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Orphaned Kitty Care


Cat's Health
Tips and Care
FAQs & Myths
Cat's Behavior

Allergic to Cats?

The saliva of a cat contains an substance that causes allergic reaction in humans. Once a cat grooms herself, saliva is deposited on her fur which dries into dust and turns into dander or dandruff. These particles then are released into the air when a cat only moves about and especially when she is grooming or scratching herself. Brushing your cat doesn't really help it either.

Rumor has it that some research labs are attempting to produce cats that are free of the dandruff that causes allergies in peotple. They will try to use RNA interference to eliminate that particular gene in cats that produces the irritant, which is excreted through saliva and the skin.

So far, all cats produce the protein that will cause the allergic reactions in humans, even the hairless cat breeds. Here's some tips to reduce allergens in your home.

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Human Pregnancy

Are you pregnant or plan to become pregnant and own one or more cats? Then please read on, it might save your baby’s life!

Toxoplasmosis is what you need to learn about. If you have not had an exposure to Toxoplasmosis before your pregnancy, Toxoplasmosis can harm your unborn baby. Cats can be the natural host; however you can also catch the bacteria from undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables or even while out in your garden planting flowers.

You can get tested during your pregnancy, just to make sure. Avoid cleaning the litter box(es) while you are pregnant, because this where the bacteria lives, or wear at least some gloves. Also make sure you cook your meat thoroughly, wash your veggies and fruits, and also wear gloves while gardening.

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Cat Fight Wounds and Infections

Cats are territorial animals by nature. They will fight other cats to establish their territory or to defend their existing turf. As a result fight wounds occur commonly in cats. These wounds often result in an infection that can be quite nasty, especially if left untreated.

Fight wounds occur more in male than female cats. Un-neutered males are especially prone to fighting.

Bacteria trapped under the skin following a bite wound can multiply for several days before any signs of infection become visible. Swelling and pain at the puncture site are the most common signs of infection.

Fever is not a rare occurrence. If loose skin is present around the puncture sites, a pocket of pus will form an abscess. If the skin is not loose, such as on a foot or the tail, infection spreads throughout the tissues, but the swelling may be less visible than with an abscess. This particular infection is called cellulites. With both an abscess and cellulites, trapped pus can made the cat quite toxic and extremely ill.

When a cat bites, its teeth go through the skin, and then it releases quickly which results in small puncture wounds in the skin, with holes about the same diameter as the cat's teeth. These holes seal and virtually disappear within hours, trapping bacteria from the cat's mouth under the skin of the victim. The types of bacteria which live in the cat's mouth grow in an environment where the oxygen concentration is low. Once the wound seals shut, bacteria can begin to multiply at a rapid rate.

The organisms most commonly involved with cat bites are Pasteurella multocida and Streptococcus; as previously stated, bacteria which can survive with little or no oxygen are often involved.


Treatment of cat bite wounds varies. If you know that your cat has bite wounds from a fight, antibiotics given within 24 hours will usually stop spread of the infection and prevent the development of an abscess. If several days have elapsed since the fight, an abscess will usually form. The abscess must be drained through the bite wound holes or by incising the skin over the abscess. Occasionally, a latex drain tube must be placed to keep the wound open and allow pus to drain out completely.

Antibiotics given by injection and/or by mouth complete the treatment. The abscess usually heals within 2-5 days. If cellulites occur instead of an abscess, drainage is not possible because the infection is not confined to a local area. In this case, antibiotics are the sole treatment. Cellulites is slower to heal than an abscess but will usually take place within 3-7 days.

Neutering the male cat can make a huge difference in decreasing or even eliminating the problem of bite wounds. If their territory is invaded by another cat, however, they will defend it by fighting. Female cats, whether intact or spayed, will also defend their territory.

Keeping cats indoors and away from other cats can also help in management of this problem.

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Cat Vaccines

A complex of infections involving Feline Pneumonitis (Chlamydia), Rhinotracheitis (Herpes virus), Calicivirus, and a few others causes symptoms similar to those of a head cold.

Feline distemper (also called "feline panleukopenia") is a generally lethal infection in kittens and young adult cats. It has no relationship to canine distemper, but is closely related to canine parvovirus. This virus forms the basis of regular feline vaccination, and represents one of the most classical diseases in feline practice.

Feline Leukemia Virus is a deadly virus of usually young cats and kittens. Mortality is high with 80% of infected cats dying within the first 3 years. No effective treatment has emerged but vaccination is preventive. We have assembled some external links to create an informative collection regarding this terrible infection.

