Category: Guides

7 Possible Reasons Why Your Cat is Always Thirsty

Have you noticed a change in your cat’s drinking habits lately? Has she been drinking more water than usual? If you answered YES to both questions, read on! One of the reasons below might lead you to find out why your cat is always thirsty.  As a reminder, this Waldo’s Friends blog post is only Read More...

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Have you noticed a change in your cat’s drinking habits lately? Has she been drinking more water than usual? If you answered YES to both questions, read on! One of the reasons below might lead you to find out why your cat is always thirsty. 

As a reminder, this Waldo’s Friends blog post is only a guide. It is not meant to replace a visit to the veterinarian, but meant to arm you with information to help you become the best cat parent there is. If you notice your cat drinking excessively and displaying unusual behaviour (i.e. a change in appetite, sleeping more than usual, and peeing everywhere uncontrollably), schedule a trip to the vet ASAP.

This Waldo’s Friends post shares:

How much water intake is considered normal in cats?

Vetwest Animal Hospitals states that a cat should drink an average of 60 ml per kg per day of water. So if your cat weighs 4 kg, she should be drinking approximately 240 ml a day to guarantee her body functions properly. 

Aside from her water intake, her diet should also be considered. If she eats wet food (which contains about 80% water), she only needs to drink about 30 ml of water per day. If she eats dry food (which contains about 10% water), she needs to drink more than 200 ml of water to make up for it.

Is there a medical term for excessive water drinking?

Yes, there is. The condition is called polydipsia. It is defined by Healthline as “the feeling of extreme thirstiness. Polydipsia is often linked to urinary conditions that cause you to urinate a lot. This can make your body feel a constant need to replace the fluids lost in urination. It can also be caused by physical processes that cause you to lose a lot of fluid. This can include sweating during exercise, eating a high-salt diet, or taking drugs that cause you to pass a lot of fluid, such as diuretics.” 

In cats, polydipsia is considered when a cat drinks more than 100 ml per kg of their bodyweight per day. Excessive drinking may be caused by one or more of the following factors: compensatory, pathological, behavioural, and environmental. Digestive issues or a change in diet may also lead to an increase in water intake. 

What are the possible reasons your cat is so thirsty?

1 Your cat could have a fever or infection.

Lamond Veterinary Clinic shares that infections or tumours may cause your cat to experience an increase in body temperature. This helps her fight the bug in her system, but at the same time, it also causes her to feel extra thirsty.  

2 Your cat may be stressed. 

Leslie Kuczynski, VMD, DACVIM of Metropolitan Veterinary Associates writes that excessive drinking could be a behavioural problem related to anxiety or stress. Examples of common cat stressors include moving homes, competing with other cats/pets, changing routines, and even having guests over.

3 Your cat could be dehydrated. 

Dehydration may be caused by overheating in warm places, dry or salty food (which may be caused by a sudden change in diet), and blood loss. 

4 Your cat may be suffering from diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood. The kidneys cannot reabsorb the glucose properly, so it overflows into the urine. The process is accompanied by large volumes of water, making your cat drink more to compensate for the loss. 

5 Your cat could have hyperthyroidism. 

When the thyroid glands produce excessive active thyroid hormones, this results in hyperthyroidism. It increases your cat’s metabolism, heart rate, and blood pressure—making the heart work faster and causing damage to the heart muscle. Hyperthyroidism also causes an increase in kidney filtration, which may cause dehydration.

6 Your cat may have chronic kidney disease. 

A more common affliction in older cats, this disease occurs when the kidney fails to function properly. One or both kidneys are unable to eliminate waste products effectively, balance electrolytes, produce certain hormones and vitamins, and/or maintain the body’s water balance. The kidneys are unable to reabsorb water, so excessive amounts are urinated. To make up for it, your cat drinks more. 

7 Your cat could be suffering from a urinary tract disease.

Excessive water drinking can sometimes be due to Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which may make it difficult for her to pee. FLUTD may be caused by bladder stones, bacterial infection, urethral plugs, tumors, or anatomical defects.

What to do if your cat is excessively drinking water? 

Schedule a visit to the veterinarian immediately. Before your scheduled appointment, observe how much water your cat drinks for 24 hours and inform your vet about it. Fill her water bowls to the brim and measure the amount of water left after a day has passed. 

Also, ask your vet if you need to prepare a sample for a urine test. Collect a urine sample by following these steps from Vetwest Animal Hospitals:

  1. Empty her litter tray. 
  2. Clean it with soap and water. 
  3. Place non-absorbable litter material such as Catrine crystals or a plastic bag cut into strips. 
  4. After your cat pees, place the fresh urine in a clean glass jar.
  5. Bring the urine sample to the clinic within an hour from collection. You can also place it in the fridge and take it to the clinic within 12 hours.

At the animal clinic, your veterinarian may run a complete physical exam to determine the underlying cause of your cat’s polydipsia. These may include running a complete blood count (CBC), a biochemical screen, a urinalysis, and a urine culture. 

In conclusion

Since cats are known for hiding their sicknesses, your cat’s excessive water intake may indicate an underlying illness at play. Early detection and suitable treatment of the illness work hand in hand in reducing your cat’s polydipsia. 

Discover more articles on pet parenting and cat behaviour. You can remove fleas on your kitty, help a pregnant cat, or effectively deal with cat eye problems.

8 Ways to Get Your Foster Pets Adopted

COVID-19 has kept us stuck in our homes for months, and because of this, there has been a surprising surge of animal adoptions and fostering taking place across the globe. Shelters have happily passed on animals to people who have always wanted to own or care for pets but just never had the time. Meanwhile, Read More...

