What declawing does to cats

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I know someone, a big time cat lover with multiple cats, including a new rescue. The rescue cat had been abanonded, then brought to a kill shelter, a big, handsome older male cat. But he scratched and attacked everyone in his new home: the other cats and the people. Instead of giving him up, they decided to declaw him. So that got me wondering

what declawing does to cats

I realized I didn’t really know. I mean, I assumed declawing a cat was like a radical nail clipping.

But it’s more than that.

All cat owners, even people who have never owned a cat know that cats scratch. It’s instinctive, they need to do it and they like doing it. It’s a way they leave their mark, and it’s how they defend themselves. Cats also scratch to keep their claws healthy: it’s how they shed the outer sheath of the nail. So they need somewhere to scratch – your upholstery, rugs and curtains are perfect. But we humans disagree.

What the surgery does

Declawing, or the technical term onychectomy, is the cutting off of part of the toe. Since a cat’s claw grows out of bone, declawing requires cutting off the entire first joint of each of a cat’s toes – basically, it’s an amputation. The human equivalent would be amputating the first joint of a finger.

human equivalent t cat declawing

PETA shows the human equivalent to declawing


before and after declawed cat     The surgery removes not only the claw, but bones, nerves, the joint capsule, collateral ligaments, and the flexor tendons. Declawing also severs tendons, causing them to contract and pull the toes back. This changes the angle at which the foot connects with the ground.


It’s problematic for a cat, because cats walk on their toes. Normally, they carry 60 percent of their body weight on their front paws ‐ If the front paws become damaged, even temporarily, the effects are felt all the way through the cat’s wrist, elbow, and shoulder, down the spine to the tail. A declawed cat is forced to shift her weight backwards (the back paws are rarely declawed) which can lead to stress on the ankles, which can be very painful.
.what declawing does to cats

Here’s another problem with declawing… when a small piece of bone is purposely left in, a painful regrowth can occur, even as much as 15 years later. Declawing can lead to additional complications such as chronic small bone arthritis, degenerative joint disease, and neuralgia.

Cat’s behavior after declawing

Although most cats appear normal and may resume playing, climbing and jumping after being declawed, it isn’t normal because their physiology has been altered. Studies have been done about what declawing does to a cat: a 2001 study (published in a prominent veterinary journal) reported that 80 percent of declawed cats had at least one medical complication following surgery and one-third developed behavior problems, such as biting or urinating outside their litter box.

Following the surgery, owners have reported that their cat became morose, withdrawn, irritable, and even aggressive. Others describe their cat as nervous, fearful and again, aggressive. The aggression might be accounted for by the cat’s sudden loss of their primary defense, relying solely on their remaining defense, which is biting.

Another observation concerns high perches. Although many cats like high perches, declawed cats end up spending more of their time on top of fridges, or high shelves – even if they had been confident on the ground before they were declawed.

Urination outside of the litter box has also been noted. Some declawed cats, once they discover they can’t mark their territory with their claws, begin to urinate around the house instead. This can result in long-term inappropriate elimination problems.

 from avma.org

Onychectomy is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery. The decision to declaw a cat should be made by the owners in consultation with their veterinarian. Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner(s).

    • Declawed cats should be housed indoors and allowed outside only under direct supervision.
    • Scientific data do indicate that cats that have destructive scratching behavior are more likely to be euthanatized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat population. Where scratching behavior is an issue as to whether or not a particular cat can remain as an acceptable household pet in a particular home, surgical onychectomy may be considered.

Yet surprisingly, the AVMA (American Veternarian Medical Association) states

      • There is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups.
An opposing opinion

oocities.org is a site presenting an opposing view: that the declawing surgery isn’t so bad, and could be a good option for scratching issues. The site suggests declawing cats before cats are 2 years old.

Declawing seems like an extreme solution only for extreme situations. If the complaint is about scratching upholstery, then reconsider alternative solutions: scratching options, keeping your cat’s nails clipped, and protecting upholstery. As for the male rescue cat, he is at least as aggressive if not more so, since the surgery.


can cat skin condition be mange

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can skin condition in cats be mange?

