Author: Mimi Tiu

Why is my cat always hungry? (We share 7 reasons!)

Whether they’re active kittens or full grown adult cats, cats must consume food regularly to survive and thrive. They need about 24 to 35 calories a day per pound to keep them within their normal weight range. These calories are spread out into smaller meals that sustain them throughout the day. (In fact, a few Read More...

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Whether they’re active kittens or full grown adult cats, cats must consume food regularly to survive and thrive. They need about 24 to 35 calories a day per pound to keep them within their normal weight range. These calories are spread out into smaller meals that sustain them throughout the day. (In fact, a few tablespoons of canned food or ⅓ cup of kibble can already fill a cat’s small stomach!) If you notice that your cat is constantly eating, always asking you for food, or looking for food in her bowl more than usual, she may not be really hungry. Instead, she may be experiencing a health-related problem or manifesting her feelings through the way she eats. 

To cat parents and foster carers reading this post, please remember that this article is only a guide. We want to equip you with all the information you need to assist your cat. Consult with a veterinarian as soon as you notice any major changes in your cat’s eating habits.

Does it seem like your cat is hungry all the time? Here are 7 possible reasons why:

1 Your cat’s daily nutritional needs aren’t met. 

Feeding your cat incorrectly can make her feel hungry all the time. Underfeeding her or giving her low-grade cat kibble won’t provide her with the essential nutrients she needs to get through the day. To make sure you’re feeding her right, speak with your vet and factor in your cat’s age, size, needs, and health concerns. 

Kittens grow rapidly during the first few weeks of their life, so they need to consume mother’s milk or kitten glop, and eventually, high-quality soft food containing a balanced mixture of protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fat, and carbohydrates. Meanwhile, the energy requirement of some senior cats notably increases by the time they turn 13. They lose their ability to digest fat, so they need more calories to make up for the deficit. 

2 Your cat is bored or lonely.

Neglected cats may turn to food to keep themselves entertained. Common signs of cat boredom include overgrooming, chasing or fighting with other pets, lack of curiosity, and moping around the house. 

To combat boredom, provide your cat with an enriching environment by setting up scratching posts and high spaces to hide, making toys (create toilet paper rolls or a lavish cat house!) you can both play with, or even building her an outdoor catio. If you’re leaving your cat for prolonged periods of time, it’s best to get her a companion in the form of a trusted cat sitter or a newly adopted kitten that she can bond with. 

TIP: Make sure to introduce a cat to a kitten slowly so that both cats won’t get stressed out. 

3 Your cat is depressed.

Aside from boredom or loneliness, your cat may also be depressed. There are many possible causes of depression, ranging from changes to a cat’s daily activities to loss of daylight hours during wintertime. 

If your cat is depressed, she may be acting in unusual ways. Symptoms include a noticeable increase or decrease in appetite, activity, and vocalizations. Aside from these changes, other cats may exhibit the following: anxiety, lethargy, pacing, hiding, crouching, lack of interaction with humans, lack of interest in favourite hobbies, sleeping all the time, undergrooming, inappropriate urination, destructive behaviour, aggressive behaviour (biting, scratching, or hissing), and needing more attention than usual. 

Depression may also be caused by health-related ailments, so a medical check-up is needed to determine if there is something wrong with your cat. If your attention is what she badly needs (40% of cats act depressed as a result of boredom), make it a point to play with her for at least 15 minutes once or twice a day. Recommended total daily playtime is between 20 minutes to an hour. 

4 Your cat has gastrointestinal parasites.

Gastrointestinal parasites can cause your cat to eat all the time and never feel full. Depending on the parasite that attacks her, it can either eat the nutrients consumed by your cat or stop her from properly digesting her food and absorbing its nutrients. The most common intestinal parasites found in cats are roundworms. They affect 25% to 75% of cats, especially kittens and young cats that spend time outside. Other parasites include hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and stomach worms, as well as one-celled protozoan organisms such as isospora sp., giardia, and toxoplasma.

