Cats at The Bar: Willie

Hi everyone,

We are back for another cute entry in Cats at the Bar to help us all get over the hump day!

Wilhelmina, the proud mother of the pride

Have you got a cute photo to share? Let us know!

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Thanks,

Marc

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Caring For Your Cat’s Eyes

Your cat’s eyes function in the same way that your own do and are made up of the same components including

  • Cornea, the transparent outer covering of the eye
  • Pupil, the circular membrane in the center of the eye that lets light from the environment enter the eye
  • Iris, the pigmented membrane that surrounds the pupil and contracts or expands to regulate the amount of light that can enter the eye
  • Lens, a transparent structure that adjusts its shape as needed to focus
  • Retina, a sensitive membrane that lines the interior surface of the eyeball. The retina receives the focused light impulses that have entered through the lens and then sends them to the brain,as visual information
  • Optic nerve, this sends signals to the brain
Picture Courtesy Of the Hills Atlas Of Veterinary Anatomy
Picture Courtesy Of the Hill’s Atlas Of Veterinary Anatomy

Commonly Seen Eye Problems

Corneal Ulcers:  The surface of the eye can become damaged or ulcerated following injury or infection. Corneal ulcers can become worse if left untreated and may even lead to permanent damage or blindness.

Conjunctivitis: This happens when the lining inside the eyelid becomes red, inflamed and very painful. It may be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, injury, allergic reaction or a foreign body in the eye or conjunctiva.

Foreign Body: Occasionally foreign objects such as tiny pieces of grit,  thorns or other plant substances may become lodged in the eye or the surrounding tissues, causing pain and irritation.

Cataract: Opacity in the lens in the eye. Similar to humans, this problem can occur with old age, trauma or disease.

Tear overflow: Tears may leak from the corner of the eye, causing staining to the hair in light coloured animals or a build up of crusty “eye gunk” that gets caught up in the animal’s hair. If the eye area is persistently wet or the gunk is in contact with the eye itself it can lead to inflammation and infection.

Tear duct obstruction: The ducts that normally drain tears from the eyes become blocked resulting in tear overflow onto the face. This may be caused by an infection or be the result of a dental problem. Short-nosed breeds of cats ( e.g. persians) can be more prone to this problem.

Dry Eye: This is also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca and is caused by inadequate tear production, which may be initially be due to trauma or infection, Symptoms of dry eye include a thick, yellowish discharge and chronic infections because the lack of tears means that the eye is not able to flush away bacteria and particles such as dust and pollen.

Entropion: The eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes and hair rub against the surface of the eyes, which leads to irritation and pain. This condition is more commonly seen in breeds with flat faces.

How To Tell If Your Pet Has An Eye Problem

Eyes are very delicate and sensitive organs and when problems occur they can be accompanied by a number of symptoms. If you see anything out of the ordinary you should contact your vet as soon as possible.

  • You cat is blinking more
  • Your cat seems to be squinting or the eye looks half closed
  • Your cat is rubbing the eye Weepy Eye Cat
  • The eyes are producing more tears than usual
  • The eye or surrounding area looks red or inflamed
  • The eye itself looks to have a scratch or something in it
  • There is any discharge (clear or gunky)
  • The eye looks cloudy or discoloured
  • The eye is bulging
  • Your cat has started to bump into things

How Eye Problems Are Diagnosed and Treated

Eye problems are diagnosed with a thorough eye examination by a veterinary surgeon. They may use one or more of the following techniques

Physical Examination – Sometimes eye problems can be linked to or caused by other illnesses and diseases, so a thorough examination will enable the vet to check for other problems.

Ophthalmoscope – used to examine the inside and outside of the eye. The ophthalmoscope consists of a light source, mirror, and view hole through which a circular series of convex and concave lenses can be used to examine different parts of the eye.

Fluorescein Stain – this is a dye that can be applied to the eye which will stain any areas of injury such as ulcers and scratches or foreign particles.

