Diabetes Mellitus in Cats Diabetes Mellitus in Cats : Cats who do not have insulin have a disease called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is and extremely common disease in cats

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Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs and Cats

All consumed food is eventually converted to sugar, the energy source for every organ in the body and for every cell in every organ. If too much food is consumed, the extra calories can be stored by the body for later conversion to sugar. Sugar is carried in the blood to all areas of the body, and any cell that is in need of sugar simply uses the sugar present in the blood. How do cells move sugar into their interior from the bloodstream? A substance called insulin, produced by an organ located in the abdomen (the pancreas), is the key that allows cells to obtain sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is necessary for life.

People, dogs, and cats who do not have insulin have a disease called diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus is and extremely common disease in people, dogs, and cats. There are two common forms of diabetes. The form in which an individual has absolutely no insulin has several names: insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), type I diabetes, and juvenile-type diabetes.

The other form occurs when an individual has insulin but either does not have enough or has a condition that interferes with insulin function. It has several names: non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), type II diabetes, adult-onset diabetes.

Approximately 10 per cent of people with diabetes mellitus have type I disease and 90 per cent have type II. Approximately 60 per cent of diabetic cats have type I and 40 per cent type II. Virtually 100 per cent of dogs with diabetes mellitus have type I disease.

What happens when an individual has diabetes mellitus? Without sugar constantly being removed from the blood by cells everywhere in the body, the diabetic person, dog, or cat has more and more sugar accumulates that it begins to "spill over" into the urine through the kidneys along with water. Therefore, diabetics urinate large volumes. In dogs and cats, sometimes the first thing that an owner observes is that the pet is no longer "housebroken" or the pet cat begins urinating outside the litter box. Because the volume of fluid lost into the urine of diabetics is excessive, they make up for these losses by drinking more and more water.

Because cells throughout the body have lost their access to sugar, they begin to "starve." Individual cells do not see the lack of insulin, they see only a lack of energy (sugar). Therefore, messages are sent out for energy (sugar) and the diabetic begins to eat more and more. Cells still have no access to the sugar, so additional messages for energy are sent out and the body begins to break down fat and muscle for energy (the components of fat and muscle can be converted to sugar by the liver). Although it makes sense to create more energy, the body still cannot use the sugar resulting from this process. The symptoms common to all diabetics now become obvious: they drink excessively, urinate excessively, eat excessively, and lose weight.

When a dog or cat is brought to a veterinarian for any or all of the symptoms known to be associated with diabetes, the diagnosis is quite easily made. Testing is necessary, however, because there are other diseases that cause all or some of the same symptoms. However, once the diagnosis is made, the real problems begin. Treating diabetes mellitus is not easy. It takes skill by the veterinarian, commitment by the owner, and some luck.

The cornerstones of treating type II diabetic people include weight loss, exercise, and changes in diet to increase fiber content and to decrease simple sugars. If these factors do not help enough, pills can be given. Use of all these treatments rarely helps type I diabetic people. Type I diabetic people, like 100 per cent of diabetic dogs and 80 to 90 per cent of diabetic cats, require insulin by injection to live. All diabetic dogs and cats do best with good commercial pet food given in two equal-sized meals (cats that tend to "graze" all day should be allowed to continue feeding that way). High-fiber foods may be of benefit but are not critical.

Unfortunately, although insulin has been available to treat diabetics for more that 70 years, it must still be given by injection. Your veterinarian will teach you how to give injections to your pet. It is understood that this can be quite intimidating for owners and that your pet will feel the needles. However, once you have done this for a few weeks, you will become quite competent and your pet will accept the tiny pinpricks. Don't give up! Your pet can live an extremely healthy life despite requiring insulin.

There are several different kinds of insulin. Regular (R; crystalline) insulin is the most potent and the shortest acting; Ultralente (U) is the least potent and the longest acting; protamine zinc insulin (PZI) is similar to Ultralente; neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH;N) insulin is less potent and longer acting than regular but more potent and shorter acting that Ultralente; and Lente (L) is 30 per cent regular and 70 per cent Ultralente and has effects similar to those of NPH.

