Have you recently added a feline friend to your family? Congratulations! We know you’ll be thrilled to have your new cat in your home. If you are considering adopting a cat, please visit your local shelter. We encourage you to browse our directory of adoptable cats in your area, or use our shelter finder to start your search.
Read on for useful tips for new cat parents, and for those looking to brush up on their pet care skills.
We recommend purchasing high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your new cat or kitten and determine the best diet. Factors such as age, activity level and health make a difference in what and how much a cat should eat.
- Cats require taurine, an essential amino acid, for heart and eye health. The food you choose should be balanced for the life stage of your cat or kitten. Properly balanced foods will contain taurine.
- You will need to provide fresh, clean water at all times, and wash and refill your cat’s water bowls daily.
- Treats should be no more than 5-10% of the diet.
- Many people feed baby food to a cat or kitten who is refusing food or not feeling well Please read labels carefully: If the baby food contains onion or garlic powder, your pet could be poisoned.
- Take your pet to your veterinarian if signs of anorexia, diarrhea, vomiting or lethargy continue for more than two days.
- Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for a list of off-limits items, as well as our Cat Nutrition Tips page for more information.
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but you should brush or comb your cat regularly. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs. Please visit our Cat Grooming Tips page for more information.
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck or by the front legs.
Your pet should have her own clean, dry place in your home to sleep and rest. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. Outdoor cats do not live as long as indoor cats. Outdoor cats are at risk of trauma from cars, or from fights with other cats, raccoons and free-roaming dogs. Coyotes are known to eat cats. Outdoor cats are more likely to become infested with fleas or ticks, as well as contract infectious diseases.
If allowed outdoors, your cat must wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. And for both indoor and outdoor cats, an ID tag or an implanted microchip can help ensure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary, but if you must do so, move the box just a few inches per day. Keep in mind that cats won’t use a messy, smelly litter box, so scoop solid wastes out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent and refill at least once a week; you can do this less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use ammonia, deodorants or scents, especially lemon, when cleaning the litter box. If your cat will not use a litterbox, please consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes refusal to use a litter box is based on a medical condition that required treatment. Please visit our Litter Box Problems page for more information.
Cats need to scratch! When a cat scratches, the old outer nail sheath is pulled off and the sharp, smooth claws underneath are exposed. Cutting your cat’s nails every two to three weeks will keep them relatively blunt and less likely to harm the arms of both humans and furniture. Provide your cat with a sturdy scratching post, at least three feet high. The post should also be stable enough that it won’t wobble during use, and should be covered with rough material such as sisal, burlap or tree bark. Many cats also like scratching pads.
Your cat should see the veterinarian at least once a year for an examination and annual shots, and immediately if she is sick or injured.
Medicines and Poisons
Never give your cat medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. If you suspect that your animal has ingested a poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for 24-hour animal poison information at (888) 426-4435.
Spaying and Neutering
Female cats should be spayed and male cats neutered by five months of age. Please visit our Spay/Neuter Your Pet page to learn more.
Your veterinarian will make recommendations based on your cat’s age and health. Please visit our Pet Vaccinations page to learn more.
Although we are all about our feline companions, we appreciate that many cat parents also have dogs in their homes. Dogs and cats are not the best of friends. The fights could get you down.
Experts say that pet dogs and cats can be friends. Looking at them as natural enemies is just a stereotype. You can teach your pets to tolerate each other and take it a level higher – make your cat and dog get along. Here are steps to help you make it happen.
Ever heard the adage bend a tree while it is young? The same is true about dog-cat relationships. The best way to get the two to get along is by socialising them while still young. Let the pup and the kitty hang out and learn to love each other. They can grow up to be BFFs!
If your cat and dog are past their formative stages, and they don’t get along, there is no need to struggle all by yourself. As a pet parent, you may not know the signs of stress, anxiety, or aggression the two animals express. Or perhaps you have a busy schedule and cannot commit to the process. You may not be the best person to teach the two pets how to get along. Reach out to a certified trainer or animal behaviorist for help.
For pet parents who want to DIY, here are steps to make your cat and dog get along.
Step #1: Let them master the scents and sounds
Adult humans rely on the sense of sight to familiarize themselves with a person or environment. However, most animals have sophisticated sensory abilities. They can use other kinds of sensory information to identify and familiarise themselves with individuals and surroundings. Dogs and cats often use their superior sense of smell and hearing.
