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Is Cat TV Good for Cats?

When I settle onto my sofa in the evening, and my cats jump up for a cuddle, they usually seem more intent on snoozing in my lap than on what I’m watching on Netflix.

Quick Overview


Cat TV can be a form of visual stimulation; cats finding moving prey-like objects the most interesting to watch.


Some cats become frustrated watching prey-like animals or objects if they can’t actually catch them.


To avoid injuries to your cat and damage to your television, always supervise your cat to keep them from pouncing on the TV screen.

However, many pet parents are turning to screen time to help keep their cats entertained. A wide range of television shows are made especially for cats, but is this form of visual stimulation helpful or harmful?

As with all things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages of cat TV. Screens can certainly provide some mental stimulation, but some cat owners may find that their pet’s hunting instincts get them into mischief. Read on to find out more about TV for cats.

Why Does My Cat Like TV?

It’s hard to know what draws some cats to television, but it could be the flashing lights and moving images.

Television is a very human hobby. Certainly, I don’t recall any teaching on the subject of cat videos when I was studying veterinary medicine! However, studies show that cats can identify some images, including patterns and outlines.

It is less certain how cats process these images and what they think they are seeing. Cats in real life rely highly on scent and hearing to navigate their environments, with vision being a less important sense. It might just be the stimulating nature of flashing lights and moving images that catches their attention.

Also Read: Why Is My Cat So Desperate For Attention? Top 10 Reasons

What Are The Advantages Of Cat TV?

Television can stimulate cats with certain needs, such as those that are recovering from an injury.

Television can be entertaining for cats! It can be a source of enrichment, especially for shelter cats, or a sedentary indoor cat, or perhaps a cat that is recovering from illness or injury and therefore has restrictions on their normal activities.

If you wish to provide your cat with television, there are lots of suitable playlists out there. Cats seem to like shows that involve small animals moving, such as nature shows, and they also prefer the newer TVs with a high refresh rate. A study in shelter cats found that the combination of prey-like items and movement were most likely to hold cats’ attention.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Play With Their Prey?

What Are The Disadvantages Of Cat TV?

If your cat gets very stimulated watching TV, give them a physical toy to pounce on and catch so they don’t attack the screen.

There is no evidence that watching television can hurt a cat’s eyes. However, it seems to appeal most to those cats with a higher prey drive, which can then become frustrated at their inability to actually catch any of the prey they see on the screen. Some cats might actually pounce on the TV itself, which could cause injury to your pet—and damage to your TV set!

Cats that get extremely stimulated by television might need extra supervision around this new hobby. Signs of a stimulated cat include a tense, crouched body position, chattering or excited meow vocalizations, ears pricked forward, and swishing tail.

Providing a physical toy for your cat to pounce on when they get agitated can help reduce any frustration and provide the satisfaction of the catch, without any damage to your screen. If your cat does jump at the screen and falls awkwardly, or even pulls the TV on top of them, it could lead to a trip to the vet, so a secure TV screen and adequate supervision are advisable.

Also Read: ​Heterochromia In Cats: Cats With Different Colored Eyes

Is My Cat Actually Enjoying The TV?

Some cats might find watching TV unpleasant or even upsetting.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between an excited cat and an anxious one. A cat watching TV with ears pricked, tail raised, narrow pupils, and whiskers pointing forward, is likely just very interested in what they are seeing.

If you notice your cat has dilated pupils, hunched body posture, and flattened ears, they might be finding the TV a bit frightening. It is always best to make sure your cat can leave the room and find a safe place if they wish to.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Put Their Ears Back?

Alternatives To Cat TV?

If you think your cat needs a bit more enrichment in their life, but you don’t want them sitting in front of the TV all day, you have many alternatives. There is plenty of evidence that enrichment is hugely important to cats.

1. Playtime

Rotate toys to keep them interesting, bringing them out for a a few days, then putting them away.

Investing in some cat games and toys is a win-win for everyone. Toys provide enrichment and exercise for your cat and are a perfect way for the owner and cat to bond. Setting aside some time each day for play will reduce prey drive and frustration in those high-wired cats, as well as burn off any extra energy.

Also Read: 8 Purrfect Games You Can Play With Your Cat

2. Food Toys

“Hunting” for their food using a puzzle toy is very stimulating for cats.

Puzzle feeders and treat balls are the perfect enrichment for cats who are left alone for periods of time and need entertainment and also for sedentary indoor cats and those prone to excess weight. Place a proportion of their daily cat food into a puzzle or toys and let them work for it.

Also Read: How Long Can You Leave A Cat Alone?

3. Climbing And Scratching

Consider keeping different styles of scratchers so your cat has a variety.

Scratching and clambering are both very natural and normal feline activities. Scratching posts, cat trees, and accessible high places are all good for providing exercise, enrichment, and fulfilling innate behavioral needs.

Also Read: Best Cat Window Seat & Perches

4. Visual Enrichment

Many cats anjoy looking at real birds or squirrels outside.

TV is one form of visual stimulation, but an accessible window overlooking a street or garden can also be exciting for cats. As with TV, some cats might find it frustrating to see prey but not be able to catch it, so watch your cat for signs they are getting overstimulated.

Also Read: Why Is My Cat Staring at the Wall? A Vet Explains

5. Social Interactions

Brushing is healthy for your cat’s coat, but it also provides bonding and enrichment.

Bonding with other cats, pets, and humans is important to many cats. Grooming is an excellent way to spend time with your cat. Self-care is an important feline trait, with many cats being extremely fastidious about their grooming habits. Participating in these grooming rituals can be a form of social bonding, and relieve tensions and anxieties for cats.

Also Read: 11 Best Cat Brushes & Deshedding Tools For Long & Short Haired Cats

Cat TV: Final Thoughts

Cats need enrichment, whether that is through outdoor access, natural hunting and play behaviors, or through owner-encouraged interactions such as games, food puzzles, or grooming.

TV can be a form of visual stimulation, with cats finding moving prey-like objects the most interesting to watch. Television can be highly exciting for some felines and can result in frustration or even physical harm if they try to attack the screen. Tailoring a TV schedule to your individual cat is recommended, and providing many different types of enrichment is optimal.

Also Read: 10 Signs Your Cat Really Does Trust You

Frequently Asked Questions

Does cat TV frustrate cats?

TV can be frustrating for cats if there are prey-like objects moving on screen that your cat cannot actually catch. Providing a toy that can be pounced on and physically caught can reduce this frustration.

Is cat TV stimulating for cats?

TV is a form of visual stimulation for cats. Some find it more interesting than others. Cats with a well-developed hunting instinct are more likely to be stimulated, especially by small moving objects that appear similar to prey.

Should I leave the TV on for cats?

Cats do need enrichment in their lives, especially indoor cats. TV is a form of visual enrichment, but there are plenty of other ways to keep cats entertained, such as toys, puzzle feeders, cat trees, and social interaction.

What should I put on TV for my cat?

Cats appear more stimulated by small moving objects on TV than anything else, presumably as they resemble prey. Nature programs are therefore most likely to be attractive to cats, or there are dedicated TV playlists for cats.

View Sources

Clark, D. & Clark, R. (2014) ‘Optotype recognition visual acuity in the domestic cat’ Res. Rev. Biosci. 8(11)

Ellis, S. & Wells, D. (2008) ‘The influence of visual stimulation on the behaviour of cats housed in a rescue shelter’ App An Behav Sci 113(1-3) pp.166-174

Ellis, S. (2009) ‘Environmental Enrichment: practical strategies for improving feline welfare’ J Fel Med & Surg 11(11)

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My Cat Ate A Chicken Bone: Should I Worry?

Cat eating at a bowl

Cats have a strong sense of smell and love the scent of chicken.

Should cats eat chicken bones? They do love chicken, after all. With a cat’s excellent sense of smell, even the faintest scent of chicken will typically bring them running in the hope of tasting some of this delicacy. If your cat is partial to this tasty treat, has a streak of mischief in them, and has managed to eat chicken bones, you are probably wondering if you should worry.

