What to feed cats with skin allergies

Important causes of pruritus other than fleas include:

  1. Ear mites and other mites
  2. Food intolerance/allergy
  3. Bacterial infections
  4. For  your own protection, we recommend trimming Fluffy’s claws before bathing.
  5. Use a hand-held spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not to spray directly in her ears, eyes and nose. If you don’t own a spray hose, a plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup works great.
  6. Wrap your cat in a large towel and dry her with it in a warm place, away from drafts.

    If your kitty doesn’t mind the noise, you can use a blow dryer—on the lowest heat setting. If your pet has endless hair, you may need to carefully untangle her fur with a wide-toothed comb.

  7. Gently put some cotton in her ears to hold the water out.
  8. Insect bites
  9. Schedule baths when your cat is at her most mellow. A frolic session with a cat dancer or other toy of choice can assist tire out even the friskiest of felines.f
  10. Thoroughly rinse the shampoo off your cat with a spray hose or pitcher; again, be certain the water is lukewarm.

    Take excellent care that every residue has been removed, as it can irritate the skin and act as a magnet for dirt.

  11. Use a washcloth to carefully wipe your pet’s face. Plain water is fine unless her face is extremely dirty—in which case, we recommend using an extra-diluted solution of shampoo, being extremely cautious around her ears and eyes.
  12. Gently massage your pet with a solution of one part cat shampoo (human shampoo can dry out her skin) to five parts water, working from head to tail, in the direction of hair growth.

    Take care to avoid the face, ears and eyes.

  13. Place a rubber bath mat in the sink or tub where you’ll be bathing your kitty so she doesn’t slip. Fill with three to four inches of lukewarm (not boiling, please!) water.
  14. Atopy (house dust and pollen allergy)
  15. Give your cat a excellent brushing to remove any loose hair and mats.
  16. Reward your cat with endless praise—and her favorite treat—for a successful bathing session.

Atopy (atopic dermatitis; dust and pollen allergy)

Atopy is not well characterised in cats.

In humans and dogs, the term is strictly used to describe an inherited predisposition to develop allergic reactions to environmental allergens (such as pollen and home dust). Allergies to pollen and home dust happen in cats, and may be a potential cause of pruritus, but they are hard to diagnose and it is unknown whether there is an inherited component to the disease.

In most cats, atopy is diagnosed by ruling out other potential causes of pruritus, including fleas and other parasites, and food.

Allergy testing can be performed on cats (for example intra-derma skin tests) but the results are rather unreliable. Blood tests are also offered by some laboratories to ‘diagnose’ atopy and the underlying cause of the allergy, but these are less dependable than skin tests, and both untrue positive and untrue negative tests are well recognised.

Atopy is incurable and life-long medication is needed to prevent unacceptable discomfort. Treatment with essential fatty acids and anti-histamines is successful in only a minority of cases. Numerous cats need long-term corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporin. If an allergy test has successfully identified the offending allergen, then it is possible to use a ‘hyposensitisation vaccine’ as a therapy – these rarely resolve the disease but in some cases reduce the need for drug therapy.

Food intolerance or allergy

No-one knows the exact mechanisms by which certain foods can make animals and humans itch.

Allergy may be involved, but in some cases, it is possible that the pruritus may result from chemical reactions to the food or to additives and preservatives.

However, it is well recognised that changing the diet to a food that cats own not previously been exposed to can cure some cases of pruritic skin disease. Most of these are probably food allergies but the terms ‘food intolerance’ or ‘food-responsive’ skin disease are sometimes used as a specific diagnosis is often not made.

Cats may need to be fed an alternative diet for a period of 6-8 weeks to law out food-response dermatitis, and the choice of food is significant. This is not simply switching one brand of cat food for another, as the ingredients are often extremely similar.

Your vet will advise you on the most appropriate diet to use – this might be a home-prepared diet, or your vet may propose a special ‘hypoallergenic’ diet for the trial period. Numerous cats also hunt or may be fed by neighbours, which can complicate the trial as it is significant that no other foods are eaten during the trial period.

Insect bites

Insects such as wasps and bees can cause stings that lead to dramatic, painful and swollen skin. However, some other insects including fleas, midges, flies and mosquitoes may bite and the reaction to the bite (or the insect saliva) may cause intense irritation and pruritus.

Flying insects generally bite relatively hairless areas such as the bridge of the nose and ears. Notably, mosquitoes own been reported to cause an eosinophilic granuloma-like reaction on the bridge of the nose of some cats (mosquito-bite hypersensitivity).

Other mites

Harvest mites are a recognised cause of skin disease in cats in some areas in tardy summer and autumn – see harvest mite infection in cats. These tiny orange dot sized mites are visible to the naked eye and generally found between the toes and in Henry’s pocket of the ear flap.

In some parts of the world, the mites Noedres cati and Sarcoptes scabiei may be found on cats and may be a cause of intense pruritus.

Bacterial skin infections (pyoderma) and fungal (yeast) infections

Although bacterial skin disease in cats is unusual, it may happen and there are occasional cases of spectacular recovery following antibiotic treatment in pruritic cats.

This is unusual, but more work is needed in this area.

Dermatophytosis (infection with a dermatophyte fungal organism) is not generally pruritic, but skin infection with yeasts (Malassezia) can be a problem in some cats – this is often secondary to allergic skin disease, but the yeasts may also contribute to the pruritus.

Skin and Fur Care

Bathing Your Cat

With her built-in grooming tools (tongue and teeth), your fastidious feline is well-equipped to tackle her own hair care needs.

But if she is extremely dirty or gets into something sticky or smelly, you may need to give her a bath. Follow these steps to ensure minimal stress and maximum efficiency.

Expand to read more

  • Microscopic evaluation of cells to establish if bacteria or yeast are present
  • Topical products, including shampoos, dips and sprays, to prevent and treat parasites
  • Hairballs
  • A balanced diet to assist maintain healthy skin and coat
  • Fleas
  • Examine your cat’s skin and jacket during your grooming sessions.

    Checking for hair loss, redness, bumps, cuts, fleas, ticks or other parasites will be a quick way to determine whether you need to go the vet to solve your pet’s shedding.

  • Blood tests to assess your cat’s overall health
  • Neglecting to brush your kitty’s jacket can lead to painful tangles and a bellyful of hair. You’ll know if your cat is suffering from hairballs when he coughs them up onto the floor or expels them in his feces. If, despite regular brushing, your cat continues to suffer from hairballs, there are several remedies available. Please enquire your vet to recommend a solution.
  • Use a washcloth to carefully wipe your pet’s face. Plain water is fine unless her face is extremely dirty—in which case, we recommend using an extra-diluted solution of shampoo, being extremely cautious around her ears and eyes.
  • Bacterial culture and sensitivity tests
  • Provide calm living conditions for your cat.
  • Ringworm: This highly contagious fungal infection can result in inflammation, scaly patches and hair loss.

    Lesions are most commonly seen on the head, ears and paws, but sometimes no signs are seen. You’ll desire to own your veterinarian treat it immediately to prevent other pets and people in the household from becoming infected.

  • Feed him a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Other external parasites: Ear mites generally cause itching and redness around the ears, and a dark, coffee ground-like material can be seen in the ear canals. Lice can produce intense itching, and mange mites can cause severe flaking and scaling.
  • Hair loss, bald patches
  • Environmental factors: Contact with certain chemicals or fabrics can cause skin irritation, as can exposure to the sun or excessive cold.
  • For  your own protection, we recommend trimming Fluffy’s claws before bathing.
  • «Tape test» to check for parasites
  • Give your cat a excellent brushing to remove any loose hair and mats.
  • Stress: Anxiety may cause cats to excessively lick and chew, causing hair loss.
  • Skin biopsy
  • Drainage of blood or pus
  • Poor diet
  • Bacterial or yeast infections: These infections most commonly follow the onset of another skin disorder.
  • Scabs
  • Pregnancy or lactation
  • Thoroughly rinse the shampoo off your cat with a spray hose or pitcher; again, be certain the water is lukewarm.

    Take excellent care that every residue has been removed, as it can irritate the skin and act as a magnet for dirt.

  • Use natural, hypoallergenic soaps and shampoos recommended for use on cats.
  • For longhaired cats: Long-haired cats who live indoors shed throughout the year and need grooming sessions every few days to remove dead hair and prevent tangles. Start with her abdomen and legs, gently combing the fur upward toward her head.

    Comb the neck fur upward, toward her chin. Make a part below the middle of her tail and gently brush out the fur on either side. You can sprinkle talcum powder over knots and gently use your fingers to tease them apart. If the knots don’t come out by hand, attempt using a mat-splitter.

  • For shorthaired cats: With a metal comb, work the brush through your cat’s fur from head to tail to remove dirt and debris. Work along the lie of her fur, brushing in the direction the jacket grows. Brush every over her body, including her chest and abdomen, concentrating on one section at a time to remove dead hair and tangles.

    A rubber brush can be especially effective for removing dead hair on cats with short fur.

  • During your weekly grooming sessions, run your hands along your cat’s body, checking for wounds, bumps and hidden tangles. Check for ticks and flea dirt, black specks of dried blood left behind by fleas. Sneak a peek under her tail to check for feces attached to the fur that may need to be snipped away with scissors.

    It’s also significant to check around your cat’s anus for tan, rice-sized objects—these may indicate the presence of tapeworm.

  • Food and other allergy testing
  • Skin scraping with findings evaluated under a microscope to check for mites
  • Stress
  • Hypoallergenic diet for food allergies
  • Groom him regularly.
  • Brush your cat regularly to prevent matting of hair.
  • Food allergies: Numerous foods (such as beef, milk, poultry and corn), fillers and colorings can be seen as foreign by your cat’s immune system and can lead to itching and rashes.
  • Swellings, lumps or skin discoloration
  • Use a hand-held spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not to spray directly in her ears, eyes and nose.

    If you don’t own a spray hose, a plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup works great.

  • Place a little bit of liquid ear cleaner (ask your vet for a recommendation) onto a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze.
  • Gently massage your pet with a solution of one part cat shampoo (human shampoo can dry out her skin) to five parts water, working from head to tail, in the direction of hair growth.

    Take care to avoid the face, ears and eyes.

