Category: Pets

Why Does My Cat Fart When I Pick Him Up? 5 Vet-Reviewed Reasons

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As much as you love your cat, there are times when they can be a little gross. Times like when they repeatedly shove their butt in your face or the way they can fart when you pick them up. While some of the cat’s less-than-desirable behaviors can’t be changed, as they’re simply feline in nature, you might be able to do something about others.

If your cat always farts when you pick them up, you’ve probably wondered why they were doing so and whether it could be stopped. A cat that always farts is experiencing excessive gas or flatulence, which can be for a few reasons. Knowing which of these reasons is the one for your cat may help you reduce the chances of this happening.

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The 5 Reasons Why Cats Might Fart When You Pick Them Up

1. Dietary Related

You know how sometimes you eat something that simply doesn’t agree with your stomach. Well, the same thing can happen to your feline friend, and it could be the reason they’re farting when picked up. This could be a one-time thing if they’ve had a new treat or stolen some of your food. However, it could also be a long-term issue related to their regular cat food.

If a cat’s diet doesn’t agree with their stomach, they could experience more gassiness, as well as gastrointestinal distress. A rise in flatulence could also mean that your cat has developed a food sensitivity or allergy to a food they’ve been consuming for years. If you think your cat’s diet may be to blame, try switching them (slowly!) to a different food. Choose something with high-quality, digestible ingredients. However, if your cat has dermatitis, vomiting, and diarrhea, it is worth consulting with a vet as these are signs of a food allergy among other things.

cat and orange bowl inside the house
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Eating Habits

Sometimes, the problem isn’t the food your cat is eating but how they’re eating it. Felines who eat too fast or tend to overeat can ingest extra air that builds up until it causes flatulence. This problem has a simple fix, though.

If your cat eats too fast, you can get them a slow feeder that will help them eat far slower. If your pet tends to overeat, you may want to break their meals down into a few smaller meals a day rather than a couple of large meals. In either case, these things should help the cat to swallow less air resulting in fewer instances of farting.

3. How You Handle Them

Your cat farting when you pick them up might be entirely on you! The way you handle your cat when you’re lifting them up could be forcing air out of their body in the form of farts. This is especially true if you tend to pick your cat up by holding them around their belly. Instead of picking them up this way, try picking them up by placing one hand under the front legs and one under the back legs.

The issue might also be that you’re cuddling your cat too close to your body after you pick them up, which could cause air to move around and be released. If this is the case, loosen up your hold. Essentially, you want to avoid compressing your cat’s belly when picking them up or holding them to avoid triggering flatulence.

Cat Lifted Cute girl playing with Siamese kitten on couch at home
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

4. A Bad Fright

There’s no doubt about it; felines have a tendency to be skittish. And this skittishness could be why they fart when you pick them up. How so? Well, you may inadvertently be startling your cat when you try to pick them up, which could cause them to pass gas, as it isn’t entirely uncommon for kitties to fart when they get frightened. To avoid this, try to let your cat know you’re there before picking them up. Also, try not to simply scoop them up while they’re playing or sleeping. Read their body language and don’t pick them up if they thrash, pin their ears, swish their tail, scratch, or bite when you do so. These signs are your cat telling you they are uncomfortable with being held.

5. Health Issues

If your cat didn’t often fart before, but now they pass gas whenever you pick them up, there’s a good chance it could be related to a health issue. Constant gassiness is often related to gastrointestinal problems. Infections, parasites, inflammatory disorders, and cancers can affect the gastrointestinal tract and interfere with digestion, potentially leading to more farting.

If you’ve noticed a recent uptick in flatulence in your feline or signs like inappetence, weight loss, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation, take them to the vet for a check-up.

close up cat sleeping on the sofa
Image Credit: Garna Zarina, Shutterstock

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Is Flatulence Normal in Felines?

Flatulence is perfectly normal in felines, but when it’s excessive or accompanied by other signs you should seek veterinary advice. If your cat has only recently begun farting a lot, there could be something going on with their digestive system. The same goes for if your cat’s farts have suddenly gotten much stinkier. But unless your cat seems to have excessive gas or suddenly potent farts, there’s rarely a need to be alarmed.

Why Do My Cat’s Farts Smell So Bad?

Farts never smell good, but sometimes your kitty’s farts are particularly powerful. If your cat has exceptionally stinky gas, they could be having issues with their food, whether that be a sudden allergy to something in it or just trouble digesting it. It could also indicate an underlying health issue, such as internal parasites. Again, if your cat’s gas is foul and not getting less so, contact your vet to make sure everything is alright with the cat.

Hispanic woman working in modern vet clinic talking to bengal cats owner
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

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Felines can experience flatulence for many reasons, and this isn’t uncommon. However, if you’ve noticed that your cat keeps farting when you pick them up, it’s likely because of one of the reasons mentioned here. If you can determine the reason, chances are you can reduce the amount of gas your pet has, which will lead to fewer instances of them farting when picked up.

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When an Aloof Cat Becomes a Lap Cat: Olga’s Rocky Transition

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Hi, I’m Christopher! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my silly Russian Blue cat, Olga.

Before I adopted Olga, I lived with a friendly Siamese cat who rarely left my side. I quickly learned that Olga wasn’t a lap cat, and it took her a while to warm up to me. She used to greet me at the door when I came home from work, and she has always enjoyed playing with cheap toys, like paper balls, but she wasn’t fond of petting or any form of grooming.

She’s much friendlier and more vocal now, but it was a slow transition. For a few years, she slept in a chair in my bedroom before wandering over to the foot of the bed. When she was young, she was always friendly to visitors but wouldn’t let them pick her up; she preferred laying on their feet.

I noticed that you don’t have any books on cats.

Olga’s Early Years

Although she was usually gentler to strangers, she wasn’t afraid to strike them if they petted her back or tried to rub her belly. Living with an aloof feline isn’t for everyone, but some prefer it. It requires less effort since you don’t have to give them as much attention.

It took me a long time to convince Olga that human contact was beneficial. Another owner may have decided to give up on her and allow her to hide under the bed for most of her life. I irritated her into liking me. She attacked me every time I picked her up, but when I started picking her up and carrying her into the kitchen for dinner, she learned to relax.

Nowadays, when I turn off my computer in the evening, she jumps in my lap and anxiously awaits her trip to the dinner bowl. Bribing her with food was an effective way to make her less resistant to being picked up, but I didn’t do anything to convince her to sleep in my lap. She doesn’t seek lap naps as often as my other cat and cannot tolerate human contact for long.

Did you say dinner would be late? That's unacceptable.
Did you say dinner would be late? That’s unacceptable.

