Health & Care

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor Before Drinking Water?

A gray and black cat with white patches pawing at a blue water bowl in front of it.

Cats have many odd behaviors that often leave us perplexed or worried about their mental health. But the fact of the matter is that if you dig deep enough, there is usually a pretty good explanation for these strange behaviors rooted in a cat’s instincts.

Scratching the floor before drinking water is one of those behaviors. There are many speculations as to why cats do this. If you want to get to the bottom of your cat’s scratching before drinking water, read on to see some possible causes.

Blame it on Their Instincts

If you picture a cat in the wild, nothing comes easy to them. They have to hunt for their food, find water sources, and find shelter from the cold and rain. There’s no hand to fill their food bowl or faucet for their water. With this in mind, cats in the wild may have to dig for their food and even their water. Your cat’s scratching the floor before getting a drink may be reminiscent of that behavior, but since they can’t dig around in the mud at a water hole, they have to settle for scratching the floor before drinking water instead.

They May be Unhappy With Their Options

Cats are fastidious animals; they like things clean. This is very evident by the amount of time they spend cleaning themselves. Kitties like to have their surroundings clean, including their water. If your cat is unhappy with the cleanliness of their water, they may scratch the floor around it to bury it, similar to how they would bury their waste.

Even with a clean water dish, your kitty may not like the proximity of it to their food bowl or, worse yet, their litter box. Some picky cats prefer a little distance between their things, and who can blame them? Drinking water right near a litter box is enough to make any of us scratch the floor in disgust.

Let’s say that the water bowl is clean and an acceptable distance from everything else, so now what could be the problem? Believe it or not, some cats may not like the taste of tap water, especially if it’s been treated with chlorine or other chemicals. If you use filtered water or bottled water, these kitties may stop trying to “bury” their water.

They May be Happy With Their Options

On the flip side, scratching the floor before drinking water may be your cat’s way of saying that they’re content with their choices. Cats often knead their paws when they’re feeling happy or comforted; you’ve no doubt experienced this when your cat is snuggled on your lap. Scratching the floor around their water bowl could be a form of kneading because they are happy to be taken care of and comforted by what’s provided for them.

Making it Their Own

Along with being happy about their water bowl and what’s inside it, scratching the floor before drinking may be their way of laying claim to their stuff. Cats have scent glands in their paws and cheeks and use them to make their unique mark on people and things. This is part of why they like to rub on your legs or headbutt your face. By scratching the floor around their food bowl, they may be trying to tell other cats, “Paws off, this is mine!” This may be especially true if you have more than one kitty or even a dog in your household.

Curiosity Makes Them Do It

There’s a reason your cat may spend hours looking out the window or watching the dust particles settle in a ray of sunshine; they’re curious. Cats love to know what’s going on around them. They like to watch, touch, and even taste their surroundings. Scratching the floor around the water bowl, or even touching the surface of the water itself, may be their way of trying to figure out this receptacle and what exactly is inside of it. Kittens may dip their toes into their water bowl and then shake it or wipe it on the floor. Not only does this help them to understand better, but it’s also pretty entertaining.

Covering Their Tracks

Cats in the wild have to live in a world of balance. Not only are they predators that eat a variety of rodents and birds, but they are also prey to larger animals. This makes it essential to watch their backs, even when their eyes are on their next meal. They often have to cover their tracks so that other animals won’t know where they are or where they’ve stashed some leftovers meant for a future meal. Even though your housecat doesn’t need to fight for their resources, they may scratch the floor before drinking water to hide where they’ve been from other critters.

Final Thoughts

Our cats are a mix of weird and wonderful behaviors. While scratching the floor before drinking water may seem a little strange to us, to our cats, it may be a perfectly natural behavior that goes back to their ancestors in the wild. Even though domestic cats don’t face the same perils as wild cats, they still feel the drive and have the instincts that come out as strange seeming behaviors.

How to Tell if Your Cats are Bonded: A Guide to Bonding cats

A close up of a gray cat and a gray-ish cat with black stripes sleeping with their heads against each other.

Cats have unique and independent personalities, leading to a popular misconception that they prefer to be alone. However, for some cats, it can be quite the opposite. They love to be social and have the company of other feline friends. With such a contrary attitude towards companionship, it can be hard to tell if and when cats are bonded. This guide will help you recognize when your cats have truly bonded.  

How to Tell if Your Cats are Bonded

It’s true that some cats prefer to be solitary, but many felids live in groups. Picture a pride of lions or a colony of feral cats. They do this to share the load of hunting and provide each other with protection. While your housecats don’t require help in either of those areas, living closely with other cats does have its benefits. How can you tell if multiple cats have accepted each other and actually bonded? Look for any of these signs:

  • Collective Grooming: What’s better than having a friend that can groom those hard-to-reach places? Cats that have bonded will spend inordinate amounts of time grooming themselves and each other. You may find them curled up cleaning each other’s ears or nibbling the itches on each other’s backs.
  • Sleeping Peacefully: Cats that aren’t bonded won’t dare sleep near each other. Bonded cats will often curl up together to share warmth and comfort, whether in the same bed or sharing a sunbeam. This shows that they have put complete trust in their furry counterpart.
  • Playful Pairing: Friendly kitties will PLAY together. While play and fighting can often look alike, you’ll be able to tell the difference by your cats’ body language. Cats that are playing are at ease; they may be rough and tumble, but each cat is enjoying it. Cats that are fighting will be tense, flatten their ears, and aggressively twitch their tail. There is often an aggressor initiating it instead of both cats being equally involved.
  • Tail Touching: Think of it like holding hands. Bonded cats may touch or even intertwine their tails when sitting or standing next to each other.
  • Spread Their Scent: All cats have scent glands in their cheeks, paws, and other areas of their body. They will rub these parts on things they consider theirs. If your cats are rubbing their cheeks on each other, it’s like giving their stamp of approval. This goes for people as well; a cheek rub is a sure sign that your cat likes you.