Both raw and cooked chicken bones do pose certain threats to cat health, including damage to the gastrointestinal tract, blockage, choking, and infection. If your kitty has gotten their paws on a chicken bone and has eaten it, then read on to find out what to do next.

Why Shouldn’t Cats Eat Chicken Bones?

Cats are obligate carnivores, and wild cats hunt and feed on birds and other small animals, including their bones and raw meat. However, the usual prey for these feral cats is much smaller than a chicken. Smaller bones (such as small wing bones) are more likely to get crunched up and pass through the cat’s digestive tract.

Problems can still occur, however; parasites, worms, and digestive tract disorders can all be life-threatening in these populations.

Here are some of the common risks of cats eating chicken bones.

1. Damage To The Digestive System

Chicken bones can do unseen damage to your cat’s GI tract.

The internal workings of cats are delicate. Hard, brittle bones have the potential to do unseen damage. Bones take a long time to digest, even after the cat chews them, and can form a hard, solid gastrointestinal blockage that requires major surgery to resolve.

Cooked chicken bones can be even more dangerous, as they tend to be more brittle and splinter easily. These small shards can then puncture and tear the cat’s stomach, esophagus, intestines, and even other internal organs. Raw bones are less likely to splinter, but still cause blockages and tears.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal damage or blockage include vomiting, diarrhea, not passing any poop, lethargy, not wanting to eat, and fever. The vomit may include blood if tearing has occurred.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Raw Chicken?

2. Infection

sick cat

Look for signs that your cat is feeling unwell after they have eaten a chicken bone.

Raw food carries health risks for cat owners as well as their pets. Bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter can be carried on raw meat, and cause illnesses such as severe vomiting and diarrhea. These microorganisms can then multiply and pass from your cat’s saliva and poop onto people, causing symptoms of food poisoning.

Vulnerable humans such as children, the elderly, and the immunosuppressed are more likely to contract an infection in this way but these infections can cause disease in anyone.

Symptoms of infection include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, and collapse.

Also Read: The 9 Best Chicken Cat Food Formulas

3. Choking

Cat grooming.

Eating a hard object such as a bone always carries a choking hazard. Bones can get lodged across the top of your cat’s mouth or in your cat’s throat, causing irritation and even tearing to the sensitive tissue. Bones that are accidentally inhaled become lodged in the trachea (windpipe), causing breathing difficulties that could be fatal.

The size of the bone is crucial here – it is a common myth that smaller bones such as a chicken wing are less dangerous, as these smaller pieces can still easily block an airway or food pipe.

Symptoms of chocking include gagging, retching, drooling, pawing at the mouth, struggling to breathe, and collapsing.

Also Read: The 7 Best Chicken-Free Cat Foods

When To Worry And What To Do

Monitor your cat closely after they have ingested a chicken bone.

If your cat has eaten raw chicken or a chicken bone, don’t panic. In some cases, the bone may be digested and pass through without any problems. Your cat may just experience mild gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea.

Here are some immediate actions you can take:

  • Check your cat immediately for any signs of distress, including difficulties in breathing, gagging, pawing at the mouth, or choking.
  • Keep your cat indoors, or somewhere safe to keep a close eye on them.
  • Make sure that any other bones or meat are safely put away.
  • Call your veterinarian, and follow their advice.
  • Feed your cat a soft, bland diet for a few days to help cushion any bone fragments and calm any potential irritation to the intestines.
  • Monitor your cat closely.

Pay attention to your cat’s appetite, stool, and general well-being for the next few days. If they seem at all unwell, take them to a veterinarian. Bones are usually easy to find on x-rays, and your vet can check that everything looks okay internally. If bones cause a tear or an obstruction, major surgery may be required, which is not without substantial risk to your cat at a steep cost.

Also Read: Making Cat Food: Homemade And Raw Cat Food Diets Explained

Aren’t Chicken Bones Good For Cats?

Cat eating at a bowl

Consider adding bone broth to your cat’s food as a safe alternative to bones.

Some enthusiasts tout the health benefits of bones for cats and believe that cats should eat chicken bones. It is true that bones are a source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. However, high-quality, balanced cat food (either wet or kibble) will also contain all of these micronutrients and more. These cat foods are available without the safety hazards associated with feeding bones.

If you really want to include bones in your cat’s diet, try adding some bone broth to your cat’s usual food. Nutrition is vitally important for so many functions in life, so making sure that your cat’s diet is both safe and nutritionally correct for their age and lifestyle is a part of responsible pet ownership.

Also Read: How Much Does It Cost To Own A Cat In 2022

Cats And Chicken Bones: Final Thoughts

Cat eating

Quality cat food and a balanced diet are key to a healthy cat.

Bones can cause multiple problems for cats if eaten, including choking, obstruction or tearing in the digestive tract, and infection. Cooked chicken bones are the riskiest as they are more likely to splinter and cause damage. That being said, raw bones should also be avoided. There is little debate on if cats should eat chicken bones, especially if they can be fed bone broth instead. The bottom line is if your cat has eaten chicken bones, speak with your veterinarian.

Also Read: What Can Cats Drink Besides Water?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a cat digest a chicken bone?

Bones take a long time to digest, and bones will often pass straight through the digestive tract. They can cause damage whilst in transit, including tearing, obstruction and infections. If your cat has eaten a chicken bone, seek veterinary advice.

How long does it take a cat to pass a chicken bone?

Bones usually take 12-24 hours to pass through the digestive tract. They are very hard and can splinter easily, and can cause damage, obstruction or infection as they pass through. Veterinary advice should be sought if a chicken bone is eaten by a cat.

Can bones be digested by cats?

Small bones can be digested but take long to do so. They can cause problems in the digestive tract such as damage, obstruction and infection. Cooked bones are particularly dangerous as they can easily splinter.

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Kitten Scoots Over to Doting Dog and Rubs Up Against Her After Being Found Outside

A kitten scooted over to a doting dog and rubbed up against her after he was found outside.

dog kitten special hugsCinder the dog and Bridger the kittenMojos Hope

Earlier this year, a kitten was found outside a store in Anchorage, AK, cold and unable to move his hind legs. He was brought into Anchorage Animal Care and Control and immediately taken to be treated.

The tabby quickly perked up and warmed up to the veterinary staff. « He showed everyone his amazingly resilient spirit, though his back legs/hips were still not working properly, » Shannon Basner, founder of Mojo’s Hope, shared with Love Meow.

Mojo’s Hope, a rescue for animals with special needs based in AK, took the kitten named Bridger under their wing.

tabby kitten foundBridger was found outside, cold and unable to moveMojos Hope

When Bridger came to VCA Alaska Pet Care, he was kept comfortable with a soft, warming blanket while the vet techs, Emma and Toni, showered him with pets.

« The X-rays showed there wasn’t any damage to his spine and his body showed a nice response to the laser treatment, » Shannon told Love Meow. « We felt his hind paralysis may be due to a nutritional deficit or a possible infection. »

happy special kitten BridgerHe was given a second chance and quickly perked upMojos Hope

Despite it all, Bridger continued to be a ray of sunshine and just wanted attention. Back home, he curled up deeply in the nook of Shannon’s neck for some intense snuggles. He was on cloud nine, kneading and purring up a storm.

« With a more consistent schedule along with high quality food and regular laser treatment, he has gotten so much stronger. »

playful kitten scootsHe loves to play and scoot around the houseMojos Hope

Bridger may never have full mobility and will need continuous assistance and support for toileting, but he doesn’t let anything stop him from having fun and loving life.

When he was introduced to the rest of the fur crew at Mojo’s Hope, he was instantly smitten with everyone, especially Cinder the dog.

happy sitting tabby catMojos Hope

« He has inspirational foster buddies like HarPURR (who is also paralyzed in his hindquarters) to show him the ropes, how to live in the moment and have as much fun as possible, » Shannon told Love Meow.

