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My cat won’t eat, help!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

My five-year-old Persian cross gets very finicky with his food during winter. He usually eats fish, but suddenly he switched to eating only boiled chicken and runs away at the sight of fish. Now he detests even chicken and survives on a mix of milk, biscuits and boiled eggs every now and then. Is it possible that he is suffering from some kind of stomach problem?
    — Brijesh Sai

Hi Brijesh,
Selective appetite calls for veterinary attention and should not be passed off as a trivial issue. Your cat could be suffering from anything like low iron counts to hair balls or a simple stomach infection. Firstly ensure that he has been de-wormed. Next, a blood/stool test etc. could help identify illnesses if any. Then maybe he may be plain fussing to seek attention from your end or because of the variety of food offered.
My advice is to take him to a vet immediately to find out the real reason behind his selective eating.

I have a three-month-old Labrador. We take him outdoors when he needs to answer the call of nature. But now that winter has commenced, many times he needs to be taken out to relieve himself when it’s very cold, and then he refuses to step out of the house. I guess he feels chilly, though I make sure to clothe him in a jacket. At one time he peed inside the house. What do I do? I cannot allow him to pee/poop indoors.
    — Nalini Mishra

Hi Nalini,
This is a problem that many nervous pups/dogs suffer from, and not related to a health issue but a behavioural one. Since the pet is only three months old, it will be easy and also necessary to change his behaviour pattern.

Dogs generally like to relieve themselves in dry areas, where there is mud or grass, as an instinct to mask the odour of their excreta. During winter when it would be wet outdoors with dew and moisture, dogs prefer to relieve themselves on the carpet or dry floor indoors. The first remedy would be to coax him into the toilet and try to keep the floor of your toilet/bathroom dry (try newspapers). Second there are various brands of products available for house breaking which your veterinarian could suggest. These products are supposed to be applied/ sprayed on mats etc. where you would desire the pet to relieve itself.

Also, animals lose their body heat through their paws and snout. Coax your dog to wear shoes when he goes out.


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