You won’t find bonded cats chasing each other away from their resources. They also won’t take playtime too far to the point that they are hissing or growling at each other. Bonded cats also won’t ignore each other. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be the occasional snag between friendly kitties, just that the majority of the time, there is peace and happiness.

How to Introduce Cats to Each Other

A gray cat and an orange cat are standing next to each other and appear to be kissing.

Not just any pair or group of cats are going to bond. Sometimes it will take a lot of effort to forge a friendship. With this in mind, be sure not to force anything between your cats and follow these tips:

Bonding Kittens

If you’re dealing with kittens, chances are your work is already done for you. Most kittens will take to each other very quickly, especially if they’re from the same litter. 

Bonding An Adult Cat to a Kitten

Now, if you have an older cat and are trying to give them a younger friend, you may have more trouble. Depending on your older cat’s personality, you may have to try some different methods. 

Some older cats will take a kitten under their wing like an older sibling accepting a younger protégé. Others will be offended that you’re trying to replace them. If that’s the case, you may have to give the older cat some space. 

Kittens are rambunctious and will try to get the other cat to play. Make sure your older cat has a safe place where only they can go should they feel the need to escape. Only allow supervised interactions until you’re sure they can get along and separate them if either gets too grumpy.

Bonding Adult Cats 

When introducing two adult cats, you’ll want to start slowly, especially if you have a cat that’s been with you a while and is used to being solitary.

  1. Start by keeping them in separate rooms. They should hear and smell each other but not see or touch. Reward each kitty every time they smell around without getting upset. Give this a few days and if everyone is comfortable, move on.
  2. From here, allow them to see each other but not get to each other. You can do this with baby gates or a screen door. Supervise their interactions and reward good behaviors. If one or both cats get upset, separate them and try again later. Continue until everyone is comfortable.
  3. Remove all barriers and let the cats touch each other. Only do this if you can supervise. Give rewards when your cats are friendly, and be sure to separate them if they get angry. Be very careful when dealing with an agitated cat. They may lash out at you instead if you try to move them. Also, if your cats start to fight, don’t grab for them. Instead, use a gate, piece of cardboard, or another sturdy divider to put in between them, so you don’t get scratched or bitten.

Even though some cats are very accepting, and you may not need to go through all of these steps, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have a particularly friendly cat and are introducing another friendly cat, you may start at the step where they can see each other and gauge their reactions. If they don’t go for it, you can always move back a step and try again.

Some cats may never bond, and that’s okay. Just be sure to give them both their own safe spaces, food, water, and even litter boxes. Many cats may choose to coexist by ignoring each other rather than bonding.

Final Thoughts

Cat parents of multi-cat households always dream of friendship and harmony between their feline friends. Hopefully, after reading this, you will be able to determine if your feline friends are friends themselves and what you can do to set up successful introductions.

The Best Cat Supplements for Kidney Disease

A gray with small patches of white and stripes of black is lying down, not looking well. There is a yellow band around one of its legs.

Unfortunately, cats and kidney disease often go hand in hand. Kidney disease is devastating, and cat owners are often confused and feel like they can’t do anything to help. There’s no magic potion or medication that will cure kidney disease in cats, and managing it can be challenging. However, with the use of the proper diet, fluids, and supplements, cats with kidney disease can be kept comfortable for as long as possible.

1. Best Overall Supplement: Kidney Restore

Healthy Kidney Kidney Resort for Cats and Dogs
All natural and 100% safe kidney health supplement, developed to support normal kidney function and urinary health.
Probiotic microorganisms helps kidneys by supporting natural elimination of poisonous toxins in the gut, while the sodium bicarb neutralizes kidney acids & toxins, and balances minerals.
Recommended by veterinarians for supporting normal kidney function in senior pets without harmful drugs.

Here’s an all-natural kidney disease supplement to help with nearly every sign of kidney disease. This powder formula can be mixed with food or water and given to your cat every day to help clear up some of the side effects of kidney disease. It does this with a five-fold approach:

First, it contains probiotics that help the gut eliminate those waste products that the kidneys can’t. Second, it helps to neutralize acids in the blood to keep pH levels in check. It also blocks phosphorus and provides potassium. Vitamin C is in there as well for its antioxidative effects. This supplement may help your cat regain weight, decrease their nausea, give them some energy back, and decrease the amount they urinate. It’s also backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.

As with any supplement and cats with a finicky appetite, not every cat will want to eat this. It can be mixed with water and syringe-fed to your cat if that works better for them.


  • Can be mixed with food
  • Provides necessary nutrients
  • Antioxidants to help prevent further damage


  • Cats might not want to eat it
  • No guidelines for dosage

2. Best Runner Up Supplement: Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold

Pet Wellbeing Herbal Kidney Problem Support for Cats
Formula is prepared entirely from organically grown and selectively wild-harvested herbs.
Created by veterinarians & clinical herbalists along with the latest scientific research.
Designed to support renal function and overall health for kidney issues in cats.