If you suspect that your cat has parasites in her stomach or intestines, bring a fecal sample to your veterinarian. (Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after getting a sample to avoid parasitic infection.) The veterinary clinic will search for microscopic evidence of parasites such as eggs and larvae. Once the parasite is determined, your cat will be given the corresponding oral deworming medication. 

5 Your cat is suffering from hyperthyroidism or diabetes.

Hyperthyroidism and diabetes are two diseases that are common in older cats. The first is caused by an increase in production of thyroid hormones from an enlarged thyroid gland. The second is caused by the cat’s inability to produce enough insulin to balance her blood sugar levels. 

Both diseases prevent your cat from properly transforming food into energy and nutrients she needs, thus making her eat more. Aside from a marked increase in hunger, cats suffering from diabetes and/or hyperthyroidism may also drink and pee more. Additionally, those with hyperthyroidism may also vomit, have loose stools, have dry-looking coats, and act more hyperactive.

6 Your cat may have a pancreatic condition.

A bigger appetite may also be due to your cat’s pancreas. She may have Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), a condition that stops her pancreas from secreting enzymes that help digest food after a meal. EPI results in maldigestion, which triggers increased hunger. It may also be accompanied by vomiting, severe diarrhea (often with greasy stools), unkempt haircoat, and weight loss. Blood is drawn and analysed to determine if your cat has EPI, and if the condition is present, she may have to eat food mixed with powdered digestive enzymes. 

7 Your cat is experiencing bowel problems.

If your cat is suffering from intestinal problems, such as an inflammatory disease or intestinal cancer, a side effect may be an increase in appetite. When her bowels are irritated, it can affect her intestine’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. To compensate for this inability, she needs to eat more.

In conclusion

If you notice any sudden changes with regards to how much your cat eats, monitor her closely and share your observations with your veterinarian. Rule out possible health reasons and work together to find ways to reduce her hunger pangs. At times, her hunger may be a combination of physical, mental, and emotional factors, so be patient in finding the answers.  

Read more cat feeding topics on our blog! Learn how to feed a cat with a sensitive stomach or find out the possible reasons why your cat vomits after eating.

Can Dogs Eat Whipped Cream?

The short answer: It depends. The long answer: Whipped cream is commonly made of heavy cream, a natural sweetener (such as sugar, honey, or maple syrup), and vanilla extract. When broken down into its individual components, some whipped cream ingredients cannot be consumed by dogs.  Made from the high fat part of fresh milk, heavy Read More...

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The short answer: It depends.

The long answer: Whipped cream is commonly made of heavy cream, a natural sweetener (such as sugar, honey, or maple syrup), and vanilla extract. When broken down into its individual components, some whipped cream ingredients cannot be consumed by dogs. 

Made from the high fat part of fresh milk, heavy cream is a dairy product that cannot be digested by your dog because his body does not produce lactase. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the lactose found in cream. As such, too much cream can cause vomiting, gas, diarrhea, digestive upset, and mild distress to your dog. If your dog is milk intolerant, there’s a big chance that his stomach won’t be able to digest this treat properly.

Similarly, sugar may lead to gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammation. Too much of it can cause weight gain, diabetes, obesity, and dental cavities. Honey may be consumed by your dog, but only occasionally in limited quantities. Meanwhile, vanilla extract contains high amounts of alcohol, which is known to be toxic for dogs. 

Technically speaking, dogs may be fed small quantities of whipped cream once in a while. However, this treat can only be given to pooches who are not allergic or intolerant to dairy, as well as those who are not obese or diabetic since it is high in sugar and saturated fat.

What to do if your dog accidentally eats whipped cream: Keep a close watch on your dog. If he vomits, experiences the runs, and/or shows signs of abdominal discomfort, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

In summary: As long as your dog is not sensitive to the ingredients found in your whipped cream, he may occasionally consume limited amounts of it (about 2 to 4 ounces depending on his size). To be on the safe side, you can even make your own dog-friendly whipped cream.