There are some nasty skin conditions in cats, including mange, although it’s not very common for cats to get mange (which is sometimes called scabies.) but yes, cats can get mange.
There are, in fact, three types of mange cats can get.

cat with mange

Demodectic mange affects cat’s head

Demodectic mange (caused by Demodex cati or Demodex gatoi) is not considered contagious: it can’t be transmitted from dogs (who are more likely to be affected) to cats. The cigar-shaped mites are normal residents on a healthy cat’s skin and hair follicles. If these mites appear in large quantities, then a cat has demodectic mange and it’s apparent as a skin condition. A compromised immune system is often the cause of excessive demodectic mites on cats.
It primarily affects the head and foreparts of a cat.

Sarcoptic mange (a form of mange caused by the itch mite.) There are varieties of Sarcoptes scabiei which infest a wide range of mammals, including canines, people, horses, cattle, and cats, although cats are rarely infested with this type of mite. Sarcoptes mite
These pests tunnel into the skin, which becomes intensely itchy, irritated, red and swollen. The skin thickens where bald patches develop. Sarcoptic mange is contagious, but the mites don’t survive for long on hosts other than the host they have adapted to: they are considered host-adapted strains of a single species rather than a distinct species.

Notoedric mange mites cause severe skin infections in cats, generally starting on the face and ears and spreading to the rest of the body, and are highly contagious between cats. This mite burrows into the cat’s skin to lay eggs and live there. When the eggs hatch, the cycle repeats and the new mites continue to tunnel under the cat’s skin. The cat loses hair and the skin becomes crusty and sore: it will appear flaky and scabby, starting on the head and ears, and then spreading to the armpits, legs and body. If the mange is severe enough, the cat’s forehead and eyes can become so swollen it’s described as  “cro-magnon” kitty. Notoedric mange is extremely itchy (called pruritis), and causes inflamed bumps similar to chicken pox. Notoedric mange can spread to humans, although we are not their natural host, so the mites won’t live long. If it does get on you, it will cause redness and a bumpy rash, with minor itching. It usually goes away on its own within days.

Symptoms of mange

vet holds cat's leg with skin condition

cat with skin condition photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

A cat with mange may be restlessness, have intense itching and frantic scratching, which appears one week after exposure. Then, typical is patchy hair loss and a moth-eaten appearance to the skin. The most commonly affected areas are a cat’s ears and face, but it can spread to the entire body.

If your cat has mange

First, take your cat to your vet so they can perform a skin scraping test in order to confirm the presence of mites with a microscope: identifing mange mites can be difficult if they’re buried deep in the skin. The vet will also consider symptoms and your cat’s history (contact with contaminated cats, for example). Notoedric mange are generally treated with an Ivermectin based drug, applied topically to the back of the cat’s neck.

balm on cat's back with skin condition

Ivermectin on cat’s back
photo by shari smith dunaif©2017

Ivermectin treats fleas, but it will also treat mange, ear mites, hookworms and roundworms in the stomach, plus it’s a heartworm protection, for up to 30 days.
If the Notoedric mange is extreme enough, the cat may need follow up treatments of Ivermectin injections or Revolution balm at weekly or bi-weekly intervals for 4-6 weeks. In serious cases, a vet may choose to use cortisone to help the itching, or possibly prescribe antibiotics to treat any secondary infections.

How to prevent spreading mange

Indoor cats undergoing mange treatment need their bedding washed daily, and anything else you can launder wherever they sleep, loll, and lounge. If one cat in your household has mange, all of them should be treated with a preventative like Revolution, because of how quickly it can spread between them.

just remember, however unpleasant mange is for you and your cat, don’t panic! Mange in cat’s is treatable, so get your cat to a vet and commence treatment as soon as possible.


cat skin condition could be mange

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Sweet cat has nasty skin condition

We were in Costa Rica, staying at a small hotel, when two stray cats appeared. They looked alike enough to appear to be siblings, they both were all black, very sweet and small. They were also too skinny, so against hotel policy, we bought cans of cat food and fed them dinner every night.

photo by shari smith dunaif©2017

There was one difference between the two cats – the sister cat had a skin condition – I was concerned that the cat skin condition could be mange, although mange is not common on cats.

skin condition on cat legs and backside

cat skin condition could be mange photo by shari smith dunaif©2017

The mites responsible for mange causes severe skin infections, restlessness, itching and often appears as patchy hair loss, as if the fur is moth-eaten.

