PreventiveVetI started my website, ThePreventiveVet.com, because there are still too many pet illnesses, toxins, and other common pet conditions that not enough people are aware of. And my experience in both the emergency room and general practice has clearly shown that prior awareness is crucial to helping pet owners to be prepared and preventive so that they can best protect the cats and dogs they love.
Well, when it comes to our cats, few emergencies are more serious, and few are less well-known amongst cat people than the dreaded urethral obstruction (UO). Also known as “urinary obstruction”, cases of UO are extremely distressing and painful for the affected cat (not to mention the distress, heartbreak, and financial strain it takes on the people, too).
What’s most frightening though is that a case of UO will quickly progress to death without prompt and appropriate treatment. So please, whatever you do today, be sure to read and share this post, regardless of whether or not you have a cat, but especially if you have a male cat!
Overview of feline urethral obstruction:
Cat kidneys make urine in an effort to, amongst other things, regulate the levels of certain compounds and substances within the body. These compounds and substances include water, electrolytes, minerals, and a host of other things. The ability of the cat’s body to then move that urine from their bladder to their litter box is vital to their survival. The urethra is the thin muscular tube that is responsible for carrying urine from the bladder to the “outside world”. Sadly, and with quite disastrous consequences, the urethra can become blocked, preventing a cat from excreting their urine. This is urethral obstruction and it’s definitely a condition you should be familiar with, and one that you can easily take steps to prevent.
How do you know if your cat is “blocked”:
Cats with a case of UO will typically exhibit a variety of outward signs, the degree and number of which will depend on how long they’ve been blocked, and whether it is a complete blockage or a partial one. I’ll list several of the possible signs below, highlighting some of the more concerning and/or obvious ones. But please note that the list below is not exhaustive. If you are seeing any of these signs, get your cat immediately to the vet. Do not wait “until morning” or “after work” to do so, if your cat has a UO, time is truly of the essence and there’s nothing you can do at home to help them.
• Multiple and frequent trips to the litter box that result in little or no urine
• Howling, crying, or otherwise vocalizing when attempting to urinate
• Excessive licking of their back end
• Hiding in the closet, under the bed, or elsewhere
• Loss of appetite
• Vomiting
• Ataxia (walking like they’re drunk)
• Collapse
Now you know what urethral obstruction is and how to recognize it, but this blog post is just a brief overview of this horrible condition. Please don’t stop learning here. There’s a lot more information, including the vitally important and simple steps you can take to help prevent your cat from getting a UO, on my blog here… Feline Urethral Obstruction: Part 3 – Be Preventive. I hope you’ve learned lots, please be sure to share these posts and what you’re learning with all the cat lovers in your life… you just may help them save their cat’s life by doing so.
Have a wonderful day! And please, for your pet’s sake (and yours)… Be Aware. Be Prepared. Be Preventive!
Veterinarian and pet safety expert, Dr. Jason Nicholas (“The Preventive Vet”) is the author of the must-have book, 101 Essential Tips You Need to Raise a Happy, Healthy, Safe Dog, and the creator of the popular website ThePreventiveVet.com. Both are indispensable resources that will help you protect your pets and empower you to be the best pet parent you can be. We’re excited to have him share some of his insights with you here. Dr. Nicholas believes, as we do, that an outstanding, high-quality diet is an integral part of your pet’s overall health and well-being, he proudly recommends Halo Spot’s Stew.

3 Easy DIY Cat Treat Recipes

3 Easy DIY Cat Treat Recipes

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Picking out the perfect cat treat from your local pet store can be overwhelming for cat parents - especially if your cat has a dietary restriction, or if you've ever flipped the treat package over and tried reading the long list of ingredients you can't pronounce! Who wants to feed their cat all those chemicals anyway? If you're concerned about where your cat's food and treats are made, it becomes even more challenging. 
Instead, why not try out these simple cat treats you can make at home! Of course, you can tweak the ingredients to fit your furry friend's unique taste and dietary needs. 

You'll feel comfortable knowing where each and every ingredient came from, and of course they'll all be stuffed full of the one ingredient only you can provide…love!

Spinach & Chicken Purrk Me Ups

Shopping List:
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp dried catnip
  • 1/4 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350º. Steam the chicken thighs until thoroughly cooked, then cool for 20 minutes. Blend chicken, oats, spinach, and catnip in a food processoruntil it's chunky but smooth. In a bowl, add your chicken mixture and flour and knead them together until no longer sticky. Then place your dough on a flour-dusted surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Then, cut it into shapes with a tiny cookie cutter or pizza cutter. Use a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. 

Cheesy Meowthfulls

Shopping List:
  • 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350º. Combine Cheddar, Parmesan, yogurt, flour and cornmeal. Then, mix in enough water to create a dough. Form your dough into a ball and roll it out on a flour-dusted surface with a rolling pin until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. 

