Cat Articles

Aggressive Play in Cats

Hunting, stalking, and attacking are natural behaviors for cats and kittens.  During play, these behaviors are inevitable.  However, some kittens and cats have trouble determining how far to proceed with these actions.  As a consequence, they may play too roughly.

If your cat is playing more aggressively than you’d like, there are several steps to take.  The first is to offer a wide variety of safe toys.  This will allow your pet to vent some of its aggressive energy on inanimate objects, rather than on you.

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Sneezing in Cats

Normal, healthy animals may sneeze occasionally as a reaction to dust or other irritants. Persistent, repeated, or violent sneezing has many potential causes.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first.  Less common causes are listed later.

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Amoxicillin, Clavamox®, and other Penicillins

Overview

Penicillin was the first clinically applied antibiotic in medicine, and compounds related to it are in wide use today.  Amoxicillin and Clavamox® (also known as amoxicillin-clavulanate or Augmentin®) are frequently prescribed for home use in cats and dogs. The two medicines are related.  Clavamox® is more potent than amoxicillin.

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Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) in Cats

Animals Affected

Cats of any breed, usually middle-aged.

Overview

Diabetes mellitus (known simply as diabetes) is a common and serious disease of cats. The main characteristic of diabetes is an inability to control the level of sugar in the blood. This leads to chronically high blood sugar levels, which in turn lead to the symptoms of the disease.

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Changes in Thirst or Urine Output in Cats and Dogs

Marked changes in an animal’s water consumption or urine output have many causes. Chronic or long-term changes in thirst or urinary habits may be indicative of serious disease.

Causes of Increased Water Consumption or Urine Output

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

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Carsickness in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Cats and dogs.

Overview

Carsickness is a common problem in cats and dogs.  Pets suffering from carsickness show symptoms including salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea.  Two factors play a role in carsickness.  The first is true motion sickness.  The second is anxiety or stress related to being in a car.

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Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV in Cats)

Animals Affected

Cats

Overview

Feline leukemia virus, or FeLV, is a virus that infects cats.   It is related to FIV and HIV, the virus that causes human AIDS.  There is no evidence that FeLV can infect humans.

FeLV does not sicken every cat that is infected with it.   However, some cats that are infected with FeLV suffer suppression of the immune system or develop cancers.   These cats often die from the virus.

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Rodenticide (Mouse or Rat Poison) Toxicity in Cats and Dogs

Animals Affected

Primarily dogs; occasionally cats

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Diarrhea in Cats and Dogs

Diarrhea is an extremely common problem in both cats and dogs. Mild, transient diarrhea rarely is a cause for concern. Severe or chronic diarrhea is often caused by major medical conditions, and can be damaging to a pet’s health in its own right.

Common Causes

More common causes are listed first. Less common causes are listed later.

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Scratching or Licking the Skin (Itching) in Cats and Dogs

Scratching and licking the skin generally have similar causes. Excessively licking the skin is a way of scratching the skin. Skin irritation leading to itching is responsible for most instances of excessive licking and scratching.

A certain level of scratching or licking is considered normal in all animals. Also, both cats and dogs groom themselves with their tongues. Therefore, it is important to determine whether your pet is scratching or licking excessively, or whether he or she is engaging in normal behavior.

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