Watch Bridger and his journey in this cute video:

« Bridger is purring all of the time, loves to be snuggled by people, his kitty friends, and of course, Cinder, our amazing husky mama. »

dog kitten snugglingIt was love at first sight when Bridger met CinderMojos Hope

It was love at first sight for Bridger when he met the sweet husky. He couldn’t get enough of her attention and would vie for her constant snuggles.

« Cinder has grown to adore him. She never ceases to amaze us with her instinctual care she provides for each of our rescues. »

kitten husky dog sweetBridger adores his doting canine mamaMojos Hope

« She is patient, loving, and she is soaking in all the love that Bridger wants to share with her. It melts our hearts each and every time. »

Bridger has a busy body and just wants to explore and play to his heart’s content. When he tires himself out, he will conk out for a deep cat nap.

cat dog snugglesCinder loves her foster baby BridgerMojos Hope

He enjoys zooming around with his foster kitty brothers, HarPURR, Kane and Baggie, playing with tunnels, crinkly balls, feathers, the list is endless.

« Bridger finds joy in every moment and this is why I am so passionate about these precious cats. They have such a beautiful perspective on life and teach us so much each and every day, » Shannon shared.

kitten special catsBridger has befriended other cats at Mojo’s Hope, HaPURR, Kane and BaggieMojos Hope

« We would love for Bridger to connect with a perfect home that is ready to open their home and hearts to his needs and more importantly, all the love he has to share. »

dog cat snuggles bridgerMojos Hope

Share this story with your friends. More on Bridger and his friends at Mojo’s Hope on Instagram @mojoshope and Facebook, and HarPURR on Instagram @harpurr_kitty_warrior.

Related story: Cat Sits Outside Building in the Same Spot for Days Until Woman Comes to Him, He Turns into Instant Lap Cat

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With The Holiday Season Here, CA University Cat Rescue Needs Your Help

Let’s talk about nine-year-old Rangoon for a second. This sweet lady has had it rough. She was rescued from a hoarding situation, which tends to be filthy and cramped living. When the homeowner passed away, Rangoon and five other cats were liberated and brought into the care of the Cal Poly Cat Program at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

And now, like so many cats that have found a better life through this non-profit cat sanctuary, Rangoon is living comfy in a special foster home that can provide her with the dedicated care she needs to help fight pancreatitis and slow her advancing kidney disease. Simply put, Rangoon symbolizes the mission behind the Cal Poly Cat Program.


Cal Poly’s Cat Mission

Since 1992, the Cal Poly Cat Program has saved cats from the streets and other rough conditions, with the program originally started as a senior project to reduce the feral and stray cat population on campus. A second senior project evolved the program into one that housed cats in need. From there, the Cal Poly Cat Program blossomed into what Dana K. Humphreys labeled “a full-service cat shelter.”


“We do adoptions. We do rescues … and it has actually expanded,” Humphreys told the New Times. “We actually go out into the community and do trapping.”

Since the program’s inception three decades ago, the cat rescue has shifted tactics when it comes to helping the feral cat population by adopting humane TNR methods, which see the community cats returned to colonies where they are cared for by students, faculty, and volunteers.


Dana got involved with the cat program four years ago when she tried to rehome a cat whose person had passed away. Finding resources limited, she turned to Cal Poly, and she’s been a part of the rescue since helping Bubba find his new forever.

RELATED: 6 Volunteer Opportunities for Crazy Cat Ladies

Student volunteer turned shelter manager, Daniela Jacobson loves cats. And though she’s not a morning person, she doesn’t mind getting up early to help kitties, calling the work “super, super rewarding.”

“It was a good way to just get rid of stress from school and life,” said Daniela.


But Good Care Is Expensive & Volunteers Are Always Needed

And while saving cats is rewarding, it’s also expensive. And it’s not just food bills that drain the coffers. Medical care is another considerable expense.

“We have a lot of huge expenses for dental work. That could be like $1,000 to have an extraction,” explained Dana. “It’s not just running the shelter, you know, the litter and the cat food and that type of thing. It’s a lot of the surgeries and the treatments, the medical treatments that are very expensive.”

And besides cash, Cal Poly Cat Program also needs more volunteers to give their time as the holidays approach and the campus empties.

“It is kind of left to just a handful of us. We’ll take on anybody and everybody. We’ll find a position for them.”

RELATED: Volunteer Group Cooks Thanksgiving Feast For 16 Shelter Animals & 30 Feral Cats


The goal is finding the right home for every kitty, so not only has Cal Poly Cat Program “helped the community, but it’s continuing to provide more chances at a second chance at life for a lot of animals.”

The Cal Poly Cat Program has helped over 3,000 felines find their forever homes. If you’re interested in getting involved or donating to the feline cause to help kitties like Rangoon, visit Cal Poly Cat Program on Facebook and Instagram. You can also inquire via email at

Feature Image: Cal Poly Cat Program/Facebook

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Pedialyte For Cats: Overview, Dosage & Side Effects

Pedialyte is an electrolyte rehydration solution that is commonly used in humans, especially young children. It can be used in some cases in cats to help replenish electrolytes and prevent dehydration. In this article, you’ll learn what Pedialyte is, why it’s different from sports drinks, basic guidelines for using it, and some frequently asked questions.

Quick Overview: Pedialyte For Cats

Medication Type:

Oral electrolyte rehydration solution

Prescription Required?:


Common Names:

Pediatric electrolyte solution

Available Dosages:

Classic unflavored (commonly recommended) available in 1 liter bottles.

Expiration Range:

Products should be used before the expiration on the package. Tablets should be stored at room temperature and protected from moisture.

 About Pedialyte For Cats

Pedialyte is sold for humans, but it can be used for cats in some cases.

Pedialyte is a common over-the-counter oral rehydration solution popular in homes with young children to help prevent dehydration and replenish electrolytes when vomiting and/or diarrhea is contributing to fluid and electrolyte losses. Important electrolytes that Pedilalyte contains include sodium, potassium, and chloride.

Adults may also use Pedialyte for similar reasons or as a lower-sugar alternative to sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade, which typically contain higher amount of sugar.

Pedialyte most commonly comes in a 1 liter container of liquid, though a powdered form for mixing is also available. There are many sub-varieties of Pedialyte for use with sports, immune support, and a few others. 

Pedialyte can be used in cats, but usually with some degree of moderation, and only for mild cases of illness. In these cases, most veterinary experts recommend using unflavored classic Pedialyte.

Also Read: Dehydration In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

What Is The Difference Between Pedialyte And Sports Drinks?

Pedialyte replaces vital electrolytes but does not contain excess sugar.

Understanding how Pedialyte is different from a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade is very important. The main difference is the sugar content. Pedialyte does contain some sugar, but it is much lower than a typical sports drink. 

Sports drinks are designed to provide quick rehydration and energy when you’re actively sweating and using up your body’s energy stores with exercise. Pedialyte is intended more for rehydration from loss of electrolytes due to vomiting or diarrhea.

The reason we want to use a product with lower sugar content is because consuming something with higher amounts of sugar can actually make diarrhea worse by stimulating the digestive tract to release more fluid and electrolytes. 

Also Read: Feline Hypoglycemia: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

What Does Pedialyte Do For Cats?

Pedialyte may be used in moderation for cats suffering from fluid loss due to mild stomach upset.

Pedialyte may be used safely in cats in moderation for mild cases of GI fluid loss (such as occurs with vomiting and diarrhea), or when cats are not consuming enough food or water and electrolyte loss is a concern. When discussing Pedialyte for cats, it’s best to use the classic, unflavored form that comes in the common 1 liter size. Pedialyte is not intended for use on a regular basis or as a daily support supplement. 

So when is it most appropriate to use? Generally, we’re talking about supportive care for mild cases of GI upset lasting for less than 12 to 24 hours. The goal with Pedialyte is to prevent dehydration or help with mild dehydration. In cases of more severe dehydration from GI fluid losses or with signs lasting over 24 hours, veterinary care should be sought out versus continued efforts with at-home therapies.

