VetAssist is here to support you in best caring for your cat. Below Dr Claire from VetAssist† shares her insights to some of the most commonly asked cat care questions - as always, ensure you chat to a Veterinarian for recommendations that best suit your individual cats needs.
Like humans, every cat is different with needs that vary according to their lifestyle, age, health and breed. That is where our likeness ends. Unlike humans and dogs, cats are carnivores - and they need a good quality high protein, low carbohydrate balanced diet.
If you are feeding a commercially prepared balanced premium cat food, it is not necessary to add anything else into your cat’s diet as these diets are completely balanced and contain everything your cat needs. Choosing wet food (with a higher water content) alone, or in combination with dry food is a better option than dry alone to maintain good hydration.
Also consider how you feed your cat - food puzzles are a great idea, and one way to provide further environmental enrichment.
When you notice that your cat is itchier than usual, it’s important to get it looked at right away. There are many causes for scratching, so working out exactly what’s happening with your cat is essential to get on the best treatment plan for their wellbeing (and your sanity too).
The most common cause of itch in cats is due to allergies - such as to flea bites, inhaled pollens and direct contact with the skin. Food allergy is also seen but this is far less common than the others. Insect bites and ear mites are other common causes.
Every cat is different - it’s important to note there may be more than one cause for your itchy cat, and that there are many other causes than listed above. For more on itch you can read here.
Cats are very good at hiding their pain and sometimes the only signs that they will show you are subtle (or more obvious) changes in behaviour. Because of this, any change in behaviour for your cat needs to be investigated.
There are true behavioural disorders, but as pain is a common cause of behavioural changes in cats - this needs to be investigated first. Common conditions that cause pain and changes in behaviour are osteoarthritis, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure secondary to chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, brain tumors, and more.