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Watch Carefully for Clues If I could change one thing about cats it would be their communication skills. They are certainly a social species but in rather different ways than dogs and humans-the champions of chatter. Many cat lovers treasure their pets’ aloofness. Few cats  nag. Well, the Nichol family cats do but that’s because we reinforce their bad habits by capitulating to their whims. That cool feline exterior is actually an evolutionary adaptation; betraying a lameness or other infirmity [...]

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Litter Pan Choices & Fear Avoidance Question: Last year during the July 4 fireworks, my 5 year old cat tried to use the litter box, messed on himself, and got a urinary infection. Ever since, he messes 6 inches away from the box although he uses it to urinate. I have tried moving the box, but he just moves another 6 inches and messes. Dr. Nichol: I think I’ve figured out what you mean by mess. I’ve often thought my [...]

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Vaccination is Critically Important Veterinarians in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas have seen a significant uptick in canine distemper cases. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson had so many infected dogs they recently halted intakes for 2 weeks to get control of it. Native American reservations have been particularly hard hit. Back in the day, before large-scale vaccination programs, we saw enough distemper in dogs to diagnose it on physical symptoms alone. We can now confirm our suspicions [...]

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Kidney Failure may Cause Excessive Licking While oooing and ahhing at the beautiful and peaceful new Cattery at Animal Humane last week I was asked about a 17 year old cat. While active and feeling well for her age she’s been licking her coat excessively for several months. When her owner pets her she often finds gooey saliva on her badly matted hair which has been recently falling off in clumps. Cats who don’t groom themselves normally often end up [...]

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