References:

Food dogs should not eat and some they should

Can Dogs Eat This? The Ultimate Guide To 105 Food Items

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Wikipedia: Whipped cream

Ultimate Guide to What Dogs Can Eat

Can My Dog Eat Vanilla?

What’s In A Starbucks Puppuccino? Is It Safe For Dogs?

Can Dogs Eat Lamb Bones?

The short answer: Yes and no. The long answer: Lamb is a good source of protein for dogs. It is packed with essential amino acids and dietary fats that can help your dog build body tissues and sustain his energy. Though it is good to include lamb meat in your dog’s diet, its bones are Read More...

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The short answer: Yes and no.

The long answer: Lamb is a good source of protein for dogs. It is packed with essential amino acids and dietary fats that can help your dog build body tissues and sustain his energy. Though it is good to include lamb meat in your dog’s diet, its bones are a different matter. Animal bones, in general, are not recommended for dogs to consume. Raw bones can carry bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter which can enter your dog’s body. On the other hand, cooked bones can easily break into sharp pieces that may harm your pet’s internal organs. These may cause internal injuries, namely: broken teeth; bones looped around the lower jaw; mouth or tongue injuries; windpipe, esophagus, or gastrointestinal blockage; constipation; rectal bleeding; and/or peritonitis.

Some sources report that raw lamb bones may be consumed by dogs, but only when purchased from a trusted source and eaten under close supervision. It is recommended that your dog eats lamb bones on a surface that can easily be cleaned such as linoleum or tile. These raw bones must be big and hard, and should be taken away from him once they become small enough to be swallowed

Dogs with irritable bowels, stomach issues, or prone to diarrhea should not be given raw lamb bones because they may trigger these problems. If you are interested in feeding your dog lamb bones, consult with your veterinarian before doing so. Make sure to ask your vet how to safely handle and store raw bones.

What to do if your dog accidentally eats cooked lamb bones: Closely monitor your dog for any changes. Depending on your pooch’s size and how much he ate, he may not manifest any problems.

Similar to eating cooked ham bones or chicken bones, eating cooked lamb bones may cause internal bleeding, airway blockages, and/or intestinal blockages. Bring your dog to the veterinarian if he looks distressed and displays any of these respiratory-related symptoms: trouble breathing, coughing or gagging, and excessive drooling. You should also take him to the vet if he becomes lethargic, loses his appetite, vomits, has dark-coloured stool, or has difficulty pooping.

In summary: Cooked lamb bones are not safe for dogs to consume. These cooked bones may present complications that can harm your beloved pooch. On the other hand, raw lamb bones may occasionally be given to your dog if it is approved by your veterinarian. These must always be fed to him under close supervision. 

References:

Can Dogs Eat This? The Ultimate Guide To 105 Food Items

Healthy Foods Checklist: Lamb for Dogs

Can Dogs Eat Lamb Bones and What are the Risks?

Is It Okay To Give My Dog A Bone? Which Bones Are Safe For Dogs?

Can My Dog Eat Lamb Bones?

Can Dogs Eat Eggplant?

The short answer: It depends. The long answer: Also known as aubergine or brinjal, eggplant is a purple-coloured plant that belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae. It is known for being a nutritious vegetable that’s low in fat and calories, and high in fiber, calcium, and iron. Your dog can be fed cooked eggplant as Read More...

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The short answer: It depends.

The long answer: Also known as aubergine or brinjal, eggplant is a purple-coloured plant that belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae. It is known for being a nutritious vegetable that’s low in fat and calories, and high in fiber, calcium, and iron.

Your dog can be fed cooked eggplant as long as he is not sensitive to eating nightshade plants such as tomatoes. For dogs with nightshade intolerance, consuming eggplant may lead to an upset stomach. It may manifest as vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and itchiness. Aside from this, dogs with existing kidney issues or osteoarthritis should not eat eggplant because the oxalates found in it may exacerbate existing symptoms. 

