What Is a Cardiac Arrhythmia?
A cardiac arrhythmia is an abnormality in a cat’s heartbeat. It may be associated with the rate (too fast or too slow), an irregularity in the heartbeat pattern, or a problem in the location where electrical signals are formed in the heart. Some arrhythmias may be harmless and do not require treatment, while others can be serious and life threatening.
Cats of any age or sex may experience arrhythmias. Certain breeds are predisposed to specific types of heartbeat abnormalities. For example, Maine Coon cats and Persian cats seem predisposed to developing cardiomyopathy (a problem with the heart muscle that can be associated with changes in heart rate and rhythm).
What Causes an Arrhythmia?
There are many types of heart rhythm disturbances, and just as many potential causes. While heart disease can cause an arrhythmia, an arrhythmia does not necessarily indicate that your cat has a heart condition. Other causes of heart arrhythmias include:
What Are the Signs of an Arrhythmia?
Cats with arrhythmias that are relatively harmless may show no outward signs. In many cases, however, an arrhythmia can lead to heart failure, changes in blood pressure, and alterations in blood flow to vital organs. Cats with these types of arrhythmias may show signs such as:
How Is This Condition Diagnosed?
Your veterinarian may note an irregularity in the heartbeat when listening to your pet’s heart with a stethoscope. An electrocardiogram (ECG) can provide additional information to further define the type of arrhythmia present.
If your veterinarian suspects that the abnormality is caused by a heart condition, he or she may recommend chest radiographs (x-rays) and/or an echocardiogram, which is an examination of the heart using ultrasound equipment. Depending on your pet’s condition, the veterinarian may refer your pet to a veterinary cardiologist (a heart specialist).
Since many other factors besides heart disease can cause arrhythmias, your veterinarian will probably also suggest doing blood work to look for underlying diseases or conditions.
How Are Arrhythmias Treated?
If the arrhythmia is caused by an underlying condition, such as hyperthyroidism, treating the underlying disease may help resolve the arrhythmia. Otherwise, the goal of treatment is to eliminate or manage any discomfort your cat may have and prevent dangerous arrhythmias from leading to sudden death.
Numerous medications can help control arrhythmias. Many of these drugs may have side effects, so be sure to ask your veterinarian if there are signs you should watch for. In some cases, it is recommended that a pacemaker be implanted for long-term control of the arrhythmia.
Once your pet is diagnosed with an arrhythmia, your veterinarian may recommend periodic recheck examinations to evaluate your pet’s heart rate/rhythm and assess your pet’s response to treatment. Blood work, echocardiography, and other diagnostic tests sometimes need to be repeated periodically to help protect your pet’s health.
Bringing a new kitten home is exciting. The following guidelines will help you and your kitten adjust to this big change in your lives.
Kittens can leave their mother and littermates after they have been weaned, usually at 8 to 10 weeks of age. Like human babies, kittens require special care, including veterinary care, feeding, and socialization. The best time to bring a kitten home is when you have at least 1 or 2 days to focus on helping him or her adjust to new surroundings.
To safely transport your new kitten home, you’ll need a carrier. Leaving mom is a big deal for your kitten; a carrier will help him or her feel more secure. Don’t use another pet’s carrier because its smell could be stressful to your kitten. Place a towel in the carrier for warmth and to absorb urine in case of an accident. Carry an extra towel.
Before your kitten has contact with other cats, he or she must be tested for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus, given a physical examination, tested and treated for parasites, and vaccinated. This will prevent the spread of a disease or parasites to other pets. If you have other pets, talk to your veterinarian about how to introduce your kitten to them.
Before you bring your kitten home, prepare a small room or space that will be his or her own for the first few days or weeks. Having a smaller area to explore at first will help your kitten get comfortable with his or her new home. Cats don’t like to eat next to the litterbox, so place the litterbox on one side of the room and the food and water dishes on the other. Make sure that your kitten can get in and out of the litterbox without help; it might be necessary to provide a litterbox with low sides. To help your kitten feel secure, make sure that the room has hiding places. If there isn’t furniture to hide beneath, place cardboard boxes on their sides or cut doorways into them. Providing a warm, comfortable bed is essential. You can purchase a pet bed or line a box with something soft; using a sweatshirt that you’ve worn will help your kitten get used to your scent.
