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    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

    Panting In Cats – It May Not Be Normal


    What You Need To Know About Panting In Cats

    A few people recently asked whether it was normal for a cat to pant. We figured that if there's a few people asking about panting, then there’s likely a whole lot more that have wondered, too. So here’s the “skinny” on panting in cats…

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    Topics: Cat Health, Cat Stress, Cats, Pain, Diabetes, Cat Tips, Urinary obstruction

    Cat Poop – How Often Should A Cat Go?


    Cat Poop Freqency

    Earlier this year when we asked for topics that you all wanted advice and insight on, quite a few people asked us (some variation of) this question… How often should my cat “go?”

    It’s an important question, and one that — of course — has a not-so-straightforward answer.

    As with many things about cats, there are several factors that will influence the answer. These factors include, amongst other things…

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    Topics: Cat Health, Litter Box, Cats, Cat Tips

    Cat Carrier Stress – Tips to make a carrier a cat-friendly place


    Putting "Love" In This Hate-Hate-Relationship

    Ok, so your cat doesn't like getting inside their carrier. But before you label your cat stubborn, consider for a moment that the only time you pull the carrier out of storage is when you're heading to the vet's office.

    And chances are those visits are not for routine wellness care (like annual check-ups), but for when they are "off" or sick.

    It's hard to imagine any of us wanting to get inside of our cars if getting behind the wheel every time meant a trip to the dentist!

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    Topics: Cat Health, pet safety tips, Crate Training, travel with pets, travel anxiety, Restraints, Crates, Wellness Check-up, Vet Exam, Cat Tips, Cat

    Scents That Could Be Harmful To Your Pets


    Use Caution With Scents Around Your Pets

    Homes and offices—and you—can benefit from a little "scent therapy." After all, the sense of smell is the oldest, most primitive of all the senses and certain scents and smells can trigger strong memories or alter mood and behavior. This is the case with people, as well as with our pets. That said, just because a scent (or method of dispensing it) is safe for you, or even a small child, doesn't mean that it'll necessarily be safe for, on, or even around your cats or dogs.

    As a general rule, cats are often more sensitive to the potentially-toxic and other dangerous effects of essential oils and other scents than dogs are, but it very much depends on the scent, the delivery method, and the pet. If you plan to use any of the items listed below, please be aware of the potential problems of doing so and take the necessary precautions so that they don't wind up sickening or injuring your pets.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Dog, Feline Asthma, Breathing problems, Cat, Harmful Scents, Bronchitis

    Is It Hard to Give Your Pet a Pill? – There Are Options


    Hard Pill to Swallow?

    Pills and capsules tend to be the mainstays of medicating cats and dogs. But what if your pooch or kitty is difficult to “pill?”

    Lots of dogs and many … most? … cats can be quite “unaccepting” of such forms of medications. So much so that a joke about the trials and tribulations of giving a cat a pill became a bit of a viral sensation. So what are you to do when Fluffy or Fido need meds?

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Dogs, medication, Cats, Dog Tips, Cat Tips

    Are Dented Pet Food Cans Safe?


    Botulism Is A Potential Risk

    You return home from the pet food store or your vet’s office with a case of your pet’s food only to realize something that you hadn’t realized when you first picked up the case… one (or several) of the cans is dented! You recall hearing something about Botulism and dented cans and wonder if the food in the dented can(s) is safe to feed to your dog or cat.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Dogs, Cats, Dog Food, Cat Tips, Pet food, Cat food

    Arthritis and Other Mobility Issues in Older Cats — How You Can Help


    Arthritis in Cats: FAR More Common Than You Think

    Thanks to advancements in medicine and nutrition, as well as important improvements in the way we view and look after our cats, our feline friends are living longer, fuller lives these days.

    However, as cats progress into their senior years, it’s common for many of them to develop joint pain and problems, such as arthritis. And it's actually not all that uncommon even for younger cats to develop and suffer from arthritis.

    One study found that roughly 30% of cats over the age of 8 suffer from arthritis — and eight isn't very old for a cat! Another study of cats 6 years and older found that 61% of them had radiographic signs of arthritis in at least one joint - even though many of them weren't showing any obvious outward signs of their arthritis!

    And yet another study found that 90% of cats aged 12 and over showed radiographic (x-ray) signs of arthritis — that's 9 out of every 10 cats over the age of 12! These are very significant numbers, especially when we also take into account that the pain and suffering that these cats are experiencing often goes undetected and therefore untreated, even by the most caring and attentive of cat owners.

    Wondering if your cat might have arthritis? Have a look at and complete this helpful "Does My Cat Have Arthritis" questionnaire from the cat pain gurus at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Share your results with your veterinarian so they can help you interpret them and determine if your cat is likely to be suffering from arthritis.

    If your cat does have arthritis, there are fortunately some simple things you can do to help improve their comfort, mobility, and quality of life. Many of the things you can do to help your cat are inexpensive and easy to implement. Of course, many cats will also benefit from a pain management protocol involving safe and effective medications, supplements, and complimentary treatments (e.g. acupuncture, etc.) determined by your veterinarian. Read on to see what you can do to help your arthritic cat — regardless of their age.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Pain, Arthritis in cats

    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 Health, pet dental

    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.