Blog News

July 21, 2014

Constipation – a bit of a strain

Signs of constipation in the cat are usually easy to spot, and include: straining and difficult passing faeces pain passing faeces production of small, hard pellets of faeces decreased frequency of defecation Sometimes it's difficult to decide if a cat is straining to urinate or defecate. If you are in any doubt please phone us. Difficulty urinating is life-threatening. Causes of constipation: Cats can be reluctant to defecate if the litter tray is dirty or they don’t like the type of litter. If cats have a bad experience using the tray, especially with rival cats, or if the tray is in a noisy or busy place they will hold on and become constipated. Arthritis that makes getting in and out of the litter tray or adopting a position to defecate painful, may lead to constipation. Dehydration or inadequate fluid consumption, especially in older cats with kidney disease, causes constipation. Management of cats with constipation: Maintaining good hydration – a good fluid intake by feeding wet (tins, sachets) rather than dry food may help, and encouraging the cat to drink as much as possible. Many cats like water fountains like the Drinkwell fountain. Litter tray management – remove faeces daily and replace litter at least once weekly. Make sure the tray is in a private place, is at least 1.5 times the length of your cat, and is easy to get in and out of. Trays with a cut down side are easier for arthritic cats. You should have a litter tray for each cat in the household plus one. Dietary management – feed a diet with a high moisture content. Add a pinch of psyllium to the food to aid the regular passage of softer faeces. Enemas – hospitalisation and an enema are necessary in long standing cases Laxative drugs – lactulose keeps many cats who suffer chronic constipation regular
July 16, 2014

Scratching – is it a problem?

Why do cats scratch surfaces? To express excitement and pleasure To leave visual and aromatic messages to other cats To remove the worn-out sheaths from their claws To stretch their muscles and spine In other words it's our problem not theirs when they scratch the new sofa or the silk curtains! If your cat is scratching in the ‘wrong’ place eg the new sofa you will have to simultaneously discourage her from scratching the sofa while encouraging her to scratch an appropriate object eg a scratching post. Apply double sided tape, a car mat with nubby side up or rubber carpet runner to the sofa. Purchase a sturdy vertical post scratcher, which is tall enough for her to stand on her back legs and reach up for a really good stretch ie at least a metre. If she doesn’t take to the material on the post try covering it with alternatives like sisal, corrugated cardboard, the backs of carpet squares, carpet offcuts. If your cat is scratching the carpet she may prefer a horizontal scratching surface. Provide an old piece of carpet or cardboard. Encourage your cat to use the new scratching surface by enticing her there with catnip, treats or toys and immediately rewarding scratching in the right place with a treat.
July 11, 2014

Beware of PET meats

Many pet meats and pet food rolls contain sulphite preservatives that cause thiamine deficiency and haemorrhage into the brainstem. Recently some Sydney cats who have just been fed pet mince have suffered from thiamine deficiency. Even low levels may cause skin rashes and gut upsets but continued high levels cause depression, head tilts, wobbles, twitching, weakness, fits and death. There is no legal requirement for ingredient labeling of pet meats in Australia and some labelled 'no preservatives' have tested positively to sulphite tests. We advise you feed your cat human grade meat, good quality kibble and canned and sacheted foods.