Use this to build the dog-cat friendship.
Swap items like towels or give your cat your dog’s bed or vice versa so that they become familiar with each others’ scents. As you do this, introduce them to the way the other sounds, but from a safe distance. As they get used to each others’ scents and sounds, a hiss or bark is less likely to set the other off.
Step #2: Train them to be comfortable around each other
When the two are familiar with each others’ scent and sound, teach them how to be comfortable around each other.
Studies show that cat behaviour is a better predictor of how amicable the relationship is. If the cat is nervous or anxious, chances are, the two would not get along.
Follow these pointers to help the cat be comfortable around the dog:
- Hold the cat in your arms until she is relaxed.
- Have someone bring in the dog slowly and instruct him to sit at his spot. If you can set it up such that the dog lies on his favourite bed during this meeting, the better it could turn out.
- Gradually approach the dog while observing the cat. Do not force the animals or push for physical contact. Instead, regularly arrange for the meetings until the two learn how to be relaxed around each other.
For your safety, put on a long sleeve shirt while holding the cat. It will protect you from cat scratches.
Step #3. Stay calm and show love equally
When you hang out, be calm, relaxed, and composed. How you respond can affect the animals’ well-being. Animals can sense it when you are nervous. Dogs, in particular, could become protective and develop behavior problems, so make sure they have a calming bed to retreat to.
Do not forget to show love and affection equally. Animals are much like people. They get jealous when they see the other gets more attention than them. So, pour plenty of love on both your pets when they are together.
Step #4. Continue the interaction until they are relaxed
Remember to observe the cat’s behaviour keenly. When she is comfortable enough, keep the dog restrained but let the cat wander in the same room. Instruct the dog to stay at his spot. He should not go after the cat to play or say hi. The dog should not have trouble obeying instructions. You may have to take him through refresher obedience training before taking this step.
The first couple of attempts could be difficult. So it might help to use different strategies to help keep the dog calm. But after several weeks, the animals will get the hang of it. They will begin to learn to hang out.
Step #5. Redirect bad behaviour and reward good behaviour
As you go through the steps above, be keen on how both pets behave towards each other. Observe how the dog behaves towards the cat. Redirect any negative behavior like rough play or barking. Give him something else to do, or switch to a few drills of obedience training. Get his focus away from the cat.
Restrain yourself from scolding the dog. Try to keep the meetings as positive as possible.
On the other hand, when the dog displays exemplary behavior around the cat, like ignoring the cat or showing gentle friendliness, reward him with a treat. Pawstruck treats for dogs are one healthy example. Let the dog learn that it is enjoyable to treat the cat well. He will associate positive feelings with the cat.
Step #6. Seal the bond by playing together
Nothing builds a relationship better than having a good time together. To move your pets’ relationship from mutual tolerance to getting along, play with them. At first, you can do it one at a time while nearby. But as the days go by, do it together.
Try games like a scavenger hunt or play with your cat’s favorite toy. But make sure you don’t get either of them too excited. As you spend more positive time together, redirect negative behavior, and reward good behaviour, your cat and dog will learn to get along.
A final word on how to make your cat and dog get along
Although you want your furry babies to be BFFs, do not push them or force them. There could be instances when they would get into fights and need a cool-off period. Let them have it and recoup. Also, have realistic expectations, especially if it is a rescue cat or dog. They may never see eye to eye. Just be ready for alternative methods to keep the peace.
Keep in mind that most cats, especially inside cats, do not go very far. They probably stay within a five house radius for the first few days and weeks. They lay low and hide and wait. Our Facebook Ohio Administrator has been counseling and consoling people with lost cats for at least five years. Here are her recommendations, based on all those years of experience. It is important to act right away! These are tips that work!
Many people have success by leaving their garage cracked open. Cats really seem to prefer sneaking home that way and will sit on the interior step and scratch or meow.
I mention to folks that it’s pretty rare that a cat will come when called or by shaking treats which is why we need to appeal to their sense of smell to attract them home. I suggest putting out kitty’s favorite bed, blankie, or cat tree. These will be familiar scents that will appeal to kitty.
Regular food won’t do the trick. The food put outside needs to be sardines, tuna or some other type of stinky food and it must be heated to create a fragrant and enticing aroma. Reheat every so often to keep the aroma fragrant.
