Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cat Health Myths Debunked! Guest Blog By Heather Reynolds At Trupanion Pet Insurance

There are many misconceptions out there about cat health, and I’ve heard a lot of them. While I am 100% behind a cat owner choosing what they feel is best for their cat, I wanted to dispel some of these myths for those of you who may be on the fence.

My cat is independent and can take care of himself/herself.

Some cats are very independent, yes. Sometimes that is what we love most about them. But even though they give the illusion that they can take care of themselves, they still rely on their human companions to give them wellness care. Regular evaluations and trips to the vet are necessary.

My cat is an indoor cat, so he/she doesn’t need to go to the vet.

Indoor cats are still exposed to organisms that are carried through the air or brought in on shoes or clothing. Recently, it has even been reported that some cat food is being recalled due to salmonella poisoning. And even the healthiest of cats can hurt themselves jumping from object to object, and sometimes it can be hard to determine when a cat is hurt. It is always a good idea to take a cat to the vet for wellness exams.

Cats always land on their feet, so I don’t really need to worry about them hurting themselves.

It is true that cats instinctively fall feet first, but they are not immune to hurting themselves in the process. They can still twist joints or even break bones in these falls. It is important to take preventative measure to keep your pet safe from falling from high ledges.

Purebred cats don’t have the same problems you hear about in purebred dogs.

Many cat breeds are prone to specific health issues, just like dogs. For example, the Himalayan cat    is prone to alopecia (hair loss), epiphora (overflow of tears), and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses); the Persian cat  is prone to heart and kidney disease; and the Siamese cat   is prone to cardiomyopathy (heart dysfunction) and respiratory difficulties.

Cats have nine lives.

This is a myth that originated in ancient times, based on cats’ keen senses that help keep them out of trouble. But unfortunately, our beloved cats only have one life, as do we all, and we need to help protect it as much as possible.

What do you think? Are there other myths out there we should be aware of?

Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion, a pet insurance company. Feel free to contact her with any questions related to pet insurance  at heather.reynolds@trupanion.com.

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  1. This is great information! I especially like the one about cats being independent...they need us in so many ways!!

  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing this important information!

  3. Greetings,

    Thanks for reminding those humans about a thing or two. Just hope enough beans read this.

    Miss Kitty

  4. Angie thanks so much! Heather really provided a fabulous guest post today!

    I so agree with you about cats needing us in so many ways!

    Thanks for reading and for commenting!

  5. @meowmeow you are welcome!! I think we should all give Heather Reynolds at Trupanion a HUGE FOUR PAWS up for this fabulous info!! I never knew all of these things that she mentioned!

  6. Miss Kitty I couldn't have said that better myself!!

    Thanks for reading/commenting!

  7. HUGE THANKS to HEATHER REYNOLDS for such a fabulous guest post on Cat Chat today!!!
    Super important info and the logo is just too cute!
    Thanks Heather!!

  8. This was great. I think of my cats as perpetual 2 year olds. I don't know if this true, I had a vet tell me many years ago that a cat's sense of depth is only about 10 feet. Anything over that means nothing to them. The greatest cause of injury in cats who live in NYC, was from misjudged "jumps/falls" That's hoe my poor CC broke her pelvic bone.

  9. HEY! Thanx a bunch for stopping by our blog and we are now followers of yours as well! Thanx for the cat health myths. We knew most of them were false.

    Sniffs & Scratches~
    The Kool~Kittie~Krew

  10. Kokoro thank you! Oh no, was CC the kitty that passed early? Is that how she or he passed? I am so very, very sorry!
    Heather did a great job with this post!

  11. Thanks Kook Kittie Crew!!! Thanks also for the follow!
    Many of us probably remembered some of the myths were false but this will help a lot of people out there who maybe did not know that.
    Heather at Trupanion did a great job with this!
    Thanks so much for visiting and for commenting!

  12. Very enlightening post, indeed. Even the healthiest and independent cat needs staff, I mean, humans. You know, cans are hard to open.

