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The vegetable litter: which advantages for the cat?

More and more cat owners are adopting vegetable litter because it is more ecological than mineral litter. But it's important that the kitty also likes it so that it continues to use its toilet house because the little feline is very demanding. Let's take a look at the particularities of vegetable litter, also known as natural litter, its different variations and those that offer real advantages for cats.

Characteristics of the vegetable litter

Contrary to mineral litter, the vegetable form is elaborated only from vegetable components. Its specificities are the following:
  • 100% natural litter, since it contains no chemicals,
  • Ecological,
  • Biodegradable,
  • Can be integrated into compost,
  • Lightweight,
  • Gives off little or no dust depending on its component,
  • Does not contain any product that could be toxic or allergenic.
It should be noted that some vegetable litters are a little more expensive to buy than mineral litters. However, it is possible to get by if you choose a highly absorbent component that allows you to change the litter less frequently.

Also note that some natural litters can be disposed of in the toilet: this is always indicated on the bag and can be useful when you don't have a garden.

The different types of vegetable litter

There is a wide choice in this area, but some varieties are more suitable for cats than others. A vegetable litter can be composed of :
  • Of cassava: it is not found in all pet shops but it deserves to be tested. Its fibers are rich in starch so it is very absorbent, which cats appreciate, especially since it does not let odors escape.
  • Flax: its advantage lies mainly in its absorbency, which allows the cat not to wade in its urine. On the other hand, linen does not retain odors at all. This can deter some cats.
  • Wood:
    • Either in pellets: these are made from sawdust. The pellets do not stick to the pads because they are quite compact.
    • Or in shavings: wood fibers stick easily to the paws, which the cat does not always appreciate, and it is not very pleasant for its owners to have to clean the floor each time their pet leaves its box.
  • Barley (organic fibers): less common than other vegetable litters, it seems to be appreciated by even very delicate cats because it absorbs odors well.
  • Hemp: this component is ultra-absorbent and does not give off dust, two advantages for the cat. Hemp is perfectly suitable for asthmatic animals.
  • Recycled paper: this is the preferred vegetable litter for cats with all kinds of respiratory problems, since it emits no dust.
  • Corn cob: its main advantage for the cat is that it does not stick to the paws.
  • Straw: rather used for rodents raised in cages, straw is only appreciated by some cats. It has no particular disadvantage for small felines.
This list is not exhaustive. You should therefore take the time to discover all the natural litters available in your favorite store, and in case of hesitation, ask your veterinarian for advice.

How do I know if my cat likes a natural litter?

You can buy a natural litter and find out that your cat is running away from the litter box, even though the component is supposed to be well appreciated by small felines. Cats are sensitive to the smallest detail and if they don't like their litter box, they know how to make their master understand. You must therefore be attentive to his behavior.

If he enters his litter box and then turns around and hesitates to relieve himself, it means that something is wrong. If he remains seated in front of his tray or turns around without settling down, and meows insistently, it means that it does not suit him. In this case, you should not hesitate to change the product. On the contrary, a cat that is comfortable in its litter box does not hesitate to settle there, and takes great care to bury its excrement. The product that offers the best benefits to the cat should not stick to the paws, but should also absorb enough odors and not emit dust.

Choosing a litter box is not as easy as you might think, and the pet store aisles don't make it easy, as there are many varieties. It's best to choose a litter that's perfectly suited to your pet so that he'll continue to use his litter box rather than relieve himself in a corner of the house. It is important to know that the animal will not force itself to return to its toilet house if it does not like the litter. In any case, it is in the owner's best interest not to use the wrong product, because his cat uses a little more than 200 kg of litter in one year! You might as well choose an eco-friendly product that is not dangerous for your cat's health...

How do you teach your cat to use the toilet?

There are many things you can teach your cat, even those that are of no use to him, such as to use the toilet of his owners. Some owners are not concerned about the discomfort that this can cause their little friend, but want to save money and get rid of the chore of cleaning the litter box. When you adopt a small feline, the goal is not to turn it into a circus animal. Anyway, let's first try to answer the question asked, but let's also take stock of the dangers linked to the use of the toilet by a cat.

