Did you ever experience an allergic reaction? I was once bitten by a horsefly at a concert and my eyelid swelled out like I had a black eye from a fight. It wasn’t pretty. Luckily, a medical team was nearby and I was given a dose of an anti-histamine, Benadryl. I was soon as right as rain.
Imagine if your cat were to suffer an allergic reaction. It can be unpleasant thing seeing your pet suffering needlessly. You may feel helpless wondering if you can give an antihistamine like Benadryl to your cat. An allergic reaction can be serious; in the worst case scenario if anaphylaxis occurs, it can lead to death.
As with an allergic reaction in people, when your cat experiences an allergic reaction, whether it be mild or severe, it is always a good precaution to consult your veterinarian for advice. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
It is critical to the safety and well being of your cat that you can distinguish between mild and more severe symptoms. Look out for red lips, red eyes and hives; these indicate a mild case of allergic reaction.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis are much more dramatic; these include seizures, vomiting, breathing difficulties, uncontrolled bowel movements and urination, lethargy and collapse. In this situation, you should call your veterinarian for assistance.
It is important that when looking at the symptoms that you consider all the symptoms in the round. If you detect just some of these signs,it may not be the case that your cat is presenting with anaphylaxis.
Read More: you may love to read more about best cat clippers for matted fur in this article (click here to continue).
The short answer is Yes. According to John Faught, a medical director, “Benadryl is just an antihistamine, and it’s relatively safe for both dogs and cats.”That’s reassuring.
You the pet owner should be aware that, as with any medication,there may be side effects. Benadryl may cause your cat to get drowsy or,alternatively, hyper.
Care must be taken with doses. Overdoses can lead to seizures,breathing difficulties, coma, and even in death in the worst case scenario. It is important that you always seek medical advice from your vet and read instructions carefully.
You should consult with your vet to see if the Benadryl might interfere with other medication your pet is taking.
You may also like: My Cats Top Review
Benadryl is usually used to treat itchiness, allergic skin reactions or bug bites. It may be also useful in treating vaccine reactions.
Families bringing their cat on long car trips can also use it as a mild sedative. It is known to work as an anti-nausea or motion sickness medication. However, ideally you use a medication that is specifically designed for that purpose.
Cats are well known for being fussy eaters, so getting your cat to consume. If possible, syringe the Benadryl directly into its mouth; that is, if your cat is being co-operative for you. If your cat doesn’t like the taste or odor, you can disguise it with other flavours.
According to Teresa Travers, “If your cat won’t take it, you can try going through a compounding pharmacy where the staff can flavor the liquid with chicken, fish or another cat-approved taste, which may increase the chance of your feline taking it.”
Debi Matlack, a Veterinary Technician, says that the liquid is very bitter and recommends giving Benadryl in pill form instead. “A pill may be easier to get down without her tasting it. For my cat on Benadryl I have to wrap it in a little bit of Pill Pocket and poke it down anyway, she won’t eat it on her own. A device called a pill popper may be of help.”
The recommended dosage of Benadryl for cats is 1 mg per pound,given up to three times daily.
If your cat is an average weight of 10 pounds, then the correct dosage from a 25-milligram tablet is simply half of it. In its liquid form, you need to administer four milliliters as the concentration is typically 12.5mg/5ml.
While antihistamine can treat the symptoms, it is worth investigating what the underlying causes may be. Does your cat have mites or some form of infection? Are there any environmental factors that may be causing a reaction? You may be only masking the problem and not dealing with the underlying causes.
Cats sometimes get allergies to the food they are eating. Cats may show signs of this by scratching their heads or necks, or they have problems like diarrhoea and vomiting.
“Cats who develop allergies have usually been exposed to substances- either airborne, in food, applied to their skin or transmitted by fleas-that they can not tolerate.”
There are host of substances that some cats may be allergic to.These include pollens from trees, grass, weeds, cold, mildew or dust. Another obvious source is fleas; if your cat has fleas, then simply giving it anantihistamine alone won’t remedy the problem. You will need to treat the fleas too.
Other sources for allergies include perfumes, cleaning products,cigarette smoke, fabrics and rubber and plastic materials.