Lap Nap Anxiety

Olga rarely sleeps on anyone’s lap for more than ten minutes, and sometimes, when she wakes up, she looks confused and quickly runs away. I don’t know whether it’s because she’s embarrassed she was too friendly or concerned that her bonding time was interfering with her alone time.

She had a violent reaction once when she was a few years old. She fell asleep on my legs with her head and front paws hanging off the chair, and when she woke up, she nearly fell. Instead of sliding off, she hopped up and attacked my feet with her claws and fangs. She doesn’t assault me anymore, but she still has a terrified look on her face when she awakens in my lap.

Some independent felines may never learn to love interacting with humans, and it can take years for an aloof cat to transform into a lap cat. It requires patience and helps if you have a high threshold for pain. Olga spends a few hours meditating under the couch every day, but she spends most of the day beside her favorite, annoying human.

How Long Can You Leave Wet Cat Food Out? Vet-Verified Health & Safety Info

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The clock starts ticking as soon as you open your cat’s can of food. Feline wet food will grow bacteria, accumulate bacterial toxins, and spoil much faster than dry food.

Generally, wet cat food can only stay out for around 2 to 4 hours before becoming potentially dangerous for your cat to eat. However, you can safely leave it in the fridge for 3 days. We’ll explain how long you can leave wet cat food out and offer tips for keeping your cat healthy and safe.

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How Long Can You Leave Wet Cat Food Out?

Wet cat food usually contains roughly 80% moisture and plenty of organic material, making it ideal for microbes to breed. While mold doesn’t begin growing for at least 24 hours, bacteria can double in only 20–30 minutes under optimal conditions, quickly making food unpleasant and hazardous.

a bowl of wet pet food
Image Credit: Jiri Hera, Shutterstock

Dangers of Leaving Wet Cat Food Out

Don’t leave wet cat food out for more than 4 hours when the room temperature is above 50°F. Bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter thrive as temperature, nutrition, and moisture rise, and wet food offers the ideal environment for contamination. If the room is hot. humid, or poorly ventilated, spoilage can accelerate, with food often going bad in as little as 2 hours.

As wet cat food goes bad, it dries and gels to give the food an unpleasant texture and taste. Paired with the cat’s natural aversion to spoiled food, this is often enough to keep them from eating an old meal, lowering the risk of illness. However, if they do choose to eat spoiled food bacteria can lead to infection of the gastrointestinal tract. If mold has grown on the food there is the risk of mycotoxins causing signs of toxicity from tremors to vomiting.

Signs of Foodborne Illness

Age and health status can affect a cat’s susceptibility to illness, as the potential is higher for young, senior, or immuno-compromised pets.

Depending on the pathogen, food poisoning can be apparent within a few hours or several days after your cat eats the contaminated meal.

Signs of bacterial infections include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain

Cats can also spread infectious microbes to others in their stools or saliva even if they don’t get sick, putting the entire house at risk if their food spoils. Food poisoning can cause severe complications, including sepsis, which can, in extreme cases, potentially turn fatal.

tired or sick cat
Image Credit: Kginger, Shutterstock

How to Store Leftover Wet Cat Food

Bacterial growth slows considerably in cold temperatures, so if your cat can’t finish a whole can of wet food in one sitting, you can pop the leftovers in the refrigerator. Cat food can last roughly 3-5 days in an airtight container when the fridge is 40°F.

For convenience, you can buy inexpensive silicone lids that firmly seal an unfinished can, keeping it fresh for later.

How to Get Your Cat to Eat Their Food

Since you have a short window to leave wet cat food in your pet’s bowl, establishing a routine will make your cat more likely to eat when you serve them. Give your cat their food at the same time every day, and try not to leave it for more than 30 minutes. It’s best to feed your cat twice a day.

If your cat hasn’t eaten it all, save the rest until the next mealtime. Your cat will eventually learn not to waste time when you feed them. They may be leaving food because of too large portions, so check the feeding guide and talk to your vet about how much they should eat.

If your cat doesn’t find the wet food appealing, try putting it in the microwave for 10–15 seconds. Cats enjoy warm food, and a quick zap can make it more enticing, especially after you take the food out of the fridge. You may also have to switch to dry food or a combination of wet and dry to give your cat the preferred taste and texture.

orange cat eating wet food
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Can You Leave Dry Cat Food Out Longer?

As it only contains 5%–10% moisture, dry cat food is much less accommodating for microbial growth than wet cat food. Its formulation also involves a high-heat process that kills many pre-existing microbes, though contamination can occur at later production stages.

Properly stored and served dry food is convenient for many owners, allowing them to free-feed their cats with few health risks. Though various environmental conditions, such as humidity, ventilation, and the cleanliness of the bowl, can affect the speed at which it spoils, dry food can often stay out all day (or even several days) in optimal conditions. If the dry food gets wet it will spoil faster.

If you leave dry food out, you must still check it frequently for signs of spoilage. Veterinarians recommend emptying the food dish daily, which allows you to clean the bowl and refresh the food to ensure it’s safe and enticing for your cat. Although significant microbe growth can take several days in some situations, pests can contaminate the dish, and food can go stale long before then.

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Final Thoughts

Wet cat food’s high-moisture composition provides several health advantages over dry varieties, but the benefits don’t come without a few unique costs. Because wet food can spoil within only 2–4 hours, owners don’t have the luxury of setting and forgetting the bowl, and depending on your routine and your cat’s preferences, it may be an impractical way to feed your pet.

By understanding how long wet cat food lasts and the best practices for its use, you can determine whether it’s ideal for keeping your pet happy and healthy.

Featured Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

Chicken Allergies in Cats: Our Vet Explains the Signs, Causes & Treatment

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When you look around the cat food aisles at the grocery store, you’ll notice that chicken tends to be a pretty common ingredient. Even in foods that don’t list chicken as the primary flavor on the front of the pack, it’s common to see chicken flavoring, chicken meal, or chicken liver somewhere in the ingredients list. So, a chicken allergy in cats is a tough one to negotiate, and sometimes it’s really difficult to diagnose.

If you think your cat could be allergic to chicken, you’ll find the following information particularly helpful.

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What Is a Food Allergy?

Sick cat under blanket
Image Credit: Oporty786, Shutterstock

The terms “allergy” and “intolerance” are often used interchangeably, but that’s not technically accurate. Here’s the difference:

Food Intolerance: The gastrointestinal system is unable to properly digest or metabolize a certain food or ingredient, resulting in any or all of the following signs:

  • Bloating
  • Discomfort
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Gas

The clinical signs of food intolerance usually appear quite quickly after the ingestion of the ingredient in question and do not require previous exposure to the food.

