Hello Cat Lover!
In this issue:
Cats will finally get their due...
Why cats go to the vet...
Summer health issues...
NEWS FOR CAT LOVERS
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) held its
annual convention in New Orleans recently and a new committee
of committed animal professionals has developed a plan for cats.
That alone is significant and hopeful, as cats have typically
been relegated to some remote back burner in deference to dog
care. Now it appears cats are finally going to get their due.
Oh, it will take a while, of course. There will be research
to do, and more committees to form, agencies to convince, and
new regulations to pass, and ... and... you know how it goes.
Nothing like this ever happens quickly.
But at least it's finally on the table! Cats will be considered,
for a change.
The new group, called the CATalyst Council, was formed to address
the unacceptable way in which cats are regarded (on average)
in American culture. (I'm glad to know that WE aren't average
in this area, eh?)
While there are almost 82 million cats owned as pets in the U.S.
as compared to 70 million dogs, cats are twice as likely to
never see a veterinarian, according to statistics compiled by the
2007 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook.
The primary purpose of the CATalyst Council is to address problems
associated with the ever increasing cat population, coupled with a
decline in veterinary visits for cats.
The new committee is headed by Dan Kramer, a senior marketing manager
for Pfizer. To see who else is on the council, you can read more about
it here: http://www.catalystsummit.org
So what exactly are the reasons people take their pets in to the
vet anyway? Although many cats are getting the short end of the stick,
there are some common reasons people who do care take their kitties in.
These are the top 10 health concerns that vets treat cats for:
1. urinary tract infection
2. vomiting/stomach problems
3. chronic renal failure/kidney problems
4. diarrhea/intestinal problems
6. skin problems
8. ear infections
9. respiratory infections
10. thyroid problems
What's missing from these statistics?
Well, there are injuries, attacks from other animals, car accidents,
broken bones, and poisoning. Why aren't they on the list?
My opinion - The top 10 conditions may be more observable in a house
cat that never or seldom goes outdoors, so isn't vulnerable to the
drastic physical risks just mentioned.
Outdoor cats may not be seen as often, as they may hide out if they
don't feel well, so the diseases mentioned won't be noticed. In fact,
neither will most injuries. Furthermore, outdoor cats, such as those
on farms, will more often die from any of those conditions, and their
absence will hardly be noticed, aside from an occasional, casual
comment that "we never see that lop-eared old tom cat anymore." The
assumption is usually that he simply ran off. But that is seldom the
case. Those are the cats that never get any veterinary attention and
more often die from injury, infection and disease.
Dealing with the Diseases of Summer
With warmer weather come warm weather hazards, such as a wide array
of bugs and other pests who proliferate in the heat and moisture of
This is the time of year to be extra cautious with your cat and to be
sure to watch for and immediately handle the following problems if they
Fleas - Talk to your vet about the safest and most effective ways to
eliminate them. Not only are they annoying as they munch on your kitty,
they pass along tape worms to your cat. And that can be truly hazardous.
Giardia - More common in the western U.S. than the eastern states, this
is a one-celled parasite that can be picked up simply by walking on damp
ground or touching the feces of an infected animal. And yes, you can get
it, too. Signs include vomiting and diarrhea.
Roundworms - Most often occurs when kitty eats an infected rodent... a good
reason not to let them eat mice. Signs are vomiting and diarrhea and a pot-
bellied look. As with the Giardia, this is diagnosed by taking in a stool
sample to the vet's office.
Hookworms - Easily infected by walking on soil... your cat and you are both
susceptible to this microscopic monster. It burrows in through the skin and
migrates to lungs and intestines. Primary sign is dark stools. Luckily,
this is easily diagnosed and treated.
Ticks - More common on dogs, but can affect you and your cat. Ticks are
visible so are easy to find, but not so easy to remove. Getting the head
out is crucial, to avoid infection, and possibly even Lyme Disease.
Heartworms - not just for dogs. Your cat can get them, too. Transmitted
by infected mosquitoes. Signs include coughing, vomiting and weight loss.
Critical to get your cat to a vet ASAP to save its life.
Precautions you should take include keeping kitty's litter box clean,
washing your hands immediately after cleaning it, not allowing kitty to
eat mice, and for optimal health, keep kitty indoors.
It's also a good idea to be watchful for overheating. Cats are more
vulnerable to heat stroke than is commonly believed.
For more discussion and information, visit my blog:
WEB SITES to explore
A new game show on TV, based on cats?
Meow Mix Game Show auditions
If that long URL breaks up, use this short one:
It has come to my attention that cats don't "tread," they
"knead." Well, a little research shows that they do both.
Actually, that comforting rhythmic motion they do with their
feet (and I have a cat who does it with all FOUR feet), has
several names, including treading, kneading, making bread,
making dough, and milk treading.
Here are some web sites that describe it, too:
A SMILE FOR YOU ;-)
This cat can jump 7 feet straight up!
This cat is so relaxed, he just sits there, looking
very, very cute:
Do you have any interesting stories to share about your
cats? Send them in and I'll put them here in
this newsletter. (Include your name and website
if you have one, and I'll give you a "plug" for
your website. Or, anonymous is OK, too. It's
up to you.)
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