There is finally a vaccine for this disease, but our hospital chooses not to use it. Why not? This page explains why we don’t think you should vaccinate your cat against FIV.

FIP is a very serious disease with nearly 100% mortality. Testing is extremely difficult and a tremendous amount of misinformation has circulated. We would like to present an FAQ to hopefully straighten out what is known about this condition.

Dogs are not the only animals susceptible to this deadly disease. Click here to check out the part of this page dealing specifically with our feline friends.

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Diarrhea Treatment

Treatment for cats with mild diarrhea (if they are not dehydrated or show other symptoms):

Add a teaspoon of plain yogurt to your cat's food or let her lick it off the spoon. If that has not helped the diarrhea within 24 hours, go on to the next step.

Withhold food for 24 hours. Then feed a bland diet such as boiled rice with cooked lean hamburger or chicken, cottage cheese or yogurt. Use mall feedings a few times a day for two or three days.

If your cat still has diarrhea after 3 days, it is strongly recommended that you consult a veterinary. While most cases of temporary diarrhea are a simple case of a “bug”, in some cases it is the sign of a serious underlying cause and a visit to the vet can save your cat’s life.

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Ear Mites

Ear mites in cats are not a rare health care problems. Treating ear mites has become a relatively easy experience now that veterinarians can prescribe safe and effective medications that do not require applications every day for weeks.

Caused by a little mite called Otodectes cynotis, the mites generally live along the surface of the ear canal, but can also be found on other areas of the body or in the environment. These mites can, but seldom do, infest humans. They can lead to serious ear difficulties in cats and dogs if not treated.

The ear mite life cycle, which takes about twenty-one days from egg to adult, entails going through four different stages.

Stage 1: The Eggs
Female ear mites usually lay about 5 eggs daily during their entire adult life. Deposited on the surface lining of the ear canal, the eggs hatch within 4 days.

Stage 2: The Larvae
Once hatched from the eggs, the larvae feed for 4 days then rest for 24 hours as they molt into the nymphal phase.

Stage 3: The NymphsHeck
Two stages of nymphs are recognized. Each feeds for 3 to 5 days and then rests and then molts to the next stage.

Stage 4: The Adults
Just barely visible to the naked eye, the adult ear mite appears white in color and feeds off the epithelial debris in the cat's ear.


  • Head shaking
  • Scratching the ears (there may be sores around the ears as a result of scratching)
  • Reddish-brown to black discharge (crusts and cerumen) in the ears that resemble coffee grounds
  • Sometimes there seem to be no observable signs of ear mites

A diagnosis of ear mites by the veterinarian is usually made by one of the following methods:

  • • Direct visualization of the mites with an otoscope
  • • Microscopic examination of the ear discharge

There are a number of medications used to treat ear mites in cats. Your veterinarian will prescribe an effective product.

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Eye Infection – Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue lining the eyelids and attaching to the eyeball near the cornea. The tissue can become irritated due to allergies caused by pollens, grasses, or such. Viruses, bacteria, or fungi can also be the culprit.

If the white part of the eyeball is inflamed as well, this condition is occasionally referred to as “pink eye”.


Both allergies and infections cause a severe redness or 'meaty' appearance of the conjunctiva. Fluid build-up and an increase in the size and number of blood vessels within the tissue are the reasons. Either allergies or infections cause the eye to discharge.

The consistency of the discharge often helps determine its cause. Usually infections caused by bacteria or fungi, can create a thick yellow or greenish eye discharge. The eyelids sometimes stick together. Allergies, on the other hand, cause a clear or watery discharge. Regardless of the cause, a cat with conjunctivitis will often squint and/or keep the third eyelid partially covering the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is often painful, causing a cat to paw at or rub the eye against objects such as your leg or the carpet.


All cases of conjunctivitis should be treated at once. A culture and sensitivity test may be necessary to determine if bacteria are the cause, and if so, what medication should be used for treatment. Scrapings of the conjunctiva can be made and examined to test for various viral infections.

Eye drops or ointments are usually the drugs of choice. Eye drops are watery solutions that must be applied every few hours, while ointments last longer and are usually only applied two to three times per day.

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Feline Heartworm Infection

Heartworm infection in cats is just as real and a clinical problem with an increasing incidence and awareness as it is for dogs. Heartworm disease in cats was originally reported in Brazil in 1921 and has been reported worldwide ever since. Cats with heartworm disease are consistently diagnosed in heartworm endemic areas where dogs have the disease.