Although some pet owners understandably might feel that hydrating orally at home seems kinder than the stress of taking a cat to the veterinarian for injectable fluids, the reality is that injectable fluids will be absorbed much faster and more completely by the body. In cats, a veterinarian can administer fluids in spaces under the skin without needing to place an intravenous catheter, which is almost always needed in people.

Although more intensive emergency cases might require IV fluids, many outpatient cases of cats with vomiting or diarrhea can be treated with subcutaneous fluids, which takes only about 10 to 15 minutes to administer. 

Also Read: Fluid Therapy For Cats

Side Effects Of Pedialyte For Cats

When giving Pedialyte to cats, it’s best to use the unflavored classic version.

When used in moderation, Pedialyte is generally safe to use in cats. It is not labeled for cats however, so it is always best to check with your veterinarian to make sure using Pedialyte at home is OK with your cat’s medical history.

The main concern about any rehydration solution is that a higher sugar content might worsen a condition. That’s why it’s best to use unflavored classic Pedialyte.

Although some raise the concern about the zinc content in Pedialyte, Pedialyte is not considered to be a major risk for zinc toxicity. The milligram amount of classic Pedialyte per 12 ounces is very small at 2.8 milligrams. The 50% lethal dose (LD50) for zinc has been proposed to be 100 milligrams/kilogram or about 450 milligrams for an average 10 pound cat. Given the guidelines for administration to follow, no cat should be getting close to this dosage of concern using Pediayte.

Also Read: Furosemide For Cats: Overview, Dosage & Side Effects

Pedialyte For Cats Dosage

Before giving Pedialyte for rehydration, talk to your vet to be sure it’s advisable for your cat.

There is no firmly established dosage for cats for Pedialyte. It is always best to discuss any at-home therapies with your veterinarian first to help determine if a veterinary exam would be advised instead of continued home therapy.

The following guidelines have been developed based on common recommendations and clinical experience of the author. For mild GI fluid losses (vomiting or diarrhea) or loss of appetite lasting less than 12 to 24 hours:

For cats actively drinking on their own: For larger kittens weighing 5 pounds or more and for average adult cats, start with 1 teaspoon paired with 3 to 4 tablespoons of water in a water dish for cats that are still actively drinking. A small amount of tuna juice can be added and mixed with the solution to aid in palatability. If a cat is actively drinking and holding down fluids, this mixture may be provided as often as every hour. Plain water should be provided in between.

For an adult cat that is not actively willing to drink: A small syringe (without a needle) can be used to carefully administer fluid by mouth. 1 to 2 milliliters of Pedialyte (about ¼ to ½ teaspoon) can be administered at a time not more often than hourly. A small amount of tuna juice mixed in might help with palatability.

Whenever administering fluid by mouth, there is a potential risk of aspiration, where fluid is inhaled instead of swallowed, which can lead to very serious complications. Fluid administered by syringe should always be directed in the cheek pouch or inserted toward the front of the mouth to allow time for the cat to swallow.

Administer fluid in ½ to 1 milliliter increments to allow time for the cat to swallow on her own. Never forcefully administer a larger volume far back in the mouth, as this greatly increases the risk for aspiration.

For kittens: For neonatal kittens still on a milk-based diet, a small amount of Pedialyte can be mixed with kitten milk replacer (KMR) formula for added electrolyte support. This should not exceed about ⅛ to ¼ of the total administered fluid volume. Pedialyte can be added to free-feeding bowls with KMR and canned food, or can be administered with a syringe or dropper bottle with KMR.

In neonates, Pedialyte can also be given on its own with an eye dropper to a dehydrated kitten, giving a couple of drops every 30 minutes to an hour for electrolyte support.

For a non-neonatal kitten weighing less than 5 pounds, you can aim for a volume of ½ to 1 milliliter hourly.

Also Read: Kidney Failure In Cats: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Pedialyte For Cats: In Summary

Cats should see a veterinarian if they have GI symptoms lasting more than one day, moderate to severe fluid losses, or have not eaten in 24 hours.

The oral rehydration solution Pedialyte can be helpful for replenishing electrolytes and preventing dehydration in cats with a recent onset of mild signs of vomiting or diarrhea. It is safe to use when given in moderation, only when needed, and early on. 

In cats with chronic GI illness, moderate to severe fluid losses, and for cats that have inappetance for more than 24 hours, pursue veterinary care. Any cat or kitten that appears weak or lethargic along with signs of illness should also be seen as soon as possible by a vet before additional home remedies are attempted.

Also Read: Cat Suddenly Lethargic and Weak: Causes & Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

How much Pedialyte can I give my cat?

The key to using Pedialyte for cats is using it in moderation and only using it in mild cases of GI upset to provide some basic support. Cats weighing more than 5 pounds can likely tolerate 1 to 2 milliliters every hour, either given by mouth or in a water bowl to provide electrolyte loss support. For cats less than 5 pounds, with the exception of neonates, aim for 1/2 to 1 milliliters. 

Neonatal kittens can be given a couple drops of Pedialyte every 30 minutes to an hour using a dropper, or have Pedialyte mixed in with KMR as a small percentage of the total solution. 

What can I give my cat for dehydration?

This depends on the level of dehydration. Check skin elasticity for signs of dehydration by pulling up on your cat’s neck skin or the skin over the shoulder blades. If it takes more than one to two seconds for the skin to fall back in place, dehydration is likely more advanced than what an oral rehydration solution can provide. In these cases, injectable fluids given by your cat’s vet is more ideal, along with determining the cause of dehydration.

In cases where there is no noticeable “skin tent” present, and your goal is to provide some basic support to prevent further electrolyte loss and dehydration, Pedialyte is safe to use for short periods in moderation and typically for signs of illness lasting less than 12 to 24 hours.

Is there an electrolyte drink for cats?

Pedialyte is most often used because it is trusted by human parents and is easily available to purchase. However, there are similar electrolyte solutions developed for pets that follow similar guidelines in terms of ingredients. It is important to remember that none of these solutions carry any FDA approval for use in pets and just like most supplements, should be used carefully and under advisement from your pet’s veterinarian. 

How do you make Pedialyte for cats?

Never try to make or mix your own version of Pedialyte at home for your cat. Pedialyte and other similar oral rehydration solutions for pets have carefully formulated amounts of electrolytes in the ingredients. Adding table salt, sugar, minerals, or other ingredients to make your own solution can have unintended consequences like sodium toxicity that is only likely to make things worse for your cat.

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Why Does My Cat Like To Be Carried?

There is a widely believed stereotype that cats are aloof, and merely tolerate their human companions, interacting strictly on their own feline terms. Many cat owners would disagree strongly with this, and research has demonstrated that cats do miss their owners when they are left alone and that they can form strong attachments to people.

Some cats take this bonding even further, and actively demand attention from their owners, with some kitties even loving being picked up and carried around. In this article, we will look into why some cats enjoy being carried by their owners whilst others don‘t, issues to be aware of, and if there are any breeds more likely to enjoy this than others.

Why Do Cats Like To Be High?

Domestic cats (Felis catus) are part of the Felidae family, which contains 37 recognized species including lions, tigers, cheetahs, and several wildcats.

Domestic cats (Felis catus) are part of the Felidae family, which contains 37 recognized species including lions, tigers, cheetahs, and several wildcats – all thought to have evolved from a common ancestor in Asia 10-12 million years ago. DNA samples from pet cats across the globe have been shown to be nearly identical to the DNA of the African wildcat (Felis sylvestris lybica), which still lives in Asia and North Africa today.

The answer to why some cats love being carried by their owners may lie in their instinctive desire to be high up like their wildcat relatives:

  • Being high up protects from ambushes from predators or other cats.
  • Being high allows more time to assess threats or potentially dangerous situations.
  • Elevation makes it easier to see prey for prime hunting opportunities.
  • More dominant cats within a group tend to hang out in the highest spots.
  • In our homes, getting off the ground makes it easier for cats to keep out of reach of other pets and people in the household (especially dogs and kids!).