  • Bacterial infection
  • Tumors: A variety of benign and malignant skin growths can develop in cats.
  • Before brushing, check out the condition of your kitty’s coat. If it’s healthy, her hair will own a natural gloss and spring back under your hand when you touch it. There shouldn’t be any bald patches or signs of fleas and ticks, and her skin should be free of wounds and unusual bumps.
  • Redness or inflammation
  • Schedule baths when your cat is at her most mellow. A frolic session with a cat dancer or other toy of choice can assist tire out even the friskiest of felines.f
  • Thoroughly clean and vacuum your home (and remember to always throw away the bag).
  • Ringworm
  • Fold kitty’s ear back gently and wipe away any debris or earwax that you can see on the underside of her ear.
  • Individual hair examination under a microscope
  • Hormonal imbalance such as hyperthyroidism
  • Feed your cat a healthy, balanced food without fillers or artificial ingredients.
  • Gently put some cotton in her ears to hold the water out.
  • Certain medications
  • Round, scaly patches on the face and paws
  • Corticosteroids and antihistamines may be prescribed to control itching.
  • A dietary supplement containing essential fatty acids
  • Rashes
  • Sunburn
  • Your vet may prescribe skin creams and/or oral medications to prevent skin problems.
  • Place a rubber bath mat in the sink or tub where you’ll be bathing your kitty so she doesn’t slip.

    Fill with three to four inches of lukewarm (not boiling, please!) water.

  • Wrap your cat in a large towel and dry her with it in a warm place, away from drafts. If your kitty doesn’t mind the noise, you can use a blow dryer—on the lowest heat setting. If your pet has endless hair, you may need to carefully untangle her fur with a wide-toothed comb.
  • Allergies
  • Seasonal allergies: Your cat’s constant scratching may be due to her sensitivity to common allergens from trees, mold and grasses.
  • Constant scratching, licking and chewing at the skin, especially around the head and neck
  • Antibiotic or antifungal medications
  • Reward your cat with endless praise—and her favorite treat—for a successful bathing session.
  • Seasonal changes: Numerous cats, love people, get dry, flaky skin in the winter.
  • Grooming products: Certain shampoos and grooming products can irritate your cat’s skin.
  • Implement a flea-treatment program recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Fleas: Not only do fleas irritate the skin, cats can own an allergic response when exposed to them.

    Symptoms commonly include excessive scratching, thinning of hair above the base of the tail, crusts and red, raised skin lesions. Some cats may also be sensitive to flea-treatment products; certain flea collars, for example, may cause redness and irritation around the neck.

  • Dry, flaky or otherwise irritated skin
  • Lift away the dirt and wax rather than rubbing it into the ear. And do not attempt to clean the canal—probing inside of your cat’s ear can cause trauma or infection.

Brushing Your Cat

Brushing your cat not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from her jacket, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of her skin.

One or two brushings per week will assist kitty to hold her healthy glow—and you’ll discover that regular sessions are especially beneficial when your cat ages and is no longer capable to groom so meticulously on her own.

Expand to read more

  1. Before brushing, check out the condition of your kitty’s coat. If it’s healthy, her hair will own a natural gloss and spring back under your hand when you touch it. There shouldn’t be any bald patches or signs of fleas and ticks, and her skin should be free of wounds and unusual bumps.
  2. For shorthaired cats: With a metal comb, work the brush through your cat’s fur from head to tail to remove dirt and debris.

    Work along the lie of her fur, brushing in the direction the jacket grows. Brush every over her body, including her chest and abdomen, concentrating on one section at a time to remove dead hair and tangles. A rubber brush can be especially effective for removing dead hair on cats with short fur.

  3. For longhaired cats: Long-haired cats who live indoors shed throughout the year and need grooming sessions every few days to remove dead hair and prevent tangles. Start with her abdomen and legs, gently combing the fur upward toward her head. Comb the neck fur upward, toward her chin. Make a part below the middle of her tail and gently brush out the fur on either side.

    You can sprinkle talcum powder over knots and gently use your fingers to tease them apart. If the knots don’t come out by hand, attempt using a mat-splitter.

  4. During your weekly grooming sessions, run your hands along your cat’s body, checking for wounds, bumps and hidden tangles. Check for ticks and flea dirt, black specks of dried blood left behind by fleas.

    What to feed cats with skin allergies

    Sneak a peek under her tail to check for feces attached to the fur that may need to be snipped away with scissors. It’s also significant to check around your cat’s anus for tan, rice-sized objects—these may indicate the presence of tapeworm.

  5. Neglecting to brush your kitty’s jacket can lead to painful tangles and a bellyful of hair. You’ll know if your cat is suffering from hairballs when he coughs them up onto the floor or expels them in his feces. If, despite regular brushing, your cat continues to suffer from hairballs, there are several remedies available.

    Please enquire your vet to recommend a solution.

Skin Problems

The condition of your cat’s skin is an indication of her overall health. When a skin problem occurs, your cat may reply with excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking. A wide range of causes—from external parasites and allergies to seasonal changes and stress, or a combination of these—may be affecting your cat’s skin and should be investigated. Skin problems are one of the most common reasons pet parents seek veterinary care.

Expand to read more

Symptoms of Skin Problems in Cats

  1. Redness or inflammation
  2. Constant scratching, licking and chewing at the skin, especially around the head and neck
  3. Round, scaly patches on the face and paws
  4. Dry, flaky or otherwise irritated skin
  5. Rashes
  6. Swellings, lumps or skin discoloration
  7. Hair loss, bald patches
  8. Scabs
  9. Hairballs
  10. Drainage of blood or pus

One of the following may be causing an abnormality with your cat’s skin and should be investigated:

  1. Other external parasites: Ear mites generally cause itching and redness around the ears, and a dark, coffee ground-like material can be seen in the ear canals.

    Lice can produce intense itching, and mange mites can cause severe flaking and scaling.

  2. Ringworm: This highly contagious fungal infection can result in inflammation, scaly patches and hair loss. Lesions are most commonly seen on the head, ears and paws, but sometimes no signs are seen. You’ll desire to own your veterinarian treat it immediately to prevent other pets and people in the household from becoming infected.
  3. Seasonal allergies: Your cat’s constant scratching may be due to her sensitivity to common allergens from trees, mold and grasses.
  4. Grooming products: Certain shampoos and grooming products can irritate your cat’s skin.
  5. Environmental factors: Contact with certain chemicals or fabrics can cause skin irritation, as can exposure to the sun or excessive cold.
  6. Tumors: A variety of benign and malignant skin growths can develop in cats.
  7. Food allergies: Numerous foods (such as beef, milk, poultry and corn), fillers and colorings can be seen as foreign by your cat’s immune system and can lead to itching and rashes.
  8. Fleas: Not only do fleas irritate the skin, cats can own an allergic response when exposed to them.

    Symptoms commonly include excessive scratching, thinning of hair above the base of the tail, crusts and red, raised skin lesions. Some cats may also be sensitive to flea-treatment products; certain flea collars, for example, may cause redness and irritation around the neck.

  9. Seasonal changes: Numerous cats, love people, get dry, flaky skin in the winter.
  10. Bacterial or yeast infections: These infections most commonly follow the onset of another skin disorder.
  11. Stress: Anxiety may cause cats to excessively lick and chew, causing hair loss.

You should visit your vet for an exam as soon as you notice any abnormality in your pet’s skin, such as excessive hair loss, flaking and scaling, redness and bald patches, or if your pet begins to excessively scratch, lick and/or bite areas on his fur.

After obtaining a history and performing a thorough physical examination of your cat, your vet may act out some of the following diagnostic tests in order to discover the cause of your cat’s symptoms:

  1. «Tape test» to check for parasites
  2. Skin scraping with findings evaluated under a microscope to check for mites
  3. Individual hair examination under a microscope
  4. Skin biopsy
  5. Food and other allergy testing
  6. Blood tests to assess your cat’s overall health
  7. Bacterial culture and sensitivity tests
  8. Microscopic evaluation of cells to establish if bacteria or yeast are present

Which Cats Are Prone to Skin Problems?

Because of the wide ranges of causes, cats of every ages and breeds are susceptible to issues involving skin.

Young, elderly, immunocompromised and cats living in overcrowded, stressful environments may be more susceptible to skin problems than others.

To Prevent Skin Problems

  1. Brush your cat regularly to prevent matting of hair.
  2. Use natural, hypoallergenic soaps and shampoos recommended for use on cats.
  3. Feed your cat a healthy, balanced food without fillers or artificial ingredients.
  4. Implement a flea-treatment program recommended by your veterinarian.
  5. Provide calm living conditions for your cat.
  6. Thoroughly clean and vacuum your home (and remember to always throw away the bag).
  7. Your vet may prescribe skin creams and/or oral medications to prevent skin problems.

To Treat Skin Problems

Ask your vet about the following treatments:

  1. A balanced diet to assist maintain healthy skin and coat
  2. Topical products, including shampoos, dips and sprays, to prevent and treat parasites
  3. Antibiotic or antifungal medications
  4. A dietary supplement containing essential fatty acids
  5. Corticosteroids and antihistamines may be prescribed to control itching.
  6. Hypoallergenic diet for food allergies

Shedding

Shedding is a cat’s natural process of losing dead hair.

Indoor cats can shed every year-round. Regularly grooming your cat and vacuuming hair from your home should minimize the inconvenience of shedding. However, if you see bald patches in your cat’s fur or notice a significant loss of hair, the underlying cause may be a health-related problem and should be investigated by a veterinarian.

Expand to read more

A variety of medical, dietary and stress-related issues can cause your cat to lose more hair than is normal. If you notice he’s losing an excessive quantity of hair or has bald patches, please consult your veterinarian immediately. Your cat may be suffering from one of the following health issues:

  1. Bacterial infection
  2. Allergies
  3. Fleas
  4. Hormonal imbalance such as hyperthyroidism
  5. Certain medications
  6. Pregnancy or lactation
  7. Poor diet
  8. Ringworm
  9. Stress
  10. Sunburn

If your cat obsessively licks, bites or scratches, OR if he’s losing patches of hair or stops to scratch or bite the same few spots persistently, then it’s significant you take him in for a veterinary exam.

There may be a medical, dietary or stress-related issue that needs immediate attention.