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COVID-19 has kept us stuck in our homes for months, and because of this, there has been a surprising surge of animal adoptions and fostering taking place across the globe. Shelters have happily passed on animals to people who have always wanted to own or care for pets but just never had the time. Meanwhile, others are looking for creative ways to stay sane amidst the pandemic. Caring for animals decreases a person’s stress levels, establishes routine, and keeps carers entertained, so it’s no surprise that more people are doing it during these trying times. 

Whether you’ve taken up fostering in recent months or have been a long-time foster parent to countless animals, there always comes a point in which you need to find a permanent home for your foster. (Side note: It gets hard though, especially when you’ve bonded with him or her already!) And when that time comes, you need the world to know your baby is ready for adoption. Here are 8 suggestions for you to do so you can have your foster adopted as soon as possible and make space for more animals in need:

1 Keep everyone updated.

Create a social media account (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even TikTok!) for your foster pets and share news about them regularly. Take pictures and videos, and write funny, heartfelt, or intriguing captions to go with them depending on your foster’s personality. Share why this foster animal is worth adopting, and what makes him a joy to live with. Remember to include an effective call-to-action at the end of every post!

Don’t forget to utilise the Story function of your Facebook and Instagram accounts as well. The content you upload here can be different from your Feed posts, and will be available to your followers for 24 hours.  

2 Capture his best angle in the cutest attire.

Speaking of taking pictures and videos of your foster pet on a daily basis, it’s important to capture him in fun angles and creative ways. (Read our pet photography tips here.) Why not make him wear a festive headgear or a furry cape while doing so? Better yet, make him wear a snazzy “adopt me bandana” so people can see that he can be adopted even before they press play or read the caption.   

Gillian Tero‘s cats wear the cutest costumes

3 Share your foster pet’s story.

Whether you found him on a curb or saved her from being orphaned, your foster’s poignant story can be used to compel people to adopt him or her. You can even tell the story by using your foster’s “voice” or point of view. Don’t forget to ask your family and friends to share the foster animal’s amazing tale with their own networks.

4 Discuss him at your next virtual gathering.

Don’t be afraid to mention your foster pet at your next office check-in session or extended family’s virtual gathering. Show him off onscreen for a few seconds before the meeting officially starts, or let him perform a trick to liven up a long meeting. Who knows, your office mate or cousin may be looking for a cute cat or dog to take in. Or they might know someone contemplating it. 

5 Create shareable “adopt me” posters.

Use your graphic design skills to come up with posters worth sharing online. Try easy-to-navigate design software apps such as Canva, Adobe Spark, and Desygner to make stunning pet adoption posters. Don’t forget to include your foster pet’s details (name, age, hobbies, and needs) and how interested parties can get in touch with you.

6 Make an announcement.

If you take in fosters from a particular rescue or shelter, ask them to help spread the word about your foster. Provide ready-made materials such as your detailed social media posts (tip #1) and your “adopt me” posters (from tip #5). You can also ask community chat groups, message boards you belong to, and even your veterinarian to share the exciting news about your foster. 

7 Take your foster pet out for a walk.

Your foster dog needs his daily exercise. Make sure to let him out for regular walks while maintaining an appropriate distance of at least 1 metre from others. Let him wear an bright-coloured “adopt me vest” so that everyone who comes across him (and even those walking on the other side of the street) will know he is ready for adoption. You can also let your foster pet wear the vest when you visit an outdoor park or the beach while still following quarantine regulations in your area.  

Adopt me vest - live

8 Host a virtual adoption event.

If you belong to an animal shelter/rescue organisation or know a couple of foster parents whose pets are also ready for adoption, why not stage a virtual adoption event via Zoom or Google Meet? You’ll just need stable internet connection and phone cameras that can take live videos of the foster pets in their various homes. It would also be great to assign an appointed person to coordinate the virtual event, and another to act as the host and introduce each foster animal. 

Again, spread the word by creating an announcement poster and sharing it weeks and days before the virtual event. More importantly, be sure you include the video link in your announcement.    

In conclusion

Fostering is a worthwhile activity that helps both foster parent and foster animal. More than just preventing overcrowding in shelters, fostering helps animals become healthy, socialised, and happy. As a foster parent, you can reduce the anxiety an animal may feel and teach him habits and skills that he can take to his furever home.  

Read successful foster stories from our friends here.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide

Stumped about what to send over to your loved ones this yuletide season? Whether you’re filled with the spirit of Christmas or just thinking of ways to show others that you care, we here at Waldo’s Friends have the perfect gift suggestions for you! Our ultimate holiday gift guide rounds up 110 carefully curated presents Read More...

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Stumped about what to send over to your loved ones this yuletide season? Whether you’re filled with the spirit of Christmas or just thinking of ways to show others that you care, we here at Waldo’s Friends have the perfect gift suggestions for you! Our ultimate holiday gift guide rounds up 110 carefully curated presents you can send over to the people in your life. We’ve broken down our gift ideas depending on your recipient’s interests and what they’re passionate about, namely:

Animal Rescue

In our list The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Animal Rescuer in Your Life, we share 20 thoughtful gift suggestions that: 1) display your recipient’s love for animals; 2) speak out about the person’s animal rescue advocacy; 3) were made without hurting animals or testing on them; 4) proudly support animal-related causes. You can choose from five categories such as fashion, accessories, kitchen, home, and travel.

Cats

You’ll go crazy over the 20 items we found in The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Crazy Cat Lover in Your Life! From fashion and accessories to home and entertainment, there are plenty of choices to put a contented smile on a cat lover’s face. No doubt, these gifts will express a person’s obsession over cats. At the same time, they highlight his obsession in a witty or humorous way. Some are even adorned with cute graphics or funny puns to remind the ailurophile of the true royalty in his life!