Why do some owners force their cats to use the toilet?

At a time when one aberration follows another, we are no longer surprised by anything, such as seeing the family's toilet replace the cat's litter box. It is a new fashion that seduces more and more masters for the following reasons:
  • To completely remove the toilet house of the cat because it is not very glamorous,
  • To release place in the house,
  • Not to have to undergo any more the bad smells when the cat urinates and defecates in its litter box,
  • To be rid of the chore of cleaning the litter box,
  • No more seeing in the house the grains that the cat scatters after scratching to hide its excrements,
  • Save a lot of money by no longer buying bags of litter,
  • Reduce the pollution generated by the used litter we throw away.
If this annoyance is considerable, the best way to get the cat to stop using the litter box is to open the door or the window when he wants to go outside or, even better, to install a cat flap so that he can relieve himself outside when he wants to.

Why shouldn't you teach your cat to use the toilet?

No cat spontaneously uses its owner's toilet. In order for him to do so, he must be taught to do so, and this is often against his will, at the cost of stress that can have a serious impact on the animal's health. Moreover, this does not correspond to the functioning of the cat which, with its urine, marks its territory. The toilet does not meet the cat's basic needs.

If, in spite of everything, one wishes to push the humanization of his cat to its paroxysm, it is possible to buy for a hundred euros a specific kit. The designers have understood that this type of accessory can be sold very well, and their commercial argument hits the nail on the head with many people who think they are making their kitty a "member of the family". The kit is designed to change your cat's behavior and should, in the long run, make your cat lose the instinct to bury its waste... Touted to eliminate the inconveniences related to litter box maintenance, this kit is well and truly designed in the interest of the owners.

And precisely, pushing your cat to relieve itself in the toilet is disapproved by many animal behavior specialists, who are unanimous about the changes it causes in the nature of the little feline. This act is absolutely not instinctive but moreover the cat is forced to adopt a position qualified as unnatural.

What the masters of this stupid concept ignore is that the cat installed on the toilet bowl adopts a dangerous position, especially since it is on a slippery material. The risks of falls are numerous and it only takes one time for the kitty to be traumatized for life. The consequences are extremely serious as the cat can develop a total aversion to any form of litter. Every episode of urine and/or feces elimination is then disrupted. This leads to urine retention, which multiplies the risk of urinary tract infections and has unavoidable health consequences for the bladder and the kidneys.

Why is it dangerous to humanize your cat?

Already they share their bed with their cat, which is neither hygienic, nor in correlation with the instinctive needs of the kitty, so here are some owners trying to teach their little feline to relieve themselves in the toilet. In addition to the sanitary problems that this entails because the cat can transmit many diseases to humans, the question of respect for the animal arises. We have come to over-humanize our kittens and it is interesting to wonder who benefits from the crime. Not the cat, at least since making him use the toilet is absolutely unnatural and, as we have seen before, dangerous for his mental and physical health.

Of course, you can always obtain some satisfactory results by dint of insistence, but it will always be to the detriment of the little feline. This absolutely useless training tends to generate additional stress in an animal that is already easily distressed. Let's not forget that stress can lead to behavioral problems and psychosomatic diseases. Letting your cat relieve itself outside or providing it with a litter box is more ethical. Welcoming a cat into your home is a commitment to assume its responsibilities and to do everything possible to ensure that it lives happily, but certainly not to make it a human clone.

Does my cat understand his name when I call him?

Although we know the domestic cat well, the animal was the subject of a study conducted in Tokyo by a team of researchers because it remained to be seen if the little feline was capable of recognizing its name. Today, science confirms it, we can ensure that the cat understands its name much better than we think. But then, why does he react only from time to time when his master calls him? This is what we will see.

Why can we say that the cat recognizes its name?

Researchers at a Japanese university have made cats listen to different sequences of words pronounced in the same tone, and among which the name of each of the little felines had slipped in. It turned out that in all cases, the cats reacted only when they heard their name. In some cases, the ears twitched, in others, the head moved... in short, only their name caused a reaction while all other words left the cats without reaction.

