This is a cautionary tale that relates to my dog, but can also affect cats. We share our home with a beautiful chocolate Labrador who has had ongoing issues with ear infections and general itchiness. She scratches, causes trauma, the veterinarian gives her ear drops and antibiotics to clear it up the ear(s), but the problem returns. Last week she sat there scratching, and I asked myself why she is still scratching despite being up to date on her flea medications and no other pets in the household displaying signs of fleas? As the saying goes, ‘if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail’ and every time a cat or dog would scratch, I immediately put it down to fleas.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a single-celled parasite by the name of Toxoplasma Gondii. Its distribution is worldwide. Only cats are the definitive hosts; however, the parasite can infect a wide range of other intermediate hosts including wild and domestic animals (including birds) as well as humans. From 1988-1994, researchers in the United States … Read more
At a glance
Do female cats have periods and bleed?
Female cats do not have menstrual periods and bleed. Instead, the lining of the uterus is re-absorbed. Cats have four phases to their reproductive cycle:
- Postestrus (diestrus)
When is a female cat able to breed?
Cats reach sexual maturity between 8-10 months; it is at this age that they are receptive to mating and capable of becoming pregnant.
When is the cat’s mating season?
Cats are polyestrous, which means they will have more than one heat cycle in a breeding cycle which is dependent on the number of daylight hours. In the Northern Hemisphere this is typically from March to September, and in the Southern Hemisphere, it is between September to March.
Will, a female cat mate with her littermates or father?
Yes, a female cat in heat will mate with almost any available male, including siblings and fathers.
How can I stop a cat going into heat and mating?
Once a female cat has been spayed (had her uterus and ovaries removed) she will no longer cycle through the four stages described below and is no longer able to become pregnant.
August 22nd is Take Your Cat to the Veterinarian Day, and what better time to write an article on why all cats need to see a veterinarian, but also how to make it stress-free for cat, owner, and the veterinarian.
The vet’s office is a scary place for cats; in fact, most cats don’t like to be taken out of the house (their comfort zone), period. But there are ways to ease the stress of the veterinary visit.
One of the most talked-about topics is that of litter boxes, or more to the point, litter box avoidance. Cats by nature are clean; they like to bury their waste because, in the wild, there is always the danger of larger predators, therefore burying their waste serves to not draw attention to their territory, which is especially important for female cats nursing a litter of kittens.
A cat who goes to the toilet outside the litter box will do so for two reasons, behavioural or medical. This article looks at common litter box mistakes which can lead to litter box refusal.
Disinfection is the removal of pathogens from the environment such as floors, walls, bedding, toys, and litter trays. For pet households, I always recommend regularly disinfecting litter trays (when you empty them), once a week, and in the event of a disease outbreak.
August 15th is Check the Chip Day. This day serves as an important reminder for pet owners to check that their pet’s microchip is up to date. Just this morning, I saw yet another social media about a cat who has been found and handed to a veterinarian with out of date information on the microchip. Obviously, somebody out there is missing their cat and up to date details would have ensured a fast outcome.
Understanding how diseases are transmitted is important as it can help to reduce possible exposure to cats as well as humans in the case of zoonotic diseases (infections which cats can transmit to people). Direct contact – Such as licking, touching, biting, sexual intercourse. Indirect contact – Water, soil, grass, contaminated food (including prey). Cutaneous … Read more
At a glance
Squinting can be a normal behaviour when the cat is relaxed and trusting, but it can also be a sign of an underlying disorder.
- Dilated pupils
- Corneal ulcer
- Foreign body
- Dry eye
Bringing an adult cat into the home is rewarding for the new family and gives an adult cat a second chance. With low adoption rates considerably lower for adult cats, it is great when a family decides to take on an older cat.
But, sometimes adult cats can take a little longer to adjust to their new home than a kitten, in this article, we look at ways to make the move as smooth and stress-free as possible for your new addition.