Using a combination of natural herbal ingredients, Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold helps kidney function. While it isn’t a magic wand, it can help to support normal fluid and electrolyte balance and boost the immune system to prevent other secondary diseases. This product also helps increase the excretion of waste products and toxins that make your cat nauseous and lethargic.

Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold may also help boost kidney function to increase blood filtration and decrease the loss of vital nutrients. And it contains antioxidants to help prevent further cellular damage. In addition, this supplement has shown an improvement in a cat’s energy level, appetite, and hair coat quality.

As with any supplement, some cats are not going to eat it. Even though it is bacon flavored, a poor or finicky appetite is often part of kidney disease. However, this product has a dropper should you need to give it to your cat directly. Also, since this is an herbal supplement, always check with your vet first to make sure the ingredients are suitable for your cat. 


  • Bacon flavored
  • Natural ingredients


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Not to be used as the sole treatment

3. Best Potassium Supplement: Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement for Cats

Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement for Cats
Provides B-complex vitamins, aqueous liver fractions and essential amino acids.
Highly palatable liver and bacon flavoring.

For a more customized kidney disease supplement, look at Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement. This product provides amino acids to help protect protein loss, potassium, and B vitamins to help replace those that are lost. It is a liquid supplement that is bacon flavored to entice even picky kitties to take it. The liquid can also be easily mixed with food if your cat isn’t into it. 

B vitamins are essential for nearly every cell in the body, including the production of red blood cells, brain and skin cells, and metabolism. Potassium is needed for muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Both essential nutrients are lost more in kidney disease as the volume of urine increases. Supplementing both will help a cat with kidney disease stay healthy for longer.

This supplement for kidney disease does contain fructose (a type of sugar). While this isn’t as big of a deal for many cats, it can cause problems in cats with diabetes. Also, there is no guarantee that your cat will like it. While bacon flavoring may seem like exactly what your cat is looking for, appetites go down with kidney disease, so you may have to get creative to get your kitty to eat it.


  • Provides potassium and B vitamins that your cat needs
  • Bacon flavored


  • Not every cat will like it
  • Contains fructose

4. Best Phosphate Binder Supplement: Rx Vitamins for Pets Phos-Bind

Rx Vitamins for Pets Phos-Bind for Pets
Supports normal function and health of the kidneys.
Professional veterinary formulas.

For some cats with kidney disease, a reduced phosphate diet might not be enough. They may require additional phosphate binding medication to help prevent phosphorus levels from getting too high. This phosphate binder from Rx Vitamins is a powder form that can be mixed into food or water and fed with a syringe.

High levels of phosphorus can weaken bones and cause calcium deposits on other organs in the body. Phosphorus levels increase during kidney failure due to the kidneys reduced function and them not getting filtered out. Phosphate binders help gather up that excess phosphate and get it out of the body before it can cause trouble.

This is a powdered formula, but the consistency can be more granular, like sugar. This makes it more challenging to mix with food or dissolve in water. If your cat is especially picky about textures, this supplement may not be the best.


  • Helps remove excess phosphorus from the body
  • Decreases nausea and lethargy


  • Granular texture makes it difficult to mix
  • Some cats might not like it

5. Best Omega Fatty Acid Supplement: VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9

VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9 for Cats and Dogs
A blend of non-GMO natural oils from borage seed, flaxseed, and fish.
Fatty acid formula is rich in ALA, GLA, EPH and DHA to provide a wide range of health benefits for pets.
Supports total body health in pets.

Omega fatty acids have many benefits in a healthy cat’s body, and they have even more benefits for a cat with kidney disease. Omega fatty acids are naturally anti-inflammatory to help decrease inflammation associated with chronic issues like kidney disease. Omega fatty acids also help support the immune system so that your cat won’t have to worry about fighting off a secondary disease.

This supplement from VetriScience Laboratories contains three types of omega fatty acids to help decrease inflammation and help improve skin and haircoat health. This can make your cat feel and look better. This product comes in a gel-cap form that can be given directly to your cat. If your cat does not eat it this way, you could cut it open and squeeze the liquid onto their food.

Most cats aren’t going to take the pill form of this, so that means you’ll have to cut it open and squeeze out the liquid, which can have an odor. Also, this product is an oil, so it can become rancid after prolonged storage.


  • Provides three types of omega fatty acids
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves skin and haircoat


  • May have an odor
  • Can go rancid

Best Cat Supplements for Kidney Disease Buying Guide

The hand of a female is seen putting some liquid from a bottle into a metal bowl filled with wet pet food. A fork is resting on the edge of that bowl.

Kidney disease is a complicated process that involves many components. This makes finding suitable supplements for kidney disease complicated. Hopefully, this guide can help clear up some of those complications so that you can find the best product for your feline friend.

Supplements for kidney disease aren’t meant to be the only treatment for your cat. Kidney disease should be managed through a variety of methods to address your cat’s specific needs.

Normal Kidney Function vs. Kidney Disease

The kidneys are a sort of the jacks of all trades. They do a lot for a cat’s body, the main jobs being filtering the blood and urine production. Kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from the body, mix it, and get it out into the bladder to be excreted. During this process, they also conserve essential electrolytes and control acid/base balances.

