The health of your cat

Cats are not small dogs! In fact their needs differ greatly from that of their distant cousins, dogs.

Some believe them to be independent but this is completely false, a fact well known by those who worship this species. Less demonstrative than dogs, cats don't, for that matter, have lesser needs for social and affective contact.

This section gives important information regarding the particularities of this species as well as important points on feline health and wellness.

Feline Tooth Resorption

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Vaccination constitutes the best prevention against viruses most commonly transmitted between cats.

Whether your cat is exclusively indoor , or outdoor going, vaccination constitutes the best prevention against viruses most commonly transmitted between cats. The core vaccine (panleucopenia, calicivirus, and herpesvirus or feline viral rhinotracheitis) protects against common respiratory and digestive diseases that are easily transmitted because they are air-borne or persist a long time in the environment. It is therefore not impossible for us to bring these viruses home without our knowledge.

Rabies remains one of the most important vaccines. This disease is transmitted by the saliva of a contaminated animal and is easily transmitted to humans. Rabies is a deadly disease for which there is no cure.

For outdoor going cats, protection against feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline AIDS (FIV) is also very important. These diseases have high prevalence (9-11%) in the Quebec feral cat population! They are incurable diseases for which the animal remains a carrier for life thereby infecting other cats as well.

The old adage ‘Better safe than sorry’ finds its true meaning when applied to health and vaccination remains a very important part of preventative health medicine in order to ensure a longer life for your pets.


-caused by a tumour, but easy to treat...

Hyperthyroidism is usually cause by a benign tumour of the thyroid gland (in the neck) resulting in an excessive production of thyroid hormone. This disease affects primarily cats (common in elderly cats and very rare in dogs) and influences multiple body systems principally the heart and kidneys and can be fatal if left untreated. The first signs noted by an owner are generally weight loss in the presence of a good to increased appetite, an increase in water consumption and urine production, signs of hyperactivity (walking, night vocalisation...) and sometimes excessive grooming. Diagnosis is easily made with a blood test which will permit to differentiate from other diseases with similar symptoms. Many treatments are available: radioactive iodine therapy, surgery (thyroidectomie), and medical management with daily medication, all of which allow the pet a longer and better quality of life.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra...)

Deadly to cats!

It is often tempting to treat our pets with medication from our own medicine cabinet as we do for ourselves; however cats are not small humans!! In fact, many of our medications can be toxic to cats! Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra…) is very dangerous to cats even in small doses as they do not have the enzymes to metabolize it adequately, and administration can lead to death. One must always be very prudent when giving cats (and other animals) medicine destined for humans, even ointments and creams can be toxic. Always consult your veterinarian before administering any products at home.

Pain in cats

...a challenge!

Pain detection in cats can be very challenging! Cats are often less active and more independent than dogs, and changes in their behaviour can be much more subtle. If one is attentive, small variations in their behaviour or posture can be noted. For example, a cat that no longer jumps on the window sill can have joint or abdominal pain. Cats can also refuse to climb in the litter box because the sides are too high for a sore limb. Changes in facial expressions such as a frown can also hint at pain. Aggression can often be a sign of pain as well. If you notice any changes, as subtle as they may be, consult your veterinarian to discuss it. Don’t assume that because your cat still eats, and doesn’t vocalize or complain, it is not uncomfortable or in pain. The quality of life of your pet is our priority.