Tonometer – measures intraocular pressure

Schirmer’s Test – this is a small paper strip that is used to measure tear production.

Blood Test – If the vet suspects that the eye problem is linked to an illness or disease, a blood test may be needed to investigate this.

The treatment of an eye problem will usually depend on the cause; some cats may need a short course of antibiotic drops to clear up an infection, while those with problems such as dry eye may require ongoing treatment with eye medication and lubricating solutions. Cats with problems such as ingrowing eyelashes may require surgery to correct the problem. In all of these cases it is very important that your cat cannot cause further damage or irritation to the affected eye, so a buster collar may be necessary to prevent this.

Keeping Eyes Clean

Cleaning away any discharges or tear-staining from around the eye area may be necessary for your pet, especially if your pet is short-nosed (brachycephalic breed), has slightly protruding eyes, has light coloured fur that is prone to tear staining or has an eye infection or problem.

  1. Wash your hands so that you do not introduce any dirt/infection to your pet’s eyes.
  2. Care should always be taken not to touch or contaminate the surface of the eye.
  3. I recommend that you use either a sterile solution of boiled and then cooled water on some cotton wool pads, or some pet eye wipes (available from your veterinary practice and most pet stores).
  4. Always wipe from the inner corner of the eye towards the back of the head or down and away from the eye, using a different side/piece of the cleaning pad each time you wipe.
  5. Make sure you always use a separate piece of cotton wool or eye wipe, for each eye to prevent cross-contamination if an infection is present. (Eye wipes are generally quite big, so there is no reason why you can tear them in half/thirds to make them go further)
  6. You may need to ‘soak’ any particularly stubborn eye gunk to make it easier to wipe away.  Just gently hold your damp cotton wool pad or eye wipe onto the area.
  7. If there are just tiny bits of gunk/sleep at the corners of the eye – you can wash your hands and then just use a finger or your thumb to remove/wipe this away easily.
  8. If your pet is particularly hairy, you may need to trim some of the fur away from his or her eyes. Always do this carefully, using round ended scissors and if you are any doubt ask a groomer to do it for you.

Do Not use anything in your pet’s eye that you wouldn’t put in your own eye and NEVER use a salt water solution in or near the eye!  

Tortoishell Cat - Pet Facts Article

How to Apply Medication or Eye Drops To The Eye

Your pet may need to have eye medication in the form of drops or a cream at some stage and giving this medication should be relatively simple if you follow our guide. The key thing with pets is to be prepared, have everything to hand and, most importantly, Don’t Faff About – Be direct and quick!

  1. Get the medication ready and within reach
  2.  Wash your hands, you do not want to introduce infection to an already sensitive area
  3. It may be necessary for someone else to hold your pet for you while you apply the medication. For smaller animals we recommend placing them onto your lap or on a table.
  4. Gently clean any discharge / gunk away from your pet’s eyes (as mentioned above). You may have to skip this step if your pet’s eyes are too painful.
  5. Gently pull down on your pet’s lower eyelid and up on your pet’s upper eyelid and drop the medication onto the eye or onto the inner part of the lower lid as directed by the vet . I often find this easier to do if you are positioned behind the pet, rather than from the front as it helps to prevent your pet moving their head back and away from your fingers.
  6. Make sure that the medicine container does not touch the surface of the eye or any surrounding tissues
  7. Try to hold the eyelids open for a few seconds as this will help prevent the medication from being blinked out .
  8. Reward your pet with a really tasty treat and/or a game of something fun. This is especially important if your pet will need to have eye medication regularly.

Cat Eye Drops Castle Vets

If your pet has an eye condition that requires eye medication your veterinary nurse will usually be happy to demonstrate how to do this for you.

Cool for cats: How to keep your cat cool in Summer

Hi everyone,

With the temperatures rapidly climbing here in the UK we thought it was important to share some of our old guides on hot weather tips for cats and a new one from our friends at CATS Protection.