Food Allergy: Food allergies involve the immune system, with the food/ingredient (most commonly a protein) causing a hypersensitivity reaction. Food allergies can also cause gastrointestinal signs, but we rarely see anaphylactic reactions (severe swelling, rapid heart rate, or breathing difficulties) to food in cats. In most cases, food allergies cause skin reactions, including:

  • Pruritus (itchy skin)
  • Red skin
  • Bald patches (alopecia), usually from overgrooming
  • Red, itchy ears
  • Bumps, lumps, or scabs on the skin

The signs of a food allergy will not appear until at least the second time that ingredient is ingested, and it may even appear after months or years of eating the food without any problems.

The most common ingredients to cause food allergies are chicken, beef, eggs, and fish, which can make finding an appropriate diet for a cat with food allergies quite challenging! Even more challenging, however, is diagnosing a food allergy.

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How Is a Chicken Allergy Diagnosed?

raw chicken breast
Image Credit: Ametist_Studio, Shutterstock

The first part of diagnosing a chicken allergy is figuring out that chicken is actually the problem. This will usually involve some trips to the vet to rule out other potential causes and treat any secondary problems like infection. Some of the conditions that can cause similar signs to food allergies include:

  • External parasites (fleas, mites)
  • Flea allergy dermatitis: A more severe immune reaction to flea saliva
  • Environmental allergies
  • Bacterial or fungal infections: These often occur alongside food allergies, invading inflamed, moist, or broken skin

There are a number of ways to test for a food allergy, including:

  • Blood tests: These tests look at how the immune system reacts to allergens. These can be used to narrow down reactions to food or the environment, and they can look for specific ingredients or components (e.g., chicken, pollen, or dust). The reliability of this sort of testing is hotly debated, though.
  • Intradermal testing: This includes injecting tiny amounts of allergen under the skin to look for reactions. This is more reliable than blood tests, but it requires sedation and can be expensive.
  • Elimination diet trial: This includes feeding a diet with a single novel protein for 4 to 6 weeks. This is used to both determine if food is the problem and work out which ingredients are safe/unsafe. It is the cheapest option but can be a very slow process.

Using an Elimination Diet to Diagnose a Chicken Allergy

tabby cat eating from metal bowl
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

An elimination diet works by feeding your cat a food that contains a single novel protein. This means using a diet based on a single type of meat, and one that your cat has not eaten before. Because food allergies tend to develop over time with repeated exposure to that ingredient, using a new protein source means that your cat shouldn’t react to it.

As mentioned earlier, chicken is one of the most common ingredients found in cat food, even those that don’t mention it on the front of the pack, so it can be tricky to find a commercial food to use as an elimination diet. Another hurdle is that, for cats that have been fed a wide variety of different foods and ingredients, it can be difficult to find a novel protein. We also want to avoid the other proteins often implicated in food allergies (beef, eggs, and fish).

Proteins commonly used for an elimination diet include:

  • Duck
  • Turkey
  • Venison
  • Rabbit

Good options for an elimination diet are:

  • Hydrolyzed cat food: Food that has undergone the process of hydrolyzation to break the proteins into tiny fragments, making them less likely to trigger an immune reaction.
  • Raw food diet: Either a commercially prepared diet or using a single meat source. The usual precautions must be considered when starting your cat on a raw food diet.
  • Fresh food diet: Similar principle to raw feeding but using a small number of ingredients that have been cooked, then frozen.

For an elimination diet trial to be successful, you must only feed your cat the selected food, with no other treats or tidbits for 4 to 6 weeks.

If your cat’s clinical signs improve during the food trial, we can conclude that food is the problem. Once we know that we’re dealing with a food allergy, we can carefully narrow down the culprits one by one.

Once your cat has been stable on the new food, you can slowly introduce one protein type at a time to find out which ingredient is the cause of the allergy. You should expect to see a reappearance of their clinical signs within a few days. If there is no reaction, wait at least 7 days before trying a different ingredient. If a food triggers an allergy, stop it and wait at least 14 days before trying any others.

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How Are Chicken Allergies Treated?

beautiful cat is lying on the couch and rests. Nice Silver spotted Bengal cat at home
Image Credit: Valeri Pavljuk, Shutterstock

If we have worked out that our cat is allergic to chicken, the treatment is quite simple: no more chicken! Remember to check the ingredients list carefully for hidden chicken.

Cats that are allergic to chicken may also be allergic to other ingredients, so sticking to a high-quality diet with only one or two proteins and no preservatives, meat meals, or filler ingredients is the best way to minimize their risks. It is also sensible to stick to just one or two types of meat in case they develop further allergies and we need to find another novel protein.

Cats that have severe allergies or are allergic to a large number of ingredients may also need medical management of their condition. This may include oral medications or injections to suppress or modulate their immune reactions.

Can Food Allergies Be Prevented?

Allergies to certain foods and ingredients cannot be prevented, but there are ways to reduce the risk and severity of their allergic response.

By choosing a high-quality diet based on whole meat, and that contains no artificial preservatives or colors, you are minimizing the number of ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction. Although offering a wide variety of flavors to your cat might seem like a good idea, it’s actually worth limiting the number of ingredients to just a few, as this means there are far more options to explore if your cat does develop a food allergy.

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Final Thoughts

Having a cat that is allergic to chicken may seem like a huge problem, but it’s actually not a big deal. Getting to the bottom of what has been causing their clinical signs is certainly the most painful part, and once we know what ingredient is the culprit, it is easy to find a diet that will suit their needs. Remember to check the back of the pack for any hidden chicken ingredients, and that a shorter ingredients list equals higher quality food with a lower allergy risk.

Featured Image Credit: Kginger, Shutterstock

Do Cats’ Waters Break? Our Vet Explains Feline Pregnancy Facts

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Whether you’ve experienced it yourself, know someone who has, or watched it on practically every sitcom in existence, you know what it means when a pregnant woman’s waters break—it’s baby time!

If you’re awaiting the arrival of some kittens, you’ll want to know what to be looking out for. Will there be contractions, panting, screaming, and crying? Will you see the telltale sign of their waters breaking? The answers are yes, sometimes, no, not usually, and not exactly.

So, what does a cat’s water breaking look like? For everything you need to know about what happens when a cat gives birth, keep reading.

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What Waters Are Breaking?

For humans, when the fetus is ready to leave the safety of the womb, the cervix dilates, causing the mucus plug that has been blocking the entrance to the uterus to dislodge, and the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby rushes out, sometimes discreetly, sometimes all over your shoes.

