Vet Sees People Manipulated By Clickbait, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!

cat dog beach fishing

OK, jokey title aside, this is serious.

Are you struggling under the weight of too many choices? Everyone telling you how you must use a certain food, or a special remedy? You’re in good company.

Linus Pauling was one of the greatest scientists of all time, but even that didn’t save him. Despite groundbreaking discoveries and a Nobel Prize, he is perhaps most famous for the wrong reason.

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A Critical Review Of Feliway For Cats

Feliway diffuser spray

For nearly my whole career, I have used and recommended Feliway® for situations involving feline anxiety and stress. These might be urine spraying, inter-cat aggression, or even trips to the vet and cattery.

I have always been reassured that there is strong scientific evidence for its effectiveness. So it took until 2021 for me to do a thorough literature review of my own. I was shocked by what I found.

It’s not that Feliway doesn’t work at all. It’s just that it probably doesn’t work for most of the things it’s been promoted for.

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Cat Curfews & Confinement In Australia

stray cat

Driven by high levels of public approval, Australia is haphazardly but relentlessly moving towards greater containment of cats. I support cat curfews, and keep my own cat inside, but I still have concerns.

The big problem with cat laws in Australia is that they seem to be enacted by those who know the least about cats. It’s leading to unrealistic expectations and poor results.

I’ll discuss why that is in a minute, but to not sound negative I’ll start with the benefits of curfews.

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Treatment with Remdesivir for FIP in Cats

FIP antiviral treatment

The nightmare is almost over. Until very recently, a diagnosis of Feline Infectious Peritonitis was a death sentence. Either a slow, lingering decline or a decision to euthanase and spare the suffering. This happened to around 1% of cats, most of them kittens.

Then it was discovered that certain antiviral drugs could not only improve the symptoms, they could actually bring about a cure. But there was still a hitch.

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The Cause Of Sneezing & Watery Eyes In Kittens

kitten eye infection

There is a very good reason why so many kittens come with sneezes, runny eyes or coughs. This is true whether a young kitten with continuous symptoms, or an older cat where the problem seems to get better and then come back.

Once you know it, a lot of other common cat illnesses start to make sense.

To understand the special nature of cat diseases, you need to look at how they began. So stick with me! What I’m about to discuss could be the most important health issue of cats.

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Help! My Cat Attacks Me Without Warning

cat being held

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so serious. Look for answers on why your cat bites or scratches you and you find people telling you it’s all about a competition for dominance.

As any genuine cat lover knows, our cats always dominate us. Most of us have enough humility to love them for it. 

Stopping them biting and scratching is a whole other story with a wholly different explanation. One where aggression is just a symptom of a problem in the cat-human relationship.

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When Should A Dog Or Cat’s Tooth Be Extracted?

dog cat dental xrays

Here I want to show you, using the latest best practice guidelines, when a tooth should be extracted (never pulled), and what your choices are.

Sometimes when a tooth needs removal, there is plenty of time to explain why. However, most of the time, you get a hurried phone call while your dog or cat is asleep. There really is nothing you can do but trust your vet.

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Tooth Extractions In Dogs & Cats: Recovery & Cost

broken carnassial tooth

The tooth pictured here is fractured. Ignore the black gums, which are normal in dogs, and focus on the dental probe which is in the exposed (and dead) pulp cavity. This tooth is infected and needs removal.

It’s stressful knowing a dog or cat might lose teeth. The main worry is “how will they eat?” When it happens it is never as bad as feared.

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Designing A Cat Friendly Australian Garden

cat in plants

More and more Australians are building an outdoor enclosure, or catio for their cat. Some make it themselves, others pay specialist companies to do it. Either way, there are two things that often get overlooked.

The first, assuming you plan on using them, is choosing plants that are safe for cats. I cover that later with an Australian perspective. The second is designing the space from a cat point of view.

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Is It OK To Give A Cat Only Dry Food?

cat eating

Listen to this rubbish.

If your cat only eats dry food, she is likely to be getting less nutrition than a cat eating wet food. Many low-quality dry foods contain a lot of fillers.

Throwaway lines like these are typical of the overly simplistic advice you find online about feline nutrition. The truth takes a deeper look. To know whether wet, dry or both are best for your cat, we need to talk about:

  • nutritional adequacy & completeness
  • fillers in wet & dry cat food
  • the risk of obesity
  • diseases associated with wet & dry foods
  • other alternative cat diets

Let’s dive in!

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Which Cat Scratcher Do Cats Use Most?

cat on scratcher

We all know that cats like to sharpen their claws, but it amazes me how little we actually know about it. Yet scratching in cats is extremely important.

It is:

  • a genuine need of cats
  • a significant source of concern for cat owners
  • a leading cause of surrender to shelters
  • the excuse used for surgical declawing of cats

What you see here is typical of veterinary science. Pick a rare disease like arterial thromboembolism and you’ll find lots of good science. Pick a common, everyday, practical problem and it just doesn’t get the same attention.

