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Coconut oil: what benefits for the cat?

Made from the albumen of the coconut, coconut oil is a natural vegetable product with multiple benefits that it would be a shame to deprive a cat. Let's discover its assets, what are the criteria of choice to have the best possible quality, then let's take stock of the different ways to use this beneficial oil for your pet.

Characteristics of coconut oil

This vegetable oil is derived from the reserve organ (or albumen) of the coconut fruit. It is made up of 86.5% of saturated fatty acids. These GA are: lauric, myristic, palmitic, capric, caprylic, caproic, stearic. It contains moderate amounts of linoleic acid (polyunsaturated GA 1.8%), oleic acid (monounsaturated GA 5.8%), and only 0.18% trans fatty acids. It is rich in vitamin E and also contains vitamin K.

The properties of coconut oil are as follows:
  • Antifungal,
  • Anti-inflammatory,
  • Antioxidant,
  • Antibacterial.

Which coconut oil to choose for your cat ?

To allow your little feline to benefit from all the advantages of this natural product from the plant, it is essential to buy a coconut oil of excellent quality. It must be :
  • Virgin,
  • Obtained by cold pressing of the albumen, a process attested by the mention "first cold pressing" indicated on the packaging,
  • organically grown.
These are the criteria of choice, whether the coconut oil is intended for a pet or for a human being for that matter.

How to use coconut oil in cats?

The cat's digestive system metabolizes this source of good fat very well. When used orally, coconut oil can be used on many levels.
  • To protect the enamel of the teeth because it attacks certain bacteria contained in the dental plaque: one can deposit some drops of coconut oil on the toothbrush of the cat,
  • Treat foul breath,
  • Fight worms and other internal parasites,
  • Improve digestion,
  • Increase the moisture content of feces and relieve temporary constipation,
  • Facilitate the expulsion of hairballs,
  • Prevent infections because it strengthens the immune system,
  • Soothe joint pain,
  • Promote the absorption of vitamins, minerals and trace elements present in a quality diet.
It is used externally to :
  • Improve the condition of the cat's coat by making it shiny, soft and silky,
  • Deodorize the animal's coat,
  • Accelerate the healing of a wound,
  • To treat buttons,
  • Soothe itching,
  • Treat skin rashes,
  • Moisturize the skin,
  • Fight against fungal diseases,
  • Prevent external parasites...
During a visit to the veterinarian, do not hesitate to ask him for details on the usefulness of coconut oil for the cat. Thus, the practitioner will be able to indicate the dosage best adapted to the animal according to its needs. As an indication, an adult cat of 10 kg can consume ½ teaspoon of coconut oil every day, to be mixed with its kibbles or its pâtée.

It is important to always scrupulously respect the dosages recommended by the animal health professional. Orally, it must be administered in small quantities because it is an extremely rich product.

Be careful, however, as this vegetable oil is a natural product, it can be poorly tolerated by some cats. The signs do not deceive since it causes vomiting and diarrhea in these cases.

As we have seen, coconut oil is very useful in many situations. It is also essential to always have a bottle on hand at home and don't forget to put it in the first aid kit when you travel with your pet.

Why does my cat purr? Explanation

The purring of cats, this soft noise often associated with the well-being of our feline friends, may have many other meanings. Indeed, this kind of whistling so particular of the cats would have for goal, according to several scientific studies, to communicate a feeling of appeasement and happiness near the humans as the other cats. However, we can hear a cat purring when it is in a state of stress or when it feels inferior. But what does this sound really mean?

What is a purr?

Little is known about the physiological origin of purring. There are actually two hypotheses. For the first one, it would be a very fast and regular contraction of the muscles of the larynx, alternating with the diaphragm. The second hypothesis maintains that it is the vibration of a vein bringing blood from the body to the heart (called the vena cava), amplified by the bronchi, the trachea and the nasal cavities.

According to some studies, purring would even be useful for the bones of cats. Indeed, the vibrations would be emitted on different frequencies, one of which would be around 26Hz, allowing to stimulate the regeneration of the muscular tissues present around the bones of the cat.

Why does the cat purr?

Most often, we can observe a cat purring during caresses, cuddles, or simply a moment of complicity between him and his master. In these situations, the manifestation of a moment of happiness, of well-being is not in doubt. Some cats also purr when they eat something they particularly appreciate, such as pâtée. Again, the purring is a moment of happiness.

A cat will not only purr to express a feeling of happiness, however. Cats may also purr during times of great stress, such as during a veterinary exam. In this case, the purring is not communicative, but a way for the cat to reassure itself.

A mother with kittens will also tend to purr in their presence, to reassure them that there is no danger. Her kittens themselves can sometimes purr to ask her for food, that's why some cats separated from their mother too early, can, in some cases, purr to ask for food to their master.

Finally, two cats that come into conflict can sometimes purr as well, at least the one that will feel inferior. This is obviously not to signify a state of well-being, but to reassure himself on the one hand, and on the other, to try to appease his opponent in order to avoid conflict.

To discover the purpose of a cat's purring, you simply have to observe the behavior that accompanies this sound. If a cat purrs while lying down, with its eyes closed, or while lying on its back with all four paws in the air, it is obviously a purr signifying a moment of happiness.

If, on the other hand, the cat purrs with its eyes wide open, or even wide open, with its ears back and wagging its tail, it may mean that it is stressed or feels inferior, and that it is trying to calm itself.

Purring is good for humans

Some specialists have proven that the purring of cats would indeed have a beneficial aspect for humans. A therapy based on this principle has even been created, and is called "purr therapy".

According to these studies, the purring emitted by a cat would act on the amygdala system, a system closely linked to the emotions of the human being. It would stimulate the amygdala to react as in a moment of stress, during which this organ would produce enzymes to soothe us. The cat's purr would therefore indirectly be a source of appeasement. So don't hesitate to cuddle your cat if you feel stressed.

My cat is aggressive: what to do?

The cat is an unpredictable animal. As much as he can be an adorable little ball of affection, with whom you can spend peaceful moments, sitting on the couch with him snuggled up on your lap purring, he can sometimes scratch you or bite you violently, without you being able to understand the reason. But why can a cat be so aggressive? And most importantly, how do you react to this behavior? All the answers can be found in this article.

Identifying the origins of the aggression, and how to react?

A cat will never show aggression without any reason. Although the causes can be various, it is important in the case of a cat that shows aggression to identify the cause of the aggression, because it can come from a more or less important malaise to be treated, or from a simple education problem.

The cat, a nervous animal

Let's talk about a typical situation. You are sitting on your couch, your cat is on your lap and you are petting him. From your point of view, you're having what you think is a nice, relaxing time, until he starts violently scratching your hand, biting you, even spitting.

Even though it may seem like it, this aggression doesn't come from nowhere. Indeed, the cat is a very nervous animal, and this in the physiological sense. You may have been petting your cat for a while and touched him in an area he didn't like. These areas are usually along his spine, as well as on his tail, which are very nervous areas. But every cat may not enjoy being touched in a particular area. Some cats, for example, love to have their bellies scratched, while others will hate it.

To learn how to spot and anticipate these attacks, all you have to do is pay attention. Before scratching you, your cat will most likely have sent you signals that you didn't notice, so he won't have felt he had any choice but to scratch you to make you stop. So stop touching him if he sends you these signals:
  • when he pushes his hand away from you with his paw, this is a more than obvious sign that your petting is bothering him and that you should stop.
  • when he wags his tail. Indeed, some people make the amalgam with the dogs, which wag their tail when they are happy. For the cat, it's the opposite, if he wags his tail it's because he is disturbed or that something displeases him.
  • If you feel your cat stiffen, especially in his back legs, it is because he is not happy. At best, she's about to leave, at worst, she's about to scratch you.
  • If your cat's ears stick out forward or to the side, something is bothering him because a relaxed cat will tend to "drop" his ears.

Poor weaning

A kitten doesn't need to stay with her mother for three months for nothing. Although food weaning (the time when she stops suckling her mother and starts eating kibble) ends at two months, behavioral weaning is not complete. Thus, a cat taken away from his mother too early can sometimes show aggressiveness because he will not have learned to regulate his aggressiveness. In short, it will simply lack education.

For these cats, you will have to be patient and educate them yourself. When he attacks you, tell him "no" in a loud voice, to impress him. He should understand little by little that this aggression is a bad thing.

If you have too much trouble regulating his aggressiveness, you can also call a behaviorist.

Bad habits

Some cats become aggressive without realizing it, because for them it's just a game. Indeed, if playing with a kitten by making him attack his hand or his foot doesn't hurt and can be rather cute, it will be much less pleasant to do the same thing once he's an adult, when his fangs and claws will have become bigger and stronger.

