Cat Health FAQ
Our Licensed Hospital Has Been Helping Cats Since 1958
Cats are some of the cutest fur babies out there. If you’re a concerned
cat parent, read a few of our commonly asked questions to inform yourself
about your cat’s health. We hope you find it a useful guide when
it comes to your pet’s wellbeing.
Is Marking Behavior Normal, and Can I Prevent It?
Urine marking is an entirely normal behavior for cats. In the wild, it
is used to mark where a cat’s territory begins in order to tell
other cat’s what belongs to them, how long ago the cat was there,
and when other cats can expect them to return. More unneutered males mark
territory than female cats, but it’s not unheard of for female cats
and neutered cats to mark as well. Also, the more cats are in one household,
the more likely it is a cat will mark its territory. Urination outside
the litterbox is also an indication of stress. Cats dislike changes in
routine, so if you’re having construction done, or you’ve
just gotten another pet, your cat might mark his or her territory as a
way to comfort themselves with their own scent. Neutering and spaying
a cat will prevent most marking behavior, as can closing windows, blinds,
and doors to prevent your cat from seeing other cats outside.
Should I Brush My Cat’s Teeth?
Just as with humans, cats need their teeth brushed as well. Dental care
is one of the best ways to keep your cat from getting gingivitis. Likewise,
if you don’t brush your cat’s teeth or take your cat to
routine dental appointments, he or she could wind up losing teeth to tooth decay.
Does My Indoor Cat Still Need Shots?
Even though your cat spends all of its time indoors, he or she is still
at risk of disease. Fleas you carry in with you from the outside could
put your cat at risk. Likewise, there is no guarantee your cat won’t
escape at some point, making it vital to vaccinate in case that happens.
Prevention is always better and cheaper than treatment.
My Cat Has Stopped Grooming Himself. Is This a Bad Sign?
Sometimes older cats exhibit erratic grooming behavior. This change is
often the result of weight gain or arthritis, which can make it difficult
for him or her to reach the same spots. However, if your cat is otherwise
healthy and at a good weight, this may be an indication of an illness.
Should My Cat Eat Dry or Wet Food?
Cats can eat both dry and wet food, depending on its preference and health
condition. Dry food has dental benefits, but wet food is richer in nutrients.
However, you should make sure your cat is eating cat food specifically.
Cats are pure carnivores, meaning they need a diet based off of particular
proteins. You can’t feed a cat dog food, for example.
Can Neutering/Spaying Affect My Cat’s Behavior?
Neutering and spaying will often make a cat friendlier and less aggressive.
It will also reduce the chances of spraying. Female cats will not enter
into heat and will often become quieter as a result. A cat’s overall
personality shouldn’t be changed by the procedure.
My Cat Throws Up Occasionally. Is That Normal?
Cats do vomit on a regular basis, but this is usually a symptom of another
problem. Hairballs are a standard problem with long-haired cats that groom
themselves. In order to reduce this issue, it helps to brush your cat
regularly. Adding fiber, or a petroleum-free hairball remedy, to your
cat’s diet can also help him or her digest the hair more easily.
Eating too quickly can also cause cats to vomit. This can often happen
in multi-cat households where the cats are portion fed. If one cat eats
too quickly out of fear that the other cats will get to his or her food
first, you might want to separate the cats during meal time. If you portion-feed
your pets, your cat might begin to anticipate the next meal too early.
If this happens, his or her stomach will release hydrochloric acid, gastric
juices, and bile, which they typically need to digest a meal. However,
if they don’t get food soon enough, this compilation of digestive
substances will irritate a cat’s stomach. The cat’s body will
then attempt to get rid of some of that acid to avoid more irritation.
If these aren’t the reason for your cat’s vomiting, there may
be other reasons. Poor diet, poor quality treats, and enzyme deficiency
can also be indicated by intermittent vomiting. Poison is another, more
serious, cause of sudden vomiting in cats. If you’re unsure what
the cause is, make an appointment with the vet as soon as possible.
How Often Should I Take My Cat to the Vet?
Kittens should be taken at least once a month to the vet for regular checkups.
A checkup can be done while the kitten receives its vaccines. Adult cats
can be brought in for routine checkups once or twice a year. Once a cat
reaches a particular age, however, it should be examined every 3 months.
Senior cats can often develop disorders that vets should catch early in
order to avoid problems. Good
preventative care can keep your cat healthy.
Do You Have More Questions? Give Us a Call!
Make sure your cat is in good health. Take him or her to regular checkups
and dental cleanings in order to have a happy, healthy kitty. To schedule
an appointment with our office,
contact us at (818) 485-2527. We have been treating cats since 1958, are open 7 days
a week, and offer affordable monthly plans. Trust us to meet your veterinarian needs.