There’s more to the kidneys than just urine. They also produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells.

In the course of kidney disease, the function of the kidneys is reduced, causing waste products to build up in the blood and more water to be excreted. This makes a kitty feel sick, lose weight and not be able to concentrate their urine. Instead, they urinate large amounts, which can lead to dehydration and loss of important vitamins and minerals.

Cats with kidney disease will also become unable to regulate their blood pH, which can damage other organs and become anemic due to a lack of red blood cell production. 

What to Look for in Kidney Supplements for Cats

Supplements that may help cats with kidney disease are:

  • Omega Fatty Acids:  There’s a reason fish oil is often touted as a supplement-it contains omega fatty acids that help to naturally decrease the chronic inflammation associated with kidney disease in cats.
  • Antioxidants:  Free radicals are created over time by the breakdown of food and from exposure to pollution, and they can cause harm to the body. Antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from free radicals. Vitamin C, E, and rosemary are often used as antioxidant supplements. 
  • Phosphate Binders: A normal functioning kidney filters excess phosphate from the blood and gets rid of it. In kidney disease, that excess phosphate isn’t filtered out and can cause damage to the bones and other organs. Phosphate binders may help grab that excess phosphate from the blood and get it out of the body before it can cause problems.
  • B-vitamins:  When the kidneys aren’t up to par, a lot of water is lost through urine. Along with that water, water-soluble B-vitamins are also lost. B-vitamins are essential for metabolism, new blood cell formation, and brain and skin cell maintenance. B-vitamins will need to be provided by the diet or by supplementation.
  • Potassium:  Potassium is also taken out of the body through urine. With kidney disease, urine volume, and therefore, the potassium within it, is increased. Many cats with kidney disease will need potassium supplementation to prevent muscle stiffness and cramps. Potassium supplements may also help to keep the kidney disease from getting worse.
  • Diet: Although it’s not technically a supplement, getting your cat on the proper diet is important for managing kidney disease. Diets for cats with kidney disease contain less protein so that the kidneys don’t have to work as hard to get rid of the protein waste and decrease phosphorus. Cats with kidney disease should also drink more water to help keep them from getting dehydrated.

How to Choose a Kidney Supplement for Cats

First thing’s first, talk with your veterinarian. They can help you customize your supplemental needs for exactly what your kitty requires. They can also point you in the right direction. After that, look at other options.

Most cats with kidney disease don’t want to eat, so trying to sneak something into their food might not work out. Other cats won’t take a pill. You know your cat, so choose a supplement form that will work best. Whether it’s a pill, powder, or liquid, choose something that can be given regularly.

You’ll also want to look at availability and affordability. The best supplements in the world are no good to you if you can’t get your hands on them. Choose something available from your vet or in your area so that your cat never has to go without it.

Final Thoughts

Kidney disease in cats often makes cat owners feel like their hands are tied like there’s nothing that they can do to help. While it’s true that kidney disease is progressive and can’t be cured, providing a cat with one of these kidney disease supplements can help to keep them comfortable so that you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

Should I Let My Cat Lick Me? Will Anything Bad Happen?

A white cat with tan-ish patches and black stripes is licking someone’s hand with the background blurred out..

Your feline friend may lick you for a number of reasons, but it may be best not to give them free rein. Cats have many seemingly bizarre behaviors, including chasing imaginary prey and following you to the bathroom, but licking you tops it all. Let’s look into why cats lick people in the first place and why you may want to put a limit on it.

Why Do Cats Lick People?

A cat’s tongue is truly a universal tool. It is covered with tiny barbs that grab onto loose hair and debris in their haircoat. Tongues allow cats to taste and drink. It also works to glean every tasty morsel from their food bowl. With such a useful body part as this, it’s no wonder that cats love to lick so much, but why do they like to lick you?

Here Are Some of the Reasons Why:

  • They’re Cleaning You: Cats are fastidious animals. They spend most of their waking hours grooming themselves into pristine condition. Cats love to groom so much that they will also groom their fellow furry friends. This can sometimes be extended to you. Whether or not they think you’re dirty, them licking you may be their way of cleaning you and making you feel part of their clan.
  • They Want Attention: Nothing says pet me like a rough, sandpaper lick on the hand. When meowing and rubbing against your leg doesn’t get your attention, licking or even biting might. Your cat may be trying to get your attention for something as simple as an early dinner or something more serious like an illness.
  • They’re Feeling Stressed: The act of licking releases endorphins in a cat’s brain. That’s partly why a mother cat seems so content when she’s cleaning up her babies. Licking you may be a way for your cat to calm their nerves if they’re stressed about something in their environment.
  • They’re Showing You Affection: Similar to how you show your cat love by petting them, licking you may be their way of reciprocating that love. Again, groups of cats, including mothers and their kittens, lick each other as a form of bonding. When your cat licks you, it may be their way of saying, “Welcome home, I missed you.”
  • They Like the Taste: We’ve all heard the saying “Curiosity killed the cat,” which came about because cats are so investigatory of their surroundings. They can’t keep their noses or tongues out of things. Licking you may be another way to explore the world around them. They can taste where you’ve been and what you’ve done that day. They may also just like the salty taste.

Should I Let My Cat Lick Me?

Close up of a brown can with light gray patches closing its eyes and licking someone’s finger.