If you grow eggplant in your backyard, make sure your dog does not have access to it. The eggplant leaves contain concentrated amounts of solanine, which may cause toxic reactions. Your dog may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, convulsions, or may even collapse and die after consuming its lethal leaves.

How to feed eggplant to your dog: Bake, grill, or roast the eggplant as is before serving it to your dog. Do not add unnecessary seasonings such as salt, onion, or garlic

Find out if your dog is allergic to eggplant by initially giving him a small portion then observing his body for any adverse reactions. 

Here are three ideas for eggplant treats your dog will love:

  1. Grill then slice the eggplant crosswise. Feed them to your dog by hand as his post-training reward.
  2. Chop your eggplant into small cubes then place it over your pooch’s dry kibble.
  3. Replace zucchini with eggplant in this dog treat recipe.

In summary: Containing vitamins B6 and K, potassium, folate, niacin, and phytonutrients, cooked eggplant can help protect your dog against various illnesses. However, dogs with kidney issues, arthritis, or nightshade intolerance must not be given this vegetable. 

References: 

Can Dogs Eat This? The Ultimate Guide To 105 Food Items

Read This Before Giving Your Dog Eggplant!

Can Dogs Eat Eggplant?

Can Dogs Eat Lentils?

The short answer: Yes, but in limited quantities. The long answer: Lentils are edible seeds that belong to the legume family. They are grouped together with beans and peas because they all grow in pods. Lentils appear as small, lens-shaped seeds in various colours such as brown, red, green, and black.  When fed to your Read More...

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The short answer: Yes, but in limited quantities.

The long answer: Lentils are edible seeds that belong to the legume family. They are grouped together with beans and peas because they all grow in pods. Lentils appear as small, lens-shaped seeds in various colours such as brown, red, green, and black. 

When fed to your dog correctly, lentils can provide nutritional benefits such as fiber, protein, and iron. However, too much lentil may cause gastrointestinal upset. Flatulence and loose stools are two common side effects.  

How to feed lentils to your dog: Do not feed your dog raw lentils. These contain lecithin, which may be toxic when consumed in large amounts. 

Prepare lentils by soaking them in water to reduce your cooking time. Before cooking, be sure to rinse the seeds in cold water and remove any debris or shrivelled lentils. 

Steam or boil lentils over thrice the volume of water. Do not add salt or any seasoning known to be harmful for your dog. Lentils can be cooked between 15 to 45 minutes depending on the type you buy. 

Initially feed your dog a few pieces of cooked lentils and see how he reacts to it. If his stomach can handle it, you can serve him one to two tablespoons at a time.

Here are three ideas for lentil treats your dog will love:

  1. Try making this recipe of homemade ground turkey and lentil dry dog food!
  2. Your pup will give a happy woof after eating this lentil and flaxseed dog biscuit.  
  3. Mash some cooked lentils and place it over your dog’s meal.

In summary: A good source of fiber and protein, cooked lentils may be a welcome addition to your dog’s diet. Consult with your veterinarian to find out how often lentils can be given to your pooch. Monitor the amount you give your canine so he does not end up with stomach-related problems. 

References: 

Can Dogs Eat Lentils?

Lentils for Dogs: Can They Eat Them?

Can My Dog Eat Lentils?

Can Dogs Eat Ham Bones?

The short answer: No. The long answer: Though it may be tempting to treat your dog to a ham bone, it is not something dogs should eat. First off, ham is processed pork meat that is preserved and flavoured using salt. Too much of this condiment can cause sodium ion poisoning or extreme dehydration in Read More...

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The short answer: No.

The long answer: Though it may be tempting to treat your dog to a ham bone, it is not something dogs should eat. First off, ham is processed pork meat that is preserved and flavoured using salt. Too much of this condiment can cause sodium ion poisoning or extreme dehydration in dogs. Ham is also high in fat, which may cause obesity, heart disease, and pancreatitis when repeatedly fed to your dog. 

