Cat Health & Care

A healthy cat is a happy cat. Our cat care experts are in your corner.

Health is wealth, both for our feline friends and their two-legged owners, who can be spared eyebrow-raising veterinary expenses with annual check-ups, proper exercise and diet. Our cat health and care section provides expert advice on everything from cat grooming to parasite prevention, cat dental care, alternative treatments and more. Learn the basics of cat first aid and read up on the tools you should have on hand in the event of an emergency. Whether you’re curious about heartworm treatment, plants that are toxic to cats or the proper way to trim your pet’s nails, we've got your back when it comes to cat health.

Talk About Health & Care

A Primer on Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a common but very serious disease that afflicts middle aged and older cats. Increased appetite is one among many early symptoms. The disease often masks serious kidney disease, can cause heart disease and harm every organ in a cat's body. It's diagnosed via blood tests and the sooner it's caught, the better. The most common clinical signs of hyperthyroidism are weight loss, increased appetite, and increased thirst and urination. Hyperthyroidism may also cause vomiting, diarrhea, and hyperactivity. The coat may appear matted or greasy. Hyperthyroidism can be controlled with medication (Tapazole a.k.a. Methimazole) which a cat has to take every day for the rest of his/her life. If a cat is healthy or can't take the medication and you live near a facility that does it, radioactive iodine treatment (I-131) is the best treatment. It's expensive but usually cures the disease. The only other option is surgical removal of the thyroid glands, which is the road least traveled.

Teresa C., owner of a Domestic Shorthair

Coaxing a Cat Out of a Hiding Place

Sometimes new cats just want somewhere to hide out and feel safe. Some cats have been known to hide for weeks until they feel safe in their new home and it is best to give them their space. Try luring your cat out with food or treats. Put the food and water nearby and then leave the room. If you see he's eaten some of the food you'll know he can get out OK and isn't in any danger. Giving him some other hiding places around the house may help him come out and explore. Cardboard boxes with a cat-sized hole in the side are good.

Lisa D., owner of a Domestic Shorthair

See full discussion »