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    Healthy Cats

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    Cat’s Fur: Problems and Grooming

    Body Checks

    During your weekly grooming sessions, run your hands along your cat’s body, checking for wounds, bumps and hidden tangles. Also check for ticks and flea dirt, black specks of dried blood left behind by fleas. Sneak a peek under her tail to check for feces attached to the fur that may need to be snipped away with scissors. It’s also important to check around your cat’s anus for tan, rice-sized objects-these may indicate the presence of tapeworm.

    Skin Problems

    Cats can also suffer from skin conditions that don’t involve fleas, ticks or other parasites. If your cat shows any of the following signs, please have her examined by your vet:

    • Persistent scratching
    • Excessive licking and grooming
    • Biting at the skin and coat
    • Swelling under the skin
    • Increased shedding/bald patches

    Hairballs

    Neglecting to brush your kitty’s coat can lead to painful tangles and a bellyful of hair. You’ll know if your cat is suffering from hairballs when he coughs them up onto the floor or expels them in his feces. If, despite regular brushing, your cat continues to suffer from hairballs, there are several remedies available. Please ask your vet to recommend a solution.

    Nervous Grooming

    A healthy cat grooms himself regularly and fastidiously. However, if your cat obsessively licks certain parts of his body, giving himself bald spots and sores, please bring him in for a veterinary exam. The cause might be fleas, an allergy or stress that can be resolved by altering something in your cat’s environment.

    Diet

    Many hair and skin problems can be linked to a poor-possibly allergy-causing-diet. A nutritionally complete food that is appropriate for your cat’s age and the amount of exercise she does, plenty of fresh water and not too many treats should bring a glow to her skin and coat. Check with your vet to help determine the right food and optimum feeding schedule for your cat.

    WebMD Veterinary Reference from the ASPCA

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