vet holds cat's leg with skin condition

mange could look patchy skin condition photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017


The most commonly affected areas are a cat’s ears and face, but it can spread to the entire body. It’s also highly contagious. Even for humans, contact with mangey cats can get a reaction. That’s because of the mites – they transfer onto people, causing red bumps, very like mosquito bites. The good thing is that the mange mites can’t survive outside of their host’s environment, although the rash can be really uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, other guests at our hotel, even a lovely couple from Santa Cruz, California who confessed to also being cat people, were understandably wary of any contact with the girl cat. Since no one knew what the awful skin condition really was, everyone feared mange or some other nasty condition which could be contagious and be transported by mites or bugs. We too were hesitant to pick her up or even pet her (OK, yes, I did, albeit gingerly). She (and her brother) certainly would never be adopted.

Safari Animal Clinic, Costa Rica

Bring sweet kitty to Safari Animal Clinic, Costa Rica
photo by shari smith dunaif©2017

The only thing to do was take her to a veterinarian.

So we did, we brought her to Safari Animal Clinic in Garza Costa Rica.


The vet was wonderful, and her assistant was lovely too. Turns out she didn’t have mange or any skin condition from bugs or mites. Instead, her skin condition was caused by a food allergy. We were so relieved.




skin condition in cats could be mange

a healthy diet for cats photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

The vet suggested we buy high quality food, which we did. We opted for dry food to make it easier for people to feed both cats once we left Costa Rica for home.

photo by shari smith dunaif©2017


She also received an injection to alleviate the itching from her allergy, a deworming pill, and tick and flea treatment. The visit to the vet enabled us to reassure people that the girl cat had allergies, not some dreadful skin condition.


Hopefully someone will adopt both sweet cats soon.

safari animal clinic facebook

9 lives cat food recall by FDA

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FDA recalls 9 Lives cat food

According to the FDA, posted 1/3/2017

Orrville, OH – The J.M. Smucker Company today announced a limited voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM, EverPetTM, and Special KittyTM canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1). The issue was discovered by the Quality Assurance team during review of production records at the manufacturing facility. No illnesses related to this issue have been reported to date and the product is being recalled out of an abundance of caution.

Cats fed diets low in thiamine for several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is essential for cats. Symptoms of deficiency displayed by an affected cat can be gastrointestinal or neurological in nature. Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, and weight loss. In advanced cases, neurological signs can develop, which include ventroflexion (bending towards the floor) of the neck, wobbly walking, circling, falling, and seizures. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these symptoms. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.


9 lives cat food recall by FDA

Also, the FDA created a chart with product names, can number (UPS code) and case number (UPS unit by case) by the unit (units per case) which is provided below:
FDA list 9 Lives cat food recall

FDA list 9 Lives cat food recall 2Everpet mixed grill dinner recallFDA list 9 Lives cat food recall 3 special kitty super supper recall
The affected products were. distributed to a limited number of retail customers from December 20 through January 3, 2017.
No other products of The J.M. Smucker Company are affected by this recall.
Consumers who have cans of cat food from the impacted lots should stop feeding it to their cats and call 1-800-828-9980 Monday through Friday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST

why is my cat sneezing?

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is your cat sneezing?

Marnie was, a lot. Although it was kind of cute, I thought – why is my cat sneezing? She’d sneeze four or five consecutive times, every few hours. She could have allergies, but this was sudden. Maybe she’s sick, maybe she has a cold. I did some research and most sites said cats can get colds, and like humans, colds will go away on their own. There’s not much you can do to make your cat feel better and get better faster. But then, she had clear discharge from her eye, although I only saw it twice. I wiped her eye with a cotton ball dampened with warm water to clean the discharge. However, we were going out of town, and that’s why, as a precaution, we decided to bring Marnie to the vet to make sure it was only a cold and nothing worse. By then, we discovered she was doing turkey body, something cats may do if they aren’t feeling well. Turkey body is when their tail and all their paws are tucked under them, as if conserving warmth and possibly energy.

turkey body in sick cat

Marnie turkey body
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Our vet, Dr. Katz, from The Veterinary Clinic of East Hampton said that actually Marnie had a respiratory infection and required antibiotics. This is what she prescribed for Marnie:

antibiotic liquid box for cats

antibiotic liquid 
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

antibiotic liquid for cats in fridge

antibiotic in fridge
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016









antibiotic drops must be kept in the refrigerator.