The increased awareness of the disease has made ante mortem diagnosis more common. The frequency of heartworm infection in the cat is generally accepted to correlate with the dog population of the area, but at a lower incidence.

The clinical signs and diagnostic approach are different in the cat as compared to the dog; which has impaired the veterinarian's ability to detect this parasite in the cat. New techniques and methodologies have now made the cat owner and veterinarian better able to be aware of this potentially severe disease.

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Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus and was named as such because of the way it behaves within infected cells. Retroviruses in general produce an enzyme which allows them to make copies of itself and it’s own genetic material.

Infected cats will transmit the virus easily. It is spread in high quantities in saliva and nasal secretions. The virus is also present in the urine, feces, and milk from infected cats. All it takes is nose to nose contact, grooming each other or even a fight, and the virus is transmitted. It does not survive for more than a few hours outside the host.

If your cat is not a roamer or a fighter and otherwise healthy, he can get just as old as any healthy cat.

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Cat Cold

Yes, cats get colds just like we humans do. Thankfully cats have their own virus that is unique to their species. This means we can't catch colds from each other.

Cats experience pretty much the same symptoms as we do when we have a cold. They get snotty runny noses, runny eyes, sneezing, and temperature and probably feel just as miserable. And like humans they also are susceptible to the sinus and chest infections that are sometimes the result with a human’s cold.

Since your cat cannot blow it's nose, you need to keep the mucus and discharge clean by wiping the nose as needed with a damp, warm rag or tissue. Just like in humans, a cat cold will last from 7 to 10 days.

Cats smell their and therefore will refuse to eat when having a cold, because they simply can’t smell it. Keep a very close eye on the cat for dehydration!

When kittens have runny eyes and noses, chances are that they have a respiratory infection. Unfortunately, many of these respiratory infections never go away completely. They may seem to disappear, and return whenever the cat is stressed, or they may just never go away.

The Cat Flu is still an extremely common problem in cats. It rarely causes death in healthy adult cats but it can be fatal in kittens, old cats and cats which are already ill. Upper Respiratory Infections can be caused by a variety of infectious agents including Feline Pneumonitis, Rhinotracheitis, and Calcivirus. Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infections in cats are similar to a head cold in humans and can include sneezing, nasal discharge, runny eyes, cough, oral or nasal ulcers, hoarse voice, sniffles, fever or any combination of the above.

Cats that recover from cat flu may become carriers of the virus and can transmit the disease to other cats for many years. If this 'carrier' cat is stressed, this can be by moving house or other activities which are out of the ordinary, it may show signs of cat flu, this being a runny nose and most commonlyby sneezing.

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Urinary Tract Infections

Most pets with urinary tract infections produce crystals which form in their urine. Sometimes, the crystals form before the infections starts, and sometimes, after the infection have already set in. The crystals are like fine sand and irritate the bladder like rough sandpaper. They can develop into much larger bladder stones as well. In male cats, the crystals may plug the urethra, the tube that leads from the bladder, through the penis, to the outside of the cat. This is a life-threatening condition, since the cat is then be unable to urinate.

The two most common crystals are struvite and oxalate. Struvite crystals are more likely to form in urine that has an alkaline pH. If struvite crystals are a problem, special diets are available to make the urine more acid. There are diets available, that are lower in the minerals that make up the crystals such as magnesium and phosphorous. The diets are available through your veterinarian. Some of these diets are used to treat existing problems and are given for several months only. Others are used to prevent the condition from occurring in the future and can be fed for the lifetime of the animal.

Oxalate crystals are more likely to form if the pH of the urine is acidic. Special diets are available which make the urine more alkaline. These diets are lower in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and sodium.

Therefore, depending on the type of crystals seen in your pet's urine, a different diet may help prevent the recurrence of the problem.

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Fat Cats

An obese cat is a cat that's suffering. This is not a laughing matter but rather serious. An overweight cat can be prone to all kinds of health problems, including fatal conditions related to the liver, heart, and kidneys. In addition to the health issues too many pounds inhibits the cat from being a cat, because she won't be able to move smoothly.

Remember, no cat chooses to be fat! Can your cat lose weight? Of course!

1. Measure the daily food intake and do not feed your cat more. Having food available at all times is not an option anymore!
2. Feed a very low carbohydrate diet (5-10%).
3. Feed a high protein diet (crude protein should not be under 30%, read the label!)
4. Stick to low calories treats, if you have to continue to give your cat treats.
5. Exercise - encourage your cat to play.