When you bring your kitten home, put the carrier in the room you’ve prepared. Open the carrier door, but let your kitten come out when he or she is ready. After your kitten comes out, leave the carrier in the corner as another hiding place. Every day, scoop out the litterbox and provide fresh food and water.
Your kitten may hide at first, but he or she will explore when no one is watching, becoming more comfortable with his or her new home. Your kitten will likely want plenty of attention from you—you’re his or her new mother/littermate!
After your kitten has been to your veterinarian, becomes comfortable in his or her room, and develops a regular routine of eating, drinking, and using the litterbox, you can let him or her venture into the rest of your house. At this point, you need to make sure that your kitten stays safe and has enough privacy to eat, sleep, and use the litterbox. Keep your kitten’s bed, litterbox, and food/water dishes in the same place so that he or she knows where to find them.
Kittens receive some immunity (protection against disease) from their mothers at birth and through nursing. Because this immunity slowly wears off, kittens should be vaccinated against various diseases on a schedule, beginning at 2 to 3 months of age. Ask your veterinarian for details.
Intestinal parasites are common in kittens. Fecal examinations and treatments (dewormings) are usually repeated until two consecutive fecal examinations have negative results. External parasites (fleas, ticks, and mites) are treated with products approved for use on kittens.
Kittens should be spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. This helps to control pet overpopulation and reduces the chance of behavior problems and some medical conditions.
Proper nutrition is especially important for kittens, which need two to three times as many calories and nutrients as adult cats. A mother cat’s milk provides everything a kitten needs during the first 4 weeks of life. Cow’s milk should never be given to kittens or cats because it can give them diarrhea. Most kittens are completely weaned between 8 and 10 weeks of age. At 6 to 7 weeks of age, kittens should be able to chew dry food. Feed a name-brand kitten food with the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement on the bag or labeluntil your kitten is approximately 9 to 12 months old. When your kitten is 3 to 6 months old, feed him or her three times per day. When your kitten is 6 months old, start feeding twice daily.
Cats learn how to socialize with each other from their mother and littermates; therefore, if possible, kittens should remain with their mother and/or littermates until they are about 10 weeks old. Kittens that have human contact before they are 10 to 12 weeks old are more likely to interact well with people throughout their lives. Handling and playing with your kitten can help you bond with him or her. Feral (wild) cats haven’t been socialized with people as kittens and may fear and avoid people throughout their lives. Your kitten should be gradually introduced to other pets with care and supervision. Ask your veterinarian for advice on the best way to do this.
Enjoy your new kitten, and let your veterinarian know if you have any questions.
Should I Breed My Cat?
Most shelters and rescue organizations are overflowing with mixed breed and purebred cats that are perfectly friendly and adoptable, but there simply aren’t enough homes for them. As a result, approximately three to four million unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized each year, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Producing more kittens just exacerbates the current cat overpopulation problem.
What’s Involved in Raising a Litter?
Before you breed your cat, honestly consider if you have the time, commitment, and finances required to raise a litter. Ask yourself the following questions:
What Are My Responsibilities as a Breeder?
Good breeders take responsibility for their kittens not just until they find a new home, but for a lifetime. Reputable breeders:
Are There Any Health Risks Involved With Breeding?
There are always potential risks associated with pregnancy and birth, especially with very young or very old cats.
Whether you breed your cat or not, spaying or neutering can help eliminate some potential health and behavior problems. Female cats that are spayed don’t develop uterine cancer and uterine infections; they are also less likely to develop breast cancer, and they also won’t subject you to yowling heat cycles and unwanted litters. Male cats that are neutered are less likely to urine mark in the house or roam the neighborhood looking for fights.
What Is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal mammary gland (breast) cells. If left untreated, certain types of breast cancer can metastasize (spread) to other mammary glands, lymph nodes, the lungs, and other organs throughout the body.
While any pet can develop mammary tumors, these masses occur most often in older, female dogs and cats that have not been spayed. Siamese cats have a higher risk for breast cancer than other feline breeds.
In cats, 80% to 90% of these tumors are malignant (cancerous). Dogs fare a little better: 50% of mammary tumors are malignant. Any suspicious lump in the mammary area should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
The exact cause of mammary gland cancer is unknown. However, dogs and cats that are spayed before their first heat cycle are less likely to have breast cancer, so hormones may play a role.