If your cat sheds a lot and your veterinarian has sure that there is no underlying medical cause, there are a few things you can do to minimize his hair loss:

  1. Groom him regularly.
  2. Feed him a healthy, balanced diet.
  3. Examine your cat’s skin and jacket during your grooming sessions. Checking for hair loss, redness, bumps, cuts, fleas, ticks or other parasites will be a quick way to determine whether you need to go the vet to solve your pet’s shedding.
  4. Place a little bit of liquid ear cleaner (ask your vet for a recommendation) onto a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze.
  5. Fold kitty’s ear back gently and wipe away any debris or earwax that you can see on the underside of her ear.
  6. Lift away the dirt and wax rather than rubbing it into the ear.

    And do not attempt to clean the canal—probing inside of your cat’s ear can cause trauma or infection.

If your cat’s shedding is normal, the worst you may finish up with is a hairy wardrobe and home—your cat, however, may suffer from hairballs if she isn’t groomed regularly. If her shedding is due to an underlying medical cause, including allergies, parasites, infections or disease, her health may continue to worsen if you don’t seek veterinary care.

Additionally, cats who are not groomed appropriately can become matted—this is especially true for long-haired cats. Matted hair can be painful and lead to underlying skin problems.

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A clean cat is a happy cat, and we’re here to help!

From nail trims to bathing, a little maintenance goes a endless way. Read on to discover out how to hold your kitty’s eyes, ears, teeth, skin and fur healthy and clean. Please note: There are some cats who do not tolerate being groomed. If your cat fights the grooming process, and there is some potential that injury could happen to your cat or yourself, please make an appointment with a professional groomer or a veterinarian to own your cat groomed.

Ear Care

Your cat’s ears may be capable to pick up the sound of a bag of treats being opened across the home, but they could still use a little assist staying clean.

Monitoring your kitty’s ears once per week for wax, debris and infection will assist those sensitive sonar detectors stay perky and alert to your every move.

Expand to read more

Outer Ear Check

A healthy feline ear flap, or pinna, has a layer of hair on its outer surface with no bald spots, and its inner surface is clean and light pink. If you see any discharge, redness or swelling, your cat’s ears should be checked by a veterinarian.

Inner Ear Exam

Bring kitty into a silent room where there are no other pets. Gently fold back each ear and glance below into the canal. Healthy inner ears will be pale pink in color, carry no debris or odor and will own minimal if no earwax.

If you discover that your cat’s ears are caked with wax or you detect an odor, please bring her in for a veterinary exam.

Ear Cleaning 101

Brushing Your Cat

Brushing your cat not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from her jacket, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of her skin. One or two brushings per week will assist kitty to hold her healthy glow—and you’ll discover that regular sessions are especially beneficial when your cat ages and is no longer capable to groom so meticulously on her own.

Expand to read more

  1. Before brushing, check out the condition of your kitty’s coat.

    If it’s healthy, her hair will own a natural gloss and spring back under your hand when you touch it. There shouldn’t be any bald patches or signs of fleas and ticks, and her skin should be free of wounds and unusual bumps.

  2. For shorthaired cats: With a metal comb, work the brush through your cat’s fur from head to tail to remove dirt and debris. Work along the lie of her fur, brushing in the direction the jacket grows. Brush every over her body, including her chest and abdomen, concentrating on one section at a time to remove dead hair and tangles. A rubber brush can be especially effective for removing dead hair on cats with short fur.
  3. For longhaired cats: Long-haired cats who live indoors shed throughout the year and need grooming sessions every few days to remove dead hair and prevent tangles.

    Start with her abdomen and legs, gently combing the fur upward toward her head. Comb the neck fur upward, toward her chin. Make a part below the middle of her tail and gently brush out the fur on either side. You can sprinkle talcum powder over knots and gently use your fingers to tease them apart. If the knots don’t come out by hand, attempt using a mat-splitter.

  4. During your weekly grooming sessions, run your hands along your cat’s body, checking for wounds, bumps and hidden tangles.

    Check for ticks and flea dirt, black specks of dried blood left behind by fleas. Sneak a peek under her tail to check for feces attached to the fur that may need to be snipped away with scissors. It’s also significant to check around your cat’s anus for tan, rice-sized objects—these may indicate the presence of tapeworm.

  5. Neglecting to brush your kitty’s jacket can lead to painful tangles and a bellyful of hair. You’ll know if your cat is suffering from hairballs when he coughs them up onto the floor or expels them in his feces.

    If, despite regular brushing, your cat continues to suffer from hairballs, there are several remedies available. Please enquire your vet to recommend a solution.

Skin Problems

The condition of your cat’s skin is an indication of her overall health. When a skin problem occurs, your cat may reply with excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking. A wide range of causes—from external parasites and allergies to seasonal changes and stress, or a combination of these—may be affecting your cat’s skin and should be investigated.

Skin problems are one of the most common reasons pet parents seek veterinary care.

Expand to read more

Symptoms of Skin Problems in Cats

  1. Redness or inflammation
  2. Constant scratching, licking and chewing at the skin, especially around the head and neck
  3. Round, scaly patches on the face and paws
  4. Dry, flaky or otherwise irritated skin
  5. Rashes
  6. Swellings, lumps or skin discoloration
  7. Hair loss, bald patches
  8. Scabs
  9. Hairballs
  10. Drainage of blood or pus

One of the following may be causing an abnormality with your cat’s skin and should be investigated:

  1. Other external parasites: Ear mites generally cause itching and redness around the ears, and a dark, coffee ground-like material can be seen in the ear canals.

    Lice can produce intense itching, and mange mites can cause severe flaking and scaling.

  2. Ringworm: This highly contagious fungal infection can result in inflammation, scaly patches and hair loss. Lesions are most commonly seen on the head, ears and paws, but sometimes no signs are seen.

    What to feed cats with skin allergies

    You’ll desire to own your veterinarian treat it immediately to prevent other pets and people in the household from becoming infected.

  3. Seasonal allergies: Your cat’s constant scratching may be due to her sensitivity to common allergens from trees, mold and grasses.
  4. Grooming products: Certain shampoos and grooming products can irritate your cat’s skin.
  5. Environmental factors: Contact with certain chemicals or fabrics can cause skin irritation, as can exposure to the sun or excessive cold.
  6. Tumors: A variety of benign and malignant skin growths can develop in cats.
  7. Food allergies: Numerous foods (such as beef, milk, poultry and corn), fillers and colorings can be seen as foreign by your cat’s immune system and can lead to itching and rashes.
  8. Fleas: Not only do fleas irritate the skin, cats can own an allergic response when exposed to them.

    Symptoms commonly include excessive scratching, thinning of hair above the base of the tail, crusts and red, raised skin lesions. Some cats may also be sensitive to flea-treatment products; certain flea collars, for example, may cause redness and irritation around the neck.

  9. Seasonal changes: Numerous cats, love people, get dry, flaky skin in the winter.
  10. Bacterial or yeast infections: These infections most commonly follow the onset of another skin disorder.
  11. Stress: Anxiety may cause cats to excessively lick and chew, causing hair loss.

You should visit your vet for an exam as soon as you notice any abnormality in your pet’s skin, such as excessive hair loss, flaking and scaling, redness and bald patches, or if your pet begins to excessively scratch, lick and/or bite areas on his fur.

After obtaining a history and performing a thorough physical examination of your cat, your vet may act out some of the following diagnostic tests in order to discover the cause of your cat’s symptoms:

  1. «Tape test» to check for parasites
  2. Skin scraping with findings evaluated under a microscope to check for mites
  3. Individual hair examination under a microscope
  4. Skin biopsy
  5. Food and other allergy testing
  6. Blood tests to assess your cat’s overall health
  7. Bacterial culture and sensitivity tests
  8. Microscopic evaluation of cells to establish if bacteria or yeast are present

Which Cats Are Prone to Skin Problems?

Because of the wide ranges of causes, cats of every ages and breeds are susceptible to issues involving skin.

Young, elderly, immunocompromised and cats living in overcrowded, stressful environments may be more susceptible to skin problems than others.

To Prevent Skin Problems

  1. Brush your cat regularly to prevent matting of hair.
  2. Use natural, hypoallergenic soaps and shampoos recommended for use on cats.
  3. Feed your cat a healthy, balanced food without fillers or artificial ingredients.
  4. Implement a flea-treatment program recommended by your veterinarian.
  5. Provide calm living conditions for your cat.
  6. Thoroughly clean and vacuum your home (and remember to always throw away the bag).
  7. Your vet may prescribe skin creams and/or oral medications to prevent skin problems.

To Treat Skin Problems

Ask your vet about the following treatments:

  1. A balanced diet to assist maintain healthy skin and coat
  2. Topical products, including shampoos, dips and sprays, to prevent and treat parasites
  3. Antibiotic or antifungal medications
  4. A dietary supplement containing essential fatty acids
  5. Corticosteroids and antihistamines may be prescribed to control itching.
  6. Hypoallergenic diet for food allergies

Shedding

Shedding is a cat’s natural process of losing dead hair.

Indoor cats can shed every year-round. Regularly grooming your cat and vacuuming hair from your home should minimize the inconvenience of shedding. However, if you see bald patches in your cat’s fur or notice a significant loss of hair, the underlying cause may be a health-related problem and should be investigated by a veterinarian.

Expand to read more

A variety of medical, dietary and stress-related issues can cause your cat to lose more hair than is normal. If you notice he’s losing an excessive quantity of hair or has bald patches, please consult your veterinarian immediately.

Your cat may be suffering from one of the following health issues:

  1. Bacterial infection
  2. Allergies
  3. Fleas
  4. Hormonal imbalance such as hyperthyroidism
  5. Certain medications
  6. Pregnancy or lactation
  7. Poor diet
  8. Ringworm
  9. Stress
  10. Sunburn

If your cat obsessively licks, bites or scratches, OR if he’s losing patches of hair or stops to scratch or bite the same few spots persistently, then it’s significant you take him in for a veterinary exam.

There may be a medical, dietary or stress-related issue that needs immediate attention.

If your cat sheds a lot and your veterinarian has sure that there is no underlying medical cause, there are a few things you can do to minimize his hair loss:

  1. Groom him regularly.
  2. Feed him a healthy, balanced diet.
  3. Examine your cat’s skin and jacket during your grooming sessions. Checking for hair loss, redness, bumps, cuts, fleas, ticks or other parasites will be a quick way to determine whether you need to go the vet to solve your pet’s shedding.
  4. Place a little bit of liquid ear cleaner (ask your vet for a recommendation) onto a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze.
  5. Fold kitty’s ear back gently and wipe away any debris or earwax that you can see on the underside of her ear.
  6. Lift away the dirt and wax rather than rubbing it into the ear.