Do not put your cat on any drastic diet that makes her lose weight fast. This can be extremely dangerous and could cause liver failure! Allow your cat to lose weight slowly. If your cat is pregnant or nursing, postpone the diet until the kittens are weaned.

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Food and Nutrition

Owners of cats and dogs in the same household often wonder if they can feed dog food to their cats as well, simply because it is more convinient. However, feeding your dog food to your cat is extremely dangerous. Dog food lacks the essential nutrients called taurine and arachidonic acid. Taurine deficiency can result in blindness as well as other health problems. Arachidonic acid can lead to dry and flaky skin. Felines require a higher protein and fat content in their diet than dogs.

More and more cat owners change to more nutritious foods for their feline friends, due to specific health problems they have encountered. Many are advised by their veterinarians, others have read reviews and heard news reports about a certain brand, or the word of mouth will usually work as well. We all have our reasons why we use this brand of cat food and not the other.

However, the most important criteria while chosing a good nutrional cat food is not met. People do not read the lables!

Table Scraps can be a dangerous factor to your cat’s health as well. Some people believe that the food they eat is good enough for their pets too. Wrong! Most human foods have proven itself to be very dangerous to pets, some even fatal! Cats have a complete different body chemistry and nutritional requirements as humans and the wrong food can do a lot of wrong to your kitty!

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Spaying and Neutering

Studies show that cats should be neutered at an early age. Neutering has a great impact on protecting wildlife from cats by stopping unwanted litters that are often left to add to the feral population. Keeping your cat in at night won't stop the mating.

The feral cat population has grown out of the numerous unwanted, runaway or lost domestic cats living in cities and the countryside and is far larger than a natural wild cat population would be. There is only one way of controlling the hunting of these feral cats, and that is to destroy the cats themselves - an unpleasant prospect that responsible cat ownership can help to mitigate in the future by spaying and neutering their cats.

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About De-clawing

Declawing is the surgical amputation of the first joint of the cat's toes which includes the nail. It is illegal and considered cruel and inhumane in many European countries unless the declawing surgery has a medical benefit.

The surgery itself is performed using a guillotine-type blade and the cat will be under general anesthesia. Post-operative pain will be severe therefore pain control medication is often prescribed. Another procedure called tendonectomy involves the severing of the ligaments behind each of the cat's toe, which then prevents the claws from being extended.

Cats were born with claws for a reason and that reason is to defend themselves and to hunt their prey. Depriving the cats of their basic form of defense as well as their tools for exercise and mobility is cruel and inhumane.

Most common reasons for declawing a cat are:

1. The protection of children in the household from getting scratched.
2. The protection of other pets in the household.
3. The protection of furniture, doors, curtains, etc.
4. It's a condition of the rental agreement (believe it or not!)

Reasons to support an Anti-decaling Law in the United States:

1. To declaw a cat is painful, inhumane, cruel, and considered a mutilation and amputation.
2. To declaw a cat deprives him of his most important defense mechanism and leaves him vulnerable to attack.
3. To declaw a cat means that he might develop other negative behavior issues such as biting or using everything but the litter box to eliminate himself.
4. To declaw a cat means the deprivation of the stretching and pulling exercise that is needed to develop strong muscles.
5. To declaw a cat means to deprive the cat of her stalking ability. A cat is meant to walk on her toes and will suffer tendon damage and arthritis in the long run!
6. To declaw a cat means to put the cat through the phantom pains. Yes, cats have those too and often turn neurotic.
7. To declaw a cat deprives the cat of the ability to scratch herself.

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Finding the right Kitten - Kitten or Cat? - Adopt a Cat for Life - Kitten Development - Kitten Age - Kitten Formula Recipe - Kitten Diet - Kitten Tips - Potty the Kitten - Kitten Hydration - Rehydrate the Kitten - Conjunctivitis - Runny Eyes - Eye Infections - Eye Discharge - Third Eyelid - Feline Infectious Diseases - (FIV) - (FeLV) - (FIP) - Feline Aids - Feline Leukemia - Rabies Vaccine - Feline Herpes Virus - Feline Distemper - Kitten Health Dangers - Kitten Ilnesses - Kitten Diseases - Preventative Care - Spaying and Neutering - Fixing - How to play with your Kitten - Kitten Toys - Kitten Bonding - Coccidial Infections (Coccidia) - Giardia - Cryptosporidium - Toxoplasmosis - Roundworms - Hookworms - Tapeworms - Pinworms - Whipworms - Fleas - Ticks - Ear mites - Injuries - Sneezing - Poisonous Plants - Cute Kitten Videos

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