One insulin may not work satisfactorily in your pet but another may work well. It takes time to determine which insulin and which insulin dose are best for an individual cat or dog. Whereas most cats and dogs respond best to insulin given twice daily (do not try to give the insulin exactly every 12 hours; it is not necessary), some do well with only one injection per day.

Remember the most important goal in treating a diabetic dog or cat: we want the pet to be happy and stable. No diabetic pet becomes absolutely normal.

Finally, regardless of treatment, virtually 100 per cent of diabetic dogs (not cats) develop cataracts and become blind within the first 6 to 24 months; this is inevitable and not a reflection of the job you have done in treating your pet.

The above is general veterinary information. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting your regular veterinarian. All animals should be examined at least once every 12 months.

About the author: From the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Information: Client Information Series. Copyright 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company. All rights reserved.

Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital and its cat-only affiliate, Coastal Cat Clinic, are small animal practices located in Pacifica, California. To find a veterinarian or to learn more about the vet clinic and our staff, visit:[http://lindamarvet.com/]


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It’s a given that a cat ages more rapidly than what humans do. Some veterinarians will tell you that a one-year old cat is equivalent to a 16-year old child, although I think this is extreme. The different schools of thoughts propounded by vets and feline experts will tell you that the ratio is anywhere from 4 to 7:1 when it comes to comparing the aging process of a feline to that of a human. Despite the difficulty in predicting an exact age, most vets and experts consider a feline to be “geriatric” once it is 10 years old.

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Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to
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Important Cat Litter Box Health Concerns

Cats are the most popular pets in the United States. According to the latest version of the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook (2002 Edition) there were almost 70 Million pet cats in the United States. Why are cats so popular? There are as many answers to this question as there are cat owners, but the low health risks cats pose to their owners is certainly near the top of this list. Even though the potential health risks cats pose to people are small, it is important that cat owners are aware of these risks and understand how to reduce them.

The majority of all risks stemming from cat ownership are associated with the cat litter box and/or cat feces. There are two categories of risks. The first category contains health risks posed by bacteria and parasites to both cat owners and their cats. The second category contains injuries resulting from an automatic litter box or self cleaning litter box.

Primarily the health problems experienced by cat owners or their cats come from the first category and the most significant of these risks is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii which can be found in raw or undercooked meat, unwashed fruits and vegetables, dirty cat litter boxes and outdoor soil where cat feces can be found. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite(1). Fortunately, very few people ever experience any symptoms because a healthy person's immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems, such as individuals infected with the HIV virus, are at risk and should take precautions to avoid being infected by the parasite. For people in this group a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems to the individual or to a pregnant woman’s unborn child.

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Really? Cat training in ten minutes? You are kidding right? Cat training is crucial to the proper development of your cat and in order to maintain control of your own home. While you may have a wild kitty, thinking that you are going to be able to complete cat training in ten minutes is simply not a reality. Cat training in 10 minutes just isn't going to happen. Learning how to cat care and to guide your cat into the behavior you want takes practice and consistency.

Consistent work with your cat and continual reinforcement are the two concepts that you need to achieve your goal of a well behaved cat. Teaching your cat the fundamentals of good behavior are the goals of all cat care. There aren't any magic tricks or cat training in ten minutes. But there are some great cat training aids found in many of today's pet stores that will help you in your cat training journey.

Yarns and Balls...An important part of curbing wild and crazy behavior is by giving your cat the exercise they need! Cats are playful by nature and kittens like to play with just anything. To avoid having them fiddle with fragile things, it is good to give them yarns or soft balls to play with. Older cats can be trained to use risk-free leads.

Cat are great at tricks! So take the time to teach your cat a few. Many cats can learn to fetch and even shake hands. If you are going to teach your cat some tricks, be sure to be consistent in training and to reinforce them with lost of positive encouragement. Treats are a great way to make this happen. Remember to reward your cat for a positive action. Cat treats are wonderful rewards and will make your cat much more willing to participate in cat training.
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Should You Feed Stray Cats?

The answer, of course, is yes, you should feed strays. Since cats became domesticated they are no longer wild animals that can fend for themselves outside. They don't survive very well outdoors on their own without human intervention.

The best that stray cats can usually do is to eat from garbage cans. Every now and then they may find a mouse to eat, but in general most stray cats are starving.