So you should avoid getting a kitten used to playing with your body, because when she's an adult, she'll think it's play, too, and what you'll think is aggression will be just an attempt at play, just like when she was a kitten.

To avoid this, get your kitten used to playing with toys. Fishing rods with a feather on the end, a ball or a simple piece of string, it doesn't matter as long as she equates the play with a toy rather than a part of your body.

Boredom, tantrums and frustration

If a cat is not stimulated enough, it may become aggressive simply to expend its energy, just as a human will go to the gym to let off steam. If you're away from home a lot, and there are no toys or activities in your home, your cat may attack you on the calf, as if it were shouting "I'm bored!

Other cats can be very "immature" in some ways. Just as a child would whimper for a piece of candy, a cat can whimper for its food. It will start by meowing at you for long minutes, and some may even bite and scratch. Often, this problem is related to a weaning problem.

Finally, a cat may behave in the same way if you don't take enough care of him. He will try anything to get contact with you, and if that doesn't work, he'll go so far as to bite or scratch you. In this case, consider spending more time with him, making him play or simply cuddling him.


Some cats who have been through traumatic experiences may become aggressive if a situation similar to their trauma occurs.

For example, if your cat has been in a violent relationship, which may even backfire on him, a simple argument may cause him to panic by reminding him of the trauma, and he may become violent for fear of reliving it.

In this kind of case, it will be necessary on your side to reassure him, by speaking to him in a soft voice and by caressing him if he accepts it (and only if he wants it well, it is never necessary to force a frightened cat), and possibly to consult a behaviorist if ever this reaction is repeated too often

A physical suffering

Cats are animals that do not communicate their suffering. If your cat spits, scratches or even bites you when you touch it in a specific area, it may be suffering. It could be osteoarthritis or a skin problem, for example.

In any case, do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian.

A very advanced age

Old age sometimes brings its share of misery. If in humans, some people who have reached a very advanced age can have mental deficiencies, sometimes even going as far as violence, it can unfortunately happen to our feline companions.

It is quite rare that this happens, but a cat can become very aggressive almost overnight, because certain neural connections are no longer made due to old age. He may simply not recognize you anymore and therefore be afraid of you, or he may simply have lost his mind. Unfortunately, there are no real solutions in these cases. You will just have to be patient with him, be gentle and kind, and have him consult a veterinarian, as he will certainly need care.

You now know how to recognize the roots of a cat aggression, and how to act accordingly. Remember that a cat is never aggressive by chance, you should always look for the origin, and never respond with violence, it would only make things worse.

The flat-headed cat, a true wild cat

The flat-headed cat is totally unknown. However, here is a wild animal that deserves all our attention, because among all the felines of the planet, it is by far the most seriously threatened. Let's discover the main characteristics of the flat-headed cat, very particular, living near marshy areas and which likes water a lot.

Flat headed cat: description

The Flathead Cat (Prionailurus planiceps) belongs to the Felidae family. It is native to Southeast Asia. It is physically similar to the domestic cat, with a maximum length of 69 cm including the tail of about 17 cm, and a height at the withers between 33 and 50 cm. The largest specimens do not exceed 2.5 kg, but there are individuals that weigh no more than 1.5 kg as an adult.

Its name was given to it because of its flattened forehead which overhangs a long narrow head. His ears are small and he wears them straight. It has sharp teeth, short legs, an elongated body, and its sharp claws are semi-retractable. Its fur is beautiful and thick. It is white on the belly, chin, cheeks and muzzle, dark brown all over the back and tail, reddish-brown on top of the head, and may be spotted on the legs depending on the individual.

It is a feline that has the particularity of having partially webbed paws. It is sometimes confused with the raccoon cat, also called the fishing cat, which also has webbed feet, but they are two very distinct felines. This anatomical peculiarity is in any case an asset for the flat-headed cat since it lives mainly in the marshy areas of Sumatra, Malaysia, but it is on the island of Borneo that most of the individuals of this species reside. This animal has also lived in the southern part of Thailand, but for more than two decades, no representative of the race could be observed in this part of the world.

It is known to appreciate maritime marshes planted with woody vegetation (this type of ecotone is called mangrove). It likes the proximity of ponds, ditches where water collects, pools, rivers, streams and lakes as well as plains planted with forests. Its habitat area is more or less the same as that of the Leopard Cat, which explains the common confusion between these two cats by the locals, although there are clear distinctions between these animals.

Flat headed Hat: Lifestyle and Diet

Knowledge about the lifestyle of the Flat headed Cat is relatively limited. Despite the few observations made, it is known that it is a feline with a rather nocturnal lifestyle.

It is a carnivore of course, feeding on crustaceans, frogs and other amphibians, many species of fish that its liveliness, agility and morphological characteristics allow it to catch without any difficulty. The Flathead Cat is a good swimmer and loves water, so its diet is mainly made up of aquatic animals.

Flat headed Cat: why is it in great danger?

The number of adult individuals living in the wild is estimated to be less than 2,500, which is very few, and explains why the International Union for the Protection of Nature (IUPN) has classified it on its red list as endangered. Specialists fear that by 2025 more than one in five Flat headed Cats will be extinct. This decline is due to a set of threats against which nothing is really implemented, namely, according to the areas of habitation of this animal:
  • Overfishing, which results in the disappearance of part of the cat's diet.
  • The pollution of waterways by pesticides and fertilizers with which the newly cultivated areas are treated to excess, which causes contamination of water and consequently of the fish on which the Flathead Cat feeds.
  • The disappearance of the prey that constitutes the diet of this animal causes it to seek food closer and closer to inhabited areas. These are not at all suitable for this wild animal which is then hunted by man.
  • The destruction of the habitat of this feline since the number of constructions increases considerably, and thus the retreat of the wetlands is inexorable.
  • The deforestation of primary forests.
  • The transformation of tropical forests into crops such as palm oil.
  • The inbreeding increases because the number of individuals decreases and the wild population is more and more fragmented. The consequence is the following: in some areas, males and females without any relationship have difficulty to meet. This is not conducive to the maintenance of the species. It is known that inbreeding is the cause of serious health problems but also greatly favors infertility.
It is sad to note that less than 20% of the Flat headed Cat's habitat is protected. The remaining areas in which it still lives are becoming less and less suitable for this feline. Because this animal is so little known, it does not, unlike some other species, receive much attention. Let's hope that the research project "Nebula Panthera" integrating the Flat headed Cat as well as the program of the NGO Panthera, named "Small Felines", will allow us to know better this extremely threatened wild animal and to find the necessary solutions to avoid, in extremis, its extinction.

Echinococcosis in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Echinococcosis, caused by Echinococcus multilocuralis, a parasitic flatworm, is harmless for most cats. It is however very important to play the prevention card because it is a zoonosis, a disease that can be transmitted to humans. In humans, it is in the liver that the larvae develop, causing the progressive destruction of this organ, but the lungs can also be affected. The form of parasitosis that develops in humans, alveolar echinococcosis, can be fatal because it is extremely difficult to treat. Let's take a look at this parasite in cats and what precautions can be taken to prevent it.

Echinococcosis: symptoms in cats

This parasitosis causes particular symptoms only in cats that are heavily infested by the parasitic worm, which is called the fox worm. The owner of the animal can be rightly concerned if his cat has diarrhea and is losing weight.

Echinococcus eggs can be detected in the cat's feces, but they are only intermittently shed. It is therefore almost impossible for the owner to be certain that the animal has this parasitosis, and if there is the slightest doubt, the veterinarian should be consulted.

It is very important to note that an infected human may not show any symptoms for years but his health is still in danger. Note that cats do not infect each other. It is therefore through small rodents that the contamination of cats is mainly possible. As for humans, they cannot contaminate their fellow creatures.

Echinococcosis in cats: diagnosis and treatment

To confirm the diagnosis of echinococcosis, the veterinarian must perform a blood test to look for antibodies in the cat's blood.

No treatment is necessary for a cat because it is a healthy carrier. The cat will not develop any disease as a result of being infected with an Echonococcus flatworm. Its health is not at risk. However, the animal must receive a specific deworming treatment.

Echinococcosis: Prevention

The fox being the first host of Echinococcus, it is understandable why it is more particularly recommended to take precautions in certain regions of France to avoid any contamination. This is the case in Lorraine, Massif Central and Jura which are endemic areas. However, caution is required everywhere because, let's remember, echinococcosis is a very serious zoonosis for humans.