With cats, there are usually multiple fetuses inside the womb—typically around four to eight, with each contained within their own amniotic sac. Much of the time, the kitten is delivered still enclosed within the sac, so no amniotic fluid comes out before the birth. If the sac does break before the kitten is delivered, you may notice a very small amount of fluid coming from the mother cat’s (queen) vulva, but most of the time, she will clean it up before you’ve had a chance to notice anything. The fluid may be clear, greenish, or pink-tinged. Brown, red, yellow, or black discharge means it’s time to phone the vet.

So, if you’re expecting a dramatic flood of fluid to let you know that kittens are on the way, you’re in for a disappointment. This is why cats so often manage to sneak off and deliver their kittens without anyone noticing.

Pregnant cat laying on a staircase
Image Credit: Jim Polakis, Shutterstock

What Are the Signs That My Cat Is in Labor?

If we can’t rely on breaking waters to let us know that a cat is in labor (also called queening), what other signs can we be looking out for? Cats are notoriously stealthy when it comes to giving birth, and often, the first sign we will see is the sudden presence of kittens by her side! Most cats prefer to give birth in private, so don’t be too committed to the idea of holding her paw through the process.

If you want to know when kittens are on the way, here are a few signs you can watch out for:

  • Nesting: This might include gathering blankets, getting comfortable in a bed you’ve provided, or finding herself a cozy spot of her choosing.
  • Pacing: As the kittens are shifting into position and contractions are starting up, your queen may pace and seem uncomfortable or unsettled.
  • Vocalizing: For cats, birth is normally a fairly quiet affair, but some cats might let out some small meows, squeaks, or squawks if things get a bit uncomfortable, particularly if this is their first litter.
  • Licking: One of the main reasons you’ll see very little in the way of discharge before, during, or after the birth of kittens is that the queen will be focused on cleaning her vulva, the kittens, and any fluids. This is an evolved survival technique, minimizing the scent of newborn kittens that could attract predators.

Before a kitten appears, you will usually see a “bubble” appear at the entrance to the vagina. This is the amniotic sac. The queen will usually take care of breaking the sac and crushing the umbilical cord, so only intervene if there seems to be a problem.

How Long Will Labor Last?

female feline cat give birth
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskay, Shutterstock

Once queening has commenced, expect to see a kitten at least every hour, but it is not unusual for the delivery to be much quicker than this. It is also not unusual for there to be a pause in the delivery for the queen to rest, and many cat owners have woken the next morning to find two or three more kittens!

What Are Signs of Problems?

In the vast majority of cases, cats will deliver their kittens with very little difficulty and without the need for human intervention.

However, there is always a chance of things going wrong, so here are some red flags to look out for:

  • Lots of licking, but no kittens after 1 to 2 hours
  • Brown, black, red, or yellow discharge
  • Lethargy in queen or kittens
  • Lack of interest in kittens or not allowing them to suckle
  • Crying, pacing, and distress—a little is normal, but if it continues, there is likely a problem

Be sure to have your vet on speed dial in case you have any concerns or are in need of advice.

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Should I Let My Cat Have Kittens?

Orange cat snuggling with owner
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It is a common myth and misconception that female cats should be “allowed” to have a litter before they are spayed. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this notion, having come from the anthropomorphic (applying human emotional experiences to other animals) idea that all females should experience motherhood.

If you are thinking about breeding your cat, first consider these statements:

  • Tom cats have a barbed penis, so intercourse is unlikely to be an enjoyable experience for females. Males also usually grip the female’s scruff in their teeth to stop them from getting away.
  • Kittens are weaned when they are 6 to 8 weeks old, and female cats often don’t tolerate their offspring hanging around much beyond that.
  • There are around 30 to 40 million cats in animal shelters across the US.

This is why our advice is to spay and neuter your cat. However, if you really want to allow your cat to have a litter, then please ensure that you have already found a loving home for all of the kittens. However, by bringing more kittens into the world, you would be taking away the opportunity for already existing kittens to get adopted.

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Final Thoughts

If you are waiting to see your pregnant cat’s waters break, you are likely to be disappointed. Although they technically do experience a similar process to that seen in humans, the volume of “water” is so small that it’s likely to be missed, if not already cleaned up by the queen before you have a chance to see it. Additionally, most kittens are born still contained within the amniotic sac, so the fluid is contained until after the birth.

It’s important to be aware of what is and isn’t normal when it comes to queening, but even more important is knowing that there are millions of cats in desperate need of homes, and adding to that population unnecessarily is something that should be carefully considered. So, it’s often best to spay or neuter your cats.

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6 Best Online Vet Services in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Veterinary care has come a long way over the years. The pandemic propelled telemedicine for people and pets. It allowed everyone to have access to care without the risk of getting sick, all from the comfort of our own homes. It also opened doors for individuals with animal companions who aren’t keen on the car ride to the clinic. Sometimes, it can help you avoid the hassle of taking your pet to the vet altogether by answering questions virtually.

Our guide to the best online vet services includes everything you need to know about this novel offering. We cover the costs and other things to expect in the below reviews. However, please note that online vet services don’t replace in-office visits. Instead, they offer another option for quick, non-emergency care, with the added benefit of convenience.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

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The 6 Best Online Vet Services – Reviews & Top Picks 2024

1. PangoVet – Best Overall

PangoVet logo

Cost: $30–$60 for a 20-minute video call
Services: Personalized and actionable advice, online resource center
Best for: Pet parents looking for a quick, streamlined process with trusted advice

PangoVet stands out from the rest thanks to its easy and reliable process from start to finish. All you have to do is fill out a quick form, pay the consultation fee, and join the video chat to receive actionable advice. The team is made up of trusted veterinarians, and they can help with anything from ear and skin issues to nutrition to training and behavioral problems. If you’re on the fence, they even have a growing online resource center to refer to. However, please note that the company is not able to prescribe medications at this time.


  • Upfront pricing
  • Quick and easy process from start to finish
  • Helps with a large range of issues
  • Reliable team of trusted veterinarians
  • Online resource center


  • Doesn’t currently provide prescriptions

2. Chewy Connect With a Vet – Budget Buy

Chewy logo 2024

Cost: Free live chat, $20 video appointments
Services: Convenient online portal for purchases
Best for: Budget-minded customers

Chewy Connect With a Vet is a free service to help pet owners get the answers they want when they need it. You can either schedule a 20-minute appointment or get quick answers via online chat, and the latter is unlimited. You can schedule same-day appointments or schedule them up to 2 weeks ahead of time. Plus, since the chat is free and video calls are only $20, this makes it our pick for the best online vet service for the money.

