Successful flight with a cat begins long before the day of travel. It requires planning and preparation in order to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for both you and your cat.
Adverse food reactions in cats are either caused by food allergy – an immune response to something ingested or food intolerance – a non-immunological response to something ingested. Signs of food intolerance are generally digestive in nature only. Food intolerance will generally occur on the initial exposure to the food or food additive in contrast to food allergy which requires repeated exposures to develop. Different causes of food intolerance include food poisoning, or inappropriate ingestion of an irritant, reaction to food additives, histamine reactions, lactose intolerance and dietary indiscretion such as eating fat or bones. A dietary history is important in diagnosing these conditions.
Fractured teeth in cats can result from fights, car accidents, and chewing on hard objects. There are five classifications of tooth fractures and each needs treatment to avoid tooth sensitivity and pain. Because cats have thin enamel, even a small chip fracture can cause pain and needs veterinary care. Clinical signs include chewing on one side of the mouth, excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, and facial swelling.
Certain medical conditions can be controlled by the use of drugs that are only available in an injectable format. Two of these conditions are diabetes mellitus, which is controlled by daily insulin injections, and certain allergies, which are controlled by regular injections of allergenic extracts.
The easiest way to give your cat liquid medication is to mix it in with some canned food. To ensure that your cat swallows all of the medication, it is best to mix it into a small amount of canned food that you feed by hand, rather than mixing it into a full bowl of food that the cat may not completely eat.
Giving pills to cats can be a challenge even for the most experienced veterinarian! The easiest way to give your cat a pill is to hide the pill in food. Soft treats are also available that can be used to hide the pill by molding the treat around it (e.g., Pill Pockets™). If your cat persists in spitting out the pills or if dietary restrictions prevent you from hiding the pills in an appealing food or treat, you will need to administer the pill directly into the cat's mouth. Following pilling your cat, give her some positive reinforcement (e.g., treats, brushing, petting or playing).
Although health and nutrition influence the luster and texture of your cat's coat from the inside, regular grooming and skin care on the outside will help keep your cat's coat clean and free of tangles, no matter what type of hair coat she has. Brushing helps to remove loose hairs and dead skin cells, to keep the coat free of dirt, debris, and external parasites, and to distribute natural skin oils along the hair shafts. How often your particular cat needs to be bathed will vary somewhat with her age, lifestyle, and underlying health status. If your cat is arthritic or overweight, she may have difficulty grooming herself properly and you will need to help by grooming certain areas of her body.