    And do not attempt to clean the canal—probing inside of your cat’s ear can cause trauma or infection.

If your cat’s shedding is normal, the worst you may finish up with is a hairy wardrobe and home—your cat, however, may suffer from hairballs if she isn’t groomed regularly. If her shedding is due to an underlying medical cause, including allergies, parasites, infections or disease, her health may continue to worsen if you don’t seek veterinary care.

Additionally, cats who are not groomed appropriately can become matted—this is especially true for long-haired cats. Matted hair can be painful and lead to underlying skin problems.

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope you own found our information useful.

All our advice is freely accessible to everyone, wherever you are in the world. However, as a charity, we need your support to enable us to hold delivering high quality and up to date information for everyone. Please consider making a contribution, large or little, to hold our content free, precise and relevant.

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A clean cat is a happy cat, and we’re here to help!

From nail trims to bathing, a little maintenance goes a endless way. Read on to discover out how to hold your kitty’s eyes, ears, teeth, skin and fur healthy and clean. Please note: There are some cats who do not tolerate being groomed. If your cat fights the grooming process, and there is some potential that injury could happen to your cat or yourself, please make an appointment with a professional groomer or a veterinarian to own your cat groomed.

Ear Care

Your cat’s ears may be capable to pick up the sound of a bag of treats being opened across the home, but they could still use a little assist staying clean.

Monitoring your kitty’s ears once per week for wax, debris and infection will assist those sensitive sonar detectors stay perky and alert to your every move.

Expand to read more

Outer Ear Check

A healthy feline ear flap, or pinna, has a layer of hair on its outer surface with no bald spots, and its inner surface is clean and light pink. If you see any discharge, redness or swelling, your cat’s ears should be checked by a veterinarian.

Inner Ear Exam

Bring kitty into a peaceful room where there are no other pets.

Gently fold back each ear and glance below into the canal. Healthy inner ears will be pale pink in color, carry no debris or odor and will own minimal if no earwax. If you discover that your cat’s ears are caked with wax or you detect an odor, please bring her in for a veterinary exam.

Ear Cleaning 101

  • Your cat’s feet should always be kept clean. Aside from causing pain, unhealthy substances that stick to her feet may finish up on her tongue during grooming. Once each day, give your cat’s paws a tender wipe with a damp cloth, checking between her toes and around the paw pads. Keeping your floors and other surfaces free of debris and household chemicals will go a endless way to assist hold your cat’s feet clean.
  • Don’t attempt to trim every of your cat’s claws at one time.
  • Unpleasant odor
  • With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat.

    If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until your cat is comfortable. Then, reward her with a special treat.

  • Cats are natural explorers who sometimes get into foreign places. Check your cat’s paws regularly for any cuts, sores, splinters or swellings. Remove splinters or debris gently with tweezers and clean any little cuts. If you notice any blood, pus or an unusual odor, please take your cat to the vet to check for infection.
  • Choose a chair in a peaceful room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Get her when she’s relaxed and even sleepy, such as in her groggy, after-meal state.

    Take care that she isn’t capable to spy any birds, wild animals or action exterior nearby windows—and make certain no other pets are around.

  • Blood blisters (hematoma) are the result of blood accumulation in the ear flap. They’re often caused by infection, ear mites, fleas or trapped debris that causes your cat to scratch her ears or shake her head excessively.
  • Loss of balance and disorientation
  • Lift away the dirt and wax rather than rubbing it into the ear. And do not attempt to clean the canal—probing inside of your cat’s ear can cause trauma or infection.
  • Be wary of your kitty’s sensitive paw pads. In boiling and freezing weather, moisturize them with a vet-recommended product and attempt to avoid letting your cat’s feet touch freezing patios, boiling sidewalks or other uncomfortable surfaces.
  • Long-haired kitties may own hair sprouting in between their toes. If this irritates your cat (you’ll know if she licks at the hair obsessively), trim them gently with a little pair of rounded scissors.
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • The pink part of a cat’s nail, called the quick, is where the nerves and blood vessels are.

    Do NOT cut this sensitive area. Snip only the white part of the claw. It’s better to be cautious and cut less of the nail rather than risk cutting this area. If you do accidentally cut the quick, any bleeding can be stopped with a styptic powder or stick. It’s a excellent thought to hold it nearby while you trim.

  • Hearing loss
  • Accumulation of dark brown wax
  • Black or yellowish discharge
  • Place a little bit of liquid ear cleaner (ask your vet for a recommendation) onto a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze.
  • Ear infections are generally caused by bacteria, yeast or foreign debris caught in the ear canal.

    Treatment should be sought immediately as ear infections can cause considerable discomfort and may indicate allergies, hormonal abnormalities or hereditary disease.

  • Fold kitty’s ear back gently and wipe away any debris or earwax that you can see on the underside of her ear.
  • Gently take one of your cat’s paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than three seconds. If your cat pulls her paw away, don’t squeeze or pinch, just follow her gesture, keeping in tender contact.

    When she’s still again, give her pad a little press so that the nail extends out, then release her paw and immediately give her a treat. Do this every other day on a diverse toe until you’ve gotten to know every ten.

  • Ear mites are common parasites that are highly contagious among pets. Telltale signs include excessive itching of the ears and debris that resembles coffee grounds.
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal
  • If your cat resists, don’t lift your voice or punish her.

    Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush—you may cut into the quick.

  • Your cat should be at ease with the sound of the clippers before you attempt to trim her nails. Sit her on your lap, put a piece of raw spaghetti into the clippers and hold them near your cat. (If she sniffs the clippers, set a treat on top of them for her to eat.) Next, while massaging one of your cat’s toes, gently press her toe pad. When the nail extends, clip the spaghetti with the clippers while still holding your cat’s paw gently.

    What to feed cats with skin allergies

    Now release her toe and quickly give her a treat.

  • Persistent scratching and pawing of the ear area
  • A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is recommended. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, enquire your vet or a groomer for help.
  • Head tilting or shaking
  • If you notice your cat obsessively cleaning her paws, limping or favoring one leg, please investigate—she might require veterinary attention.
  • Bleeding
  • Do NOT declaw your cat. This surgery involves amputating the finish of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged by the ASPCA. Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and enquire your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.

Signs of Ear Problems

Watch for the following signs that may indicate your cat’s ears should be checked by a veterinarian.

  1. Head tilting or shaking
  2. Persistent scratching and pawing of the ear area
  3. Loss of balance and disorientation
  4. Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal
  5. Accumulation of dark brown wax
  6. Hearing loss
  7. Unpleasant odor
  8. Sensitivity to touch
  9. Black or yellowish discharge
  10. Bleeding

Know Your Ear Disorders

  1. Ear mites are common parasites that are highly contagious among pets.

    Telltale signs include excessive itching of the ears and debris that resembles coffee grounds.

  2. Ear infections are generally caused by bacteria, yeast or foreign debris caught in the ear canal. Treatment should be sought immediately as ear infections can cause considerable discomfort and may indicate allergies, hormonal abnormalities or hereditary disease.
  3. Blood blisters (hematoma) are the result of blood accumulation in the ear flap. They’re often caused by infection, ear mites, fleas or trapped debris that causes your cat to scratch her ears or shake her head excessively.

Paw and Nail Care

Healthy Paws

Cats need healthy feet to scratch, climb and achieve their famed acrobatic landings.

That’s why it’s significant to regularly examine and clean your cat’s paws and make certain they’re wound-free.

Expand to read more

  1. Be wary of your kitty’s sensitive paw pads. In boiling and freezing weather, moisturize them with a vet-recommended product and attempt to avoid letting your cat’s feet touch freezing patios, boiling sidewalks or other uncomfortable surfaces.
  2. Your cat’s feet should always be kept clean. Aside from causing pain, unhealthy substances that stick to her feet may finish up on her tongue during grooming.

    Once each day, give your cat’s paws a tender wipe with a damp cloth, checking between her toes and around the paw pads. Keeping your floors and other surfaces free of debris and household chemicals will go a endless way to assist hold your cat’s feet clean.

  3. Long-haired kitties may own hair sprouting in between their toes. If this irritates your cat (you’ll know if she licks at the hair obsessively), trim them gently with a little pair of rounded scissors.
  4. Gently take one of your cat’s paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than three seconds. If your cat pulls her paw away, don’t squeeze or pinch, just follow her gesture, keeping in tender contact.

    When she’s still again, give her pad a little press so that the nail extends out, then release her paw and immediately give her a treat. Do this every other day on a diverse toe until you’ve gotten to know every ten.

  5. With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat. If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until your cat is comfortable.

    Then, reward her with a special treat.

  6. Don’t attempt to trim every of your cat’s claws at one time.
  7. Your cat should be at ease with the sound of the clippers before you attempt to trim her nails. Sit her on your lap, put a piece of raw spaghetti into the clippers and hold them near your cat. (If she sniffs the clippers, set a treat on top of them for her to eat.) Next, while massaging one of your cat’s toes, gently press her toe pad. When the nail extends, clip the spaghetti with the clippers while still holding your cat’s paw gently. Now release her toe and quickly give her a treat.
  8. If you notice your cat obsessively cleaning her paws, limping or favoring one leg, please investigate—she might require veterinary attention.
  9. Cats are natural explorers who sometimes get into foreign places.

    Check your cat’s paws regularly for any cuts, sores, splinters or swellings. Remove splinters or debris gently with tweezers and clean any little cuts. If you notice any blood, pus or an unusual odor, please take your cat to the vet to check for infection.

  10. A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is recommended. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, enquire your vet or a groomer for help.
  11. If your cat resists, don’t lift your voice or punish her.

    Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush—you may cut into the quick.

  12. The pink part of a cat’s nail, called the quick, is where the nerves and blood vessels are. Do NOT cut this sensitive area. Snip only the white part of the claw. It’s better to be cautious and cut less of the nail rather than risk cutting this area. If you do accidentally cut the quick, any bleeding can be stopped with a styptic powder or stick.

    It’s a excellent thought to hold it nearby while you trim.