As the pet owner, you should undergo a process of elimination to try to pinpoint the source. When did your cat first show signs? Do you remember anything in the environment that might have occurred prior to these symptoms?
As mentioned earlier, it is a good idea to see your vet. Your vet can take a complete history and do a physical examination to find the source of the problem. Failing that, the next course of action would be to do blood or skin tests and/or an elimination diet.
Hopefully, by that stage you will determine and eliminate the source of the problem, and then treat your cat with Benadryl.
As discussed, the key secret to success in treating your cat is first to check the symptoms, consult your vet, and tackle the allergy with an appropriate dosage of Benadryl, in liquid or tablet form. Also, it is well worth checking out those Pill Pockets; they are a great way to hide the medicine in your cat’s food and they will love it without realising they are eating it! Finally, get to the cause of the allergy, by completing a history with your Vet. Please leave a comment below if you have any question.
We all love our pets. Most of us also love chocolate. Chocolate in big quantities, however, is not really very good for us at all. Chocolate in any quantity is very bad for cats and dogs. While dogs are more likely to be curious about “people food” and can be made very sick when eating it. Cats are usually less impressed by it, but how much chocolate will kill a cat?
Cats have been known to eat things that would not normally be considered “cat food” I had a cat who loved fruit. He would eat melons, avocados, mangoes, and cucumber. He would often remove plastic covers and lick big holes into watermelon pieces.
Another cat I knew loved cheese flavored crisps. These food preferences are not however common in cats who generally prefer specifically formulated cat food. They may prefer to sometimes even catch their own food.
It is uncommon for cats to go for chocolate and generally a small amount will not cause too much of a problem, but the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is to cats. However, the toxicity and amount needed to cause a real problem also depends on the weight of the cat.
Chocolate is a food that you would be well advised to keep away from your cat. There are ingredients derived from the cacao plant which are particularly toxic to cats. Theobromine and caffeine which are found in the cacao bean can lead to some serious medical complications with your cat.
A cat’s digestive system is unable to break these chemicals down and eliminate them in the way that a humans digestive system can. Caffeine particularly is a stimulant and it affects the heart rate and the central nervous system.
If you suspect that your cat has consumed chocolate, look out for these symptoms.
The poisoning can even lead to heart failure and coma. In the worst cases. Death. The severity of the symptoms will depend on the type of chocolate consumed and the amount thereof. The types most poisonous to cats are baking chocolate, milk chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate. Dark chocolate is, however, the most toxic.
You may also like: can cats eat chocolate ice cream?
If your cat shows any of the above symptoms and if you find that some of your chocolate has gone missing you may suspect it was your cat who did it. It will be best to get your cat to the vet as quickly as you can.
Your vet will perform a physical which will include a blood and urine test and even possibly an ECG. These tests will show if there has been a theobromine of caffeine overdose.
It is important that your cat is kept cool and quiet. This calmness can help to prevent the symptoms from escalating. Your cat may have seizures. If the ingestion of the chocolate has been within the previous two hours or so, it may be advisable to induce vomiting. Your vet may also administer charcoal.
Your cat may be given medication to control side effects. If the symptoms are more serious your cat may need to be intubated and placed on a ventilator. Your cat’s heart will also need to be monitored.
While it would be better if your vet does this. Where there is an emergency, it is advisable to try to induce vomiting as quickly post the ingestion of chocolate as possible to prevent the toxins from entering into the cat’s digestive system.
Inducing vomiting can be tricky which is why it is better if it is done by your vet. Hydrogen peroxide is most commonly used where this becomes necessary. If the need arises for you to do this yourself, then the amount of hydrogen peroxide to use will depend on the age and weight of your cat. Use a 3% solution. DO NOT use hair bleaching peroxide. Cats are not humans so using ipecac syrup or salt water can be very harmful.
Only use what your vet recommends, this will generally be one teaspoon of the solution per five pounds of the body weight of the cat. The best way to administer it is via an oral syringe or clean eye dropper. This will likely be a struggle. You may want to wrap the cat in a towel before attempting this or you could be the injured one.
When the cat has swallowed the hydrogen peroxide let it walk around a bit. Follow your cat for about fifteen to twenty minutes after which it is likely to vomit. Your cat may try to re ingest the vomit. When your cat does vomit it is best to clean the substance up right away.
