Category Archives: Cat Health

Questions and answers related to cat health.

Why does my cat hate getting wet?

Cat in bathtub

Your cat simply prefers being dry!  Most cats do not enjoy being wet.

Cat tolerance of water varies from cat to cat. It can be influenced by their past experiences with water. For example, cats that are bathed on a regular basis can develop a tolerance for water and eventually do not mind having a nice warm bath. If you would like to bathe your cat on a regular basis, it is best to start the process when your cat is a kitten. However, adult cats can become accustomed to baths. If your cat ever needs a bath, there are numerous professional grooming services that will bathe your cat for you. However, with some time and patience you can bathe your cat in the comfort of your own home.

Believe it or not, many housecats enjoy playing in water. Cats have been observed to roll around in a wet bathtub, shower, or play with a dripping faucet.  Some cats will even get themselves wet with the water in your toilet (yuck!).

How to Give your Cat a Bath

Cats don’t usually need a bath because they clean themselves by grooming. However, if your cat needs a bath, read on for some tips and tricks about how to bathe a cat. If you have cat allergies, you may want to shampoo your cat to help reduce your cat allergy symptoms. You may also have to bathe your cat if your cat has fleas or ticks. You may also just want to shampoo your cat if he is stinky, or ever gets sprayed by a skunk. There are a large number of other reasons that you may someday have to bathe your cat!

Cat wet after bath

Cat wet after bath

Before starting, make sure you have everything that you need:

  • Clean towel
  • Cotton balls
  • Cup for pouring water
  • Cat shampoo (there are special types for reducing allergens, if a cat allergy is the reason you are bathing your cat)
  • Cat conditioner (can be helpful to reduce cat dander)
  • A cat

After you’ve gathered all of the tools (hopefully your cat didn’t hide from you), follow the steps below:

  1. Brush the fur to remove any mats and tangles. Be very gentle with kitty. There are many special brushes and de-shedding tools that are available to make this step easier.
  2. Place cotton balls into your cats ears so water does not get into his ears. If your cat gets alot of water in his ears, his ears could become irritated, especially if it is soapy water.
  3. Place your cat into about 5 inches of lukewarm water, either in the bathtub or a large sink. It is very important that the water is not too hot or you could burn your cat. Your cat may try to run away so you may need someone to help you hold your cat.
  4. Lather up your cat with shampoo.
  5. Rinse thoroughly by pouring a cup of water over your cat. Repeat until all water is off.
  6. Place conditioner on your cat.
  7. Rinse thoroughly by pouring a cup of water over your cat. Repeat until all water is off.
  8. Towel dry your cat.
  9. Keep your cat warm while he dries off (use towels or blankets, not any source of heat). Some cats will allow you to blow dry them, but your cat will most likely be scared of the noise.
  10. Praise your cat with affection and treats!

Did you know?

Cats are natural swimmers! We are not suggesting that you test this theory! However, in the wild cats swim across streams and small lakes to get to the other side! Some breeds (mainly Asian breeds) can dive into water to catch fish!

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Why does my cat drink from the toilet?

Your cat drinks from the toilet because he is thirsty! Even better, the water in the toilet is cold. Cats love cold water, just like humans do! Cats might like drinking from the toilet even more if your toilet water is running. It’s like a water fountain… for cats!

If you don’t want your cat to drink from the toilet, then perhaps it would be a good idea to put the lid down! If you don’t put the lid down, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you don’t ever forget to flush — Yuck!

If your cat is drinking from the toilet, make sure that you don’t have any dangerous chemicals in the water — this could make your cat sick.  Many toilet cleaning products are extremely poisonous to both cats and humans.  If your cat is drinking from the toilet and you sometimes forget to keep the toilet lid down, its a good idea to use a cleaning product that is not toxic to cats.

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Why does my cat make me sneeze?

Your cat may be making you sneeze because you may be allergic to your cat. Don’t worry, approximately 1/3 of people who are allergic to cats live with cats in their home. You can keep your cat!

What is a cat allergy?

