Colorpoint Shorthair

Colorpoint ShorthairYour Colorpoint Shorthair

Caring for Your Feline Companion

Colorpoint Shorthairs: What a Unique Breed!

Your cat is special! She senses your moods, is curious about your day, and has purred her way into your heart. Chances are that you chose her because you like Colorpoint Shorthairs and you expected her to have certain traits that would fit your lifestyle, like:

  • Highly intelligent, playful, and energetic
  • Loves jumping and being in high places
  • Highly interactive and playful with owners
  • A good companion and pet
  • Does most of her own grooming
  • Devoted and loyal

However, no cat is perfect! You may have also noticed these characteristics:

  • May meow constantly to get your attention
  • May want to constantly be involved in your activities
  • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

Is it all worth it? Of course! She’s full of personality, and you love her for it! She loves her family! She will want be with you every waking hour, and curled up on the bed with you when you are asleep.

The Colorpoint Shorthair is a cross between the Siamese, Abyssinian and American Shorthair breeds. Colorpoint Shorthairs are heat seekers, enjoying the warmth of your lap even on warm summer evenings. They are intelligent cats and sensitive to their owner’s moods. Colorpoints are very vocal and will demand attention. No place in the house is too high, and they will go to great efforts to climb to the highest place possible to watch over you and your daily activites.

Your Colorpoint Shorthair’s Health

We know that because you care so much about your cat, you want to take great care of her. That is why we have summarized the health concerns we will be discussing with you over the life of your Colorpoint Shorthair. By knowing about the health concerns common among Colorpoint Shorthairs, we can help you tailor an individual preventive health plan and hopefully prevent some predictable risks in your pet.

Many diseases and health conditions are genetic, meaning they are related to your pet’s breed. The conditions we will describe here have a significant rate of incidence or a strong impact upon this breed particularly, according to a general consensus among feline genetic researchers and veterinary practitioners. This does not mean your cat will have these problems, only that she may be more at risk than other cats. We will describe the most common issues seen in Colorpoint Shorthairs to give you an idea of what may come up in her future. Of course, we can’t cover every possibility here, so always check with us if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms.

This guide contains general health information important to all felines as well as information on genetic predispositions for Colorpoint Shorthairs. The information here can help you and your pet’s healthcare team plan for your pet’s unique medical needs together. At the end of the booklet, we have also included a description of what you can do at home to keep your Colorpoint Shorthair looking and feeling her best. We hope this information will help you know what to watch for, and we will all feel better knowing that we’re taking the best possible care of your friend.

General Health Information for your Colorpoint Shorthair

Weight Management

Obesity is a major disease that contributes to a surprisingly large number of illnesses and deaths in cats.

This revelation is more well-known and well-understood today than in the last few decades, but too many owners are still ignoring the dangers of extra weight on their pets. Excess weight is one of the most influential factors in the development of arthritis, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. Everyone knows—many firsthand from personal experience—how even shedding just a few pounds can result in improved mobility and increased overall motivation to be active. And the same is true for your pet.

Research suggests that carrying excess weight may shorten a pet’s life by as much as two years, and can cause the onset of arthritis two years sooner. Diabetes, an inherited disease, has a much higher chance of developing in overweight pets, and may never become a problem for a healthy-weight cat. The more obese a cat becomes, the more likely it will become diabetic. Hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, is another potentially fatal disease in overweight pets; hepatic lipidosis can develop in as few as 48 hours when an overweight cat stops eating for any reason.

So how can we help our pets stay trim? Understanding your cat’s dietary habits is key. The average cat prefers to eat about 10-15 times a day, just a few nibbles at a time. This method, free-feeding, works well for most cats, but boredom may increase the number of trips your cat makes to the food bowl. By keeping your cat playfully active and engaged, you’ll help your pet stay healthy and have some fun at the same time! A string tied to a stick with something crinkly or fuzzy on the other end of the string, and a little imagination—you and your cat will both be entertained. Food puzzles, like kibbles put in a paper bag or under an overturned basket or box, may help to motivate cats with more food-based interests to romp and tumble.