There are exceptions to this rule, however, out of the hundreds of kitty reunion stories on our page, cat owners have reported their cat returning most often between 8pm-2am and 4-7am.
It would be helpful if a family member could sleep on the ground floor to listen for any scratches or meows during the night. Especially the folks with a garage door cracked open. A baby monitor is also a good way to keep an ear open. It’s usually the people that put in the effort on that first and second night that can wrap up their ordeal quickly. I feel like it’s the people that choose to go to bed instead of staying up are the ones that prolong their ordeal.
Another thing that cats seem to respond to is their human’s normal speaking voice. Not the sad or frantic voice calling their name and pleading with them to return while shaking a bag of treats. Just your normal voice like sitting outside chit-chatting or talking on the phone. I have been on the phone twice with people, suggested this and they stepped outside to continue our conversation unbeknownst to me. Within a short time they start crying because their cat returns.
A recent story a kitty was missing for 2 weeks around Mother’s Day. Dad got Mom the fire pit she always wanted. They were sitting around it talking at 10pm when here comes their cat trotting home like no big deal to join the conversation. Another time…it was definitely a Divine Intervention story…but one of our FB friends found herself visiting in an apartment complex and she encountered a gal who was missing her cat. Our friend started communicating with me and passing along the tips. The cat owner had walked around her apartment unit for 8 hours calling for her kitty. I suggested they just sit outside and shoot the breeze. They sat on their front porch talking and here comes her cat walking home like la de da.
My hope is that we can encourage cat owners to immediately get busy trying to attract their kitty home so that their cat does not need to be found by someone else. Folks seems to immediately think to contact shelters and stuff without realizing their kitty is very likely right under their nose, but its behavior likely changes once it is displaced outdoors.”
If these suggestions fail it may be that someone has already taken your cat in – probably someone right in the neighborhood. Maybe kitty is stuck in a tree; don’t forget to look at places where a frightened cat might climb. Sometimes cats get trapped in a neighbor’s shed or garage or in a nearby construction site. Occasionally cats get carried off in a vehicle they were exploring. Outside cats are more likely to be found farther away. Please read our Lost Cat: What To Do page for more advice.
Use the nationwide database of cats looking for good homes below! Search by zip code to meet available cats in your area. Please note, these cats are from rescues and shelters nationwide and are not available through the ASPCA. If you live in New York City and are hoping to adopt from us, check out the cats available at our Adoption Center.
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Although we’re all about our feline companions, we respect that many cat dad and mom even have canines of their properties. Dogs and cats will not be the perfect of pals. The fights may get you down.
Experts say that pet canines and cats might be pals. Looking at them as pure enemies is only a stereotype. You can educate your pets to tolerate one another and take it a degree greater – make your cat and canine get alongside. Here are steps that can assist you make it occur.
Ever heard the adage bend a tree whereas it’s younger? The identical is true about dog-cat relationships. The finest solution to get the 2 to get alongside is by socialising them whereas nonetheless younger. Let the pup and the kitty hang around and be taught to like one another. They can develop as much as be BFFs!
If your cat and canine are previous their formative levels, they usually don’t get alongside, there is no such thing as a must wrestle all by your self. As a pet dad or mum, chances are you’ll not know the indicators of stress, anxiousness, or aggression the 2 animals categorical. Or maybe you will have a busy schedule and can’t decide to the method. You will not be the perfect individual to show the 2 pets how one can get alongside. Reach out to a licensed coach or animal behaviorist for assist.
For pet dad and mom who wish to DIY, listed here are steps to make your cat and canine get alongside.
Step #1: Let them grasp the scents and sounds
Adult people depend on the sense of sight to familiarize themselves with an individual or surroundings. However, most animals have subtle sensory skills. They can use different kinds of sensory info to determine and familiarise themselves with people and environment. Dogs and cats usually use their superior sense of odor and listening to.
Use this to construct the dog-cat friendship.
Swap objects like towels or give your cat your canine’s mattress or vice versa in order that they grow to be aware of every others’ scents. As you do that, introduce them to the best way the opposite sounds, however from a secure distance. As they get used to every others’ scents and sounds, a hiss or bark is much less prone to set the opposite off.
Step #2: Train them to be comfy round one another
When the 2 are aware of every others’ scent and sound, educate them how one can be comfy round one another.