Also Read: Cat Love Bites: 5 Reasons Why They Do It & How To Respond

Early Socialization May Mean Your Cat Likes To Be Carried

If you are getting a kitten speak to the breeder, rescue center, or person caring for the kittens to see what kind of human interaction they have had at a young age.

Although cats are individuals with unique personalities and preferences, there is a critical socialization period in their development as kittens which can affect how they perceive situations and human contact for the rest of their lives.

The socialization period in cats is between 2 and 7 weeks of age, and any events or encounters within this time (positive or negative) affect whether they find the same experience threatening or not as an adult cat.

As well as being carried by the mother cat during their early life, kittens that are handled gently picked up, and carried daily by people during this time should accept it as being ‘normal‘ and safe as they mature.

This does not guarantee that all well-socialized cats will be keen to be carried as they get older, but it does explain why kittens with very little human contact during the socialization period, or feral cats, will be less likely to enjoy being carried (and may protest violently if you try).

If you are getting a kitten speak to the breeder, rescue center, or person caring for the kittens to see what kind of human interaction they have had at a young age.

Also Read: Do Mother Cats Discipline Their Kittens? A Veterinarian Explains

Which Cat Breed Is Most Likely To Enjoy Being Carried?

Some breeds are particularly known for being friendly, affectionate, sociable, and enjoying close contact with people.

Some breeds are particularly known for being friendly, affectionate, sociable, and enjoying close contact with people. Ragdoll cats have a reputation as lap cats, who usually enjoy being carried around cradled like a baby; in fact, the name Ragdoll is thought to come from their relaxed ‘floppy doll’ appearance when they are picked up by people!

Studies have revealed that certain breeds appear to seek out human contact such as the Devon Rex and Korat. Other breeds such as the Siamese are known for being clingy, so it makes sense they may enjoy being carried.

On the other hand, breeds such as the fiercely independent Bengal, are less likely to enjoy feeling restrained by being carried. It is well worth remembering that there are always exceptions to every rule though, and other factors such as early socialization and individual personality will also play a role.

Also Read: Why Isn’t My Cat Affectionate?

Why Do Some Cats Fall Asleep While They Are Being Carried?

Wild cats are most vulnerable to attack by other animals (rivals or predators), when they are resting, so it may be that our pet cats chose our arms to snooze in as a form of protection when they perceive they are at their most vulnerable.

As previously discussed, our domestic cats are very similar in their genetic makeup to their wild cat ancestors and share many of their instinctive behaviors. Wild cats are most vulnerable to attack by other animals (rivals or predators), when they are resting, so it may be that our pet cats chose our arms to snooze in as a form of protection when they perceive they are at their most vulnerable.

Many people notice their cat loves to curl up in warm places such as sunny windowsills, or over hot-water pipes, therefore some cats may be taking advantage of the warmth from our bodies, and decide that being carried in their owner’s arms provides a safe, cozy sleeping spot.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Curl Into Balls When Sleeping? A Veterinarian Explains

Is It Safe To Carry My Cat Like A Baby?

It is usually recommended to carry your cat using both hands, fully supporting their legs to make them feel secure.

It is usually recommended to carry your cat using both hands, fully supporting their legs to make them feel secure. Place one hand under their chest to support their body, whilst the other hand and arm cups their bottom and hind legs.

However, if your cat seems to enjoy being carried in your arms like a baby, enjoying belly rubs and purring away, then by all means indulge them! It is worth being cautious though, as their paws (armed with needle-sharp claws) will be near your face.

Cats are known for their changeable moods, so if they suddenly decide they aren’t happy with the situation you may end up being scratched on your face. Watch their body language for the first signs that they have had enough and want to get down e.g. tail twitches, meows, or flattened ears.

Older cats are more likely to suffer from painful joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, which can affect their legs and spine. These kitties may find being carried on their backs painful and be more prone to lashing out at you. Always consult your veterinarian if your notice your cat seems to be in pain or discomfort.

Also Read: 5 Reasons You Should Get A Second Cat (And 3 You Shouldn’t)

Why Doesn’t My Cat Like Being Carried?

do cats like hugs?

It’s unnatural for cats to be picked up – friendly communication between cats tends to involve head and body rubbing and bunting.

As we have eluded to throughout the article, some cats may not like being held or carried at all, here are some potential reasons why that may be:

It’s unnatural for cats to be picked up – friendly communication between cats tends to involve head and body rubbing and bunting – not picking each other up! Many cats also object to the feeling of being restrained and not being able to easily get away from a situation.

  • Lack of socialization – if kittens aren’t exposed to gentle handling and being picked up in their socialization period, they will be more likely to find this scary and stressful later on in life.
  • Pain or fear – if the cat has been picked up without warning in the past, and the experience was either painful or frightening they will remember this and try to avoid being picked up again.
  • Breed – as we have already discussed in this article, some breeds are less likely to want to be picked up and held than others e.g. Bengals.
  • Personality – many completely happy and healthy cats just do not like being picked up, and you should always let your cat guide you to the type of interaction and affection they enjoy.

If your cat used to enjoy being picked up and has now started to protest or avoid it they may be in pain, so arrange a check-up with their veterinarian.

Also Read: 8 Ways To Help a Scared and Fearful Cat Be Confident


do cats like hugs?

Cats love warm places to snuggle, and many cats enjoy being carried, some kitties even fully relax and have a nap in their owner‘s arms.

Cats love warm places to snuggle, and many cats enjoy being carried, some kitties even fully relax and have a nap in their owner‘s arms. Cats instinctively like high spots where they feel more safe and secure, so they may be taking advantage of our height above the ground when they are being carried!

Kittens that experience being picked up during their socialization period (2-7 weeks of age) may be more likely to want to be picked up as adults. Some breeds are naturally more affectionate than others, the classic example being Ragdoll cats, who get their name from the relaxed and floppy body position they often adopt when picked up!

Also Read: The 13 Most Affectionate Cat Breeds That Love to Cuddle

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do if My Cat Cries When I Put Them Down?

As much as we all love our cats, there are obviously times that we have to put them down to get on with daily tasks, or leave the house!

Try distracting them with some treats or a game if they are wide awake, or settle them with a cuddle in a comfy, warm bed if they are needing a snooze. If they are generally very clingy and desperate for attention book an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss their behavior and get some help, they may be suffering from separation anxiety.

Some people find using a sling cat carrier useful to keep their cat close, but still be able to get on with things around the house at the same time.

Is It OK to Hold My Cat Like a Baby?

As long as your cat is happy, and seems relaxed in this position then indulge them, but you should be cautious and watch for subtle changes in body language to show when they have had enough.

Lying on their back in your arms means their sharp claws are very close to your face – so don‘t ignore any warning signs that they want to get down, or you may get scratched.

My Cat Doesn’t Like Being Picked up – What Can I Do?

Some cats (regardless of breed or early socialization experiences) just don’t seem to like being picked up – and on the whole, you should respect this and interact on their own terms – groom and fuss them sitting near them, rather than attempting to pick them up.

Some cats can be brought around to the idea of being picked up over time – start with gently fussing and stroking them, rewarding them with treats and toys to make it an enjoyable experience.

Once they are relaxed and happy try to pick them up using both hands to support them fully, and hold them close to your chest so that your cat feels secure. Build up the amount of time they are happy to be held slowly, using lots of positive reinforcement with praise, treats, and affection.

View Sources

Driscall, C.A., Menotti-Raymond, M. et al. (2007). The Near Eastern Origin of Cat Domestication. Science 317(5837):519-523

Eriksson, M., Keeling, L. J., & Rehn, T. (2017). Cats and owners interact more with each other after a longer duration of separation. PLoS ONE, 12(10).

Vitale, K.R., Behnke, A.C., Udell, M.A.R. (2019). Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans. Current Biology, 29(18), PR864-R865.