Cat allergy is caused by a type of protein present in the dander (skin flakes — yuck) and saliva of cats. The allergens are airborne and are then inhaled by humans through the nose and lungs. After inhaling the allergens people react and experience a variety of symtoms.

What are the symptoms of cat allergies?

Cat allergy symptoms can include sneezing, runny nose, sinus congestion, rash, hives, itchy eyes, shortness of breath and even wheezing. If you are experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor to verify whether or not you have a cat allergy. There are allergy medications that doctors can recommend or prescribe for people who suffer from allergies.

How can I reduce cat allergies?

Unfortunately, you probably cannot stop cat allergies or cure cat allergies.  However, if you are allergic to your cat, there are numerous cat allergy solutions that you can try to reduce allergy symptoms:

  • Keep your cat out of your bedroom: This will give you about 8 hours/day that you can be in an environment without your cat. This is perhaps the best thing that you can do to relieve cat allergies.
  • Wash your sheets at least once/week: Let’s face it — your furry little friend will probably be allowed in the bedroom sometimes!
  • Brush your cat: Brushing your cat will loosen the loose fur so you can throw it in the garbage rather than have the fur flying around your house. There are special brushes that you can buy that pull away the loose fur. These brushes are usually called de-shedding tools. This is a great way to reduce your allergies since you are mainly allergic to the cats saliva (which is all over their fur from their grooming!)
  • Vacuum frequently: Vacuuming is helpful because it removes the cats hair from your house. This is especially important if you have carpet because the hair gets caught in the carpet. If you don’t have carpet, sweep frequently. Static sweepers work great at collecting cat hair!
  • Bathe your cat: OK, so this usually isn’t a realistic suggestion because most cats hate water. However, there are some anti-allergy products on the market that don’t require that you give your cat a full bath. Instead, you can wet a cloth and simply pet your cat with the wet cloth. The product will apparently neutralize the allergens!
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Why does my cat’s tongue feel like sandpaper?

Your cat’s tongue fees like sandpaper because it is barbed. Yes — barbed!! This is why it can actually hurt when your cat licks your skin — especially sensitive places like your face or eyelids!

Yawning cat

Yawning cat

Cat tongues are barbed as a process of evolution. It is barbed with thousands of tiny mounds. This allows cats to effectively drink water, lick small pieces of food, and to groom themselves. The barbs actually work similar to the way that we use a hairbrush, except we don’t have to ‘eat’ the hair after we brush. Cats swallow the fur when they groom themselves. If you have a long hair cat, you are probably very familiar with hairballs! Hairballs can be reduced or prevented by brushing your cat with a brush, or even better, a deshedding tool! There are many very very good deshedding tools on the market right now, and usually cats enjoy the extra brushing!

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Why does my cat have bad breath?

This is a very common issue.  Many cats have bad breath.  Your cats breath should smell like the last thing he or she ate.  So, if your cat just ate a bowl of cat food, your cat’s breath should smell like cat food.  If there are other foul odors coming from your cats mouth, he could be suffering from dental issues.

What causes bad breath in cats?

Cats can have bad breath if they suffer from periodontal complications or disease.  This is similar to the reason why humans may have bad breath if they suffer from gingivitis.  Gingivitis is very common among cats.  Gingivitis can contribute to your cat’s breath problem.  However, your cat’s breath will probably always smell like cat food immediately after he eats cat food!

There are a few things that you can do to reduce the smell of your cats breath:

  • feed your cat a dental food
  • brushing your cats teeth
  • have your cat’s teeth professionally cleaned

What is dental food?

There are numerous cat foods that can prevent or slow down the impact of various periodontal diseases and complications.  The foods generally work by cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums while your cat eats.  There are both foods and treats that you can feed to your cat to improve his oral hygiene.  These foods and treats are great because it is easy.  And let’s face it — not every cat will let you brush his teeth!  You can now let the food do the brushing for you!

What do I need to brush my cat’s teeth?