For really tough cases of overeating, you will have to take a firm stance, and regulate your cat’s food intake. Instead of filling your cat’s bowl to the top, follow the feeding guide on the food package and be sure to feed a high-quality adult cat diet as recommended by your vet. Replace your cat’s habits of eating when bored with extra playtime and affection. Cats typically adjust their desires for personal interaction by the amount of affection offered to them, so in other words, ignoring your cat means your cat will ignore you. By the same token, loving on and playing with your cat a lot will cause your cat to desire that time with you. A more active cat means a healthier, happier pet—and owner!

Inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the molar teeth. Daily tooth brushing will help prevent dental disease.

Inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the molar teeth. Daily tooth brushing will help prevent dental disease.

Dental Disease

Dental disease is one of the most common chronic problems in pets who don’t have their teeth brushed regularly. Unfortunately, most cats don’t take very good care of their own teeth, and this probably includes your Colorpoint Shorthair. Without extra help and care from you, your cat is likely to develop potentially serious dental problems. Dental disease starts with food residue, which hardens into tartar that builds up on the visible parts of the teeth, and eventually leads to infection of the gums and tooth roots. Protecting your cat against dental disease from the start by removing food residue regularly may help prevent or delay the need for advanced treatment of dental disease. This treatment can be stressful for your cat and expensive for you, so preventive care is beneficial all around. In severe cases of chronic dental infection, your pet may even lose teeth or sustain damage to internal organs. And, if nothing else, your cat will be a more pleasant companion not knocking everyone over with stinky cat breath! We’ll show you how to keep your cat’s pearly whites clean at home, and help you schedule regular routine dental exams.

Vaccine-Preventable Infections

Like all cats, Colorpoint Shorthairs are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies, which are preventable through vaccination. The risk of your cat contracting these diseases is high, so the corresponding vaccines are called “core” vaccines, which are highly recommended for all cats. In addition, vaccines are available to offer protection from other dangerous diseases like feline leukemia virus (FeLV). In making vaccination recommendations for your cat, we will consider the prevalence of these diseases in our area, your cat’s age, and any other risk factors specific to her lifestyle.

There is no treatment for heartworm infection in cats. Prevention is the best therapy for this potentially fatal disease.

There is no treatment for heartworm infection in cats. Prevention is the best therapy for this potentially fatal disease.

Parasites

All kinds of worms and bugs can invade your Colorpoint Shorthair’s body, inside and out. Everything from fleas and ticks to ear mites can infest her skin and ears. Hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms can get into her system in a number of ways: drinking unclean water, walking on contaminated soil, or being bitten by an infected mosquito. Some of these parasites can be transmitted to you or a family member and are a serious concern for everyone. For your feline friend, these parasites can cause pain, discomfort, and even death, so it’s important that we test for them on a regular basis. Many types of parasites can be detected with a fecal exam, so it’s a good idea to bring a fresh stool sample (in a stink-proof container, please) with your pet for her twice-a-year wellness exams. We’ll also recommend preventive medication as necessary to keep her healthy.

Spay or Neuter

One of the best things you can do for your Colorpoint Shorthair is to have her spayed (neutered for males). In females, this procedure includes surgically removing the ovaries and usually the uterus; in males, the testicles are surgically removed. Spaying or neutering your pet decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancers and eliminates the possibility of your pet becoming pregnant or fathering unwanted litters. Both sexes usually become less territorial and less likely to roam, and neutering particularly decreases the occurrence of urine spraying and marking behaviors in males. Performing this surgery also gives us a chance, while your pet is under anesthesia, to identify and address some of the diseases your cat is likely to develop. For example, if your pet needs hip X-rays to check for dysplasia or a thorough dental exam to look for stomatitis, these procedures can be conveniently performed at the same time as the spay or neuter to minimize the stress on your cat. Routine blood testing prior to surgery also helps us to identify and take precautions against common problems that increase anesthetic or surgical risk. It sounds like a lot to keep in mind, but don’t worry – we’ll discuss all the specific problems we will look for with you when the time arrives.

