Tag Archives: feline diet

Understanding Your Feline Friend’s Hairball Production

Do you own a cat? If so, hairballs are a part of life for you and your feline friend. They’re certainly not pleasant to look at, and it doesn’t seem very pleasant for Fluffy when she coughs one up, but are they dangerous? Learn more here from a Roanoke, VA vet.

Why Do Hairballs Occur?

Your cat grooms herself often, as you know. When she does, tiny barbs lining the tongue pick up much of the loose hair from your cat’s coat. She swallows that hair, and most of it gets moved through the digestive tract normally and is ultimately expelled in the feces. Some of the swallowed hair, however, remains in the gut, clumping together over time to form a hairball. That gets regurgitated eventually, likely accompanied by a small bit of stomach fluid.

Do Hairballs Hurt My Cat in Any Way?

No, the occasional hairball doesn’t hurt your cat. It’s a natural part of life! There’s absolutely nothing to worry about if you see your cat cough up a hairball every now and then.

If your cat coughs up hairballs frequently, something could be causing her to shed more than normal. You’ll want to have your pet checked out at the vet’s office to be safe. Additionally, if your cat is gagging and retching but not producing anything, rush her to the vet’s office—your pet could be choking, or the hairball itself could be lodged in the esophageal tract.

Last but not least: vomiting and coughing up hairballs is not the same thing. If your cat is vomiting frequently, it’s time to see the vet.

How Can I Help My Cat Experience Fewer Hairballs?

You’ll be happy to learn that there are a few simple steps you can take to have your cat cough up fewer hairballs. That’s more pleasant for her, and it leaves less of a mess for you! First, brush your cat regularly; this removes a lot of the loose hair from Fluffy’s coat, preventing her from swallowing it in the first place. Secondly, make sure that your cat is receiving a high quality diet that contains all of the proper nutrients. When your cat’s nutrition is in tip-top shape, her coat of fur stays healthy with minimal shedding.

Does your cat need a veterinary exam? Schedule your four-legged friend’s next appointment right here at your Roanoke, VA animal hospital. We’re here for you!

7 Ways To Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

Cats are very cute and lovable pets, and they have many charming qualities that have helped them earn places in our homes and hearts, as well as on our laps. One great thing about these cuddly little furballs is the fact that they are quite easy to care for. However, they aren’t completely independent. Fluffy needs good TLC in order to thrive. Here, a Roanoke, VA vet discusses keeping kitties happy, healthy, and purring.

Good Food

Proper nutrition will go a long way towards keeping your cute pet in good health. Offer Fluffy the best pet food you can afford. Treats are fine, but don’t go overboard. If your feline pal becomes obese, she could develop some very serious health issues!

Clean Litterbox

While cleaning litterboxes isn’t the best part of having a kitty, it is necessary. We recommend scooping daily, and changing the litter every week or so.

Beds

You may have noticed that cats are rather tired. Apparently, looking cute and doing nothing is really exhausting! Offer your sleepy furball plenty of comfy napping spots. Store-bought beds are great, but Fluffy probably won’t turn her nose up at a soft pillow or blanket in a box.

Playtime!

Cats are hunters by nature, so they are more or less wired to pounce and jump on things. Take time to play with Fluffy every day! Also, make sure she has plenty of things she can play with by herself when you’re out.

Stimulation

You may not think boredom is much of a problem for kitties. However, cats can get irritable, lonely, and unhappy with nothing to do, especially when they are home alone. Fluffy will appreciate having lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Pet furniture is great, but boxes, paper bags, and newspaper tunnels will also work. Kitties also like looking out windows, so offer your furry little voyeur a comfy spot with a good view.

Veterinary Care

It’s probably safe to say that Fluffy would rather take a nap than come visit us, but don’t be swayed. Proper veterinary care is crucial for your cat’s health! Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.

Love

Love is the magic ingredient in any pet care routine. Pay lots of attention to Fluffy, and make sure she feels loved!

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We offer great veterinary care!

What You Need to Know About Your Cat and Dairy

Cats and milk seem to go together like two peas in a pod. You might be surprised to learn that the two don’t actually mix very well! Learn more here from your Roanoke, VA veterinarian.

Why is Milk Bad for Cats?

It turns out that most adult cats are actually lactose-intolerant, just like many humans are. This means that they don’t possess enough of the enzyme lactase in their digestive systems to properly digest lactose, the main enzyme found in milk. While a small bit of milk might not do your cat any real harm, too much isn’t a good idea. It’s likely that a cat will experience an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea if they drink too much milk!

Don’t Kittens Require Milk?

You might be wondering about kittens, who do indeed require their mother’s milk—or a synthetic substitute if the mother’s milk isn’t available—in the early stages of life. During this time, milk is necessary for proper growth, but it won’t remain so as a cat grows older. Typically, a cat starts producing less and less lactase as they age, becoming entirely lactose-intolerant by the time they’re a full-grown adult.

If you’re raising a kitten, they may need to be bottle-fed with the mother’s milk or a commercial milk substitute. Ask your veterinarian for help, and also be sure to ask about transitioning your kitten from milk to wet food.

Is Any Dairy Safe for My Cat?

Other dairy foods like cheese and yogurt don’t contain as much lactose as pure milk does, so they might be a bit safer for your cat to eat. Keep in mind, though, that no dairy is a nutritional necessity for your cat and that too much of any foreign food can cause problems. If you insist on having your cat try cheese, yogurt, or other forms of dairy, keep the portion size extremely small.

A better idea for your cat is a “cat milk,” a relatively new product that can be found in many pet supply shops. It’s a special milk made just for cats that has had all lactose removed, meaning that it’s completely safe for your feline friend.

What Does My Cat Need to Drink?

Your cat only needs one liquid to drink: fresh water. Provide a full dish at all times!

To learn more about your cat’s nutritional needs, call your Roanoke, VA vet clinic today.