Treatment with hormones for other conditions may increase the risk for this type of cancer. In the past, hormones were used to treat some behavior and skin problems in cats, but this has generally fallen out of favor. Some hormone treatments are still being used in dogs, such as estrogen in the treatment of urinary incontinence, but other alternatives are usually available.
Genetics may also play a role in canine breast cancer. Recent findings show that certain genes are over-expressed in dogs with this condition.
What Are the Signs of Breast Cancer?
There’s no way to determine if a lump is cancerous simply by feeling it. But since any lump in the mammary area has the potential to be cancerous, it’s a good idea to check your pet regularly.
Mammary tumors tend to be firm, nodular masses that feel like BB pellets under the skin. Tumors may be located in a single mammary gland (the area around one nipple), or they may be in several mammary glands at once. The skin covering the tumor may be ulcerated or infected. Nipples may be swollen or red, and there may be discharge from the nipple itself.
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
The best way to diagnose breast cancer is with a surgical biopsy (tissue sample) of the mass. In dogs with large masses, it may be possible to obtain a fine needle aspirate of the tumor, which involves placing a needle into the mass and extracting cells for examination under the microscope. This procedure may be more difficult with smaller masses or in cats. Since a biopsy usually provides a larger tissue sample (likely to yield a more definitive diagnosis), this is the best option. Biopsies generally require some form of anesthesia or sedation, so your veterinarian may recommend a preanesthetic evaluation and/or blood work.
How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
Early detection and surgical removal of the masses is the best treatment option. Before performing surgery, your veterinarian will most likely recommend blood work and radiographs (x-rays). Chest radiographs are important to check for metastases to the lungs, and abdominal radiographs may show signs of enlarged lymph nodes. If the radiographs show no evidence of metastasis, the pet has a better prognosis.
Because of the high rate of malignancy in cats and the fact that cancer often invades several mammary glands along the same side of the body, a radical mastectomy with removal of all mammary glands on the same side is often recommended. For cats with masses on both sides, two separate surgeries several weeks apart may need to be performed.
Unless dogs have multiple tumors, they may not need to have as much tissue removed as cats. Submission of the tissue for microscopic examination will determine if the tumors have been completely removed. If your pet still has her ovaries and uterus, your veterinarian may recommend spaying your pet at the time of mammary surgery.
Following surgery, your veterinarian may recommend radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is designed to kill any potentially cancerous cells in a focused area. Chemotherapy involves systemic drugs that treat cancerous cells that may have travelled to other parts of the body.
Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented?
The best way to prevent breast cancer is to have your pet spayed before her first heat cycle. Even spaying your pet by 1 year of age can help reduce breast cancer risk. Pets that are spayed later in life will be at higher risk for breast cancer.
What Are Bladder and Kidney Stones?
Bladder and kidney stones are hardened accumulations of minerals found in urine. Common minerals involved include struvite, calcium oxalate, and urate. Dogs and cats can develop stones anywhere in the urinary tract. Stones can form in many different shapes and sizes.
Certain breeds of animals may be more likely to form certain kinds of stones. Dalmatians, for example, are more likely to develop urate stones.
Stones can have sharp edges. They can irritate or become embedded in the lining of the bladder, causing the tissue to become thickened and inflamed. They can also form inside the kidneys.
Stones can cause serious problems when they lodge in the ureters (the thin tubes connecting each kidney to the bladder) or the urethra (the narrow tube that allows urine to flow from the bladder out of the body). When the normal flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder is obstructed, urine (and pressure) can build up in the kidney, potentially causing kidney infections or kidney failure.
If a stone obstructs the urethra, the pet is unable to urinate, and the urine builds up inside the urinary tract. This occurs more commonly in male pets because, compared with females, they have a longer and very narrow urethra. When pets are unable to urinate, it’s a medical emergency, and a veterinarian should see the pet immediately.
What Causes These Stones?
Stones are often caused by a change in the normal pH of the urine, making it too acidic (low pH) or too basic (high pH), or by diseases that alter the mineral balance in the body. Factors that can lead to the formation of stones include:
What Are the Signs of Bladder and Kidney Stones?