Dogs

Check out The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Crazy Dog Lover in Your Life if you’re raring to find something for a person who devotes most of his time and energy to his four-legged best friends! There are 20 pawsome options to choose from broken down into fashionable finds, cool accessories, dog-inspired home items, and travel essentials. A few are even chosen especially for Pooch!

Veganism

You don’t need to put in that extra effort to find a conscientious present for the vegan in your life—we’ll do all the heavy lifting for you. Animal friendly? Check! Climate neutral? Check again! The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Vegan in Your Life presents 30 vegan-approved presents for you to select from. Plus, we made sure that: 1) the items aren’t made of animals, animal by-products, and animal derivatives; 2) the items are made of natural, plant-based ingredients or synthetic, recycled materials; and 3) the companies do not test on animals. 

Wildlife

Do you know someone who is a staunch supporter of animals, plants, and microorganisms that grow in the wild? If you answered yes, then The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Wildlife Lover in Your Life is the list you should check out! With 20 presents split into fashion, accessories, home, and travel categories, the amazing gift options show support for wildlife in interesting ways. Even better, no testing or harming of animals were done while making them.

In Conclusion

Animal rescuers, cat lovers, dog lovers, vegans, wildlife lovers were top of mind when we selected the 110 items for this ultimate holiday gift guide. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t give them to yourself! Purchase the ones that catch your eye and your 2020 will certainly end on a high note. Happy holidays!

How to Feed Your Cat with a Sensitive Stomach

Feline pawrents, especially new ones, should be aware that cats experience tummy troubles at least once in their lives. Some cats will vomit white foam, while others may puke their food after a meal. There are many culprits to digestive issues, ranging from foreign objects in your cat’s body to skipping a meal. However, some Read More...

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Feline pawrents, especially new ones, should be aware that cats experience tummy troubles at least once in their lives. Some cats will vomit white foam, while others may puke their food after a meal. There are many culprits to digestive issues, ranging from foreign objects in your cat’s body to skipping a meal. However, some cats are just born with sensitive stomachs. If you suspect this is the case with your pet, don’t worry! There are ingredients that help make it easier for your cat to digest her food. 

Before we discuss what you can feed cats with sensitive stomachs, please be reminded that this article is only a guide. It should not be replaced with a visit to the veterinarian. We want to arm you with information that can help your pet, but only a qualified and trained professional can truly assess if your cat has a sensitive stomach and guide you regarding which food/ingredients will suit her.

With that in mind, this article tackles:

Common causes of cat stomach irritation

There are many possible reasons why your cat is suffering from a gastrointestinal (GI) disturbance. Common culprits include poorly digestible foods made of low-grade rendered meats, food allergies or intolerances, or food made with additives, flavourings, and/or preservatives. Changing the food or treat she eats may instantly trigger a GI disturbance, so before switching cat food brands or making the change from dry to wet food, get your vet’s approval first. 

If your cat is sensitive to a certain ingredient, she may display these signs: vomiting, diarrhea, irritated skin, poor coat condition, and hair loss. These may be linked to a food allergy or food intolerance, which may also manifest as flatulence, frequent scratching, inflamed skin, chronic ear problems, coughing, wheezing, and/or sneezing.

Aside from food-related irritation, having parasites in her stomach or getting stressed can cause stomach sensitivities. Stress can manifest through physical and behavioural changes. Some signs include vomiting, experiencing the runs, eating less, and avoiding the toilet.  

It is important to note that cat vomiting does not necessarily mean your pet is sensitive to her food. It may also be a symptom of more complex health issues, such as pancreatitis, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism. A trip to the vet is recommended so that he can determine the real cause of your cat’s ailment and suggest the right course of action.

Human food options for cats with sensitive stomachs

If you’re the type of paw parent who likes making your cat try human food, go through our growing list of cat-friendly ingredients before giving her anything. Some cats are known to have allergies and/or intolerances to beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, and cheese.  

Remember that cats can consume some fruits occasionally and moderately. These include watermelon, strawberry, blueberry, and mango. Meanwhile, cat-safe veggies include corn, potato, carrot, broccoli, and asparagus. All of these raw produce should be washed and prepared properly before being given to your cat. Never cook the vegetables with garlic, onion, salt, or sugar, which are known to be toxic for your cat. 

Cat food ingredients for sensitive stomachs

Once your vet has confirmed that your cat has a sensitive stomach, you can modify her diet with your vet’s guidance. A diet trial can last for a few months until you get it right. You will need to gradually introduce new ingredients and/or cat food brands to find the best mix your cat will enjoy eating and, at the same time, fully benefit from. 

When choosing new cat food to feed your pet, look for highly digestible meals that have moderate to low fat, moderate protein, and moderate carbohydrates. Some meals may even contain additives that improve GI health, namely: antioxidant vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and soluble fiber. They should never have ingredients such as gluten, lactose, food colouring, or food preservatives. Scan the ingredients of the nutrition label, making sure the vet-approved ingredients are on the top of the list and do not contain ingredients your cat is allergic to.

Go for a hypoallergenic diet with either a limited ingredient, a novel protein, or a hydrolyzed protein. PetMD reports that limited ingredient diets typically contain only one single protein source and one single carbohydrate source. These can be bought without a prescription. Meanwhile, novel animal protein diets are vet-prescribed and contain a single-source protein. Plus, they are produced in a facility that prevents cross contamination, guaranteeing less risk for your cat. Lastly, hydrolyzed protein diets have broken down protein, so they are less likely to be recognized by your cat’s immune system. Similarly, they also require a veterinary prescription.