Studies show that cat behaviour is a greater predictor of how amicable the connection is. If the cat is nervous or anxious, chances are high, the 2 wouldn’t get alongside.
Follow these pointers to assist the cat be comfy across the canine:
- Hold the cat in your arms till she is relaxed.
- Have somebody carry within the canine slowly and instruct him to sit down at his spot. If you possibly can set it up such that the canine lies on his favorite mattress throughout this assembly, the higher it may end up.
- Gradually method the canine whereas observing the cat. Do not drive the animals or push for bodily contact. Instead, often prepare for the conferences till the 2 discover ways to be relaxed round one another.
For your security, placed on an extended sleeve shirt whereas holding the cat. It will defend you from cat scratches.
Step #3. Stay calm and present love equally
When you hang around, be calm, relaxed, and composed. How you reply can affect the animals’ well-being. Animals can sense it when you’re nervous. Dogs, specifically, may grow to be protecting and develop conduct issues, so make certain they’ve a calming bed to retreat to.
Do not overlook to indicate love and affection equally. Animals are very similar to folks. They get jealous after they see the opposite will get extra consideration than them. So, pour loads of love on each your pets when they’re collectively.
Step #4. Continue the interplay till they’re relaxed
Remember to look at the cat’s behaviour keenly. When she is comfy sufficient, maintain the canine restrained however let the cat wander in the identical room. Instruct the canine to remain at his spot. He mustn’t go after the cat to play or say hello. The canine mustn’t have bother obeying directions. You could need to take him by way of refresher obedience coaching earlier than taking this step.
The first couple of makes an attempt could possibly be troublesome. So it’d assist to make use of completely different methods to assist maintain the canine calm. But after a number of weeks, the animals will get the cling of it. They will start to be taught to hang around.
Step #5. Redirect dangerous behaviour and reward good behaviour
As you undergo the steps above, be eager on how each pets behave in the direction of one another. Observe how the canine behaves in the direction of the cat. Redirect any damaging conduct like tough play or barking. Give him one thing else to do, or swap to a couple drills of obedience coaching. Get his focus away from the cat.
Restrain your self from scolding the canine. Try to maintain the conferences as optimistic as potential.
On the opposite hand, when the canine shows exemplary conduct across the cat, like ignoring the cat or exhibiting light friendliness, reward him with a deal with. Pawstruck treats for dogs are one wholesome instance. Let the canine be taught that it’s pleasing to deal with the cat effectively. He will affiliate optimistic emotions with the cat.
Step #6. Seal the bond by taking part in collectively
Nothing builds a relationship higher than having a great time collectively. To transfer your pets’ relationship from mutual tolerance to getting alongside, play with them. At first, you are able to do it separately whereas close by. But as the times go by, do it collectively.
Try video games like a scavenger hunt or play along with your cat’s favorite toy. But be sure you don’t get both of them too excited. As you spend extra optimistic time collectively, redirect damaging conduct, and reward good behaviour, your cat and canine will be taught to get alongside.
A closing phrase on how one can make your cat and canine get alongside
Although you need your furry infants to be BFFs, don’t push them or drive them. There could possibly be cases after they would get into fights and wish a cool-off interval. Let them have it and recoup. Also, have real looking expectations, particularly if it’s a rescue cat or canine. They could by no means see eye to eye. Just be prepared for different strategies to maintain the peace.
Make your feline friend happy with these smart strategies.
Keeping your feline friend happy and healthy starts with a few simple tips—some of which can be incorporated into your cat’s routine right now.
To help your cat live their best furry life, Los Angeles veterinarian Jeff Werber (who owns eight cats himself) offers some helpful advice to pet parents. ″It’s crucial to get off on the right foot with cat care, ″ he says. ″Good daily habits are where it starts.” These tips can help you give your pet the love and care they deserve.
1. Brush Your Cat Every Day
Brushing or combing your cat daily will cut down on the hairballs that can develop in the digestive tract. Because cats spend so much time grooming themselves, some owners may not realize that brushing is something that can help their pet by removing loose hair. Werber says that the key to getting a cat to cooperate with brushing is connecting brushing with happy events. ″Maybe you always brush before a meal,″ he says. ″Then your cat will associate it with something delicious.”