She got 1 ml by mouth, twice a day.

liquid antibiotic for cats

antibiotic dose liquid form
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

The easiest way to administer the liquid is from the side of her mouth.







Colds in cats are highly infectious – so Toby got it within days.

cat not feeling well

Toby not feeling well
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

cat has cold

Toby has a cold
photo by Monika Klein © 2016

The first symptom Toby displayed was sneezing; then he too had a clear discharge from his eye.

According to Monika (our trusty cat sitter) and Bridget (our cat medical caregiver) he wasn’t eating or drinking water, plus his eye became very irritated from him scratching it, so they wisely decided to bring him to Dr. Katz. Good thing, because turns out Toby also required medication for his eye, appetite and respiratory infection.

Thanks to our caring cat sitter Monika, and Bridget (she took care of our sweet Bear) who works at our vet’s, and Dr. Katz, from The Veterinary Clinic of East Hampton.

eco kitty litter bags

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 eco kitty litter bags

I do try to be ecological about things, so how do I use eco kitty litter bags? I clean my cats kitty litter at least once a day, sometimes twice, so I need lots of bags for used kitty litter.

OK, I love guacamole and chips. Especially the chips part. So, we always have a stash of tortilla chips at my house.

tortilla chip bags

tortilla chip bags
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Which means that there’s also plenty of empty tortilla chip bags to throw out. But why not recycle them? A great use is as eco kitty litter bags.

eco kitty litter bags

eco kitty litter bags
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Tortilla chip bags are quite strong – definitely strong enough to hold kitty litter clumps.

for more suggestions on going green kitty litter bags

how to get rid of fleas

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My cat has fleas!

ughh, what should I do? Please tell me how to get rid of fleas.

Having cats in your house makes flea infestation possible: on your cat, and then in your home. And Fleas are annoying for both cat and human. A few fleas can quickly multiply very quickly – one female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day, which can fall off your cat inside your home. The eggs develop into larvae, which then form cocoons.
The flea hatches when it senses heat, vibrations or exhaled carbon dioxide, signaling that an animal is nearby. Then they jump onto the host and the cycle continues.
Flea infestation is not inevitable, but here’s some suggestion to help avoid having them jump on your cat and be transported into your house.

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Ctenocephalides felis, cat flea

Chemical flea treatments like collars, powders and other products can be dangerous, because they may contain toxic pesticides, which is not good for your cat and especially kids and pregnant women who have contact with treated cats. Applying too much topical flea product to your cat, or mixing up a dog flea preventive can be deadly if used on your cat. Even when applied properly, serious side effects can occur: skin irritation, neurological problems, gastrointestinal disorders and organ failure.

But there are other alternatives, natural ones.
A safe option is apple cider vinegar: most households already have it, and it’s cheaper and non-toxic.

Apple cider vinegar

organic apple cider vinegar
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Apple cider vinegar doesn’t kill fleas, but it may repel them because fleas dislike the smell and taste.

One of the simplest ways to use it is to make your own solution

  • equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.
  • Add the mixture to a spray bottle and spritz it on your pet before he heads outdoors
  • spray cat’s bedding.
  • Create a stronger anti-flea solution by adding aromatic oils that are safe for cats. Try:
    Geranium, lemongrass, lavender, neem and catnip oil
  • If you bathe your cat, use that opportunity to add diluted apple cider vinegar to pour over your cat (roughly 1 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water).

Fleas also dislike citrus, so you can use that instead of vinegar.

  • Sprinkle fresh-squeezed lemon, orange or grapefruit juice on your cat’s fur, being very careful to avoid her eyes (be aware, that lemon juice can lighten dark fur).
  • After bathing your cat, add 1 cup of lemon juice to 1 gallon of rinse water and pour over your clean kitty, carefully avoid head, massage into coat and towel dry.

Fleas are attracted to unhealthy cas, so keep your guy healthy – it will make him less of a target. Feed your cat a balanced, protein rich, cat appropriate diet. By the way,  tap water has fluoride and chlorine, chemicals that can have a negative affect your cat’s immune health. Some medications and vaccinations can compromise your cat’s immune system – talk to your vet.