Most stones are found in the bladder. Pets with bladder stones may show no signs at all or may exhibit signs such as the following:
Signs of a possible urinary blockage include:
Pets with kidney stones may show no signs or may have persistent blood in the urine. If a blockage affects the kidneys, the pet may have pain near the middle of the spine (where the kidneys are located) or may drink and urinate more.
How Are Urinary Stones Diagnosed?
Some veterinarians may be able to feel stones in the bladder by applying gentle pressure with their hands. In most cases, an abdominal radiograph (x-ray) is required. Since some stones do not appear on regular radiographs, contrast medium (a sterile solution that appears bright on radiographs) may need to be injected into the urinary tract to help make the stones more visible. An abdominal ultrasound may also be helpful to visualize stones.
If the urethra is obstructed with a stone, the veterinarian will usually be able to feel a firm bladder, and the pet may have signs of pain.
Testing the urine is helpful to determine if a urinary tract infection is present and if the urinary pH is normal. Sometimes crystals may be found in the urine, which may provide a clue as to the type of stone involved. Still, the only way to identify the type of stone with certainty is to send sample stones to a laboratory for analysis. This is important because treatment will vary depending on the stone.
How Are Bladder and Kidney Stones Treated?
In pets with blockages, emergency surgery is usually required. If the pet is not blocked, some stones can be dissolved by feeding the pet a special diet. This food, available only through veterinarians, will help modify the urine pH and dissolve the stones.
Some types of stones cannot be dissolved by diet and must be removed from the bladder using other methods, including:
While kidney stones may be removed by surgery, this procedure may affect kidney function. Another alternative, which is usually only available at universities, is called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. In this procedure, shock waves are used to break up stones in the kidneys and ureter so that they become small enough to pass in the urine.
Once stones are removed, they are generally submitted to a diagnostic laboratory so their type/composition can be determined. Once the stone composition has been determined by lab analysis, pets may need to be fed a special diet and/or given medication for the rest of their lives to help prevent recurrence.
What Is an Abscess?
An abscess is a pocket of pus that is formed when the body’s immune system is unable to quickly clear a site of infection. Pus is a liquid collection of inflammatory cells, bacteria, and damaged tissue. Abscesses can form in any part of the body and often result from bacterial infections in bite wounds, tooth roots, and anal glands. Abscesses just under the skin are quite common in indoor/outdoor cats. This article focuses on abscesses that form when a cat is bitten by another cat or a wild animal.
Cats that are allowed outdoors are the most likely to have bite-wound abscesses because these cats have the opportunity to fight other animals. During a fight, the skin can be punctured by a tooth or a claw. Bacteria on the tooth or claw are deposited under the skin, and the immune system activates to fight off a possible infection and promote healing. Unfortunately, if the body’s initial attempt is unsuccessful, the skin may heal over the wound and trap the bacteria, damaged tissue, and inflammatory cells under it. At this point, there is no easy way for this material to leave the body and a pocket of liquid pus forms.
What Are the Signs of an Abscess?
An abscess usually presents as a painful, fluid-filled lump under the skin. You may see a small scab over a puncture wound near the lump, but sometimes abscesses aren’t even noticed until they break through the skin and pus oozes from the site. Sometimes cats develop a fever before the abscess is obvious and the only change noticed is that their appetite and activity level may have decreased.
How Are Abscesses Diagnosed and Treated?
If you believe your cat has an abscess, it is important to go to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Once an abscess forms, it is very difficult for the body to remove the material and fight the infection by itself. An untreated abscess can lead to deeper or more widespread infection. Antibiotics are needed to help fight the infection. However, the abscess commonly needs to be drained in order for healing to occur. In some cases, a sample of the fluid may be sent to a diagnostic laboratory to identify the bacteria and the most appropriate antibiotic. If an abscess is allowed to progress, permanent damage could result.
Since it is difficult for the body to clear the buildup of pus, it is often necessary to open an abscess and flush it with solution to allow the pus to drain. If the abscess pocket is large and there is concern that another abscess may form before the antibiotics take effect, your veterinarian may choose to place a surgical drain to promote removal of fluid for a few days. Then, once the antibiotics have controlled the production of pus, the drain can be removed and the wound can heal completely.