Most of the time, your cat’s licks are pretty harmless, especially if just a lick or tow here and there. However, your cat licking you isn’t without a couple of potential risks.

First of all, a cat’s obsessive licking can lead to actual wounds on your skin.

That’s because their rough tongue can damage your skin like sandpaper if they lick the same area enough times. Now, it’s unlikely that your cat means to hurt you, but it is a potential side effect.

Another reason you might want to limit your cat’s licking is that it can spread bacteria.

Even though a cat works very hard at maintaining a clean and put-together appearance, the inside of their mouth is quite dirty. Cat mouths harbor quite a lot of bacteria, and while a cat bite is usually the cause of most problems, licking an open wound or near your mouth or eyes can cause an infection. We’ve all witnessed the amazing acrobatics that a cat goes through to clean themselves after using the litter box, and nobody should want a lick after that.

How Can I Stop a Cat From Licking Me?

If you’ve decided to try to curb your cat’s licking behavior, be careful how you go about it. First of all, many of the reasons why your cat licks you are done with affection and showing you that you’re part of their circle. You don’t want to offend them or make them associate you with any negative behavior.

Rather than punishment or spreading yucky tasting products on your skin, try to redirect your cat’s behavior when the licking gets to be too much. You may try to play with them or pet them instead of allowing them to lick you. If your cat licks you while you’re snuggling, try moving your face or hand away from them and offer them a clothed body part instead.

If redirecting doesn’t work, just get out of there. If you leave every time your cat starts their licking game, sooner or later, they’ll get the idea that licking equals you leaving. They will hopefully decide to cut out the licking so that you’ll stick around.

If you can’t get your cat’s licking under control or if they’re starting to lick other things besides just you, see your veterinarian. Your cat may be trying to tell you something about their health, and your veterinarian will be able to rule out medical causes of excessive licking.

Final Thoughts

Your cat may lick you for a number of reasons. Most of the time, they see it as a way of conveying their positive feelings towards you. However, your cat’s licking may cause you some problems, especially if they’re doing it excessively. If your cat’s licking has gotten out of control, try some of the above tips or speak to your veterinarian.

Kidney Disease in Cats: Symptoms, Treatments, and Prevention

A light brown and white cat lying down on a blue and white blanket, looking very tired. There is a small, brown stuffed animal bear leaning against the cat and a black smart table next to the sleeping cat.

What is Kidney Disease?

 Kidney disease in cats is the progressive and irreversible loss of kidney function. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the most common type of kidney disease diagnosed in cats. Kidney disease is determined to be chronic when the disease has been present for at least three months. 

Chronic kidney disease is also known as chronic kidney or renal failure (CRF) or chronic kidney or renal insufficiency (CKI). As the kidneys are damaged and lose function, the body retains toxins in the bloodstream. Red blood cell production and hormones are affected, the cat’s drinking and urinary habits change, and blood pressure increases. There are also gastrointestinal side effects and many different electrolytes, mineral, and protein abnormalities in the blood and urine. The kidneys can’t keep up with their job, and as a result, many bad things happen.

What are the Causes of Kidney Disease

 There are many causes of kidney disease in cats. Some common ones are:

  • Toxins: Certain toxic medications, plants, and other toxins. 
  • Inflammation: Conditions such as pyelonephritis (a bacterial infection of the renal pelvis) and glomerulonephritis (a specific type of kidney disease) involve inflammation and infection in the kidneys. 
  • Congenital and Inherited Disorders: Examples are polycystic kidney disease and various kidney malformations (dysplasias) such as hypoplasia. 
  • Cancer: A common cancer affecting the kidneys is lymphoma.
  • Viral Infections: Retroviruses such as Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus. 
  • Bacterial Infections: Pyelonephritis and Leptospirosis are bacterial infections that can affect a cat’s kidneys.  
  • Obstructive Disease: Upper urinary tract obstructions such as kidney stones or stones in the ureters can cause kidney disease. 
  • Immune-Mediated Disease
  • Various Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders
  • Idiopathic: This refers to an unknown cause. 

What are the Symptoms of Kidney Disease?

The clinical signs and manifestations of kidney disease depend on how advanced the disease is and how much kidney function is lost. Initial symptoms are subtle and will develop and progress over time. Typically, owners will see the following signs: 

  • Polydipsia: Drinking more than normal
  • Polyuria: Urinating more than normal
  • Anorexia: Loss of appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Dehydration: Despite drinking more
  • Vomiting and Nausea
  • Muscle Weakness and Loss
  • Halitosis: Bad Breath
  • Ulcers in the Mouth
  • Pale Gums Due to Anemia (Low Red Blood Cells)
  • Lethargy: Decreased Energy and Increased Weakness
  • Hypertension: High Blood Pressure

 How Is Kidney Disease Diagnosed?

A fluffy, grey cat is lying on a table and being examined by a vet.

If kidney disease is suspected in your cat, they should be taken to see a veterinarian right away. A veterinarian will perform a physical examination as well as blood and urine tests and abdominal imaging. Two kidney values are measured in the blood, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine (CRE). With kidney failure, toxins are built up in the blood, causing these values to increase. This is known as azotemia. 

Another blood test, symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), is also useful for determining kidney function. Consequences of kidney disease include changes in electrolytes such as potassium, minerals such as phosphorus, and blood cells such as red blood cells. These values are also monitored with blood tests. Urine tests show signs of kidney disease through poorly concentrated urine, protein loss in the urine, bacterial infections, and crystal or stone formation. 