Finally, I have something to tell you. For the first time, two recent studies have looked at scratcher preferences in kittens and adult cats. They offered cats choices and measured which ones they chose to use more often.

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Help! My Cat Has A Bloated Stomach

cat swollen stomach

Essential facts (details below):

Causes Of A Swollen Belly In Cats

There are five likely causes for an enlarged abdomen in a young cat:

  • Intestinal worms, especially in untreated kittens up to three months of age
  • Pregnancy, in undesexed, free-roaming female cats
  • Abdominal fat deposition, which is usually easy to identify
  • Excessively large meals (swelling should come and go)
  • Feline infectious peritonitis or FIP
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Your Dog or Cat & Coronavirus COVID-19

kitten with interferon

Find the facts below about dogs and cats and coronavirus COVID-19. Keep checking this page for updates on the situation.

Vets across Australia are open as normal. Walkerville Vet requests that clients:

  • Maintain 1.5m from staff and other clients (nurses will hold your pet for examinations)
  • Do not pay with cash
  • Not attend the clinic if in isolation or even mildly unwell
  • Wait on the front lawn if there are 6 or more people in the waiting room
  • Come to the clinic alone whenever possible, and without children

Now dive deeper…

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Do We Really Want To Live In A Society That Traps Cats?

“Unfortunately, there are people out there who don’t like cats — hate cats — and too often we see what happens to cats when they are trapped by these sorts of people.” RSPCA South Australia chief executive Paul Stevenson

“A law like this would give the worst elements of society Carte Blanche to abuse their neighbours’ pets” Brian May (guitarist in Queen)

Why are these two so worried?

New cat curfew laws proposed by Marion Council will allow the trapping of any cat found off the property from 9pm to 7am. Not just by council staff either. By anyone at all.

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It’s True, Cats Get Parvo Too

Kitten face closeup

News Flash: Since writing this, there have been increasing reports of feline parvovirus outbreaks in the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

A few years ago I started getting questions about a new cat viral outbreak called cat plagueCat plague? I may have been seeing cats for 25 years, but this was news to me too.

A quick google and it all became clear: this is a new name for an old disease. It goes by all these names:

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What Is The Best Cat Litter?

cat litter choices

I have no idea how most cat owners end up choosing a cat litter. If my experiences are anything to go by, it’s trial and error. I doubt they try more than a few before settling on a favourite.

This is a vet review of the common and popular types of cat litter in stores. I’ll help you understand:

  • the choices of cat litter
  • the problems with each type
  • and the evidence for which ones cats prefer
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The Death Of Grumpy Cat

grumpy cat resting

It’s easy to forget how refreshing Grumpy Cat was when she first appeared. If something wasn’t as good as the hype, then there she was with perfect one liner to burst the bubble. Coming from a cat like her, who could argue?

Grumpy Cat will always be the queen of memes, and perhaps the most famous cat of our time. Until now, I’ve refrained from talking about her death. But hopefully enough time has passed, because there’s a story in it about the future of cats. 

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Radioactive Iodine for Feline Hyperthyroidism

If you have a cat diagnosed with hyperthyroidism you’re not alone. Studies indicate that around 2% of cats are affected, and up to 10% of geriatric cats.

There are many treatment options available for thyroid problems in cats. However, the one that generates the greatest discussion is radioactive iodine. We don’t offer it, but we can refer you to an appropriate centre.

First, here’s what you need to know.

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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus & Your Cat

cat FIV infection

When I was young, like all kids, I wanted to know why everything happened. Having vets as parents, I can distinctly remember asking why male cats needed to be desexed.

“It’s because otherwise they fight so much that they get run down and die early.”

With the benefit of hindsight, this is pure folk wisdom. People could see that fighting was associated with sickness, but not yet why. Then, in 1986, hot on the heels of the discovery of the human AIDS virus, researchers in the USA put two and two together and found a feline AIDS virus in cats like these. We call it FIV.

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Can I Bury My Dog Or Cat At Home?

dog burial gravestone

Burying a dog or cat is an important part of the grieving process for many people. It certainly was for me. So as someone who advises it, and has done it, I was annoyed to see “Why you shouldn’t bury your pet in the backyard” featured on my ABC.

It’s the classic case of sitting in an ivory tower making the rest of Australia feel guilty for doing what comes naturally. It also says some fairly silly things. So before I give you some simple tips for a proper home burial, let’s clear them up.

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Getting Cats To Eat Raw Chicken Necks

cat raw chicken

Let me tell you a story that shows what we’re up against.

I met a very perplexed feral cat researcher recently. In his study area the cats generally hunt and eat one common mammal. However, suddenly the population of that species crashed.

There were lots of other tasty critters still hopping around, some of which look nearly the same. Despite this, the cats began to starve.

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