Similar to chicken bones and rib bones, ham bones should not be fed to your dog whether they are raw or cooked. Harmful bacteria may be present in the raw ham bones that you give him. Meanwhile, cooked ham bones are known to break easily. These sharp, broken pieces may cause obstruction or injury to your dog’s mouth, teeth, jaw, throat, stomach, and intestine. 

What to do if your dog accidentally eats ham bones: Try to find out how many pieces your dog ate and how big the bones were. Observe him for any changes in the next 24 hours. If he shows trouble breathing, coughing, gagging, drooling, and/or looks distressed,  bring him to the vet immediately. There may be something blocking his airway. Similarly, take him to the emergency clinic if he starts vomiting, becomes lethargic, loses his appetite, has dark-coloured stool, and shows difficulty in defecating.

In summary: Raw and cooked ham bones should never be given to your dog as a treat or meal. Whenever you prepare ham bones in the kitchen, be sure to properly dispose of them to prevent your pooch from accidentally getting his paws on them.   

References:

Food dogs should not eat and some they should

Can Dogs Eat This? The Ultimate Guide To 105 Food Items

No bones about it, Christmas ham not good for dogs

Is It Okay To Give My Dog A Bone? Which Bones Are Safe For Dogs?

My Dog Ate A Ham Bone – Should I Be Worried?

How can I tell if my dog is a senior? (6 ways to tell)

Have you noticed changes in your dog’s appearance, energy levels, and mobility over the past few months? If you’ve had your pooch for quite some time, it’s normal to see him slowing down as he gets older. However, it’s important to know that not all dogs hit the senior mark at the same time. Aside Read More...

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Have you noticed changes in your dog’s appearance, energy levels, and mobility over the past few months? If you’ve had your pooch for quite some time, it’s normal to see him slowing down as he gets older. However, it’s important to know that not all dogs hit the senior mark at the same time. Aside from his age in years, there are other factors to consider before you can call your dog a senior. This Waldo’s Friends article will reveal answers to the questions:

How old is a senior dog?

The word senior can be used to describe any aging pet, but the number of years actually vary for each dog. Your pooch may already be considered a senior when he is between five to 10 years old, but he officially enters the senior stage when he has reached the last quarter of his life expectancy. His life expectancy is highly dependent on his size and breed, with large dogs typically having shorter life spans and aging faster than small dogs. Additionally, the state of his organs can help determine if your canine has reached the senior phase. 

How can I tell if my dog is aging?

As your dog begins to experience aging, changes in his physique, flexibility, and behaviour may manifest in subtle and obvious ways. (Side note: Thankfully, senior dogs are more vocal and demonstrative when dealing with their discomfort compared with senior cats.) As a dog pawrent, it is your responsibility to take note of these changes, and report your observations to your veterinarian. 

Your dog may display signs of aging through:

1 Changes in brain function

When your canine spends more time asleep, is restless at night, or doesn’t sleep at all, it may point to a more serious problem: canine cognitive dysfunction or dog dementia. This condition is related to the aging of your dog’s brain, greatly affecting his awareness, learning, memory, and response to stimuli. Aside from altering in his sleep cycle, other symptoms of dog dementia are: 

  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Confusion or disorientation in surroundings
  • Decreased desire to play
  • Excessive barking
  • Excessive licking
  • Extreme irritability
  • Fecal and urinary incontinence
  • Inability to follow familiar routes or recognize people
  • Lack of self-grooming
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seeming disregard for previously learned training or house rules
  • Slow to learn new tasks

When your dog displays these signs, take him to the vet so the doctor can evaluate his overall health and cognitive functions, as well as rule out other diseases. 

2 Changes in appearance and mobility

Grey or white hairs in the face and muzzle, an increased opacity over the eyes, and loss of muscle mass are some physical signs of old age. Additionally, if you notice that your dog moves slower, has a stiff gait that worsens during or after he exercises, suffers from occasional lameness, has a hard time positioning to pee or poop, and is no longer as active as before, he may be suffering from osteoarthritis.

