DIET AND FEEDING
Q: What diet is recommended for my indoor only cat?
A: Each cat has unique needs for nutrition based on lifestyle, activity level, health, and age. Nutrition plays a crucial role in lifelong health. The doctors at The Cat Care Clinic would love to discuss your cat's specific nutritional needs and diet at each visit. There are many good diets for cats, but we generally recommend Hill's products due to their superior attention to ingredient source, quality control of manufacturing, food safety, and ongoing research to improve animal health.
Q: What portions should I be feeding my cat? Should I just follow the feeding instructions on the bag of food?
A: The feeding instructions that are listed on food bags are a guideline but may not fit your cat’s body condition and activity level. Generally the feeding instructions on food bags are more than your cat needs to be fit. Most adult, indoor cats can only eat ½ a cup of dry food per day or, if feeding a combination of canned and dry, 3 ounces of canned and ¼ cup of dry per day per cat.
Q: Which type of diet is best for my cat, canned or dry?
A: Both! For most cats the doctors will recommend feeding a combo of canned and dry foods daily. Canned food is usually higher in protein and water content, which is beneficial to cats. Dry food offers convenience but also can help decrease tartar buildup—especially when a dental formula is fed.
Q: When should I sterilize my cat?
A: The surgery can be performed anytime over the age of 8 weeks, but we generally recommend waiting until four to six months of age. Cats usually do not reach puberty before 6 months.
It is not better for a cat to go through a heat cycle or have a litter before being spayed. A spay is an ovariohysterectomy -- the ovaries and uterus are removed.
Male cats generally do not spray before reaching puberty. The smell of their urine and undesirable marking behavior is prevented with neutering. When a male cat is neutered, the testicles are removed.
Q: My cat is in heat now. Is there anything I can do?
A: If your cat is currently in season, it is best to get her spayed ASAP. This is the only safe way to discontinue her heat cycles. Female cats can come in and out of heat every 2-3 weeks.
FLEAS AND PARASITES
Q: How did my cat get fleas? He/she is only indoors!
A: Unfortunately, even cats that stay indoors can get fleas. Fleas may be living in the outside environment and inadvertently brought into you home. Once you detect fleas, we recommend treating your cat for a minimum for three months to stop the flea life cycle and reinfestation.
Q: My cat has fleas, but I prefer not to use chemical flea treatments. Do you have any holistic recommendations for flea treatment?
A: We do not have any recommendation on holistic flea treatment. Holistic flea treatments are not FDA approved and can potentially be harmful to your cat. You can use a flea comb daily to remove fleas from your cat. You can use a borate/salt compound to treat carpets (Fleabusters powder) in the environment to kill flea eggs and larvae by dehydration. This process can take weeks to be effective.
Q: What do you recommend for flea control?
A: We recommend prescription, monthly spot on products for ease and safety. If your cat does not tolerate a spot-on treatment (has a skin reaction or gets irritable after application) we recommend a monthly oral product. If you cat has lots of fleas and flea dirt, we recommend bathing and drying prior to any flea product application. Our doctors recommend using Activyl, Revolution, Advantage, or Comfortis for flea treatment.
Q: What are the little white things under my cat’s tail and on his stool?
A: These are called tapeworms. Tapeworms can only be eliminated with prescription medication, There are no over the counter medications to effectively rid tapeworms.
Q: My cat has tapeworms. How did this happen? What should I do?
A: Tapeworms are very common in cats. Cats acquire tapeworms by ingesting fleas carrying tapeworm larvae during regular self-grooming. Tapeworms are eliminated by applying a topical or oral deworming treatment. Don’t forget about preventing re-infestation by using monthly flea control too.
Q: What are ear mites?
A: Ear mites are microscopic bugs that can live in your cat’s ears. The only way to see them is through magnification. Proper treatment involves careful and thorough cleaning of the ear canals, and application of ear drops and/or spot on treatment with a drug called selamectin. All dogs and cats in the household require concurrent treatment to prevent re-infestation between the pets.
Q: Is There an Easy Way to Bring My Cat to the Vet?
A: Please read the PDF
Q: My male cat is spraying. Will neutering him fix this problem?
A: Your cat should be neutered ASAP. Neutering removes the hormones that can trigger spraying, but spraying can also be a behavioral issue. You should schedule a behavioral consultation with your vet if your cat is neutered and still spraying. Most behavioral problems can be corrected if addressed as soon as they start.
Q: I’m thinking of getting a playmate for my cat. What should I consider when choosing another cat?
A: While there are a lot of things to consider when bringing a new cat into your home; age, gender and temperament are probably the most important. If you’re seriously considering bringing a new cat into the picture, you should consult with your kitty’s vet to discuss the best options and to get information on gradual introduction of the new cat into your household. Proper introduction is vital to cats getting along.
Q: Why is my cat hiding?
A: Cats will commonly hide when they don’t feel well or when they are stressed or scared. If your kitty is hiding, and this is a new behavior you cannot explain, we recommend a veterinary consult.
Q: Why is my cat urinating outside of the box?