The prevention of echinococcosis requires regular deworming of your pet (cat, dog...), with a dose of a praziquantel-type anthelmintic at least every three months, or even every month in high-risk areas, and as soon as you return from your vacation, especially if you have been in a region where foxes are numerous. The molecule of this dewormer acts at all stages of development of the incriminated parasitic worm. But it is fundamental to rely exclusively on the veterinarian's prescription, the dosage must be adapted to the age of the animal.

To prevent human contamination, in addition to deworming your animals, it is also essential to respect certain rules, such as carefully washing your hands after gardening and/or touching a pet (cat, dog, rodent), and especially not handling a dead fox. It is also recommended to eat vegetables, fruits and wild berries only after having washed them with clear water. Finally, it should be noted that only cooking destroys echinococcosis eggs in food products, which is not the case with freezing.

Cat liver lipidosis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

It is not surprising that hepatic lipidosis is mainly detected in cats since it can be caused by anxiety. It is a fact that cats are very sensitive to stress. The slightest change in its habits can lead to anorexia, which is responsible for an overload of lipids in the liver. But sometimes an underlying disease can also be the cause of hepatic lipidosis. In any case, as soon as the symptoms appear, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian so that the cat benefits from a fast management, this pathology being able to be mortal.

Hepatic lipidosis of the cat: symptoms that should alert you

This disease is common in cats of all ages, sexes and breeds, and particularly affects small felines that are obese, but not exclusively, as slender cats can also be affected. It manifests itself by an overload of lipids in the liver (commonly called a "fatty liver") which can lead to the death of the animal. It is therefore a very serious pathology with the following main symptoms
  • A loss of weight due to anorexia, which can be partial or total,
  • A yellowing of the skin, the white of the eye and the gums, i.e. jaundice,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Apathy (the cat is very weak and has no drive),
  • Excessive thirst and consequently an increase in water consumption (polydipsia),
  • An increase in urine volume (polyuria).
Some of the symptoms of hepatic lipidosis are similar to those of liver failure in cats, which can be confusing for the owner. Therefore, whatever the owner's suspicions, he or she should take the cat to the veterinarian without delay so that a diagnosis can be made with certainty.

Feline hepatic lipidosis: probable causes

Frequently due to distressing situations or to almost permanent stress, feline liver lipidosis is, as we have seen, the consequence of anorexia, but sometimes it can be the cause. It is a vicious circle in which the animal is the first victim. But it can sometimes be caused by a poor quality diet or one that is not at all adapted to the animal, which inevitably leads to deficiencies. A deficiency in arginine and methionine (amino acids) has a negative impact on the body.

Hepatic lipidosis: diagnosis

It is important that the cat's owner be able to provide the veterinarian with all the information he or she deems useful in order to facilitate the diagnosis. The practitioner must know what are the recurrent symptoms, since when the cat is sick, what it eats in normal time... It is also necessary to inform him of the upheavals which could have distressed the cat as for example the birth of a new child, a move, the arrival in the home of another domestic animal, the absence of a member of the family to which the animal was very attached... These are so many distressing situations for this small feline and that can explain the origin of this disease.

Of course, tests are essential to diagnose hepatic lipidosis. They are generally :
  • A blood test to determine the degree of liver function impairment and the degree of severity,
  • An abdominal X-ray and ultrasound to show an increase in the volume of the liver and to observe the integrity of this organ,
  • A liver biopsy is performed only as a last resort because it is a very invasive procedure. However, it is the only test that can confirm with certainty the diagnosis of hepatic lipidosis.
The veterinarian can perform many other complementary exams if he/she deems it useful, such as a urine analysis, a screening test for feline AIDS and leukemia, because these two pathologies are also the cause of anorexia in some cats.

Hepatic lipidosis in cats: treatment

Since the animal is anorexic, it is essential that it be given food that is high in energy but also easily digestible for several weeks. In order for the animal to feel like eating, its owner must therefore ensure that it is offered appetizing rations made up of high quality products. Getting an anorexic cat to eat again is not easy. It requires perseverance on the part of the breeder and a great deal of patience. Every effort must be made to ensure that the food rations prescribed by the veterinarian are ingested by the sick cat. Re-feeding promotes recovery, but unfortunately it is not sufficient when the liver function is severely affected.

In parallel with a refeeding which can sometimes be done by force-feeding, the animal must take a drug treatment for several days combining :
  • Appetite stimulants,
  • Antacids that neutralize gastric acid,
  • Antiemetics against nausea/vomiting,
  • A liver function stimulant.
In addition, since the cat is considerably weakened, it may be treated with antibiotics to reduce the risk of bacterial infection.

When this disease is diagnosed too late, the prognosis is extremely guarded as the cat's life is in danger. Hepatic lipidosis can indeed be fatal. This is why it is crucial to consult as soon as possible so that the diagnosis is as early as possible. Finally, it is important to know that it is very difficult to prevent this type of pathology, but you can at least avoid causing stress to your cat because it promotes anorexia. If the animal sulks for more than 48 hours, the best thing to do is to take it to the veterinarian.

The European or European shorthair: the very common cat

The European cat has a standard registered in the LOOF (Official Book of Feline Origins): it is not to be confused with the alley cats. Independent, but very attached to its masters, it is suitable for single people who want affectionate cats, but can also evolve in families.

Characteristics of the European

In the past, the European cat came in a wide variety. But thanks to the standard, it has been possible to establish an ideal type. This breed should have strong bones and a supple, robust body that should not resemble that of any other breed. Of medium size, it also develops a good musculature. At the level of its head, the jaws are developed and the cheeks full. One will also notice the straight nose as well as the compact chin. The ears are wide at the base then rounded at the end and are very well spaced. With a soft expression, the eyes can have different colors, including yellow, green or orange.

The European Shorthair's coat is short as its name implies. The standard allows all colors except fawn, lilac, cinnamon and chocolate. However, it does not allow sepia, mink and colorpoint.

History of the European shorthair breed

Categorized as a natural breed, the European shorthair is a descendant of the common cats of Europe. But its true origins date back much further. According to books, its existence would go back to Ancient Egypt. It would have been very appreciated for hunting rodents. Unfortunately, it began to lose its notoriety when it was associated with witchcraft and the devil by the Catholic Church. It was not until the 16th century that it regained its nobility, thanks to the emergence of the concept of breed. In 2007, the European shorthair benefits from its own standard to distinguish it definitively from alley cats. However, in spite of this measure, as the resemblance with these cats of house remains too flagrant, the European Cat hardly meets success.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the European

The European cat is full of love for its owners. It is a lively cat that expresses a lot of joy of life, curiosity and intelligence. It also has great adaptability. As he is not very talkative, he will not disturb your neighbors. As such, even if he can live in an apartment, he will occasionally want to put his nose outside to get some fresh air and climb trees. Therefore, get a chip or an identification tattoo so that you can find him if he doesn't come back. Another thing to know: this cat is also very independent and does not require a lot of attention. On the other hand, it has difficulty in socializing with other cats. A question of territory, they say.

Food and main health problems of the European

The advantage of adopting a European shorthair is that it is not subject to any particular disease. You just have to watch out for problems caused by the accumulation of hairballs in his throat. It is also an easy cat to feed. He can eat anything, industrial or homemade food.

Male or female cat: how to recognize the sex of a kitten?

Male and female cats have specific anatomical characteristics in their genital area. It can be very useful to know the difference between them when you want to adopt a kitten or keep a kitten in your own female cat's litter. In principle, the task is not very complicated, but it requires a relatively sharp eye and despite this, it is not uncommon to make a mistake ... even if you are a professional. But do the differences in behavior between males and females in cats really exist? Follow the guide!

Recognizing the genital differences between a male and a female kitten

You can tell the sex of a kitten just by lifting its tail. Although still immature at birth, her genitals are easier to distinguish after five to six weeks. From this period, it is possible to see more clearly, but the risks of error are still frequent.

The male kitten presents a small protuberance between the urinary orifice from which his penis will later emerge and the anal orifice. This is simply his testicles still in formation. The space between the two openings is about 12 to 14 millimeters. To make sure it's a male cat, a gentle palpation can be done. You should be able to feel two balls no bigger than peas. As for the urinary orifice of the male kitten, it is circular in shape.

In the female kitten, no protuberance but a very short space - not more than 5 millimeters - between the anal orifice and the genital orifice (the vulva, a simple vertical slit) allows to distinguish her from the young tomcat.

Specific physical difference in the female kitten: tricolored "tortoiseshell" coat

There is a peculiarity that rarely deceives in the color of the fur of a very young cat: the color of its hair. If her coat is tortoiseshell, there is a 9.99 out of 10 chance that the kitten is a female. To find out why, you have to look at the chromosomes of cats. Only those with XX sex chromosomes can have a tricolor coat. And it can only be female cats since male cats have XY sex chromosomes.