Why does the cat remain indifferent when called?

The cat is really an animal that does what it wants when it wants! He understands perfectly when his master calls him by his name, but he seems to react only when he wants to. We can see that communication with a cat is really very different from the one we can establish with a dog. We have to admit that the latter is much more communicative.

But let's not forget that Man domesticated the dog to use it, whereas the cat chose to come to Man when he started to cultivate cereals, 8000 years before our era, that is to say during the Neolithic revolution. The small feline found an interest in approaching humans since the stocks of cereals attracted rats. A manna for the wild cats of the time. But never, since that time, have we been able to domesticate the cat as we have done with canines.

However, if the cat does not always "respond" to the call, it is a bit simplistic to put this on the account of disdain. Certainly, its great independence pushes it to come towards its master only by need (or desire) in the majority of the cases. However, there are legitimate reasons why the cat doesn't even turn its head when it hears its name.

The cat is too focused on looking for prey

A cat's apparent indifference may be due to its increased focus on another animal, or even a leaf being moved by the wind. This hunter at heart may be domesticated, but he still retains his primal instinct. Also, when the cat is busy keeping watch, it is useless to call him, he is likely to remain without any reaction. The eyes riveted on its only interest of the moment, the animal seems to have completely lost its hearing...

The cat is not in confidence

Evenings with friends and family parties are not always to the taste of our little felines. These social gatherings are noisy, but if the cat is also shy or fearful, it may not come when its owner calls its name. It is quite easy to tell when a cat is wary of strangers: it will withdraw or even hide whenever people it doesn't know show up at its owners' house.

In this case, it is necessary to be patient, but good results can be obtained if one takes care to accustom the cat to interact with a stranger little by little. For example, the stranger can talk to the cat, present its bowl of kibble... but do not try to pet the animal. A few sessions may be enough for the little kitty to end up being more confident.

It should be noted that the same situation may arise when a new pet is adopted. The cat understands that its owner is calling it, but will not deign to come out of its basket either because it is afraid of the other cat, the dog, the parrot, or because it is jealous.

The cat has a hearing problem

If it is not in "I watch, I hunt" mode, perhaps if it remains indifferent to the call of its name is that the cat does not hear well. An otitis may have disrupted his sense of hearing or he may have lost some of his hearing because a foreign body has infiltrated his ear canal. It is important to know that certain neurological pathologies and tumors can make a cat totally deaf, but also the advancement in age. Deafness in cats can also be genetic, as is common in white cats with blue eyes.

Before thinking that your cat is a rare ingratitude and does not care about his master, it is recommended to consult the veterinarian so that he can check the health of the kitty.

Finally, the cat is an animal that does not easily forget when it is hurt or punished. If its owner calls it only to scold it, or if the children trumpet its name and then handle their cat roughly, the animal will no longer present itself to them as spontaneously, even if it has perfectly understood its name. In any case, the cat is not a dog. It only comes to its master out of interest. This is one of the peculiarities of this not very social animal.

Is milk really good for my cat?

Cats love milk. However, for many years, the web has been hammering away at the idea that it is not good for feline health. What is the truth?

Milk for cats: neither good nor bad

The cat is a 100% carnivorous animal. In the wild, they eat mainly rodents and other small prey. Once domesticated, they switched to a richer diet, containing fat and especially protein, which are essential for hair, muscles and skin. In principle, cats only eat pâté or croquettes. All this is completed by a good hydration based on water.

But it is true that some cats like milk. And veterinarians are formal about it, there is no reason not to give milk to the cat, provided of course that it does not show intolerance to milk proteins or does not have allergies. So yes, milk is allowed, but in limited quantities. Any excess can lead to health problems. Specialists recommend a maximum of 40 ml per day, which will avoid possible digestive problems. It should be noted that on the market, it is possible to find lactose-free milk specially developed for cats with intolerance. It is important to remain vigilant about these highly marketed products, because some of them still contain cow's milk, albeit in small quantities, but this can have an impact on the animal's health.

