in this case completely legal. It consists of the removal of the auricle (or both ears if they are both affected).
  • The invasive surgery, also called aggressive surgery, followed by chemotherapy sessions, when an evaluation of extension has been positive. However, the cat's prognosis may be life-threatening due to the presence of metastases.
In some cases, the veterinarian may not be able to opt for surgery. In this case, he prescribes a treatment which can be based on :
  • Antibiotics in case of infection,
  • Antiseptics if the cat has a superinfection,
  • Corticosteroids if there is an inflammation.
At the same time, the animal must be protected from the sun's rays, first of all by only going out in the early morning or late evening. In addition, the owner must apply UVB filters to his windows. Finally, it is necessary that the animal is also protected thanks to a solar cream adapted to the cats which must be renewed very frequently because the small feline eliminates it by licking itself. It is necessary to coat its ears and its muzzle in particular.

The protection against the misdeeds of UV in general and UV-B in particular remains the only means of prevention of the epidermoid carcinoma in the cat.

Is a cat hammock a good idea?

Not very bulky and easily washable, the cat hammock will seduce you. Perched on its observation post, your indefatigable watcher will take a malicious pleasure to spy on his little world. And at nap time, he'll gently nod off in his cozy nest. But is the hammock suitable for all cats? What are the criteria for its purchase and the different models offered in the market?

The hammock for cat, what is it?

The hammock is a suspended bed which, like a basket, envelops the cat's body. Placed in height, the accessory protects the animal from contact with humidity, temperature and dirt of the ground. Moreover, it allows the feline to satisfy its two passions: sleeping and observing. Installed near a window, this pleasant deckchair offers the animal a strategic view of nature or the street, thus satisfying its hunting instincts. Hammocks are usually fixed with ultra-resistant suction cups and their covers are washable. They also have the advantage of taking up less space than a basket.

Is the hammock suitable for all cats?

Although the models are very secure, hammocks are not recommended for cats with pathologies that cause joint pain, reduced mobility or neurological disorders. A cat that is not very bold or sick may feel uncomfortable on this type of furniture and abandon it. In this case, opt for a small house in which it will feel more protected. Generally speaking, you should consider your cat's age and agility before offering him a hammock. Older cats generally prefer to take refuge in baskets that are more easily accessible, comfortable and covered.

Cat hammock: selection criteria

Several criteria should be taken into account before buying a cat hammock:
  • The lifestyle of the feline: does it live exclusively indoors or can it access a garden;
  • The size and weight of the animal;
  • The safety of the accessory. The model must be solid. If it knocks the cat off its supports, the feline will never put its paws on it again. Check the load capacity and compare the sturdiness of the materials;
  • Stability. Just like safety, this is an aspect to be checked because if the model swings too much and knocks the cat over, the cat may sulk;
  • Check that the cover is easy to remove and machine washable.

What are the different types of installations?

Another criterion guiding your choice will be the type of equipment. Today, three main models are available on the market:

The radiator cat hammock

Cats are rather cold by nature and love the warmth that provides them with comfort and well-being. Opting for a radiator hammock is the ideal way to warm them up during the cold season without burning them. Round or rectangular, the models are made of a soft fabric and frames resistant to the heat of the radiator. Make sure that the hooks remain stable no matter how often your cat uses them, how much he jumps to reach the hammock and how heavy he is. Price: from 13 to 40 $.

The window cat hammock

Comfortably installed in front of the window, enjoying a direct view of the outside, your cat will scan at will the movements of the street, the neighborhood, the birds and other animals crossing its domain. Near the window, the hammock is also perfect for sunbathing through the glass. The equipment generally consists of a resistant canvas, often rectangular, maintained by discreet tensioners to be fixed to the window by a suction cup system. Beware of the maximum weight allowed, which you will find indicated on the instructions. The disadvantage: since the accessory is attached to the window, you can only open it by removing the hammock. Price: from 17 to 33 $.

The hammock attached to a cat tree

The hammock for cat tree comes in various forms depending on the basic structure. The hanging bed can be a round fabric to be fixed on a metal circle or a rectangular or triangular cloth hung by the ends. The equipment can also be similar to a cozy basket held with a ring around a scratching post. There are small models for the more adventurous felines or XL sizes to facilitate access for the less skilled cats. Price: from 12 to 17 $.

