Last year, the VioVet blog covered a wide range of cat care topics - everything from cat fleas, preventing hairballs and troublesome cat scratching, to cats in season, anti-freeze poisoning and overweight felines. Blogs about some of the more serious health conditions affecting cats were incredibly well received, as well as some of the more topical discussions i.e. keeping cats indoors.

Because it's hard to know what every cat owner wants to read about, we are always trying to cover a broad range of topics, while continuing to focus on matters of health and life quality for the benefit of cats everywhere. We hope you found last year's articles helpful and informative and that this year we continue to deliver!

If you have any ideas/suggestions for future blog posts, or, if there is anything particular you need advice on, please get in touch! Feel free to email me directly with your ideas: [email protected].

1# Feline Cystitis (1,588 views)

Cystitis is a common complaint affecting cats. The term cystitis roughly translates to “inflammation of the bladder” and is sometimes referred to as Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). While most cases of human cystitis are a result of infection, cats are more prone to stress-induced cystitis.

What is the best diet for my cat?Cystitis occurs when the urinary tract becomes inflamed and blocked. Urethral blockage can be the result of a bladder stone (urolithiasis), bacterial infection or a build up of struvite crystals. Most cats affected by cystitis suffer from ‘idiopathic interstitial cystitis’ or ‘sterile cystitis,’ meaning the cause of the complaint is unknown. If your cat has been experiencing stress for whatever reason (i.e. you have recently moved house, had building work carried out, or introduced a new addition to the household), alleviating the cause of the stress is the best starting point in addressing the problem...(Read on)

2# Hyperthyroidism in cats (1,458 views)

Hyperthyroidism is a common endocrine condition affecting cats. The condition involves the over-production of hormones from the thyroid, which, in turn, increases the body’s metabolic rate. This has implications for the entire body and prompts a number of changes.

While cats of all ages can develop Hyperthyroidism, it is most prevalent (almost exclusively so), in older animals of 10 years+. Less than 6% of cases occur in younger cats and the average age of onset is 12 years. It is estimated that 5-10% of older cats will develop Hyperthyroidism as they age...(Read on)

3# Hairballs (1,179 views)

Cats are a vain and fastidious species that will happily spend up to 50% of the day grooming. There are many reasons why they do this i.e. to maintain the coat, relax, cool down, protect against predators, bond with other cats, and they have evolved to perform this natural behaviour regularly. But for all the good it does, continual licking of the coat can cause problems. Every time a cat grooms itself, loose hairs inadvertently get ingested. Most hairs pass through the stomach and intestines with ease, but sometimes they accumulate in the system and form an obstructing mass.

The rough backwards-facing barbs found on the cat’s tongue contribute to the problem by gathering hair into the mouth. Generally speaking, most of this hair comes out in the stools without too much trouble. But if the gastrointestinal tract isn’t functioning properly or too much hair is ingested, problems can arise. Typically, a large hairball is made up of 15-30% protein which the cat's stomach enzymes are not strong enough to dissolve...(Read on)

4# Cat scratching – can it be prevented? (972 views)

Cat scratching is a bothersome habit that can have us clawing at the walls trying to stop! Of course we know it’s a natural behaviour but that doesn’t stop us wanting to discourage it, or at least, contain where it happens in the home.

Favourite pieces of furniture are a cat’s best friend along with carpets, stair banisters and a range of other rough, wooden or textured objects, which, actually, we might not want being defaced or clawed. It can be upsetting finding cherished items scratched and shredded no matter how natural the reason for it, and as a pet parent it is worth taking measures to prevent this sort of damage from happening. Still, it is important to remember that cats will always scratch to some extent and there is just no subduing it completely...(Read on)

5# Indoor/Outdoor cat debate (895 views)

For as long as people have kept cats, people have contested the value of an indoor or outdoor lifestyle. In researching the matter, it seems there is no definitive answer, and it is left to the individual owner to judge for themselves. Depending on your circumstances and the cat in question, the decision might already be made for you. Some of us would never consider keeping a cat indoors and disconnected from the wild, but there are others who recognise the safety benefits of an 'indoor-only' cat whose farthest venture out is to pay a visit to the vet.

The Indoor/Outdoor Cat DebateEstablishing whether your cat is going to be an 'innie' or an 'outtie' is best done at the very start, when your new kitten is most adaptable. Weighing up the pros and cons of both lifestyles can be confusing and will often leave us with more questions than we started with!..(Read on)

Written by: Hannah