The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

2

July 7, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

How to Bathe Your Kitten?

Image Credit – Wikimedia.org/

According to folklore, water and cats do not mix. But it can be disproved using psychological principles, gaining the trust of your kitten, and not giving up. Follow these steps to get your cat used to baths.

Why bother bathing your cat?

AS with most behavior modification techniques, getting your cat used to bathing goes beyond achieving the goal of cleanliness. Your cat can do without bathing, considering the constant grooming that is a part of his daily life. As a matter of fact, if you have adopted kittens from the same litter, they will clean each other for the rest of their lives and double the clean factor. However, there are many instances when a situation might arise in a cat’s life where the owner must touch, poke and prod despite the discomforts or protests of his cat.

Steps to successful cat baths

  1. Get the feet wet – The first step in the process involves getting the feet wet. Just stand in the water so that all of your cat’s paws are submerged in it. Praise and pet him. Give him treats after he has stood in the water for a few minutes without any sign of struggle. Wrap him in a bath towel and cuddle him wit a lot of kisses. If he struggles, do not give him any treats and try again the next time. Don’t proceed t the next step till he completes this one successfully.
  2. Time for the rubdown – The next time you repeat the first step, wet the washcloth and give your cat a nice rubdown. Don’t use soap. You need to make sure that your cat loves getting scratched. It is important you maintain eye contact when you are doing this and correct her gently whenever she tries to slink away. Once you are done, dry her with the bath towel. Cuddle him with a lot of kisses. If he still struggles, do not give him any treats and try again the next time. Don’t go on to the next step till he successfully completes this step.
  3. Rain on the parade – Before you give your cat a rubdown with the washcloth, pour water from a small cup to get him thoroughly soaked. When you wet his head, lift his chin with a finger to keep the water from running directly into the eyes. Dry him thoroughly with a bath towel. Wrap him in the other towel and shower him with a lot of kisses. If he struggles, do not give him a treat and try again the next time.
  4. Soap him up – Before you start, flip the top of the shampoo bottle open and place it out of his reach. Place a little amount of soap on the wet coat and spread it nicely. Make sure that you do not get any in his eyes. Make use of the washcloth to get the soap off his head and rinse the cloth as needed. Rinse off the rest of the body and make sure you dry him with one of the bath towels. If he struggles, don’t reward him and try again the next time.
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July 6, 2016
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

How to Treat Broken Bones in Your Cat?

Image Credit – Wikimedia.org/

Cats are agile and graceful animals that can make impressive jumps. But even the best athlete can miss from time to time. Collisions with cars and falls are two of the most common ways a cat breaks a bone. Animal and human attacks can also cause bone fractures. The most commonly broken bones are the pelvis, femur, tail and jaw.

What do you need to look out for?

Cats tend to hide their pain. So you need to be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Howling, growling, moaning or crying, especially if they are touched
  • Not walking, or not using the tail or a limb
  • Not grooming or eating
  • Bruising or swelling at the injured area

In some cases, your cat might have a compound fracture – it is when you can see broken bones poke through the skin. Additionally, he might also have injuries secondary to the traumatic one, like bruises, cuts and disorientation.
Primary cause
A fracture is a break or crack in the bone that is caused by abnormal stress to the bone, and is the result of a traumatic event like getting hit by a car or a fall.

Immediate care

You need to remember that your cat will be in pain, and animals suffering from pain can bite, regardless of how gentle they are. The second thing to keep in mind is that if the event is severe enough to fracture the bone, it could cause shock and inconspicuous problems, some of which might not be detectable for days.
The purpose of home treatment is to stabilize the injury till your cat is given a once over by the vet. Areas with profuse bleeding or with the bone sticking out must be covered with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Refrain from disturbing the broken bone. Place him on a rigid surface or wrap him up in a thick towel to carry him to the vet.

Veterinary care

  • Diagnosis – Your vet will evaluate the overall health of your cat to make sure that there aren’t any serious underlying problems. He will then take multiple X-rays of the fracture.
  • Treatment – Treatment depends on a number of factors. The most important ones are age, overall health, the bones that are broken and the type of fracture. A cast or splint might be sufficient for the lower leg. In certain cases, surgery might be needed to realign the broken bones and to place pins, screws, metal plates and wire to hold the pieces together. Some severe fractures require amputation, particularly if the tail is involved. Fractures of the pelvis and spine will be treated by restricting activity (cage rest). Pain medication will be a part of the treatment plan.
232

July 5, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

Is your Cat Losing a Lot of Hair?

Image Credit – Pixabay.com/

Alopecia (hair loss) is one of the most common problems faced by cats. The hair loss can be complete or partial, and the patterns symmetrical or varied. Depending on the cause of the hair loss, there are a few treatment options, although limited.

Symptoms of alopecia

The most common signs of alopecia include total or partial hair loss. The skin surrounding the area with hair loss can look normal or might have bumps, redness, scabs or skin loss. Alopecia might present itself symmetrically or can appear randomly across the skin of your cat.