Do not assume that your cat will be fine after vomiting, you should probably still visit your vet. I hope you never need to resort to inducing vomiting in your cat, but it is as well to be prepared and to be familiar with the procedure. However, your vet should always be the first port of call.
It is also important to keep your cat well hydrated as its condition begins to improve. It is also advisable to feed your cat a very bland diet for a few days after the incident. Boiled chicken with rice is recommended.
Boil some chicken without salt, pepper onions or any other flavors that we humans enjoy. When it is cooked, strip it from the bones if there are any, remove fatty bits and chop it up with an equal amount of cooked white rice. Feed the cat as normal.
Tempting as it is to share your favorite treat with your darling cat, this is the very worst thing you could do. Please ensure that you do not leave chocolate lying around where a curious cat may be tempted to give it a try.
Has your cat's water intake pattern changed? Does it worry you that he hasn't had a drink today? With a cat's body estimated to contain 80% water, constant monitoring should be carried out to ensure your cat is drinking enough.
Contrary to common belief, even though you hardly catch him taking a drink, he is just as vulnerable to effects of dehydration as the rest of us. Ranked second , most essential life sustaining nutrient, water loss in your pet's body needs to be managed.
As finicky as cats are in regards to water intake, it can not be emphasized enough how important water is to a cats diet. On absorption, water serves a number of important functions in your pet's body. Some of these functions include:
It is important that your has a balanced diet. Meals consumed provide your pet with a constant supply of nutrients and energy. These nutrients are carried throughout your cat's body by blood. Adequate oxygen is also transported to vital body organs via blood cells.
Equally significant is the removal of waste from the body. Nitrogen and other toxic elements are commonly excreted in form of urine. All this requires your pet to have enough blood. The main constituent of blood is water. As such, sufficient water must be added to your cat's diet.
Cats are resilient in managing extreme temperatures. With a normal temperature range of 100.5 to 102.5 degrees, your pet is more tolerant to high temperatures than you. However, when temperatures go too high, it is more likely that dehydration will set in.
Other than finding a cool spot and reducing activity, cats will seek water to drink. Additionally, cats, like us, need water to produce sweat. Unlike us however, they do not sweat through all their skin pores. Instead, they sweat through their paws and noses.
As the sweat evaporates from these surfaces, some of the heat dissipates, making sweat an essential part of temperature regulation.
Starting with addition of saliva in the mouth, to breakdown of food by acids, water plays an essential part in formation of these bodily liquids. A well hydrated cat is further capable of secreting mucous in its stomach in preparation of food breakdown.
The mucous layer formed helps protect the cat's stomach lining from effects of acid as food is digested. Without this protection, a gastroduodenal (stomach) or duodenum (small intestine) ulcer would begin to form.
Also, water ensures that stomach acid is at the correct pH level. If your cat experiences dehydration, its body would not be able to produce enough acid to break down food. This in turn deters passage of food to the small intestine, leading to abdominal discomfort.
In the small intestine, digestive bacteria are also unable to digest food properly as pancreatic enzymes and bile are not released to usable levels. This results to inefficient absorption of nutrients.
Other than roles discussed above, moisturizing of body organs, moisturizing joints, improving metabolism, among others too many to enumerate, are additional functions of water. It is therefore clear that water serves as a cornerstone nutrient for a fully functioning body.
Not all cats have the same requirements for water intake. Each cat is treated differently based on a number of factors. These include:
In comparison, diseased cats can go longer or shorter durations without water than their healthy counterparts. Depending on illness, a cat's drinking habits would have a noticeable change. Cats that acquire diabetes, kidney or urinary tract infections, will require a drink of water more frequently.
On the other hand, those that acquire liver or respiratory diseases would drink less amounts than before. Even when not ailing from diseases, factor such as pregnancy or nursing, may induce stress on your pet. Stressed pets go longer without water.
As cats age, there is a reduction in body mass. This implies that less water is required for an older cat.
However, breeds that retain a greater mass even with advancement of age, would have greater water needs.In relation to age, activity also determines your cat's drinking requirements.
Younger, more active cats require water more often and in greater quantities than older, torpid pets.