However, a male cat can have a tortoiseshell coat, but the cases are extremely rare. These are cats with three sex chromosomes (XXY). It is an aneuploidy that is called Klinefelter syndrome.

As for the red coat, it is much more frequent in male cats, but we still meet more red female cats than we see tricolored cats!

Is there a typical behavior for the sex of the cat?

To differentiate between male and female cats by behavior is rather impossible. It is certainly easier or safer to determine the sex of a cat by lifting its tail than by studying its behavior, especially since this changes with age, environment or education. It is not a good benchmark to know if the kitten you have selected is a male or a female.

Since preconceived ideas are so strong, many people are still convinced that in adulthood certain tendencies are more marked according to the sex of the cat. It is said that tomcats are more sulky than female cats. However, many of us have known sullen pussies. And the list of nonsense is long! A tomcat is not necessarily more dynamic than a female. There are apathetic male cats and hyperactive female cats. And not all females are homely or males more independent. Finally, males and females are indiscriminately cuddly.

In fact, behavior is acquired over time, and it is very much influenced by the life history of the cat, by the relationship it had with its mother, by the age at which it was weaned, by the education it received, or even if it was loved or on the contrary mistreated... When choosing a kitten in order to welcome it into the family, it is therefore unrealistic to assume that it will have such or such character because it is a male or a female. On the other hand, some differences exist between the two, namely:
  • The male cat urinates everywhere to mark his territory, and if he does not have the possibility to go out, he does not hesitate to urinate in the house. He also has a tendency to roam, especially when there are female cats in heat in his environment and to fight with other cats.
  • The female cat meows a lot at night during her periods of heat.
These characteristics disappear with sterilization (called castration in the cat). This veterinary procedure prevents the owners of females from having to manage litters that are not necessarily desired, knowing that a female cat can have several litters per twelve-month period. Moreover, spaying protects the health of cats regardless of their sex.

Glycogenosis type IV in cats (GSD IV): symptoms, treatment and prevention

Glycogenosis type IV is an extremely serious, but fortunately rare, genetic disease that results in the death of most affected kittens within hours of birth, with other GSD IV victims also eventually dying as their condition progressively deteriorates. This condition is exclusive to Norwegian cats, one of the most robust cat breeds. Let's take a look at GSD IV for which there is no treatment, its symptoms, its mode of transmission, its diagnosis, and whether it is possible to eradicate this disease through prevention.

Feline Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV: symptoms

A Norwegian cat affected by this genetic disease presents the following symptoms
  • Hyperthermia that persists despite antibiotic or corticosteroid treatment,
  • Tremors of the whole body and limbs,
  • Contractures,
  • Discontinuous apathy,
  • Difficult and unsteady gait due to the rapid atrophy of the kitten's muscles,
  • Paralysis of the front and rear limbs, none being spared,
  • A cardiac decompensation,
  • A comatose stage.
Kittens affected by Glycogenosis type IV die very quickly after birth, with the exception of a few. But these are bound to die within a few months at most.

GSD IV (glycogenosis type IV): transmission

The mode of transmission of this genetic disease depends on the status of the breeding cats (male and female). Thus:
  • A cat born to parents who both do not carry a copy of the mutated gene cannot be a carrier. Therefore, there is no risk that he will transmit GSD IV to his offspring.
  • The cat has a 1 in 2 chance of being a carrier and transmitting GSD IV if it is born from a non-carrier cat and a carrier cat with one copy of the mutated gene. The disease does not develop but can be passed on to offspring.
  • The cat born from two parents who both carry a copy of the mutated gene has :
    • 1 chance out of 4 of not being a carrier,
    • 1 chance out of 2 to be a healthy carrier, note that two healthy carrier parents statistically generate 1 healthy kitten out of 4, that is to say 25% of their offspring.
    • 1 chance out of 4 to be a carrier of both copies of the mutated gene, thus being able to fall sick. Or the disease evolves progressively and death occurs between 8 and 14 months
Any owner of a cat in Norway should know that death is inevitable if the animal is homozygous mutated, that is to say if it is a carrier of two mutated genes. Death occurs within hours or at the latest within days of birth in most homozygous mutants. In the others, until the age of 7 months maximum, the phenotype is normal, but the disease evolves progressively thereafter, these kittens present then all without any exception the revealing symptoms. The death intervenes in an inescapable way between 8 and 14 months, but very often these cats are euthanized before this age.

At the moment, the frequency of healthy carrier cats in Norway is not known at the European level. In the United States, however, it is known to be 15%.

Feline Glycogen Storage Disease Type IV: Diagnosis

GSD IV was first described in the United States in 1992 by Professor Fyfe, who in 1996 developed screening tests after sequencing the mutation. Today, with the benefit of hindsight, it is assumed that in France, cats from Norway that died from an unidentified disease were probably affected by glycogenosis type IV.

In France, the availability of this genetic test is very recent. It is performed by taking buccal cell samples with a brush. It is very quick to perform and does not cause any discomfort or pain. It allows to look for the presence of the GBE1 mutation in cats (GBE is an enzyme deficient in glycogenosis type IV). It is also essential to detect a healthy carrier. This is very important because these cats reach adulthood and can reproduce, which is a great danger for this cat breed.

Additional examinations are performed. The veterinarian looks for a significant increase in the level of creatine kinase (CK) in the blood, which confirms that the muscles are affected. Indeed, CK is a specific enzyme that plays a role in muscle contraction.

Currently, there is no treatment for cats with Glycogenosis Type IV.

Glycogenosis type IV: prevention

To prevent the transmission of GSD IV from generation to generation, Norwegian cat breeders are responsible for testing each of their cats as well as the offspring that are intended for breeding. Similarly, it is necessary to have a newly arrived Norwegian cat tested and to ensure that it has been spayed or neutered. If not, you should not wait to regularize the situation. Necessarily, any cat detected and then recognized as a carrier must be sterilized. Finally, if one wishes to organize a mating between one of his cats and a cat external to his own cattery, it is crucial to inquire beforehand about the status of the latter.

Neonatal erythrolysis in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention

Neonatal erythrolysis is often fatal in very young kittens who, poisoned by their mother's milk, will quickly die. When the clinical signs appear, it is necessary to act without delay because a fast treatment can save the life of the newborn. Preventing the disease requires the determination of the mother's blood group. Explanations.

Neonatal erythrolysis in cats : what is it ?

Neonatal erythrolysis is a form of hemolytic anemia due to an immune incompatibility between the kitten's blood type and that of its mother. The incompatibility results in the destruction of the newborn's red blood cells (hemolysis) by the mother's antibodies via the colostrum, the milk produced at the end of gestation and during the first hours after delivery. If the kitten is of group A or AB, the antibodies (which are anti-A) of his mother will cross his digestive tract and will be found in his blood, causing hemolysis. The phenomenon is called neonatal erythrolysis. This disease is observed when a female cat with blood type B has mated with a male with blood type A. Not all kittens in a litter have the same blood type and not all will be affected by the disease.

Are any cat breeds predisposed to neonatal erythrolysis?

Studies have found a significant prevalence of neonatal erythrolysis in certain cat breeds in which group B individuals are found. These include:
  • The Abyssinian;
  • British Shorthair;
  • Burmese;
  • Chartreux;
  • The Cornish Rex; The Devon Rex
  • The Devon Rex ;
  • The Persian ;
  • The Peterbald ;
  • The Somali ;
  • The Sphynx.

Symptoms of neonatal erythrolysis in cats

Often, no clinical signs are present at birth and then three scenarios can occur:
  • The kitten stops suckling and dies suddenly;
  • The newborn weakens within a few days, loses weight and dies within a week;
  • The weakening of the kitten is accompanied by one or more other symptoms: its mucous membranes (at the level of the eyes or the lips) take on a yellowish aspect (jaundice) and small red to purplish skin spots (petechiae) appear; the urine becomes dark. The kitten dies within 24 to 72 hours.

Diagnosis of neonatal erythrolysis in cats

As a general rule, any death of a kitten within the first few hours or days after birth should be considered neonatal erythrolysis, especially in high-risk breeds. If the autopsy often reveals no abnormality, examinations can be carried out to investigate further the causes of death: blood typing of the female cat and her kittens and hematobiochemical tests.

Treatment of neonatal erythrolysis in cats

In most cases, the prognosis of a kitten is very poor with a high mortality rate within a few days. As soon as neonatal erythrolysis is suspected, the treatment consists in immediately separating the newborn from its mother. It will then be bottle-fed with cat formula or by a group A adoptive nursing mother. A blood transfusion can be done with the blood of the mother because the anti-A antibodies in the colostrum do not destroy the maternal red blood cells. The baby can return to its mother after 72 hours.