Chewy Connect cannot prescribe or refill medications. It also has some state restrictions, which are beyond the scope of the company. The service also only deals with cats and dogs.


  • Affordable
  • Live chat or video appointments
  • Online shopping portal
  • Same-day appointments available


  • Cannot prescribe or refill medications
  • Only for cats and dogs

3. Pawp

Pawp logo 2024

Cost: $99 per annum, plus $19 per month for the Emergency Fund
Services: 24/7 availability
Best for: Those looking for a full-service offering

Pawp fills several niches as pet insurance continues to evolve. It has 24/7 veterinary availability for members. It also has an emergency fund, which insurers usually provide. The company offers a subscription plan with unlimited follow-up visits, which is valuable for pet owners with cats with chronic health conditions. The service includes actionable aftercare plans.

You can access the services via chat or video. We liked the fact that employees must have at least 5 years of clinical experience and continued education requirements, so you know you’re dealing with trusted professionals. However, our biggest gripe is that they mainly offer member-only services, so you have to pay to benefit from them in any way.


  • 24/7 chat and video chat for members
  • An emergency fund for members
  • Unlimited follow-up visits


  • Mainly member-only services
  • Pricey

4. Vetster

Vetster logo 2024

Cost: Varies by location, starting at $50
Services: Prescription refills, 24/7 service
Best for: Individuals wanting on-demand care

Vetster succeeds on several scores to help pet owners with their pressing needs with 24/7 on-demand vet appointments. You can get four free meetings with a subscription plan. That’s enough to push it to the head of the class for the value it provides. You can also get refills for prescriptions, which definitely sets it apart from many other online vet sites.

Vester can connect you with a local vet to make care seamless. The site includes an informative blog and an extensive knowledge base to help you understand issues facing your cat. The customer support is top-notch as well. However, according to some customer reviews, there are times when the vets will cancel at the last minute.


  • Prescription fulfillment (with limitations)
  • 24/7 on-demand vet appointments
  • Subscription plans
  • Four free video appointments with a subscription


  • Reviews that vets will sometimes cancel

5. Whisker Docs

Whisker Docs logo 2024

Cost: $16.99 per month or $129.99 annually
Features: Multiple access options
Services: Phone calls or video chats
Best for: Tech and non-tech-savvy clients

Whisker Docs makes it easy to consult with a vet, no matter what form of communication or whether it’s a one-time visit or a subscription. You can get free follow-ups and unlimited visits with a plan. The setup is brilliant because it appeals to all pet owners with varying tech experience. Even older pet parents will feel comfortable connecting with a vet 24/7.qq

This company’s customer service is excellent, from the online library to the FAQs. It’s definitely user-friendly on all fronts. We liked the email option, which many non-techy pet clients may find appealing. On the downside, there isn’t an emergency fund, so you’ll need to keep your pet insurance policy current.


  • Email consult option
  • Complimentary follow-up calls
  • One-time options

6. Banfield Vet Chat

Banfield Vet Chat logo 2024

Cost: Prices vary with the location
Features: Wellness care
Services: Virtual vet visits
Best for: Seamless pet care

Banfield Pet Hospital strives to provide service on all fronts. The online vet services are a no-brainer. The advantage for pet owners is seamless care. You don’t have to worry about your cat’s info being in the system with a detailed medical history. That makes it convenient since you often have to have this option available for follow-up care, and you can appreciate this benefit if you’ve ever dealt with multiple clinics.

These services are a boon for pet owners and clinics. That’s why it’s a part of the company’s wellness plan. It’s a win-win since many states require a relationship with the patient.


  • Brick-and-mortar option
  • 24/7 care
  • Virtual office visits


  • Must have their wellness plan
  • Unclear pricing

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Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Online Vet Service

Pet owners likely see online vet services as a boon. You don’t have to take a fearful or reluctant cat to the vet. Instead, you can get comparable care without having to leave your home. It’s less stressful for your kitty. If any handling is necessary, you’re doing it as a familiar face to your pet, although there are some instances where you will still have to take them in to see someone in person. Also, some may see it as a more affordable option. However, that’s not always the case.

If you’re deciding to go this route, things to consider with these services include:

  • Cost
  • Features
  • Services
  • Insurance coverage


Cost is an integral part of your decision. We mentioned that online vet services don’t replace office visits. However, there are times when taking your pet to the vet could cost more than just money—your time and peace of mind. Taking a pet to the vet can be stressful, and some people even need to take work off to do so. If your pet seems out of sorts but you don’t believe they’re having a medical emergency, this is when an online service can save you both time and money, as a vet will be able to give you their professional opinion and advice all from the comfort of your own home and in a quick, often 20-minute session.

woman working on her laptop with her cat on the couch
Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock


Features you may see include contact options, like whether it’s an online text chat or a video call. It’s a personal preference, although the latter has a distinct advantage. The vet can observe your pet. It’s not just seeing your cat but viewing them in a familiar environment. A common problem with feline research is being able to observe natural behavior unimpeded by the animal’s natural wariness. This feature is priceless.

Some sites offer virtual libraries with curated information not tainted by anecdotal content or blatant misinformation. After all, Google isn’t always right. Some can write prescriptions, which can save you a lot of hassle if a visual diagnosis is possible. You’ll see this offering with many skin conditions in people. You’ll find some services for one-off calls and chats or subscription plans.


The nature of these services limits their scope. Federal law and regulations are the controlling agents, and understanding these limitations is imperative. We’re sure many platforms would like to offer several options if they were legal and ethical, such as offering prescriptions, which vary from state to state.

So, good customer service is essential despite these concerns. Also, when shopping, think about how you would use the services offered. You’re more likely to go straight to the emergency vet clinic for poisoning and injuries, for example. Meanwhile, it’s a different story if your dog has a chronic condition that you must monitor. Thus, the value of the services offered varies.

Insurance Coverage

Many insurers offer their versions of online vet services, while others accept claims for them. That adds another layer of complexity when using these platforms. We suggest checking the fine print on coverage to see if the site has this option. Remember that most companies provide reimbursement instead of paying the bill outright. Some may require you to use a specific service. Meanwhile, some plans don’t cover online services at all.

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Based on our reviews, PangoVet was the best overall choice on our list of the best online vet services. Meanwhile, Chewy Connect With a Vet is an affordable option for budget-minded pet owners with free chat or personalized online appointments. However, there are many of these services to choose from, so ensure you find one that offers exactly what you need for a price within your budget.

Featured Image Credit: PhotodriveStudio, Shutterstock

Conversion Therapy with Clutch: Turning Cat Haters Into Cat Lovers

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Hi, I’m Dr. Karyn! Read my introduction to learn more about me and meet my five hilarious cats: Clutch, Cyril, Alex, Zelda, and Zazzles.