The symptoms of a possible intolerance

If some cats have difficulty digesting milk, it is mainly due to the enzyme lactase, which is no longer secreted in large quantities, especially in adulthood. This enzyme is essential in the assimilation of milk. When the kitten is weaned, i.e. when he hardly consumes any more maternal milk, but has switched to a solid food, the animal hardly produces any more. It will then experience great difficulty in digesting the milk. Several symptoms appear in this case: diarrhea, stomach ache or vomiting. On the other hand, if the cat has always consumed milk without showing any health problems and then starts to have diarrhea, it may be due to another disorder that we will have to find.

It is even possible to give cats fermented milk products. Their advantage is that they contain a limited amount of lactose. In principle, felines can tolerate them as long as they are not allergic to milk proteins. Yoghurt is more recommended than cheese, which is too high in calories and can lead to overweight.

What about kittens?

For orphaned kittens who cannot benefit from mother's milk, cow's, goat's, sheep's or other ruminant milk is forbidden, as these milks do not contain enough fat, protein and minerals compared to female cat's milk. It is preferable to choose formula milk available from veterinarians and formulated to be adapted to the nutritional needs of the young.

The Singapura: the smallest cat in the world

The Singapura is considered the smallest cat in the world. It is characterized by its seal ticked tabby coat and its great affection for humans. It is a perfect companion cat that can easily live in an apartment.

Characteristics of the Singapura

Elegance and finesse are the characteristics that come to mind when describing the Singapura. Unlike breeds such as the Ragdoll for example, the Singapura has a rather slender and muscular semi-cobby body. It has a round head with two large, deep, triangular ears and a short muzzle. It has large almond shaped eyes that can be hazel, yellow or green. The Singapura has a specific coat that is ivory in color, but with beige and brown highlights. The chin, muzzle and chest are lighter in color. Note that the coat is always short and ivory.

History of the Singapura breed

The name alone gives an idea of the origins of this breed. The Singapura comes from Southeast Asia, Singapore in particular. It lives there in a semi-wild state. It is not uncommon to see this cat roaming the streets of Singapore. In 1970, the cat was imported to the United States. The recognition of the race by the TICA will be done only from 1984. It will also be recognized as a natural breed in Singapore and will even be considered as a tourist mascot. The first specimens as for them land in France only at the end of the 80s.

Living conditions and behavior of the Singapura

The Singapura is a house cat par excellence. However, to prevent them from destroying everything in the house, it is advisable to provide them with a cat tree. This breed is known for its calmness and especially for its deep attachment to its owners. The Singapura is very discreet and gentle. It is always asking for affection from its owners. As he is also playful and curious, he will offer joy to children. Also, those who have other pets will have no problem because the Singapura does not express any form of jealousy towards other pets.

Feeding and main health problems of the Singapura

Because it is very sensitive to cold, the Singapura must be protected from temperature drops. To avoid colds, it should not be exposed to bad weather. It is best to keep it indoors as much as possible, especially in bad weather.

The Singapura is not subject to any particular genetic problem. However, because of the low genetic diversity, inbreeding may develop and lead to diseases. The Singapura is sensitive in the ears and eyes, so care must be taken to prevent infections.

As for his diet, it is just important that it is balanced, adapted to the physical activities he practices, to his health and to his age.

Cat vaccination record: dates to respect

Getting your cat vaccinated is an essential preventive act to protect him from serious, even fatal, diseases. Some vaccines are imperative, even for a feline living exclusively indoors. Explanations and vaccination schedule.

What is the purpose of vaccination in cats?

Vaccinating your cat is the only way to prevent it from developing a serious, even fatal, infectious disease, whether viral, bacterial or parasitic in origin. The vaccine stimulates the cat's immune system, allowing it to react quickly and more effectively against the disease.

Should I vaccinate my indoor cat?

If your cat never goes outside, it will be less susceptible to disease. However, you can transmit a virus or parasite to your cat after petting a sick animal or coming into contact with the contaminated secretions of another feline through your shoes or clothes. That's why it's recommended that all cats be vaccinated, whether they live indoors or outdoors.

What diseases should your cat be vaccinated against?