  13. Choose a chair in a peaceful room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Get her when she’s relaxed and even sleepy, such as in her groggy, after-meal state. Take care that she isn’t capable to spy any birds, wild animals or action exterior nearby windows—and make certain no other pets are around.
  14. Do NOT declaw your cat. This surgery involves amputating the finish of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged by the ASPCA.

    Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and enquire your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.

Nail Care

Does your kitty vanish when the clippers come out? Do you own to wrap her in a towel to give her a manicure? Follow these steps to assist your cat relax while you trim.

Expand to read more

Signs of Ear Problems

Watch for the following signs that may indicate your cat’s ears should be checked by a veterinarian.

  1. Head tilting or shaking
  2. Persistent scratching and pawing of the ear area
  3. Loss of balance and disorientation
  4. Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal
  5. Accumulation of dark brown wax
  6. Hearing loss
  7. Unpleasant odor
  8. Sensitivity to touch
  9. Black or yellowish discharge
  10. Bleeding

Know Your Ear Disorders

  1. Ear mites are common parasites that are highly contagious among pets.

    Telltale signs include excessive itching of the ears and debris that resembles coffee grounds.

  2. Ear infections are generally caused by bacteria, yeast or foreign debris caught in the ear canal. Treatment should be sought immediately as ear infections can cause considerable discomfort and may indicate allergies, hormonal abnormalities or hereditary disease.
  3. Blood blisters (hematoma) are the result of blood accumulation in the ear flap. They’re often caused by infection, ear mites, fleas or trapped debris that causes your cat to scratch her ears or shake her head excessively.

Paw and Nail Care

Healthy Paws

Cats need healthy feet to scratch, climb and achieve their famed acrobatic landings.

That’s why it’s significant to regularly examine and clean your cat’s paws and make certain they’re wound-free.

Expand to read more

  1. Be wary of your kitty’s sensitive paw pads. In boiling and freezing weather, moisturize them with a vet-recommended product and attempt to avoid letting your cat’s feet touch freezing patios, boiling sidewalks or other uncomfortable surfaces.
  2. Your cat’s feet should always be kept clean. Aside from causing pain, unhealthy substances that stick to her feet may finish up on her tongue during grooming.

    Once each day, give your cat’s paws a tender wipe with a damp cloth, checking between her toes and around the paw pads. Keeping your floors and other surfaces free of debris and household chemicals will go a endless way to assist hold your cat’s feet clean.

  3. Long-haired kitties may own hair sprouting in between their toes. If this irritates your cat (you’ll know if she licks at the hair obsessively), trim them gently with a little pair of rounded scissors.
  4. Gently take one of your cat’s paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than three seconds. If your cat pulls her paw away, don’t squeeze or pinch, just follow her gesture, keeping in tender contact.

    When she’s still again, give her pad a little press so that the nail extends out, then release her paw and immediately give her a treat. Do this every other day on a diverse toe until you’ve gotten to know every ten.

  5. With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat. If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until your cat is comfortable.

    Then, reward her with a special treat.

  6. Don’t attempt to trim every of your cat’s claws at one time.
  7. Your cat should be at ease with the sound of the clippers before you attempt to trim her nails. Sit her on your lap, put a piece of raw spaghetti into the clippers and hold them near your cat. (If she sniffs the clippers, set a treat on top of them for her to eat.) Next, while massaging one of your cat’s toes, gently press her toe pad.

    When the nail extends, clip the spaghetti with the clippers while still holding your cat’s paw gently. Now release her toe and quickly give her a treat.

  8. If you notice your cat obsessively cleaning her paws, limping or favoring one leg, please investigate—she might require veterinary attention.
  9. Cats are natural explorers who sometimes get into foreign places. Check your cat’s paws regularly for any cuts, sores, splinters or swellings. Remove splinters or debris gently with tweezers and clean any little cuts. If you notice any blood, pus or an unusual odor, please take your cat to the vet to check for infection.
  10. A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is recommended. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, enquire your vet or a groomer for help.
  11. If your cat resists, don’t lift your voice or punish her.

    Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush—you may cut into the quick.

  12. The pink part of a cat’s nail, called the quick, is where the nerves and blood vessels are. Do NOT cut this sensitive area. Snip only the white part of the claw. It’s better to be cautious and cut less of the nail rather than risk cutting this area. If you do accidentally cut the quick, any bleeding can be stopped with a styptic powder or stick.

    It’s a excellent thought to hold it nearby while you trim.

  13. Choose a chair in a peaceful room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Get her when she’s relaxed and even sleepy, such as in her groggy, after-meal state. Take care that she isn’t capable to spy any birds, wild animals or action exterior nearby windows—and make certain no other pets are around.
  14. Do NOT declaw your cat. This surgery involves amputating the finish of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged by the ASPCA.

    Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and enquire your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.

Nail Care

Does your kitty vanish when the clippers come out? Do you own to wrap her in a towel to give her a manicure? Follow these steps to assist your cat relax while you trim.

Expand to read more

  • Difficulty chewing food
  • After a few sessions, put a little bit of cat-formulated toothpaste on her lips to get her used to the taste.
  • Do NOT declaw your cat. This surgery involves amputating the finish of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged by the ASPCA.

    Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and enquire your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.

  • All you’ll need to brush your cat’s teeth are cotton swabs and a little toothbrush and tube of toothpaste formulated for felines. You can also use salt and water. Enquire your vet to propose the brushing supplies that he trusts, and be certain never to use toothpaste designed for people—the ingredients can be unhealthy for your cat.
  • With your cat facing you, gently shove back his lips and take a look. The gums should be firm and pink, not white or red, and should show no signs of swelling.

    The teeth should be clean and free of any brownish tartar, and none should be loose or broken.

  • Excessive pawing at the mouth area
  • At any sign of gum inflammation, you should take your cat in for a veterinary exam. If left untreated, gum disease can develop, possibly leading to tooth loss or inability to eat Inflammation may also point to an internal problem love kidney disease or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
  • With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat.

    If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until your cat is comfortable. Then, reward her with a special treat.

  • Your cat should be at ease with the sound of the clippers before you attempt to trim her nails. Sit her on your lap, put a piece of raw spaghetti into the clippers and hold them near your cat. (If she sniffs the clippers, set a treat on top of them for her to eat.) Next, while massaging one of your cat’s toes, gently press her toe pad.

    When the nail extends, clip the spaghetti with the clippers while still holding your cat’s paw gently. Now release her toe and quickly give her a treat.

  • Introduce a toothbrush designed especially for cats—it will be smaller than human toothbrushes and own softer bristles. Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger are also available and permit you to give a nice massage to your cat’s gums.
  • Ulcers on gums or tongue
  • Don’t attempt to trim every of your cat’s claws at one time.
  • Excessive drooling
  • Red and swollen gums
  • If your cat resists, don’t lift your voice or punish her.

    Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush—you may cut into the quick.

  • If your kitty’s mouth has an abnormally strong odor, he may own digestive problems or a gum condition such as gingivitis, and should be examined by a vet.
  • Choose a chair in a peaceful room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Get her when she’s relaxed and even sleepy, such as in her groggy, after-meal state. Take care that she isn’t capable to spy any birds, wild animals or action exterior nearby windows—and make certain no other pets are around.
  • Pus
  • Gently take one of your cat’s paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than three seconds. If your cat pulls her paw away, don’t squeeze or pinch, just follow her gesture, keeping in tender contact.

    When she’s still again, give her pad a little press so that the nail extends out, then release her paw and immediately give her a treat. Do this every other day on a diverse toe until you’ve gotten to know every ten.

  • Watch for any of the following signs that could indicate problems in your cat’s mouth:
  • First get your cat used to the thought of having her teeth brushed. Start by gently massaging her gums with your fingers or touching a cotton swab to them.
  • A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is recommended. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, enquire your vet or a groomer for help.
  • Loose teeth
  • Dark red line along the gums
  • The pink part of a cat’s nail, called the quick, is where the nerves and blood vessels are.

    Do NOT cut this sensitive area. Snip only the white part of the claw. It’s better to be cautious and cut less of the nail rather than risk cutting this area. If you do accidentally cut the quick, any bleeding can be stopped with a styptic powder or stick. It’s a excellent thought to hold it nearby while you trim.

  • Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause a buildup on a cat’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss.
  • Apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a tender brushing.

Dental Care

Your cat needs clean, sharp teeth and healthy gums.

Damage to the tongue, teeth, palate and gums can lead to numerous health risks for felines, but these can be prevented with regular home check-ups and excellent old-fashioned brushings.

Expand to read more

  1. Red and swollen gums
  2. If your kitty’s mouth has an abnormally strong odor, he may own digestive problems or a gum condition such as gingivitis, and should be examined by a vet.
  3. Dark red line along the gums
  4. Pus
  5. At any sign of gum inflammation, you should take your cat in for a veterinary exam. If left untreated, gum disease can develop, possibly leading to tooth loss or inability to eat Inflammation may also point to an internal problem love kidney disease or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
  6. Introduce a toothbrush designed especially for cats—it will be smaller than human toothbrushes and own softer bristles.

    Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger are also available and permit you to give a nice massage to your cat’s gums.

  7. Difficulty chewing food
  8. Ulcers on gums or tongue
  9. Watch for any of the following signs that could indicate problems in your cat’s mouth:
  10. All you’ll need to brush your cat’s teeth are cotton swabs and a little toothbrush and tube of toothpaste formulated for felines. You can also use salt and water.

    Enquire your vet to propose the brushing supplies that he trusts, and be certain never to use toothpaste designed for people—the ingredients can be unhealthy for your cat.

  11. After a few sessions, put a little bit of cat-formulated toothpaste on her lips to get her used to the taste.
  12. First get your cat used to the thought of having her teeth brushed. Start by gently massaging her gums with your fingers or touching a cotton swab to them.
  13. Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause a buildup on a cat’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss.
  14. With your cat facing you, gently shove back his lips and take a look. The gums should be firm and pink, not white or red, and should show no signs of swelling.

    The teeth should be clean and free of any brownish tartar, and none should be loose or broken.

  15. Loose teeth
  16. Excessive drooling
  17. Excessive pawing at the mouth area
  18. Apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a tender brushing.

Brush your cat’s teeth at home by following these simple steps:

Dental Care

Your cat needs clean, sharp teeth and healthy gums. Damage to the tongue, teeth, palate and gums can lead to numerous health risks for felines, but these can be prevented with regular home check-ups and excellent old-fashioned brushings.