3 Dental issues

Teeth and gum problems are also indicators of your dog’s overall health. If your pooch’s breath smells funky, his teeth have tartar, and his gums are red, inflamed, or bleeding, these may be symptoms of periodontal disease. The best way to avoid this uncomfortable illness is through regular oral checkups and dental cleaning with the veterinarian. 

4 Changes in food intake and body weight 

Your dog may be indirectly telling you that something is wrong when he abruptly gains or loses weight. He may be experiencing underlying medical issues (such as stomach or dental problems), causing a loss of appetite and a surprising drop in his weight. Similarly, older dogs that continue to eat their food but still lose weight could be experiencing malabsorption (difficulty absorbing nutrients from food), maldigestion (difficulty breaking down food), or other health issues such as diabetes, severe heart disease, chronic infection, and cancer. 

Older pooches may need to switch to specially formulated senior dog food to help them process nutrients more effectively, and to prevent obesity, osteoarthritis, and diabetes. These diets usually have lower calorie content to match an older dog’s metabolism, and higher fiber content to improve gastrointestinal health.

5 Changes in drinking and toilet habits

A difference in the amount of water he drinks and how much he urinates can also tell you if something is ailing your older dog. An increase in water intake could be caused by illnesses such as diabetes mellitus, diabetes insipidus, and hyperadrenocorticism. Inversely, a decrease in water intake could signify ailments such as oral or dental problems, kidney disease, pancreatitis, and gastroenteritis.

Urinary incontinence is also a common ailment in aging dogs, which may be caused by a variety of health conditions. It is described as the “involuntary leakage of urine,” so when it happens, your dog is unaware that he is peeing on your living room couch or on his favourite sleeping mattress. Common medical issues that cause incontinence include urinary tract infection, bladder stones, and weak bladder.

6 Lumps and bumps

Regular home grooming allows you to help keep your senior dog clean, take out ticks and fleas, and feel his body for abnormalities. The lumps and bumps you find may just be superficial ones caused by clogged oil glands or dead cells. However, others may be cancerous growths that need to be assessed and treated through surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Commonly diagnosed cancers in dogs include mammary gland tumors, mast cell tumors, cutaneous lymphosarcoma, malignant melanoma, and fibrosarcoma.

How can I care for a senior dog?

Caring for a senior dog involves working with your veterinarian closely, so you can provide your pooch with a pleasant lifestyle throughout his golden years. Twice a year visits to the veterinarian are highly recommended. A full body examination, a blood exam, and urine analysis should be administered with each appointment. More visits to the animal clinic increases the chances of your vet spotting a health issue earlier and preventing it from causing problems. Through regular veterinary and home care, proper nutrition, and the right amount of physical, mental, and emotional stimulation, your aging dog can continue to live life to the fullest!

Thinking of adopting a senior dog? Find out all the things you should know before bringing home one.

How can I tell if my cat is a senior? (6 ways to tell)

Aging is a natural process that leads to senescence, “a decline of biological functions and of the organism’s ability to adapt to metabolic stress.” It is normal for your beloved cats grow older through the passing of time. However, the good news is that more and more cats are living longer due to advancements in Read More...

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Aging is a natural process that leads to senescence, “a decline of biological functions and of the organism’s ability to adapt to metabolic stress.” It is normal for your beloved cats grow older through the passing of time. However, the good news is that more and more cats are living longer due to advancements in nutrition, medical care, as well as home care. If you’ve ever wondered, “Is my cat already a senior?” You’ve come to the right place! This Waldo’s Friends post will answer the questions:

How old is a senior cat?

So just how old should a cat be to be considered a senior? Technically speaking, cats fall under the senior category when they are between 11 to 14 years old. (In case you didn’t know, there’s another category for even older cats called geriatric or super senior.) However, some doctors already consider cats as seniors once they are past the age of seven, or depending on their species, breed, and the state of their organs. 

How can I tell if my cat is aging?