Goats Milk Catsicles

Shopping List:
Fill each compartment of the ice cube tray about halfway full with raw goat's milk (If you're using Instant Goat's Milk, prepare it according to the directions first.) Then, toss a couple pieces of tuna, cooked diced chicken, baby shrimp, or your cat's favorite treats in with the goat's milk. Put the ice cube tray in the freezer until your "catsicles" are frozen. On a hot day, pop one out and serve it to your kitty for a tasty, refreshing treat! 
Remember, these are all treats - meant to be fed in moderation, not to replace your cat's regular, species appropriate high-quality diet. If you enjoy making your own treats at home, pick up a Cat Treat Recipe book for even more ideas. 

Or, get yourself a food dehydrator and make all kinds of jerky treats, like beef, chicken, shrimp or liver. While you're spending all that time baking for your kitty, check out our collection of cat-themed kitchen accessories

Did you like this guide? Give us a vote up above to keep them coming! And then see these other guides by The Catington Post: 

Foods That Are Hazardous to Cats

source: ASPCA - Foods That Are Hazardous to Cats

Cat peering over dinner table

Many cats are picky eaters, so they’re less likely than dogs to be attracted to certain human foods. Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware that some foods can be dangerous to cats.
Bread Dough
Raw bread dough made with live yeast can be hazardous to cats. When a cat swallows raw dough, the warm, moist environment of the stomach provides an ideal environment for the yeast to multiply, resulting in an expanding mass of dough in the stomach. Expansion of the stomach can be severe enough to decrease blood flow to the stomach wall and affect breathing. Also, as the yeast metabolizes the sugar in the dough, alcohol is produced. The alcohol can be absorbed, resulting in alcohol intoxication. Affected cats can have distended abdomens and show signs such as drunkenness, disorientation and vomiting (or attempts to vomit). In extreme cases, coma, seizures or even death from alcohol intoxication might occur. Cats who have abdominal distention or seem drunk should be monitored by a veterinarian until they recover. All rising yeast dough should be kept out of reach of cats.
Most cats don’t have a sweet tooth. However, some will eat foods containing chocolate, such as chocolate candy, cookies, brownies and chocolate baked goods. These and other chocolate-flavored treats can cause chocolate intoxication in cats. The compounds in chocolate that are toxic are caffeine and theobromine, which belong to a group of chemicals called methylxanthines. These compounds cause stimulation of the heart and nervous system. The rule of thumb with chocolate is “the darker it is, the more dangerous it is.” White chocolate has very few methylxanthines and is of low toxicity. Dark baker’s chocolate, on the other hand, has high levels of methylxanthines. Plain, dry unsweetened cocoa powder contains the most concentrated levels of methylxanthines. Depending on the type and amount of chocolate a cat eats, the signs can range from vomiting, increased thirst, abdominal discomfort and restlessness to severe agitation, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, high body temperature, seizures and even death. Cats showing more than mild restlessness should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, grain alcohol and drinking alcohol, can be very dangerous for cats. Due to their small size, cats are far more sensitive to ethanol than humans are. Even drinking a small amount of a product containing alcohol can cause significant intoxication. Cats are often attracted to mixed drinks that contain milk, cream or ice cream (e.g., White Russians, alcoholic egg nog and Brandy Alexanders). Alcohol intoxication commonly causes vomiting, loss of coordination, disorientation and stupor. In severe cases, coma, seizures and death can occur. Cats who are intoxicated should be monitored by a veterinarian until they recover.
Moldy Foods
A wide variety of molds grow on food. Some molds produce toxins called tremorgenic mycotoxins, which can cause serious or even life-threatening problems if eaten. Cats tend to be finicky, but they can eat molds that grow on dairy products, like cheese and cream cheese. The signs of tremorgenic mycotoxin poisoning generally begin as fine muscle tremors that progress to whole-body tremors and, finally, convulsions that can lead to death in severe cases. Left untreated, these tremors can last for several weeks. Fortunately, they usually respond well to appropriate veterinary treatment.
Onions and Garlic
All members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, etc.) contain compounds that can damage cats’ red blood cells if eaten in sufficient quantities. Garlic tends to be more toxic than onions on an ounce-for-ounce basis, and cooking does not destroy the toxin. While it’s uncommon for cats to eat enough raw onions and garlic to cause serious problems, exposure to concentrated forms of onion or garlic, such as dehydrated onions, onion soup mix or garlic powder, can put cats at risk of toxicosis (poisoning). For example, some sick cats who are fed baby food containing onion powder develop anemia. The damage to red blood cells caused by onions and garlic generally doesn’t become apparent until three to five days after ingestion. Affected cats might seem weak or reluctant to move, or they might have pale gums. Their urine can be orange-tinged to dark red. Cats with any of these symptoms should be examined by a veterinarian immediately. In severe cases, blood transfusions may be necessary.