An illustration of a feline heart with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Notice how the thick heart muscle becomes too stiff to pump blood effectively.

An illustration of a feline heart with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Notice how the thick heart muscle becomes too stiff to pump blood effectively.

Genetic Predispositions for Colorpoint Shorthairs

Heart Disease

Cardiomyopathy is the medical term for heart muscle disease, either a primary inherited condition or secondary to other diseases that damage the heart. The most common form, called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM, is a thickening of the heart muscle often caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Another example is dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, which can be caused by a dietary deficiency of the amino acid taurine. While DCM was a big problem in the past, all major cat food producers now add taurine to cat food, so DCM is rarely seen in cats with high-quality diets today.

Catching signs of cardiomyopathy early is important, but a cat’s normal tendency to hide illness can make symptoms difficult to spot. The first thing a pet parent usually notices is rapid breathing, lethargy, and a poor appetite. These symptoms may appear to come on suddenly, often between a few hours to a few days, but in most cases, the cat has actually been suffering quietly for weeks to months and is now in serious trouble.

For a few breeds of cats, genetic testing is available for a specific gene abnormality that causes HCM. Most cats with cardiomyopathy have a heart murmur that can be detected during a wellness physical exam, but a specific diagnosis requires more advanced medical imaging. Finding this problem early, when treatment is most effective, is another important reason to have your pet evaluated twice a year for life.

Arterial Thromboembolism

Cats with heart disease may develop blood clots in their arteries known as FATE (feline aortic thromboembolisms). Blood clots most commonly become lodged just past the aorta, the large blood vessel that supplies blood from the heart to the body, blocking normal blood flow to the hind legs. When this happens, one or both hind legs may become paralyzed, cold, or painful. FATE is a life-threatening disease, and requires quick action and prolonged medical care. Cats who survive thromboembolisms, however, usually regain full function of their limbs. If your cat is diagnosed with heart disease, we may prescribe medications to help lower the risk of blood clots. If your cat suddenly can’t walk or is dragging one or both back legs and crying, don’t wait! Your pet needs immediate emergency care.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, is an illness frequently diagnosed in cats. The pancreas is the organ responsible for the production of insulin as well as most of the enzymes in the body that digest food. When the pancreas is diseased or injured, these enzymes leak out of their proper vessels into the abdomen, damaging the pancreas itself as well as the other organs nearby. Though some cats will show severe symptoms with pancreatitis such as lethargy, fever, vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody), refusal to eat, and intense abdominal pain, onset signs of pancreatitis are often subtle, appearing only as vague symptoms such as poor appetite, gradual weight loss, abdominal pain, and nausea. Pancreatitis can be diagnosed by blood tests checking for elevated pancreatic enzymes, by abdominal ultrasound, or by biopsy of the pancreas. When your cat is ill, we will usually screen for pancreatitis with blood testing.

Multiple Eye Problems

Not many things have the dramatic impact on your cat’s quality of life as the proper functioning of his eyes. Unfortunately, Colorpoint Shorthairs can inherit or develop a number of different eye conditions, some of which may cause blindness if not treated right away, and most can be extremely painful! We will evaluate your cat’s eyes during every visit to look for any troublesome signs.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma, an eye condition that affects Colorpoint Shorthairs (and people too!), is an extremely painful disease that rapidly leads to blindness if left untreated. Glaucoma can occur independently as a primary condition or can develop secondarily to another disease, such as cataracts, lens luxation, or uveitis (inflammation inside the eye). Symptoms include squinting, watery eyes, bluing of the cornea (the clear front part of the eye), and redness in the whites of the eyes. Pain can be severe, but is rarely noticed by pet owners due to cats’ tendencies to conceal discomfort. If your cat is hiding from you or not eating, chances are that your pet is in pain. Some people who have glaucoma report that the pain is like being stabbed in the eye with an ice pick—ouch! In advanced cases, the eye may also look enlarged or swollen like it’s bulging. We’ll perform glaucoma screening regularly to diagnose and start treatment for your pet as early as possible, but the condition is considered a medical emergency, so if you notice or suspect your pet is suffering from any of these symptoms, seek emergency care immediately!

