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Healthy Pets

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8 Common Cat Problems and How to Solve Them

Keep the peace between you and your feline friend with these solutions to common cat problems.

8 Common Cat Problems and Their Solutions continued...

Tapeworms aren't dangerous, but they can lead to weight loss, tummy pain, and other problems in your cat if left untreated. While garlic has been a popular home remedy for foiling tapeworms and fleas, there's no proof it works -- and it's very hard to get kitty to eat it! Stick to the to tried-and-true tapeworm treatments offered by your vet.

Yowling of a cat in heat. When a female cat is in heat, she'll often become very affectionate and vocal, meowing and yowling as she attempts to alert a potential mate of her fertile status. Likewise, a male cat may become talkative when he's hearing or smelling a female cat in heat. This yowling and other mating behaviors may repeat themselves every 18-24 days throughout a cat's eight month breeding season.

You already know the most foolproof way of coping with a cat in heat (or one responding to a cat in heat): Get your feline friends spayed or neutered! A female cat can become pregnant when she's as young as 16 weeks, but fortunately she can be spayed at 8 weeks old.

If your cat is meowing a lot and your kitty is spayed or neutered, it's a safe bet to assume something is wrong: Perhaps fleas are biting, the litter box is dirty, or the water bowl is empty. Unless you know kitty is just trying to be a mooch, never ignore these vocal pleas -- and never punish them, which results only in making kitty afraid and doesn't address the real reason he or she is meowing.

There's probably isn't a single issue you'll have with your cat that your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist hasn't seen -- and helped to overcome. You don't have to live with frustration and you don't have to give up your cuddly companion when things go awry. Armed with a little help from the pros and a bit of patience, you and your cat companion can live together in perfect harmony.

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Reviewed on February 26, 2010

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