Other models of hammock for cat

Designers are not lacking in imagination to entertain our kitties. You should know that the trade offers models such as the hammock to be fixed between the bars of a chair. In this hidden and covered corner, the cat can observe its territory in all serenity. Models of hammocks in the form of a tent to be hung from the ceiling will create a nest in which the cat will enjoy taking refuge in peace and quiet. The feline will also like to curl up in the canvas hammocks that look like shopping bags. Beautiful macramé creations with a soft cushion to be fixed to the ceiling are also perfect for cats with luxury tastes!

The Korat, lucky cat in Thailand

This cat, the Korat, of Thai origin, considered as a lucky charm in the country, is at the same time very affectionate and intelligent. It will please all the family in particular with the children thanks to its joy of living.

Characteristics of the Korat

Elegance and grace, such are the qualifiers which describe marvelously the silhouette of Korat which reminds that of the Siamese. This feline distinguishes itself by its average size and its marked musculature without being however too heavy. It has a broad chest, hips and a round croup. One of the characteristics of the Korat that cat fans like is its heart-shaped head. The chin is the tip and the eyebrows represent the top of the heart. The cheeks are well developed, the nose has a slight stop and the forehead is flat but high. The eyes are wide apart, round and well opened. They have the particularity to be green. But before the cat reaches its two years, they are at first "amber".

The Korat must obligatorily raise a beautiful silver blue dress. The silver reflections are more visible on the tail, the legs and the head. The coat is made up of short, brilliant hairs with the fine texture.

History of the Korat breed

The Korat originates from Thailand. It belongs to the rare races known as "natural". He owes his name to the king Rama V who wondered about the origin of this magnificent cat. It is mentioned for the first time in poems published between 1350 and 1767 in the book of the Poems of cats which describes the principal cats carrying good luck of which Korat is largely part. In many Thai artistic works, the feline is also widely represented, proof of its success. It is very important to know that the Korat cannot be crossed with other races. The admitted unions are only between korats.

Necessary conditions of life and behavior of the Korat

The Korat is a great lover of calm. Forget quickly the idea if you envisage for example to make him participate in cat shows. He risks not to support the surrounding noise. The Korat is also endowed with a great intelligence and has a very cheerful character. Besides, one nicknames it "dog-cat" because it is very simple to learn him some tricks. He is homebody, contrary to certain races which tend to run away to go hunting. The Korat is very attached to his masters and has difficulty to support the solitude. He is cheerful, dynamic and extroverted.

Food and main problems of health of the Korat

This race is rather sensitive to the variations of temperature what can involve respiratory disorders. It is thus necessary to preserve it by making vaccines. It can be reached of a pathology touching the nervous system called the gangliosidose but which is detectable from the 2nd month of the cat and which generally manifests itself by a tremor of the head. In terms of nutrition, a healthy and varied diet is essential for his health.

The Toyger, the tiger cat

Compared to a miniature version of the tiger because of its vertical stripes, the Toyger also has all the elegance and power of the big cat. He is also very gentle, affectionate and intelligent. Perfect for families.

Characteristics of the Toyger

The first detail that catches the eye about the Toyger is its tiger-inspired coat. The standard allows only brown mackerel tabby. The color of the coat must be as contrasted as possible with the markings which must be dark. The hair is short, soft, but thick.

This breed has an athletic and muscular body. All the strength is found in the shoulders and forehand, so that when walking, this cat also looks like a tiger. Of medium size, the head is broad and long. The nose is long and the eyes of round form are of accentuated color. The ears for their part are round and small.

History of the Toyger breed

The Toyger is a recent breed that appeared in 1980 in the United States under the impulse of Judy Sugden, breeder and daughter of the one who is at the origin of the Bengal cat, Joan Mill. She wanted to have cats that resembled the tiger with markings. So she started crossbreeding Bengal and alley cats that she specially brought from India.

With no wild blood, this cat is purely domestic. The breed is still in the process of evolution, but since 2007, it can present itself in the championships. Note that the Toyger is also a very rare breed. It is only in 2016 that it was recognized as a new breed in the French LOOF.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Toyger

Nothing pleases him more than human company. Endowed with an unparalleled sociability and a bit extroverted, the Toyger develops certain characters of the Bengal. He is not at all reluctant to strangers or other animals. He likes the presence of his masters and remains very attached to them.