The five commonly used vaccines are not mandatory but are strongly recommended. These vaccines aim at fighting against the following diseases
  • Cat typhus or feline panleukopenia is a contagious virus that is very resistant to the outside environment. This disease, which usually affects kittens, attacks especially the white blood cells (immune system) and causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Without treatment, severe gastroenteritis will cause intense dehydration and death in 90% of cases;
  • Coryza or cat flu, also very contagious, is transmitted by a simple sneeze or contact with an infected animal. Associating several viruses and bacteria, this pathology of the upper respiratory tract manifests itself by sniffing, sneezing, and a runny nose. Its severity is very variable but it can become lethal if the animal is weak;
  • Leucosis particularly affects cats with access to the outdoors. The contamination is done by direct contact with the secretions (blood, saliva, sperm) of contaminated cats. Leukemia causes immune deficiency, anemia and/or tumors. If infected, the cat can heal on its own, become a healthy carrier or die. Your veterinarian will advise you on the administration of this vaccine depending on the animal's lifestyle;
  • Feline chlamydia affects the cat's eyes and respiratory tract. The most characteristic symptoms are conjunctivitis, thick discharge from the eyes and nose, sneezing, a dry cough in fits, fatigue and/or fever. If left untreated, complications can affect the heart or kidneys. This bacterial pathology is easily transmitted between cats;
  • Rabies is caused by the rabies virus. It is transmitted mainly by bite and makes its carriers very aggressive. Rabies is a fatal infectious disease for both cats and humans. The anti-rabies vaccine is no longer mandatory, but is still required for travel to Corsica and the overseas territories, as well as for taking your cat to campsites, vacation centers and animal boarding houses. Your feline must be vaccinated at least one month before his departure.

When should your cat be vaccinated?

Vaccinations should be done at specific times after the kitten is weaned, i.e. from two months of age. At that age, the little feline is no longer protected by his mother's antibodies. As such, it is not recommended to let him out before the vaccines are fully effective, that is, before the second injection. Schedule to follow:
  • 1 month and a half: it is advised to deworm your kitten so that the primary vaccination is possible a few weeks later;
  • At 2 months: typhus, coryza and chlamydia vaccines;
  • At 3 months: recall of typhus, coryza and chlamydia vaccines;
  • From 3 months: leucosis vaccine with booster one month later;
  • From 3 months: rabies vaccine;
  • Every year: all booster vaccines for typhus, coryza, leucosis, chlamydia and rabies.

Which vaccines should be given to an adult cat?

It is important that your cat's vaccination record be kept up to date, especially if you take your cat on a trip or if you entrust him to a boarding kennel. This act of prevention is even more important if your pet is older, as its immune defenses diminish over the years and its health becomes more fragile. The veterinarian will be able to establish a vaccination program according to the cat's health and lifestyle. Be careful: if a booster is forgotten, it is sometimes necessary to repeat the primary vaccination protocol, which means two injections one month apart. Today, more and more veterinarians send mailings or text messages to remind you of the vaccination dates. All you have to do is make an appointment!

Cat education: 10 mistakes to avoid!

Welcoming a cat is a responsibility. Its owner must take care to devote time to it, to give it all the care it needs. Its socialization is necessary so that it behaves well with other pets but also with humans. It is better that the education starts as soon as possible, when the animal is still a kitten. But be careful, so that he is happy and does not have behavioral problems later, it requires tact, patience, consistency and a lot of love. Here are the 10 detrimental mistakes you should never make when training a kitten.

1 - Letting him do his claws anywhere

A few days are enough for an untrained cat to cause a lot of damage in a house and it's even worse for a kitten. Curtains, chair legs, sofa, carpet... everything goes. We offer him a scratching post or a cat tree so that he can continue to do his claws without causing damage.

2 - Being indifferent to your cat or kitten

There's no point in having a cat if you're going to leave him alone in his corner and never share moments with him. Although quite independent, the cat needs to interact with his master. He likes that this one speaks to him, caresses him, brushes him. Contrary to popular belief, this little feline is far from being satisfied with being given food and water. He is full of sensitivity and if his master is totally indifferent to his little companion, this one is likely to be unhappy.

