Category Archives: Cats

Common Cat Myths

Common Cat Myths

Common Cat Myths

Cats always land on their feet.
Not quite true. When cats fall or jump, they try to right themselves and land feet first, but sometimes the fall is from too low a height, limiting the time that a cat can right itself. Many cats that fall break bones in their legs and / or their jaw and can also injure their lungs. Be sure windows have good screens and are as cat-proof as possible. And then there are cats that are klutzes.

You should give your cat milk.

Please don’t do this. Cats cannot digest lactose, the main sugar in milk, which causes diarrhea in many felines. A lick or two every so often is generally not harmful, but larger or more frequent amounts can lead to problems.

Indoor cats cannot get rabies.
Almost any mammal is susceptible to the rabies virus. It is also uniformly fatal. An indoor cat should always be vaccinated against rabies as cats may escape (I once treated a cat that fell out of a 13th floor window), may come into contact with the number one carrier of rabies – bats (happens much more than you want to believe), and is mandated by law in most jurisdictions.

Cats are untrainable.
Definitely not true. The problem is that most people do not take the time to train a cat. I have seen cats be trained to use the human toilet, trained to sit, roll over, fetch and myriad other things. Training a cat can increase the bond between you and your cat. And it’s good for their mental well-being.

Most tapeworms can be caught from cat food.
The most common tapeworm in cats is not obtained from food, but from fleas. The common cat flea carries immature tapeworms. Cats, through regular grooming, eat the infected fleas, which then grow into adults in the cat. Cats can also get certain tapeworms from eating infected mice and other rodents. If your cat has fleas or goes outside, he or she should be treated for tapeworms at least once per year.

Indoor cats do not need to see the doctor.
The biggest myth of them all – and completely false. Indoor cats age like any other creature. They can develop many problems – from dental disease, to kidney problems, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, you name it. And many viruses are airborne, allowing indoor cats to get common cat illnesses. By having regular veterinary exams and vaccinations, your cat will have the best chance of living a long, healthy life. Cat hasn’t been to the vet in the past year? Schedule an appointment!

Pregnant women should not own a cat.
The concern is toxoplasmosis, a parasite of some cats. It is transmitted via stool and the easiest way to avoid any problems between pregnant women and cats is to avoid touching cat feces. The parasite also needs to sit in the stool for at least 24 hours before it becomes infective, so if the box is cleaned at least daily, the risk to anyone is minimal.

Cats can heal wounds by licking them.
In most cases cats licking a wound make things worse. Any cat with a wound that is more than a simple scratch should be seen by your veterinarian. Licking of wounds can lead to infections, which can be life-threatening.

You can save your drowned iPhone with cat litter.
True! Not a myth. Here’s the skinny: if your phone is dropped in water, there’s a good chance it is dead, but try shaking out as much water as possible, let it air dry for an hour or two and then place it in a bag of silica-based cat litter – aka crystal cat litter. Give it 48 hours – you may get lucky.

Dan Teich, DVM
(c) 2016

Pet Insurance – There Are Benefits

As time has progressed, I have become a fan of pet health insurance. More clients are asking about the benefits and limitations of policies and we have seen a number of clients’ pets receive care that the client would otherwise have not have been to provide without an insurance plan. It is not a panaceaContinue Reading

2016 Cat and Dog Resolutions (For you to do)

Canine and Feline New Year’s Resolutions Get more exercise We could all use more exercise, unless of course, you run your dog several miles per day. Dogs that have more exercise tend to be healthier, have joints that last longer and behave better when left alone. The side benefit is an increase to your ownContinue Reading

Preparing Your Pet For Less Stress at The Vet

This article originally appeared in the Hill Rag. It was written for our client to help make visiting us – and any vet – less stressful. And I have an affinity for sea lions, too. (dt,dvm) Your dog or cat may not be a sea lion, but looking toward the sea lion at the zooContinue Reading

Happy, Healthy Treats for Your Pup and Kitten – All Local

As cooler weather descends and the holidays sneak up on us, our pups and kittens will be getting less exercise and more treats. We can avoid adding winter weight and continue to show happy love to our dogs and cats. It is imperative to give healthy treats and to avoid choices that may be unsafeContinue Reading

Halloween Safety Reprise.

Halloween Safety Reprise.

I love Halloween. Not sure why – probably the pumpkins and the dogs and cats in cool outfits. Well, even Nala, Beth’s feline friend will be dressing up. Halloween presents a number of safety issues for dogs and cats. Here’s a few tips in no particular order to keep our dogs and cats in DCContinue Reading

Fourth of July – Fireworks and Pets

Fourth of July – Fireworks and Pets

One Person’s Holiday is his/her Best Friend’s Living Nightmare By Briana Bryson, Summer Intern Fourth of July weekend. In the name of celebrating our independence, many of us enjoy using the holiday as an opportunity to socialize with loved ones, consume lots of booze, and blast millions of pounds’ worth of pyrotechnics (mostly) into theContinue Reading

Fleas – They’re Back!

“ They’re here.” Ok so it’s not Poltergeist, but it is high flea season once again. We at District Vet have a particular hated of these critters that have been around since the time of the dinosaurs (don’t believe me, click here). Fleas crawl through dog and cats’ fur, live there, feed off of themContinue Reading

Is my cat sick? Signs to observe for illness in cats.

Is my cat sick? Signs to observe for illness in cats.

Cats are like canaries – they don’t like to tell us if they are unwell. Cats will hide illness and this can lead to serious medical crisis. Remember the canary – will tweet until it falls off the perch. Careful and routine observation of your feline friend can lead you to understand when he orContinue Reading

Don’t Chop Down The Tree – Trim it Safely!

Don’t Chop Down The Tree – Trim it Safely!

Don’t Chop Down The Tree – Trim it Safely! For many in our community this ritual happens every December: putting up the Christmas tree. It’s joyful and brings many happy memories and starts the holiday cheer. But beneath this green beacon lays a bit of a more sinister side for pets, especially cats. Let’s discussContinue Reading