The Toyger is also endowed with a great intelligence and has affection to spare. It is rather easy to tame and to educate. He likes to perform acrobatics and all kinds of antics. He also appreciates walks, preferably with a leash to prevent him from straying too far. This cat can evolve perfectly in apartment provided that it gives him the possibility of spending himself.

Food and main health problems of the Toyger

As it is a recent breed, the health concerns and frequent diseases affecting this animal are still difficult to determine. However, during the periods of breeding, it was revealed that certain genetic pathologies can appear in particular viral and cardiac diseases which are at the origin of disorders of breathing.

For its health, it is necessary to envisage a food adapted to the physical exercises which it practises, to its health and its age. High protein meals are recommended. Cereals should be avoided and it is recommended to opt for quality kibbles associated with wet food such as terrines or pâtés.

Cyanosis in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Cyanosis in cats can be central or peripheral. It requires an urgent veterinary consultation because the animal is in danger of dying. Let's see in which cases it can occur, how to diagnose the problem that causes cyanosis and what treatments are available. Finally, let's find out how to prevent the risks of cyanosis in your little friend.

Cyanosis in cats: symptoms and main causes

Cyanosis is most often the result of poor oxygenation of the body. It manifests itself by a blue-violet coloring of the mucous membranes and/or the skin.

Depending on its cause, it can be accompanied by variable symptoms such as convulsions, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, vomiting, fever...

The main causes of cyanosis are:
  • Pulmonary edema,
  • Dysfunction of the respiratory function,
  • Heart disease,
  • Hypoventilation (pleural effusion) in case of heart failure,
  • Deviation of the blood flow (anatomical shunt),
  • Arterial obstruction that can lead to a decrease in arterial flow,
  • A venous obstruction,
  • Intoxications...
Two types of cyanosis must be distinguished:
  • Central cyanosis: it is more easily observable at the simple consultation (clinical examination) because the abnormal coloring affects both the mucous membranes and the skin.
  • Peripheral cyanosis: it is mainly at the level of the extremities that it manifests itself, so that it is less easily observable than the central form.
It should be noted that cyanosis is not always related to an abnormal decrease in the amount of oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia). In any case, if cyanosis is suspected in your cat, it is an absolute veterinary emergency.

Cyanosis in cats: diagnosis and treatment

In a cyanotic cat, after a clinical examination, additional tests are necessary, such as:
  • A blood count or CBC (Blood Count),
  • Blood pressure measurement,
  • An electrocardiogram,
  • An ultrasound of the abdomen to detect certain forms of heart failure,
  • A chest X-ray to look for the possible presence of lesions that could be the cause of the cyanosis,
  • An echocardiography in a cat with a cardiac disease, because this examination allows the veterinarian to evaluate the consequences of this pathology and thus, to set up a specific care protocol.
A differential diagnosis is essential to accurately identify the pathology causing the cyanosis in the cat.

Treatment depends on the disease involved. Whether it is medical or surgical, it is decided on a case-by-case basis and must be administered as quickly as possible so that the cat can be saved.

If the cyanosis is due to intoxication, the animal should be given an antidote. However, it is important to know that there is no antidote for every toxic product... In order to restore the cat's coagulation system, the veterinarian can then opt for a treatment of several days to several weeks with vitamin K1. This is, for example, the solution that is necessary in case of ingestion of a rat poison.

Preventing cyanosis in cats

To limit the risk of cyanosis in cats, the owner must take every precaution to ensure that his little companion does not ingest toxic food or products. For example, the cat should not be allowed to roam, and if the cat's appendages must be treated with a rat poison, it is essential that the cat not have access to it. Also be careful with all kinds of plants, whether in the garden or at home, because many of them are toxic to small felines.

Finally, it is necessary that the animal is regularly followed by a veterinarian throughout its life. This allows to monitor its general health, to check that it does not have any respiratory or cardiac problem, or to treat it at the beginning of an affection thanks to an early diagnosis. To take care of his health at a lower cost, you should not hesitate to insure your cat with a mutual insurance company for pets. The use of a cat health insurance comparator allows you to compare the offers proposed by the mutual insurance companies.

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