A cat’s body undergoes many physiological changes as she gets older. Her senses weaken, reducing her ability to smell and taste food. At the same time, her hearing and vision may diminish, making her feel vulnerable. Digestion, immunity, skin elasticity, and stress tolerance are also greatly affected as she transitions into seniorhood.

Cats are well-known for hiding their illnesses and discomforts, so you’ll need a sharp eye to spot any changes related to getting older. (Side note: Senior dogs are a different matter though, since they are more vocal when dealing with discomfort.) Once your cat has started aging, she may manifest the following:

1 Vision problems

Common ocular diseases such as glaucoma, cancer, and trauma can make it difficult for your cat to see what’s right in front of her. These eye problems may be linked to a more pressing health issue such as elevated blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, and/or kidney disease. Observe your cat and take her to the vet if she shows any of these signs:

  • Bumping into furniture, people, or walls
  • Cloudy eyes or noticeable debris in the front area of the eyes
  • Different sized pupils 
  • Engorged blood vessels in the white areas of the eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Pawing at the eyes
  • Pupils stay dilated in bright light

2 Weight changes

One pound may not seem a lot to us humans, but it instantly represents a 10% weight change in a 10-pound cat (the average weight of most domestic cats). The metabolism of some cats slows down as they age, so they won’t need to consume as much calories as they used to. On the other hand, other aging cats lose weight because of their inability to digest their food properly, so they need to increase their caloric intake to maintain a healthy weight. 

Unexpected weight loss or gain can be an early sign of a more significant disease, ranging from diabetes and kidney disease to cancer and hyperthyroidism. It is recommended that you bring your cat to the vet if her weight suddenly changes, so that you can determine if there is an underlying illness at play or if she simply needs to make the switch to senior-formulated cat food.  

Has your cat been avoiding the stairs to get to the second floor of your home? Has she been having a hard time jumping on her favourite couch or getting in and out of her litter box? If you answered yes to both questions, there’s a possibility that your cat may have osteoarthritis. Symptoms include a stiff-legged gait, decreased range of motion, favouring one leg, limping, and a reluctance to jump. Decrease in appetite, lethargy, poor grooming (matted or oily fur are two common signs), and even increased irritability could also be signs that your cat has joint issues. 

4 Dental diseases

Dr. Heidi Lobprise, DVM, spokesperson for the International Veterinary Senior Care Society, states that dental disease is “a very common and preventable disease that is prevalent in senior pets.” Gingivitis (irritation, redness, and swelling of the gingiva), periodontitis (gum infection that damages the soft tissue), and tooth resorption (breaking down and absorbing the structures that form the tooth) are examples of painful dental diseases that may affect your cat’s body, her organs, as well as her demeanor.

Regularly check your cat’s gums for inflammation, redness, and/or tartar. Better yet, have her teeth regularly cleaned to maintain periodontal health. Have your old cat examined if she appears reluctant to eat, has difficulty chewing her food, or is constantly drooling. 

5 Changes in toilet habits

Senior cats may also encounter modifications in their peeing habits. They may pee less because it takes them longer to process what they consume. They may also have difficulty releasing urine because of certain illnesses. These ailments include Feline lower urinary tract disease, idiopathic cystitis, and cancer. Meanwhile, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or kidney-related diseases can make your cat urinate frequently. Certain cat medications that are given to lower inflammation or treat allergies may also cause your cat to pee more often. 

If your older cat is pooping or peeing everywhere, this could also point to cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Senior cats may forget where their litter boxes are placed, or simply be unable to hold it in until they reach their litter box. Monitor your cat’s toilet habits and take note of anything out of the ordinary. If she does not pee for more than 24 hours and/or holds her poop in longer than 48 hours, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

6 Behavioural changes

Marked changes in your cat behaviour can also indicate aging. Examples include:

  • Changes in sleep-wake cycles (such as sleeping longer or staying up all night)
  • Decrease or increase in appetite (or becoming more fussy about what she eats)
  • Increase in aggression
  • Increase in wanting attention
  • Inappropriate vocalisation (meowing as if she’s lost or being vocal at night)
  • Lack of interest in playing or interacting with humans
  • Lack of self-grooming
  • Spending less time outdoors

How can I care for a senior cat?