Corneal sequestrum on the surface of the eye.

Corneal sequestrum on the surface of the eye.

Corneal Sequestration

Corneal sequestration is a painful condition common in breeds with prominent eyes, like Colorpoint Shorthairs. A corneal sequestrum is a hard black patch of dead tissue that develops on the front of the cat’s eye, or the cornea. This condition usually develops as the result of chronic inflammation due to viral infection, eyelid defects, or even eyelashes that grow the wrong way. Some early cases may be managed fairly well for months to years using topical medications, but in more advanced cases, preventive surgery may be able to repair the defect and save the eye before the sequestrum detaches. So keep an eye out for any signs of eye infection in your cat, and we’ll check for this condition and other potential eye problems at each biannual wellness exam too.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disease in some Colorpoint Shorthair bloodlines in which the eyes are genetically programmed to go blind over time. PRA may cause varying degrees of vision loss, but in most cases results in total blindness with no effective treatment or cure. Because this disease is caused by a recessive gene, normal cats can be carriers, and a kitten with normal parents may still develop PRA. Most affected cats begin to show signs of the disease at around one-and-a-half to two years of age. Night blindness comes first, progressing to total blindness over a period of about two to four years. In some breeds, the disease starts even earlier at about two to three weeks of age, resulting in full blindness by about 16 weeks. A genetic test is available to test parents as carriers before breeding; responsible breeders recommend that affected cats and their close relatives should not be used for breeding.

FLUTD

When your cat urinates outside the litter box, you may be annoyed or furious, especially if your best pair of shoes was the location chosen for the act. But don’t get mad too quickly—in the majority of cases, cats who urinate around the house are sending signals for help. Although true urinary incontinence, the inability to control the bladder muscles, is rare in cats and is usually due to improper nerve function from a spinal defect, most of the time, a cat that is urinating in “naughty” locations is having a problem and is trying to get you to notice. What was once considered to be one urinary syndrome has turned out to be several over years of research, but current terminology gathers these different diseases together under the label of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases, or FLUTD. Many of these diseases cause similar symptoms, for example, a cat with urolithiasis, or bladder stones, shows many of the same symptoms as a cat with a urinary tract infection, which may also present like the symptoms of a blocked tomcat. Watching for any signs of abnormal urination, like urinating on cool surfaces (a tile floor or bathtub, for example), blood in the urine, straining to urinate with little or no urine production, or crying in the litterbox can help you identify the first signs of a FLUTD. If your cat demonstrates any of these symptoms, call us right away for an urgent appointment. Particularly for male cats, if the urethra is blocked with stones or crystals, the cat is not able to expel any urine, which can become an emergency within only a few hours. The inability to urinate is painful and quickly fatal, so if your cat may be blocked, seek emergency care immediately.

Cats are very good at hiding how sick they are, so the early signs of FLUTD are easy to miss. Bringing your cat in for regular urinalysis testing allows us to check for signs of infection, kidney disease, crystals in the urine, and even diabetes. X-rays and ultrasounds can also help detect the presence of stones in the bladder or kidneys. Lower urinary tract disease can be controlled with medications and special diets, though severe cases of FLUTD may also require surgery.

Illustration of the inside of a kidney from a cat with chronic kidney disease. The chronic changes have caused indentations of the outer surface of the kidney.

Illustration of the inside of a kidney from a cat with chronic kidney disease. The chronic changes have caused indentations of the outer surface of the kidney.