2. Don’t Feed Your Cat Too Much Dry Food
Unlike dogs, cats cannot be vegetarians, even for short periods of time. They rely on meat as the foundation of their diets, and the main meal of the day should always be meat, says Werber. He cautions that exclusively feeding cats dry food diets may mean they consume too many carbs, which can be bad for cats in large amounts. “We see cats developing Type 2 diabetes and growing obese from too much dry food,” Werber explains. If you own both dogs and cats, it can be tempting to treat them the same, but dog food is not good for cats, nor can a cat’s system tolerate carbohydrates the way a dog’s system will.
3. Pay Attention to Your Pet’s Thirst
Today’s domestic cats evolved from desert-dwelling ancestors, meaning felines don’t have the same thirst-drive as dogs. They need to get most of their water from food. Something that a cat might normally eat in the wild—like a mouse—is about 70% water, while canned food is 78% water. Dry food is only 5% to 10% water on average. Give your cat access to fresh water at all time, and you may notice cats drinking more when they are eating more dry food. Elderly and nursing cats can be more prone to dehydration than others, so watch them carefully for such symptoms as sunken eyes, lethargy, and panting.
4. Provide a Sufficient Number of Litter Boxes
As far as potty places go, Werber says a good rule of thumb is to have one litter box per kitty, plus an additional one. So if you have three cats, you should set up four boxes. You’ll want to think carefully about where those boxes go. While humans love to tuck the boxes in out-of-the-way places, like in a basement or a dark corner, cats may not be willing to use them there. Werber says to think about how it is in nature. ″The animal is in a vulnerable position when performing those functions,″ he says. ″They want to be able to see around them.” For the same reason, your pet may not be willing to use a box with a cover.
5. Don’t Assume You Know Why a Cat Is Peeing Outside the Box
Nothing frustrates a cat owner more than when Kitty eschews the box and pees elsewhere in the house, invariably on a favorite throw rug or new armchair. What would prompt a cat to do this? ″There can be a lot of reasons,″ says Werber, ″and you want to rule out illness first.” Take your cat to the vet to check for a urinary tract infection or other sickness that could be to blame for this new behavior. Once illness is ruled out, make sure that litter boxes are to your pet’s liking. Experiment with different types of litter to find out if there is one brand your pet prefers. Be scrupulous about keeping the box clean: scoop every day. Try changing the location of the litter box to somewhere quieter (away from noisy appliances) or easier for your cat to access.
6. Train Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post
Don’t want your new sofa covered with ripped threads? Teach your cat to use a scratching post so they won’t end up clawing valuable furniture. The mistake many owners make, says Werber, is not knowing that they have to give the scratching post appeal. ″Put it in the center of the room to start,” he explains. (Too many people place it in a corner far from the social action in the household, making it easy for a cat to ignore.) Sprinkle the post with catnip when you first bring it home, the vet advises. You can move it gradually to a less trafficked spot and skip the catnip after you have gotten your pet into the habit of using it.
7. Spay or Neuter Your Cat
There is nothing more beneficial to your cat long-term than having them spayed or neutered, Werber says. ″Female cats are very uncomfortable when they go into heat,” he adds. Spaying and neutering can help keep your cat safe, too. Because un-altered male cats will fight, they put themselves at risk to transmit diseases through their bites and scratches. The situation is not much better for female cats, either. Female cats can become pregnant as early as four months old, and mating and birthing multiple litters of kittens can be very stressful for them—not to mention the stress owners deal with when they go into heat. And because there are hundreds of thousands of unwanted cats in shelters waiting for their forever homes, it’s better to not add to the population.
8. Travel Safely With Your Pet
Even if your cat seems to prefer it, do not let him or her travel unrestrained in a car. It’s distracting to the driver and in the case of an accident, a cat can become a dangerous projectile. Werber also warns to ″never, ever leave your cat alone in a parked car.” Even in cooler temperatures, and even with the windows cracked, a car quickly becomes uncomfortable for a fur-wearing pet. It takes mere minutes for a cat to perish in a warm car. Leave your cat at home if you do not plan to bring him or her inside with you.
9. Choose a Cat-Friendly Vet
Some veterinary practices are dominated by a canine clientele, and that can be scary for a cat who has to spend a good chunk of time in the waiting room with dogs all around. ″Look for a vet who has separate waiting areas for cats and dogs,” says Werber. While that’s the ideal, not all practices have the space for that kind of accommodation. If your favorite vet doesn’t have two waiting rooms, at least ask to be called into the exam room quickly, Werber advises.