3 - Never play with your cat

Playing is one of the most important aspects of a cat's education. It teaches him to share moments with his master and it's through this that we can establish a relationship of complicity between man and animal. Moreover, playing allows him to expend his energy, to evacuate stress, to develop his motor skills and to stimulate his cognitive functions. It positively impacts his reactivity and sharpens his intelligence. You can offer him different toys for cats such as games of skill, reflection and others.

4 - Feed him only once a day

This is a serious mistake because the cat should be able to eat little at a time but often. So we leave him with enough to satisfy his nutritional needs without forgetting the bowl of fresh water. This will prevent him from begging for food from the neighbors. In any case, it is important to know that the cat should not be fed like a dog.

5 - Deprive him of the outdoors

Even if it's more complicated to let your cat go outside when you live in an urban environment or near a highway, access to the outdoors is crucial for its development. It is a fabulous playground but also a place rich in olfactory discoveries. It's also outside that the little feline can let his hunting instinct express itself and mark his territory. You can very well take your cat out on a leash after getting him used to the harness, which is more practical and comfortable than the collar, so that he gets used to his environment. But be careful, it must be taken out several times a day.

6 - Yelling at your cat or hitting him to punish him

Screaming at your cat when he does something stupid is the best way to make him an anxious animal, distrustful of his master, even aggressive. As for hitting him, we don't even think about it. Violence has no place anywhere, and by the way, mistreatment of animals is forbidden by law. On the other hand, it is possible to scold your cat by simply raising your voice, but without yelling, and as long as it is done on the spot.

Scolding him afterwards is absolutely useless, as the animal will not understand why his breeder is angry. If he is not caught in the act, then he should be ignored because he knows how to perceive his master's discontent. Firmness, tact and subtlety are therefore required to punish a kitty. But if you want to prevent him from committing big mistakes, it's better to encourage him by congratulating him when he behaves well.

7 - Letting him steal food

As soon as a cat arrives in the family home, whether it's an adult animal or a kitten, it must be forbidden to climb on the kitchen work surface, on the tables (living room, dining room) and on the desk, which must remain the territory of the family members but certainly not be part of the animal's territory. To avoid tempting the devil, it is imperative not to leave any food on the table, which implies clearing the table at the end of a meal and making a clean sweep of the kitchen.

In order to prevent your cat from stealing food, you must act from the start. The cat must be sufficiently fed because if he is hungry he will always try to steal food. But the owner should never share his meal with him by taking him on his lap for example. This would only encourage unacceptable behavior.

8 - Allow him to sleep in the bed

The cat should not have access to the master's bedroom or to the children's bedroom. It has been proven that sleeping with an animal encourages all kinds of contamination. To each his own territory, therefore, and to achieve this, you should not stall at any time. The easiest way is to keep the doors of the forbidden rooms closed. You must get him used to sleeping in a place reserved for him from a very young age, such as the back kitchen, the entrance... However, it should be noted that cats hate the smell of eucalyptus... this can be a solution to dissuade them from going where it is forbidden.

9 - Let him do his business anywhere

Either you get your cat used to doing his business outside, but in this case, he must have a cat flap to come and go as he pleases, or you put a litter box at his disposal inside the house. It is out of the question that he does his business in any place. But to encourage him to always use his litter box, it must be cleaned very regularly, the soiled litter removed every day and replaced by fresh. It's also very important that the litter box be pleasing to him. Some cats only like litter boxes without lids, others only go to toilet houses... But be careful, we always place the cat's litter box far from its bowl.

10 - Let your cat nibble on houseplants

Not only does the cat love to scratch the substrate of potted plants, but it has the annoying habit of nibbling the plants. This is unbearable because the damage to the plants can be substantial. Even more serious, many plants are toxic for cats. It is therefore necessary to react immediately in order to protect the health of your little companion. Here again, it's a question of good education. The best solution to prevent your kitty from going after the Dieffenbachia, the Amaryllis or the Chlorophytum is to catch him "red-handed" and to spray him with water while he is in full action. This is enough to make it run away. Two or three similar episodes should be enough to dissuade him. At the same time, we provide him with a pot of grass that he can chew on without any danger to his health.