Renal Failure

Renal failure refers to the inability of the kidneys to properly perform their functions of cleansing waste from the blood and regulating hydration. Kidney disease is extremely common in older cats, but is usually due to exposure to toxins or genetic causes in young cats. Even very young kittens can have renal failure if they have inherited kidney defects, so we recommend screening for kidney problems early, before any anesthesia or surgery, and then regularly throughout life. Severe renal failure is a progressive, fatal disease, but special diets and medications can help cats with kidney disease live longer, fuller lives.

Hyperthyroidism

The thyroid gland is located at the front of the throat, and has a very important function. It produces a hormone called thyroxine, or T4. Thyroxine regulates the overall speed of metabolic processes throughout the body. Cells in every part of the body start to work faster when T4 levels in the blood rise; when T4 levels fall, the thyroid gland produces more T4, thereby continuously and closely regulating T4 levels in the body. Many middle-aged cats, however, develop a benign (non-cancerous) tumor in the thyroid gland. The cells that make up this tumor still produce T4, but their control mechanism is faulty. The normal feedback system that maintains a balanced T4 level in the body has no effect on these tumor cells, so that they continue to pump out T4 despite signals to stop. Cats with these tumors have their “go” switch permanently stuck in the “faster” position. This illness is termed hyperthyroidism. Typically, hyperthyroidism affects cats about ten to twelve years of age—the cat will become more active, but with a nervous energy that masks the true illness they are feeling. Vomiting, weight loss, and increased thirst are common symptoms of this disease, but they often come on so gradually that the problem is not easily noticed. In advanced cases, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, and fatal blood clots. Hyperthyroidism can be readily detected with a standard blood test performed as part of your cat’s routine wellness plan. Today’s effective treatment options can actually cure the disease by killing off the abnormal tumor cells while leaving the normal thyroid cells undamaged, resulting in a normal life span for many affected cats.

Patellar Luxation

The stifle, or knee joint, is a remarkable structure that allows a cat to perform amazing feats of agility like crouching, jumping, and pouncing. One of the main components of the stifle is the patella, or kneecap, and the medical term luxation means “being out of place”. Thus, a luxating patella is a kneecap that slips off to the side of the leg because of an improperly developed stifle. A cat with a luxating patella may not show signs of pain or abnormality until the condition is well advanced; signs of this condition appear gradually and can progress to lameness as the cat grows older. Early detection of a luxating patella is key to effective therapy, so getting your cat an x-ray at the time of her spay or his neuter, around three to six months of age, is a good way to check. If the problem is mild and involves only one leg, your pet may not require much treatment beyond typical arthritis medication. When symptoms are more severe, surgery may be needed to realign the kneecap and prevent it from popping out of place. Although the tendency for patellar luxation seems to be inherited, developmental problems in joints have complex inheritance patterns, and genetic tests have not yet been developed for this condition. Patellar luxation occurs in many breeds, but Colorpoint Shorthairs are at higher risk for the condition.

Normal Chest X-ray

Normal Chest X-ray

Chest x-ray from a cat with asthma.

Chest x-ray from a cat with asthma.

Feline Asthma

Asthma, which causes inflammation and narrowing of the small airways of the lungs, is fairly common in cats. Certain cat breeds, including your Colorpoint Shorthair, are especially at risk. Asthma is a life-threatening condition that can require emergency treatment. Cats with asthma often have a wheezing cough; some owners may describe it as a “hairball cough,” but really when cats have a hairball, they typically don’t cough, they vomit. Coughing is much more likely to be a serious problem in a cat than in a human or a dog, for example, and any cough that lasts longer than a day or recurs over time should be checked out. Cats with asthma can be treated with inhalers as well as oral medications that help open the airways and reduce inflammation. Prompt treatment is needed for wheezing, gasping, coughing or any sign of respiratory distress in your cat.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gingiva, or gums. Just like in people, it causes redness and pain in the gums and is often linked to other diseases. In mild cases, gingivitis can be treated with a mouth rinse and represents only a minor problem, but without treatment it can progress to more severe afflictions such as periodontal disease or Stomatitis Gingivitis has also been associated with resorptive lesions and retrovirus infections such as the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). One of the best things you can do for your friend is to have his mouth evaluated by us often. Remember, cats are superstar actors and are great at masking illnesses, so you may not realize he is having any oral problems at all without an examination. With our trained healthcare team, we can safely look in his mouth to see if he is experiencing any pain or tooth trouble. Even though your cat may look great and act normally, he may be hiding a real problem in the back of his mouth!