Dry air and temperature changes, alter your pet's drinking frquency. Temperatures of between 50-60 degrees hardly alter drinking patterns.
On increasing, more water would be required for efficient functioning of the pet's body. Intrestingly, low temperatures also increase water intake demands, so as to warm up.
Cats that rely on raw or unprocessed meals, require the least amount of water when compared to those that eat canned or dry foods. Pets feeding on dry foods would be the most affected. They may require up to 10 times more water.
Foraging cats may not drink as much. From what they catch, they are able to meet their daily hydration needs. It is still important however to provide water nonetheless.
Consequences of inadequate water in a cat's diet can be lethal. As a pet owner, you should always be on the lookout for symptoms such as, but not limited to:
If however, your pet's water intake is on the increase, that could be a tell tale sign of some other underling condition. Although increased water intake is not the only symptom associated with the diseases below, excessive thirst is a strong indicator for:
Older cats are more prone to getting diabetes. Characterized by frequent urination, a diabetic cat will require more water intake. As sugar increases in a diabetic cat's blood stream, it overflows into its urine, causing it to urinate more.
When kidneys fail, your cat will pass urine more and therefore require water just as frequently.
Accompanied by symptoms such as increased appetite and hair loss, increased water intake may also point to hyperthyroidism. This is a condition where thyroid glands release thyroid at an excessive rate.
Many people reach a time in their lives when they decide to have a pet. Cats belong to a group of animals that we humans have a very love and hate relationship with. It's either because of allergies, a bad experience or simply because cats are so independent.
Kittens are cute, but they require a lot of attention, so your next logical question is how long do cats grow? When can you consider your kitten a fully grown cat and what will change when you reach that point? Here are a couple of things you should know about your fluffy companion.
The easy answer is - cats stop growing when they have fully matured. That means their bones will not grow any further and their sexual maturity begins as well. Usually, it happens when your cat is 8 months to a year old.
Sexual maturity in felines begins at around 8-month mark and continues for a couple of months after that. It is important to take care of their diet during their growing stage so they mature normally.
You should read about your cat's breed since every breed is different. However, all growing cats need more calories in their diet than their grown-up counterparts.
If your kitty seems to be a late bloomer, you might want to increase his calorie intake a little bit more, but be aware that you don't want him to become too fluffy around the edges since obesity created health risks. Same as in humans. So if you think your cat is not growing as he should - see a vet.
If you feed your feline 3/4 cup of dry food it should be enough if you are consistent with 3 feedings a day.
Cats are grazing animals, so even if your cat doesn't eat everything at once, don't worry. He might come back later and finish the meal.
When you hit six-month mark, move on to feeding him twice a day. Free feeding is quite convenient, but unless it's something that's left over from the meal, don't overdo it. It is another thing that can lead to obesity. That will require you to take some serious diet measures and it just creates a hassle.
When your cat turns one year old you can safely move from kitten food to adult cat food without looking back. Watch what kind of habits he has and if they need adjusting - now is the time.
Animals like routine and if you get your cat used to certain feeding times, he will come and ask for food, but you can adjust it and your pet will adjust with you.
However, if you have a larger cat breed, your cat will not be considered a full adult until he turns at least two. Their maturity happens later and sometimes can even only be complete between the ages of two and four so if you are not sure about it - see your vet and get a consultation about the best plan of action.
As cats mature they calm down and even though they still play, their social behavior is calmer. It depends on your cat’s breed and personality so there are no set guarantees what kind of cat you will have. It's possible that spayed cats could have the kitten-like lifestyle for longer. They also will love the attention and affection longer if not into old age.
Many people choose to spay or neuter their cats to prevent pregnancy. Many people are concerned about their male cats spraying to mark their territory. It is also possible that if you spay or neuter your cat early enough, it will prevent spraying. However, it has to be done before your kitty turns six months old.
Cats sleep a lot. Especially when they get older. It is important, however, to play with your cat. It will create positive tendencies and strengthen the bond you have. While your cat is growing, he or she will easily become bored and that can cause them to attack furniture and curtains, so playtime is very important.
It will entertain them (and yourself) and wear them out so they can essentially go to sleep and continue growing. Playtime is also an essential for exercising your cat. Don’t do it straight after meals, but let the food settle down before you get out the string and the ball.
