The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

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August 25, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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CPR and Artificial Respiration for Senior Cats

Image credits – Pixabay

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Artificial Respiration (AR) are emergency procedures that can save lives. However, we all wish we never have to face a scenario, where, we would be forced to use CPR/AR; not just on people, but also on our pets.

Unfortunately, such situations can’t always be avoided and in some cases, you need to be extra careful while carrying out AR/CPR.

In this case, we are referring to the administration of CPR/AR to older cats.

Ideally, it is best to rush your cat to a veterinarian in case of an emergency. However, if the situation is too drastic, a CPR/AR might be required in order to save your cat’s life.

Keep an eye out

Here are a few sings to watch out for in order to figure out if your cat needs emergency attention:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Sudden illness
  • Sever trauma or injury
  • Sudden changes in behavior

Prior to administering CPR/AR, ensure that your cat really requires it. Try communicating with your cat. Touch or gently shake him/her. Your cat could just be sleeping. Administering CPR/AR under the wrong circumstances can end up causing more damage. For instance, you can cause injuries to your senior cat.

Check for these vital signs:

  • Breathing – If your cat is breathing, CPR/AR maybe unnecessary. To know if your cat is breathing, just place a clean piece of glass or metal in front of its nose. If mist forms on the piece of glass/metal, it indicates that your cat is breathing.
  • Check pulse – This can be checked by placing your hand on the inside of the cat’s thigh, right at the connection between the body and the leg.
  • Check his/her gums – If the gums are grayish or bluish, then it indicates a lack of oxygen. Similarly, white gums indicate low blood circulation.
  • Check for heartbeat – This can be done by placing your ear or a stethoscope on the left chest area, close to the elbow.

Administration of CPR/AR

While rushing your cat to the veterinarian, you can try some of these steps on the move.

  • Check your cat’s breathing – If he/she isn’t breathing, check for obstructions in the mouth or airway. Remove if you find any. Then, pull the cat’s tongue out and place it in front of the mouth. Then, gently hold the mouth shut.
  • Ensure that your cat’s neck is rested in a straight position. Breathe small puffs off air into his/her nose every 6 seconds. Ideally, it should be 10 breaths every minute. When breathing into your cat’s nose, the chest should rise and relax like it normally does.
  • Check for pulse and heartbeat. If you can’t identify either, immediately place the cat on his/her right side on a surface that’s flat. Then, place your fingers and thumb from either hand on either side of your cat’s chest, right behind the elbows. Give a brief squeeze, just about enough to compress the chest to half or one-third of its actual thickness. Do this about 100 to 120 times per minute. While doing so, also administer two breaths per 30 compressions.
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August 24, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Pediatric Behavioral Problems in Your Cat

Image: Pixabay.com/

Between birth and puberty, some kittens exhibit either extremely aggressive or fearful behavior. Such behavior is easily acquired and can be hard to change later on. Owners must take preventative measures in the early days when cats are most susceptible to environmental and psychological changes. There are no breeds that are avert to these behaviors, although research suggests that genetic factors can influence cats’ behavior.

Symptoms

Pediatric behavioral problems may show up during play where, the cat is extremely aggressive. This includes extended claws, biting and general rough behavior. Aggression can also be a defense mechanism and cats usually hiss, flatten their ears and have dilated pupils. Fear is also a factor for these kinds of behavior. Another pair of symptoms that is usually seen as a problem is soiling in undesirable areas. Referred to as elimination behavior, it includes not using the litter-box and defecating in the house and other prohibited areas.

Causes

Often behavior problems are a result of the cats treatment by people. For example, perceived aggressive behavior towards humans maybe a result of not having anyone to play with. Aggressive behavior will be spurred by humans that spur the cat on with teasing and rough play. Fear can also be a consequence of rough play and handling by people. This includes correction techniques like hitting, spanking or yelling.

Treatment

Treating your young cats behavior usually does not require any medication or surgery. Proper handling and care go a long way in raising a healthy car. When trying to rid your cats of unruly behavior, try using toys, moving objects and play instead of physical punishments. Flicking, hitting, spanking and yelling all need to be avoided.

Cats that have a problem adjusting to people usually get better when another cat is introduced into the home. Additionally, cats can be introduced to humans slowly and in a comfortable environment. Make sure to let the cat/kitten make the first move and that no one grabs it without initiation.

If you notice that your cat is scared or becomes aggressive to certain stimuli , then figure out what the stimuli is. Figure out how you can reduce the stimulus’s impact on your cat or get rid of it all together. Handling techniques, daily play and proper nutrition can help make your cat more peaceful and friendly.

Generally, behavioral problems from the cat are a result of it’s environment and the way it’s treated. As such, make sure that your cat has positive experiences, especially when it is between 3 to 7 weeks old. If you have children, make sure they do not manhandle the cat or tease it unknowingly. If you’re unsure what kind of techniques to use to encourage behavioral changes, always ask a vet.

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August 23, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Why Does Your Cat Eat Grass?

Image: Wikimedia.org/

Ever noticed your cat nibbling on grass and wondered what it was doing? You’d be even more frustrated when it throws up after eating it. Turns out, this is completely normal and there is nothing to worry about. As far as research is concerned, it is clear that cats are not harmed when eating grass and the habit might even have it’s own benefits. Both outdoor and indoor cats show this behavior and here are a few reasons why.

Natural Laxative

As most cat owners know, hairballs are a common occurrence. Cats usually vomit hairballs but when there is indigestible material present deeper in the digestive tract, grass can act as a great laxative. It clears out all the indigestible material from the cat’s system. Cats seem to have a natural intuition about the uses of grass.

