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  • Degenerative joint disease is arthritis caused by deterioration and degeneration of tissues lining joints. It is an under-recognized condition in cats. Treatment involves modification of the home environment, regular gentle exercise, anti-inflammatory drugs and other medications, omega fatty acids, chondroprotectants, and possibly other nutraceuticals. Maintaining your cat’s weight can help prevent degenerative joint disease.

  • Cleaning your cat’s teeth every day at home will help prevent plaque and tartar build-up. Use of a pet toothpaste is recommended, but even wiping a Q-tip across your cat’s teeth and gums goes a long way to reduce plaque and tartar accumulation. For proper dental evaluation and care, your cat must be safely placed under general anesthesia. The examination usually includes dental X-rays and probing to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets. Tooth scaling will be performed, using both hand and ultrasonic scalers, to remove tartar above and below the gum line.

  • Dental disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a condition in which the tissues supporting the teeth become inflamed. When a pet develops dental disease, significant quantities of bacteria reside within the mouth and the oral tissues. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas, specifically the heart, liver, and kidneys, causing distant or systemic effects. The bacteria that are found within the mouth of pets with dental disease are the same bacteria associated with both endocarditis and valvular disease in dogs and cats.

  • Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. The most common dental problems seen in cats are gingivitis, periodontal, and tooth resorption. Periodontal disease is a term used to describe infection and associated inflammation of the periodontium and begins with gingivitis. Some cats develop severe oral inflammation called stomatitis. It is believed that cats who develop stomatitis have an extreme reaction to their own oral bacteria and plaque. The best way to prevent tartar build-up is through daily tooth brushing using a pet toothpaste.

  • According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, over 70% of cats have signs of dental disease by the time they reach 3 years of age. Dental pain in cats may take on a wide variety of appearances, but in many cases a cat may not show any outward signs of pain. Sometimes cats may exhibit signs such as decreased interest in eating dry food or hard treats, chewing more slowly than usual, dropping food while chewing, excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, new or worsening resistance to having the face or mouth touched. The only effective treatment for dental pain is to address the cat’s underlying dental disease. The best way to prevent dental pain is to ensure that your cat receives regular dental care through a home dental care plan and regular veterinary dental care.

  • Even though e-cigarettes may be safer for humans than using traditional tobacco products, they are certainly not safe for pets. The nicotine associated with e-cigarettes, even without the tobacco, poses a serious health threat for cats.

  • Many liquid potpourri products and essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous to cats. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.

  • Open and honest communication with your veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team throughout a cat's life lays the foundation for effective communication when that cat's life begins to draw to a close. Discussion with your veterinarian will clarify any specific medical implications of your cat's disease that can serve as benchmarks to suggest that euthanasia should be considered. Most often, euthanasia is provided at the veterinary practice or in your home. The veterinary healthcare team will be an important partner as you negotiate the difficult days and decisions leading up to your cat's death.

  • Losing weight is often a difficult process and animals, like people, often take weeks or months to shed those unwanted pounds. Feeding a prescription weight reduction diet is certainly a good start in a weight loss program for your cat, but it is important to remember that food intake is only one part of the problem.

  • Obesity occurs when a cat is consuming more calories than it expends. Therefore, managing obesity in cats often requires both dietary changes and increases in exercise/activity. There are a number of methods for increasing activity in cats, including play, the use of cat trees and climbing structures, outdoor leash-walks, and intentional active feeding practices. Each of these can be beneficial in promoting weight loss.