Tag Archives: health issues

All About Spaying and Neutering – New Page

UPDATE!!

New Page added to Cats The Boss :

Spaying or Neutering Your Cat – What, Why, When, Where?

This covers:

What is spaying and neutering? What Are the Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering? What Are Some Behavior Problems with Cats Who Aren’t Spayed or Neutered? Why Should I Spay or Neuter My Cat? When Is the Best Time To Spay or Neuter? Will My Cat Act Differently After Being Spayed or Neutered? How Do I Prepare My Cat For Surgery? What Happens After Surgery?

And at the bottom of that page, Jessie Cat tells you what happened to her after her surgery…

Spaying or Neutering Your Cat

 

Cats Sense Your Stress – New Page Added

UPDATE:  New PAGE has been added to Cats The Boss...

Visit it here:

Stress and Your Cat

Gina says: This is my own personal story featuring Jessie Cat and how my stress affected her.

Worms In Cats – New Page Added

Just an update to alert you a new page has been added to Cats The Boss. It’s titled “Worms In Cats – Internal Parasites“.  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?! 

Be sure to check it out – you might learn something if you’re a little rusty on internal parasites. We cover: what kind of worms cats can get, how they get worms, normal symptoms of a cat with worms, how to get rid of worms, if humans can get worms from their cat, and how to keep a cat from getting worms.

Such fun!

Here’s the link again: Worms In Cats – Internal Parasites

How Long Do Cats Live? New Page Added

How Long Do Cats Live? And How Can You Improve the Longevity of Your Cat? 

A new page at Cats The Boss has been created that addresses these questions and  is found here:

How Long Do Cats Live? 

Or…you can read the article right here:

How Long Do Cats Live?

If you keep your cat indoors, provide quality health care, and depending on the cat’s genetics, it is quite possible she could live to the ripe old age of 20 years old. It’s becoming more common and heard of all the time, especially with the wonderful advancements in veterinary treatments and medications.

Average life span for indoor cats – 15 years. Average life span for outdoor cats – 3 to 5 years.

Cat Aging Info
The 2-Belo / Foter

Once she is between 8 and 10 years old (and this number is debated – both lower and a bit higher), she should be treated as a senior cat. Yearly exams (hopefully you’ve been taking your kitty in yearly to the vet!) may be upped to twice a year by the recommendation of your vet.

You can improve the longevity of your cat by keeping the following in mind:

  • Cats can mask their pain. Be alert to changes in behavior and routines she normally follows.
  • Quality nutrition and special diets can help prevent health problems.  Vets may prescribe specific foods to improve or stabilize certain issues, such as: diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, dental disease, etc.
  • Cat’s eyes can become cloudy as she ages and her vision may be affected. Don’t move furniture around if she has been diagnosed with failing eyesight.
  • A cat’s hearing may decrease with age. They can feel vibrations, though, so don’t sneak up on her. Let her know you’re approaching with heavy footsteps.
  • Arthritis could set in and her ability to groom herself may be difficult. Help her keep herself clean by brushing and perhaps using the disposable wet cloths. There are meds a vet can suggest to ease some of her pain and stiffness.
  • She might not jump up on items as often as she used to. Be sure to give her comfy blankets to sleep on or create “steps” for her to walk up to reach a favorite lounging spot.
  • Scratching posts should continue to be provided but if she’s used a vertical one and appears to struggle reaching up then you should switch to a horizontal type.
  • Cleaning teeth is important *groan*. Try your best to brush her teeth with cat toothpaste or use medicated dental wipes. More options: give dental treats, dental toys, perhaps try the mouth sprays or the drops for the water to help her teeth and gums be as healthy as possible. The vet can do a thorough teeth cleaning, too, but it involves anesthesia.
  • Keep playing with your cat as she gets older. Even if kitty is a senior she can still engage in chasing after a feather toy (at her own speed) or simply watching it flutter about is entertainment for her. There are many fun, mentally-challenging toys and games available that don’t require the cat to be super athletic but allow gentle batting and physical movements.
  • Observe heavy breathing issues. Call the vet if this is ongoing.
  • Observe eating and drinking changes. If something is “off”, call the vet.
  • Observe litter box issues. This includes her ability to get IN and OUT of the box, as you may need to change the type of box she uses or cut one side down much lower for easier access. Observe changes to her stool. Call the vet if it looks unusual or is diarrhea.
  • Use your best judgment on some of these issues…many people will observe changes for a day to several days to help determine the seriousness and watch if she simply returns to normal…perhaps the situation rectified itself. Some issues are more than obvious though when a vet needs called ASAP.

It is very likely you and your cat will live together for a good portion of YOUR lifetime. Think about it – she could be around for 15 – 20 years! Such a magnificent relationship, a loving bond between cat and owner(s), the cute antics and fun she provides, the soothing touch of her as she sleeps on your lap looking so darn sweet and the fiercely protective emotional state you have for her and her safety. Try your best to keep her healthy and happy! It will do you both good…after all, she IS your buddy!