If there’s one thing that Clutch will not tolerate, it’s a cat hater. He seems to make it his mission to convert even the most committed ailurophobe into an ailurophile,1 and he doesn’t take no for an answer. He has even been known to rid one family member of their cat allergies, such is the power of this handsome boy! How has he achieved such feats? Let me tell you about my Star Wars theory.

The Star Wars Theory

Back in the good old days when there were just three awesome Star Wars films, Episodes IV, V, and VI, I had a regular argument with people who claimed they ‘hated’ Star Wars, and it went a little bit like this:

  • Them: I hate Star Wars
  • Me: Have you watched them?
  • Them: No.
  • Me: *blank stare*
  • Them: I hate those types of films.
  • Me: But…but, you haven’t actually seen them. How can you know?

And now you’re wondering what on earth this has to do with Clutch. Basically, in my analogy, cats are science fiction films, and Clutch is Return of the Jedi. Still confused? Let me explain.

Many people formed an opinion about Star Wars based on the fact that they didn’t enjoy the science fiction genre. But, as fans will attest, Episodes IV to VI are more character driven, less hardcore sci-fi, making them appealing to a much wider audience. In particular, Episode VI, the Return of the Jedi, had something for everyone – sci-fi, romance, adventure, and (love them or hate them) Ewoks.

People that haven’t had a good encounter with cats will often make the assumption that they don’t like any cats. Therefore:

  • Cats = science fiction films
  • Friendly cats = Star Wars
  • Clutch = Return of the Jedi
My brother-in-law, James: Didn't like cats, now has two cats.
My brother-in-law, James: Didn’t like cats, now has two cats.

Wait, What?

Okay, maybe that was a rather convoluted way for me to explain that Clutch is a cat that even cat-haters love, but I enjoyed the diversion!

Over the past ten years, Clutch has won over scared children, cynics, and the manliest of men. Of course, there are some people who just don’t like animals at all, but we try keep them out of our home…and social circle.

You may have heard that cats will often gravitate towards people that aren’t their biggest fans because they tend to demonstrate characteristics that appeal to most felines: narrowed eyes, holding back rather than approaching, and generally leaving the cat alone. In cat language, this shows conveys trust and deference, attracting them to the less-than-thrilled human. But Clutch isn’t even put off by more overt anti-cat behavior; pushing him away, blocking access to laps, or moving to a different location will not deter this loving boy. They are merely challenges to be overcome. Through sheer determination, Clutch forces people to acknowledge his irresistible charm and concede that perhaps cats aren’t so terrible after all.

The Canine Feline

Clutch has always preferred company of the canine variety.
Clutch has always preferred company of the canine variety.

We often joke that Clutch identifies as dog, with his chilled out personality and preference for the company of other canines; cat-hating-dog-lovers often pick up on this. One feline characteristic that people find off-putting is how unpredictable, or easily spooked they can be; one false move and they’re off like a shot, or directing a sharp tooth or claw in your direction. Although this does describe some cats, it is not a fair or accurate representation of them all. But it takes a lot of convincing to undo this prejudice. Enter, Clutch.

Far from being flighty or bitey, Clutch is difficult to move once he’s comfortable, is not easily startled, and has never been known to lash out in fear or anger. His calm demeanor and determination to be loved seems to put people at ease, particularly those who are partial to the amiable nature of dogs.

Allergies? What Allergies?

My mother-in-law loves cats. Unfortunately, her immune system did not. When exposed to feline dander in the past, her eyes would water, her throat would itch, her nose would run, and she would always load up on antihistamines before visiting our home.

Clutch takes on my Mother-in-law's allergies
Clutch takes on my Mother-in-law’s allergies

In his typical fashion, Clutch would attach himself to poor Trish, cuddling into her chest, accompanying her to meals, and sleeping on her clothes, making sure that she, and her belongings, had plenty of white fur attached. Over a period of months, she realized that her symptoms had reduced, and she no longer needed to premedicate with antihistamines. This isn’t completely unheard of; allergies tend to either intensify or diminish with exposure, and it seemed that Trish’s fell into the latter category.

Although people can be allergic to some cats but not all, she had previously reacted to other cats in the household that pre-dated Clutch’s arrival, so it would appear that Clutch’s forceful affection has had something of a desensitizing effect.

Conversion with a Warning

I can say with confidence that virtually every person that has had the privilege of meeting Clutch has come away with a greatly improved opinion of felines in general. Although not everyone has rushed out and immediately got themselves a cat, there have been a few that finally gave into the pressures of family members once they realized that cats “aren’t all bad”. Proud as I am to know that Clutch has been responsible for the conversion of many former cat-haters, I don’t want people to be under the illusion that all cats are like Clutch.

You leave your jacket, you take home some Clutch hair.
You leave your jacket, you take home some Clutch hair.

You might find yourself with the same disappointment experienced by millions of Star Wars fans after flocking to cinemas to see Episode I…

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How to Make My Cat TikTok Famous: 8 Tips to a Viral Craze

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Anyone who’s lived with cats will know just how much happiness and laughter they can bring. Sharing cat videos online can help you spread the joy of cats, and TikTok may be the perfect social media platform for you to use. With over 1 billion active users, starting a cat TikTok account can help your cat become the next biggest cat-fluencer.

It does take some luck, but there are some practical things you can do to build and boost your cat’s TikTok account. Here are some ways you can help your cat go viral and become a social media sensation.


Fortunately, it doesn’t require much to start a cat TikTok account. You don’t really need to invest in expensive equipment when you’re first starting out. Just make sure you have a phone that can take decent photos and videos. Then, take some time to familiarize yourself with all of TikTok’s features. Once you get a good grasp of how to edit and post videos, you can start to develop an action plan to grow your cat’s TikTok account.

The 8 Tips on How to Make Your Cat TikTok Famous

1. Find Your Niche

There are many sub-genres and niches under the giant umbrella of Cat TikTok. You can find cat-fluencers who focus on one or two specialties, like lifestyle, product testing and reviews, traveling with pets, and comedy.

Start by identifying your niche and coming up with a list of video ideas that fall under that niche. Sticking to one or two sub-genres will help your audience know what to expect from your videos and increase the chances of more people choosing to follow your account.