Otitis in cats: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention

Cats suffering from otitis have certain behaviors that may alert their owners. It is essential to consult the veterinarian because an otitis that is not treated properly or that is totally neglected can have serious consequences for the cat. Let's discover the possible causes of the different feline ear infections, their symptoms, the treatments and let's see what are the solutions to prevent these ear inflammations in a cat.

The different ear infections in cats

A cat can have an external, medium or internal otitis.

External otitis

It is more frequent in young adult cats but also in kittens. Older cats are less prone to it. It manifests itself by an inflammation of the eardrum and the external auditory canal. It can be due to :
  • A trauma like a bite or a scratch, the presence of a foreign body, a cleaning of the ear made with a cotton swab,
  • An autoimmune disease,
  • An inflammatory polyp,
  • An aggressive tumor,
  • A parasite, as is the case with otacariosis or ear gall, also known as auricular otitis,
  • Otitis media, considered one of the main causes of chronic otitis externa.
Bacteria or even an opportunistic fungus can maintain an already established otitis externa.

Otitis media

In the case of otitis media, it is the eustachian tube that is affected by the inflammation as well as the tympanic bulla. The cats most frequently affected by this type of otitis are already suffering from leucosis or are carriers of the cat AIDS virus (feline immunodeficiency). The condition may also be secondary to a polyp, tumor, or pharyngeal disorder.

Internal otitis

This is the rarest form of otitis in cats. Possible causes include:
  • An otitis media of bacterial origin,
  • A viral infection,
  • An infection of the meninges...

Otitis in cats: symptoms

Many symptoms are common to these different types of ear infections. The cat scratches the affected ear with its hind leg, shakes the ear, tilts its head to one side or shakes its head vigorously more or less frequently. He may even rub his ear against a wall, a piece of furniture or the floor. He can't stand being touched in this area because it is very sensitive. We can also notice :
  • A bad smell coming from an ear,
  • Sores in the pavilion due to scratching, hair loss, induration, redness,
  • A modification of the behavior (the cat shows signs of aggressiveness),
  • A loss of appetite,
  • A loss of hearing more or less important,
  • Difficulties in swallowing,
  • Dry eyes,
  • Snoring,
  • Pain when the cat opens its mouth.
More worrying symptoms occur in case of internal otitis, such as
  • Jerky, rotational or horizontal eye movements,
  • Balance problems,
  • Abnormalities in the positioning of either the pupils or an eyelid.
It is very important to consult the veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect an otitis in your cat, because if you do not take care of it, the consequences can be serious.

Feline otitis: treatments

The veterinarian must perform various tests in order to diagnose an ear infection in a cat. Depending on the type of otitis suspected, it may involve
  • The removal of earwax so that it can be analyzed. This is done under anesthesia if the pain is too great.
  • An otoscopy to visualize the external auditory canal with the help of a device (otoscope or video-otoscope): we can detect an abnormality, a mass, a foreign body...
  • An imaging examination such as an X-ray, a CT scan or an MRI.
  • A blood test.
  • A hearing test.
  • Cytology, which consists of taking samples of pus, earwax or cells in order to identify the germ responsible for the otitis and to prescribe the appropriate treatment (antibacterial, antifungal, etc.).
  • A myringotomy or parasynthesis of the eardrum which allows, in addition to cleaning the tympanic bulla, to take samples for analysis.
The treatment of otitis in cats varies from one case to another, depending on the nature of the otitis, which, let's remember, can be external, medium or internal. Thus, the veterinarian may prescribe:
  • An antibiotic,
  • An antifungal agent,
  • An anti-inflammatory,
  • An antiparasitic.
These products can be used locally or as a drug treatment.

But if the veterinarian has discovered a polyp for example or a tumor, a surgical operation is necessary. This is also the second choice if the cat's condition has not improved despite treatment.

An ear infection in a cat causes pain and sometimes even serious complications. It is therefore best to do everything possible to limit the risk of recurrent otitis. Good hygiene of the cat's ears is essential. One avoids the cotton swab and one uses an adapted lotion on the advice of the veterinarian. Of course, it is imperative to protect your cat against parasites.