A lot of people are reluctant to feed strays for several different reasons. One of these is the idea that strays will breed out of control if you feed them. The truth is that strays can breed out of control whether or not they are fed. Not feeding stray cats will NOT reduce the stray population. Even very hungry cats can still breed and then they will produce starving and unhappy little kittens.

Also, remember that it isn't the cat's fault that he or she is a stray. Often strays are cats that have been abandoned by their owners for some reason. Other times, the strays are born outdoors to other stray cats. In any case, it isn't the cat's fault that they have no home. Also, cats are intelligent animals with feelings and individual personalities and it is cruel to let them go hungry.

A lot of people don't want to feed strays because they worry that if they feed a stray cat then it will hang around looking for more food.

So what! Cat food is fairly inexpensive and it cost very little to feed a cat, however, it will make a huge difference in the life of the cat you are feeding.

Putting out dry food is best, otherwise you may get all of the neighborhood cats looking for a handout - owned or not. If you put out only dry food you will usually only get really hungry cats. However, if you put out dry cat food you will often attract the other local wildlife, such as possums and skunks, which you don't want.

To prevent this you can put out dry food during the day and pick it up at night, however, shy or feral cats will usually only come to eat at night. Canned cat food doesn't typically draw other wildlife like the dry food does and so unless you have a lot of your neighbors' cats that are coming to eat at your house then you should probably put out a few plates or bowls (depending on how many cats you are feeding) of canned food at night. You should also provide a bowl of fresh water every day and each evening.
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How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting Me?

Sometimes, you end up with a cat that is a bit too aggressive for its own good. If you've felt the nipping of tiny teeth on your fingertips, you know that biting cats aren't fun to have. Good thing is that it's an easy behavior to stop.

Kittens instinctively nip and bite each other as they grow up. If you have a kitten and it's biting you, it's even easier to stop than in a fully grown cat.

As kittens, cats learn which behaviors are acceptable and which aren't by, simply, getting their fuzzy butts kicked by their litter mates. If they bite one of their siblings too hard and end up getting bitten back, they learn, "Hey, maybe that wasn't such a good idea after all!"
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Homemade Kitten Food

Do you need a cheap, healthy alternative to store bought kitten food to help wean your kittens off their mother's milk and transition them to traditional canned kitten food? More than likely, they have shown little interest in regular canned food, preferring the milk to anything you might put in their bowl. Dry food will also be too hard on their developing teeth. The best option would be to start them on a food that reminds them of what they prefer, but can be mixed with traditional wet food to help transition them over. This recipe is simple to make, and kittens find it delicious.

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and do not boil the gelatin. If the water tastes bad or has a heavy chlorine taste when it comes out of the tap, consider using filtered water instead.

Pour this mixture into a blender along with half of a 12 ounce can of goat's milk. Blend just long enough to combine thoroughly. Do not substitute cow's milk because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Using cow's milk can lead to discomfort, diarrhea, and worse if fed to kittens.

Add the following ingredients one at a time. After each addition, blend briefly to combine before moving on to the next. You will want to use the lowest setting to avoid overmixing. Add: 3 tbsp full fat yogurt, 3 tbsp real mayonnaise, 3 tsp light corn syrup, and 1 raw egg yolk. Concerning the egg yolk, raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella poisoning. To eliminate any risk of accidentally passing this on to your kittens, use eggs that have been pasteurized in their shells.

You can serve the completed homemade kitten food the way it is, or you can store it for use later. To store for later usage, cover the mixture tightly in a small container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to ten days or in your freezer for up to three months.

If you are going to use food that you have prepared in advance, you will want to warm it up before serving, especially if it is coming from the refrigerator or freezer. Cold food causes severe stomach upset in kittens. Warming it up will also make it more aromatic, and thus more appetizing to the kittens.

About the Author
newbornkittens.net
Visit the author's website, http://newbornkittens.net to learn more about newborn kittens, as well as their raising and care

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How to Litter Train A Kitten

If the mother cat is still in the home and she is already litter trained, then litter training her kittens is a natural process. Her kittens will simply follow what she does. However, ultimately, each cat should have its own litter tray or else it may create a host of other litter tray problems for you!

