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. 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.
To schedule an appointment with our office, contact us at (818) 485-2527.