It is essential for aging cats to have more visits to the veterinary clinic, so schedule vet appointments at least twice a year. Blood test, urine analysis, dental cleaning, and full body examination should be administered at each visit. 

Aside from regular medical checkups, you can keep your senior cat healthy and happy in many ways! Provide nutritionally balanced meals. Keep her groomed and check for unusual lumps and bumps as you brush her hair. Give her enough attention and space, and make her feel as comfortable as possible. Also, turn your home into a senior cat-friendly area! Modify the paths she usually takes (carpets and slippery surfaces may discourage her to walk). Find horizontal scratching surfaces or easy access lookouts. And finally, provide more litter boxes throughout your home.  

Read up on more cat-related articles in our blog! Discover which human food cats can safely eat, or find out how to deal with cat eye problems.

Is SkinCeuticals Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, SkinCeuticals is not cruelty free. The long answer: SkinCeuticals was founded in 1997 by Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, a scientist, dermatologist, and skincare chemist whose aim was to change the face of topical antioxidants. The brand promises to create advanced skincare products backed by science. In 2005, the L’Oréal Group purchased the Read More...

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The short answer: No, SkinCeuticals is not cruelty free.

The long answer: SkinCeuticals was founded in 1997 by Dr. Sheldon Pinnell, a scientist, dermatologist, and skincare chemist whose aim was to change the face of topical antioxidants. The brand promises to create advanced skincare products backed by science. In 2005, the L’Oréal Group purchased the American skin care line. 

On its website, SkinCeuticals claims that it “does not test any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals, anywhere in the world nor does SkinCeuticals delegate this task to others. The only possible exception is if regulatory authorities required it for safety or regulatory purposes.” The so-called exception pertains to China, a massive country where products by SkinCeuticals and its sister brands Vichy Laboratories and La Roche-Posay are being sold. SkinCeuticals grants Chinese health officials and/or authorised third parties permission to conduct animal testing with their products, guaranteeing that they are safe for human use. Because of this, the skin care brand cannot be called cruelty free.  

References:

Customer Service

Is SkinCeuticals Cruelty-Free?

Cruelty Free Kitty: SkinCeuticals

Is SkinCeuticals Cruelty-Free or Vegan?

Is Aquaphor Cruelty Free?

The short answer: No, Aquaphor is not cruelty free. The long answer: Developed in 1925, Aquaphor is a skin care brand known for its “healing” properties. The ointment supposedly creates a semi-occlusive barrier on the skin that allows the outflow of excess fluid and the inflow of oxygen. Presently, the brand carries four categories: body Read More...

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The short answer: No, Aquaphor is not cruelty free.

The long answer: Developed in 1925, Aquaphor is a skin care brand known for its “healing” properties. The ointment supposedly creates a semi-occlusive barrier on the skin that allows the outflow of excess fluid and the inflow of oxygen. Presently, the brand carries four categories: body care, baby care, lip care, and minor wound care.

Aquaphor is owned by Beiersdorf, Inc., a German multinational company that also owns NIVEA. The brand does not state its stance on animal testing on its official website. Nevertheless, a quick check on its parent website reveals that Beiersdorf is committed to making animal testing obsolete worldwide. It says, “We are convinced that animal testing is not necessary to prove the skin tolerability and effectiveness of our cosmetic products. This is why we do not conduct any animal testing for our cosmetic products and their ingredients, and do not have any animal testing done on our behalf—unless, in the very rare case, this is specifically required by law.”

The last phrase points to Aquaphor being sold in countries that have mandatory animal testing regulations to guarantee user safety. With this in mind, Aquaphor cannot claim to be cruelty free unless they refrain from selling their products in China and other countries with similar laws. 

References:

Aquaphor

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Is Aquaphor Cruelty-Free and Vegan? 

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