You can also try switching your cat’s food from dry to wet (or vice versa!) and reduce the amount of food she eats per meal. This will help her digest meals better, and prevent post-meal vomiting from happening. Placing her meal over a lick mat can also promote slow feeding habits, and, as a result, help decrease digestive issues.

In conclusion

Cats with sensitive stomachs need not suffer from blah-tasting meals or limited feeding options. By carefully choosing premium ingredients and crafting a well-rounded and nutritious diet for your pet, she can get back to being one happy, healthy, and contented cat.   

Discover more pet-related guides in our blog! Help your cat gain weight or learn how to make kitty glop.

How to Help Remove Fleas on Your Cat

Fleas are tiny bugs that move around by jumping from place to place. They can leap onto the coat of your cat, making her skin itchy and sore. Though cats are known to self-groom fastidiously, they won’t always be able to remove these pesky creatures by themselves. That’s where you come in as a helpful Read More...

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Fleas are tiny bugs that move around by jumping from place to place. They can leap onto the coat of your cat, making her skin itchy and sore. Though cats are known to self-groom fastidiously, they won’t always be able to remove these pesky creatures by themselves. That’s where you come in as a helpful pet parent! Aside from having regular grooming activities with your cat, it’s best to do daily checks on her skin and fur so you can spot fleas and prevent an infestation from happening in your home. 

If you’re curious to find out how to get rid of fleas on your cat, this article answers the questions: 

What are fleas?

Fleas are small, wingless parasites that ingest the blood of cats, dogs, and humans by piercing through its host’s skin. Though they are only about one-eighth of an inch in size, fleas can leap vertically as tall as one foot and land on your cat without her knowing it. These pesky creatures thrive in warm temperatures with high humidity, so don’t be surprised if your cat catches them during the summer season. 

Just a single flea can cause an infestation in your home. One female flea can lay 20 eggs at a time, and can produce 500 eggs in her short life span. These eggs can roll off your pet and burrow deep in your cat’s sleeping mattress, your carpet, your furniture, the baseboards, and other warm spots. Adult fleas can even last for months without feeding—that’s how tenacious they are! 

How can you tell if your cat has fleas?

Both outdoor and indoor cats are susceptible to fleas. You can tell that your cat has fleas if:

  • Your cat is constantly scratching or biting her body
  • Your cat is excessively grooming herself
  • There is redness or sore patches on your cat’s skin
  • There are bald spots on your cat’s body
  • Your cat’s neck, lower back, hind legs, and/or tail have look irritated
  • Your cat is suffering from muscle loss, lethargy, or pale gums
  • There are strange movements in your cat’s fur, with tiny bugs bouncing off her coat
  • You can find specs of red or black particles on your cat’s fur (which are actually flea droppings)
  • You have strange reddish bites on your body

What happens if your cat has fleas?

More than making your cat feel uncomfortable, flea bites can carry various diseases that can be transmitted to humans. Some of these illnesses include tapeworms, flea allergy dermatitis, feline infectious anemia, cat scratch fever, and murine typhus. If these are not treated accordingly, they will affect your cat’s well-being. Crusty or dull coat, weight and appetite loss, fever, vomiting, or even death are some of its effects. 

How can you remove fleas on your cat?

We highly recommend that you bring your cat to the veterinarian if you suspect she has fleas. Once the vet has confirmed your assumption, do these with your vet’s guidance:

1 Use vet-approved treatments on your cat. 

Your vet may recommend topical or oral medication that your cat can take to eliminate the fleas living within her coat. There are shampoos, powders, sprays, and other spot-on treatments you can readily buy, but it is important to know the proper way to administer the medication, the right amount to apply, and how often it should be applied. 

Common active ingredients found in topical flea treatments include fipronil, imidacloprid, selamectin, fluralaner, flumethrin, and imidacloprid. Meanwhile, nitenpyram and spinosad are usually found in oral flea medication. They either kill adult fleas or provide month-long flea protection.

Frontline Spray prevents cat flea infestation, including the deadly Paralysis tick

2 Give your cat a bath.

First, purchase an anti-flea shampoo that is recommended by your vet. (Remember that some brands may not be suitable for kittens under two months old.) Trim your cat’s nails one to two days before giving her a bath to reduce scratching accidents. Consider giving her a bath in the sink or a small tub half-filled with warm water to make her feel more at ease. 

Use lukewarm water to wet your cat’s fur, then gently apply lathered flea shampoo all over her body. Make sure to avoid her eyes, ears, and nose. Remember that your cat’s skin may have sensitive spots or open wounds due to the flea bites, so do not scrub her in a strong manner. Let the shampoo settle into your cat’s body for three to five minutes before rinsing it off. Dry your cat with a clean towel and a hairdryer if she is agreeable to it. 

3 Comb your cat’s fur.

Use a fine-toothed metal comb that can remove adult fleas as well as flea eggs, larvae, and debris. Dip your comb in a mixture of water and liquid dish detergent to kill the fleas. Gently comb this through her fur while being extra careful around her face, neck, and tail.

Prepare a bowl of hot water mixed with soap. As soon as you get fleas on your comb, submerge them in the bowl. Do not try to squish the fleas since they can easily jump off your fingers. 

Animates 2 Sided Flea Cat Comb helps remove fleas, eggs, debris, and dust

4 Get her a flea collar. 

Prevent fleas from coming back by giving your cat a flea collar. Depending on the brand you buy, the flea collar can either repel or emit active ingredients that can kill fleas instantly. These collars are inexpensive compared to spot-on flea treatments, and can work for as long as eight months! 

Remember that if your cat drinks flea medication or has topical treatment applied on her fur, you don’t need to make her wear a flea collar. Exposure to these flea-killing chemicals might harm your cat in the long run. 