bnormal lymphocytes, as seen under the microscope, confirming a diagnosis of lymphoma.

bnormal lymphocytes, as seen under the microscope, confirming a diagnosis of lymphoma.

Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma

Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer that afflicts Colorpoint Shorthairs more than other breeds. This disease causes the body to form abnormal lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. Because white blood cells are found throughout the body, this cancer can show up almost anywhere. Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer, and chemotherapy in cats has shown an excellent success rate for recovery. Treatment can be costly, however, and is a lifelong commitment. Luckily, lymphoma is one of the few types of cancer that can often be detected with a blood test, so we recommend a complete blood count twice yearly for your adult cat. Also watch for swollen glands (ask us, and we’ll show you where to look), weight loss, or labored breathing, and be sure to call us if you notice any unusual symptoms in your pet.

Small Intestinal Adenocarcinoma

Cancer is a common problem in middle-aged and older cats, and while there are many different types of cancer, Colorpoint Shorthairs may be more susceptible to adenocarcinoma, a type of intestinal cancer, than other breeds. Adenocarcinoma tumors usually grow like a donut or lump wrapped around the intestines, which can eventually grow big enough to shut off the flow of intestinal contents. Affected cats may have sudden or severe vomiting, diarrhea, or blood in the stool. We may be able to detect the tumor during a routine physical examination, but an ultrasound of the abdomen is usually recommended to specifically diagnose adenocarcinoma and to help plan for the effective surgical removal of the tumor. Like with all types of cancer, early detection improves prognosis, so we recommend a complete physical exam twice a year.

Separation Anxiety Syndrome

While the vast majority of felines prefer a solitary lifestyle, some Colorpoint Shorthairs can form unhealthy and excessive attachments to their owners. They can become so attached that when their human counterparts aren’t around, they quickly become anxious or bored, leading to destructive behaviors such as paper shredding, vocalization, or litter box amnesia. Some cats may even exhibit aggressive behaviors when they know their owners are about to leave. To avoid the vices of boredom, make sure your cat has plenty of special toys or food puzzles to keep his mind and body active while he is left alone. A consistent daily routine and a stable home environment can also help prevent the troubles of separation anxiety. In severe cases, anti-anxiety medication may also be used to help keep your worried friend relaxed.

Wool Sucking

Wool sucking is a term used for a cat’s inclination to suckle on soft materials, even well after kittenhood. Colorpoint Shorthair cats have a tendency to suck on blankets, soft fabrics, or even their tails! This behavior seems to be soothing, like when a baby sucks its thumb. In most cases, wool sucking isn’t dangerous and does not require treatment.

Dystocia

Dystocia is a term that means difficulty giving birth. In some breeds, nearly all litters must be delivered by Cesarean-section surgery as normal birth is not possible due to the breed’s specific physical characteristics. While breeding any cat requires a serious commitment to learning about and preparing for that breed’s preventable problems, professional breeders warn that proper Colorpoint Shorthair breeding can be costly and carries a higher risk of death for both the mother and kittens than in other breeds.