Prevention of neonatal erythrolysis in cats

The chances of survival are still higher in a kitten that has been quickly removed from its mother. From birth, if a kitten appears to be weakening and refusing to nurse, urgent action should be taken and your veterinarian should be consulted for a diagnosis. Prevention involves blood typing of the female cat, especially in high-risk breeds. Close monitoring is necessary if the mother has blood type B and the father has blood type A.

How is blood typing done in cats?

In cats, there are three blood types: A, B and AB. Group A is the most common (85% in Europe), group B is less common and group AB very rare. In order to perform a blood typing, the veterinarian will take a blood sample from the female cat and use a special diagnostic kit. Typically, a drop of blood impregnated with specific proteins is mixed with blood typing fluid and the mixture shaken. The resulting fluid is then examined and the results known within ten to fifteen minutes. Neither sedation nor anesthesia is required in most cats to perform the test. Routine blood typing of breeding stock is recommended, especially in high-risk cat breeds. It is a small inconvenience that will spare you the sadness of losing an adorable kitten at birth.

The Selkirk Rex, cat with curly hair

Do you like cats with an atypical look? You will be inevitably under the charm of the Selkirk Rex. It seduces especially by its curly coat which distinguishes it from the other races. Of a calm and debonair character, the Selkirk Rex is totally adapted for a domestic life.

Characteristics of the Selkirk Rex

If we had to mention the main characteristic of the Selkirk Rex, it would obviously be its curly coat. Unlike its cousins Cornish Rex or Devon Rex, the Selkirk Rex has three types of curly hair, namely the jar hair, the undercoat and the guard hair. Its well-curled coat is plush, dense and silky. In terms of color, all colors are accepted by the standard.

The Selkirk Rex has a powerful, muscular and massive semi-cobby body. The legs are like the body i.e. they are powerful and massive and of medium or short length according to the cases. The head is round and the nose and the ears are rather broad.

History of the Selkirk Rex breed

The Selkirk Rex was born in the United States around 1987. The development of the breed started under the impulse of a breeder who found a female cat with curly hairs that she decided to cross with one of her Persians. From this, kittens were born of which only half had the curly gene. The breeding program began when the breeder chose one of her kittens to develop the breed. American shorthair and British shorthair were added to the breeding program to improve the physical characteristics of the Selkirk Rex. The recognition of the breed will be done in 1992 by the TICA and in 2000 by the CFA.

Note that in Europe, the Selkirk Rex is not very common. On the other hand, it is popular in America, especially in Canada and the United States.

Living conditions and behavior of the Selkirk Rex

The Selkirk Rex has the character of the different breeds that were used to establish the standard. It is as mischievous as the Exotic shorthair, as affectionate as the Persian and as relaxed and calm as the British shorthair. In fact, it is a cat totally dedicated to domestic life. It will do just as well in an apartment as in a house. The Selkirk Rex is also known to be tolerant and intelligent. It will make an excellent playmate for children. But be careful not to bully him.

Diet and main health problems of the Selkirk Rex

The Selkirk Rex being a recent breed, it is still quite difficult to detect all the pathologies that are specifically linked to it. Nevertheless, it is known that the Selkirk Rex is subject to a disease that it has in common with the Persian, namely polycystic kidney disease.

This breed can also live up to 20 years. But to ensure a good health, offer him a good diet. Try to satisfy his carnivorous desires. And to avoid possible constipation problems, combine dry food (kibbles) with wet food (pâtés, terrines).

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex (FEGC) is a progressive dermatologic syndrome with a wide variety of underlying causes. It manifests itself either by pruritic erythematous lesions or by ulcerations. Let's take stock of this quite frequent but still poorly known syndrome which affects mostly adult cats.

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex or FEGC: symptoms

The main symptoms that may lead to the suspicion of feline eosinophilic granuloma complex are various types of skin disorders. The animal may have one or more of the following manifestations:
  • Pruritic patches on the skin,
  • Oozing lesions,
  • The non-pruritic eosinophilic ulcer, lateral or bilateral, mostly present on the upper lip of the animal, near a fang, but can also appear on the palate, the tongue... Yellowish-brown and shiny, it is not painful. On the other hand, it causes difficulties :
    • swallowing,
    • chewing,
    • hypersalivation.
  • A granuloma that appears on the external face of the cat's thighs in the form of a reddish-gray skin bulge, without hair,
  • Itching of varying degrees, mainly on the thighs and belly.
Depending on the case, patches and lesions may intensify or disappear spontaneously.

FEGC: diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis of feline eosinophilic granuloma complex can only be confirmed or denied by cytological examination. The principle is simple. It consists of a skin layer that the veterinarian performs on lesions in order to look for the existence of eosinophils, leukocytes (white blood cells) involved either in case of parasitism or allergy. The skin layer also allows the observation of intracellular bacteria as well as degenerated neutrophils (other leukocytes) and to verify their number. The veterinarian also performs a histological analysis by scraping or biopsy to confirm the diagnosis with certainty.

Diagnosing a FEGC is not enough because it is necessary to establish a care protocol adapted to each individual case. It is essential to accurately identify the underlying cause of feline eosinophilic granuloma complex. The veterinarian must therefore consider the location of the lesions as well as the form of the syndrome, i.e., whether it manifests as plaques, granuloma or ulcer.

The treatment starts systematically with the administration of a radical anti-flea treatment as a preventive measure, since allergy to flea bites is the main cause of allergic dermatitis in cats. At the same time, the animal receives a symptomatic treatment based on corticosteroid therapy.

In some cases, the choice is antibiotics, especially in cases of bacterial superinfection and if the cat has a resistant form of FEGC, a corticosteroid that includes dexamethasone for its anti-inflammatory effect. If the animal improves, the chosen protocol is continued until the symptoms disappear.

If there is no improvement, the treatment is modified since it is based on the short-term prescription of corticosteroids to prevent the recurrence of lesions but also to treat those in progress. In some cats, immunosuppressants are prescribed. Note that antihistamines can replace corticoids, while for other cats, the veterinarian can opt for essential fatty acids, but these need to be taken over the long term before a convincing result can be observed.

In any case, if the FEGC recurs, a food allergy test is systematically performed. If the results are negative, additional examinations such as skin tests are performed in order to proceed with desensitization if necessary.

Regular check-ups are then necessary. However, if it is impossible to travel, the cat's owner is advised to photograph the lesions every 8 to 12 days and to send them to the veterinarian so that he can objectively follow their evolution.

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex: prevention

Feline eosinophilic granuloma complex can be effectively prevented by a relentless fight against external parasites. Preventive and curative treatments against fleas must be used regularly. At the same time, the affected animal can receive a homeopathic treatment to minimize the symptoms of FEGC.

Capable of causing chronic illnesses through relapses, this dermatological syndrome is quite difficult to cure permanently. It is therefore highly recommended to avoid any accumulation of immune system stimuli by choosing a diet free of allergens or hypoallergenic diet. This will considerably reduce the hypersensitivity process in cats.

Cat hair loss: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Responsible for a significant loss of hair, cat hair loss can have different causes. In any case, it must be taken seriously because a cat suffering from alopecia must be treated. Let's take a look at this condition, its causes, its main symptoms, possible treatments and see if there are solutions to prevent cat hair loss.

Cat hair loss: possible causes

A cat can present a pelade for extremely diverse reasons. Indeed it can be due to a parasite, to an allergy, to a hormonal dysfunction but also to a behavioral disorder.

Parasitic cause

Mites, which take up residence in the cat's coat, eventually lead to a skin disease called mange. The cat scratches itself more and more frequently and virulently, which causes infections, oozing and scabs. The epidermis is extremely irritated and the hair falls out. This parasitic disease can manifest itself in very localized patches on the animal's head in the case of ear mange, but it can also be more extensive and concern the whole body of the cat.

Fungi are sometimes the cause of hair loss since they settle in the skin and feed on the protein substance that is essential to the skin, namely keratin. The epidermis is then damaged in patches, which can be more or less extensive. The disease caused by fungi is ringworm.

Scabies and ringworm are extremely contagious.

Allergic cause

Cat hair loss can be allergic in origin. The allergen can be a food, a parasite (mite), a particular pollen or several pollens, flea saliva, a material, a plant substance... The allergy causes severe itching. By scratching, the cat irritates its skin and its hair falls out.

Hormonal cause

Hormonal problems can cause a cat to develop hair loss, as the health of the coat is partly related to hormones. In case of a problem, the coat is less beautiful, it becomes dull and the hair falls in an abnormal way, on the head, on the neck or on the flanks. It should be noted that in this case, the hair loss is symmetrical, which gives a good indication to the veterinarian.

