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    Catnip—What It Is and Why You Should Try It On Your Cat


    What is catnip?

    Though many cat owners are aware of catnip (sometimes called catmint), they don’t actually know what it is. So I thought I’d take a second to “pull back the curtain” and also share a couple of great uses for catnip with you.

    Catnip is actually a herb! It’s in the mint family and, if you’re interested, its scientific name is Nepeta cataria. Though it is native to parts of Asia and Europe, you can actually grow catnip yourself in indoor pots or in your garden. And though you could technically do so, I don’t actually recommend growing catnip in your window boxes. Its attractiveness to your cats could increase your cat’s risk of suffering a high-rise fall!

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Cat Stress, Blog, Urinary obstruction, Cat

    How Many Litter Boxes Does A Cat Need?


    Does your cat have enough litter boxes? Litter boxes are like good friends… you can never have too many of them. Well… maybe you could have too many litter boxes for your taste, but not for your cat's.

    There's a litter box rule of thumb: n+1In the veterinary profession we have a litter box "rule of thumb," it’s called the “n+1 rule.” And basically what it means is that you should have one more litter box than the number of cats you have.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Litter Box, Blog, Urinary obstruction, Cat Litter, Cat

    Cat Stress — The Signs To Look Out For


    Do You Have A Stressed Out Kitty?

    The days are long. The weather’s warm. And the kids are out of school. The middle of summer is often a great time to break out of your old routine and burn off some of that pent-up stress. But for most of our feline friends, routine is everything. And all these conditions that sound so ideal for you, can have quite the opposite effect on your cat. Heat, travel, and increased house traffic (especially younger children) can all lead to increasing their anxiety and stress levels. And a stressed cat can easily become an unhealthy cat. 

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Loss of appetite, Blog, Urinary obstruction, Itchy, Cat, Skin problems

    Tooth Root Abscess – My cat's face is swollen


    When bacteria get to the root of your cat's teeth

    Many a cat is brought to the veterinary office because of a sudden swelling under one of their eyes, possibly accompanied by a decrease in their energy level and appetite. Though it’s not always the case, these swellings are often the result of a tooth root abscess — an infection that occurs at the base of the tooth, under the gumline.

    A tooth root abscess is easily confirmed on dental x-rays. An abscess happens when bacteria gain access to the deeper structures of the tooth, where the local environment can be ideal for bacterial growth. The infection causes inflammation and starts to erode the tooth structures.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, cat health problem, cat health questions, cat health issues, pet dental, Tooth problems, Dental for cats

    Cats and String - To Pull or Not To Pull?


    Something stuck in your cat's butt? 
    Whether it's string, yarn, dental floss, the trussing from your holiday turkey or tinsel from a Christmas tree, anything that's protruding from your cat's butt is of concern.

    "To pull or not to pull?" – that is the question


    If an accident happens and your cat does ingest something, “to pull or not to pull?” is the question that so many people ask. This is, of course, in reference to what action you should take should you notice something sticking out of your cat’s butt.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, cat health problem, Cat Stress, cat health issues, String, Blog, Cat Tips, Digestive obstruction, Is my cat in pain, To pull or not to pull, Linear Foreign Body, Cats and string, Something is stuck in my cat's butt

    Cats Hiding – Hide & Seek is a Bad Game


    Many cat owners don’t realize that hiding can be a very important and concerning sign in cats. Many just attribute it to grumpy feline behavior or their cat’s preference for dark, isolated places.

    Unfortunately though, hiding is often just an outward manifestation (sign) of an internal problem. And it’s a sign you should always be on the look out for and heed the warning of when it occurs. Read More

    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, cat health problem, Fleas on Cats, Signs of Stress in Cats, Cat Stress, Flea Bites, cat health questions, cat health issues, Pain, Urethral Obstruction, Arthritis in cats, Excessive grooming, Urinary obstruction, Digestive obstruction, Is my cat in pain, Kidney disease, Cat bite abcess, Cats Hiding

    How Cats Eating Crayons Can Save You Time, Frustration, and Money


    Whose poop is this anyway...