Upset Stomach

Like most carnivores, cats eat their prey as is – with the feathers and the fur and the tiny bones. Sometimes, this leads to an upset stomach with things stuck in the digestive tract. You might have realized that cats puke shortly after they eat grass. The puking occurs because the cat does not have enzymes that can process large amounts of grass. The nauseating process helps them clear out their digestive tract and deal with an upset stomach. It also saves you a trip to the vet.

Natural Supplement

Cats that eat grass regularly might do it because it resembles their mother’s milk. Much like the milk, grass contains folic acid. Folic acid helps cats grow and gain sufficient nutrition. Owners must beware however, if the grazing becomes too regular as this indicates that the cat is deficient in the vitamin and might be looking for natural sources to absorb it from.

Precautions

If your cat loves grazing, it can be harmful to let it eat any grass it sees outside. There is no way for owners to know if an outside patch of grass has been sprayed with harmful materials like pesticides and fertilizers. Many owners choose to buy their feline friends a patch of cat grass, specifically to help them graze. If you’re one of them, it is important to note that all the other plants in your house must be non-toxic for your cat. Retailers sell oat and wheat grass that can be grown and kept indoors for your cat’s benefit.

So it is clear that cats eating grass is nothing to worry about. Some owners even believe that grass can cure sore throats for cats. A nice tray of kitty grass in the house should keep your cat happy. However, if he/she excessively eats grass or demands it on a daily basis, it’s time to go to the vet.

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August 22, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Post-Spaying Estrus Symptoms in Your Cat

Image: Pixabay.com/

Ovariohysterectomy, more commonly known as spaying, is a procedure used to remove the ovaries and uterus of a female cat. The procedure is meant to stop “heat” or estrus symptoms in the cat. When they’re in heat, cats tend to exhibit certain behaviors to encourage breeding but spayed cats are not supposed to go through heat or estrus cycles. The most common cause of post-removal estrus is surviving ovarian tissue. Let’s take a look at the symptoms, causes and treatments for estrus after spaying.

Symptoms

When your cat is ready for breeding, she becomes extremely affectionate. She rubs herself against your legs along with other random objects in the house. Additionally, she will also roll around and rub her head constantly. Cats tend to become excessively vocal and restless during this period. They also raise their hinds and bend their legs. Clear vaginal secretions emanating from the vulva along with swelling are also a clear sign that the cat is in heat.
Causes

There are 3 main causes for the cat to experience heat cycles after spaying. The most common one is the failure of the surgeon to remove both ovaries, followed by the presence of excessive ovarian tissue in the cat’s abdomen. In rare cases, some cats have an excessive number of ovaries present in their abdomen. All of these lead to the secretion of hormones that facilitate breeding, but your cat cannot get pregnant.

Diagnosis and Treatment

For a successful diagnosis, you will have to present your cat’s medical history in detail. In addition to this, physical tests will also be conducted. These tests include standard ones like blood count, urinalysis and biochemical profile. More specific tests for the detection of estrus include testing hormone levels and vaginal secretions. If estrogen is found in post-removal cats, it indicates that ovarian tissue is still present.

Typically, ultrasounds are used to detect the presence of ovarian tissues and surgery is used to fix it. In some cases, exploratory abdominal surgery is recommended to detect and remove the remaining tissue.

Post-surgery

Soon after the surgery has been completed, the cats behavior should go back to normal. Painkillers are recommended for a few days after the surgery and the prognosis is typically good. Doctors might also prescribe antibiotics and other medication to prevent infection. Any changes you wish to make to the medication schedule will require a consultation with the vet. Nutrition also plays a part in your feline friend’s healthy recovery. Vets usually suggest nutrition guidelines to be followed post surgery. Remember to follow doctor’s orders and keep your cat protected after surgery to help it heal without too much hassle.

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August 18, 2016
by Lynn Merton
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Why Does Your Cat Sleep So Much?

Image Credit – Pixabay.com/

Cats sleep for an average of 15 hours every day with some of them sleeping for as long as 20 hours, which begs the question – why does your feline companion sleep so much?

Catnap

You need to keep in mind that cats are at their active best after dusk and before dawn, which means that they tend to sleep through most of the day and become really active after twilight. This can be a shock to you if you are going to bring home a kitty for the first time. Your cat will begin investigating his new surroundings when you are asleep and get into trouble in no time. And as soon as he is finished with his breakfast, he will wind down for a long slumber.

Energy conservation

Cats are obligate carnivores and their physiology resembles that of predators, meaning that they are hardwired to chase and hunt for their prey, and they do this mostly at night. Even their larger cousins, like lions and tigers, sleep during the day and hunt at night. It is true that they have been domesticated over the years, but most of them still retain their wild streak. Even when they are playing, they will display their primal instincts by sneaking about in the shadows and pouncing on their prey without any warning.

Hunting for prey takes a lot of energy. Whether they are hunting for outdoor prey or trying to tackle a catnip toy, the sleep he gets during the day provides reserve energy for pouncing, running, stalking and climbing.

Eyes open

Like most people, cats either tend to sleep light or deeply. When your cat goes to sleep, he will usually position his body in such a way so that he can spring into action any time he wants to. Unlike humans, cats experience rapid eye movement during deep sleep. It usually lasts for about five minutes, after which he will get back to dozing. This pattern keeps repeating till he wakes up. Older cats and kittens tend to sleep more than adult cats.

Rainy day

It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that cats are affected by rainy weather, just like we are. Their behavioral patterns can be varied, depending on their age, breed, overall health and temperament. But irrespective of the normal disposition of your kitten, it has been observed that cats sleep more in cold and rainy weather.
Most cats are crepuscular creatures, and most of them are active during twilight. They lay low in night time and day time, when there are other predators hanging about. Some of the cats are active at night, especially kittens. However, cats are also highly adaptable and sociable, which means that he can adjust his sleeping patterns so that he gets to spend more time with his owner.