Expand to read more

  1. Red and swollen gums
  2. If your kitty’s mouth has an abnormally strong odor, he may own digestive problems or a gum condition such as gingivitis, and should be examined by a vet.
  3. Dark red line along the gums
  4. Pus
  5. At any sign of gum inflammation, you should take your cat in for a veterinary exam. If left untreated, gum disease can develop, possibly leading to tooth loss or inability to eat Inflammation may also point to an internal problem love kidney disease or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
  6. Introduce a toothbrush designed especially for cats—it will be smaller than human toothbrushes and own softer bristles.

    Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger are also available and permit you to give a nice massage to your cat’s gums.

  7. Difficulty chewing food
  8. Ulcers on gums or tongue
  9. Watch for any of the following signs that could indicate problems in your cat’s mouth:
  10. All you’ll need to brush your cat’s teeth are cotton swabs and a little toothbrush and tube of toothpaste formulated for felines. You can also use salt and water. Enquire your vet to propose the brushing supplies that he trusts, and be certain never to use toothpaste designed for people—the ingredients can be unhealthy for your cat.
  11. After a few sessions, put a little bit of cat-formulated toothpaste on her lips to get her used to the taste.
  12. First get your cat used to the thought of having her teeth brushed. Start by gently massaging her gums with your fingers or touching a cotton swab to them.
  13. Bacteria and plaque-forming foods can cause a buildup on a cat’s teeth. This can harden into tartar, possibly causing gingivitis, receding gums and tooth loss.
  14. With your cat facing you, gently shove back his lips and take a look. The gums should be firm and pink, not white or red, and should show no signs of swelling.

    The teeth should be clean and free of any brownish tartar, and none should be loose or broken.

  15. Loose teeth
  16. Excessive drooling
  17. Excessive pawing at the mouth area
  18. Apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a tender brushing.

Brush your cat’s teeth at home by following these simple steps:

  • Crusty gunk in the corners of the eye
  • Visible third eyelid
  • Mouth Ulcers: Ulcers on a cat’s tongue and gums are sometimes caused by feline respiratory or kidney disease.
  • Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
  • Third eyelid protrusion: If the third eyelid becomes visible or crosses your cat’s eye, he may own a wound or may be suffering from diarrhea, worms or a virus.
  • Conjunctivitis: One or both of your cat’s eyes will glance red and swollen, and there may be discharge.
  • Closed eye(s)
  • Rodent Ulcer: A slowly enlarging sore or swelling on the upper lip.
  • Introduce a toothbrush designed especially for cats—it will be smaller than human toothbrushes and own softer bristles.

    Toothbrushes that you can wear over your finger are also available and permit you to give a nice massage to your cat’s gums.

  • Watering
  • Red or white eyelid linings
  • Gingivitis: This inflammation of the gums is mainly seen in older cats. It may start as a dark red line bordering on the teeth. If left untreated, gums may become sore and ulceration may happen. This may be a sign of FIV or other infection.
  • Keratitis: If your cat’s cornea becomes inflamed, the eye will glance cloudy and watery.
  • Salivary Cyst: If salivary glands or ducts that carry saliva to the mouth become blocked, a cyst may form under the tongue.
  • Periodontitis: If gingivitis invades the tooth socket, the tooth may become loose and an abscess may form.
  • Face your cat in a brightly lit area and glance her in the eyes.

    What to feed cats with skin allergies

    They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. Her pupils should be equal in size.

  • First get your cat used to the thought of having her teeth brushed. Start by gently massaging her gums with your fingers or touching a cotton swab to them.
  • Tear-stained fur
  • After a few sessions, put a little bit of cat-formulated toothpaste on her lips to get her used to the taste.
  • Cloudiness or change in eye color
  • Discharge
  • Roll below your kitty’s eyelid gently with your thumb and take a glance at the lid’s lining. It should be pink, not red or white.
  • Retinal disease: Partial or entire vision loss can happen when light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye degenerate.
  • Wipe away any crusty gunk from your cat’s eyes with a damp cotton ball.

    Always wipe away from the corner of the eye, and use a unused cotton ball for each eye. Snip away any endless hairs that could be blocking her vision or poking her eyes. Attempt not to use eye washes or eye drops unless they’ve been prescribed by your vet.

  • Stomatitis: This inflammation of the mouth lining may result from a foreign body in the mouth, a viral disease or dental problems. The cat will own difficulty eating and the inside of the mouth will appear red.
  • Cataracts: This opacity on the eye is often seen in elderly and diabetic cats.
  • Apply the toothpaste to her teeth for a tender brushing.
  • Bulging eye: Bulging can happen because of accident or trauma or an eye tumor.
  • Watery eyes: The fur around your cat’s eyes may be stained with tears because of blocked tear ducts or an overproduction of tears.

Chew toys can satisfy your cat’s natural desire to chomp, while making her teeth strong.

Gnawing on a chew toy can also assist floss your cat’s teeth, massage her gums and scrape away soft tartar.

If your cat suffers from any of the symptoms mentioned under, please see the vet correct away:

  1. Rodent Ulcer: A slowly enlarging sore or swelling on the upper lip.
  2. Stomatitis: This inflammation of the mouth lining may result from a foreign body in the mouth, a viral disease or dental problems. The cat will own difficulty eating and the inside of the mouth will appear red.
  3. Periodontitis: If gingivitis invades the tooth socket, the tooth may become loose and an abscess may form.
  4. Salivary Cyst: If salivary glands or ducts that carry saliva to the mouth become blocked, a cyst may form under the tongue.
  5. Gingivitis: This inflammation of the gums is mainly seen in older cats.

    It may start as a dark red line bordering on the teeth. If left untreated, gums may become sore and ulceration may happen. This may be a sign of FIV or other infection.

  6. Mouth Ulcers: Ulcers on a cat’s tongue and gums are sometimes caused by feline respiratory or kidney disease.

Eye Care

A excellent home eye exam just before grooming can clue you into any tearing, crust, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem. Here are few simple tips to hold your kitty’s eyes bright and healthy.

Expand to read more

  1. Roll below your kitty’s eyelid gently with your thumb and take a glance at the lid’s lining. It should be pink, not red or white.
  2. Face your cat in a brightly lit area and glance her in the eyes.

    They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. Her pupils should be equal in size.

  3. Wipe away any crusty gunk from your cat’s eyes with a damp cotton ball. Always wipe away from the corner of the eye, and use a unused cotton ball for each eye. Snip away any endless hairs that could be blocking her vision or poking her eyes. Attempt not to use eye washes or eye drops unless they’ve been prescribed by your vet.

How can you tell if there is something incorrect with one or both of your cat’s eyes? Glance out for the following:

  1. Tear-stained fur
  2. Closed eye(s)
  3. Watering
  4. Crusty gunk in the corners of the eye
  5. Cloudiness or change in eye color
  6. Red or white eyelid linings
  7. Discharge
  8. Visible third eyelid

Certain body language will also alert you to possible eye distress.

If your cat is constantly squinting or pawing at her eye area, give her eyes a excellent inspection. If you discover any of the above symptoms, you should immediately call your vet.

The following eye-related disorders are commonly seen in cats:

  1. Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
  2. Bulging eye: Bulging can happen because of accident or trauma or an eye tumor.
  3. Third eyelid protrusion: If the third eyelid becomes visible or crosses your cat’s eye, he may own a wound or may be suffering from diarrhea, worms or a virus.
  4. Cataracts: This opacity on the eye is often seen in elderly and diabetic cats.
  5. Retinal disease: Partial or entire vision loss can happen when light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye degenerate.
  6. Keratitis: If your cat’s cornea becomes inflamed, the eye will glance cloudy and watery.
  7. Conjunctivitis: One or both of your cat’s eyes will glance red and swollen, and there may be discharge.
  8. Watery eyes: The fur around your cat’s eyes may be stained with tears because of blocked tear ducts or an overproduction of tears.

Many feline eye disorders can be treated with vet-prescribed drops or ointments—your vet will show you how to apply eye and ear drops at home.

The best way to prevent eye conditions is to make certain your cat gets every her vaccinations and has thorough check-ups.

Please examine her eyes regularly and consult a vet if you discover any abnormalities. Eye conditions that are left untreated can lead to impaired sight or even blindness.

One of the most mind-boggling choices dog and cat owners face is how to safely guard against fleas and ticks. Those creepy crawlers aren’t just gross; they can transmit disease to both pets and people. Pets need protection, but numerous of the solutions on store shelves are loaded with chemicals that could be risky to their health—and yours.

So what’s a responsible pet lover to do?

The key is to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing these harmful products to reach store shelves in the first put. Until the EPA does this, however, you can educate yourself about the risks and benefits of various treatment options, then bring that knowledge to the store. There are ways to hold every your family members, including the furry ones, safe from dangerous pests and the most toxic ingredients.

The perils of pest protection

Most conventional flea and tick products—including collars, topical treatments, sprays, and dusts—are registered as pesticides and regulated by the EPA. (Those given orally, love pills, must be approved by the U.S.

Food and Drug istration.) But here’s the ugly truth: Numerous of the pesticides allowed for use on pets are linked to serious health issues in people, such as cancer and neurological and respiratory problems. Pets can also suffer: Skin irritation, neurological problems, gastrointestinal disorders, and even organ failure own been reported as a result of pet poisonings.

The government has faced criticism from NRDC and other watchdog groups about insufficient safety standards for these products.

Consumers, as well as some veterinarians, don’t know the whole tale, says NRDC senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman. “Many vets count on the EPA to make certain that the products on the market are safe if used correctly.” Unfortunately, the ingredients in these products are still fairly dangerous, and regular use can result in unsafe exposure, particularly for children and pregnant women.

For example, even low-level exposure to organophosphates and carbamates—two particularly dangerous families of pesticides found in some flea treatments as well as in agricultural and lawn products—have been linked to learning disabilities in children.

For this reason, most household uses of these pesticides own already been banned. Unfortunately, kids can still be exposed to them from their furry siblings’ flea collars or other products.

Going nontoxic. Fortunately for numerous families, fleas can be controlled without resorting to harmful chemicals. Always attempt the strategies under first before considering chemicals—safer chemicals—if additional protection is needed. Here’s what you can do:

Groom your pets regularly. Common soap and water will kill adult fleas.

