Thursday, November 26, 2015

Reader Question: Is there any Advice for an Owner of a Longhair Cat that gets Heavily Matted?

Dear Dr. Plotnick,
I have two domestic shorthair cats who are brother and sister. They will be 12 years old in April. The problem is that the female gets matted fur that I cannot remove unless I shave it off – which I am afraid to do. The mats do not seem to bother her, but they look uncomfortable. They are located on her chest area. Do you have any advice for me?

Bonnie L.

Dear Bonnie,

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Reader Question: My Cat is Peeing Outside the Litter Box. Is it because of the Other Cats in the Household?

Dear Dr. Plotnick, 
I have a male cat, 18 years old, who is urinating all over the house even though I am cleaning the litter box (shared by 3 cats) daily. I haven’t changed the type of cat litter, or his diet. This behavior is not new but there is an aggravation.

The two other cats are 1 male and 1 female. Could his behavior be due to the third cat being a male? What can I do to make him urinating in the litter? My veterinarian could not find any reason for this behavior.

Jacqueline B.

Dear Jacqueline,

Monday, November 9, 2015

Aung San Suu Kyi and a brief history of the Burmese democracy movement

            Readers of my blog know that travel and cats are my two passions.  Friends, clients, and readers have been asking me where I'm going next.  A few months ago, I decided that Burma (now called Myanmar, although I'm going to keep calling it Burma) was my next destination, and I've been preparing for it ever since, reading travel guides, history books, Burma-related blogs, and putting together an interesting itinerary (that of course includes cats.)  

Burma has been in the news lately, because of their upcoming election.  I shouldn't say "upcoming", because as I write this, the elections have just wrapped up, and results are trickling in.  We'll know more in a few days.

You really can’t talk about Burma without talking about the world’s most famous former prisoner of conscience, Aung San Suu Kyi.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you have to have heard about this remarkable woman.  Aung San Suu Kyi has served as the human face of the Burmese freedom struggle.  She is to Burma what Nelson Mandela was to South Africa. Because many Americans only have a vague awareness of what's going on in Burma and who Aung San Suu Kyi is, I thought I'd devote this column to (hopefully) Burma's next leader.         

            Undoubtedly, much of Aung San Suu Kyi’s standing comes from her status as the daughter of Aung San, the revered father of modern Myanmar.  Despite the illustrious parentage, her early life gave no hint of path she would later follow.  Born in Yangon in 1945, she was just two years old when her father was assassinated. She spend many of her younger years abroad, first in Delhi where her mother, Khin Kyi, served as Burmese ambassador to India and Nepal, before studying at Oxford University, where she met her future husband, Dr. Michael Aris, the late distinguished Asian scholar.  She later worked for the UN in New York before marrying Aris in 1971.  She and Aris spend their first year of their marriage in Bhutan, where Aris tutored the royal family.  They then returned to England, living in Oxford, where Aris became a university lecturer.  Aung San Suu Kyi continued her studies at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies.  She also raised two sons. 

            So how did the bookish and retiring wife of an Oxford lecturer rise to such global prominence? 

Friday, November 6, 2015

50 Cat Safe Plants For Your Garden

50 Cat Safe Plants For Your Garden

Guest post by Laura M. Sands

Growing cat-safe plants in your garden is a wonderful goal for pet owners and non-pet owners, alike. Avoiding toxic plants helps to ensure the safety of your own pets as well as neighborhood cats who may occasionally roam your yard. According to the ASPCA, plants like Aloe and Branching Ivy are particularly harmful to cats, but with so many plants that are safe for a cat to enjoy you’ll hardly miss any that should be avoided.

Some of the most beautiful and cat-safe plants for your garden include:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Feline Body Parts - The Liver

Feline Body Parts – The Liver
"Liver Me This"
by Arnold Plotnick, MS, DVM, ACVIM
  • Published in Catster   Volume 1, No. 3, Sept/Oct 2015
“What am I? Chopped liver?”  You’ve probably heard this figure of speech before, the speaker implying that he’s worthless.  I can assure you, as a cat veterinarian, that the liver (unchopped, at least) is anything but worthless.  In fact, the liver is one of the most important and versatile organs in the body.  If you’re impressed with the ability to multitask, then you’ll really admire the liver.  It stores glucose, to supply the body with energy when needed.  It makes clotting factors, to control bleeding. It detoxifies the blood.  It stores vitamins and minerals.  It helps digest food. It metabolizes drugs. You name it, the liver probably does it.

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