Behavioral cause

The slightest problem in a cat can lead to hair loss. This is for example the case when the animal is very stressed or anxious following a radical change of environment for example (moving). This is also common in cats that are prone to fear. All these feelings trigger compulsive licking and/or scratching, mainly on the belly, flanks and paws. Over time, this behavioral disorder leads to irritation of the epidermis and then the hair falls out in excess.

Peladia: symptoms in cats

Peladia can be suspected when the animal presents one or more of the following symptoms
  • Appearance of red patches in different places of the body, head, legs ...,
  • The itching is more and more important and the cat scratches and/or licks itself very regularly with insistence,
  • The desquamation due to scratching leads to visible dandruff in the coat,
  • The hair becomes dull and may change texture,
  • The coat becomes dull and may change in texture, the hair falls out, we can even see totally naked areas that form "holes" in the coat. The hair loss can be more or less extensive, symmetrical or not.
Be careful not to confuse cat hair loss with seasonal shedding, which is a normal hair loss. This process occurs twice a year, in spring and fall. But the hair that falls out is then replaced by new hair. This happens to all cats without exception, whether they are shorthaired or longhaired. It is of course more visible in the latter since the dead hairs, more voluminous, litter the carpet or pile up on the tiles.

Peladic cat disease: diagnosis and treatment

It is fundamental to identify first the origin of the cat's hair loss in order to prescribe the appropriate treatment. The veterinarian must treat the problem but also reduce the symptoms caused by the hair loss.

The treatment is therefore prescribed on a case-by-case basis. It can be an antiparasitic ointment or injection, or a treatment to calm a stressed cat if the hair loss is due to a behavior problem. In the case of allergic cat hair loss, the veterinarian must begin by identifying the allergenic agent involved through testing, since the cat must not be put in contact with the allergen afterwards.

At the same time, the practitioner prescribes lotions, anti-parasite shampoos but also treatment or anti-hair loss, and various products capable of relieving the irritations. Everything should return to normal fairly quickly. After a while, the hair grows back.

Can we prevent cat hair loss?

Even if hair loss cannot be prevented 100% of the time, it is possible to considerably reduce the risks by taking care of your cat's fur with great regularity. To do this, you must brush your cat frequently, and even more so during seasonal moulting periods, making sure to clean and disinfect the brush after each use. A careful brushing allows to check the undercoat and the skin of the cat and to detect possible parasites. It is also essential to avoid that the cat swallows too much dead hair by licking should not hesitate to shampoo your cat from time to time with quality care products.

A cat's coat needs vitamins A and E as well as essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) to stay healthy and beautiful. The animal finds them in a balanced diet, but it may be necessary to give it a supplement from time to time, always on the advice of the veterinarian. Of course, if the cat has an allergy, it is imperative to eliminate the allergenic agent from its food or its environment in order to prevent cat hair loss.

Kitten education: 10 mistakes not to make

You're thinking of welcoming a kitten into your home. Know that you are starting from a blank page because the little feline has everything to learn. Here are ten mistakes you should not make in order to write a beautiful and long love story with your kitten.

1 - Adopting a kitten on a whim

You're smitten with her adorable face. It's decided, you adopt her! Don't stop at a kitten's physical characteristics and think it through, because if all goes well, it will be with you for the next fifteen years. Before taking the plunge, find out about the character and needs of the different breeds of feline so you can choose the one that best suits your lifestyle. A cat is independent but social: ask yourself if you can leave him alone at home. If he lacks stimulation in your absence, he may become depressed. Do you have an outside space? On the other hand, kittens need to stay with their mother long enough to be better socialized. Do not adopt her before she is two months old, ideally three months old.

2 - Neglecting kitten education

Unlike the dog, the cat is a territorial and solitary species that behaves more independently and less hierarchically within a group. As such, his education will be less easy and you can't expect the same degree of obedience as with a doggie. That's why it's necessary to start his education as soon as he arrives at home and to create a solid bond to gain his trust. What he learns in the first few years of his life will shape his character forever.

3 - Do not get your kitten used to being handled

It is strongly recommended that you start handling your kitten very early on so that it gets used to people's contact: first you and then the other members of the family. Caress it, take it on your lap. Gestures should be done gently: try to carry your cat carefully. Do not pick up your cat in a childlike manner, holding it under the chest, with both paws forward and the rest of the body in the air, as this position is generally not appreciated by felines. Make sure the sessions don't drag on or make him feel harassed. One goal is to make the handling pleasant (at worst acceptable), for example in preparation for veterinary care.

4 - Don't set limits for your kitten

Teaching your kitten respect means showing her the boundaries she shouldn't cross, especially during playtime. If she scratches or bites too hard, always reprimand her with the same phrase, but without yelling so as not to panic her: a "no" expressed in a firm tone should stop her dead in her tracks. Another piece of advice: avoid playing with your hands or feet because as he grows, he may develop this habit and hurt you more seriously. It's better to teach him to play with a toy like a feather or string.

5 - Do not socialize your kitten

Socializing your kitten with other animals and people is a major step in learning how to live. If you have children, set precise rules with them: don't shout, don't run, don't make any sudden gestures, don't persist in handling it or holding it in your arms if the animal is not in the mood to cuddle. If you don't have children, try to socialize it as soon as possible with the toddlers around you so that it won't be afraid of them later on. You should also introduce him to the other animals in the house under close supervision so that he doesn't get scared. Invite your family and friends so that the kitten gets used to meeting people other than those in the family circle.

6 - Getting mad at your kitten

The kitten's mother will immediately punish painful bites, scratches or violent games with a paw on the nose or a grab by the neck. When he is at home, you will have to continue his training with firmness. Be careful not to confuse authority with anger. It may seem obvious, but you should never yell at your little feline or hit him. Generally speaking, any direct physical contact (hand, foot) is not recommended to punish him. If the kitten has done something stupid or if it annoys you, try to scold it at the precise moment when it has done something stupid.

7 - Not potty training your kitten

Normally, kittens are potty trained by their mother during the first few weeks of their life. However, this learning process must be repeated when she arrives at your home. Once the litter box is set up, put your kitten in it and she should instinctively know how to use it. Shortly after each meal, take her to the litter box so that she associates this time of day with her vital needs. If you see your cat relieving himself in the house, put him in the litter box. Do not scold him unless you catch him in the act. If after several days your cat continues to clutter the litter box, artificial pheromone products can deter him from marking his territory wherever he wants.

8 - Don't give your kitten time

If the cat is a fundamentally independent animal, don't imagine that you'll have nothing to do and that she'll take care of herself. Try to set aside some play time every day to help her grow and strengthen her bond with you. To keep her entertained without disturbing the neighbors, take a ping-pong ball, bounce it off the wall and let the kitten run after it. You can also hide a stuffed animal under a blanket and shake it to make it look like a living creature. Try several short play sessions a day, between five and 15 minutes each.

9 - Don't decorate its environment

A bored cat can get into a lot of trouble while you're away. When she's only a few weeks old, your kitten will naturally start hiding in strategic places and squabbling with other cats. Then her hunting instincts kick in and she's driven by the urge to chase and pounce on prey. To meet his needs, buy a cat tree where he can find hiding places and a scratching post. There are plenty of cat accessories, toys and games on the market that will stimulate his agility and intelligence.

10 - Don't introduce your kitten to the car

With rare exceptions, cats don't like to travel by car. Every trip generates noise, movement and unusual smells that can stress this homely animal. That's why it's essential to get your kitten used to the car from a young age. Even if you don't plan to take your kitten on long trips, you'll still need to take her to the vet. In addition to vaccinations and deworming, the annual appointments are designed to check that everything is going well or to detect any disease. An eleventh mistake would be to neglect his health!

Should a cat's nails be cut?

A cat's claws should only be trimmed when absolutely necessary. So be careful not to do anything because a kitty needs its claws. So let's see which cats need a claw trimmer, how to spot when claw trimming is necessary and what precautions to take.

When should a cat's nails be trimmed?

Cats' claws are both a defense weapon and a tool. Although they grow quickly, they are routinely filed down when these animals scratch the ground or climb trees, for example. Smaller cats that spend a good part of their lives outdoors don't need to have them clipped.

On the other hand, older cats that become less active and more homebound, as well as so-called apartment cats that rarely go outside, need to have their claws trimmed as soon as necessary. This avoids damage to furniture and carpets when they claw themselves, as the saying goes. It is also much more reassuring for the members of the family who thus avoid being scratched while playing with or cuddling their little friend.