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10 Questions To Ask Before Adopting A New Cat

what to know before adopting a cat feature

Adopting a cat, kitten, or any other pet is a lifetime commitment, so it’s important to do your homework. Too many people think cats are disposable; hence the populations of community cats and full shelters. Asking yourself the following 10 questions will help you to make a wise decision.

#1 Do I Really Want A Cat?

A cat is not a small dog. While cats can be trained, do not expect them to behave in the same way as dogs. Yes, they do require attention. Often considered solitary, cats blossom and thrive when given attention. That includes playtime, grooming sessions, conversations using their name – they do learn their names, even if it’s acknowledged with an obligatory flick of the ear.

If you’re completely new to cat ownership, read up on cat behavior. There’s great information on this website and from experts such as Amy Shojai and Pam Johnson Bennett.

#2 Should I Choose A Shelter Kitty Or Purebred Kitty?

Person holding a litter of grey tabby kittens

Whether you choose to adopt or purchase a cat, it’s important to make sure that you choose a reputable source.

If you’re choosing a shelter kitty, take the time to visit with them to get to know their personalities. Spend some time in the community room of your local shelter and see how the kitties respond to you. Consider a bonded pair, especially if you’re out of the house for long periods of time.

Interested in a purebred cat? Don’t get taken in by ads like those on craigslist. Facebook has many breed-related groups, but scammers lurk even there. Get to know the breeders and their cats before inquiring.

Reputable breeders have waiting lists, screen prospective owners carefully, include health certificates, and often spay or neuter before releasing their kittens.

#3 Do I Want An Adult Cat Or A Kitten?

Humane trap for finding a lost cat

Using a humane trap, like those implemented in TNR (trap, neuter, return) efforts can help you to capture your lost cat.

The age at which a cat is socialized has a big effect on her personality. The critical age is 2 to 10 weeks. The longer a kitten stays with her litter, the more likely she’ll be well socialized; cats learn boundaries for behavior such as rough play and biting from their littermates. However, so much depends on getting to know the personality of a particular cat.

#4 Am I Allergic?

The allergen, primarily Fel d 1, in cats comes from the saliva. If you (or a family member) suspect you are allergic, be sure to spend some time with cats, either at a shelter or a friend’s house, before adopting.

If you experience symptoms, wash your hands after petting your cat and keep your hands away from your face. Consider creating a cat-free zone, such as your bedroom. Brush your cat frequently and think about getting her used to being bathed.

Some breeds of cats (Russian Blues, Siberians) are said to be hypoallergenic, but remember that this is not a guarantee that you won’t experience symptoms around them.

#5 How Will I Prepare My Home?

You should have a quiet room set up for your new cat, keeping in mind that each cat chills out in her own way before being allowed to explore the whole house.

Provide the following:

#6 Am I Ready to Get to Know My New Kitty?

Petting a cat

Bonding with a cat requires attention and patience.

Each cat has a different personality and getting to know your own cat takes a bit of time and patience. Much depends on early socialization.

Some are shy and sensitive to loud noises such as the monster vacuum cleaner. Others are cuddly and gregarious. You will have to learn their preferences – such as neck and chin scratches rather than picking up and holding.

#7 Am I Ready to Provide Veterinary Care?

Don’t wait until there’s an emergency or your cat is very ill before finding a veterinarian. Set up a wellness visit shortly after your kitty comes home to set up a baseline. Ask about a schedule for vaccines that’s sensible for your cat’s lifestyle; the American Animal Hospital Association has updated its policy listing core – FHV-1, FCV, FPV, rabies, and FeLV (cats younger than 1 year old) and non-core (optional) vaccines.

If your adopted cat is older, bloodwork can help detect potential problems such as kidney disease. Ask if the veterinarian can handle 24/7 emergencies or if they work with a nearby facility.

#8 Will I Get Pet Insurance For My Cat?

Pet insurance could make all the difference in the world if your cat is diagnosed with a serious illness. Read the policies carefully: See what they include in terms of regular wellness checkups and vaccines, pre-existing conditions, deductibles, spending caps, emergency care.

As an alternative, create a designated savings account to cover veterinarian expenses.

Read More: Best Pet Insurance for Cats

#9 Do I Know How to Check For Problems?

Do a regular hands-on exam to check for lumps or bumps or sores. An exam can be done with regular brushing, which most cats enjoy. It can add to the bonding experience with your cats. Claw clipping and tooth brushing should also be a part of your routine.

Both can be done gradually to get your cat used to the experience and minimize stress. Keep in mind that each cat reacts differently.

#10 Do I Know What Is Normal For A Cat, Physically And Behaviorally?

Any changes – lethargy, hiding, aggression – could signal illness. Addressing problems early on can prevent major expenses and maintain your cat’s quality of life. You will want to watch your cat closely to identify potential problems before they snowball.

Additional Tips

If you decide to adopt a cat, here are a few tips to help you welcome your new friend into the home:

Talk To Them, Using Their Name.

It may sound corny, but tell them that they’re safe and loved and that they’re beautiful. They’ll get used to the sound of your voice and you’ll see responses like purring, kneading, eye kisses.

Schedule Playtime.

Fishing pole toys are always popular, catnip stuffed toys, crinkle balls, spring. Each cat develops her preferences.

Feed The Best Food You Can Afford.

It’s the best investment you can make to ensure your cat’s health. There’s an overwhelming amount of information on the internet, but I’ve provided some good Resources for Cat Nutrition here.

The best options include a variety high quality canned foods (a variety prevents finickiness or deficiencies in a single brand), a pre-made raw diet, or homemade, fed in timed feedings, three or four times a day. (Kittens, of course, should be fed more frequently.) Dry food, despite its popularity, is controversial; it’s often cited as contributing to obesity, diabetes, and urinary issues.

Most cats fall easily into a feeding schedule and will hold you to it! And, according to cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, cats are built to hunt, catch, kill, and eat, so keep that in mind when scheduling playtime and feeding time for your cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get one cat or two?

A bonded pair is a good idea if you’re gone all day. Cats usually enjoy having a companion, but remember that some may prefer to be an “only” cat.

What should I feed my cat?

Feed the best quality food you can afford. A variety of foods prevents finickiness and any deficiencies or problems that may be found in a single brand.

How often should I feed my cat?

Morning, evening, and before bedtime; a meal before bedtime will help prevent early morning wake-ups. Kittens should have an extra meal or two for the first several months since they are growing quickly.

When should I take my cat to the veterinarian?

Schedule a wellness visit when you first get your cat. If your cat shows signs of illness take her to the veterinarian before she is seriously sick. Obtaining pet insurance will help cushion major expenses.

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How To Tell If A Cat Is Straining To Poop Or Pee

Cat straining to poop or pee in a litter box.

A cat straining to pee can mean something different from a cat straining to poop.

There’s nothing worse than seeing our cats in pain or discomfort. Watching them appear to strain when they poop or pee can be especially alarming because it may be a sign of several underlying health conditions. In these situations, the important thing to know is if they are straining to poop, or straining to pee. Both of these types of straining can look very similar but the issues that cause these conditions are very different.

Some of these conditions are true emergencies and need urgent veterinary attention, while others may require a simple change in diet. The key is knowing how to tell if a cat is straining to poop or pee, and which it is, poop or pee, so that we can take the correct action to care for our feline companions.

Is It Poop Or Pee?

Kitten in a litter box.

The key is knowing if your cat is straining to pee or straining to poop.

You may be thinking, “Of course I know how to tell if a cat is straining to poop or pee!” But it actually can be quite hard to tell. If there’s no pee or poop coming out and they’re straining, how do we know which one it is? The cat’s postures are very similar to each other; they lower their back legs and squat if they are going number one, or going number two.

Cats may do this in the litter box or elsewhere in the house (stress or health conditions can cause inappropriate urination). We have some tips on how to tell the difference between the two types of straining.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Dig In Their Litter Box?

Examine Your Cat’s Body Posture

Cat in a covered litter box.

Different postures can reveal if a cat is straining to pee or poop.