Seresto Fleas & Tick Collar can be used for kittens over 10 weeks old

5 Eliminate fleas in and outside your home. 

Aside from killing adult fleas, it’s important to destroy flea eggs and larvae that may be scattered around your home, just waiting to infect your cat. From your area rugs to your beddings, do a deep clean of your home to remove all traces of fleas. Vacuum all surfaces possible (dispose of the vacuum bag immediately!), and wash all fabrics in hot, soapy water. Steam cleaning and applying chemical treatments may also work as long as they do not end up poisoning your pet.

Thoroughly sanitise the areas your cat frequently stays in. Try these methods to make sure there are no fleas present in your home: 

Light trap method: In a small bowl, mix equal parts water and dishwashing soap. Place this mixture under a nightlight in the evening. Adult fleas are attracted to light, so they might try to jump toward the light and fall into the bowl. 

White socks method: Walk around the areas your cat regularly hangs out in while sporting white socks. Check the soles if you have accumulated fleas or flea dirt. 

Aside from these techniques, mow your backyard, regularly trim your hedges and bushes, and remove garden debris where fleas could hide out. 

In conclusion

With this article, you are now armed with everything you need to know about fleas. Protect your pet cat and prevent flea infestations from happening by regularly checking your cat’s fur and surroundings, especially if she recently spent time in her catio or your backyard. Always check with your veterinarian before applying or giving anti-flea treatments to your cat. For more informative cat-centric reads, visit our blog!

How to Deal with Cat Eye Problems

Cats have beautiful, haunting eyes that allow them to clearly see in the dark. But when your cat’s eyes appear red, swollen, or something gooey is keeping them shut, there is definitely something wrong. More importantly, something must be done to help your cat because the eye problem may lead to irreparable consequences.  As a Read More...

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Cats have beautiful, haunting eyes that allow them to clearly see in the dark. But when your cat’s eyes appear red, swollen, or something gooey is keeping them shut, there is definitely something wrong. More importantly, something must be done to help your cat because the eye problem may lead to irreparable consequences

As a reminder: This post aims to educate pet owners on the possible causes of cat eye infections, but it is not meant to replace a much-needed visit to the veterinarian. As a responsible cat parent, you should always consult with your vet before doing anything to treat your cat. 

If you’re not sure whether your cat’s eyes are irritated, this article discusses:

Signs of a Cat Eye Infection

No matter how hard you try to keep your cat clean and healthy, she may get an eye-related illness one way or another. PetHelpful lists the common signs of a cat eye infection:

  • Clear, green, yellow, or brown eye discharge
  • Clear, green, yellow, or brown nasal discharge
  • Crusting or pus collected near the tear ducts
  • Dry eyes or excessive tear drop production 
  • Eye eruption and herpes-like lesions
  • Fever
  • Inflammation of the eye or the third eyelid
  • Lethargy, inappetence, and weight loss
  • Red mucous membranes
  • Rubbing, itching, winking, and squinting
  • Sneezing

Aside from these aforementioned symptoms, your cat may also be blinking a lot and pawing her eyes against objects such as your furniture, rug, and carpet.

Possible Causes of Your Cat’s Eye Infection

There are many reasons why your cat has picked up an eye infection. It can be something as simple as foreign objects irritating her eye to something more serious such as bacteria or virus infecting her body. Some common illnesses related to cat eye infections include:

  • Conjunctivitis – Also known as pink eye, this is an inflammation of the light pink lining around your cat’s eye. It is caused by viruses or bacteria.
  • Corneal ulcer – Also called ulcerative keratitis, this painful condition happens when the deepest layers of your cat’s cornea are damaged or lost. Cats with scratches to the cornea are prone to developing eye problems from viruses and bacteria.
  • External objects – Splints, grass seeds, dust particles, and mold are just some examples of irritants that can cause your cat to rub her eyes.
  • Feline Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) – This contamination is caused by viruses such as feline calicivirus, pneumonitis or rhinotracheitis (herpesvirus), bacteria, and protozoa. 
  • Uveitis – An inflammation of the internal structures of your cat’s eyes, uveitis may be caused by cancer, immune problems, infections, or trauma.

Other factors/diseases such as allergens, autoimmune disease, cancer, cherry eye, injury, systemic viral infections, or feline immunodeficiency virus may also cause cat eye problems. It is also possible for cats experiencing stress or ones who have been exposed to infected cats to get eye illnesses. For healthy cats living in stable environments, an unexpected eye infection may indicate a more serious, underlying disease at play. 

Dos and Don’ts of Cat Eye Cleaning

Though it may be tempting to go online and research home remedies that you could make to treat your cat’s swollen eyes, doing so might cause permanent damage to her vision. Worse, the wrong ingredients (apple cider vinegar, colloidal silver, and manuka honey, to name a few) might make her lose her eyesight completely. As such, it is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment with your vet if you notice your cat’s eye problem manifesting for more than 24 hours. Similarly, talk to your vet if you notice your cat squinting or having difficulty seeing. Do not use medicine from your cat’s previous eye problem or over-the-counter eye drops and washes until the vet has checked your cat.  

Once the vet has diagnosed your cat and given you instructions on how to properly attend to her, help keep your cat’s eyes as clean as possible. Remove the gunk from her eyes by following this step-by-step guide:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Wrap your cat in a blanket or towel to keep her head supported and her body secure. 
  3. Wet a few pieces of cotton balls in lukewarm distilled water. Do not use tap water.
  4. Squeeze out excess water from the cotton ball.
  5. Place the cotton ball over her eye without pressing or applying pressure.
  6. Gently wipe the cotton ball following the direction of your cat’s fur, from the tear duct to the outer eye.
  7. Use a fresh cotton ball for each eye to avoid spreading infection.
  8. When applying vet-approved medication, start with your cat’s good eye before applying medicine on the infected eye.
  9. Repeat the process as needed.

