Nonobstructive feline lower urinary tract disease

It has been estimated that up to 1.5% of all cats in the United States suffer from a lower urinary tract disorder. One survey showed that up to 9% of cats taken to veterinarians in Japan also suffer from these problems. Cats can develop a number of problems related to the bladder and urethra. Commonly used terms are FUS (feline urologic syndrome) and FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease). The

Leash Training Your Indoor Cat

Leash training your cat for walks outside is possible. Take Bongo, for example. Bongo playfully rolled on his side as a cocker spaniel approached him, waiting only a second before exchanging sniffs with the dog as their leashes crossed. But as Bongo’s owner warned the spaniel’s owner, Bongo swatted at his new friend, reminding onlookers that they were in fact watching a cat. Bongo represents a growing number of cats

Choosing a chemical-free car for you and your pet

New cars can be loaded with chemicals, which can be harmful to both you and your pet. Everyone knows the smell of new cars, but it turns out that the lusty aroma of recent automotive wealth is now being linked to potential health problems in pets. These are important factors to consider, especially if your pet often rides in the car with you. The Ecology Center, a nonprofit organization, has a website

Converting Hubby to a Cat Lover

Q: We moved to the country and built a house where we have few neighbors. There are lots of cats outside, and they’re multiplying. I began to put out milk and food. There’s a friendly tomcat and I’m planning to trap him and another gentle cat and spay or neuter them and then keep them around as our pets. My only problem is my husband, who hates cats. He’s allergic

Human Medications Draw the Interest of Pets

Sandy McNamara, a lawyer who lives in suburban St. Louis, came home from work recently to find her cat Toby in the throes of something very bad. He had been vomiting, had diarrhea and was panting excessively. “I was scared to death,” McNamara says. “I suspected that he had gotten into something  but I wasn’t sure. I knew I had to call a poison center but I also knew the

Are Solitary Cats Happy?

If you’ve ever lived with a cat, you probably laugh when you hear the old myth repeated that cats are “solitary” creatures who neither seek nor enjoy human companionship or the company of other cats. The myth persists despite story after story of cats following their humans to the bathroom, pushing their way onto their people’s computers or laps, spooning under the covers at night, snuggling with each other, or

Toxic homes: Are our pets becoming polluted?

The danger posed by toxic chemicals in the environment  has been a widely recognized and extensively studied public health issue for decades. But only recently have the possible effects of these chemicals on pet health been seriously studied. A new report raises new concerns The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit research organization, recently issued the results of what it describes as “the most comprehensive investigation of the

Positive side effects of pet ownership for children

Dogs and other animals can help children cope with a variety of ailments — depression, emotional disorders, and even poor immune function. Pets are also good preventive medicine for healthy children to help them avoid developing allergies, increasing weight, or becoming social outcasts.  Pets can also teach children empathy and compassion. “Children in dog-owning families have more traditional values, better academic achievement, and greater respect for their parents,” said Elizabeth