Let’s start with the CATS Protection video which highlights some very important tips for this time of the year:

Now let’s look at some of the resources we’ve already posted in the past.

First of all let’s start with some general advice that we had listed here previously.

1)     Water: It is vital that dogs and cats have a constant access to fresh water. If you are out, make sure there is plenty of water to last until you return; for example you could buy a bigger water bowl or place more than one around the house. Additionally, if your dog is out and about with you, make sure you take water and a bowl with you;

2)     Shade: Dogs and cats can overheat very quickly as they only sweat through their feet pads. To help regulate body temperature, dogs will pant. If your dog is outside or panting ensure they have a cool place to go. Remember, brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs cannot pant as effectively which can make it harder to cool themselves down;

3)     High temperatures: When the temperature reaches anything above 30 degrees we would not advise taking pets outside. They should remain inside, cool, with plenty of fresh water;

4)     Cooling: If outside in the garden, use a water sprinkler or shallow bathing pool for your pets to cool themselves down;

5)     Exercising: Dogs need to be walked but save these for early in the day and the evening when the air is cooler and choose shaded areas to walk;

6)     Cars: Never leave your dog or cat in the car, even if the windows are left open. The temperature inside the car can very quickly double that of the outside air temperature;

7)     Check on them: When the temperatures are warm, you should check on your dogs and cats often. If there are any signs of being too hot, make sure they are moved to a cool area and have access to water. If any heavy panting or signs of heatstroke continue, contact your vet.

The other important advice that many people forget about is the fact that our poor kitties too can get sunburns! For the full advice on cats and sunburns check out this advice.

We hope you found all of this useful and will share this with your friends to ensure our fur friends are safe this summer. 🙂

Thanks,

Marc

Happy #TRT – Tummy Rub Tuesday (Week 151)

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another week of Tummy Rub Tuesday! Oh, and if you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, why not sign up by clicking here to never miss a TRT again.

We have setup a Katzenworld Forum and would like to encourage everyone to make their entries for Tummy Rub Tuesday on our dedicated Tummy Rub Tuesday post. Simply leave a comment on the post and attach the image you’d like to use. If you’ve got more than one image to use, make multiple comments!

This super fluffy tummy belongs to our friend Ron. 🙂

This super adorable Tummy Rub Tuesday Video was kindly entered by one of our Twitter friends.

This adorable kitty is Zoey, and was sent in via email by Niodita.

Cheekiecat Zeke might be trying to get away from a tummy rub, but not with us around, right? 😉

This adorable duo of cats joins us from Cats and Life.

And last but not least, an entry from our friends over at 4cats!

Alternatively you can still send them in via info@katzenworld.co.uk. Or just leave a comment with the link to the post / photo you’d like us to use.

And in case you missed last week’s post click here to see the full list!

Now we need ALL of you! Do you want to see your cat featured and join our fun blog roll? Follow the steps below. 😀

All you need to do is post a photo or photo story of your fur-friend on your own Blog and add your post link and photo into our Tummy Rub Tuesday post within our Forum.

Simply leave a comment on the post and attach the image you’d like to use. If you’ve got more than one image to use, make multiple comments! 😀

Should you not have an own Blog you can participate by sending us an email with your photo to info@katzenworld.co.uk – just let us know what you would like to have listed as source! 🙂

And to make it fair your cat photos don’t have to be a tummy shot we do understand that not all cats like showing off their belly! So any fun photo story will be fine but tummy ones will be even better 😀

And on next week’s #TRT we will be posting photos with links back to all you guys in the weekly Tummy Rub Tuesday post!!!

A big thank you to all participants from all of us here at Katzenworld.

Not on WordPress but would like to follow us? We are on Bloglovin too! 🙂

happy-trt-tummy-rub-tuesday-week-151

Infographic: Fun Facts about Pets

Hi everyone,

Today we’ve got a fun facts pet infographic that was sent in to us via email.