For outdoor cats, be careful with environmental chemicals (like pesticides and lawn chemicals) because these can be detrimental to your cat. Tall grass, weeds and wood stacked against your house are inviting to both fleas and  frolicking cats.

cat comb

cat comb
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2015

Brushing your cat is a good way to check for fleas. If you do find them on your cat, don’t freak out, instead do the following:

  1. Put your cat on a light-colored towel, take a comb and dip it into soapy water and run it thru your cat’s fur
  2. repeat until the fleas stop dropping onto the towel (oh, so that’s why the towel should be light colored: – so you can see them!)
  3. it’s also a good time to add apple cider vinegar to the soapy water solution you’re dipping the comb in.

You may need to do this for several days.
In your house, frequent vacuuming of floors and furniture; plus washing your cat’s bedding, frequently, and your own sheets, linens, throw rugs and blankets will help make your home uninviting to fleas.

Fleas can transmit tapeworms, cause cat scratch disease and may even cause severe cases of anemia, especially in young animals.

white nose ARF cat

“Thank god I don’t have fleas!” photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Keeping your home and cats free of fleas makes everyone in your family much happier.


Can cats get diabetes?

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Humans get diabetes, can cats?

The exact cause of feline diabetes isn’t known,  but when it comes to diabetes, cats aren’t that different from people. So, can cats get diabetes?
The disease affects insulin — a hormone that helps the body move sugar (glucose) from the bloodstream into the cells. Feline diabetes tends to closely resemble type 2 diabetes that humans get: the body makes insulin but becomes less sensitive to the hormone. Sugar builds up in the bloodstream, leading to symptoms like increased urination and thirst. According to Richard W. Nelson, DVM, DACVIM, professor of internal medicine at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, cats aren’t designed to break down carbohydrates, like people are. That’s significant because cats in the wild are designed to hunt and eat meat, not carbs. However, domestic cats are fed less protein and more carbohydrates.

Three Major Causes of Diabetes in Cats

fact cat sits

  • usually affects overweight cats, because obesity makes the cat’s body less sensitive to the effects of insulin.
  • Diabetes is also more common in older cats.
  • Diseases like chronic pancreatitis and hyperthyroidism may make cats prone to developing diabetes
  • medications like corticosteroids may also make cats prone to develop diabetes.

The majority of cats in the U.S. are fed a caloric, high carbohydrate diet. Dry food is especially inappropriate nutrition for cats because it’s so high in carbs and deficient in high-quality protein. Cats don’t need grains like corn, wheat, rice, soy, millet or quinoa, (although there is dispute about the health benefits of grains). Meanwhile, turns out that grain-free dry foods also contribute to the obesity and diabetes epidemics in cats. Grain-free diets are not only high in calories but also contain high glycemic foods like potatoes, chickpeas, peas, or tapioca, which require a substantial insulin release from the body.

    Instead, try giving your cat portion controlled, moisture-rich, balanced, and species-appropriate diet consisting of high quality protein sources and healthy fats, and specific nutritional supplements as necessary: taurine, for example.
Cats need excercise

cats need excercise
photo by shari smith dunaif  © 2016

Cats, especially those who have an indoor lifestyle, often lead sedentary lives. If your cat lies around the house all day, his heart rate isn’t being elevated for the 20 minutes per day he needs to achieve good cardiovascular conditioning. Often cats exert anaerobic — short bursts of energy followed by long periods of rest. Anaerobic exercise won’t condition your cat’s heart or muscles, and doesn’t burn the calories he consumes.

A minimum of 20 minutes of daily aerobic exercise for your cat is highly recommended. Be creative with your cats: play with pingpong balls, feather wands or my guys love it when I hide little toy mice in our shoes or toss them. Play with your cats and you both can have fun.

Research connects autoimmune disorders to Type II diabetes in dogs, although currently there are few if any similar studies in cats, It’s reasonable to assume the same is true for cats. If your Cat has had any vaccines in the past, it’s very likely her immunity to those diseases will last a lifetime. Each time a fully immunized pet receives repetitive vaccines, it increases the risk of overstimulating the immune system. To find out If your cat has antibodies, find a veterinarian who does titer tests to measure antibody response from previous vaccinations. Titer results will tell you whether vaccination is necessary, and for which specific diseases.

