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My cat is unable to urinate and he keeps going back and forth to the litter box. What is wrong with him?
The most common problem, but not the only one, that would cause that presentation is infection or inflammation of the urinary tract. In the worst situation in a male cat, crystals and mucous may form a plug and basically block or prevent the passage of urine from the body through the urethra. As the urethra in the male cat is long and very narrow, that easily occurs. It is quite unusual for this situation to occur in a female cat, as the urethra is short and quiet wide relatively speaking. The urine remains in the body and the cat can quickly become sick and toxic. If the pet is not taken care of quickly the pet may die of uremia, as the toxic waste products produced in the kidneys are not being excreted from the body. An exam for a cat that is straining to urinate and not producing any or much urine is strongly recommended.
My cat is vomiting hairballs. What do you recommend?
Vomiting can be due to many things in the cat. If indeed you do see hair in the vomitus of your cat, several things can be done. First, the cat is vomiting hair that it is licking from its own body. Hence, more time spent brushing may be of benefit. There are a number of over the counter products such as Laxatone, which can be given to the cat to help the hair conglomerate together and pass through the intestinal tract. These products can be put on the cat's paw to be licked off, mixed into the food, or placed on the cat's lip to be licked off. These products appear to be quite safe and can be given once weekly as maintenance or even daily. There are also several brands of cat food now available that have formulation that include an increased fiber level to aid in the passage of hairballs. These are well-balanced foods and can be fed as the only source of food.
My cat is scratching at the furniture in my house. I am considering declawing her, is this inhumane?
I personally do not think that declawing a cat is inhumane. I would much rather see a cat safe in someone's home, without claws, then outside and be subjected to kids with pellet guns, cars, coyotes, cat fights and disease, and dogs. We see many, many unnecessary trauma occurring to cats that would simply be avoided if the cat was kept inside. If this requires declawing so that the cat can live in harmony with the other household members, than so be it. When we declaw cats, the cats are under a general anesthesia and receive pain medication. They seem to handle the procedures well.
My cat keeps spraying on my couch. What can I do?
Most commonly male cats spay urine for territorial and behavioral marking of territory. I would recommend that first you have an examination with your veterinarian including a blood test and urinalysis. If the physical examination and diagnostic tests are within normal range, than you may be dealing with a behavioral problem. If so, there are several medications that sometimes are helpful in controlling the problem. Otherwise, I would suggest use of a spray product called Feliway. We have had great success with this product when cats, both male and female, mark territory.
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