Ask the Cat Doc Cats Feline Health

Ask the Cat Doc: Frequent Vomiting, Cats and Young Children, Hyperesthesia, and More



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Welcome to our common “Ask the Cat Doc With Dr. Lynn Bahr” phase! As soon as a month, Dr. Bahr solutions as lots of your questions as she will, and you may depart new questions for her in a remark.

Dr. Bahr graduated from the College of Georgia School of Veterinary Drugs in 1991. In contrast to most veterinarians, she didn’t develop up understanding that she would turn out to be a veterinarian. “It was a cat who acquired me within the follow and I’m eternally grateful to him,” stated Dr. Bahr. Over the course of her veterinary profession, Dr. Bahr discovered that the life-style of cats has modified dramatically. As the life-style of cats has modified, so did Dr. Bahr’s shopper schooling. Along with discovering medical options, she additionally encourages house owners to complement their house environments in order that their cats can reside lengthy, joyful, and wholesome lives.

This new understanding led Dr. Bahr to mix her ardour for strengthening the human-animal bond together with her veterinary background and information of what animals want and need to begin her personal solution-based cat product firm, Dezi & Roo, impressed by two cats of the identical names.

For extra details about Dezi & Roo and their distinctive and revolutionary cat toys, please go to Dezi and Roo on Etsy.

Frequent vomiting

My Calico cat Fortunate is 14 yo. She throws up hairball w/ bile. We hd purchased Feliway to calm her it’s a plug-in, She will get Hart’s hairball treatment plus daily. She overgrooms herself. It appears as she will get older it’s primarily day by day or perhaps she skips a day. In any other case she’s wholesome & her weight is ok. Can u give me any options? Thanking you prematurely! – Mary-Ellen

Hello Mary-Ellen, this can be a generally requested query and I’m so grateful that you simply wrote in. It permits me the chance to alert house owners such as you to the truth that frequent vomiting is NOT regular. It makes no distinction whether or not the vomitus consists of hair, bile, meals, or in any other case – continual vomiting is a medical drawback. The truth that Fortunate is wholesome and her weight is unchanged is an effective signal; nevertheless, she must be seen by a veterinarian who will take her drawback critically. In any other case, it is going to be more durable to deal with because the situation progresses.

Bloodwork is an effective place to start out, however cats with gastrointestinal illnesses sometimes require an ultrasound examination too. None of those checks are invasive so don’t let that cease you from having Fortunate’s drawback recognized. Relying on what’s discovered, will rely upon how she can be handled. There are numerous choices obtainable to assist her vomit much less typically and she or he can be a lot more healthy for it. Please don’t be lulled into considering there’s nothing incorrect simply because she acts high-quality.

I respect you writing in to ask for recommendations. Sadly, the one one I’ve is to have her seen by a veterinarian with experience in feline gastrointestinal points. You, and Fortunate, shall be grateful you probably did. Let me know the way it seems.

Cat swipes at younger youngsters

My pal’s daughter has 2 youngsters, age 2 years and four months and a 12 yr previous cat. She has had the cat 12 years, now enter the youngsters. The cat swipes on the youngsters and has scratched the two yr previous. The daughter has not tried something to assist the state of affairs and at this level has given up. She retains the cat in a room by herself all day and lets her out at night time. The daughter is drained at night time and doesn’t play with the cat. She and her husband used to play so much with the cat, however because the youngsters got here haven’t performed a lot with the cat. She is on the level the place she is considering of rehoming the cat, although she loves the cat. I’ve prompt many issues, however my good friend stated her daughter doesn’t assume something will work. Is there something I can recommend to her? – Jo Louise Klein

Hello Jo Louise, I’m saddened to listen to concerning the plight of your good friend’s daughter’s cat. At one level on this kitty’s life it was liked and an necessary member of the household. Such as you, it pains me to know that’s not the case.

When my son was younger, he would typically run after our cats or attempt to decide them up when they didn’t need to be held. They expressed their displeasure by swatting at him and left a number of battle scars to show it. I used these alternatives to show my son find out how to correctly deal with and stay with cats. He quickly discovered that until he revered their area, he would get scratched. It took some time for him to study, however he did ultimately grow to be a mild, sort, animal-lover.

