April 29, 2017

Feral Cats: The Forgotten Felines

ImageSneaking through back alleyways and abandoned lots, millions of feral and stray cats make their homes in our cities and rural areas.  Often fearful of people, these “wild” cats are blamed for everything from decimating bird populations to killing sea otters.  What’s the truth behind these feral felines and why are some people so determined to save their lives?

Cat lovers are abundant across this country as is evident by the more than 80 million pampered felines sharing our homes.  But, living outdoors is another huge population of cats that has far fewer admirers and lives in constant danger of imminent death, usually at our hands!

There is no way of knowing for certain, but experts estimate that the feral cat population in North American equals or even exceeds the “owned” cat population.  A feral cat is one that is unsocialized to humans and actively avoids contact.  Stray cats, on the other hand, are often ones that have left home or are cats that have been abandoned by their owners.  These “strays” will often approach humans and even allow petting.  All cats, feral, stray and owned cats who are simply roaming the neighborhood are all members of our domestic species, Felis catus.

 

Going “Retro” is Not Good for Cats!

catYou might enjoy a night out listening to the latest in “retro” music, but your cats should avoid “going retro” at all costs!   Retroviral diseases, such as Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, are more common than most pet owners realize and are truly threats to your cat’s well-being.   Fortunately, through testing protocols and lifestyle choices, owners can help keep their feline friends safe from these deadly diseases.

Retro is a word usually bringing warm and fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. But for the more than 80 million cats living as pets in North America, the word retro is anything but warm and fuzzy.

Retroviruses like Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) can be devastating to your cat. More frightening, many cat owners are unaware of these two significant and very deadly feline diseases.

Feline Heartworms… A Hidden and Deadly Threat!

Most cat owners don’t worry about heartworm disease and fewer still use any sort of heartworm preventative.  But, as veterinary scientists continue to discover, feline heartworm disease has become a severe threat to our cat companions.  Dog owners are well aware of the threat of heartworm disease, but many pet owners would be shocked to know that their cats are in danger as well.   Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and are capable of infecting cats in addition to dogs.  Unfortunately, our cats rarely show physical signs of this infection and are more likely to die due to their body’s reaction to the parasite.   The good news is that your veterinarian can help you prevent this deadly feline disease.