How to Prevent Future Cat Eye Infections

Avoid eye problems from developing by regularly checking your cat’s eyes for a change in colour or shape, cloudiness, discharge, redness, or sensitivity to light. Assist your cat by gently removing the discharge in her eyes and brushing her fur regularly. Feed her with nutrient-rich meals and snacks (check our list of cat-friendly human food!) and keep her environment stress-free. Vaccinate young cats and keep up with yearly vaccinations to prevent infection. It is also advisable to avoid kitty overcrowding, since they are more prone to getting bacteria and viruses from other infected cats.

Read up on other cat-related guides on our blog. From making your backyard pet-friendly to preventing your cat from sleeping in your bed, we’ve got all the resources you need to be the purr-fect parent!  

The Truth about Cats and Water

Most people think cats detest water, avoiding liquid substances or bodies of water at all costs. But the truth of the matter is that not all cats feel the same way. Depending on your cat’s upbringing and early experiences with water, she may or may not like being directly in contact with it.  In this Read More...

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Most people think cats detest water, avoiding liquid substances or bodies of water at all costs. But the truth of the matter is that not all cats feel the same way. Depending on your cat’s upbringing and early experiences with water, she may or may not like being directly in contact with it. 

In this Waldo’s Friends article, we answer water-associated questions in relation to your cat:

Do cats hate getting wet?

Not all cats hate getting wet. If your cat grew up having positive interactions with water (i.e. being gently washed as a kitten), it’s likely that she won’t get anxious when you give her a bath. On the other hand, cats who’ve never had a bath may fear the unfamiliar environment (the slippery sink or bath tub) as well as the new sensations (the spray of the water or the scent of the shampoo) attached to it.

There are theories as to why some cats hate water. Scientists have deduced that their ancestors came from the desert, with little exposure to water. Aside from this, cats’ undercoats don’t dry fast, which makes them feel cold and uncomfortable whenever they get wet. (In case you didn’t know, the undercoat is responsible for keeping cats warm and insulated whenever it’s cold.) Plus, the added water weight may also encumber their agile bodies, which makes it difficult for them to escape from possible danger. 

Can I give my cat a bath?

Yes, you definitely can! Even if cats are experts at grooming themselves, it doesn’t hurt to give your cat a bath when she gets extremely dirty, has fleas, or has a medical condition that requires bathing. If you manage to care for or adopt a young kitten, try to expose her to water and bathing as early as possible. That way, she won’t grow up feeling anxious or even aggressive when she knows she’s due for a bath. 

When bathing your cat, make sure to use pet-safe shampoo made especially for her fur and skin. Do not use human-formulated shampoos that may contain harsh chemicals for her. As for cats with medical conditions, only use products that are approved by your veterinarian. Be gentle with your cat, especially if it is her first time to receive a bath. Gently massage the shampoo into her fur, and thoroughly rinse it with lukewarm water. Be careful not to spray water on your cat’s head and ears. Afterwards, give her a treat and praise her with soothing words to make it a positive experience for her.

Can cats swim?

Cats, in general, should be able to swim. Whether because of necessity or for survival, cats have shown time and again that they are physically capable of swimming. It is part of their instincts as cats. However, the more vital question is, do they really want to swim? And are they good at it? Cats without previous experience in the water will most likely panic despite being able to naturally float. 

Some cat breeds are known for being water lovers. These include the Van cats, Turkish Vans, Bengal cats, Maine Coon cats, American Shorthair, American and Japanese Bobtails, Turkish Angora, and Norwegian Forest cats. Turkish Van cats and Maine Coon cats are said to have a unique type of water-repellent coat that allows them to swim for long periods of time.

Even if your cat does not belong to the breeds previously mentioned, it doesn’t mean she can’t have a good relationship with water. It’s all about gradually exposing your cat to water, and making her grow accustomed to it. Start small. Bring her near a pool and see how she reacts to it. Let her walk around the vicinity while keeping an eye on her. If she appears disinterested, do not force it. 

TIP: If you own pets and have a swimming pool at home, be sure to invest in a pool cover. This will prevent accidents from occuring, especially when you are not around.

In conclusion

Water may be a pleasant or neutral experience for your cat as long as she is introduced to it in positive ways. Given the right conditions, you can get her wet, give her baths, or even swim alongside her!

Read up on other intriguing cat behaviour in our blog. Find out why your cat bites you, why she kneads, or why she licks your hair.

How long can a cat go without going to the bathroom?

Cats are mysterious creatures with strange, undecipherable behaviours. From sticking out their tongues in an adorable way to hissing at you (and making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in the process), cats take some time to get accustomed to. But once you have an inkling to how your pet’s mind Read More...

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Cats are mysterious creatures with strange, undecipherable behaviours. From sticking out their tongues in an adorable way to hissing at you (and making the hairs on the back of your neck stand up in the process), cats take some time to get accustomed to. But once you have an inkling to how your pet’s mind works, you’ve won a friend for life! 

Your cat’s toilet habits are another aspect that takes some time to understand. This Waldo’s Friends guide will help you determine:

What is considered normal peeing and pooping for cats?

When it comes to toilet habits, every cat is different. Normal peeing may range from two to six times a day depending on your cat’s age, water intake, and diet, as well as other factors such as existing medical conditions, medication, heat, humidity, and stress. Pooping, on the other hand, is done by most cats at least once a day.

How long can my cat go without peeing or pooping?