For most kitten owners, the mother cat is not in the home if the kitten was orphaned or purchased. But this is not a problem. It is easy to litter train a cat when it's still a little kitten. Cats are creatures of habit and it may not be as easy to litter train once they have become used to their favorite toilet spots.

The key to litter training a kitten is to let it get used to the litter tray as soon as possible. You will need to manually place your kitten onto the tray initially, as it is neither used to it nor is it able to climb over the edge to get in.

Most kittens would defecate soon after waking up and after a meal. You could place your kitten in the litter tray during these times and after a few weeks, your kitten would get used to the routine and it would become a habit.

Just be sure to place the litter tray a reasonable distance away from where the kitten is fed and where it sleeps. Cats and kittens are fastidious creatures and do not like to do their toilet near where they eat and sleep.

When a kitten is still very young, it will not be able to "cover up" very well after its toilet, as most adult cats are capable of. But you don't have to worry about this. Once they are about 1 to 2 months old, they will instinctively know how to cover up their poop.

In the wild or in the garden, cats will scoop soil and earth to cover but in the home, if you provide commercial cat litter, they will naturally scoop the litter to cover up the poop. You will notice, even if you only provide a newspaper for their soiling, your kitten will still scoop at the newspaper in an instinctive act to cover up their poop.

Although you can expect to pick up poop after your kitten in the first few weeks, litter training a kitten is relatively easy and can be 100% trouble-free once it gets used to the routine of using the litter tray.

About the Author
Rona Limsy
For more tips on how to litter train your kitten, visit http://www.My-Pet-Cat.com

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New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home

A very important aspect of new kitten care is keeping your kitten safe from danger. There are a lot of potential hazards round the home for little kittens. This article lists the most common ones and suggests ways you can minimize risks to your kitten and keep her safe.

Washing machine and tumble dryer:
If you leave the door open and there are clothes inside, there's a good chance your kitten will climb in and go to sleep. Always check your kitten isn't inside these before you use them.

Fridge and freezer:
As soon as you've used these, shut the door.

Hob and oven:
Shut the oven door as soon as you've finished with it. Cover hot hob plates.

Raw meat:
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.

Garbage:
Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.

Plants:
Many plants are poisonous to cats. If you're not sure whether a certain plant is safe for your kitten if she eats it, put it out of her reach.

Pot pourri:
The oils used to scent this can be poisonous.

Open fires and candles:
Use a guard on the fire. Never leave a kitten in a room alone with lit candles.

Electrical wires:
If your kitten is a wire chewer, you'll need to put wires out of her reach or buy plastic covers for them.

Curtain tie-backs and cords on window blinds:
Kittens can get caught in these. Either remove them completely or tie them up out of reach.

Filled bathtubs and sinks:
Make sure your kitten doesn't have access to the room when the tub or sink is full.

Open toilet:
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.

Medications:
Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.

Small objects:
Kittens can swallow small things like paper clips, rubber bands, staples and needles.

String, wool, fishing line and thread:
Kittens can swallow large quantities of these. For this reason, balls of wool or string and pom-poms aren't good toys for cats.

Household chemicals:
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.

Tobacco:
Tobacco, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are all poisonous to cats.

Reclining chairs, futons, folding beds, drawers:
If kittens get caught when this type of furniture is moved, they can get crushed. Make sure your kitten isn't asleep somewhere she could get trapped before you use any of these.

Safety is a major factor for new kitten care. It's fairly easy to keep your kitten safe as long as you anticipate potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them. Putting brightly colored post it notes up around your home is a good way to do this. Stick the notes on or near potential dangers - for example the fridge, washing machine, oven, toilet and futon - and anywhere else that could be a hazard.

About the Author
Liz Allan
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. To find out more about new kitten care, visit: http://www.cat-behavior-explained.com/all-about-kittens.html

Cat allergies

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

Kitten feeding can feel like a difficult process without a mother cat to do it for you. Newborn kittens are so tiny and fragile, and have to operate almost entirely by instinct. It may seem a daunting task at first, but the process of kitten feeding with a bottle is not so much from that of feeding a newborn human. Once they know what to do, they will do it all on their own. All you have to do is show them proper care and follow a few simple guidelines.

