Author Archives: Dr. Jane Matheys

3 Reasons Cats Sleep On Your Head

Dr. Matheys is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider Pets Best Insurance.

Hello. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys from The Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. Today I’ll be answering some questions about cat health from the comments posted our Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.

First one here, Karen asks: “Why does my cat sleep on my head? Otherwise, she’s not overly affectionate.” Well, it’s not quite as unique as you might think, Karen. It is pretty common for people to tell me that their kitties sleep on their head at night.

There are several reasons for this.

1. Nobody knows for sure, but my guess is that most likely the common reason is that cats do it for warmth. People lose most of their body heat through their head, and your kitty can feel that, so they wrap right against your head to get that warmth. Other things?Read More…

3 Ways to Reduce Cat Hairballs

A cat with cat insurance gets brushed by his owner.Dr. Jane Matheys is a veterinarian guest blogger for the highly rated pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

Nothing can be done to totally prevent hairballs in cats, but there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood your cat will have hairballs or reduce their frequency.

1. Regular Cat Grooming

The more fur you remove from the coat, the less fur that ends up in the stomach. Comb or brush your cat on a daily basis. I like to use a slicker brush or a fine-toothed comb such as a flea comb. Make sure that your grooming tool is removing the dead fur underneath the coat and not just glossing over the surface. If your long-haired cat won’t allow brushing, consider taking her to a professional groomer for a “lion-cut” once or twice a year.

2. Special Diet

You can try feeding your cat a specialized “hairball formula” cat food. These high-fiber formulas are designed to improve the health of your cat’s coat, minimize the amount of shedding, and encourage hairballs to pass through the digestive system.Read More…

Cat Health: Are Hyperthyroidism and Chronic Kidney Disease Connected?

A senior cat suffering from hyperthyroidism and kidney disease.

Dr. Jane Matheys, a veterinarian, guest blogs for pet insurance provider, Pets Best.

On the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page, Bonnie asked a question about cat health. She asks, “Are hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease linked in a causative manner, or are they just associated as many older cats develop both?”

Geriatric cats are prone to both hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease, so it’s not surprising that these conditions frequently coexist. The prevalence of concurrent kidney disease in cats with hyperthyroidism is estimated to be about 30-35%1, 2.

For a long time it has been unknown whether a true cause and effect relationship existed between the two, or if they are simply common in the geriatric feline independently. Recent research is slowly helping to make this less of a mystery, and it’s now known that thyroid function can definitely influence kidney function.Read More…

Pet Poison: Lilies

lily flowers and plants are toxic to cats.

Dr. Matheys is a veterinarian guest blogger for pet insurance provider, Pets Best Insurance.

Lilies are beautiful, fragrant plants with flowers that are very common in bouquets and floral arrangements. But beware, lilies can kill cats!

What Part of the Lily is Toxic?

All parts of the plant are toxic, especially the flower. Even the orange-yellow pollen is toxic and the large amount of pollen can get everywhere, including on a cat’s coat or paws where it can be ingested while grooming.

What Amount is Toxic?

Even a single bite of a flower or leaf of the plant can be deadly for your cat.

How Are Lilies Toxic to Cats?

Cats can suffer from kidney failure after ingesting even tiny amounts of the plant and flower or drinking water from the plant. Cats are very sensitive to poisoning by Easter lilies. The kidney is the primary organ affected, and cats can die of kidney failure 3-5 days after exposure.

Are all Lilies Toxic?Read More…

Common Cat Behavior Stumps Vets

Hello. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys, from the Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. I’m here today to answer a question that was posted on the Facebook page of Pets Best Insurance. Rema asks, “Why does my cat eat grass and anything that he thinks is grass when he’s outside? He won’t eat cat grass though.” I get this question a lot and honestly nobody, including us veterinarians, has a clear answer as to why cats like to eat grass.Read More…

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