Even if your cat eats or drinks normally, she can go without peeing for 24 to 48 hours. Some cats that undergo neutering or surgery might not pee for 72 hours. Meanwhile, a younger kitten usually pees 4 to 6 times a day, so if she doesn’t do so within 24 hours, take her to the veterinarian. As for pooping, a cat can safely hold it in for 24 to 36 hours. If it goes over 48 to 72 hours, schedule a visit to her vet. 

Failure to urinate or defecate creates a risk of injury due to the toxin buildup in your cat’s system. Increase in toxins can make your cat sick and may lead to damage in her vital organs. Worse, it may cause death. 

Why can’t my cat pee or poop?

If you’ve noticed your cat lingering in her litter box but not being able to expel anything, there are some possible reasons why she’s having trouble doing so:

Stress

Stress is one of the main reasons why your cat can’t pee or poop. It may be caused by changes in your routine, a new pet, separation anxiety, or even traveling. Find ways to relieve your cat’s stress by gradually introducing changes to her life. When you decide to bring home a foster or adopted pet, do not rush the introduction between your cat and the dog or kitten. If you’re going on a road trip with your cat, make sure to take her out of her crate every 6 hours so she can relieve herself.  

Injury

An accidental fall may affect your cat’s pelvic nerves and damage her bladder and urethra, leading to urination complications.  

Dehydration

Lack of water in your cat’s body can cause constipation, making it difficult for her to poop regularly.  

Illness

Undiagnosed or chronic health problems may prevent your cat from peeing or pooping. If your cat has a hard time peeing, she may be suffering from any of these problems: Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), urethritis, and cystitis. Peeing with these illnesses would most likely cause pain to your cat, so she tries to avoid the process.

  • FLUTD is commonly linked with crystals or stones that form in your cat’s urinary tract.
  • Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, which may come from injury, infection, or even cancer. 
  • An inflammation in the urinary bladder, cystitis may be caused by a mineral imbalance, a bacterial infection, and/or an abnormality in your cat’s pH levels. 

If your cat has a hard time pooping, she may be suffering from these sicknesses: arthritis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, megacolon, and ruptured/impacted anal sacs. 

  • If your cat suffers from arthritis, it’ll be difficult for her to do the squatting position.
  • Similar to humans, diabetes in cats is caused by insufficient or ineffective insulin levels from eating human food, prolonged corticosteroid use, and/or obesity. 
  • Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid nodules produce excess hormones. It can be triggered by advanced age, fish-flavoured canned food, flame-retardant chemicals, or thyroid cancer.
  • Kidney disease may be caused by viral and bacterial infections, toxins, immune disorders, or even old age. 
  • Megacolon refers to the colon becoming abnormally enlarged due to chronic or severe constipation.
  • Anal sac disorders usually involve the impaction of anal sac fluid, sac inflammation, and/or sac abscess, which can lead to anal gland rupture. 

What do I do when my cat can’t pee or poop?

Observe your cat whenever she tries to pee or poop. There is something most likely wrong if nothing comes out after multiple attempts, she cries out in pain, or her pee or poop is tinged with blood. Schedule an appointment with her veterinarian as soon as possible, monitoring your cat and making sure she doesn’t go beyond the 48-hour mark without urinating or defecating. 

Also, do not attempt to self-diagnose your cat and cure the so-called symptoms with home remedies. You might cause more harm to your cat or conceal the real reason why she’s having a difficult time excreting. Instead, let your vet run tests to determine the cause of the problem and provide the necessary treatment to assist your cat. Depending on the gravity of the situation, your vet may prescribe medication or suggest changes in her diet. 

Read up on more cat-related articles in our blog! Learn useful tricks such as preventing your cat from peeing everywhere or entering a room.

5 Reasons Why Your Cat Vomits After Eating

Aside from providing food, shelter, and entertainment to your cat, safeguarding her health is one of your priorities as a pet parent. Witnessing your cat vomit for the first time may be a cause for concern for most owners, but before you go on full panic mode, know that there are multiple reasons why your Read More...

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Aside from providing food, shelter, and entertainment to your cat, safeguarding her health is one of your priorities as a pet parent. Witnessing your cat vomit for the first time may be a cause for concern for most owners, but before you go on full panic mode, know that there are multiple reasons why your cat may be throwing up—especially after a meal. 

To cat parents 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 pet before her conditions worsen. Take her to the veterinarian ASAP if she vomits more frequently in a day and if you find blood in her vomit. Also, have her checked if her vomiting bouts are accompanied by discomfort, pain, appetite loss, lethargy, or weight loss. 

There are many possible reasons why cats puke after a meal, and these instances may or may not be accompanied by white foam. If your cat throws up soon after she eats, it may be caused by:

1 How fast she ate her meal

Gorging is one of the most probable reasons why your cat vomits soon after eating her meal. Your cat eats so fast that she swallows most of her food without chewing… and a lot of air in the process! Her stomach wall expands too quickly, which signals the brain to regurgitate what she just consumed. Upon closer inspection, it appears as undigested food in a tubular or round shape, and may smell fermented.

Some cats are just accustomed to eating quickly, while others may be stressed with food bowl competition. If your cat naturally eats fast, force her to slow down by feeding her smaller portions. Elevating her dish, spreading out her food on a wide tray, or placing a ball in the dish will also help her eat slower. 

If you suspect she eats fast because of the presence of other pets, separate your cat from the lot during feeding times or create a different feeding schedule for her. These will allow her to eat in peace. 

2 The quality of the meal or treat she consumed

Low-quality cat food may also be to blame for your cat’s vomiting incidents. Lacking in nutrients, these are made of fillers (such as corn) and additives that may not sit well in your cat’s digestive system. Cheap, low-grade treats can also cause your cat to reject what she’s eaten. Worse, these meals and treats may shorten the lifespan of your pet.  