Common causes

You will need to consult with the vet to find out the exact reason behind your cat’s hair loss. It could be due to:

  • Allergies – They are the number one cause of hair loss. Just like people, cats can be allergic to insect bites, food, dust, medicines or pollen. To make herself comfortable, your cat will lick the fur till there are bald patches. It is quite simple to treat, but you might have to give her medication for the rest of her life.
  • Parasites – Mites, fleas, ticks and lice can make your cat lick and scratch too causing sores and bald spots. Treatment is easy and quick. Use a topical cream designed to get rid of fleas and ticks or go for the oral alternative. Your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment course.
  • Ringworm infection – This is not a worm, but a fungal infection. The scaly ring of missing hair is the most common sign. Your vet will be able to diagnose it for sure and prescribe the appropriate antifungals.
  • Anxiety and stress – If your cat is stressed and obsessively scratches and licks, she can end up losing a lot of hair. This is referred to as psychogenic alopecia. Cats that suffer from this condition tend to pick at their sides, belly and legs. It is very common on purebred female cats who suffer from a nervous personality. Treat the wounds and consult with the vet to fin out if she needs a change in the environment or antidepressants.
  • Rare causes – Some pure breeds like the Bengals and the Himalayas tend to have genes that cause hair loss. Other breeds, like the Sphynx are bred to be completely hairless. Although unlikely, hair loss can also indicate a problem with the immune system, an overactive thyroid, diabetes or cancer. Your vet will do a blood serum chemistry panel to determine if there are thyroid or hormonal imbalances that have caused the hair loss. Sometimes, imaging tools like ultrasounds and X-rays are used to rule out cancer and adrenal gland abnormalities. You need to tell the vet about your cat’s behavior, diet and home to help him pinpoint the exact cause.
2

July 4, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

How to Treat Broken Bones In Your Cat?

Image Credit – Wikimedia.org/

Cats are agile and graceful animals that can make impressive jumps. But even the best athlete can miss from time to time. Collisions with cars and falls are two of the most common ways a cat breaks a bone. Animal and human attacks can also cause bone fractures. The most commonly broken bones are the pelvis, femur, tail and jaw.

What do you need to look out for?

Cats tend to hide their pain. So you need to be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Howling, growling, moaning or crying, especially if they are touched
  • Not walking, or not using the tail or a limb
  • Not grooming or eating
  • Bruising or swelling at the injured area

In some cases, your cat might have a compound fracture – it is when you can see broken bones poke through the skin. Additionally, he might also have injuries secondary to the traumatic one, like bruises, cuts and disorientation.

Primary cause

A fracture is a break or crack in the bone that is caused by abnormal stress to the bone, and is the result of a traumatic event like getting hit by a car or a fall.

Immediate care

You need to remember that your cat will be in pain, and animals suffering from pain can bite, regardless of how gentle they are. The second thing to keep in mind is that if the event is severe enough to fracture the bone, it could cause shock and inconspicuous problems, some of which might not be detectable for days. The purpose of home treatment is to stabilize the injury till your cat is given a once over by the vet. Areas with profuse bleeding or with the bone sticking out must be covered with a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Refrain from disturbing the broken bone. Place him on a rigid surface or wrap him up in a thick towel to carry him to the vet.

Veterinary care

  • Diagnosis – Your vet will evaluate the overall health of your cat to make sure that there aren’t any serious underlying problems. He will then take multiple X-rays of the fracture.
  • Treatment – Treatment depends on a number of factors. The most important ones are age, overall health, the bones that are broken and the type of fracture. A cast or splint might be sufficient for the lower leg. In certain cases, surgery might be needed to realign the broken bones and to place pins, screws, metal plates and wire to hold the pieces together. Some severe fractures require amputation, particularly if the tail is involved. Fractures of the pelvis and spine will be treated by restricting activity (cage rest). Pain medication will be a part of the treatment plan.
2

July 1, 2016
by Lynn Merton
1 Comment

How to Deal With Chocolate Toxicity in Cats?

Image Credit – Wikimedia.org/

Although cats are not as curious about human food as dogs are, they can also end up eating things that they are not supposed to eat, and that includes chocolate. The world’s favorite food item is derived from the roasted seeds of the cacao plant and some of its constituents can be harmful to cats if they are ingested, particularly theobromine and caffeine. Consuming these ingredients can give rise to a number of serious medical complications in your cat. Let us take a deeper look into the symptoms and the recommended course for treatment of chocolate toxicity.

Symptoms

If your cat has a case of chocolate poisoning, you might notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased body temperature and reflex responses
  • Rapid breathing
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Cardiac failure
  • Coma

The symptoms will vary based on the type and amount of chocolate that your cat ingests. Some of the most poisonous varieties of chocolate include semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate and baking chocolate. Fully dark chocolate is just as bad as it contains a concentrated dose of theobromine and caffeine. If your cat vomits after ingesting chocolate, it is a good sign as it means that the body is trying to get rid of the unwanted toxin. If it progresses to diarrhea, it means that the chocolate has been digested. In most of these cases, you will end up seeing systemic symptoms.

Diagnosis

If your cat has ingested chocolate by mistake and is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, take him to the vet immediately. The vet will perform a thorough physical exam, including an electrolyte panel, a CBC and urinalysis to determine if your cat has overdosed on theobromine and caffeine. He will also perform an electrocardiogram to see if there are any signs of rhythm of conduction abnormalities in your cat’s heart.

Treatment

While you are at the vet’s office waiting for your cat to be evaluated, try to keep them calm, cool and in a peaceful place. It will keep the symptoms from escalating quickly. Your vet might recommend that you ingest vomiting after ingestion. This will prevent the harmful chemicals in the chocolate from being digested and will also keep seizures at bay. The vet might administer fluids to keep your cat fully hydrated. To avoid any problems in the future, feed a balanced diet to your cat following the treatment.

Prevention

The best way to prevent the accident from happening in the first place is to keep the chocolate away from your cat. Exercise care to ensure that you do not feed them any food item that might contain even trace amounts of chocolate.