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Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • Hidden Cat Illnesses: What to Watch Out For

    "Cats are sneaky little creatures: One moment they’re curled up on your lap by the fire, dreaming of slow-moving mice with a limp, the next moment they’re planning on world domination and universal catnip. Long revered for their mysterious personalities, it is this same nature (and a bit of Mother Nature) that can make them a challenge to treat medically.

    Here’s why: Imagine you’re a lion out on the grasslands and you are deciding what to have for lunch.

    Cat ‘A,’ who appears feisty and healthy, and looks like he might give you a run for your money, even though (to him) he is not feeling well.

    Cat ‘B,’ who looks sick, weak and easy to chase down and snack on.

    Four out of five lions would choose cat ‘B.’ (That fifth lion is insane.)

    Clearly there is an evolutionary benefit to looking healthy and hiding your illnesses. When a modern-day domesticated cat is sick, he or she still taps into that long-ago learned habit of trying to look healthy. To an unsuspecting cat owner, this can trick you into thinking that your cat just got sick yesterday, a phrase which I have heard no less than 11 million times in my short 17 years of practice.

    Here presented are a few tips and tricks to help get the jump on feline illness before it can get too far down the road:

    • If your cat is drinking more water than normal. Kidney disease and diabetes are just as common in cats as in people and both will cause an uptick in water intake. Likewise, that water’s gotta go somewhere. If you are scooping more pee clumps in the litter box, something could be wrong. See your vet for blood and urine tests.
    • If your cat is losing weight. There are lots of obese cats out there, so cats on a diet don’t count. Cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems, liver disease and a host of other chronic conditions can cause weight loss, which can be so subtle that you don’t notice it day after day. Weigh your cat at least twice year on your vet’s scale, or stand with your cat on the scale and subtract your weight (this is not a very accurate method, but might do in a pinch). Remember that different scales can give slightly different numbers.
    • If you cat is not grooming. Is a cat that used to look like he had George Hamilton’s grooming habits looking a bit “bed heady” of late? He could be hiding illness! Even older cats still groom when they are healthy, so don’t be fooled and think that it’s just the passage of time. Have your vet do a thorough physical and consider diagnostic tests like lab tests, x-rays or ultrasound to get to the root of the problem before it gets entrenched and harder to treat.

    The sooner you spot illness, the sooner you can intervene and restore health. Watch out for those sneaky cats and see your vet today if you notice anything amiss. The lions may go hungry, but your cat will thank you!"

    Article by Dr Tony Johnson.

  • HERO Kitties (!!!)

     

    heroWhile researching hero kitties, we came across some truly amazing stories - too many to share in this blog. Cats saving their human families from robbers and "baddies", fires, carbon monoxide, dog attacks, diabetic attacks, snakes, and even one kitty who dialed 911 to get help. We selected just 2 stories, but be sure to click on the link at the bottom of these excerpts - definitely worth the read! There is also a YouTube Clip which was edited - footage from several security cameras show one little cat's amazing courage when saving a little boy from a dog attack.

     

    STORY 1: Dogs are well known for tales of lifesaving heroism, but most people think cats seem generally too self-involved for valor. In practice, this is hardly the case. In 2012, a cat that had only been rescued from the Humane Society hours before managed to save its new owner’s life when she had a diabetic seizure. The cat leaped onto her chest as she lost consciousness, nudging and biting at her face until she awoke. The cat then darted into the woman’s son’s room and pestered him until he woke up to call for help.

     

    STORY 2: An even more unbelievable story emerged from Argentina in 2008, when a one-year-old boy was found by police in the city of Misiones, being kept alive by a band of feral cats. The boy, who’d been separated from his homeless father, would likely have died without the intervention of the cats. They snuggled up to him at night to keep him warm and brought him scraps of food. When police approached, the baby’s guardians hissed and spat ferociously at them.

     

    To read more amazing hero kitty stories, click here.

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A Pet's Life Online Shop is South Africa's original online pet products and accessories store. First going live in 2006, we have brought you only the best cat and dog products. We also sell dog food, cat food, treats, pet training aids, gadgets, plush toys, travel accessories and more.

Offering a personal touch, A Pet's Life only offers products that we would use ourselves with our own pets and constantly updates our range of goodies. So keep checking in to see the latest cat and dog products in South Africa.