Here’s a Museum Any Cat Lover Will Appreciate!

Ask any cat person…how many cat-themed items do they have in their house?  Chances are that the answer will be “a lot!”  One cat-loving couple in Krakow, Poland had so many cat knick-knacks that they decided to open a museum.

According to an article on the museum in Travel and Leisure, the museum is only around 160 square feet, but it contains at least 1,000 cat-related items.

How did it begin?  Like many cat lovers, the museum’s owner was given a cat figurine as a gift, and then it kind of grew from there.

Check out the museum’s Facebook page and this cute video for a peek inside this must-see destination for cat fanciers!

 

 

Top Pet Food Trends of 2020

This year’s Global Pet Expo, a convention hosted by the American Pet Products Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association, highlighted some new product trends that are driving the pet food market this year.

A Switch from Grain-Free to Grain-Friendly Diets

The grain-free pet food trend, which was growing in popularity over the past few years, has faced a setback as an increased number of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases in certain dog breeds have been linked to ingredients found in grain-free diets.

The pet food industry is now focused on “grain-friendly” diets featuring healthy and wholesome grains such as barley, oatmeal, and brown rice.

Pet Foods that Target a Specific Health Issue

Solutions-based pet foods that are designed for a particular life stage or health condition are continuing to gain in popularity.  Some of the most popular address issues like obesity and skin, coat, and joint health.

Foods that Address “Rotational Feeding”

Rotational feeding is a growing trend among pet owners who like to feed their animals different formats of the same dietary formula.  Examples of this include wet, dry, and treat options that address a particular concern or contain the same combination of animal proteins.

Whole-Animal Nutrition

It used to be that pet foods containing animal by-products like organs, bone, and cartilage were frowned on.  Today’s quality pet food manufacturers are returning to “whole-animal nutrition” by adding some of these ingredients to their high-end diets.

Lickable Food and Treats

Pet owners are increasingly turning to pet foods and treats that have a very soft mousse or gel texture.  They can be served out of containers or tubes and include meaty broths and frozen, ice cream-like treats.

 

Long-Term Health Effects of Wildfires on Cats

Veterinarians at the University of California, Davis have been studying the health of cats affected by the recent California wildfires.  They have found that cats who suffered burns and smoke inhalation developed a high incidence of cardiovascular problems.

Researchers examined 51 cats referred for veterinary treatment after wildfires in 2017 and 2018.  More than half of the cats had serious cardiovascular problems.

Specifically, a high incidence of heart muscle thickening and blood clot formation (or the risk of blood clot formation) was found in many of the cats.  Six of the cats in the study had to be euthanized for cardiac problems.

The researchers report that humans who have experienced burns are also at risk for cardiovascular issues, but they found a higher incidence in the cats, even among those who had only moderate burns.

They note that further research into animals impacted by fire can translate into a greater understanding of how human health is affected.

“We also know that these cats inhaled smoke in a very urban environment, exposing them to toxicants,” said one of the researchers. “These cats could be the canary in the coal mine, letting us know what might happen if more people are exposed to these types of wildfires.”

They recommend that veterinarians screen for cardiovascular issues in cats who have been treated after wildfires.

You can read the full text of the study HERE.

Top image:  Rob Warren/UC Davis

 

Can Pets Get Coronavirus?

The new strain of coronavirus from Wuhan, China (2019-nCoV) is believed to be a virus that jumped from animals (possibly bats via another species) to humans.  While its contagiousness among people is a worldwide health concern, what about our pets?

Veterinarians at Texas A&M University report that there is currently no evidence that the new coronavirus affects dogs, cats, or other companion animals.  This means that as far as we know, we cannot transmit it to pets and pets cannot transmit it to us.

Other types of coronavirus can affect pets, and are often specific to a particular species, meaning that dogs cannot pass them to cats and vice versa.

For instance, infectious tracheobronchitis complex (ITB), commonly known as kennel cough, is a coronavirus in dogs.  Respiratory and intestinal coronaviruses are common in dogs, but they are often mild.

Dogs with coronavirus infection may have diarrhea, cough, or a runny nose.

In cats, coronavirus symptoms can be severe and may include diarrhea, fever, jaundice, weight loss, and fluid in the chest or abdomen, depending on the specific virus strain.  The often-fatal disease FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) is caused by a coronavirus.

Common-sense prevention measures are the best way to stop coronaviruses from spreading among dogs and cats.

Isolate any new pets brought into the household until they are cleared by a veterinarian. Wash your hands after coming in contact with pet feces.  Make sure you clean the litterbox daily, especially in a multi-cat household.

Can the new 2019-nCoV virus jump to pets?  The vets at Texas A&M say it’s possible, but not likely, and pet owners should concentrate on preventing the more common pet viruses in their furry friends.

 

Updated Veterinary Guidelines for Cat Health: FIV and FeLV

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has updated their testing and management guidelines for the feline retroviruses FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (feline leukemia virus).

These two potentially life-threatening illnesses can be managed with proper owner education, testing, and vaccinations.  As the AAFP notes in an article on phys.org:

“Education and early testing can greatly assist in the treatment and management of feline retrovirus infections. Routine veterinary care, when cats are well and when they are sick, can lead to better care and decrease the spread of infection…with regular healthcare and reduced stress, cats infected with retroviruses, especially FIV, may live many healthy years.”

The new guidelines are designed for veterinarians in private practice, as well as those in shelter medicine, because these diseases can spread in multi-cat environments.

Testing is key to identifying infected cats, especially when they are in contact with other cats.  FIV is often spread via saliva in bite wounds, especially in adult males.  About 3-5% of cats in North America have FIV.  FeLV is commonly passed from the mother to her kittens, often through grooming and feeding.  4% of cats in North America are thought to have FeLV.

Vets can download the 2020 guidelines via the AAFP website HERE.  Cat owners interested in learning more about FIV and FeLV can download an electronic owner education brochure HERE.  You can learn more about how to spot an infected cat, testing and vaccinations, and how to care for a cat living with FIV or FeLV.