In addition, comb your animal’s fur with a fine-tooth flea comb, and dunk any critters into a container of sudsy water.

Clean, clean, clean. Wash your pet’s bedding weekly in boiling, soapy water, and vacuum and wipe below pet-frequented surfaces often, including behind and underneath furniture and between sofa cushions. If you’re the victim of a flea infestation, Karyn Bischoff, a toxicologist at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, recommends doing this daily.

For severe cases, professional steam cleaning may be needed for your carpets.

Take preemptive steps in your yard and garden. It helps to put beneficial nematodes—worms that eat flea larvae—in the soil where your pet is likely to frolic. Discover them in garden supply stores or online.

Diatomaceous ground is a less toxic option for the home and yard, says Rotkin-Ellman, “but it can be really damaging if it is inhaled or gets into your or your pet’s eyes.” Use caution and protective gear, and use it only in areas where pets and kids won’t be exposed.

Glance for products marketed to control pests, and avoid the helpful used in swimming-pool systems.

Be wary of products marketed as “natural.” Sadly, there’s no magic nontoxic bullet to wipe out these pests. Natural products and herbal remedies should also be approached with caution. They may not work—and some aren’t safe, says Bischoff. Numerous of these contain peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, cedarwood, or rosemary oil. While these may be safer than some of the synthetic chemicals, they own also been linked to allergies in both pets and humans, and not much is known about how well they actually work.

If you give these a attempt, monitor your pet and family closely for adverse reactions.

Ear mites – Otodectes cynotis

Ear mites are well known as the major cause of otitis externa (ear inflammation) in young cats and in breeding colonies – see common ear problems in cats. However, it is also possible for the mites to wander onto the skin around the head and neck and cause pruritic skin disease at these sites. As cats sleep curled up, spread of infection (and subsequent dermatitis) to the rump and tail may also occur.

Considering chemicals

There are varying degrees of harm when it comes to these products and the chemicals they contain.

Work with your vet to craft a custom plan for your pet, and hold some basic guidelines in mind to spot safer products:

Ask about oral flea-prevention treatments. Pills with the athletic ingredients lufenuron, nitenpyram, or spinosad can be a better option, for both animals and humans, than treatments that leave residue on fur that might get on hands or furniture. But oral meds need to be prescribed by a vet and are considerably more expensive, so they may not be a realistic option for every pet owners.

Identify safer ingredients. If chemical products are necessary for additional flea or tick control, NRDC recommends s-methoprene or pyriproxyfen, which are less toxic ingredients—but read the labels carefully because some products use them with other, more harmful pesticides.

Avoid products that include synthetic neonicotinoids (like imidacloprid and dinotefuran), which are harmful to bees and may be toxic to the developing brain of young kids.

Be wary of flea collars. These products can contain some of the most dangerous insecticides, including tetrachlorvinphos, carbaryl, and propoxur. Some of the collars posing the greatest risk are already being phased out of production, and NRDC is suing the EPA to ban the relax.

Until that happens (and until older products are off store shelves entirely), either avoid collars altogether or be vigilant about searching labels for those specific athletic ingredients.

Use additional caution with tick products. When it comes to tick prevention—or combination flea-and-tick products—the news is even grimmer. Most products designed to repel these buggers include possible carcinogens and nervous-system toxins love fipronil, permethrin, pyrethrins, or imidacloprid. “Our recommendation for ticks is to use the least toxic option available, at the lowest level, and only when you need it,” Rotkin-Ellman says.

If you live in an area where ticks and Lyme disease are prevalent, you probably need protection—but talk to your vet about how much and how often. Pregnant women and young children should minimize their exposure.

Buy a species-specific product. Two common ingredients in flea-and-tick products, permethrin and pyrethrins, are extremely toxic to cats. Don’t put these ingredients on your dog, either, if you also own a cat that could snuggle up with or brush against it.

Choose the correct formula for your pet’s weight. An EPA investigation showed that little dogs (10 to 20 pounds) were most likely to own reactions such as rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures from topical treatments.

Dogs that are ancient, young, ill, or on meds are also at higher risk. (Flea and tick control can interfere with other medications, rendering them ineffective or even poisonous.) There are even breed-specific sensitivities, so a conversation with your vet is in order before you decide how to proceed.

Don’t rely on shampoos. Flea and tick shampoo may seem love a safer, more cost-effective option, but they often contain numerous of the same ingredients as topical treatments and can cause adverse reactions and allergies, Bischoff says.

Moreover, they’re not meant to take the put of preventive options. “You’d use a shampoo for an animal with an infestation and then, generally, follow up with a topical treatment,” she says. Read labels, and take the same precautions with shampoos as you would with spot-on or collar products.

Report health issues immediately. If you or your pet reacts to a pet product containing pesticides, call your local poison control middle, talk to your doctor, and, later, report it to the National Pesticide Information Middle at 800-858-7378.

Visit any grocery store aisle and you are certain to discover more and more shoppers scanning labels to make certain their food is «free» of one thing or another: gluten free, fat free, sugar free… the list grows longer each day.

Now, these preferences own extended beyond the dinner table and into the food bowl, as discerning pet parents strive to make similar food choices for their beloved four-legged family members. After every, who doesn’t desire their furry friend to own a healthy and happy life?

It’s no wonder that the pet food market has reacted in helpful, with an array of grain-free cat food options appearing within the recent years. But is grain-free food for cats the correct option for your favorite kitty? Contrary to what can be found on the internet (which is anything), grains can actually be excellent for your cat.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about grain-free cat food — and whether you should consider for your own pet.

Chew toys can satisfy your cat’s natural desire to chomp, while making her teeth strong. Gnawing on a chew toy can also assist floss your cat’s teeth, massage her gums and scrape away soft tartar.

If your cat suffers from any of the symptoms mentioned under, please see the vet correct away:

  1. Rodent Ulcer: A slowly enlarging sore or swelling on the upper lip.
  2. Stomatitis: This inflammation of the mouth lining may result from a foreign body in the mouth, a viral disease or dental problems.

    The cat will own difficulty eating and the inside of the mouth will appear red.

  3. Periodontitis: If gingivitis invades the tooth socket, the tooth may become loose and an abscess may form.
  4. Salivary Cyst: If salivary glands or ducts that carry saliva to the mouth become blocked, a cyst may form under the tongue.
  5. Gingivitis: This inflammation of the gums is mainly seen in older cats.

    It may start as a dark red line bordering on the teeth. If left untreated, gums may become sore and ulceration may happen. This may be a sign of FIV or other infection.

  6. Mouth Ulcers: Ulcers on a cat’s tongue and gums are sometimes caused by feline respiratory or kidney disease.

Eye Care

A excellent home eye exam just before grooming can clue you into any tearing, crust, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem. Here are few simple tips to hold your kitty’s eyes bright and healthy.

Expand to read more

  1. Roll below your kitty’s eyelid gently with your thumb and take a glance at the lid’s lining. It should be pink, not red or white.
  2. Face your cat in a brightly lit area and glance her in the eyes.

    They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. Her pupils should be equal in size.

  3. Wipe away any crusty gunk from your cat’s eyes with a damp cotton ball. Always wipe away from the corner of the eye, and use a unused cotton ball for each eye. Snip away any endless hairs that could be blocking her vision or poking her eyes. Attempt not to use eye washes or eye drops unless they’ve been prescribed by your vet.

How can you tell if there is something incorrect with one or both of your cat’s eyes?

Glance out for the following:

  1. Tear-stained fur
  2. Closed eye(s)
  3. Watering
  4. Crusty gunk in the corners of the eye
  5. Cloudiness or change in eye color
  6. Red or white eyelid linings
  7. Discharge
  8. Visible third eyelid

Certain body language will also alert you to possible eye distress. If your cat is constantly squinting or pawing at her eye area, give her eyes a excellent inspection. If you discover any of the above symptoms, you should immediately call your vet.

The following eye-related disorders are commonly seen in cats:

  1. Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
  2. Bulging eye: Bulging can happen because of accident or trauma or an eye tumor.
  3. Third eyelid protrusion: If the third eyelid becomes visible or crosses your cat’s eye, he may own a wound or may be suffering from diarrhea, worms or a virus.
  4. Cataracts: This opacity on the eye is often seen in elderly and diabetic cats.
  5. Retinal disease: Partial or entire vision loss can happen when light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye degenerate.
  6. Keratitis: If your cat’s cornea becomes inflamed, the eye will glance cloudy and watery.
  7. Conjunctivitis: One or both of your cat’s eyes will glance red and swollen, and there may be discharge.
  8. Watery eyes: The fur around your cat’s eyes may be stained with tears because of blocked tear ducts or an overproduction of tears.

Many feline eye disorders can be treated with vet-prescribed drops or ointments—your vet will show you how to apply eye and ear drops at home.

The best way to prevent eye conditions is to make certain your cat gets every her vaccinations and has thorough check-ups.

Please examine her eyes regularly and consult a vet if you discover any abnormalities. Eye conditions that are left untreated can lead to impaired sight or even blindness.

One of the most mind-boggling choices dog and cat owners face is how to safely guard against fleas and ticks. Those creepy crawlers aren’t just gross; they can transmit disease to both pets and people. Pets need protection, but numerous of the solutions on store shelves are loaded with chemicals that could be risky to their health—and yours.

So what’s a responsible pet lover to do?

The key is to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing these harmful products to reach store shelves in the first put. Until the EPA does this, however, you can educate yourself about the risks and benefits of various treatment options, then bring that knowledge to the store. There are ways to hold every your family members, including the furry ones, safe from dangerous pests and the most toxic ingredients.

The perils of pest protection

Most conventional flea and tick products—including collars, topical treatments, sprays, and dusts—are registered as pesticides and regulated by the EPA. (Those given orally, love pills, must be approved by the U.S.

Food and Drug istration.) But here’s the ugly truth: Numerous of the pesticides allowed for use on pets are linked to serious health issues in people, such as cancer and neurological and respiratory problems. Pets can also suffer: Skin irritation, neurological problems, gastrointestinal disorders, and even organ failure own been reported as a result of pet poisonings.

The government has faced criticism from NRDC and other watchdog groups about insufficient safety standards for these products. Consumers, as well as some veterinarians, don’t know the whole tale, says NRDC senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman.

