Ask A Vet: Why Doesn’t My Cat Roar Like A Lion?

Domestic cats are very evidently members of the cat family, like lions, leopards and panthers. Family resemblance is strong among them and they exhibit very similar mannerisms and characteristics. When you think of a lion, you think of its roar, but did you ever wonder why your house cat makes no roar? Researchers as early as 1834, noted some anatomical differences between roaring and non-roaring cats. It was discovered that the lion possesses an incompletely ossified hyoid apparatus (a delicate boney … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Have Dandruff And What Can I Do About It?

Everyone who watches TV knows what dandruff is. From people wearing a black shirt brushing their shoulders off to close-ups of white flakes in dark hair, national media has made us all painfully aware of how gross dandruff flakes are. What about when your cat has dandruff? You might notice flakes along your cat’s back that you can brush off, but they always seem to return. Many people minimize the importance of the flakes of skin. You can find blogs … Read more

Ask A Vet: What Are The Top 5 Reasons My Cat Should See A Vet?

Cats are fairly healthy animals, but sometimes they need to see a vet for more than just preventive care. Veterinary Pet Insurance tracked the reasons that cats were seen by veterinarians in 2007. They published the results of their study. Their findings mostly mirrored what I see in my practice but I’m going to write about my specific experience in hopes that the information will help everyone who loves cats. The VPI study is also a few years old and … Read more

Ask A Vet: Does My Healthy Cat Really Need To See A Vet?

Some cat owners seem to think that as long as their cats seem healthy, they don’t need to go to the vet. As a veterinarian and a cat owner and lover, it just isn’t true. I am not saying this just because I am a vet and I want the business. This article is reaching people who would be geographically prohibited from bringing their cats to me. I am saying this because cats are so cool and they are under … Read more

Does My Cat Need A Checkup Or Is My Vet Ripping Me Off?

I took my Jeep in for an oil change. I was in a hurry and I stopped in to a quick oil change place. The attendant said my Jeep needed an oil change and also several other services based on my mileage. He flashed through the screens on the computer affixed to a docking station poised by my driver’s side window. I looked at the images of belts and small mechanical looking objects pictured there.  I am not a mechanic.  … Read more

Ask A Vet: How Can I Make Sure My Cat Is Happy?

When we domesticated animals, we took on the responsibility of giving them an environment in which they can flourish. We have taken cats, tiny carnivore hunters, and expect them to live a boring existence in which we humans are the only entertainment. The fact is even the most attentive pet parent must sleep some time and our cats have some nocturnal inclinations. If you think of a day in the life of wild felids, you can see that their natural … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Doesn’t My Cat Like Catnip?

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a garden plant from the mint family. It is hardy and easy to grow in most climates (although I tried to grow some from a seed for this article with no luck). Catnip is interesting and fun to cat lovers because its essential oils cause delightful antics in cats that are sensitive to it. It appears that the active ingredient, nepetalactone, binds to the olfactory receptors and triggers a physiologic response from rolling and frolicking to … Read more

Ask A Vet: How Do I Find the Best Cat Food?

You know what they say assuming does, right? Sadly, I think in some cases it is true. One might think that it was safe to assume that the labels on cat food are representative of what they contain. One may also think that the ingredients are listed in descending order from most important down. I used to think that I could make decisions about my cats’ nutrition based on the food labels because I felt comfortable knowing that labeling is … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Scratch My Furniture?

 Clawing is a normal behavior for cats that we must try to channel and can never truly eliminate. Most owners think that cats scratch to sharpen their claws, but the behavior is much more than that. According to the Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, (Elsevier 2003) scratching behavior maintains claw health and is also a form of visual and pheromonal (hormone) marking. A sign or signal to other cats or animals of things like territory boundaries. … Read more

Ask A Vet: What Do I Need To Know To Find A Good Local Vet For My Cat?

When you are looking to find a new veterinarian, you can become overwhelmed by the choices. Since the cat owner cannot really see all the inner workings, it often seems like all of the choices are comparable. But this may not be the case. Here are some guidelines to help you know the right questions to ask and how to pick the best pet health partner for you. 1. When you go into the facility, do you feel welcome? Is … Read more