This «cat month» must reaffirm the commitment to responsible tenure. The cat, like the other animals that share our lives, must be considered one more member of the families and, as such, it is necessary to understand their behavior and prepare to be able to provide you with the safety and love it deserves.
Indoor or outdoor cats
Time has been tasked with delivering sufficient evidence to deny several of the myths that have surrounded them for hundreds of years, such as being treacherous or unable to establish relationships of affection with their families. What is true is that the cat, unlike the dog, is much more independent, which should not be confused with an asocial animal, that is, with a solitary social behavior: cats are animals that are linked with people and other cats.
However, one of the big concerns today lies in the fact that cats should live permanently inside the house, a habit known as indoors, or they can go out to explore as much as they want, outdoor cats, explains Gonzalo Chávez. This second point, which might seem the most natural and appropriate for the cat, presents certain safeguards, since the mere fact that the cat roams freely around the neighborhood, exposes it to accidents, dog attacks, fights with other cats and increased prevalence of infectious diseases, compromising his and his family’s well-being.
There is also sufficient evidence to show that cats are responsible for the deaths of dozens of prey: insects, reptiles, birds and small mammals, due to their natural behavior by gambling and hunting. In the face of this, keeping the cats inside the house would seem to be a very good option, but to achieve this you will have to consider that it will be the family itself that will have to take responsibility for satisfying all the behavioral needs of the cat such as playing, exploring, interacting and resting in spaces and with elements according to that purpose.
If these cat needs are not met, there will probably be signs of frustration and boredom, such as urine, nail or even fecas marking. In addition, destructiveness, increased vocalizations, night walks, rough games, aggression, irritability and changes in appetite.
The street as an option
In August you could notice in the behavior of your feline a greater activity than usual, meows and desire to go out on the street, this is because with the increase of daylight hours per day, the fertile cycle of cats reaches its peak and both males and females are motivated to come into contact with other members of their species , which could end up generating roof fights, a lot of sexual exchange and fights over territory and control of females.
Hence the name of August as «cat month», but it is for this time that risk factors regarding the onset in viral diseases and feline dermatopathies are also increased.
The adventures of our furry friends on the streets could bring them some dermatopathies detailed below in order to identify them in case they show up in your cat.
Fleas are one of the main causes of dermatological condition in cats, either by mass infestation, which causes itching, or by allergy to them, in which case the cat will have severe itching and even injury, without the need for large amounts of fleas present.
It is important to know how to perform an effective flea control. In the market there are numerous products to control fleas with various presentations: pipettes, spray, oral tablets, etc. In the cat, they must be applied monthly, which should be particularly strict in those cats that go outside, says Rocío Gómez.
The most important allergies in the cat are fleas, hypersensitivity to food and environmental allergy caused by room dust mites, pollens, fungal spores and several others. Regardless of the cause, allergies manifest with different types of presentations: itching, excessive licking, head and neck injuries, small ribbing that are felt when caressing the cat, hair loss in the abdomen or hind legs, or even plate or bulking lesions that can be mistaken for tumors. In the case of food allergies, some cats may also have gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting or diarrhea. This type of lesions can also occur in other dermatological pathologies, so it is very important that a veterinarian examine the cat and perform the necessary diagnostic tests to determine whether or not it is an allergy and what type it is, since it will depend on the treatment.
Dermatophytosis – Ringworm
Despite what most people believe, dermatophytosis or ringworm is not as common. In general, we will see it especially in small kittens that have been exposed to unfavourable environmental conditions (especially abandonment or overcrowding) and in Persian cats, which are predisposed to suffer.
Ringworm is caused by dermatophyte fungi, some of which have the potential to be contagious to other species, including humans.
Ringworm can occur in different ways, but it is most common that lesions with hair loss, small or extensive, with redness and dandruff, lesions that can be easily confused with other pathologies are observed so it is very important that a veterinarian be seen to do the tests to confirm or rule out the diagnosis and to urge appropriate treatment.
Loving is caring and vaccinating
It is important to note that there are vaccines called «Core», which all cats should receive, explains María Paz Iturriaga. These are vaccines for diseases such as feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus and feline panleucopenia (called triple feline); as well as the vaccine for the feline leukemia virus vaccine is not considered as Core itself, but the International Society of Feline Medicine ISFM suggests that all kittens be vaccinated against this virus as they are more susceptible and in most cases the environment in which they will live is unknown and then based on the risk of exposure is decided whether it is necessary to continue vaccinating against this virus or not.
In this «month of cats» we must reaffirm our commitment to responsible coexistence. The cat, like the other animals with which we decided to share our lives, should be considered one more member of our families and, c