Youngsters profit from rising up with pets in so some ways. This can be a good alternative in your good friend to assist her youngsters develop into animal lovers. I might advocate that as an alternative of rehoming her kitty, she convey it again into the fold and return to treating it like an necessary member of the family. That is one of the best answer for everybody and can assist her youngsters study the enjoyment of dwelling with, and loving, cats.

She will begin by enjoying extra together with her cat in entrance of the youngsters to allow them to see how amusing and enjoyable cats are as they leap within the air, run, chase and pounce on wand toys. This may even assist the cat turn out to be extra snug across the youngsters and vice versa. She ought to encourage the two yr previous to assist feed the cat which may even get each kitty and the kid used to being round one another in pleasurable methods. Let the two yr previous throw a deal with throughout the room as this will even bond the 2 collectively. Permitting the cat to take a seat shut by whereas studying to the younger ones and inspiring the cat to be current extra will probably be useful for everybody.

Utilizing these alternatives to show her youngsters that kitty is a vital member of the household and displaying them find out how to deal with her correctly will profit them in so some ways. She will flip her youngsters into cat lovers by instance versus giving this cat away. It might be a disgrace to discard her and miss out on the prospect to have her youngsters study the thrill of rising up with a cat, even, if it means getting scratched a couple of occasions earlier than studying find out how to respect her area. Thanks for being a involved cat lover and making an attempt to assist. I hope it really works out nicely for everybody.

Cat chews on and ingests string

Good day Dr Bahr, I’m a long-time cat proprietor, however took a four yr break after our final cat died. We lately adopted a kitten who’s now almost 6 months previous. She’s a pleasure to have round, however she has two behaviors which might be an issue. First, she bites lots. It’s all the time play-biting/play aggression. I’ve already learn all of the options and do the whole lot I can to not interact with my arms, to disengage from play as quickly as she begins biting (she clearly thinks it’s only a enjoyable recreation and I’m her favourite toy), hissing, offering tons of toys and spending plenty of time enjoying together with her with these toys. I feel she was separated from her mom and litter mates too younger and by no means discovered good cat manners.

Nevertheless, the opposite drawback could also be associated: She ingests strings. All types of strings. She has utterly eaten the tails off of almost each mouse we have now, each rawhide/leather-based varieties and string varieties. She has swallowed fairly a number of lengths of string from toys she’s performed with. She chews on the strings and ultimately one thing goes down her throat, she will’t get it out herself, and until I catch it occurring, it’s gone. I’m positive she swallowed at the least eight″ of a heavy-duty thread that she used to play with, and I’ve discovered bits of floss that she’s almost swallowed. And people are those I find out about. The issue is, string is her completely favourite factor to play with. I minimize a toy off one in every of her wand toys lately, and she or he went nuts for it with simply the string. In fact she ended up consuming a couple of inches of the string earlier than I noticed and took it away. I’m making an attempt heavier cording, ribbons, and so forth. However it’s such a priority.

And I’m questioning if the biting behaviors might be associated to this incessant string chewing. She additionally bites on the sides of cardboard bins, furnishings, the sting of our mattress, and numerous different gadgets. I perceive that she could possibly be teething (at 6 months although?) and have offered chewy toys, which she isn’t thrilled with. She doesn’t care in any respect about catnip, FYI. She is going to chew on the silver vine sticks, however doesn’t have some other response to them both – they’re simply good for chewing, I assume.
So how apprehensive do I’ve to be about all these leather-based tails and lengths of string which have ended up in her stomach? And is there something I can do discourage her from swallowing the stuff? And may you recommend something new for the play aggression. – Jan Wolfenberg

Hello Jan, cats that eat string scare me to no finish as a result of it may be lethal for them. Linear overseas our bodies are extraordinarily critical and harmful, and lots of cats endure painful deaths due to it. You need to be very involved about your kitty’s robust attachment to consuming tails and string, and you will have to ensure she by no means has entry to it.

Cats are born with out tooth. Their child ones erupt shortly and develop till roughly 5-6 months of age at which era the grownup tooth emerge, pushing the sharp child tooth out. Your cat continues to be going by way of the teething stage and her gums are nonetheless feeling sore.

She has found that chewing on string feels good and is oblivious to the truth that it may be harmful. As you’ve gotten noticed, string catches simply on the barbed tongue, and since cats don’t have fingers, they’re unable to detach it. So, they struggle by swallowing as an alternative. When it will get wrapped across the base of the tongue, it turns into anchored and turns right into a linear overseas physique that turns into a critical surgical drawback. You undoubtedly need to keep away from this occurring to your kitty underneath all circumstances.