Check the list of ingredients in your cat food and treats and avoid the following: corn and wheat gluten, meat and grain meals and by-products, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), ethoxyquin, food dyes, Propylene Glycol (PG), and rendered fat. 

3 Her body’s reaction to what she ate 

Whether it’s vet-approved cat treats or cat-friendly human food, make sure the food you give your cat is something her stomach can handle. Some cats are known to have allergies or intolerances to certain food, with the most common ones being beef, fish, chicken, and egg. Dairy products such as milk and cheese are also known to cause digestive upset. 

If your cat vomits after you feed her something new, she may not be used to the new food. It’s advisable to change her diet gradually by adjusting the ratio of the old and new food over 5 to 7 days. However, if you think your cat may be allergic to one of its ingredients, keep a close eye on her. Aside from vomiting, she may display any of these other symptoms: diarrhea, flatulence, frequent scratching, hair loss, skin inflammation, chronic ear problems, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing. Consult with your vet to confirm that your cat has a food allergy and to determine the allergen. If needed, put your cat on a hypoallergenic diet that’s recommended by her vet. 

4 What she should not have eaten

Aside from edible food, non-edible items such as hairballs, grass, and toilet paper may also cause your cat to vomit. It is her body’s natural way of cleansing the digestive system. Some foreign substances such as feathers, toy parts, and string may be harder to puke. If these objects become lodged in her stomach or intestine, she may need to get a surgery to remove them. 

5 What she did after eating

Don’t be surprised if your kitten dashes off to play after dinner and ends up puking most of her meal. Her stomach just hasn’t had enough time to process what she’s consumed. Instead of letting her run around post-meal, keep her calm by petting her. Pat her on the head, scratch the back of her neck, or rub her chin to receive purrs of contentment. 

Always remember…

If your cat vomits once or twice a month but appears normal before and after she does it, it might not be a big deal. But if throwing up becomes a regular occurence in your household and is accompanied by other alarming symptoms, you need to have her checked. Chronic cat vomiting may lead to dehydration and malnutrition if it is not properly treated. 

Read our other guides to help you become an even better paw parent!

4 Ways to Help Your Pregnant Cat Before She Gives Birth

Before you bring home a rescue cat, it’s a prerequisite in most countries to have the animal neutered. The procedure helps regulate cat population (especially in shelters) and reduces unwanted behaviours and cancers from developing. It is recommended for female kittens to be neutered as early as six to eight weeks of age, or at Read More...

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Before you bring home a rescue cat, it’s a prerequisite in most countries to have the animal neutered. The procedure helps regulate cat population (especially in shelters) and reduces unwanted behaviours and cancers from developing. It is recommended for female kittens to be neutered as early as six to eight weeks of age, or at five to six months old. But what if you take in a community cat or foster a cat, and soon discover that she is pregnant? How do you deal?

When you come across a cat that’s expecting, treat her the same way you would treat a pregnant person—with lots of care! Here are 4 ways you can assist a mama cat until she’s ready to give birth:

1 Take her to the vet.

Make an appointment with the veterinarian to confirm that kittens are on the way. Ask the vet to perform an x-ray to give you a rough idea on how many kittens to expect. Since pregnant cats can also pass on some viruses to their unborn kittens, be sure her vaccination is up to date. Confirm with your vet if certain medication or treatment can be administered while she is pregnant.

When your cat shows signs of nesting (learn more about it below!), stops eating, starts vomiting, and her temperature drops below 100°F, bring her to the vet for another round of health checks. Discover how to tell if she’s actively in labour, what you should do during/after the birthing process, and when you should seek assistance from your vet.

2 Provide her with nutritious meals. 

A mama cat needs to consume more calories since there are growing kittens in her belly. She is known to eat at least 50% more of her daily intake, especially when she’s about to give birth. Depending on your vet’s recommendation, give your mama cat high-quality kitten food or food specially made for pregnant cats. Make sure they are made with premium ingredients. Ease the transition by adjusting the ratio of the old and new food over the course of 7 to 10 days.

Remember that dry cat food is known to have more calories than wet cat food. If your cat prefers eating wet food, you’ll need to increase the frequency of her meals or give her larger portions to guarantee her dietary needs are met. Aside from feeding her meals packed with protein and vitamins, make sure she has access to fresh water at all times. 

3 Prepare a nesting space for her. 

When your cat is ready to pop, she’ll be looking for a warm and quiet area where she can give birth. This nesting instinct is accompanied by restless pacing, excessive grooming, excessive vocalisation, and a decrease in appetite. Nesting may begin as early as two days before she goes into active labour.  

Provide everything she needs in this nesting space. Prepare a birthing box filled with shredded newspaper, blankets, or towels. Choose a big cardboard box with low sides that can accommodate both your cat and her litter. (A 16” x 24”-sized box would roughly fit an 8-pound cat and her kittens.) You can also place a clean towel over the box to keep out drafts. Lastly, don’t forget to place food and water bowls and a litter box nearby to encourage her to stay in her nesting area. 

4 Give her what she needs.

Some cats become extra affectionate towards their owners, while others become totally antisocial or territorial. No matter which attitude she takes on, find ways to reassure her and keep an eye on her—even from a distance. Panting, uterine contractions, howling or meowing, and fluid or blood discharge are some signs that your cat has started going into active labour. 

In conclusion

It takes about 12 hours for a mama cat to give birth to all her kittens. Once active labour begins, the first kitten usually arrives in an hour or so. It is normal for cats to take breaks in between birthing, cleaning and nursing their young during these times. When she is resting, offer her food such as kitten milk replacement or plain, unflavored yogurt. Prepare enough kitten formula to keep her nourished, so she can care for her kittens.  

Read up on other helpful pet parenting guides and interesting cat-centric stories in our blog!

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