Step 1 Make up the bottle of formula. To do this, first sterilize the bottle and nipple in boiling water for several minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before adding the KMR (kitten milk replacement) formula. KMR is specifically formulated for kittens, and cow's milk is not an adequate replacement. To avoid clumping, add just a little bit of water to the powdered mix and stir until thoroughly combined before adding the rest of the hot water. The final temperature of the formula should be about 95 degrees. If the bottle gets cold, just warm it up in a small bowl of very warm water, but always check the temperature before offering it to the kitten.

Step 2 Prepare the kitten. Place a warm, soft towel either on your lap or on the feeding surface, then place the kitten gently on top of it. When feeding newborn kittens, they will need to be lying flat on their stomachs. It is best if you can do this with the kitten gently cuddled against you, because you need to be sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. Cold kittens do not digest their formula well.

Step 3 Feed the kitten. Gently work the nipple against the kitten's mouth. They will get the idea quickly and take it in. If not, very gently stroke the kitten until it gets the idea. You will need to do this six to ten times per day, around the clock, just like a newborn human. Newborn kittens will need a little over one ounce of formula per day, divided between feedings. Be careful to not overfeed them.

Step 4 Clean up and burp the kitten. While the kitten is still on the blanket, gently slip one hand under its belly and hold it while you very lightly pat its upper back. This will stimulate the burp response. Then, using a warm, damp, slightly rough cloth, gently clean its anal and genital area to stimulate urination and defecation.

Step 5 Put the kitten back to bed. It is worn out from its feeding and needs to rest.

About the Author
newbornkittens.net.
Learn more about newborn kittens and other aspects of kitten care by visiting the author's website at http://newbornkittens.net.

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Getting Ready for the Newborn Kittens

Caring for your cat during pregnancy may require a lot of time and effort in your part but it is a very wonderful and rewarding experience. But after the kittens are already born, you will need to do a different task and that is to take care of the newborn kittens. These kittens will need special kind of attention and care and you must make sure that you could provide it to them.

One good way to start is to prepare your home for the arrival of the newborn kittens. Kittens tend to play with, chew, or nibble anything that attracts their interest like plants, cords, and other materials. You should remove the things that could be harmful to the newborn kittens like anything that could poison them or hurt them. Electrical cords must be kept out of reach. Look for anything sharp and pointed and remove them from the area immediately. Deal with anything that could strangle your kitten like ropes, ribbons, and cords to provide a safer place for your kittens.

You might also want to save your curtains and drapes from kitten scratches so it would be advisable to tie them up so your kittens will not be able to reach them. Make sure that the cabinet for your cleaning liquids are out of your kittens’ reach. Most of these cleaning liquids are poisonous and you wouldn't want your kitty to play with them to prevent any kind of accident.

Another good preparation that you should not forget is to shop for things that your kitten will need. You will have to shop for foods that are suitable for newborn kittens. You should opt for foods that could give your kittens the kind of nutrition they need for growth. The food should also be easily digestible by kittens to prevent any troubles with their tummy.

You should also get them the things they need like their own bowls, kitty basket or bed, blanket, litter box, and toys. This is to ensure that your kittens will be comfortable and that they will have a good playing time. You should provide them with warm and comfortable place or area to sleep in. When choosing toys for your little kittens, make sure that they are safe and will not put the safety of your kittens at risk.

Lastly, you must make sure that your kittens are healthy. After birth, you could have a vet take a look at them to check them up for any illness and to give them vaccines that they need. If your vet saw some signs and symptoms that suggest illness, your kitten might be subjected to some tests and examinations. This is to ensure that they will grow healthy and will reduce the risk of getting sick. These things will help prepare you and your home for the arrival of your cat’s newborn kittens. You will not have to get worried about their safety inside your home and you can be sure that you will able to provide them with anything they need for them to grow happy and healthy.

About the Author
Shaun Bradley
My name is Shaun Bradley and I am an avid Cat Lover/Owner. I have had cats ever since I can remember. Now I have just two cats named Sylvia and Goldie. They are great pets and fairly simple to take care of as long as you know some easy cat training tips. Visit my website for more information http://www.trainingyourcats.com

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