Thankfully, she is exhibiting regular conduct for a kitten of this age. I might advocate you proceed to play together with her a number of occasions a day, ensuring to take away all toys when you’re accomplished. Holding her lively will assist interact her thoughts and physique and is the important thing to efficiently treating most behavioral issues. Think about rising protected grass for her to munch on, in addition to, discovering oral care treats that are supposed to be chewed moderately than ingested entire. Have you ever had a veterinarian give her a superb oral examination to ensure she isn’t coping with a gum drawback? Juvenile stomatitis is uncommon however one thing she ought to be checked for.

I’ve recognized many cats that take pleasure in utilizing their molar tooth to chew on acrylic or plastic wands. Some even like plastic straws. You might have to carry it horizontally and off the bottom in order that it’s positioned optimally for her. Cardboard is a a lot safer outlet and also you gained’t need to be as involved about her chewing on it. She is going to all the time hunt down issues that really feel good to chew so it is necessary that you simply discover safer options for her to bask in. That may assist deter her from in search of out dangerous gadgets like tails and string. Use your creativity to seek out protected gadgets that may faucet into her have to train the again molars and assist fulfill her urge to chew.

You talked about catnip and silver vine sticks. Kittens don’t usually react to catnip, silver vine or different cat attractants till they develop into adults. It takes them time to develop the “sensibility” and your kitty might take pleasure in it when she will get older. Supply it to her once more when she is nearer to a yr of age. There’s even an opportunity she may develop out of her incessant have to chew string too. I hope that’s the case. But when she doesn’t, please ensure isn’t allowed to play with it unsupervised. I want you one of the best of luck.


Hello Dr. Bahr, I’ve a cat who’s about three years previous who has hyperesthesia. They are saying it’s a uncommon syndrome and there isn’t a consensus of opinion about what it’s or what causes it or how one can deal with it, but there appear to be a whole lot of cat house owners on-line who’ve cats with hyperesthesia. Is there any analysis being accomplished? I’ve discovered a toy (Laser Tower) that helps distract my cat (Doodle) when she’s having a “spell” and I exploit it rather a lot. Typically a bit catnip additionally calms her down. Her spells appear to be much less frequent as she will get older however she nonetheless does have some extreme ones that trigger her to run round frantically like she’s being chased and she or he assaults her tail so violently that it seems like a cat struggle. Oddly sufficient she’s been extra “sensitive feely” with me (which I like) however I’ve observed that typically sitting subsequent to me or on my lap causes her tail to start out swishing which triggers a hyperesthesia spell. We’re a multi cat family and we’ve made changes so Doodle is supervised when she’s across the different cats and it appears to be working wonderful. I’m questioning if there’s any extra analysis being achieved or any trials for drugs and so on. I wouldn’t need to sedate her however I’d be keen on any recommendations on how else to deal with her extra extreme spells. – Nancy

Hello Nancy, as you talked about, hyperesthesia shouldn’t be a standard situation, however I’ve encountered sufficient cats that suffer from it to know that it’s a difficult and irritating drawback. Whereas it’s a heartbreaking to watch, I’m completely happy to listen to that Doodle is rising out of it. It’s my perception that offering cats with a lot of enjoying alternatives and methods to remain lively helps maintain them completely satisfied and wholesome and distracting Doodle when she is having a “spell” is purrfect! It might even be useful to keep away from touching or petting her again space to keep away from triggering an episode. Has your veterinarian dominated out different causes that could be inflicting her “assaults”?

I’m not conscious of any earth-shattering analysis or break via therapies in regard to hyperesthesia. It’s nonetheless a thriller and, sadly, there are nonetheless no definitive remedies for it. A number of researchers and clinicians are engaged on it and hopefully, they’ll achieve a greater understanding of what causes it and the way to deal with it, quickly. Thankfully, hyperesthesia shouldn’t be life-threatening and Doodle is an in any other case glad, wholesome, and enriched feline. She is fortunate to have you ever as her caretaker and I respect your curiosity in making an attempt to assist her with out resorting to administering sedatives. Particularly since her signs look like on the milder aspect.
Thanks for being such a conscientious proprietor.

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