Category: Blog

Keep up with important news about feline health, nutrition, and behavior, and other topics of interest to pet parents.

Awards for Little Big Cat!

I am thrilled to announce that Little Big Cat has just received two awesome awards placing us in the Top 50 and Top 100 Cat Bloggers out of the millions of cat blogs on the internet! We are so honored…






Pets, Tobacco, and Marijuana Smoke

By Guest Author Chloe Bloom and Jean Hofve, DVM For many years now, we have known how dangerous tobacco smoking is to health. The list of ways it can harm smokers seems to grow longer every year, as more and…






Pet Food: Processed to Death?

Many thanks to Susan Thixton at TruthAboutPetFood.com for letting us reprint her excellent article here, which applies 100% to cat food as well as dog food. The multiple rounds of heat processing that pet food undergoes causes many deleterious changes…






Pets Age Faster Than People

Here’s a handy chart to compare pets’ vs. people’s ages: Related PostsSalmonella Here to Stay? Robert Scott Bell interviews Dr. Jean Report from AAFCO Pet Food Committee Recycling 101 for Pets Rabbit Fever






Cat Vision & Eyesight: Common Myths Debunked

With many thanks to our special guest author, Amber Kingsley! Cats have been our companions for many thousands of years, dating back to the days of ancient Egypt where they were worshipped and given elaborate burials. Soon they spread throughout Europe,…






Clean Teeth for Good Health

This is such an important subject! We’re proud to feature this guest post from our friend Lana Fraley Rich, Catsultant®, at www.Catsultant.com.  Here is an important question for you: Do you know if you have any dental diseases? You may not know for…






Epigenetics

Epigenetics is the study of changes in the way genes are expressed that do not involve DNA. It turns out that DNA isn’t in charge the way we once thought it was—it’s the proteins around the DNA that really control gene expression. These…






Why Fish is Dangerous for Cats

The fish used in pet food may contain all kinds of toxins and drug residues, including persistent organic pollutants that actually stop the body from eliminating it and other toxins. Another common toxin, domoic acid, may be an unrecognized factor in chronic kidney disease.











Toilet Training for Cats

Our good friend Jo Singer recently spotted an old idea being given a disturbing new life: toilet training a cat. And sorry, no… this is not a “how to” article, it’s about “why not”! A 2001 book by Dr. Eric Brotman on the…






Pet Food Contaminants

As part of my duties as an AAFCO advisor and member of several Working Groups, I attend numerous webinars and teleconferences. In one group, the discussion centered around the use of 4D meats and other rotten junk in pet food,…






HOMEOPATHIC FIRST AID: REMEDIES TO KEEP AT HOME

Homeopathy is a system of medicine developed more than 200 years ago by German chemist Samuel Hahnemann. It is a form of “holistic” medicine, in that it takes into account the “whole” organism—its physical, mental, emotional, historical, and environmental conditions.…






FDA Finds Toxic Sludge Going Into Animal Food

Many thanks to our good friend Mollie Morrissette for her excellent reporting on this issue. This is one more reason for why it is so important to have consumer representatives at AAFCO meetings–we provide a layer of protection (and a warning…






Euthanasia

When I was in practice, I noticed that we wouldn’t have a death or euthanasia for weeks, then we’d get a rash of them all at once. But there was a reason, many other veterinarians have also seen it, and it turns out to be very simple….











Please Don’t Give Pets as Gifts

It’s a wonderful thing to give, and we all have good intentions when shopping for truly special gifts for our loved ones. You may have visions of one you love opening a beautiful box with an adorable kitten inside, or…






Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

Changing diets at least every 3-4 months, to a food with different protein and carbohydrate sources, may prevent your cat from becoming allergic or intolerant to a food in the first place.











When You SHOULD Induce Vomiting

We recently discussed when NOT to induce vomiting after your pet has eaten certain harmful items. Today we’ll look at common situations where you should induce vomiting (how-to instructions below). Rodent poisons often contain anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) drugs such as coumarin…






Rabies Vaccine Reality Check

Thanks to my good friend Dr. Karen Becker at Mercola.com for this incredibly important article! By Dr. Becker I have some encouraging news to share about rabies vaccines, or more specifically, how pets with out-of-date vaccinations that are exposed to…






Halloween Safety for Pets

Halloween is already upon us, so it’s time to remind folks how to keep all pets (most especially black cats!) safe at this time of year. Many thanks to Kimberly Jackson (A to Z Petcare) and Kate Solisti (KateSolisti.com) for…






When NOT to Induce Vomiting

Cats and dogs can get into a lot of trouble! If they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t, the common advice is to induce vomiting by giving them syrup of ipecac or hydrogen peroxide. (My favorite item recovered by this method was…






The Difference: One Veterinarian’s Story

Today I’m posting an article written a few days ago by a colleague, Dr. Carolyn Karrh, who was sad and frustrated after a dog died after being spayed. The dog was a high risk patient, but was brought to a low-cost,…






Restful Sleep

Restful sleep is a topic that most of us don’t give enough attention to… unless it’s to fret about not getting enough of it! And hardly anyone thinks about sleep as far as animal companions are concerned. But getting enough…






Cat Scratchers – What Do Cats Like?

