Cat Flu Truths and Myths

Just a few weeks ago, a 13-year-old indoor cat in Iowa was diagnosed with swine flu. "Two of the three members of the family that owns the pet had suffered from influenza-like illness before the cat became ill," explains Dr. Ann Garvey, a veterinarian with the Iowa Department of Public Health.

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Go Green for Your Cat’s Health

What do Easter lilies and antifreeze have in common? These, and many other substances, are all poisonous to felines. "Cats have a very low threshold for toxicity," explains Dr. Trisha Joyce, DVM, of New York City Veterinary Specialists. This uber-sensitivity in cats results from their body producing little of the enzyme that other mammals rely on to break down chemicals, leaving cats generally more vulnerable to toxins.

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The New Cat Urinary Health Problem Preventive

When New York City account executive Ingrid Fulmont noticed a small amount of blood in the litter box of her 3-year-old cat, Simon, she rushed him to the veterinarian. "Was he eating and playing normally?" the veterinarian asked. "Was he urinating more often?" Fulmont said she’d noticed more frequent trips to the litter box. She also suspected he might have soiled the rug once or twice, but otherwise, he was his happy, hungry self.

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Is Secondhand Smoke Killing Your Cat?

You probably wouldn’t encourage a toddler to smoke, but if you subject your pet to secondhand smoke, you might as well be offering kitty a cigarette. "The correlation is similar to what is seen in children: Smaller lungs have less reserve and are more likely to be affected," says Laura Sullivan, DVM, of Cascade Hospital for Animals, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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Glucosamine and Your Arthritic Cat

Osteoarthrisits is a common problem in older cats, who suffer the same swelling, stiffness and pain in the joints as people do. While conventional treatments such as corticosteriods and anti-inflammatories (such as aspirin) can treat the inflammation and pain, the ideal treatment for arthritis would slow down the progression of the disease and possibly even help to heal the joint.

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