Cat Health FAQ


Question: My cat gets horrible pimples and boils on her chin. What could be causing this?
Answer: Some cats, like humans, develop acne when excessive oils and dirt accumulate deep in the pores of the chin and lower lip. This typically looks like “blackheads” in this area. Switching from plastic to stainless steel feeding bowls usually helps. Most cases of feline acne usually do not bother the cat, but I recommend taking him in and having your vet take a look. They might want to clip and clean the area and start your cat on antibiotics and topical medication. Food supplements containing high concentrations of iodine should be avoided because they can make the condition worse.


Question: Occasionally, my six-year-old cat gags, makes loud retching noises and then vomits. Is this normal or should I be concerned?
Answer: It is very common for cats to occasionally vomit. A perfectly healthy cat will accumulate a hairball in its stomach from licking and grooming. Longhaired cats are especially prone to this. The best way to control the problem is to add a lubricant such as laxitone or petromalt to your cat’s diet to help pass the hairball through the digestive tract. There are also commercially available diets designed to help control hairballs in cats. If neither of these seems to work then you should probably take your cat in to your veterinarian and have him help with the problem.


Question: What are the signs of hyperthyroidism in cats and is it very common?
Answer: Hyperthyroidism is a fairly common disease in older cats. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, located in the neck, starts producing excessive amounts of thyroid hormone and causes the cat’s metabolism to rapidly increase. Therefore, most cats with hyperthyroidism lose weight in spite of an increased appetite. They will also drink more water, have dull hair coats and sometimes develop intermittent diarrhea. A blood test can determine whether your cat has the disease—and, if diagnosed—take comfort in that treatment is usually very successful!


Question: My cat absolutely loves tuna fish. But I heard it was not good for them. Why is that?
Answer: Cat’s heart muscle requires an amino acid called taurine to maintain its normal strength and function. Human tuna fish lacks this amino acid and cats that eat too much tuna fish can develop heart problems. Since your cat loves tuna fish, just make sure it is tuna fish made for cats which has this amino acid added.


Question: Please help. My boyfriend is allergic to my cat. I really like this guy but I don’t know what do. Any suggestions?
Answer: Most people who are allergic to cats are reacting to a protein in the cat’s saliva. This protein builds up on the cats’ skin after they groom themselves. Cats usually don’t get bathed as often as dogs so the allergen builds up and causes people to sneeze and have watery eyes. The best thing to do is to bath your cat at least once a month with an appropriate shampoo and the problem should disappear. You can also take a wet towel and wipe your cat’s hair on a weekly basis.
Please note, articles in the Animal Resource Library are for reference only, and are not meant to diagnose or treat any medical or behavioral issues your pet may be experiencing.