“Many vets count on the EPA to make certain that the products on the market are safe if used correctly.” Unfortunately, the ingredients in these products are still fairly dangerous, and regular use can result in unsafe exposure, particularly for children and pregnant women.

For example, even low-level exposure to organophosphates and carbamates—two particularly dangerous families of pesticides found in some flea treatments as well as in agricultural and lawn products—have been linked to learning disabilities in children.

For this reason, most household uses of these pesticides own already been banned. Unfortunately, kids can still be exposed to them from their furry siblings’ flea collars or other products.

Going nontoxic. Fortunately for numerous families, fleas can be controlled without resorting to harmful chemicals. Always attempt the strategies under first before considering chemicals—safer chemicals—if additional protection is needed. Here’s what you can do:

Groom your pets regularly. Common soap and water will kill adult fleas.

In addition, comb your animal’s fur with a fine-tooth flea comb, and dunk any critters into a container of sudsy water.

Clean, clean, clean. Wash your pet’s bedding weekly in boiling, soapy water, and vacuum and wipe below pet-frequented surfaces often, including behind and underneath furniture and between sofa cushions. If you’re the victim of a flea infestation, Karyn Bischoff, a toxicologist at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, recommends doing this daily.

For severe cases, professional steam cleaning may be needed for your carpets.

Take preemptive steps in your yard and garden. It helps to put beneficial nematodes—worms that eat flea larvae—in the soil where your pet is likely to frolic. Discover them in garden supply stores or online.

Diatomaceous ground is a less toxic option for the home and yard, says Rotkin-Ellman, “but it can be really damaging if it is inhaled or gets into your or your pet’s eyes.” Use caution and protective gear, and use it only in areas where pets and kids won’t be exposed.

Glance for products marketed to control pests, and avoid the helpful used in swimming-pool systems.

Be wary of products marketed as “natural.” Sadly, there’s no magic nontoxic bullet to wipe out these pests. Natural products and herbal remedies should also be approached with caution. They may not work—and some aren’t safe, says Bischoff. Numerous of these contain peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, cedarwood, or rosemary oil. While these may be safer than some of the synthetic chemicals, they own also been linked to allergies in both pets and humans, and not much is known about how well they actually work.

If you give these a attempt, monitor your pet and family closely for adverse reactions.

Ear mites – Otodectes cynotis

Ear mites are well known as the major cause of otitis externa (ear inflammation) in young cats and in breeding colonies – see common ear problems in cats. However, it is also possible for the mites to wander onto the skin around the head and neck and cause pruritic skin disease at these sites. As cats sleep curled up, spread of infection (and subsequent dermatitis) to the rump and tail may also occur.

Considering chemicals

There are varying degrees of harm when it comes to these products and the chemicals they contain.

Work with your vet to craft a custom plan for your pet, and hold some basic guidelines in mind to spot safer products:

Ask about oral flea-prevention treatments. Pills with the athletic ingredients lufenuron, nitenpyram, or spinosad can be a better option, for both animals and humans, than treatments that leave residue on fur that might get on hands or furniture. But oral meds need to be prescribed by a vet and are considerably more expensive, so they may not be a realistic option for every pet owners.

Identify safer ingredients. If chemical products are necessary for additional flea or tick control, NRDC recommends s-methoprene or pyriproxyfen, which are less toxic ingredients—but read the labels carefully because some products use them with other, more harmful pesticides.

Avoid products that include synthetic neonicotinoids (like imidacloprid and dinotefuran), which are harmful to bees and may be toxic to the developing brain of young kids.

Be wary of flea collars. These products can contain some of the most dangerous insecticides, including tetrachlorvinphos, carbaryl, and propoxur. Some of the collars posing the greatest risk are already being phased out of production, and NRDC is suing the EPA to ban the relax. Until that happens (and until older products are off store shelves entirely), either avoid collars altogether or be vigilant about searching labels for those specific athletic ingredients.

Use additional caution with tick products. When it comes to tick prevention—or combination flea-and-tick products—the news is even grimmer.

Most products designed to repel these buggers include possible carcinogens and nervous-system toxins love fipronil, permethrin, pyrethrins, or imidacloprid. “Our recommendation for ticks is to use the least toxic option available, at the lowest level, and only when you need it,” Rotkin-Ellman says. If you live in an area where ticks and Lyme disease are prevalent, you probably need protection—but talk to your vet about how much and how often. Pregnant women and young children should minimize their exposure.

Buy a species-specific product. Two common ingredients in flea-and-tick products, permethrin and pyrethrins, are extremely toxic to cats.

Don’t put these ingredients on your dog, either, if you also own a cat that could snuggle up with or brush against it.

Choose the correct formula for your pet’s weight. An EPA investigation showed that little dogs (10 to 20 pounds) were most likely to own reactions such as rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures from topical treatments. Dogs that are ancient, young, ill, or on meds are also at higher risk. (Flea and tick control can interfere with other medications, rendering them ineffective or even poisonous.) There are even breed-specific sensitivities, so a conversation with your vet is in order before you decide how to proceed.

Don’t rely on shampoos. Flea and tick shampoo may seem love a safer, more cost-effective option, but they often contain numerous of the same ingredients as topical treatments and can cause adverse reactions and allergies, Bischoff says.

Moreover, they’re not meant to take the put of preventive options. “You’d use a shampoo for an animal with an infestation and then, generally, follow up with a topical treatment,” she says. Read labels, and take the same precautions with shampoos as you would with spot-on or collar products.

Report health issues immediately. If you or your pet reacts to a pet product containing pesticides, call your local poison control middle, talk to your doctor, and, later, report it to the National Pesticide Information Middle at 800-858-7378.

Visit any grocery store aisle and you are certain to discover more and more shoppers scanning labels to make certain their food is «free» of one thing or another: gluten free, fat free, sugar free… the list grows longer each day.

Now, these preferences own extended beyond the dinner table and into the food bowl, as discerning pet parents strive to make similar food choices for their beloved four-legged family members. After every, who doesn’t desire their furry friend to own a healthy and happy life?

It’s no wonder that the pet food market has reacted in helpful, with an array of grain-free cat food options appearing within the recent years. But is grain-free food for cats the correct option for your favorite kitty? Contrary to what can be found on the internet (which is anything), grains can actually be excellent for your cat.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about grain-free cat food — and whether you should consider for your own pet.


What Is grain-free cat food?

Grain-free cat food is just what its name describes — a cat food made free of grains. Common grains found in cat food include wheat, corn, oats, barley and rice.

Most cats don’t require a grain-free food and cats with diagnosed grain allergies are unusual. In a study published in Veterinary Dermatology, corn was found to be one of the least likely sources of food allergy in a cat. Of the 56 cats in the study with food allergies, corn was responsible for four cases of allergy issues.

Forty-five cats, meanwhile, suffered from allergies associated with eating beef, dairy and/or fish. So how can you know if your cat has a food allergy? Some possible signs of a food allergy include:

  1. Inflamed skin
  2. Sores and scabs
  3. Itchiness
  4. Excessive hair loss
  5. Bald patches
  6. Excessive grooming
  7. «Hot spots»

Cats can own allergic reactions to grooming products, food and environmental irritants, such as pollen or flea bites which are more common than food allergies.

Feline acne, mites, lice, and bacteria and fungus infections of the skin every can lead to similar signs as food allergies in your kitty. You can narrow below what type of allergy your cat has by having your vet do a thorough examination and if food is suspected, your vet may recommend an elimination trial, the gold standard for diagnosing a food allergy, that can assist you determine what the cause of your cat’s discomfort is. If there is ever a question, your vet should be your number one source for discovering if any allergies do exist.


Manifestations of feline pruritus

Common manifestations of pruritic skin disease in cats include:

  1. ‘Miliary’ dermatitis – this form of skin disease is characterised by the presence of tiny 2-3 mm diameter crusts throughout the body surface.

    The skin and jacket may also be greasy and own excessive dandruff

  2. Symmetrical hair loss
  3. Overt itching, scratching and self-induced skin damage
  4. Eosinophilic granuloma complicated – see eosinophilic granuloma complicated in cats – this is a variety of skin lesions (indolent ulcer that affects the upper lip, and eosinophilic plagues or eosinophilic granulomas that can affect various areas of the body and also the oral cavity. They are generally associated with allergies. Every of these manifestations of pruritus glance completely diverse, but can every be caused by the same things — in most instances the cause is fleas but other parasites and allergies can be involved.

    Some cats may own more than one manifestation of disease present simultaneously eg, indolent ulcer and symmetrical hair loss.


Does grain free also mean gluten free and low carb?

More than 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease, a painful condition that can be managed by following a gluten-free diet. But the excellent news is there is no scientific evidence that the same condition affects cats.

What to feed cats with skin allergies

So, avoiding gluten is not necessary for cats.

What numerous pet parents forget to consider is that to replace grains, grain-free food often uses ingredients such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, lentils and peas. In fact, some grain-free pet foods contain carbohydrate levels similar to or even higher than cat food containing grains — but carbs don’t make dogs and cats fat.

What to feed cats with skin allergies

A sedentary lifestyle, neutering, over-feeding, feeding table scraps, consuming too much fat and calories are risk factors for obesity rather than carbohydrates. Carbohydrates from whole grains assist provide your kitty with finish and balanced nutrition — the key to excellent health.


Are grain-free cat foods high in protein?

Protein is especially significant in cat food because, unlike numerous other animals, protein is a cat’s primary energy source.

What numerous people don’t realize (57 percent of cat parents, according to a PetMD survey) is that while cats do require a part of their protein to come from animals, their systems are also extremely excellent at digesting and absorbing nutrients from high-quality, plant-based ingredients. Carbs assist protect the muscles in the body, especially for cats. Providing adequate carbohydrate calories spares body proteins, love muscles, from being broken below to be used for energy.

In fact, a food that relies solely on meat as a protein source can be higher in phosphorous.

While phosphorus is an essential nutrient, there is a link between high-phosphorus foods and a progression of kidney disease in cats and dogs. Vegetables and grains are low-phosphorus sources of essential amino acids that cats need, providing your cat with a source of protein she needs to be healthy.


How to discover the correct grain-free Food for your cat

Research the diverse options available for your cat, talk to your veterinarian, then select a high-quality food that meets every the nutrients your cat requires (and that your cat actually likes to eat). Your diligence will go a endless way to ensuring your cat’s health now and endless into the future.


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