Early diagnosis is always best, but often difficult with cats. If it’s diagnosed early and everyone in the cat’s life is committed to bringing the disease under control, it’s possible to normalize blood glucose levels and put the diabetes into remission — which means your kitty will no longer need to be on insulin or other medications. However, if your cat as been diabetic for a while, they may require insulin in addition to diet and lifestyle adjustments. What can happened to cats who have been diabetic for a long time is that the cells in the pancreas may be worn out and become unable to secrete insulin. In this case, your cat may require lifelong insulin therapy. If it’s left untreated, eventually diabetes can lead to life-threatening complications.

photo by shari smith dunaif 2014

photo by shari smith dunaif 2014

Frequent vet visits, and the cost of checkups, tests, medical procedures and insulin therapy add up fast. Pet insurance provider Trupanion reports that treatment for diabetes, including regular blood work and long-term medication, can cost in excess of $10,000 over the life of the cat.

    Dr. Tara Koble veterinary at The Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital, in Boise, Idaho, says “The two best things any cat parent can help do to protect their cat from diabetes, would be to feed the highest quality canned, low-carb or raw diet that is possible. The second critical thing is to get your cat moving.”

With exercise, good nutrition, a healthy weight, and periodic visits to your vet, most cats, and people, can avoid diabetes. Oh, except the cat goes to the vet and the cat parent should go to a doctor. Meow.


Is milk good for cats?

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cats love milk, right?

Does Toby like milk? photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Does Toby like milk?
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Adorable pictures of cats bent over saucers of milk, gleefully lapping it up are part of our image of cats – but, is milk good for cats?

myth about cats and milk

myth about cats and milk

Some cats may like milk, and may indeed gleefully lap it up, but should they? Milk is good for kittens: all baby mammals need and like milk. They’re born able to digest lactose, which is also referred to as milk sugar. For kittens, lactose is a useful source of energy for playful kitties. But after they’re weaned, cats can not digest lactose because lactase, the enzyme that enables kittens to digest milk ceases to be produced by the pancreas. That’s why adult cats become intolerant to milk. In the wild, once a kitten no longer survives on it’s mother’s milk, their diet is that of a carnivore.

cat and saucer of milk

photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

    When a lactose-intolerant cat drinks milk, the undigested lactose passes through the intestinal tract, drawing water with it, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Bacteria in the colon also ferments the undigested sugars, producing volatile fatty acids.
  • The most common symptom of lactose intolerance in cats is diarrhea, usually within eight to 12 hours, says Susan G. Wynn, DVM, CVA, CVCH, an animal nutritionist in Atlanta and co-author of the Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine. Secondary symptom may include vomiting.
  • “Just like people, cats can be lactose intolerant. And although we tend to think that’s a problem, it’s actually completely normal” says Linda P. Case, MS, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and author of The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health.

Cream contains less lactose than milk. Regular whole milk contains on average 4.8% lactose – whereas whipping cream has only 2.9%. Dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese may be tolerated by cats because they contain natural bacteria that break down the lactose. Hard cheeses usually contain more fat and less carbohydrates, which means less lactose. Carnivore that cats are, some have a little gourmand in them, and might really like some cheeses. Skip the wine.




what is a prime cat?

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Stages of a cat’s life

I’d never heard of a prime cat until I read about Beatrix Potters new tale about “a prime cat”, so what is a prime cat? A prime cat is a stage of a cat’s life. It is the transition of your cat becoming an adult, which is between 3 to 6 years old, because it is considered the prime of your cat’s life. So if your cat is between 3 – 6 years old, your cat is a prime cat. During the prime stage, your cat’s personality is established, as are bad habits. So, if your cat is marking, not using kitty litter (after medical reasons are ruled out), are aggessive,  things like that, address them as soon as possible, otherwise these behaviors will be ingrained.

prime cat

Marnie is almost 4 years old
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Prime cats continue to be playful. They retain some of their kittinish curiosity and energy, yet since they are adults, they can also gain a little weight. Just like us, they need a nutritious diet and plenty of exercise. Playing with you cat is the best way to provide the exercise they need: it’s good for your cat,and fun for you.

playful prime cat

playful prime cat
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016