10. Let Them Show Off!
When a cat loves you, he or she wants to demonstrate it, sometimes by presenting you with the results of a successful hunt. Werber suggests accepting the gifts with grace (even when sort of gross—hello, partially chewed mouse!). Your pet will also show you love by head bumping, purring, or kneading you with his or her paws. Sit back and enjoy.
How to Scan a Companion Cat
- Scan a test microchip. You should always have a test microchip nearby to ensure the scanner is working properly.
- Position your scanner.
Hold the scanner parallel to the cat, either barely touching or less than an inch away. Gently rock the scanner from side to side as you progress.
- Scan in a pattern.
While scanning, move the scanner in an “S” shape, from side to side. This is the best way to ensure that microchips at all orientations and in crevices are detected.
- Go slow.
You should spend between 10-20 seconds scanning each animal, scanning no more than 6 inches per second.
- Begin between the shoulder blades.
This is the area where microchips are implanted, but they occasionally migrate. Scan between the shoulders all the way from one shoulder to the other several times. Next, scan
up and down the length of the back, from head to tip of tail.
- Scan the sides.
Repeat the S-shaped pattern on each of the cat’s two sides, taking care to scan the legs as well, all the way to the paw. Remember—microchips can move!
- Scan before each step.
As a cat moves through a veterinary office or shelter, scan before each move or procedure to ensure you have the right cat.
How to Scan a Community (Feral) Cat
- Scan as soon as possible—remember, many eartipped cats are also microchipped!
- Working with a community cat in a trap? Try to scan the cat while she is in the trap. If your facility has a wand scanner, this can be inserted into the trap for a safe and clear reading.
- If no wand scanner is available, try to get the handheld scanner as close to the cat as possible. Keep in mind that this approach may be made less effective by the metal of the trap.
- If you’re in a shelter, don’t wait—scan community cats the same day they arrive!
Examples of commonly used universal scanners
- Scan the test microchip again to make sure the scanner is still working properly.
- Still no luck? Ensure that batteries are fully charged.
Battery problems are a common cause of scanning issues.
- Reposition your scanner.
Try turning your arm at a 90-degree angle. One end of a microchip reads better than the other, so increase your chances of finding the right angle.
- Remove all metal from the scanning area.
Interference can be caused by computers, collars, fluorescent lights, and even the metal exam tables themselves.
- Get someone else to try a second scan.
Microchips that are overlooked on a first scan can often be picked up by a second operator.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MICROCHIPS AND SCANNERS:
Make sure you have a universal scanner. Not all scanners and microchips are created equal. In the U.S., microchips mostly function on three frequencies: 125 kHz, 128 kHz, and 134.2 kHz. Some scanners are able to detect only one of these frequencies. Ensure that your organization has a scanner that can detect all three frequencies, commonly known as a “universal scanner.” Otherwise, you will inevitably miss many microchips.
Looking Up A Microchip
Different microchip companies maintain different databases, so if the microchip is not showing up in one database, it does not mean the microchip isn’t registered elsewhere.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) offers a universal pet microchip lookup (www.petmicrochiplookup.org) where you can find the registry in which the microchip is enrolled.
The lookup will provide you with the registry’s phone number and/or website. You can then contact the registry directly for the pet owner or caregiver’s contact information. (AVID is the only major microchip provider that does not participate in this tool. If you find an AVID microchip, contact the company directly.)
Note: This only allows you to find the microchip registry; you cannot register your microchip on this website.
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- Remedies and Treatments for Cat Urinary Tract Infection
- When to See a Vet
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, can develop in any pet. Some cats are naturally more likely to develop UTIs, like male cats, overweight cats, or cats with diabetes. However, the infections can affect any cat throughout its lifetime.
A UTI affects the cat’s urinary (peeing) system. This includes the bladder (organ that holds pee) and urethra (tube that pee comes out of). This bacterial infection can lead to symptoms like:
- Frequently urinating (peeing)
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating outside the litter box
- Signs of pain or distress
- Excessive licking of the genitals
- Blood in the urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Lethargy (tiredness)
- Loss of appetite
A UTI develops when bacteria enter the urinary tract, pass through the urethra, and reach the bladder. It can be caused by age, lack of proper hygiene around the genitalia, or abnormal pH levels (acidity or alkalinity in liquid) in the cat’s diet. However, it may also be caused by more serious conditions like bladder stones (hard deposits in the bladder), injuries, tumors, or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
Remedies and Treatments for Cat Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract diseases are common in cats and can cause discomfort and distress. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to partial or complete blockage of the urethra. This can lead to kidney failure or rupture of the bladder, which could be deadly.