A: Urinating outside of the litterbox is commonly a sign of urinary discomfort. Possible medical causes of this can be urinary tract infection, bladder stones, bladder masses, and sterile cystitis. In a male cat urinating in inappropriate locations can be an early sign of a urethral blockage (which is very serious and should be addressed with a vet ASAP).
Q: My cat is straining in the litterbox. Is this serious?
A: Straining to eliminate can be a sign of a life threatening urinary blockage in male cats. If you have a male cat and are not sure that he is able to COMPLETELY EMPTY his bladder, he should see a vet ASAP. It would be very rare for a female cat to have a urinary obstruction. Straining can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection, inflammation, and even constipation. Straining typically indicates pain, so be sure your cat’s cause of this sign gets diagnosed by a vet.
Q: What vaccines does my cat need?
A: If you have an indoor cat we recommend the 3-way vaccine which includes feline rhinotracheitis-calici-panleukopenia viruses (FRCP). If you have an outdoor cat or one who comes in and out, we recommend the FRCP, Feline Leukemia, and Rabies vaccines. Outdoor cats run the risk of coming in contact with these diseases when they mingle with other cats or animals.
Q: Should I test my cat for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency (FIV) retroviruses?
A: We recommend retroviral testing for all cats. Retroviruses can lay dormant, similar to AIDS in humans, and can cause problems later in life. They can be spread to other cats by direct contact, so it is best to screen any new cat before exposure to other cats.
Q: Do you recommend declawing for my cat?
A: We never recommend declawing but will perform the surgery when necessary and once owners are educated about the procedure. Declawing involves amputating the last piece of bone off of each toe. Nails grow from this part of the bone. Surgical recovery is more painful for older and heavier cats.
Preferable options are:
- Soft Paws: Vinyl nail caps that are glued over the cat’s own nails. The cat cannot damage materials when it scratches due to the soft, rounded ends of the caps. The nail caps usually last 4-6 weeks and fall off as the nail grows.
- Nail trimming once to twice a month
- Providing multiple scratching posts and training cats to use them
Q: What do I do for hairballs?
A: You can use a hairball paste, which you can give your cat every other day. Most cats love this and will lick it right off your finger. You can also use fiber, such as pysillium, daily. Pre-measured veterinary capsules are available. There are also other hairball preventing diets and treats. Daily combing helps decrease the amount of hair your cat will ingest during grooming.
Q: My cat has a lump, what should I do?
A: Your cat needs to be examined to determine if this is infection from a cat bite, a growth or tumor, an insect sting, an injection reaction or some other type of allergic response.
Q: Why is my cat losing hair?
A: Hair loss can be due to a number of things including a fungal infection (ringworm), flea allergies, food allergies, environmental allergies, other dermatoses.
Q: What should I do if my cat has runny, closed, or swollen eyes?
A: Your cat should be examined to determine the cause. Possible causes include viral or bacterial infections, corneal ulcer, and foxtail or other material under eye lid.
Q: Why is my cat vomiting or having diarrhea?
A: Both vomiting and diarrhea are caused by a variety of medical and dietary factors. It can be as simple as eating a bug or as complicated as exposure to a toxin or major organ dysfunction. If vomiting or diarrhea last more than 24 hours, or if your cat is lethargic, weak, or dehydrated, we recommend having your cat assessed by a vet as soon as possible.
Q: I can’t give my cat’s medication. What are my options?
A: You can try offering the medication in specially designed treats such as Pill Wrap or Pill Pockets. Go to the “links” tab and see the videos about medicating your cat. You can discuss having the medication prescribed in a different form with the doctor. Some medications are available as liquids and others can be made into liquids, transdermal gels, or treats by compounding pharmacies.
Q: Why did my cat stop eating?
A: There could be a number of reasons why your cat has stopped eating. If your cat hasn’t eaten in a 24 hour period you should schedule an appointment ASAP. Even if the initial cause of inappetence is not serious, cats that do not eat for a couple of days can develop hepatic lipidosis/fatty liver disease and this is a dangerous complication.
Q: How do I know if my cat needs dentistry?
A: Raise the upper lip of the cat’s mouth and look towards the sides of the teeth. If the teeth are not white but are yellow, brown, or look like they have tartar and plaque, they need cleaning. If a bad odor exists, this is usually due to bacterial overgrowth in the gums and is a sign of gingivitis. A raised red line above the teeth is another sign of gingivitis.
Q: My cat has bad breath and needs dental cleaning, but I prefer not to put him/her under anesthesia. Why don’t you do anesthesia free dental cleanings?
A: Proper oral care requires anesthesia so that teeth can be probed, dental x-rays performed, and thorough cleaning above and below the gum line completed. We tailor anesthesia to your individual cat’s health and condition, and we use safe and short acting products. We do offer hand scaling of the teeth, however, this service is only adequate with mild tartar buildup and with patients that cooperate with this type of procedure.
Q: Do we accept pet insurance?
A: Yes we do! However, the client is responsible for all upfront costs. The insurance company will reimburse you for any services that are covered in your pet’s individual plan.
Q: What pet insurance do we recommend?
A: At The Cat Care Clinic we recommend Trupanion. You can go on their website or contact them via phone for price quotes and coverage information.
www.trupanion.com or 1-855-342-4406 909-489-5040