Allergy to flea bites in cats: symptoms, treatment and prevention

Some cats, more sensitive than others, may have - following flea bites - a virulent reaction that results in violent itching. This exacerbated reaction warrants a visit to the veterinarian. Here is all you need to know about what is called DAPC, i.e. Allergic Dermatitis to Flea Bites in cats, and the ways to treat it as well as the best solutions to avoid it.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis: The Symptoms

This allergy is by far the most common among our cat friends. It is due to the contamination of the small feline by flea saliva, certain components of which are responsible for hypersensitivity. The symptoms, which do not take long to appear, are the following:
  • Severe itching,
  • Intimidated scratching, the cat also bites itself to relieve its itching and licks itself insistently,
  • The cat is more agitated than usual,
  • Irritations appear by dint of scratching,
  • The fur is less dense and the hair becomes brittle, it can even fall locally (alopecia) on the flanks, the back, the belly, the neck, the head..,
  • Erythema forms (red areas on the skin),
  • Appearance of papules in different places: thighs, hindquarters, paws, ears.
Attention, some of these symptoms are also encountered in case of food allergy or atopic eczema.

When the allergy to flea bites becomes chronic, secondary manifestations to the virulent itching can be observed, such as
  • A thickening of the stratum corneum or hyperkeratosis,
  • Skin inflammation,
  • An oozing dermatitis that can be identified by the red wet patches: this is also called a hot spot,
  • A fungal infection,
  • A bacterial infection.
  • In view of these numerous symptoms, it is easy to understand that allergy to flea bites in cats warrants treatment by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Allergy to flea bites: treatment in cats

The veterinarian begins with a clinical examination to localize the lesions and visually study their appearance. He also looks for the presence of fleas in the cat's coat or flea droppings. The latter have the appearance of very small black grains and their particularity is to leave orange traces as soon as they are rubbed with a wet paper towel. All of this is usually enough to diagnose DAPP without the need for allergy testing.

Treatment of flea bite allergy involves the prescription of cortisone to soothe the itching and inflammation. At the same time, the owner must use a soothing spray lotion and a flea shampoo for a while, care products recommended by the practitioner to treat the cat's coat, eradicate fleas and prevent their reappearance.

All cats, even very sedentary ones, can get fleas

Some owners are surprised to see their cat infested with fleas when their pet is not used to spending its life outdoors. This is a misunderstanding of these parasites that can invade our homes without us even suspecting their presence. And here is why.

A flea, once well installed on the cat, feeds on the blood of its host but also reproduces. A single female flea can lay between 800 and 1,000 eggs in two months, which is the same as her life expectancy. However, the flea eggs fall when the cat moves, scratches itself, grooms itself, and they infest the whole environment of the little feline and therefore of its masters...

After the hatching of flea eggs, the larvae shelter in cocoons after having found something to protect themselves from the light. You can thus live with flea larvae for months, well hidden in the smallest corner of the house (carpet hair, cat basket, between the sofa cushions, in the interstices of the parquet floor, in the closet where brooms, dusters, vacuum cleaners, etc. are stored), in the car, etc. It is therefore very difficult to eliminate them. All they have to do is find a host - human or animal - on which they take up residence and whose blood will serve as food. The loop is then closed.

DAPP is most common in the summer and fall, but can occur year-round if the cat's immediate environment is heavily infested.

Flea bite allergy: prevention

It is essential to give the prescribed treatment to your allergic cat by scrupulously respecting the veterinarian's prescription. But it is also necessary to treat the whole environment of the animal in order to prevent a new parasitic infestation.

For cats with a very high sensitivity to flea bites, a treatment is sometimes given for life, but only the veterinarian can decide this. Finally, in addition to cleaning and treating every corner of the house, which must be regularly scrubbed with great care, you must not forget to also use an anti-parasite of the anti-flea type on all the other pets living in the household. This is very important because a relapse is quite possible. Finally, it is very important to brush your cat regularly and to check its undercoat for the slightest trace of fleas.

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