Tag: cats

How often should I shower my cat? (5 factors to consider)

It’s a myth that cats hate water. If they grew up being exposed to water early and having positive experiences with it, they will most likely tolerate bathing sessions at home. What most cats dislike about showering is the uncomfortable feeling they get when their fur gets wet. It takes some time for their fur Read More...

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It’s a myth that cats hate water. If they grew up being exposed to water early and having positive experiences with it, they will most likely tolerate bathing sessions at home. What most cats dislike about showering is the uncomfortable feeling they get when their fur gets wet. It takes some time for their fur to dry, making them move slowly and making it easier for predators to catch them, if they were out in the real world! If you own or care for a cat, there may be instances in which you’ll need to shower your cat. This Waldo’s Friends blog post covers:

Why you should shower your cat

Cats spend about five hours every day grooming themselves. The process keeps their coat shiny, regulates their body temperatures, stimulates blood circulation, and makes them feel relaxed. But even if cats are fastidious about licking themselves, they may need your help sometimes. 

Showering a cat on a regular basis will keep her squeaky clean and degreased. It gives you a chance to remove deep-seated dirt, matted or pelted hair, and excess oils on their skin and fur. At the same time, bathing your cat allows you to check her body for fleas, mites, or other parasites. Not only that, regular bathing sessions help reduce shedding and keep your cat’s fur healthy.  

How often you should shower your cat

As recommended by the National Cat Groomers of America, a cat should receive a degreasing bath and have her hair fully blow dried (as long as she’s agreeable to it!) every four to six weeks. However, there are other important factors to consider, such as:

1 Your cat’s coat length and type

Cats that have longer fur will benefit from taking baths more often than cats with shorter fur, as the process will avoid matting or pelting of hair.

2 Where your cat hangs out

Cats that spend most of their time outdoors get exposed to all kinds of things such as grime, parasites, bacteria, toxic substances, and more! These cats will benefit from having more baths than indoor cats. 

3 Your cat’s self-grooming skills

Some cats may not know how to properly clean themselves or may stop cleaning themselves when they get sick. Other cats that are overweight may have a hard time reaching parts of their body, ending up with itchy, flaky, or infected skin. Older cats with arthritis or joint problems may also have problems grooming themselves. 

Review the list below to discover if your cat undergrooms. She may be guilty of doing so if: 

  • Your cat smells bad
  • Your cat has a harsh or greasy coat
  • There are food particles on your cat’s face and/or chest after she eats
  • You find urine or residue stains on your cat’s paws 
  • There are small patches of matted fur on your cat’s tail or body

Cats that undergroom or those who cannot groom themselves effectively need to have regular shower sessions to keep them clean.

4 Your cat’s daily activities

It goes without saying that highly active cats require more frequent baths because their bodies get dirty quicker and easier. 

5 Health issues your cat may have

A tick or flea infestation, a skin irritation or infection, and loose stools are common cat problems that will require you to shower your cat regularly. This may be done on a weekly basis, gradually lessening as your cat’s condition improves. 

For cats with skin irritations, showering may help wash away some of the allergens on their skin, reduce itching and inflammation, and even decrease unpleasant smells.

Tips on how to give your cat a bath

Follow the seven steps on how to bathe a cat in our home grooming guide. Aside from these step-by-step instructions, take note of these tips to making shower time fun and safe for your pet cat:

  • Prior to bathing, it is advisable to brush your cat’s hair. This removes loose hair and improves the effectiveness of her shampoo. Matted hair is also easier to deal with when it is dry, so try to detangle them before bathing.
  • Use the right shampoo formulation made for cats. Since their skin’s thickness and pH levels are different from humans, never use human-formulated shampoo on them. 
  • For general cat cleansing sessions, pick a scent-free hypoallergenic cat shampoo. Following your vet’s recommendation, use conditioning products only if moisture needs to be restored on her coat or dandruff needs to be minimised. 
  • Depending on your cat’s size, you can give her a bath in a sink or laundry utility tub (small-sized cats) or in a bathroom tub or portable pet tub (large-sized cats). 
  • To prevent your cat from slipping, place a rubber bath mat in the sink or tub. Fill it with three to four inches of lukewarm water before putting her in.
  • Thoroughly wash away shampoo and conditioner from your cat’s coat and skin. You do not want her to accidentally lick and swallow these chemicals, and end up with a bad stomach ache. 
  • Keep your cat’s face and ears completely dry. If needed, use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt on her face. Refrain from inserting anything in your cat’s ears such as cotton wool. These may get stuck in her ears and may stress her out. 
  • When blow drying your cat’s fur, be sure to use the lowest setting. Keep it at a safe distance away from your cat, so it does not accidentally burn her skin. 

In conclusion

As always, it is essential to consult with your veterinarian to discover the best bathing schedule that will match all of your cat’s needs. You want to find the perfect balance in assisting kitty to stay clean and healthy. Be careful not to go overboard because excessive bathing may dull your cat’s fur and cause dry, flaky, or itchy skin.