One of the biggest concerns with bite wounds is the spread of infectious diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV, also known as feline AIDS) and rabies. Only cats can get FIV, but the rabies virus is fatal and can be transmitted to people. Even if your cat’s rabies vaccination is up-to-date, state regulations may require your veterinarian to administer a booster vaccine if your cat is bitten. If your cat is overdue for or has not received a rabies vaccination, it is possible that your cat will have to be quarantined for a period of time. Each region has its own regulations regarding rabies exposure and quarantine procedures. Your veterinarian will advise you about the law in your location.
How Can I Prevent Abscesses?
The best way to prevent bite wound abscesses is to keep your cat indoors. Even though fights sometimes occur among housemates, transmission of infectious diseases like rabies is less likely among a group of vaccinated indoor cats. If you do choose to allow your cat outdoors, you should be sure to do the following:
Reasons to Bathe Your Cat
Cats, by nature, are very good groomers. They have pointy structures on the surface of their tongues, called papillae, which are designed to be an essential grooming tool. While they do a good job on their own, there are situations when your cat may need a bath:
Preparing For A Bath
Even the calmest of cats may become stressed around water. Preparation prior to bath time will assist you in creating a low stress environment for the bathing process. Make sure you have shampoo labeled for feline use and appropriate age, a washcloth for wiping your cat’s face/head, and a soft towel to dry your cat after bathing. Also, wear appropriate clothing to shield your arms from scratching/biting.
It may be beneficial to have another person assist you in restraining your cat during the bath. If you are comfortable doing so, you can trim your cat’s nails the night before bathing to minimize the chance of scratches. If you have a long-haired cat, a good brushing prior to bath time will reduce the amount of loose/matted fur.
If you use a blow dryer to dry your cat, make sure the dryer does not get too hot.
What Is Bartonellosis?
Bartonellosis is a disease caused by several bacteria of the Bartonella family. Bartonella organisms can cause bacterial infection in many species, including humans. Certain strains of Bartonella are known to infect cats. Bartonella organisms can be transmitted from a cat to a human via a bite or scratch, so bartonellosis in humans is commonly called cat-scratch disease.
Cats can become infected with Bartonella through exposure to infected fleas. For this reason, cats that roam outdoors are at greater risk for exposure. There is some evidence that ticks may also transmit the disease.
Some reports state that 12% to 50% or more of cats have been infected with Bartonella. The risk of exposure varies greatly depending on the region of the United States. Areas with warmer climates have a higher incidence of fleas and, therefore, a higher percentage of cats infected with Bartonella.
Signs of Bartonellosis
Many cats that have been exposed to Bartonella do not get sick and, therefore, do not show clinical signs of disease. However, these cats may still transmit the disease to humans. Clinically affected (sick) cats may have various clinical signs, including chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the eyes, mouth, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal system, and even the heart. More specific clinical signs may include:
Infected cats may show one or more of the signs listed above. It is very important to discuss these illnesses with your veterinarian because other diseases may also cause these signs.
Symptoms of bartonellosis in humans generally occur about 3 weeks after a cat scratch or bite and include fever and swollen lymph nodes along with a number of other possible symptoms. Consult with your physician regarding any concerns or questions about Bartonella infection.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your veterinarian may perform a blood test on your cat to check for Bartonella infection. The test indicates the presence of antibodies, which the body uses to fight specific infections. A positive test result means that your cat has been exposed to Bartonella. If your cat is showing signs of disease and has a positive test result, your veterinarian may recommend antibiotics to treat the disease. There is controversy about whether to treat cats that test positive for Bartonella but are not showing signs of illness. It is best to discuss treatment options with your veterinarian.
Regular application of flea and tick preventives, as recommended by your veterinarian, will help to prevent Bartonella infection.
To reduce risk of human infection from cats, keep your cat’s nails trimmed and do not tease or entice play that may result in a bite or scratch from your cat. If you have difficulty trimming your cat’s nails, take him or her to your veterinarian or a professional groomer for nail trimming.
Despite centuries of sharing our lives and homes with cats, many pet owners know very little about interpreting signs of anger, fear, or aggression in these creatures. The typical “Halloween cat” posture (arched back, raised fur, ears back, hissing) clearly indicates fear and/or aggression, but cats also use other postures and behaviors that are more subtle and easily missed. It may be impossible to avoid ever creating a hostile situation with a cat, but a few tips can help you (hopefully) avoid injury if you find yourself in such a situation.
