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Cat Health | PetsWeekly

Spider Bites in Pets: Black Widows

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black-widowBlack Widow SpiderIt’s that time of year again and with all of the recent weather events we’ve had these days, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye out for spider bites on our pets. Spider bites can be very difficult to spot and manage in pets. And unfortunately, pets are also very susceptible to getting bit. Cats in particular can obtain easy access to dark, quiet places that dogs often can’t manage. These are the very places that spiders love to hide.

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Assess Your Cats Health

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If your veterinarian were to ask you to take your cat’s temperature at home, would you know what to do? This often-necessary task might seem simple, but it requires preparation and practice. Dr. Jodi Korich, a veterinarian and the director of Partners in Animal Health at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, explains what you should do both now and when the moment of need arises.

Cat First-aid Kit

It helps to create mini “sub-kits” within your cat’s basic first-aid kit, with each containing items required for specific tasks. For the temperature-taking portion of the kit, you’ll need:

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Cat Fur Can Identify Criminals

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One of the best home security systems requires no monthly contracts or electrical wiring and may go unnoticed by crooks. Thanks to innovative new research, cat fur is helping to identify and convict miscreants, from robbers to murderers. As a result, your purring lap kitty could one day save your belongings -- and maybe even your life. Inspiration From TV Crime Shows
Dr. Leslie Lyons, one of the world’s leading experts on cat genetics, pioneered the research. She enjoys watching certain television crime programs. “I’m a big fan of ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,’” she says, which included two episodes where cat fur was part of the evidence. Lyons, based at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, was already compiling information on cat DNA when a lightbulb moment struck her. Lyons and her colleagues then created a DNA database that forensic science experts can use to help identify the source of cat fur. “Because cats incessantly groom, cat fur may have nucleated cells, not only in the hair bulb, but also as epithelial cells on the hair shaft deposited during the grooming process, thereby generally providing material for DNA profiling,” Lyons and her team report in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. So each strand of fur shed by your cat might contain DNA-rich cells at the root end or even DNA-containing skin cells stuck to the hair shaft itself.

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Living with a Copycat

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Scientists recently experienced the shock of their professional lives while doing fieldwork in the Amazon forests of Brazil. They were recording some pied Tamarin monkeys vocalizing, when suddenly a wildcat appeared on the scene, emitting calls identical to those of the monkeys. The episode wound up being the first recorded instance of a wildcat in the Americas mimicking the calls of its prey. But what could this mean in terms of your less wild house kitty? Can your domesticated cat copy other animals too?

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Cat Food Ingredients: The 4 Essential Groups

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Felines are true carnivores, so your cat needs meat. We, humans, on the other hand -- along with our dog friends -- are omnivores. This means we can survive on both animal and plant foods. But because of its physiology, a cat requires animal-based proteins and certain essential amino acids contained in meat protein in order to survive. “Cats are much more dependent on protein,” says Dr. Katy J. Nelson, an emergency veterinarian in Alexandria, Va., who has worked on pet nutrition issues. “They really have no choice but to be a carnivore.” In addition to their dependence on protein, cats may also benefit from some of the nutrients found in other ingredient groups in quality natural cat food.

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Feline Behavior

  • Is Mint Safe for Cats?

    Hello Grey Socks, Every time I put toothpaste on my brush, which is mint flavored, my cat wants to lick it. She goes completely banana's over it. Is it okay to let her lick some? Thanks,
    Kathy Easley

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  • Wool-sucking in cats

    Dear Kyra, I have an adopted 5-month-old ginger boy named Barney. He's a very sweet, funny kitty, and I love him to pieces. But...he has some strange quirks. The nice people at the animal shelter told me that he was… Read More +

  • Cats covering feces

    Dear Ghost, Why do cats cover their feces? My two cats are neurotic about covering up everything in their litter box, which is stupid because it's automatic anyway. Is it really necessary? Thanks,
    Kristin

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  • Cats spraying

    Baby, I live with 2 male cats (neutered) and 1 female cat (spayed). All of a sudden they have started spraying (they are 1 year old). They have sprayed my bed, my doors and in my closet (that I know of). I'm… Read More +

  • hypersthesia

    Mama-San, My 1 yr old tabby has developed a fear of its tail! The end twitches and she sometimes lightly attacks it, but most times just runs from it (especially at night) your site mentions anger in connection with tip- twitching.… Read More +

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