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Scratching & Declawing: Options & Alternatives
Front Legs

Some cats use their claws destructively indoors by clawing the furniture or carpet. For those cats, there are solutions to help curtail this habit.


Scratching is a completely natural and normal behavior for your cat. It helps sharpen their claws, acts as a scent and visual marker, and aids in stretching.  Scratching is important to cats and feels good, however it can be destructive to a household and hard to control. By providing your cat with alternatives to your furniture, you can help discourage destructive scratching.

The first step is to provide some acceptable scratching mater... Read More

Declawing by Frank Utchen, DVM
Front Legs

Question: Dr. Utchen do you think declawing a cat is cruel? 


Well, I think I speak for all veterinarians when I say I would love it if cats didn't become destructive with their claws, or if a living arrangement could always be worked out so a cat didn't have access to the furniture in the house, or if every cat with these tendencies would use a scratching post exclusively. I would certainly be glad to never do that particular surgery.

Our preference is always to try encouraging a cat to use a scratching post or other acceptable object, rather than pe... Read More

Excessive Grooming by Frank Utchen, DVM

Question: Dr. Utchen my cat has groomed and groomed its stomach until there is no hair left. What does this mean? 


Most cats with this behavior have itchy skin causing them to groom excessively. Various causes include fleas, skin mites, environmental allergies (molds, dust mites, and pollens), and even allergies to food ingredients. If the problem can be identified (a particular matt, etc. that a cat sleeps on) and then avoided, that is the best solution.  However, often that is impossible. In that case, various medications can be used to treat the allergy.

... Read More

Feline Diarrhea & Questionnaire

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is the passage of feces as unformed or loose stools, usually in increased volume and frequency of passage. It is a result of increased speed of passage of fecal material through the intestine combined with decreased absorption of water, nutrients and electrolytes. There are many causes of diarrhea. Diarrhea may occur as the only sign or in combination with other signs of more widespread disease, or with symptoms that result from prolonged or severe diarrhea.

How can I tell if my cat has diarrhea?

If your normally well-trained cat suddenly starts ha... Read More

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