Author Archives: Dr. Jane Matheys

Overweight Cat? 5 Tips for Cat Weight Loss

Indoor cats need extra initiative to exercise.

A 2011 study by Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that over 50% of cats were either obese or overweight. It’s time to make a resolution for your tubby tabby.

Side Effects of Cat Obesity

Obesity has been associated with increased risk for serious medical conditions in cats.  Studies have shown that obese cats are five times more likely as cats of normal weight to develop lameness requiring veterinary care.  Excess weight puts stress on joints, muscles and ligaments, and can predispose cats to soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis.  Obese cats are four times more likely to develop diabetes mellitus, are two times more likely to suffer non-allergic skin conditions such as dry, flaky skin and chin acne, and are at risk for a potentially life-threatening liver disease called hepatic lipidosis.  All of which also have a side effect to your wallet. Pet insurance can help cover medical issues with cats but to alleviate potential financial and emotional stress on yourself, it’s best to help your cat shed the pounds.

Factors that Affect ObesityRead More…

3 Odd Items Cats Eat and How to Help – Pets Best Insurance

cats eat ribbon and tinsel and plastic possibly requiring surgical removal.

Does your cat eat the Christmas tinsel and ribbon? Does your cat eat plastic?  Two of our Pets Best Insurance Facebook friends have these problems and based on the large amounts of claims we at Pets Best Insurance get for odd items cats ingest, we’re betting many of you do too.

Brian asked, “How can I get my cat to stop eating ribbon and tinsel without having to give up two of the best parts of the Christmas tree?”

Dr. Matheys, DVM, discusses this behavior:

Forfeit the ribbon and tinsel for the health and safety of your cat. Cats can’t seem to resist playing with the shiny, flowing strands hanging from the tree.  But if they ingest them, it can cause a life-threatening blockage in the intestinal tract, and surgery is usually required to remove the offending material. Read More…

Cat Birth Defect Often Heals Itself

Hello. I’m Dr. Jane Matheys, from the Cat Doctor Veterinary Hospital and Hotel in Boise, Idaho. Today I’ll be answering your question from the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page.

This question is from Cassy. She says “I have a cat who had a herniated belly button as a baby but as an adult does not seem to have it anymore. He’s a year old now and it’s still growing with no signs of problems; but I always worry if it’ll show back up”.

Cassy is referring to an umbilical hernia which is where a kitten is born with an umbilical opening that doesn’t close.

The most important thing is to make sure that this is checked by your veterinarian, because if there’s still one there, it can pose a threat to the cat.

If the opening is large enough, what can happen is that some of the abdominal contents can slip through that hole and cause problems. Usually it’s just some fat that slips through, but sometimes you could have a loop of an intestine that can slip through and actually get twisted and that’s very serious for the kitty cat.

So for larger hernias there’s a fairly simple surgical procedure to correct that and that surgery typically done at the time of the spay or the neuter. If the hernia is small, and none of the abdominal contents are able to slip through, sometimes they don’t have to be corrected.

In little kittens, as they advance into adulthood, sometimes those hernias can spontaneously close on their own. That sounds like maybe what has happened in the case of Cassy’s cat.Read More…

Four Tips for Treating Your Cat this Holiday Season

Top tips from a pet insurance company for training your dog.Halloween has come and gone, and that means the rest of the winter holidays will be here before we know it! And holidays aren’t just for humans. Many cats get excited about them, too, especially with all the wonderful aromas of roast turkey, baked ham, and other goodies. Cats will naturally want something special to eat, and many cat owners love to treat their cats to some of the same holiday specialties they indulge in. You don’t want to give kitties people food that might not be good for cat health, of course, but there are ways to safely share seasonal goodies with your cat.

1. Keep it Lean

As a general rule of thumb, what’s healthy for you is more likely to be healthy for your cat too. Avoid fat and stay away from candy. Cats have fewer sweet receptors on their tongues, so most of them don’t have a “sweet tooth” like dogs or people. Although we may like to gorge on KitKat bars and other candy on Halloween, they won’t look too tempting to most felines. Still, it’s important to know that chocolate, grapes and raisins can cause trouble for cats.Read More…

Three Tips For Purchasing Pet Drugs Online

Look for this seal before purchasing from an online pet medication pharmacy. As the economy recovers, many people are still struggling to provide for both their human family members and their furry family members. Pet insurance can help cover costs associated with pet health needs, but some want to save even more by buying prescription pet medications online.

Indeed, a lot of pet pharmacies have been popping up online in recent years. These pharmacies provide a way to save money, but they can also contain hidden dangers that may put your pet’s life at risk. It’s important to become educated before choosing an online pet pharmacy. At first glance, online pet pharmacies seem like a good option, offering better pricing and home delivery. But as they say, buyer beware.Read More…

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