For example did you know?:

  • Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat flap
  • Rats laugh when they’re tickled
  • Chickens are the closest living relative of the t-rex

We hope you find this infographic as much fun as we did. : )

Thanks,

Marc

My first visit to a cat cafe – Maison de Moggy

Last week I experienced my first visit to a cat cafe.  I have heard great things about cat cafes and particularly about Maison de Moggy in Edinburgh.  I was looking forward to my visit as my idea of heaven is being somewhere surrounded by cats.  However, I did have some mixed feelings.  Cats Protection and the RSPCA have both made statements that cat cafes may not be good homes for cats. I didn’t want to form an opinion without seeing what it was all about and experiencing it for myself.

My first impression was of a place with a relaxed atmosphere, a focus on the cats welfare and happy sociable cats.  It was made very clear to us before we could even enter that the welfare of the cats came first, which is exactly how it should be in my opinion.  Clear rules were explained and we were supervised during our time in the cafe.

It was a sunny day and many of the cats had found sunbeams to sleep in.  Marcel, a Bengal Siamese, was having such a good stretch in the sun but unfortunately we could only see his legs!

There were still a few active cats around, who were keen to play and meet the guests. Little Elodie, the Sphynx cat, in particular was full of mischief and was out to steal some cake for herself.

There were lots of walkways, high places and hidey-holes for the cats meaning that they didn’t have to be near us if they didn’t want to.  Pauline, the beautiful Maine Coon cat, chose to observe us from a height.

There were also lots of different toys.  Despite this, a cardboard box proved to be a sound favourite with Philippe, a Bengal Siamese, and the other cats.  As is always the case if you buy your cat anything they will always prefer the packaging the contents!

Having been I would definitely go again and in fact wonder why I’ve waited this long!  If you want to find out more you can visit the Maison de Moggy website here.

My blog, Rory’s Feline Good, provides updates on the activities that I am undertaking to fundraise for Cats Protection.  It also covers general cat related posts and lots of content from my two adopted boys, Rory and Mac.

Misha’s diaries-“What! am I pregnant??”

Hello everyone!

So, Misha ( my cat 🐱) had one of her life’s most exciting experience! Not only for her, It was an amazing experience for me too!

Sunday morning, Misha had an appointment with the vet, as she had an abscess that needed to be looked at.

Her name was called and  I rushed inside with a very calm Misha. While the vet was examining her, I asked him to also check if Misha is pregnant.

I had a slight suspicion about it, because she hadn’t gotten into heat since January and her stomach was also growing a bit. She also had increased appetite and a tremendous weight gain, which I suspected was a pseudopregnancy!

How can an eight-month kitten get pregnant! Curiosity killed me, not the cat!

The vet went into a small room with his assistant to check something. After a few minutes, he called me in with Misha.

As soon as I stepped into the room, I saw a thing, that seemed like an ultrasound, for when you check babies, but a smaller size.

I quickly understood, that it was for Misha! I was so excited! He told me to take Misha from her carrier. He made Misha lay on her back and applied a gel on her stomach region.

Then he put a scanner like handheld there and began to scan. A monitor was on and we could see two small round things floating around! We saw it’s spine and little hearts beating!

Misha was in an expression which looked like she said “What! Am I really pregnant?”.

In my entire life I hadn’t even seen a human baby in an ultrasound scanner (apart from movies!!) and now I am seeing a cat! So very exciting!! The vet prescribed some medication and he even told misha’s gestation period will be over soon!

I am a bit scared as well as excited! Misha, I think, is also happy!! Hoping for the best!!
Meow 🐱!!

Important Note:

At this point we would like to point out the importance of neutering to avoid situations that can lead to unwanted kittens. While in this particular story it was a happy moment for Misha’s human a lot of people are not aware how soon cats can get pregnant and end up with unwanted kittens that will require re-homing.