Some popular cat TikTok accounts you can check out for inspiration include:

Watch their videos to see what kinds of things they are posting about and give you an idea of the niche that you want to specialize in. Keep in mind that choosing a niche that fewer people have may increase your following and reach. You don’t want to make your cat TikTok just like everyone else. Choose something more unique so your account stands out more.

woman holding out her phone to a cat
Image Credit: PhotodriveStudio, Shutterstock

2. Follow Trends

You can gain a lot of views and followers by posting videos of current trends on TikTok. Posting videos of your cat with popular sound clips and songs will increase their chances of getting more views, as more people are scrolling through videos with viral sounds and challenges. In fact, it’s common for a cat video to become viral because it uses a popular sound clip.

Keep a close eye on TikTok trends because they start and end very quickly. It’s important to post your video while the trend is still popular. Otherwise, you’ll just end up posting old content while the rest of the community has moved on to the next trend. You can keep up with the latest TikTok trends using their handy Trends page.

3. Let Your Cat’s Personality Shine

People love getting to know cats and what makes them unique. So, highlight what makes your cat special. It might be a certain physical feature, like @venustwofacecat, or a quirky personality trait. You can also make cute and interesting videos documenting a day in the life of your cat so that people can get to know them.

Many popular cat TikTok accounts also give a voice to the cats in the videos. For example, some cats will have their videos contain voiceovers that use a funny or sassy voice. These types of voiceovers will help develop your cat’s online persona and help others fall in love with their personality.

Two funny cats look in wide eyed astonishment
Image Credit: Evgeny_pm, Shutterstock

4. Engage With Your Audience

Videos with higher levels of engagement are more likely to get more exposure and views. So, make sure to engage with your audience by replying to their comments. You can also make videos with prompts or questions that encourage people to Stitch with your video. The Stitch feature enables people to create their own video using footage from your video. This can help spread your video to more people and attract them to your cat’s TikTok account.

5. Post Consistently

Posting consistently will increase the chances of your videos getting exposed to a wider audience. People are also more likely to follow your cat’s TikTok account because it proves that you’ll be providing fresh content regularly.

You’ll notice that brands and full-time content creators often post multiple times a day. However, this just isn’t realistic for most cat parents who are just starting out. While there’s no hard rule for how frequently you should post, it’s recommended to start by posting at least once a day for the first several weeks of starting your cat’s TikTok account. It’s also helpful to upload posts at around the same time each day.

You can use this helpful guide to determine the best times to post on TikTok depending on the day. Just remember that it’s better to post high-quality content rather than a large quantity of content. Engaging videos are more likely to attract followers and build a consistent fan base rather than just posting for the sake of posting.

woman using her phone with a cat on her lap
Image Credit: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

6. Take High-Quality Photos and Videos

People are more likely to stay and watch TikTok videos with clear footage. So, refrain from posting blurry or dark videos where you can barely make out your cat. Try to film your cat in areas in your home where you get plenty of natural lighting. Posting high-quality videos of your cat will convey to your audience that you’re serious and invested in posting good content. This will increase the likelihood of people revisiting and following your cat’s TikTok account.

7. Edit Your Photos and Videos

TikTok’s appeal is short, entertaining, and engaging content. You only have a couple of seconds to grab someone’s attention before they decide to scroll to the next video. Therefore, make sure to edit your videos so that every second is put to good use.

Adding music or sound clips can help make your videos more engaging. Typing captions can also add more value to a video by providing more context or adding more humor.

woman using her phone with a cat on her lap
Image Credit: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

8. Use the Right Hashtags

Hashtags will put your TikTok videos into categories, which in turn will make them more likely to reach your intended audience. While there isn’t a set limit on how many hashtags you should use for each video, it’s generally recommended to use three to five.

Looking through the TikTok Discover/Explore tab can help you find trending hashtags. For even more ideas, you can do a quick search for popular hashtags for cat TikTok on a search engine.

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There’s no denying that it usually takes a significant amount of work to build and grow your cat’s TikTok account. However, it’s clear that the internet loves cats, and there’s a significant cat fanbase on TikTok. With some time, consistency, and a strategic plan, you can ensure more people get to know your wonderful cat and that your cat receives all the attention and admiration that they deserve.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Josep Suria, Shutterstock

How To Remove Cat Urine Smell From Your Whole House: 5 Tips & Tricks

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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For all the joy they bring into the home, one aspect of having a cat that most owners don’t often appreciate is the smell. Experienced pet parents know it only takes one indoor accident to create a pungent odor throughout the house. With their highly concentrated urine that can readily soak into various hard and soft surfaces, cats have a knack for making a lasting stink.

Cleaning cat urine thoroughly and quickly is the only way to keep your home comfortable for the family and guests and prevent future accidents. Unfortunately, these stains present unique challenges that many everyday solutions often can’t solve. If you’re ready for a fresher home, we’ll explore five tips and tricks to remove the cat urine smell from your whole house.

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How to Remove Cat Urine Smell From Your Whole House

1. Use a Blacklight to Find Old Urine Spots

urine spot on the carpet as seen using UV light
Image Credit: In The Light Photography, Shutterstock

We can sometimes sniff out the location of a cat urine spot, but more often than not, the smell seemingly comes from all sides, leaving us wondering where to begin our cleaning efforts. If you’ve been struggling to find the odor’s source, a UV light is an easy way to reveal hidden cat urine marks.

How to Use a Blacklight to Find Cat Urine

Blacklights or UV lights can be found at most major retailers. Start by turning the lights off, and closing the curtains to darken the room as much as possible. Then, sweep the light over your room.

Look for glowing yellow or neon green splatter patterns where your cat may have sprayed or urinated, often along the lower edges of walls or furniture. Once you find them, mark the perimeter of the urine stains so you know the area you must cover with your cleaner.

Check for stains where cats might secretly urinate, like behind or underneath furniture or in the back of a closet. Remember that UV light only works on dried cat urine stains, not fresh ones, so they are more practical if the cat pee smell has been around for a day or two.

2. Use an Enzyme Cleaner on Cat Urine Stains

close up of woman in rubber gloves with cloth and derergent spray cleaning carpet at home
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

Cat urine is more challenging than most stains, so many of our favorite cleaners typically fall well short of removing them for good. Uric acid crystals and other odor-causing compounds cement into carpet and furniture fibers.

Many cleaning products do little more than mask the smell, and even the best steamers and carpet cleaners can often only remove a small portion of the stain.

The best way for a pet owner to remove the cat urine smell from the house is with an enzymatic cleaner. Enzyme cleaners like Hepper’s Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray use active bacteria and enzymes that selectively break down urine components, converting them into carbon dioxide and other harmless compounds that evaporate away.

How to Use Enzyme Cleaners

Enzyme sprays are pet and people-safe and can work on numerous surfaces without the risk of staining or damage. You only need to shake the bottle and saturate the area. Enzymes break down urine particles as they make contact and continue working until the urine is gone.