Having the right cat scratching “implements” is critical in preventing claw damage to carpets and furniture. New research provides insight into where and why cats scratch. Scratching is a deeply embedded instinct in cats. It is used as a visual…






Cat Senses

Science has discovered what many cat-lovers have known for years… most cats depend more on their vision than on their sense of smell! I could have told you that when I brought my freshly-shaved dog home one summer afternoon. My…






Preventive Care Perspectives

Veterinarians quickly get frustrated when clients turn to those alternate sources of information, even though they themselves are unwilling or incapable of providing that advice.











The Ideal Diet for Cats

Data suggest that diet is largely irrelevant in terms of extending longevity… On the other hand, there is plenty of research showing that the more prey-like the diet, the better for the cat. Certainly dry cat food has no place in the diet if longevity is the goal.











The Woman-Cat Bond

You may have heard of the “human-animal bond,” but my colleague and friend Dr. Jane Bicks (who makes Life’s Abundance pet food) just posted a great summary of research on the bond between humans and cats; and more particularly, the…






The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook

The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care: An Illustrated Handbook is an information-packed, lavishly illustrated e-book (PDF) by nutritionist Dr. Celeste Yarnall and Little Big Cat’s own Dr. Jean Hofve. It won the prestigious Muse Medallion award for Best Book, as well as a Certificate…






Are Cats Really Domesticated?

There is an ongoing debate in the science community about cats. That is, are they fully domestic, or are they still essentially wild? The premise is that unlike dogs, who are thoroughly domesticated in mind and body, it’s unclear just…






Catnip Fiends?

Here’s a gaggle of giggles to brighten up your day… some cats who’ve had a little too much of “the ‘nip”! https://www.distractify.com/catnip-junkies-1238334409.html






Coconut Oil and Cats

This question keeps coming up, so I thought I’d explain in why I tell folks not to give their cats coconut oil. The cat’s natural diet is high in both protein and fat. But there are only two essential fatty acids…






E-Cigarettes: Dangerous for Pets

http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/a-warning-to-pet-owners-who-use-e-cigarettes?Wt.mc_id=facebook The ASPCA Poison Control Center says that electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) often contain high concentrations of nicotine, which is a dangerous poison for dogs and cats. Nicotine exposures are increasing, and the types of exposures are changing. In 2012, e-cigarettes…






Mars buys Iams, Eukanuba, and Natura

In a bid for world domination, the Martians…oops, I mean, Mars Petcare (the pet food arm of the candy giant)…is acquiring all of Procter & Gamble’s pet food brands for a mere $2.9 BILLION. It had been rumored for several…






Flea and Tick Product Dangers

A big thank you to my dear friend Dr. Michael Fox (www.drfoxvet.com) for allowing me to reprint this urgent bulletin! BAYER’S NEW CAT, DOG, HOME & YARD INSECTICIDALS:  WHAT IT MY PORTEND FOR THE EARTH COMMUNITY By Dr. Michael W.…






The other side of the “crazy cat” story

If you’ve been anywhere but under a rock the last few days, you’ll know that (1) an airplane is missing, and (2) a “violent” cat trapped a family in a bedroom until 911 responders got it subdued. While we don’t…






Grape and Raisin Toxicity

Beginning in the 1990s, veterinarians began seeing dogs who developed acute kidney failure after eating grapes, raisins, or currants. Despite extensive research, the component that caused the problem was never identified; it couldn’t even be narrowed down to any particular…






AVMA Kills Anti-Homeopathy Resolution

Last year, a big kerfuffle erupted over a proposed resolution for the American Veterinary Medical Association (the profession’s lobbying organization), to adopt a policy stating that “homeopathy has been identified as an ineffective practice and its use is discouraged.”  The proposed…






New Pet Food Standards – Finally?

by Jean Hofve, DVM The standards by which pet food are made are set by an organization calledAAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). AAFCO provides model rules and standards that most states have adopted, and that pet food companies…