Depending on the severity of the infection, a cat UTI can be treated using at-home remedies and treatments.
While cranberries are known as a UTI treatment in humans, they can also be used to treat a cat UTI. The acidity of cranberries can lower the pH of your cat’s urine, which can help treat a UTI and stop it from coming back.
Many cranberry juices are high in sugar. Instead, you can find cranberry capsules (pills), supplements, or powder to add to your cat’s diet.
Before giving your cat cranberry, you should first test the pH levels in your cat’s urine. While the acidity of cranberries may help with some UTIs, in other cases, it could make the condition worse. Only provide cranberry supplements if your cat’s urine is too alkaline.
Apple cider vinegar can also lower the pH in your cat’s urine, eliminating and preventing any harmful bacteria. Add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your cat’s food each day. To reduce the bitter taste, you can mix it in with chicken or beef broth. Just make sure the broth doesn’t contain onions, as this is toxic to cats.
Like cranberries, apple cider vinegar is only effective if your cat’s urine is too alkaline. You can test your cat’s pH using at-home kits or diagnostic cat litter, as well as through a reliable test given by your veterinarian.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
While these two supplements are often used for arthritis joint pain management, glucosamine and chondroitin can also reduce the symptoms of a feline UTI. Glucosamine can help replace a compound in the lining of the cat’s bladder wall. Chondroitin helps prevent this compound from breaking down.
Combining these two supplements can rebuild the bladder wall and prevent further damage from bacteria. This reduces inflammation and other UTI symptoms. For every 10 pounds of your cat’s weight, you can give the cat 100 milligrams of glucosamine and 50 milligrams of chondroitin.
Marshmallow root can kill bacteria, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the lining of the bladder to help fight off a UTI. It also acts as a diuretic — a drug that helps the kidneys flush out urine or other fluids — which increases the flow of urine and flushes out the bladder.
According to a study, marshmallow root contains mucilage (a sticky substance made by plants), which can soothe membranes and provide a barrier to support the lining of the bladder.
In addition to treating the pH level and strengthening the bladder wall, an important part of treating a cat UTI is to make sure that your cat stays well hydrated. This will help flush out the bladder and avoid the buildup of harmful bacteria.
To make sure your cat is staying hydrated, you can introduce tasty fluids like bone broth. Not only will this provide necessary hydration, but bone broth also contains nutrients and minerals that can help fight the infection. The amino acids (organic compounds that form protein in the body) found in bone broth, including glycine, and arginine, have been shown to reduce inflammation.
When to See a Vet
These at-home treatments and remedies may be effective for clearing up minor infections, but more serious infections need to be treated by a professional animal doctor.
If your cat is experiencing mild or moderate symptoms, you can try these remedies to relieve their symptoms. If their symptoms show no sign of improvement in a few days, talk to a veterinarian. If your cat seems to be in pain or is unable to pass urine, see a vet immediately. This could be a sign of urethral obstruction, which can be fatal if not treated within 24 to 48 hours.
A vet may be able to prescribe antibiotics to target the harmful bacteria. Be sure to give your cat the full dose of prescribed antibiotics to prevent the UTI from returning or becoming resistant to treatment.
Even if you’re pursuing professional treatment, these remedies can be effectively used alongside antibiotics to strengthen the bladder and balance your cat’s pH levels. Some can also be used as a daily supplement to prevent the UTI from coming back.
American Veterinary Medical Association: “Feline lower urinary tract disease.”
Cornell Feline Health Center: “Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease.”
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: “L-Glycine: a novel antiinflammatory, immunomodulatory, and cytoprotective agent.”
Journal of Ethnopharmacology: “Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from marshmallow roots (Althea officinalis L.): cellular internalisation and stimulation of cell physiology of human epithelial cells in vitro.”
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine: “STRESS, MALENESS LINKED TO URINARY TRACT DISORDERS IN CATS.”
VCA Animal Hospital: “Glucosamine Chondroitin Combination.”