It is in any case a precaution which allows to protect the kitty against the risks of pains and infections. Indeed, claws that are not very exposed to normal wear and tear tend to curl up as they grow, and can easily penetrate the pads. It is therefore important to anticipate. To do this, you should regularly check the condition of your cat's claws, not forgetting those of the dewclaws located at the back of its front paws.

How to trim a cat's claws?

This is a delicate task that can be entrusted to the veterinarian, especially since some cats do not let themselves be trimmed. Ideally, a master should prepare his kitty to be handled from a young age so that the claw trimming does not turn into an ordeal for either of them. It is important to have the right tool and to use the right method to avoid hurting your pet.

To cut your cat's nails, don't use a nail clipper or even scissors because they are not designed for that. Instead, you should use a claw trimmer, which is perfectly suited to the pronounced curvature of a cat's claws.

You can ask for the help of a person to immobilize the animal during the session. Then, it is enough to maintain one foot after the other and to exert a moderate pressure to make leave the claws then to cut only the transparent part without going beyond this limit not to wound the kitty. Indeed, the zone which is crossed by the blood vessels should absolutely not be cut. It is recognizable by its pink color. Finally, don't forget the little treat when everything is over, just to congratulate the kitty for his wisdom...

The cat's claws should be trimmed by one or two millimeters in order to remove the very sharp part. In terms of frequency, we advise this type of care once every two or three weeks for a sedentary cat. But it is also necessary to think of leaving at the animal's disposal a cat tree type scraper or simply a sisal carpet made from the fibers of a plant of the Agavaceae family, the Agave sisalana. This type of accessory is very useful because it allows indoor cats to maintain their claws with great regularity.

Disabling arthritis in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention

Osteoarthritis is a frequent disease in cats. The older he gets, the more likely he is to be affected by this disability (about 61% after 6 years of age, and 82% after 14 years). It mainly affects the hips, knees, elbows or spine.

As soon as the first symptoms appear, the first thing to do is of course to have a veterinary check-up. But how to detect them, and help your companion to live with this handicap?

Symptoms of disabling arthritis in cats

Cats don't express pain very much, so it's difficult to detect this disease, which can nevertheless make them suffer. There are, however, certain signs that may alert you to the problem:
  • Your cat isolates itself, is much less active and looks for warm places: indeed, its joints making it suffer, it has much more difficulty to move, therefore to walk, play, etc. Moreover, the heat having a relieving effect on the articulations, it will try to settle exclusively in the hot places to attenuate the pain.
  • Lack of hygiene: the cat is naturally a very clean animal, which washes itself many times a day. However, an unhappy condition caused by a health problem can make him lose this reflex. The hair becomes greasy and can even stick together.
  • Increased aggression: You may notice when you handle your cat that it struggles, growls, or in extreme cases, spits or tries to scratch you. He's trying to get away from you by any means necessary. This is because he is in pain, every movement you make makes his joints work, which is very painful for him.
  • Swelling: if you manage to handle him, however, you can feel swelling or unusual lumps on his joints.
  • Cracking of the joints: Finally, in some cases, you may hear your cat's joints crack. This is the most obvious symptom of osteoarthritis.
If you notice one or more of these signs, make an appointment with your veterinarian soon.

Where does osteoarthritis come from and what does it cause?

Osteoarthritis is an inflammation of the joints that occurs with age. It is a chronic degeneration of the joint, which comes from a progressive destruction of the cartilage. It starts with lesions of the cartilage which will release fragments in the synovial membrane, creating an oedema, which causes the distension of the joint, which generates pain. This leads to chronic inflammation and the action is repeated. As you can see, this is a vicious circle that must be broken as soon as possible to stop the inflammation.

Treatments for osteoarthritis

First of all, from an X-ray, your veterinarian will see the extent of the damage and will prescribe what is needed accordingly. The wisest way to treat your cat for osteoarthritis will always be to follow your vet's prescription. There are, however, some basic precautions that you should observe:
  • Adjust his litter box and bowls. Your cat may have trouble getting into a litter box that's too high, or bending over to the dishes that are too low. You'll have to adapt to his difficulties, even if it means buying new equipment.
  • Give your cat dietary supplements such as chondroprotectors (which protect cartilage), which can be purchased without a prescription and used continuously or as a cure, depending on your pet's needs.
  • If your cat is overweight, and only in this case, put him on a low-calorie diet. The more excess weight your cat has to carry, the more painful his joints will be. Making him lose weight will relieve him a minimum for his movements. Be careful not to underfeed your cat, as it needs energy.
  • Giving him anti-inflammatory drugs, prescribed by your veterinarian, will greatly relieve his pain. However, never give your cat your own painkillers or anti-inflammatories! The formulas of these products are not at all the same for humans and cats, you could kill him!
Among the alternative treatments, hydrotherapy, which consists, with the help of a professional, of bathing your cat in water, can do a lot of good to the skeleton and joints, just as it does for humans when they immerse their bodies in water.

How can osteoarthritis be prevented?

Unfortunately, osteoarthritis cannot really be prevented; all individuals develop it sooner or later. However, we can delay its appearance by taking certain precautions:
  • maintain a regular physical activity, by stimulating him with games.
  • prevent overweight, by paying attention to the quantities and by changing the diet if necessary, so that it is always adapted to his needs.
You will have understood that osteoarthritis is inevitable; it is up to you to delay its appearance as much as possible and to accompany your companion as best you can when he is affected by it.

Kitten training: 5 tips for raising your cat

Successful kitten training requires patience and heart. Until 3 months of age, i.e. the weaning period, a kitten learns essentially with its mother and siblings, then you take over. If for other reasons, the kitten has been abandoned before its 3 months, you will take the place of the mother in its first learning.

Teaching the kitten to have self-control

A kitten is curious by nature and loves to play. During playtime, his mother teaches him not to scratch or bite. As soon as she sees him do this, she will correct him by patting him on the nose with her paw. When playing with your kitten, always use toys such as a ball or stuffed rat, and if he insists on playing with your hands or scratching or biting when you pet him, give him a little tap on the nose and tell him "no" in a firm tone of voice without shouting. He will assimilate your intonation to his action and will understand what is forbidden to him.

Helping her to be potty trained

The kitten always starts his training with his mother, he will imitate what she does. But when you welcome her into your home in a new place, start by putting her in one room. Place his bowl and his litter box in a strategic place, that is to say in an accessible place where he will have some privacy, because some cats do not appreciate being observed. Choose carefully the litter box, the best is to take the same brand as the one used from the beginning, ditto for his food. If you want to replace them with other brands, make the change gradually. To make the kitten want to do its business in the litter box, spray a little bleach, it likes this smell.

Getting her used to certain situations

Whether it's for vaccinations or veterinary check-ups if she's sick, teach your kitten to be handled. Find a time when she's relaxed, put her on her back and stroke her belly. This is an uncomfortable position for him, but he'll learn that it won't hurt. Get him used to this position little by little and then manipulate his ears, gums and mouth. These little habits will make medical visits easier and less stressful for them.

Teach her to use the scratching post

Kittens love to scratch carpets, the backs of furniture and play with curtains. As soon as your kitten starts scratching the furniture, tell her "no" in a firm tone of voice and lead her to the scratching post. To further entice her, rub an olive pit on the scratching post and place it next to the objects she wants to scratch. If he repeats, use a spray of water to get him to understand that the action is forbidden.

Other training

Get your kitten used to being introduced to people so she won't be stressed by the presence of others in your home. Also, familiarize her with the carrier, as you may need to take her to the vet at some point.

A kitten is easy to train, so you need to teach him habits early on. If you have to punish him, do it with a firm tone of voice without shouting or hitting him.

Feline tuberculosis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Feline tuberculosis is one of the serious diseases that can affect a cat and whose diagnosis must be confirmed as soon as possible because it represents a potential danger of contamination of humans. There are different forms of the disease, some more common than others. However, all of them have a real level of seriousness, and each case of feline tuberculosis must be declared to the Direction des Services Veterinaries. Let's take a look at its symptoms, its diagnosis which is difficult, its treatment, and let's see if it is possible to prevent it.

The different forms of feline tuberculosis

Feline tuberculosis is caused by microbacteria that belong to the genus Microbacterium. Scientists refer to it as a zoonotic bacterial disease since it can be transmitted to humans by affected animals. It is therefore included in the list of 178 zoonotic diseases that are listed worldwide today.