    One of the more frustrating things that cats can do in a home is defecating outside of their litterbox—not just directly next to it, but sometimes in a completely separate room. And especially if it's diarrhea they're having!

    This frustration for pet owners is understandable, but it’s important to recognize that such activity can have several potential underlying reasons—which rarely, if ever, include “spiting you.”

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, cat health problem, cat health questions, cat health issues, Blog, Litterbox accidents, Crayon Shavings, Arthritis in cats, Cats and crayons, Litterbox, Going outside the litterbox, Multi-cat household

    Help... my cat can’t pee! Feline Urethral Obstruction: Prevention


    This article is part of a three-article series.  Be Aware, Be Prepared and now feline urethral obstruction prevention. In this article I’ll highlight the things you need to know and the steps you should take to prevent an occurrence (or recurrence) of this condition.

    As an aside, if you’ve ever had a cat suffer from a urethral obstruction I’d greatly appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete our online survey. It's completely anonymous and only takes a few minutes to complete. Thanks in advance for your time.

    And so, without further ado, let's talk about the things you need to know and do to decrease your cat’s risk for urethral obstruction.

    As was touched upon in the Be Aware article, there are certain factors or attributes which are known to increase a cat’s risk for developing a urethral obstruction. An expanded list of these risk factors is presented again here, as they are important to consider when developing a plan to decrease your cat’s risk of developing this awful condition. Read More

    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Cat Safety, Overweight Cat, Urethral Obstruction, Lack of urine in the litter box, Excessive drinking, Feline Urethral Obstruction, Pheromones, My cat can't pee, Frequent trips to the litter box, Male cat, Cat pheromones, Loss of appetite, Blog

    Help... my cat can’t pee! Feline Urethral Obstruction: Be Prepared... What to do


    In the article Feline Urethral Obstruction: Be Aware I covered the ‘what’ of urethral obstruction. In this article I’ll be detailing the things you should know to be prepared for in the event of a urethral obstruction. Hopefully you’ll never need this information, but as with most things in life, it's best to have it and know it's here if you do. After all, when it comes to feline urethral obstruction, your cat’s life is truly at stake.

    If you’ve ever had a cat that has suffered a urethral obstruction you can help me help others by taking a minute or two to fill out an online survey about pet owner experiences with this condition. It's completely anonymous and only takes a minute or two to complete. Thank you in advance.

    What should I do if I suspect that my cat has a urethral obstruction?

    As I started out with and highlighted in the first post of this seriesA cat that cannot pee is a cat that’s going to die, unless appropriate veterinary medical care is obtained immediately. Urethral obstruction is a very severe, very acute, very critical medical emergency.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Cat Health, Cat Safety, Overweight Cat, Urethral Obstruction, Lack of urine in the litter box, Excessive drinking, Traveling with your cat, Feline Urethral Obstruction, Vomiting, My cat can't pee, Frequent trips to the litter box, Male cat, Loss of appetite, Blog

    Inappropriate Elimination in Cats: Why it happens and how to prevent it


    One of the most common complaints people have about cats is problems with eliminating (urinating or defecating) outside of the litter box. In one study, 57% of cats referred to a veterinary behaviorist were referred for this problem.1  In another study, roughly 1 in 4 cats surrendered to a shelter had a history of daily or weekly elimination outside the litter box.2 And a third study showed 9% of cats showing this behavior within three months of adoption.3
     
    While it is one of the most common issues cat owners face, it is also one of the most frustrating, and is one of the reasons there are countless numbers of cats now in animal shelters across the country. Many cat owners feel there is nothing they can do about the problem, but that isn’t the case. Making a few environmental changes can improve or even solve the problem and make everyone in the household much happier.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Urine marking, Cat marking territory, Urine marking in cats, How to stop cat from spraying, Cat marking in house, Stop a cat from spraying, Stop cat spraying, Female cat spraying, Cat behavior problems, Cat spraying, Cat Tips

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.