So how can we tell? Well, we can look at the cat’s body posture. This involves looking at how they’re squatting when they’re straining to poop or pee. This will be difficult to do if your cat uses a covered litter box or goes outside, but it should be easier to do if your cat toilets indoors with an uncovered litter box.

When cats squat to pee/urinate, they squat so far down in the litter box that their bum is almost touching the litter. Their back legs are almost flat to the floor and their back posture is relatively straight and relaxed. Their tail will be slightly raised. They almost look like they’re in the dog sitting position and it’s a discreet posture.

A cat’s posture for pooping/defecating is slightly different. In contrast to when they pee, their back is slightly arched and rounded. Their back legs are generally lifted off the ground more and their tail might be lifted higher. Apart from that, the two postures can look very similar.

If a cat is straining, its back might be more arched than usual and you might notice muscle spasms/contractions. They might be vocalizing and clearly agitated.

Also Read: 6 Common Reasons Why Cats Pee Outside The Litter Box

Examine Your Cat’s Litter Box

Cat peeing or pooping in a covered litter box.

Covered litter boxes may make it difficult to see if your cat is straining.

One of the biggest clues that your cat is having toileting issues lies in their litter box. They should be peeing 2-3 times a day and pooping at least once a day. If your cat toilets indoors only, you should be monitoring what they pass in their litter box. The absence of pee or poop in the litter box is a cause for concern and an alarm bell that something isn’t right with your kitty.

If you see your cat is straining, check its litter box immediately for signs of pee or poop. If it has been cleaned recently, try to remember what you cleaned up or if someone else cleaned it ask them. It’s really important to know if your cat has been passing pee or poop.

Cats that are having toileting issues might start to go in different places around the house. This could be on your bed, in your shower, or on your shoes! So if there’s no evidence of pee or poop in the litter box, take a look around the house to see if they’ve toileted somewhere else.

Also Read: The 6 Best Automatic Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes

Symptoms Of Straining To Pee Or Poop

Kitten in a litter box

Pay close attention to symptoms that may indicate your cat is unwell.

So now we know that if your cat is straining, you need to examine their body posture while straining and do a thorough check of their litter boxes. What else might help us to tell if they’re straining to pee or poop?

The simple answer is to look at the symptoms that your cat is showing. Cats that are straining will often go in and out of the litter box frequently, they may be vocalizing while straining because they’re in pain, arching their back, and moving their tail up and down. But if a cat is straining to pee you might notice symptoms such as;

Cats that are straining to poop might display symptoms such as;

  • Sore/red rectum
  • The smell of feces or gas
  • Very small dry poops or crumbly poop
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Licking their rectum frequently

Cats that are struggling to pee or poop might also be showing signs of feeling generally unwell;

Also Read: How To Clean Your Cat’s Litter Box

What Causes Cats To Strain While Peeing Or Pooping?

Cat pooping or peeing in a litter box.

Causes of straining may indicate a serious health issue.

It’s important that you know how to tell if a cat is straining to poop or pee because some causes are very serious and could even be fatal.

Cats that are straining to pee might be suffering from;

These conditions fall under the term FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) and can be very painful. More worryingly, this can lead to a cat’s bladder becoming ‘blocked,’ also known as a urinary blockage or urethral obstruction.

This means that through inflammation/stones/spasms/plugs the urethra has become blocked and the cat can’t pass urine. This is a serious emergency as the cat is at risk of bladder rupture and kidney failure. This is often fatal if it’s not treated urgently.

Straining to poop in cats can be due to a few conditions;

  • Constipation (the most common cause) – causes of constipation include;
  • Dehydration (especially with underlying diseases like kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism in older cats)
  • Dietary issue – lack of fiber
  • Abnormal peristalsis (abnormal bowel movement) – stress, IBD, allergies, nerve problems
  • Pelvic narrowing – arthritis, previous injuries, cancer (tumors)
  • Diarrhea – usually due to increased frequency of small amounts of diarrhea. This should be evident in the litter box and is a less common cause of straining.
  • Anal gland problems – infection/rupture

Constipation and fecal impaction (obstipation) can lead to a condition called megacolon. This is when the colon stretches beyond its normal size due to the large amount of feces present. When the feces are emptied, it stays stretched and can’t go back to its previous size. This leads to further issues and it needs surgery to resolve it.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Meow Before They Use The Litter Box?

How Do We Treat These Conditions?

Cat at a litter box

Some toilet difficulties may require a simple diet change.

For mild constipation, we can make some diet changes to help. Cats that suffer from constipation should have a lot of moisture in their diet (canned food) and a good source of fiber. Certain diets will have enough fiber but for others, you can add a fiber supplement such as canned pumpkin or psyllium husk.

Encourage more water intake by providing a lot of water bowls around the house and try using a water fountain. Your vet might prescribe laxatives/stool softeners or other medications to help with your cat’s constipation.

If your cat is badly constipated your vet is likely to perform an enema which is a procedure to manually remove the poop while the cat is under anesthetic. Always take your cat to your veterinarian if your cat hasn’t pooped for 1-2 days. It could be a sign of constipation that needs treatment but it can also be a sign of bowel obstruction e.g. from a foreign body that has gotten stuck in the bowel.

Urinary issues are very common in cats, particularly in male indoor cats that are a bit overweight and eat dry food only. Urinary issues should always be treated by a vet as they usually involve a urinalysis, blood tests, and x-rays. A cat that is straining but passing no urine should be brought immediately to their veterinarian as an emergency.

This is common in male cats as their urethra is quite thin and has a bend. You can’t afford to waste any time if they have a urinary blockage and you shouldn’t delay in seeking urgent veterinary treatment.

Also Read: Why Does My Cat Scratch The Sides Of The Litter Box


Cat in the litter box

Monitor your cat’s litter box closely for signs of usage.

It can be difficult for us as pet parents to tell the difference between our cat straining to pee or poop. By paying close attention to their body posture and litter box habits we can try to find out which one it is. Cats that are straining and not passing any pee or poop should be brought to their veterinarian immediately.

Not passing pee could mean that your cat has a urinary blockage which can be life-threatening and needs urgent veterinary attention. Similarly, cats that have been straining to poop and haven’t passed a poop in days are at risk of megacolon which results in permanent damage to their colon. If in doubt, contact your veterinarian for advice.

Also Read: 5 Best High-Sided Litter Boxes For Messy Cats

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if a cat is straining to pee?

Cats that are straining to pee will be in and out of their litter box, might cry when they pee, and may pass small amounts of pee or nothing at all. You may also see blood in their urine. Bring your cat to your veterinarian immediately if they’re not peeing.

How can I tell if my cat is straining to poop?

Cats that are straining to poop will frequently visit their litter box and strain to poop while passing nothing. They may also experience vomiting, reduced appetite, a swollen abdomen, and be in pain. You can try feeding the cat lots of wet food and add some fiber to their diet. If they haven’t pooped in 1-2 days, you should visit your vet (DVM).

Is my cat constipated or does he/she have a UTI?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between constipation and a urinary problem. Cats that are constipated generally arch their back while straining, and cats that are straining to pee will place their bum very close to their litter. Either way, if your cat is straining to pee or poop you should visit your vet.

How does a cat act when it’s constipated?

Cats that are constipated will strain to poop, have a sore stomach, and may experience vomiting. They will be in and out of their litter box and might vocalize due to pain.

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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Explained – KittyNook Cat Company

Feline Infectious Peritonitis, or FIP, is a viral disease in cats caused by a specific strain of feline coronavirus.

What Is FIP?

What Is FIP

Many strains of feline coronavirus can be found in the gastrointestinal system called Feline Enteric Coronavirus (FeCV), which do not cause significant diseases.

Felines with FeCV generally do not show symptoms throughout the initial viral infection. However, they might periodically experience quick bouts of diarrhea and mild top respiratory symptoms from which they recover with no fuss. The immune system of a FeCV-infected cat usually produces antibodies to combat the virus within 7-10 days of infection.