 

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Jessie Cat says: I think my odds of living to be an old fart cat are darn good. Of course, one never knows what nasty things could pop up. But my human, Gina, brags how she had three dogs at one time and all lived long, pampered lives. I know I’ve got it made in the shade as top boss of this house! So I can imagine those silly dogs were well taken care of, too! I can “feel the love” in the air! (even when she tries cleaning my teeth–grrr!)

Gina says: Yes, Jessie is my baby girl (cat)! If you’re wondering, two of those dogs lived to be 16 years old (peke-a-poos) and the other almost 13 (big collie-also stayed in house). And sure, they ALL had old-age problems, but I dealt with them the best I could, providing them love and care to the very end *tears now-sorry*. I just LOVE my pets 🙂

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Cat Dental Care-Clean Those Fangs

New PAGE created at Cats The Boss – Dental Care for Cat Including How-to Brush Teeth  Follow the link to read on the site OR…I have included it below for you:

Dental Care for Cat Including How-To Brush Teeth

Cat Dental Care
John Morton / Foter

 Sniff. Sniff…does your cat’s breath stink? If it smells like something crawled in her mouth and died, that’s not a good sign. It would be wise to see a veterinarian for help. But if you get a whiff of her last meal, something that resembles a food odor and doesn’t make you gag, that would be normal.

Check out the gums. Firm and pink is good. White and/or red is not good. And there should be NO swelling. Take her to the vet if you see any because it can mean other internal problems or diseases besides just the appearance of swollen gums. Observe the amount of tartar. Hopefully there is very little.

Other signs that indicate possible problems: difficulty chewing food, excessive drooling, and excessive pawing at the mouth.

Periodontal or gum disease caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar is a huge problem for cats. It’s estimated that 70% of cats will have dental issues by the age of three without any dental care. They rely on us and we should try to do our  best to keep their teeth and mouths clean.

A nutritious diet, chew treats that scrape the teeth and massage gums, yearly checkups by a veterinarian and (*cringe*) regular teeth brushing performed by you will definitely make a difference in the overall health of your cat.

>> Tooth-Brushing Kit:

  • Cotton swabs or cotton gauze pads
  • Baby toothbrush or a toothbrush made FOR cats or a finger brush, which is a rubber finger covering with little soft bristles on the tip.
  •  Cat toothpaste (have read about using salt and water). NEVER use toothpaste for humans!

It’s never too early to start brushing your cat’s teeth, either. Start when they are kittens if possible.

>>HOW TO BRUSH YOUR CAT’S TEETH:

NOTE: It may take several WEEKS until your cat is comfortable with having her teeth brushed. And perhaps she never will allow you to brush her teeth. If that’s the case, other options are medicated teeth cleaning pads, sprays for the mouth, special tartar-reducing drops for drinking water, special diets your vet can suggest, always have chew toys around, tartar control treats, and scheduling an appointment for the vet to clean your cat’s teeth.

OK – here are the steps to be completed over a period of many days, perhaps even weeks:

  • First, get kitty used to something being in her mouth. Just massage her gums with your finger or a cotton swab or gauze. You may call it a day after that. You’ll have to judge your cat’s behavior and how much you can accomplish in each session.
  • Some people dip a finger in tuna water. Rub this over the gums and one or two teeth. Repeat until your cat tolerates it.
  • Next session – put a little bit of cat toothpaste on her lips to get her used to the taste.
  • Next, introduce the baby/cat toothbrush or finger brush. NO toothpaste yet. Be happy if you can get 1 – 2 teeth brushed.
  • Keep giving her a tiny taste of that toothpaste, too.
  • Keep experimenting with brushing a few more teeth (minus the paste).
  • Once she is “accepting” this routine, it’s time to bring on the combination of cat toothpaste AND the toothbrush (or finger brush).
  • If you can accomplish this – go do the happy dance! But first praise your cat and shower her with love, letting her know SHE did GOOD!

Chew Toys are great for a cat’s teeth, gums and are fun for the cat. They satisfy natural urges to chomp, help make teeth stronger, help floss the teeth, massage her gums and scrape away soft tartar. Everyone buys toys for their cats anyway, so why not get one that’s serves dual-purpose? Fun and health?

Diet  — If your cat definitely has dental problems, ask your veterinarian for help. I’m sure if you’ve taken your cat in recently for a checkup, and the vet clearly sees the icky teeth problem, they’ll recommend a food to keep the teeth as healthy as possible and one that helps to remove plaque buildup.

Professional Cleaning — Brushing removes plaque but not that hardened-on tartar build-up. There may come a time your cat should have a veterinarian remove it with a professional cleaning and polishing. Normally the cat is put under anesthesia in order to get the job done. Your veterinarian may even use a fluoride treatment and will give you instructions for home care and follow-up. Luckily, if you’ve been a good human parent (servant!), you have already been diligently brushing kitty’s teeth and know the home care ritual! If not, you have your instructions!

 

Gina says: Now, let’s see some shiny, pearly, kitty-cat whites out there! (And try not to get your finger bitten in the process! OW!)

Jessie says: Take your time teaching your cat to get used to getting her teeth brushed – don’t push too much too fast!