Imaging of the abdomen with radiographs (X-rays) and ultrasound help determine the size, structure, and other anomalies associated with kidney disease. 

How Is Kidney Disease Treated?

An birds-eye view of a cat lying on blankets, using an IV drip.

There is no targeted treatment or cure for chronic kidney disease. The disease doesn’t just develop overnight. It is a progressive and chronic loss of kidney function, so once it is gone, we can’t get it back. If there are specific causes such as an infection or inflammation, treatment should be started for these conditions. Typically, even once these conditions are treated, the kidneys are left permanently damaged and have decreased function. This leaves symptomatic treatment and supportive care as the methods to manage and slow the progression of kidney disease. 

Making sure your cat is hydrated, eating, and pain-free are key factors in supportive care. Hydration is an essential aspect of supportive therapy. By increasing fluid intake in CKD patients, the kidneys get flushed of toxins, the cat feels better, and sometimes eats better too. The goal should be maintaining a good quality of life.

Other supportive care aspects vary from patient to patient and may include treatment for anemia, hypertension, protein in the urine, low potassium, high phosphorus, and gastrointestinal complications such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, and weight loss.

 What to Feed Cats with Kidney Disease?

Diet therapy is highly recommended for cats with kidney disease. Therapy is typically through prescription diets with decreased amounts of protein, phosphorus, sodium, and increased fiber, calories, and antioxidants. While prescription diets are important, the most important thing is to make sure the cat eats.

 How is Kidney Disease Prevented in Cats?

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent kidney disease. The key is to catch it early through regular physical exams and diagnostic screening.

 What is the Life Expectancy for Cats with Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease is most commonly diagnosed in older cats, typically over ten years of age. The life expectancy for cats with kidney disease varies greatly because it depends on certain factors like: 

  • What the underlying cause is
  • How quickly the disease progresses
  • How well the cat responds to supportive therapy
  • Other consequences of kidney disease your cat is suffering from
  • What stage of kidney failure the cat is in

Cats can live for weeks, months, and even years with kidney disease. 

 When Should You Euthanize A Cat with Kidney Disease?

A black and white cat receiving an IV and looks ill is lying down.

Determining when to euthanize a cat is a personal decision between the cat owner and veterinarian. The cat’s quality of life is the most important factor in deciding when to euthanize. 

A good quality of life is typically when the cat is comfortable and pain-free, eating and drinking on its own, and their symptoms and secondary conditions related to kidney failure are under control. Poor quality of life occurs when the cat is uncomfortable or in pain, not eating or drinking on its own, urinating and defecating on itself or not making it to the litter box, and suffering from unmanaged side effects of kidney disease. When the bad days outweigh the good days, it might be time to talk to your veterinarian about euthanasia. 

Why Is My Cat Throwing Up White Foam?

A white and grey cat with black stripes vomiting outside on the grass covered ground.

A cat vomiting up white foam could be a symptom of any number of various diseases or conditions. There are numerous underlying causes for cats vomiting in general. No matter what the vomit looks like, a vomiting cat should be seen by a veterinarian for an exam and diagnostic tests to determine what is wrong and be given the necessary treatment.

Causes of Vomiting in Cats

A white and grey can with some black stripes trying to cough up a hairball.

1. Hairballs

When cats groom themselves, they will inevitably swallow some of their fur. While some fur might pass into the stool, larger amounts of fur generally don’t digest well and irritate the stomach. Cats will vomit up the fur, usually in a wet clump called a hairball. Some cats will vomit once or even a few times before they produce the hairball. This vomit before the hairball is often a white foam or clear liquid substance. Depending on if the cat has recently eaten or not, it may have bits of food in it as well.

2. Gastritis

Gastritis is irritation and inflammation of the stomach. This typically occurs when a cat has eaten a substance that upsets the stomach. This could be a foreign object, plants, toxic material, or abnormal food. It can sometimes happen from a diet change or too many treats. Vomit from gastritis could have food present if the cat recently ate, or it could consist of bile, foam, or liquid.

3. Indigestion

Indigestion can occur when a cat’s stomach acid builds up and irritates the stomach. This often happens when the cat has skipped a meal or goes too long without eating. The irritation of the stomach can cause vomiting of white or yellow foam, bile, or liquid.

4. Gastrointestinal Obstruction

A gastrointestinal obstruction occurs when a cat eats an abnormal object or material that becomes stuck in the GI tract and can’t be vomited up or passed in the stool. When something is stuck, a cat will try to vomit it up, and the resulting vomit is often foam, liquid, or bile. GI obstructions are emergencies that often require surgery to remove the foreign object.

5. Eating Too Fast

It is not uncommon for a cat to eat too fast, resulting in vomiting or regurgitation. Usually, this vomit contains undigested food with some foam or liquid.

6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD occurs when there is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. When the inflammation is in the upper GI tract, it often causes vomiting. The cause could be poor digestion, food allergies, parasites, autoimmune disease, cancer, or other GI tract diseases.

7. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas with various causes but can also happen without a known cause. The pancreas produces hormones and digestive enzymes. When it becomes inflamed, this disrupts hormone and enzyme production, causes toxin build-up, and can involve inflammation in surrounding organs such as the liver, stomach, and intestines. Cats with pancreatitis can have abdominal pain, lethargy, inappetence, vomiting, and diarrhea.

8. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease in cats is common, especially as they age. It is typically a chronic kidney disease, although acute kidney injury can occur from toxins. Kidney disease causes kidney function loss, which causes toxins to build up in the blood because the kidneys can’t filter them out. Toxins in the blood can induce ulcers in the stomach and nausea, both of which might make the cat vomit. This vomit is often liquid, foam, or bile.

9. Metabolic Diseases

Aside from kidney disease, other metabolic diseases such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism can cause vomiting.

10. Parasites

Many gastrointestinal parasites can affect cats. If there is a substantial load of parasites, it can irritate the stomach and intestines and cause vomiting. Sometimes the cat will even vomit up a worm. Some of the most common types of parasite infections in cats are tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.

Diagnosing Vomiting in Cats

A white cat with black patches lying on a glass table being examined by a male vet (using a stethoscope on the cat).

A vomiting cat should be taken to a veterinarian to find the cause of the vomiting. Your veterinarian will start with obtaining a thorough history and performing a physical examination. Other tests include fecal tests to check for intestinal parasites, bloodwork to screen for metabolic disease and other abnormalities associated with vomiting, and imaging. 

Imaging could include abdominal radiographs (x-rays) or an abdominal ultrasound. Imaging is done to look for foreign objects, signs of GI obstruction, masses, or inflammation in the GI tract. Images can also sometimes detect abnormalities in other organs such as the liver, bladder, or kidneys that could cause vomiting. 

If the source of the vomiting still isn’t found, more advanced diagnostics are performed, such as biopsies, endoscopy, or exploratory abdominal surgery.

Treating Vomiting in Cats

There is no good at-home treatment for vomiting in cats. A veterinarian should treat a vomiting cat because different causes of vomiting require different treatments. Your veterinarian will often provide fluid therapy either subcutaneously or intravenously and anti-nausea medications. Other medications, diet therapies, and supplements may also be needed.

What to Do if Your Cat is Vomiting

A white and grey cat with black stripes lying in the grass, apparently heaving as if wanting to throw up.

While many cat owners think vomiting might be normal, any cat that is vomiting should be seen by a veterinarian. This is especially true if the cat is vomiting more than once per week, vomiting several times in a day, there is blood in the vomit, or if the cat has other symptoms such as lethargy, inappetence, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or any other abnormalities.

The 5 Best Kitten Teething Toys

A white cat curled up on its back holding and biting a grey toy.

Kittens love to bite, chew and kick as part of their play. It’s a natural process. But when a kitten starts teething, that biting and chewing gets turned up to 11. Help them through this growth stage, and save your fingers and toes by getting them one or some of the best kitten teething toys. Not only will these toys help keep them entertained, but they can also help soothe sore, painful gums for a happier, more playful kitten.

1. Best Overall: Petstages Dental Health Cat Toys Chew Wheel

Petstages Catnip and Dental Health Cat Toys
Ring shape helps to clean teeth and exercise jaw muscles.
Infused with catnip to attract and keep your kitty energetically engaged during play.
As with any cat toy, it is not indestructible. Must supervise pets while in use.

The Petstages Dental Health Toy is made with a cat’s dental needs in mind. While they’re usually considered dental cleaning toys, they can still help reduce teething pain as well. This toy features a couple of different textures to satisfy your kitten’s chewing cravings. It has fabric streamers with knotted ends for a softer feel and a durable rubber ring for a firmer bite. The ring also features small rubber knobs that can massage sore gums while your kitten chews.

The rubber ring is made of a durable, food-grade rubber that is also infused with catnip as an extra incentive to get your kitten to use it if the variety of textures isn’t enough. This is a very affordable kitten teething toy, allowing you to give it a try without much of an investment.

As with all chew toys, no toy is indestructible. Even though the rubber ring is highly durable, it may not stand up to the tougher chewers, especially adult cats. Always supervise your kitten while using this teething toy and throw it away if it starts to break apart.


  • Inexpensive
  • Variety of textures for teething
  • Catnip infused


  • Fabric streamers can come untied
  • Can be chewed apart

2. Close Runner Up: Petstages Mint Stick

Petstages Catnip and Dental Health Cat Toys
Helps freshens your pet's breath and helps remove soft tartar from teeth.
Filled with 100% sweet smelling mint with no fillers.
As with any cat toy, it is not indestructible. Must supervise pets while in use.

Why not freshen your kitten’s breath while they chew and massage their sore teething gums? These mint sticks from Petstages are filled with real, dried mint that not only works to attract your kitten to the toy but also helps to freshen their breath as they chew. The mint can be reactivated by rolling the toy between your hands or on the floor.

The main part of the toy is a mint-filled tube that is covered with a netting wrap. This unique wrap works to massage gums and provides a textured surface for your cat to chew. Along with the mint-filled tube part, this teething toy also has crinkly leaves at each end as an added feature to entertain your kitten. This toy is also the perfect size to toss, chase, kick, and pack around.

As with any kitten toy, some kittens aren’t going to like it. Fortunately, this is a very affordable toy allowing you to give it a try and without being out much if your kitten doesn’t love it. Also, no kitten toys are indestructible, this one included, so always make sure to supervise your kitten when using it.