  13. Thanks for stopping by to see me, I love new friends. That was an excellent post today, and I too knew about those (of course, I'm a cat). The one nobody seems to cover is that cats are not overly intelligent. Hmmmmm, exactly which species gets to sleep all day and has their food prepared for them??? Speaking of food, I just remembered something I have to do. ><(((º>

  14. lol @Pirulo about cans being hard to open! This is true!!!

    Thanks for reading and for Purring....er....commenting!

  15. @Brian, thanks!! I love finding new blogs!! Love your fish avatar!!
    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!
    Yes you are right they forgot to mention cat intelligence!

  16. Excellent reminders for everyone. We've always taken our pets for wellness exams once a year. Well, we were lax with the first cat, but started learning after he became 10. (By the way - he was the healthiest & lived to be 19). It was pure luck!! If you catch diseases early, you have a better chance at successfully treating it.

  17. Mario you are so right! I only took Bobo once a year (and then when he became a senior I took him once every 6 mos). He also had to have his teeth cleaned once a year. I remember the vet telling me that cats are like people and it is quite a bit genetics that determines how long they will live. My Bobo lived til age 18, your cat too was blessed living til age 19.
    I agree with catching diseases early being quite helpful!
    Also there is nothing like giving tons of love too!

  18. Many of us probably remembered some of the myths were false but this will help a lot of people out there who maybe did not know that.

  19. That's great information. I've been learning loads of things about cats from your blog. Thanks for sharing!!!

    It seems my neighbour who has 10 cats doesn't go to vets, either... However, I also see my vet always has a huge number of cat patients whenever we go there!


  20. Very informative, also- being a jewish mother, I'd mention one other thing in passing-indoor/outdoor cats need extra attention due to the added exposure of outdoor hazards (not naming names, but ya'll know you who are)!! Ms Z.

  21. Hi Caren, I thought I'd sent a comment but it seems I didn't tap on the right button or somehow it just disappeared. : (

    Another great post! I've been learning lots of things about cats from your blog, thanks for sharing the info with us.

    Most of my neighbours have cats and my next door has 10!!! According to them, their cats don't go to the vets because they don't need to. However, the clinic of my vet is always full of cat patients!!! Eva loves to see them and most of them don't find her scary because of her size : )

  22. @Pregnancy Miracle, you are right! Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting! I appreciate it!

  23. Ms.Z, yes you are so right about indoor/outdoor cats needing extra care! Hmmm I wonder who you could be talking about? Not me but I know who!!!

  24. Priscilla thankyou! The reason you didn't see your comment is because I moderate all comments and have been gone the ENTIRE day and didn't have a chance to get online until now.
    I was having a lot of malicious comments being made so I changed the settings so that no comment gets posted without my permission.
    Yes I don't understand people either who have cats and don't go to the vet and I know a few of those people too. Some people seem to think that cats require less care than dogs and that is not true!
    Both of my cats were never bothered by dogs at the vet, even Bobo who never lived with a dog.
    Cody lived with dogs before we adopted him and he has dear Dakota so he is completely unphased.
    I think it is so cute that Eva enjoys seeing them! Maybe you should get a cat?

  25. My first visit Caren, but not the last for sure. The list of myths was very sensitive. Tolerant of so many people, that is.

    The awful myth that cats have higher brain functions, and can work things out leads to so much inappropriate behaviour from their servants.

    The much much worse myth that they have no emotions, and expect bad treatment from humans, may not strike a chord with many of your sweet and gentle readers, but I have been living in Greece for 14 years - and I advise no animal lovers to visit this land of myths.

    My oldest cat is six, one of the oldest cats in the village; a charity gave all of my (then) 12 cats the 'snip' and several village cats that allowed me to entice them into a little cage!

    I am down to six cats now, all so different,all rescued, all so dear to me that I wonder about living alone in a near-deserted village sometimes.

    Skip the rants and the poetry, dig down a little and see what happens when perfectly innocent village cats have a (retired) photographer on their staff!

  26. corfubob, how flattered I am that you are following me and that you commented (all the way from Greece!) Visiting Greece has been a life-long dream of mine since I majored in Rhetoric and minored in Philosophy. I never knew that in Greece they are less than tolerant of cats. I am shocked to discover this.
    I look forward to your future comments and thank you for visiting!


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