6 Reasons to Neuter a Cat

Six reasons to neuter a male cat

Reasons to neuter a cat at a glance 

  1. Prevents unwanted pregnancies
  2. Reduction or elimination of certain cancers
  3. Less risk of infectious disease
  4. Reduces roaming
  5. Less territorial fighting
  6. Reduces spraying behaviour

About

An entire male cat is known as a tomcat and unless the cat is a purebred who has been purchased specifically to breed with, he should be neutered (desexed) by the time he is six months old to prevent unwanted behaviours, unwanted litters and reduce the risk of disease and trauma.

Read more6 Reasons to Neuter a Cat

Amitriptyline For Cats

Amitriptyline for cats

What is amitriptyline?

Amitriptyline (am-e-trip’-ta-lean) is a prescription-only tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) which is sold under the brand names Elavil, Amitrol, Endep, Levate, Laroxyl and Saroten, it is used in both human and veterinary medicine.

Amitriptyline was discovered in 1960 and approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in humans in 1961. The drug has not been approved by the FDA for use in cats but is commonly prescribed extra-label.

Amitriptyline is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

Read moreAmitriptyline For Cats

Corneal Sequestrum in Cats

Corneal sequestrum in cats

What is corneal sequestrum?

Feline corneal sequestrum (FCS) is a common eye disease characterised by round or oval brown or black plaques (spots) on the cornea which are made up of necrotic (dead) cornea. FCS is also known as feline corneal necrosis, corneal mummification, focal degeneration, corneal nigrum, keratitis nigra, primary necrotizing keratitis and chronic ulcerative keratitis.

Read moreCorneal Sequestrum in Cats

Why Do Cats Flop Down In Front Of You?

Why do cats flop at our feet?

Why do cats flop down in front of you?

Flopping at your feet is an effective way to elicit attention from you. We have two choices, step over the cat or respond to the cute ball of fluff at our feet. For most people, the flop is guaranteed to make a person react with attention and by responding to the cat, we are rewarding it with positive reinforcement.

The belly is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, and cats instinctively know this. Several critical organs (kidneys, liver, pancreas) are located in the belly, therefore cats will only show their belly to people they trust, or when they are being submissive towards another cat. The submissive and vulnerable cat will have his or her ears pulled back and the limbs raised in defence. This is very different from the flop at the feet of a human companion.

Read moreWhy Do Cats Flop Down In Front Of You?

Cauliflower Ear in Cats

Cauliflower ear in cat

What is cauliflower ear?

Also known as a perichondral hematoma,  cauliflower ear is an irreversible deformity caused by the formation of scar tissue and contraction of the perichondrium which occurs after a separation of the ear cartilage from the underlying connective tissue.

The pinna is the outer part of the ear which acts as a funnel to direct sound further into the ear and is made up of three layers:

  • Cartilage plate: The innermost layer of the pinna which provides the shape and rigidity. Unlike other tissues, the cartilage lacks the ability to heal itself when damaged.
  • Perichondrium: A protective layer of connective tissue which provides the blood supply and nutrients to the cartilage. The underlying cartilage and the overlying skin are both firmly attached to the perichondrium.
  • Skin: The outermost layer of skin which is covered with short hairs on the outside.

As the cat scratches the ear or shakes the head (head shaking is more common in floppy-eared dogs), the perichondrium separates from the cartilage which creates a space. The perichondrium blood vessels rupture and blood pools in the pocket-forming a hematoma. This build-up of blood between the perichondrium and cartilage can interrupt the blood and oxygen supply to the cartilage causing necrosis.

The distortion of the pinna, which becomes hard and cauliflower-shaped (hence the name) is thought to be due to a combination of factors which include myofibroblastic contraction of the maturing granulation tissue, excess cartilaginous tissue (preexisting and newly formed), and the separated perichondrium retracts and acts as a bow string, gradually folding back the cartilage.

Read moreCauliflower Ear in Cats

Clavamox (Amoxicillin/Clavulanic Acid) For Cats

Clavamox for cats

Clavamox at a glance

Clavamox is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat certain bacterial infections in cats and other animals.

Uses: Skin and soft tissue infections including wounds, abscess, dermatitis, cellulitis, dental infections, and urinary tract infections.

Side effects: Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and in rare cases allergic reactions.

About Clavamox

Clavamox (Zoitis) or Clavulox (Pfizer) are the brand names of a combination drug made up of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid and is one of the most commonly prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics in veterinary medicine. The drug derived from penicillin and clavulanic acid a beta-lactam inhibitor and is used to treat bacterial infections in animals.  

Broad-spectrum antibiotics are capable of acting on the two major bacteria groups, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Amoxicillin is a penicillin derived antibiotic developed by Beecham Research Laboratories, England in the 1960s and became commercially available in 1972.

Read moreClavamox (Amoxicillin/Clavulanic Acid) For Cats

Tomcat Jowls in Male Cats

Tomcat jowls on an entire male cat

What are tomcat jowls?

Also known as stud jowls, stud cheeks or shields, tomcat jowls are fleshy areas which develop in the cheeks of intact male cats due to the effects of the hormone testosterone. Tomcat jowls send a signal to other intact males as well as fertile females of their physical status and protect vulnerable neck area during territorial fighting (hence the name shields).

Read moreTomcat Jowls in Male Cats

11 Cat Care Tips For First Time Cat Owners

Cat care tips for first time owners

Cat care tips for the first time owner

You’re ready to adopt your first cat, our cat care tips help first-time cat owners navigate the wonderful world of cats so that you and your cat get off on the best foot (and paw).

Cat care begins before the cat arrives home, research and preparation are both vital to ensure you know what to expect and the home is ready for the cat to move into.

Read more11 Cat Care Tips For First Time Cat Owners

Clomicalm (Clomipramine) for Cats

Clomicalm for cats

Clomicalm at a glance

Clomicalm is the brand name of the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine.

Uses: Behavioural disorders including feline spraying, obsessive-compulsive disorders, stress and separation anxiety.

Side effects: Nausea, vomiting, sedation, loss of appetite, dilated pupils, constipation or diarrhea.

What is Clomicalm?

Clomicalm (also known as Anafranil) is the brand name of clomipramine (klo-mi-pra-meen) a tricyclic antidepressant manufactured by Novartis that is used to treat several behavioural disorders in cats, dogs, birds and humans.

Although widely used in veterinary medicine, Clomicalm has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is prescribed extra-label.

Read moreClomicalm (Clomipramine) for Cats

14 Unusual Breeds of Cat

Unusual cat breeds

The difference between cat breeds isn’t quite as vast as that of dogs but many cat breeds have unusual features that make them unique. This may be curled ears, short legs or unusual fur. Most of the cats arose from a spontaneous mutation and were developed to create new cat breeds.

New breeds which arise from spontaneous mutations take years to develop, breeders must determine if the mutation is dominant or recessive and if it causes any long-term effects on the cat. Established breeds or domestic (mixed-breed) cats are often utilised in order to increase the size of the gene pool.

Dominant vs recessive genes

Cats acquire two copies of each gene, one from the mother and one from the father. A dominant gene only needs one copy for the trait to be expressed, whereas two copies of the recessive gene must be inherited to be expressed.

Some cats may inherit one dominant and one recessive gene, the dominant gene overrides the recessive, which is not expressed. However, if the cat mates with another cat who also carries the same recessive gene and the kitten receive a copy from each parent, the trait will be expressed. This is known as a carrier.

In some cases, a doubling up of a dominant gene (homozygous) is lethal.

Read more14 Unusual Breeds of Cat