Discover other cat-related posts in Waldo’s Friends! Read up on the types of milk that cats can drink and figure out how to deal with cat eye infections.

Pet Adoption Tails: Gia Lara and CC

Gia Lara is proof that there’s always room for one more rescue pet in your heart and home. The 37-year-old professional pet photographer was inspired to take pictures because of her beloved animals: a rabbit and 16 adopted puspins [short for pusang Pinoy, which are domestic short-haired cats from the Philippines]. She says, “Booni the Read More...

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Gia Lara is proof that there’s always room for one more rescue pet in your heart and home. The 37-year-old professional pet photographer was inspired to take pictures because of her beloved animals: a rabbit and 16 adopted puspins [short for pusang Pinoy, which are domestic short-haired cats from the Philippines]. She says, “Booni the rabbit was given to my niece in 2006. With the help of Google and reputable rabbit care websites, we upgraded our pet parenthood skills as a family. We had Booni first and then the cats came along. I decided to adopt the cats because I felt bad when I would take their pictures. I wanted to offer them something in return.”

Gia adds, “Most of the cats just happened to end up in our garden. Having a garden surrounding your house is kind of a magnet and a safe haven for stray cats. Two were dumped in our garden. Three were adopted from CARA Welfare Philippines via Cat Cafe Manila, where I worked as a manager for one year.” Though Gia actively adopted most of her pets, CC is an entirely different story. The pet photographer says that the white cat adopted her instead. This is their unique adoption story.

Waldo’s Friends (WF): How did you and CC meet?

Gia Lara (GL): I was a cat mama with 7 cats already when I met CC. My dad had always been very supportive of my doing pet photography, so he quickly alerted me about this odd-eyed stray cat outside. One morning, he brought this white cat with one blue eye on the right and yellow eye on the left. She quickly felt at home and posed to my delight. I remember her lounging on top of our garden bench after our little photoshoot with her licking my hand (which my other cats never did), and wondering why such a sweet cat is not mine. I even posted on Instagram saying that she’s up for adoption as I already had a pure white cat. I assumed she will eventually go home so I left her there.

By now three days had passed, and every time I would check on her she’d be so peacefully asleep like she didn’t sleep for three years straight. It was like a prank of some sort that my boyfriend and I would be joking about her pretending to be asleep so she didn’t have to go home. The fourth day was Sunday and my brother reminded me that her owner might be looking for her. With a heavy heart, before I left for Sunday church, I carried her to the apartment where she was said to be staying. There was a woman at the gate and I said, “Here’s your cat, you might be looking for her. She seems to have taken a liking to our garden.” The owner got her from my arms and said that she only stayed in their house to sleep, and if she liked to eat, she went out to eat. Upon hearing that, I wasn’t sure if it was right to leave her there, but I left as soon as the lady and the cat went inside their apartment.

Sunday mass was ordinary and my thoughts were haunted by thoughts of this white cat so I hurried home right after. Only one hour since I left home and there she was, already sleeping on our doorstep! She was so happy sleeping as if returning her earlier happened in a parallel universe. She made up her mind, my home is her home.

CC’s first day at home

WF: How many cats did you already have before CC? How did this affect your decision to adopt CC?  

GL: I had seven cats when CC came along. She made the decision somewhat easier as she was already spayed. CC blended seamlessly with my cats, but then she had to be treated first for her scabies (which was contagious). I had to isolate her for two months before I started bringing in the cats one by one inside the house.

WF: How did you come up with the name CC?

GL: My original white cat’s name is Coco. Ideas went from Coco Chanel, to Chanel’s CC logo and it somehow clicked when I thought of the name CC. She is, after all, literally a carbon copy and a copycat of my Coco.

CC and Coco

WF: What makes CC unique?

GL: I feel like she is the cat version of me. Somehow, she is the leader of the cats because she cries out when it’s way past dinnertime to alert me.

WF: What are the things CC enjoys doing with you?  

GL: She loves hanging out with me. When I worked out of the house for a year as a manager of a cat cafe, she became thin. I felt like she was happiest when I decided to work from home again. She has always been my office mate.

CC used to come along during my photography talks because she is the easiest cat to bring. Plus, she is a natural model!

WF: Being a mother to multiple pets, how do make sure all of these animals are given enough love and attention? Are there bonding activities you do with each of them or as a group?

GL: The cats and Booni don’t really interact as a group as Booni is a senior rabbit and doesn’t quite like other animals. Booni has a room downstairs, while the cats are upstairs invading my room, the cat room, and my home office. 

The cats are divided into two groups: five office cats stay in my home office, and the other 11 mostly stay in the cat room. My bedroom is their middle room where I let them eat and hang out. Some of them can interact with the others, but having quite a number of cats, some just do not get along. 

I bond with each group with treats and toys. I also try to spend time with each cat as much as I can, giving them soft pats and saying hello to them. 