Taking Care of Your Colorpoint Shorthair at Home

Much of what you can do at home to keep your cat happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Watch her diet, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, regularly brush her teeth and coat, and call us or a pet emergency hospital when something seems unusual (see “What to Watch For” below). Be sure to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that we recommend for your pet. During your cat’s exams, we’ll perform her necessary “check-ups” and test for diseases and conditions that are common in Colorpoint Shorthairs. Another very important step in caring for your pet is signing her up for pet health insurance. There will certainly be medical tests and procedures she will need throughout her life and pet health insurance will help you cover those costs.

Routine Care, Diet, and Exercise

Build your pet’s routine care into your schedule to help your Colorpoint Shorthair live longer, stay healthier, and be happier during her lifetime. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a proper diet and exercise routine for your pet.

  • Supervise your pet as you would a young child. Keep doors closed, pick up after yourself, and block off rooms as necessary. This will help keep her out of trouble, off of inappropriate surfaces for jumping, and away from objects she shouldn’t put in her mouth.
  • She has a low maintenance short coat. Brush as needed, at least weekly for a healthy shine.
  • Colorpoint Shorthairs have generally good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!
  • Check her ears weekly for wax, debris, or signs of infection and clean when necessary. Don’t worry—we’ll show you how!
  • She needs daily play sessions that stimulate her natural desire to hunt and explore. Keep her mind and body active or she may develop behavior issues.
  • Cats are meticulously clean and demand a clean litter box. Be sure to provide at least one box for each cat and scoop waste daily.
  • It is important that your cat drinks adequate amounts of water. If she won’t drink water from her bowl try adding ice cubes or a flowing fountain.
  • Feed a high-quality feline diet appropriate for her age.
  • Exercise your cat regularly by engaging her with high-activity toys.

What to Watch For

An abnormal symptom in your pet could be just a minor or temporary issue, but it could also be the sign of serious illness or disease. Knowing when to seek veterinary help, and how urgently, is essential to taking care of your cat. Many diseases can cause cats to have a characteristic combination of symptoms, which together can be a clear signal that your Colorpoint Shorthair needs help.

Office calls

Give us a call for an appointment if you notice any of these types of symptoms:

  • Change in appetite or water consumption
  • Tartar build-up, bad breath, red gums, or broken teeth
  • Itchy skin (scratching, chewing, or licking), hair loss, or areas of shortened fur
  • Lethargy, mental dullness, or excessive sleeping
  • Fearfulness, aggression, or other behavioral changes
  • Poor appetite, weight loss, lethargy, increased thirst and urination
  • Limping, reluctance to jump when playing
  • Asthmatic wheezing
  • For great videos of coughing cats with asthma visit www.fritzthebrave.com
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite or weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy
  • Vomiting (may be sudden and severe), diarrhea, blood in the stool, poor appetite

Emergencies

Seek medical care immediately if you notice any of these signs:

  • Scratching or shaking the head, tender ears, or ear discharge
  • Cloudiness, redness, itching, or any other abnormality involving the eyes
  • Inability or straining to urinate; discolored urine
  • Weakness or exercise intolerance; rapid, labored, or open-mouth breathing; sudden-onset of weakness
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, poor appetite
  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

Partners in Health Care

DNA testing is a rapidly advancing field with new tests constantly emerging to help in the early diagnosis of inherited disease even before your cat shows symptoms. For the most up-to-date information on DNA and other screening tests available for your pal, visit www.Genesis4Pets.com.

Your Colorpoint Shorthair counts on you to take good care of her, and we look forward to working with you to ensure that she lives a long and healthy life. Our goal is to provide you both with the best health care possible: health care that’s based on your pet’s breed, lifestyle, and age. Please contact us when you have questions or concerns.

References:

  • Bell JS, Cavanagh KE, Tilley LP, Smith FW. Veterinary medical guide to dog and cat breeds. Jackson, Wyoming. Teton New Media; 2012.
  • Hamza J, Hannon M, et al. Breed Profile [Internet]. The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. [cited 2013 Apr 27]. Available from: http:/www.cfainc.org/Breeds/BreedsCJ/ColorpointShorthair.aspx

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