Category Archives: cats

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease

This post is sponsored by Purina. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, but 4 the Love of Animals only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.

PPVD_38100_17142If you have cats, it’s important to know about a common disease that can affect them. It’s called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or FLUTD.

FLUTD is a group of diseases that affect both the bladder and the urethra in cats. The disease is sometimes caused by urinary stones or crystals, and it’s more common than you might think.

FLUTD Risk Factors

  • Age, gender and physical activity can help indicate whether or not your cat is at a higher risk for developing FLUTD.
  • Gender: Both male and female cats can experience urinary tract disorders, but since male cats have longer and narrower urethras, their urinary tracts are more likely to be obstructed by crystals and mucous.
  • Breed: Urinary problems are more common in certain breeds, such as Persians, where there is a lower incidence in Siamese.
  • Age: Young adult cats between the ages of 2 and 6 years are more likely to have lower urinary tract disorders, but cats of any age are susceptible.
  • Activity Level: indoor cats seem to be more susceptible to lower urinary tract disorders. This may be because confinement reduces physical activities, which in turn may reduce the amount of water consumed and frequency of urination, allowing crystals to form in the urine.
  • Diet: high levels of ash and magnesium in the diet were once through to cause crystals. However, more recent work indicates that urine pH and concentration are more important factors in the development of FLUTD. Increasing water intake is highly recommended to help reduce the risk of FLUTD.

How to Recognize the Symptoms
You will likely notice a change in your cat’s appearance or behavior if he or she is experiencing FLUTD. Look for common signs, such as:

  • Makes frequent trips to the litter box
  • Cries when urinating
  • Urinates outside the litter box
  • Licks genital area excessively
  • Strains to urinate, with little success
  • Displays signs of anxiety, such as pacing or hiding

PPVD_38100_13830_LIt’s important to take your cat to the vet if you see these symptoms. Luckily FLUTD can be treated, and your cat will feel much better.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR Urinary St/Ox Feline Formulas are scientifically formulated to meet the special dietary needs of cats that are predisposed to lower urinary tract conditions.

If you have a cat that has FLUTD, you can download a coupon for Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets UR St/Ox Feline Formula to use at your vet office.

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NOTE: coupons are redeemed at a vet clinic. This giveaway is for USA only.

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Posted in cats, pet care | 4 Comments

Strut Your Mutt 2015

We love Best Friends, and are so excited for Strut Your Mutt 2015!

I’m strutting as part of a local rescue team (you can support my goal here if you want), but you can walk as an individual, start your own team, or join one a team that already exists. You can even strut virtually!

Strut Your Mutt, presented by BOBS from Skechers, is a 12 city fundraising dog walk, 5K run and festival that brings together rescue groups, shelters and individuals to celebrate the collective effort of saving the lives of shelter pets.

The event kicked off the tour last weekend in Minneapolis and Portland, and will be visiting the following cities this month and next:

Austin – September 19
Kanab, UT – September 19
Jacksonville, FL – September 26
NYC – September 26
San Francisco – October 3
DC Metro Area – October 10
Los Angeles – October 10
St. Louis – October 10
Houston – October 17
Salt Lake City – October 24

Since 2010, Best Friends has raised more than $5.2 million for its animal welfare partners through Strut Your Mutt. The national goal for this year is $2.6 million.

Can’t make it to an in person strut? Join the virtual Strut Your Mutt Challenge! Supporters can raise money to help homeless pets in their own communities or for national programs that help to create sweeping changes for homeless pets everywhere. Learn more about it and join the fun at Strut Your Mutt.

Posted in cats, dogs, events | 9 Comments

Top 5 Tips to Address Separation Anxiety in Pets during Back-to-School Season By Purina veterinarian Dr. Kurt Venator

This post is sponsored by Purina. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Purina Back to School program, but 4 the Love of Animals only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.

Back to school can be an exciting and stressful time both for people and pets. You might notice your pet feeling anxious as the routine in the household changes. As always, check with your veterinarian whenever you notice changes in your pet’s behavior to rule out any physical issues. If you find your pet is feeling anxious, the following five tips can help.

Back to school tips for pets

Top 5 Tips to Address Separation Anxiety in Pets during Back-to-School Season By Dr. Kurt Venator

Now that the kids are heading back to school, pets may start to feel lonely or experience separation anxiety. Below, are five tips that pet owners can do to help address separation anxiety in their pets:

  • Get your pet into a routine. Pets love routine because it makes them feel secure. During the summer, kids are always around to make things entertaining and exciting for their pets. When they suddenly disappear, some cats and dogs will feel sad and confused while others may experience real separation anxiety. Thus, it’s important that pet owners help get their pet acclimated to the change by replacing the old schedule with a new one, such as allocating time to play with them after work or keeping a consistent schedule when coming and going from the house.
  • Burn off some energy. Some pets deal with separation anxiety by becoming destructive (e.g. howling, chewing on objects or other parts of the house). A great way to keep your dog from doing this is by taking them on a walk in the morning before you leave the house to help burn off some of that extra energy. For cats, consider playing with them at night as well – whether it’s making them chase a feather wand or play with a ball.
  • Create an interactive environment: Back-to-school season is a great time to buy your pet a new, interactive toy to play with. This will help mentally stimulate them and keep them occupied during the day when the kids are away at school. For dogs, chew toys are a way for them to relieve their anxiety, frustration and boredom. For cats, creating a play area where they can be entertained even when you’re not home, can help ease the separation anxiety. This can include having things like scratching posts or cat furniture in your home.
  • Turn up the tunes and start with baby steps. Try leaving some soothing music on at your home while everyone is out of the house. The music will help drown out distracting noises that your dog may mistakenly associate with the kids coming home. Some animal shelters have even found that playing calming music helps the pets in their facilities relax. Additionally, get your pets comfortable with noises that may indicate your departure. For example, jingle your car keys occasionally and practice opening and closing the door to get them accustomed to noises that could increase anxiety.
  • Spend time with your pet. It’s important to remember that while you may have had a long day, your pet may have been sitting at home feeling lonely waiting for you to come home. Spending some quality time with your pet at the end of the day is critical to helping keep them active and mentally sharp. It may be tough to fit into a busy work schedule, but be sure to build some interactive time – whether it’s a walk or cuddle session – to show your pets you care.

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Posted in cats, dogs, pet care | 2 Comments