In many cases, you don’t even have to blot up the cleaner afterward, but be sure to follow the directions on your particular product.

3. Pull Up Carpet If Needed

close up of male hands rolling carpet
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

Measuring the extent of the cat urine is crucial if you hope to eliminate it entirely. You may clean a carpet to remove a stain and smell from the top layer to your satisfaction, but urine that soaks through to the carpet padding or the subfloor will continue pumping out an odor and attracting your cat for repeat performances.

The same applies to hard flooring that may allow urine to seep between the cracks.

Assess the Urine Damage in Your Carpet

Pull up your carpet at the corner and inspect for urine damage in the padding. If the padding is saturated or smells like urine, go another step and check the subfloor underneath. While you may be able to refresh the carpet and remove the cat urine odor, padding is cheap and challenging to clean.

Replace any carpet padding that smells pungent. If the damage extends to the subfloor, use your enzyme cleaner to break down the urine. Once it dries, apply a stain-blocking primer over the wood to prevent stains and odors from spreading.

4. Air Out the House

Image Credit: Iuliia Pilipeichenko, Shutterstock

Cleaning the cat urine stain is the only effective way to eliminate the odor. Still, if your house isn’t even tolerable in the meantime, you have a few options to reduce, if not remove, the smell quickly and conveniently.

Start by opening all the windows to get a cross-breeze. Turn on any overhead fans, and set up box fans in the windows to push the smelly air out and pull fresh air in.

5. Sprinkle Baking Soda for Immediate Deodorizing

Cleaning mattress with baking soda
Image Credit: Nick Alias, Shutterstock

If you don’t have an enzyme cleaner but want to quickly remove a smelly cat stain, several household staples can provide a temporary refresh. Baking soda is at the top of the list.

Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes acidic and basic odor molecules, making it a versatile all-natural deodorizer in countless situations.

  • Baking Soda for Fresh Urine Stains

Baking soda is notably helpful as an initial attack for wet pee marks because it absorbs moisture as it deodorizes. When sprinkled on a fresh urine mark on a carpet or fabric, it will soak up the stain rather than push it deeper into the material, as you might do when you blot stains with a cloth.

When you catch the stain in time, baking soda can save your carpet padding and subfloor until you can apply an enzyme cleaner. If you’re out of baking soda, you can use cornstarch or clean cat litter for a similar effect.

  • Baking Soda for Old Urine Stains

Baking soda also makes an excellent quick fix for dried urine marks raising a stink. The cat urine smell will often recede but appear days, weeks, or even months later if it gets wet again. High humidity and liquid spills saturate the embedded uric acid crystals, causing them to refill the whole house with the smell.

Sprinkling baking soda on old cat urine will deodorize it while drawing away the moisture that causes the compounds to reactivate. It may not be a permanent fix or enough to keep your cat from smelling it, but baking soda can save your nostrils in a pinch.

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How to Use Baking Soda to Deodorize Cat Urine Stains

woman in a yellow sweater with jar of baking soda
Image Credit: Dragon Images, Shutterstock

Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the cat pee stain. Depending on the extent of the stain, let it sit for at least 30 minutes or longer to absorb the odors and moisture. When dry, vacuum the powder.

Ideally, powdery materials like baking soda should be vacuumed using a wet/dry vacuum with a HEPA filter. Fine particulate matter can damage the motor on a conventional vacuum and may escape the grasp of a standard filter, causing more issues to solve.

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Final Thoughts

Cats are known for occasionally making trouble, and nothing they do will foul up the home more than a noxious urine odor. The smell is unexpectedly tricky and persistent, leaving many of us ready to throw in the towel and call a professional.

While extensive damage may need expert intervention, following these tips and tricks to remove a urine smell will give you the best chance of overcoming the issue with minimal effort and maximum satisfaction.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

I’ll Scratch Your Back if You Scratch Mine: Itchy Cats

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Hi, I’m Dr. Lauren! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my two adventurous cats, Pancake and Tiller.

As a vet, this is a common time of year that I get all sorts of complaints about itchy cats. The warm weather leads to plants and trees that blossom, increasing the number of pollens and other allergens, insect levels skyrocket, and cats become itchy. But a cat doesn’t have to lose hair or be actively scratching to mean they are itchy. Sometimes cats show itching in very unexpected ways… let’s take a look.

Signs of an Itchy Cat

Typical signs of itchiness include the obvious like the physical act of scratching and hair loss. A less well known sign is the “itch response” -something we were commonly taught about in vet school in relation to sheep, but that I also observe in many itchy cats in clinics. If a cat has general itchiness (the Latin term is pruritus) then scratching them or petting them on the top of their butt can elicit a chewing response. Odd one!

Pancake is definitely showing some grumpy face emotion here, after being awoken from a nap.

Hair loss, and scabs, can also indicate that physical scratching is traumatizing the hair coat and skin. But you may not realize that an itchy cat might also only present as a cat that is frequently grooming. Now, certainly most cats will spend a fair amount of time grooming their haircoat. But itchy cats often lick or groom when they are itchy, rather than outright scratching, like a dog may do. Try to look at the times your cat is grooming, if you are trying to decide if it is normal or not.

Normal grooming behavior happens after meals, or before a nap. Itchy cats often groom at random times- they will be walking through a room, and then stop to do a brief grooming session. Or you pet them, and they suddenly have a frenetic cleaning session. They will also groom in front of strangers or in unusual places- where they otherwise wouldn’t and shouldn’t feel entirely relaxed.

Common Causes of Feline Itch

Just like people, cats can also get allergies. Fleas are a common one that many cats experience. Food is another, especially to proteins like beef and fish. But ectoparasites, like fleas, and skin mites, can also cause itch even in non-allergic cats.

Unfortunately, cats don't cross their legs and make the diagnosis of what's causing feline inappropriate urination easy!

Ways to Help an Itchy Cat

It’s always best to start with a visit to your cat’s vet. Bring photos and videos of anything questionable, as sometimes they can be hard to see in the clinic, or your pet may not display the behavior.

Ensure, too, that your cat is up to date on flea and worm treatments. (Some tapeworms can cause extremely itchy behinds for some patients! And fleas are a main cause of feline tapeworms!) Also remember that even a small amount of fleas can cause some cats to be very itchy, if they are allergic. And if that itchy cat has a tendency to groom, they may ingest all evidence of fleas before they can be detected. Therefore, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!

Your vet can also guide you on other treatments that may help your cat, which can include diet trials to detect food allergies, and itch suppressing medications.

Generally, itch is very treatable in cats, so never be afraid to scratch that itch, so to speak, and dig deeper into the issue by seeking professional help.