In some cats infected with FeCV, one or more viral mutations can happen, resulting in contaminated white blood cells spreading throughout the feline’s body. When this happens, the virus is described as the FIPV. An extreme inflammatory response to FIPV occurs typically around the abdomen, kidney, or brain tissues.

The progressive and often fatal disease results from the interaction between the cat’s body’s immune system and the infection. To our understanding, coronaviruses can not be passed from infected cats to people.

What Are the Risks of Developing FIP?

What Are the Risks of Developing FIP?

A cat that lugs FeCV is possibly at risk for developing FIP. The primary mode of transmission of FeCV happens when contaminated queens pass the infection to their kittens, usually when they are between five and eight weeks old.

Younger kittens pose a higher risk of developing FIP, with roughly 70% of infections seen in 1 1/2 years old and 50% occurring in kittens less than seven months old.

Cats housed in high-density facilities like shelters seem more prone to develop FIP, as are male cats, purebred cats, and senior felines, for reasons still unclear to experts.

Early Symptoms of FIP

Early Symptoms of FIP

Initially, cats exposed to FeCV generally show no apparent symptoms. Some cats may show upper respiratory problems signs like watery eyes, sneezing, and nasal discharge. Others experience moderate gastrointestinal indications such as looseness of the bowels.

Most of the time, these mild signs self-resolve, and only a tiny percentage of cats exposed to FeCV develop FIP.

There are two primary forms of FIP, the « dry » and « wet » forms. Regardless of which development they ultimately advance to, cats infected with FIPV normally develop nonspecific signs of illness, such as anxiety, weight loss, and fever.

  • The dry or non-effusive form may show nonspecific symptoms noted above, as well as neurologic symptoms like seizures and ataxia (unusual or unskillful activities). Non-effusive forms also develop more slowly than wet forms.
  • The wet or gushing form of FIP typically advances more rapidly. It includes the nonspecific indicators with the fluid buildup in the body’s cavities, like the abdominal area and the thorax (breast cavity). If the liquid accumulates too much, it might be difficult for a cat to breathe. Affected felines may have a pot-bellied look because of fluid buildup in the abdomen.

A wet form can develop into a dry form and vice-versa.

How Can I Check If My Cat Has FIP?

How Can I Check If My Cat Has FIP?

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut examination to diagnose FIP at the moment. While tests can examine antibody levels to coronavirus, we cannot definitively tie it to FeCV or FIPV.

Kittens with high fever but are not responsive to antibiotics and have high coronavirus titers are commonly presumably identified with FIP. This is especially true if characteristic yellow-tinged fluid with high amounts of protein and white blood cell concentrations starts accumulating in body cavities.

Other offered tests can, in theory, determine the infection itself. Among these tests, the immunoperoxidase test can identify viral proteins in virus-infected leukocytes in tissue; however, a biopsy of affected tissue is needed for analysis.

Can FIP Be Treated?

Can FIP Be Treated?

FIP was considered to be a non-treatable illness until recently. While there are still some uncharted maps regarding the effectivity of recently-identified antiviral drugs to treat FIP, researchers suggest that a drug currently described as GS-441524 may eventually prove to be an efficient treatment choice for the wet form of FIP. However, the drug is currently not FDA-approved.

How Can I Protect My Pet from FIP?

How Can I Protect My Pet from FIP?

  • The only way to definitively avoid FIP in cats is to stop them from getting infected with FeCV, and this is not easy. This is especially true of cats housed in a high-density places like sanctuaries and catteries.
  • It is important to remember that while FeCV is rather transmittable (the saliva and feces of infected cats infect other cats mainly through the mouth), FIPV is not believed to be. Instead, FIP develops in cats after being infected with FCV, and the virus goes through mutations to become FIPV.
  • Keeping cats as healthy as possible, including stopping infection by other viruses such as FeLV and calicivirus by inoculation, lowers the chance of your cat developing FIP.
  • Litter boxes must be kept clean and placed in areas far from food and water supplies. Some recommend that recently embraced cats, and those thought to be contaminated with FeCV, should be divided from other cats. However, the efficiency of this monitoring method is debatable.

Certain Breeds Are More Susceptible to FIP

Hereditary variables are thought to contribute to the development of FIP. Studies find that some cat breeds like Abyssinian, Bengal, Birman, Himalayan, Ragdoll, and Devon Rex have a higher chance of developing FIP. The virus is also more common in cats that reside in multi-cat houses, shelters, or catteries. Felines that are stressed because of re-homing, have recently had surgery, or have concurrent infections might also be more prone to developing FIP.

La vie du chat

Kittens Were in a Backyard Squeaking for Help, Now Have Someone to Hold onto Every Day

Two kitten were in a backyard squeaking and waiting for help. Now, they have someone to hold onto every day.

lap kittens cuteSqueak and Adele the snuggly kittens@fosterkittens_tn

A Good Samaritan heard what sounded like a cat meowing desperately in their backyard while their home was being remodeled. Upon investigation, they found a tiny kitten crying his voice hoarse, and noticed another one just a few feet away, on the edge of the bushes.

Their cat mother never returned for them. The kittens were then brought into Nashville Cat Rescue to be cared for by a dedicated bottle feeder around the clock.

« They were filthy and covered in fleas and dirt. It took many baths to get them clean, » Becca and Nathan, foster volunteers of the the rescue, shared with Love Meow.

orphan kittens squeak adeleThey were found in a backyard of a home without a cat mother@fosterkittens_tn

Once the kittens, Squeak and Adele, were big enough to eat on their own, they came to Becca and Nathan’s home to continue their foster journey.

The fluffy pair (aka the snowballs) were instant cuddle-bugs and immediately clung to their foster parents for comfort.

twin kittens fosterThey were bonded from the start@fosterkittens_tn

As soon as they discovered a warm lap, both of them climbed onto it for a nap together. Becca walked into the foster room one day and found the snowballs resting on Nathan’s lap, while he was soundly asleep.

« Both kittens are small for their age and love to comfort-nurse on blankets and our hands — a symptom of not having a mama kitty to nurse as babies. Otherwise, they are in great shape and adore other cats and everyone that they meet. »

kittens lap snugglesThe snowballs enjoy lap time together@fosterkittens_tn

The two love affection and snuggles, and are never far from a comfy lap or a resident cat to cuddle. When they want attention and cuddles from their people, they will seek them out singing with their perfectly synchronized meows.

« They both make squeaking crying noises. Squeak is blue-eyed and loves Foster Mom, while Adele has a soft spot for Foster Dad, » the couple told Love Meow.

kitten snuggling manAdele has a soft spot for her foster dad@fosterkittens_tn

The brother and sister are inquisitive and vivacious, but most of all, they are the most cuddly pair in the house. They will hop on any empty lap they can find, and settle down for a long nap.

Watch the kittens in this cute video (being a cat foster dad is hard work):

Squeak and Adele do everything together and are attached at the hip. They enjoy scampering around the place, playing fetch with toys, nursing on blankets, and demanding attention and snuggles from their people.

The two have befriended Phil, their foster big brother, and shared many snuggles with him.

kittens snuggling catSqueak and Adele adore their cat buddy Phil@fosterkittens_tn

« Squeak likes to drape himself over whatever blanket or chair or lap he’s sitting on. Adele prefers to curl up in a little ball for her naps, » Becca and Nathan shared.

« They are best buds and perfect playmates, but also brave enough to explore on their own. »

snuggly kittens adele squeakBest of friends@fosterkittens_tn

The snowballs have come a long way since they were spotted in the backyard without a mom. Now, they will always have each other and never run out of warm laps to sit on.

bonded kittens adele squeakThey share an adorable bond@fosterkittens_tn

Share this story with your friends. More on the bonded pair and Becca and Nathan’s fosters on Instagram @fosterkittens_tn and Facebook, and Nashville Cat Rescue on Instagram @nashvillecatrescue.

Related story: Blind Cat Leads Family to Her Kittens After Seeking Comfortable Home Her Whole Life