If you adopt a kitten from a shelter, he or she will have all the necessary vaccinations, but you should have the cat checked out anyway. Register with a vet so you know where to turn if something goes wrong.
Also, ask the shelter about the circumstances of the kitten, since many adopted cats will need to be socialized before they are ready to meet other people.
Look into behavior training as well. Most cats are litter box trained, but it depends on their start in life. Most shelters will make sure that your kitten knows what and where their litter box is.
If you adopt a grown up cat and if you have children or other pets, make sure that the cat will be all right sharing the house and the attention. Even though cats are pretty independent animals, some still crave and love attention and affection. If they have to share that with another cat, a baby or a dog, they might not be very keen and develop bad or aggressive habits.
Have you ever had a cat that allowed you to love it? Did you love it so much that you (or your loved ones) had to go through great pains to keep it happy and healthy? Did that entail painstakingly cuddle wrestling your feisty feline just to squirt a syringe of fluid down its throat before it sank sharp claws further into your arm? And did you remember to apologize to your cat for putting it in the position to use its claws in the first place?
Yes. I have been there, too.
Without a proper guide on how to syringe feed your cat, it is no easy task. But you’re in luck because my cat has trained me well. Open wide!
Read More: Check this article to learn more about best cat clippers for matted fur, click here to continue.
Thanks for modeling syringe feeding for us, Buddha!
Cats are syringe fed all the time. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Having an animal professional like the one in this video explain and demonstrate the process will help you to mentally prepare.
Make sure that your cat’s food is room temperature and is the correct consistency. Kittens will need a more liquid substance than an adult cat will, but growing cats may benefit from a mix of the two. Again, clear your food choice with a vet. Some sick cats may be made sicker by certain foods.
I found it helpful to use a small syringe. Although it was not able to hold as much food, I had better control over it and was better able to maneuver the syringe into my grumpy cat’s mouth.
The food can be loaded into the syringe in two different ways.
The first way is to fully close the syringe, place the tip into the liquidy food, and then suck it up by pulling back the plunger.
The second way is for food that is more solid. Simply remove the back plunger and use a small butter knife to lift up the food and slide it into the back end. It will be quite messy!
Now it’s time for the fun part of syringe feeding!
Here you may need a safety partner.
If your cat is calm or small and manageable, you may be able to do this job yourself.
Get on the same level with your hungry cat. Use the warm, dry towel to wrap around your cat like a bib. With your catbaby almost tucked under the pit of your non-dominant arm, use the hand from that arm to calmly but firmly grasp the cat’s head from behind. With the head tilted slightly back, your cat is ready for feeding.
In my experience, I’ve found it helpful for the person who is calmest and most bonded with the cat to be the one to hold him. For this syringe feeding, you and your cat will both be safer by using the towel to form a kitty burrito. The towel should come around the neck like a bib, but it should also drape over Kitty’s front paws. Here, the holder of the burrito will use both hands to clutch the cat’s front paws. Once kitty is safely restrained, feeding can begin.
Aim the syringe to the side or back corner of the cat’s mouth. The kitty may object to this because it is weird and intrusive, so dispense the food slowly. After you’ve given a small amount, remove the syringe from the cat’s mouth to give him time to realize he must swallow the food.
If your cat doesn’t want to swallow a, you may have to use your hand to keep the mouth shut. It’s important for the health of your kitty to get those calories in there.
You are sure to make a mess, so keep extra paper towels around to clean up as you go.
These steps must be repeated throughout the day so that your cat gets the nutrients she needs, but doesn’t end up with a belly ache from eating too much.
The realest piece of advice I have for you as you embark on this journey of having to syringe feed your cat, just make sure that you are genuinely calm when handling him. He can sense your stress and he will become stressed, too. Give him a head start on successful recovery by keeping a steady and positive attitude.
Did you find the tips in this tutorial helpful for learning to syringe feed your cat? I wish I had taken the steps in this guide before learning it the hard way, but I am happy to share it with you. If you think this guide is helpful for cat owner or cat caretakers, please take a moment to share it with your friends. If you feel I have left something out, please let me know! Also, I would love learning about the quirks of your own cats. Please share a story or other feedback in the comments!