Before you can brush your cat’s teeth, you will need the following tools

  • a toothbrush for your cat
  • toothpaste that is suitable for cats (do not use human toothpaste or baking soda)

How do I brush my cat’s teeth?

You must start very slow, because teeth brushing is not a natural thing for your cat.  It is best to start this process when your cat is young, but adult cats can learn to accept the process as well.  You must have time and patience — don’t give up.  Teeth brushing will improve your cat’s health and reduce trips to the veterinarian.

To brush your cats teeth follow the steps below.

  1. First of all, pick of a time of the day for teeth brushing so it becomes a part of your pet’s routine. You should try to brush once/day, or a few times each week if you are not able to do it every day.
  2. Treat your cat to some tasty food after teeth brushing so your cat looks forward to the brushing.
  3. To get started, offer your cat a taste of the toothpaste.  It is important to find a toothpaste that your cat likes, or he may never want you to brush his teeth.  Teeth brushing should be a somewhat enjoyable experience for your cat.
  4. Before using the toothbrush, first try gently rubbing the toothpaste on the gums and upper teeth of your cat, using your finger.  Your cat must get used to this feeling before you try to use a toothbrush in his mouth.  Slowly increase the amount of time that you do this.  After a couple weeks, you may be ready to attempt the next step.
  5. Now try brushing very gently with the soft bristled toothbrush. Be very very gentle.
  6. After you cat has accepted the step above, you are ready to continue with your teeth brushing routine.  Great job!

Teeth brushing should take no more than 30 seconds. The upper teeth are more important for preventing periodontal disease. Teeth brushing can prevent disease, but sometimes professional cleaning is still required. However, teeth brushing can reduce the frequency, and possibly severity, of professional teeth brushing.

What’s involved in professional teeth cleaning?

Professional teeth brushing of cats is quite intense (i.e. usually requires general anesthesia), and often involves the following steps:

  1. Oral examination (awake, and then under general anesthesia)
  2. Remove plaque and tartar above the gumline
  3. Remove plaque and tartar below the gumline
  4. Polishing
  5. Irrigation
  6. Floride treatment
  7. Post operation examination
  8. Recovery at home
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Why does my cat fart?

Are you sure it is your cat farting, or is someone blaming your cat? Humans very frequently blame their pets for farting when really it was the human that stunk up the room!

You might be wondering… do cats fart?  Cats do fart! If it was indeed your cat that farted, he probably farted for the same reasons that human beings fart. Your cat most likely is not digesting food properly. This could be influenced by diet as well as the health of the digestive system. Some foods take longer to digest than others and may ferment in the stomach or intestines, causing a build up of gas.

How can I stop my cat from farting?

You probably cannot stop your cat from farting, just like you cannot stop yourself from farting. However, you can probably reduce the frequency that your cat farts, or perhaps reduce the level of stink! You can reduce the amount of gas that your cat needs to pass by feeding a high quality food. You can also restrict milk intake because the lactose in milk can contribute to any digestive problem. If you let your cat outside, your cat may be eating other sources of food such as birds, mice, and bugs. This could be another reason why your cat is farting!

Farting is indeed normal, but why does my cats farts stink so bad?

Cats are carnivores and are generally on a diet rich in protein. Protein-rich diets produce small amounts of intensely stinky gas because proteins contain lots of sulfur. Because there is only a small amount of gas, your cat’s farts are probably silent most of the time. Silent but deadly, of course!

There are a number of possibilities that can explain why cat farts can smell so bad and are so silent but deadly:

  • cats don’t feel embarrassed about farting so they just let it rip (like kids do!)
  • the amount of gas produced is extremely potent, even though it is a small amount
  • the gas is released more slowly when cats fart due to the horizontal orientation of their gastrointestinal system

We all hate when our cats fart, but how do our cats feel when we fart?

Believe it or not, your cat might actually like the smell of your farts (gross!). You may notice that your cat starts sniffing the air after you fart. If your cat runs away after you fart, the noise may have scared him — or, your farts are really really stinky! If your farts are that stinky, you probably should not be complaining about your cats farts!

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