What Are the Signs of Aggression in Cats?
Fortunately, most cats exhibit some sort of outward sign when they are unhappy or angry about something. Unfortunately, some of these signs can be very subtle and difficult to interpret:
In some cases, the signs of trouble may occur very suddenly and without apparent warning. For example, petting-evoked aggression occurs when a person is petting a cat (usually while the cat is on their lap) and the cat seems to be enjoying the interaction, but then suddenly strikes out at or bites the person.
The most logical explanation for this behavior is that some cats have a limited tolerance for being petted, so the best way to avoid this problem is to stop petting before that limit is reached. Unfortunately, the signs preceding the strike or bite may be very subtle—flicking the tail or ear may be the only indication of a problem. Understanding those behaviors for what they are may save the person from being injured.
What to Do
What Not to Do
What Is Anemia?
Anemia develops when the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream is reduced. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body.
There are many different causes and types of anemia. Anemia may result from blood loss, the destruction of red blood cells within the body, or the inability of the body to produce enough red blood cells. The type of anemia depends on its cause. For instance, a severe injury that causes bleeding externally or internally can result in blood loss that causes anemia. Other causes of anemia include:
Signs of Anemia in Cats
How Is Anemia Diagnosed and Treated?
A simple blood test can diagnose anemia. Most veterinarians can perform a quick blood test called a packed cell volume (PCV) in the hospital. The PCV indicates the volume of red blood cells in the bloodstream. If your cat’s PCV is lower than the normal range, anemia is diagnosed. Your veterinarian will also take a complete history and consider physical exam findings, including whether your cat has a fever.
Other blood tests can offer more detailed information regarding the anemia, such as whether the body is producing new red blood cells to replace the lost or destroyed red blood cells. Another test looks at the structure of the red blood cells to help determine suspected causes of the anemia. A CBC (complete blood cell count) is also an important test when evaluating a cat for anemia. This test looks at red blood cells, white blood cells (which fight infection and contribute to inflammation), and platelets (which help with proper blood clotting.)
It is extremely important to identify the cause of the anemia so that proper and effective treatment may be given. Therefore, your veterinarian may recommend other diagnostic tests, including blood tests to check liver and kidney function and to determine exposure to FeLV, FIV, Mycoplasma haemophilus, and certain diseases. Taking radiographs (x-rays) of the chest and abdomen can help check for tumors that may be bleeding, and an ultrasound of the abdomen can help check for fluid (blood), signs of cancer, or liver, kidney, intestinal, or pancreatic disease.
In cases of anemia resulting from sudden loss of a large amount of blood, or severe anemia from blood loss over time, a blood transfusion may be recommended (or required) for survival. Severe anemia results in a significantly reduced ability of the blood to deliver oxygen throughout the body and, most importantly, to vital organs such as the brain. Therefore, a blood transfusion is necessary to help deliver oxygen and nutrients to major organs and other parts of the body. Occasionally, multiple transfusions are required before the cat’s body can produce enough red blood cells on its own.
Other treatments for anemia are determined based on the diagnosis of the underlying cause.
How Can I Prevent Anemia?
Prevention of certain causes of anemia may be aided by basic care and maintenance. You can decrease your cat’s risk of exposure to FeLV and FIV by keeping him or her indoors and away from stray or unknown cats. If your cat does go outside, ask your veterinarian what vaccines are recommended. Avoid leaving cat food outside, as this often attracts other cats and wildlife that may transmit disease. If your cat lives inside only, ask your veterinarian what he or she recommends regarding the FeLV vaccine.
You can reduce the risk of diseases transmitted by fleas with the regular use of veterinarian-approved flea and tick control products. Discuss with your veterinarian the best plan for flea and tick prevention. Flea prevention is very important for indoor cats as well.
Monitor your cat’s daily habits, including food and water intake and litterbox use. If you notice changes such as a marked increase in water consumption or urination, unexpected weight loss, or blood in the stool or urine, have your cat evaluated by your veterinarian and discuss the changes you have observed. These signs may be indicators of diseases that may lead to anemia or other problems.
Dr. Carlson is an avid contributor to her blog, make sure you check out her articles!