This disease manifests itself in variable forms with specific symptoms, namely
  • Thoracic tuberculosis: a dry and then hoarse cough, respiratory difficulties that can evoke acute bronchopneumonia or bronchitis, shortness of breath, rales, bloody sputum with a foul odor.
  • Ocular tuberculosis: any structure of the eye may be affected so that it may cause inflammation, ulceration, or even necrosis of the cornea, granular conjunctivitis, macular edema, hemorrhage of the affected eye, inflammation of the uvea, pain in the entire eye area in the bones, muscles and skin due to the infection, which causes pus to flow through fistulas.
  • Abdominal tuberculosis: enlarged lymph nodes can be felt in the abdomen because this form of tuberculosis affects the abdominal lymph nodes, the intestine, the peritoneum and may even involve the pancreas, liver and spleen.
  • Articular tuberculosis: inflammation of the joints, which swell and become painful, limping, difficulty walking.
  • Bone tuberculosis: spinal pain, difficult and painful movements, deformation of the spine, neurological complications.
It should be noted, however, that the articular and bony forms are considered rare.

In addition to these manifestations specific to each type of feline tuberculosis, one can observe that the cat presents more general symptoms. These are common to all forms of feline tuberculosis, and they are mainly
  • A marked decrease in appetite,
  • A loss of weight,
  • An intense fatigue and a great state of weakness, the cat seems apathetic,
  • Variations of body temperature of a great amplitude (fever followed by a brutal cooling),
  • An increase in the volume of the lymph nodes (or lymph node hypertrophy) detectable by lightly palpating the animal,
  • Anemia.
The presence of these different symptoms indicates that tuberculosis is already well established. The animal is condemned.

Feline tuberculosis: diagnosis

The investigations vary according to the form of feline tuberculosis suspected by the veterinarian. The veterinarian may subject the cat to examinations such as a chest x-ray. He studies the sputum after it has been collected by a tube, performs a fibroscopy to analyze the bronchial secretions or a bone biopsy, sometimes even a scintigraphy (imaging) if he suspects a bone or joint tuberculosis in the cat.

Other examinations are possible depending on the case, such as visual acuity measurements and a fundus examination. He also examines the eyelids and the whole external part of the eyes, and may decide to perform an angiography, as it is necessary to detect a possible abnormality in the blood vessels.

The diagnosis of feline tuberculosis is very complex. In any case, a bacteriological investigation is absolutely necessary to confirm (or deny) the diagnosis with absolute certainty.

Feline tuberculosis: treatment

When the disease is diagnosed without any doubt, a declaration of feline tuberculosis is automatically made to the Direction Departmental de la Protection des Populations (DDPP).

Then, the veterinarian recommends the euthanasia of the animal but the final decision belongs to the owner who is under no legal obligation in this matter. It is therefore a question of awareness and of the level of perception of one's responsibility, since common sense dictates that one should do everything possible to protect the members of one's family and, more broadly, one's entourage at all costs. Euthanasia of a cat with tuberculosis should never be refused by its owner.

If euthanasia is strongly recommended in cases of feline tuberculosis, it is because the treatment of the disease has a high risk of failure and a high level of antibiotic resistance. In our country, the treatment of tuberculosis is strictly reserved for humans. You should not wait to have your cat euthanized under these conditions, on the one hand to avoid unnecessary suffering, on the other hand because this sacrifice is the only solution to protect public health and hygiene.

All objects, accessories and equipment that belonged to the cat should be destroyed, as well as those that may have been soiled by the cat - destruction is preferable to simple disinfection - and all persons who have been in contact with the sick animal should seek urgent medical attention. Primary prevention in humans involves Vaccination of humans with BCG (tuberculosis vaccine) is the only primary prevention against tuberculosis.

Feeding your cat: when, how and how often?

Many owners who are afraid that their cat is not getting enough food tend to overfeed. This mistake is well intentioned, but it can lead to obesity and/or other health problems for the animal. In order to keep your cat in top shape for as long as possible, it is essential to feed your cat at a certain frequency and, of course, to give him excellent quality food that meets his body's needs. Let's take stock of the situation.

The cat: a delicate nibbler

Cats are delicate pets that need to be fed the right food. It must be of excellent quality, nourishing, moisturizing, and meet all its nutritional needs. It must be chosen according to the age of the kitty, its sex and its lifestyle. For example, a cat that is glued to the couch 7 days a week should not be fed in the same way as a very active cat that roams around outside and hunts for a good part of the day.

To feed your cat properly, you must also stop comparing it to a dog, because these two animals do not function in the same way. Cats can return to their food bowls more than ten times a day to take only a few grams of food. It is a kind of nibbler that eats little at a time.

Feeding your cat: opt for self-service but rationed

As far as meal times are concerned, for the cat they don't really matter. That's why if his owner wants to be able to enjoy a lie-in from time to time, he might as well not get the kitty used to being served at sunrise. He may well get used to filling his bowl at a slightly later time in the morning. In this case, the cycle will end the next day at the same time.

His master can set up a self-service system without any ulterior motive. But be careful, it requires vigilance so that the kitty does not gain weight. Many owners tend to confuse self-service with all-you-can-eat meals, when in fact it's a totally different thing. The right attitude is to not add another portion of food during the day until the cat has emptied its bowl, or if the bowl is empty but the cat has received its full portion. A few kibbles are enough in this case, just to make him wait...

Feeding your cat: the ideal dosage

By observing your cat, you'll quickly understand that he comes to feed himself freely, according to his desires. Ideally, he should not eat more than necessary over a 24-hour period. In this way, it is very easy to protect your cat against the risk of being overweight, especially if he doesn't move around much.

However, you should not go to extremes and deprive your cat of food so that he keeps a slim figure that would make all the pussies in the area swoon. No deprivation, therefore, so that he does not come - by fear of lacking - to stuff himself at the risk of vomiting or becoming very quickly obese. This also leads to anxiety at the idea that his bowl is more often empty than full... Let's not forget that stress is the sworn enemy of the health of cats.

We can therefore expect 10 to 15 trips to the feeding area over a full day and in the vast majority of cases, a cat knows how to manage his food intake. In order for him to benefit from a sufficient (but not excessive) daily ration, it is necessary to count for an adult cat 45 g of food per kilo (body mass), that is to say for a cat weighing 3 kg, 135 g in 24 hours and if the tomcat weighs 8 kg, we give him 350 to 360 g. Some differences are possible depending on the brand of cat food, or the food chosen, of course. You should not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice, because in absolute terms, the cat's food should be portioned on a case-by-case basis.

At the same time, the animal should always have fresh and clean water at will.

Recommended food for cats

You can feed your cat with dry food, commercial cat food or homemade food. The latter solution requires a little time but is really ideal because it allows you to prepare food for your little friend from selected, fresh, excellent quality food. It requires a lot of willpower and rigor on the part of the owner so that the rations are nutritious and the cat does not suffer from any nutritional deficiency. If you opt for home feeding, the cat must be able to receive each day :
  • Half of its daily ration is either boneless fish or boiled meat,
  • 1/4 of the ration in cereals,
  • 1/5 in green vegetables cooked in broth or steamed,
  • 1/10 of good quality oil and vitamin supplements.
This will ensure that the cat's diet is balanced.

If you prefer to feed him with commercial food, that's fine as long as you only choose products made by serious and specialized brands. We therefore opt for high quality. Indeed, it is imperative to buy food that respects the dietary balance of the cat.

The ideal is to mix kibble and food to limit excess fat, especially for older cats who have difficulty chewing dry food (kibble) and for younger but sterilized cats who tend to gain weight (food often too rich in fat). It is advisable to choose an automatic kibble dispenser because it keeps this food safe from dust and to put in the bowl the strict proportion of food such as pâté or meat or fish mousse.

Where to put the cat's bowl?

As we have seen, it is important to prevent the cat from remaining inactive throughout the day. In order to do this, since he frequently goes to his bowl, it must be placed far enough from the place where the kitty loves to lounge. This allows him to stretch his legs and burn some calories. If you can place the bowl high up, it's perfect because it multiplies the opportunities to jump to eat. Moreover, the cat loves to dominate its environment when it eats.

Of course, you should never put the litter box and the food bowl in the same area of the house, because kittens need separate areas to relieve themselves, to sleep, to eat, to play and to hunt.

Don't confuse hunger with food compensation

Many cats are constantly begging their owners for food when there is still food in their food bowl. This may be a sign of unhappiness or boredom. Either the cat is too often alone or the owner does not take enough care of him. To fill a void, the kitty takes refuge in food. Of course, you should not respond to this demand, but find different solutions so that the little animal feels better about itself and does not become bulimic, because this represents a serious risk to its health.

Sharing games with your cat, taking him out several times a day on a leash or giving him free access to the outside, cuddling him, brushing him and talking to him are all solutions to help him stop asking for food at all costs when he has enough to eat.

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