5 Common Cat Health Questions Answered

CatChannel?s veterinary expert, Arnold Plotnick, DVM, answers your cat health questions.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Dr. Plotnick answers common questions about catsQ: I have two cats that are strictly indoor cats. I recently received a reminder card from my veterinarian telling me that they’re both due for an exam and vaccinations. The last time my cat was vaccinated, she was lethargic for about 24 hours. Is it necessary for indoor-only cats to have vaccinations every year?

A: Listen to Dr. Arnold Plotnick's response

Q: The other day, I noticed that my cat had a little blood in his stool. I haven’t changed his diet at all. The blood appeared a few days after my husband returned from a brief business trip. I don’t know if this is important or not, but the cat doesn’t like my husband, and my husband is not too fond of the cat. Should I be worried about the blood in his stool?

A: Listen to Dr. Arnold Plotnick's response

Q: My cat paws and scrapes on the floor as if she is trying to cover up the food in her dish after she’s finished eating. She gives me the impression that she thinks her food is bad! Do you know why she does this?

A: Listen to Dr. Arnold Plotnick's response

Q: I have always had longhaired cats, and they have never had hairball problems, until lately. My most recently acquired longhaired cat has coughed up a hairball at least twice a week. I give her a hairball preventative daily, but it doesn’t seem to help. What can I do to help eliminate my cat’s hairballs?

A: Listen to Dr. Arnold Plotnick's response

 Q: My normally quiet 15-year-old male cat has recently acquired a habit of howling his head off in the middle of the night. Around 2 a.m., he’ll typically go to his litterbox or grab a bite to eat, and then sit in the living room and howl. It’s not a normal meow, either. It’s a weird, guttural type of cry. He doesn’t seem to be in any kind of pain or discomfort as far as I can tell. I love my cat, but I’m losing quite a bit of sleep over this. What can I do to stop my cat’s crying?

A: Listen to Dr. Arnold Plotnick's response


In August 2007’s CAT FANCY:
See Veterinarian Elaine Wexler-Mitchell’s answers to more cat health questions.

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5 Common Cat Health Questions Answered

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Reader Comments

Arlyss    arlyredwine@aol.com, CA

9/9/2010 11:04:16 AM

As people, we are concerned with the high mercury levels in tuna. Should this concern extend to our cats. Mine love tuna and they would eat it every day if they could.

janet    bethlehem, PA

2/1/2010 7:17:16 AM

good article thanks

Nancy    Midland, MI

9/24/2009 2:01:44 PM

I have a cat about 6 or 7 years old. A few months ago she started licking and scratching herself and has scratched some of her fur off on her back legs and a couple of patches on front. Also she has been rubbing the courner of her mouth on corners of anything. She is strictly an indoor cat. We have changed the kind of liter to one with no perfume or any other additives and change it once a week completely--changed her food both wet and dry to ones with no meat by products or corn--and bought a bottle of salmon oil with vit.E(which she hates)to mix with her food. So far nothing seems to be working very well. Any ideas???

Victoria    St. Petersburg, FL

9/12/2009 8:14:30 AM

I have a 6 year old calico named punkin.Ever since she was a kitten, shes had problems with urinating outside of her litterbox. She will literally stand in the box, but stick her rear out of it, and urinate right outside of it. She then looks at it, scratches inside the box as if to cover it up,then steps in it as she leaves. For the past 3-4 years we've been putting large garbage bags under the litterbox and changing those as well as scooping it. Our other cat,Dotty, constantly steps in it, and just yesterday she urinated a foot or so away from the box because shes so tired of walking in it. When they were young, they did fight a lot, and somtimes do now. Dotty used to always jump on her back for dominence. We think that might have played a major role in this. We know its not kidney stones, because she once had them, but they were completely taken care of, and shes been chacked for them another time after that. We also used to move a lot. But we were recently at my grandmothers house for 2 straight years, and even then she still did it. She is skiddish, but after ajusting for a few years, she continued to do it. I just want to know why she does, and if we can get her to stop. Please help us. My mom is close to giving her away. I dont want to lose my cat over this.

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