WF: What’s the best tip you can give to pet owners with multiple cats?

GL: Personally, I provide multiple water bowls and food bowls for each cat. I have three sets of these bowls as well, in case of emergency when I’m too busy or sick to clean up immediately. I also like to upgrade our cat room and office with multiple perches, sleeping areas, and cozy spots. It’s important that they don’t have to argue about resources as some cats may want to guard some of them. 

I have a lot of litter boxes as well. Standard is total number of cats plus one, but I feel like once you cross over the double-digit kind of multi-cat household (basically anything more than nine), you need to provide as many litter boxes as possible. I have 26 litter boxes because I only clean once a day. Having fewer litter boxes means you have to clean frequently.

CC as a cheerleader and Egyptian queen

WF: Why would you personally encourage adopting animals?

GL: Adopting is really close to my heart, thinking how so many rescued/strays are in need of homes. I feel like adopting makes a difference because you are rescuing a pet in need. Plus, the rescuers or foster parents can also take in and help more animals.

WF: What’s your advice for people thinking of adopting a rescue animal?

GL: Make sure you are 100% committed because we can’t adopt and back out when the going gets tough. These animals cannot survive on their own anymore once we care for them and tame them. Adopting a pet goes beyond just feeding them. It also entails keeping their environment clean and safe, spending quality time with them, and caring for your own needs as well.

WF: How has your life changed after adopting your pets?

GL: It’s like motherhood as I have to take care of their needs. Apart from caring for them, I also feel the shift in my life in having such a responsibility, and I feel like they also express their love for me the way they know how. We coexist happily.

Peacefully asleep

See beautiful photos of Gia’s rabbit and cats on Instagram.

Read more delightful pet adoption stories here. If you know of an interesting pet adoption story, share your suggestion with us by commenting below!

What Kind of Milk Can Cats Have?

Cats and milk go hand in hand… or at least that’s what popular media would like people to believe. Animal experts have revealed that most adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, meaning they are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) found in milk.  So does this mean cats can’t drink milk at all? This Read More...

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Cats and milk go hand in hand… or at least that’s what popular media would like people to believe. Animal experts have revealed that most adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, meaning they are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) found in milk. 

So does this mean cats can’t drink milk at all? This Waldo’s Friends article discusses:

Can kittens drink milk?

Kittens have the capacity to digest their mother’s milk or kitten glop. Kitten glop is a specially formulated cat milk substitute or kitten supplement formula. It is usually given to kittens who are orphaned, or those who refuse to nurse. But more than just kittens, other cats can also benefit from drinking kitten glop. Senior cats who have a difficult time eating solids, convalescing cats, and nursing cats are just a few examples. 

Note that not just any type of milk can be given to kittens. Cow’s milk contains too much lactose, and the casein to whey proportions found in it are not appropriate for them. Feeding a kitten cow’s milk may lead to diarrhea and dehydration. Though other types of milk may not have lactose, they do not provide the necessary amino acids kittens need to flourish. 

As kittens grow older, their bodies begin to produce less lactase, making it more difficult for them to digest milk.  

What happens when cats drink milk?

When an adult cat drinks milk, she will most likely vomit, have diarrhea, or experience an upset stomach within 8 to 12 hours of consumption. This is caused by the undigested lactose that passes through the intestinal tract. As it goes through her digestive system, it draws water with it. The bacteria found in the colon also ferment the undigested sugars and produce fatty acids. 

What kind of milk can cats have?

A tablespoon of milk might not upset your cat’s stomach, but this doesn’t mean you should feed her milk regularly. This is because cats are obligate carnivores that don’t need milk in their diet. Milk is considered a treat, which should only make up 5 to 10% of her daily dietary requirements.

Here’s a list of the different types of milk, and whether or not it should be fed to your cat. Remember that there are risks that come with feeding her milk, and that not all kinds should be given to her:

  • Almond milk – Yes, but only occasionally and in limited quantities
  • Cashew milk – No, because it is high in fat
  • Coconut milk – Yes, but only occasionally and in small amounts since it contains a high levels of fat
  • Condensed milk – No, because it is high in sugar
  • Cow’s milk – No, since your cat will not be able to digest the lactose found in it
  • Evaporated milk – No, since it contains sugar, which will not benefit your cat
  • Goat’s milk – Yes, but only if your cat can tolerate milk and in raw form/limited quantities
  • Rice milk – No, because it is high in sugar
  • Soy milk – No, since it contains hormones and chemicals that may produce unwanted side effects

In conclusion

If you really want to feed your cat some milk, get your veterinarian’s approval before doing so. The safest type of milk to give your cat would be properly formulated milk replacement products. These will provide the essential nutrients your cat needs. 

Is your cat experiencing other digestive issues? Learn how to syringe feed a cat, find out what to give a cat with a sensitive stomach, and discover 5 possible reasons why your cat vomits after eating.

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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