  • Dried mint helps freshen breath
  • Soft and comfortable for teething
  • Has crinkle leaves for extra entertainment


  • Kittens might not like it
  • Not indestructible, especially for older cats

3. Toy With The Most Variety: Leaps and Bounds Little Paws Teething Mouse Toy

Leaps & Bounds Little Paws Teething Mouse Kitten Toy with Catnip
Expertly designed for kittens seeking a safe surface to chew.
Textured mouse ears provide a safe surface to chew.
Oversized plush head doubles as a cuddle buddy or kicker toy.

If you’re looking to limit the number of toys your kitten has and want a few multitasking ones, the Leaps and Bounds Little Paws Teething Mouse toy is for you. This mouse has a variety of textures-bumpy, firm ears and a netting wrapped body for teething gums, a soft head for cuddling, and a perfect size for packing around or kicking.

A kitten is likely to play with many different toys throughout the day. This toy may meet all of your kitten’s playful needs without the need to purchase or keep track of multiple toys. It can work as a great teether by providing your kitten with a firm, bumpy surface to massage their gums and a uniquely textured net-wrapped surface that will provide a slightly different type of chewing surface.

While this toy is very versatile, it is on the larger side, making it less desirable for some smaller kittens. It may be a better choice if you have multiple little ones at the same time. The plastic ears may be a little too hard for some kittens, again smaller ones, to chew.


  • Variety of uses
  • Two different teething textures
  • Good for multiple kittens


  • May be too large for some kittens
  • Ears may be too hard

4. Best Soft Teething Toy: Ainolway Interactive Kitten Kicker Teething Toy

AINOLWAY Interactive Catnip Teething Chew Toys
Made of quality plush fabric, filled with PP cotton, non-toxic, safe to use.
Fine suture of this pet toy makes it durable for biting.
Helps reduce your pets' boredom and separation anxiety by killing time with the chew toy.

If you’d rather not worry about your kitten chewing and swallowing hard plastic or rubber, or if they seem to prefer something softer, the Ainolway Interactive Kitten Kicker Teething Toy set makes a great option. 

These teething toys come in a set of three different colored toys with a plush surface mixed with a cotton filling. They are soft enough for your kitten to sink their teeth into, yet durable enough to withstand teething and kicking. On top of that, they are non-toxic and infused with catnip to give them a little extra enticement. They are big enough to hug, cuddle, and kick, yet small enough for your little one to carry around.

Even though these are sewed with a heavy-duty thread, they can still come apart, especially when used by hard chewers. This means that they should not be given to your kitten except under supervision. These toys may not work for more aggressive adult cats as well.


  • Plush and softly chewable
  • Good size for carrying and cuddling
  • No firm plastic or rubber to chew and swallow


  • Can come unsewn
  • Some kittens aren’t attracted to them

5. Best Natural Teething Toy: WoLoverSilvervine Sticks

WoLover Cat Catnip Sticks Natural Matatabi Silvervine Sticks
100% natural wood from the silver vine (Matatabi) plant without additives or preservatives.
Teeth cleaning effect to improve dental health.

Silvervine plants contain cat attractants similar to catnip. Silvervine sticks are a natural plant that can also clean teeth and massage sore, teething gums while a kitten chews them. They are non-toxic and durable as well. These silvervine sticks are unprocessed and without preservatives, making them the ultimate natural teething toy.

Silvervine is a high potency cat attractant that can be increased by removing layers of the stick as your kitten uses it. This makes these teething toys long-lasting and durable. This product is also five-star guaranteed, meaning that if your kitten doesn’t love every stick, you can return them for a full refund or replacement.

This is a different sort of teething toy than most kitties are used to, so it may take a little convincing for them to try it. Even though silvervine is a natural cat attractant, it may not work for every kitten. You may need to encourage your kitten to play with it.


  • All-natural
  • Contains cat attractant to encourage use
  • Durable to stand up to teething


  • Some kittens might not like them
  • Kittens may need encouragement to use it

Best Kitten Teething Toy Buying Guide

A grey cat with black stripes in a brown basket biting at a colorful toy being held by someone.

Kittens indeed need a lot of stuff, and some of those things are more important than others. While you understand the importance of the necessities, like kitten food, a litter box, and a bed, it may be harder to understand why teething toys can be important.

Why Do Kittens Need Teething Toys?

A cute black and white kitten on top on a desk biting at a pen that is being held by a woman who is trying to write something on a piece of yellow paper.

Kittens start to lose their deciduous, or baby teeth, around 10-12 weeks of age, about the time you’re getting them settled into your home. The teething process starts with the tiny incisor teeth upfront and finishes with the molars back by around six months of age. Every kitten’s mouth is different, so this process may take nine months in some kitties. 

During teething, the tooth buds from the adult teeth start to move through the jaw’s bone and towards the gums, forcing the baby teeth out. As those baby teeth are lost and the adult teeth start to break the gum line, a kitten’s gums can be very sore, swollen, and irritated, sometimes causing them to not want to eat. 

The act of chewing on something can help to ease that pain and massage their sore and swollen gums, helping to get those adult teeth to poke through the gums a little bit sooner. 

Teething toys can help with this teething transition by providing your kitten with either a soft or firmer surface on which to encourage the adult teeth’ eruption. Teething toys with a knobby texture can also offer pain-relieving massage that kittens are looking for. If a kitten doesn’t have any teething toys, they’re more likely to use other things as a means to relieve their discomfort, mainly your fingers, toes, or furniture.

How to Choose Teething Toys for Your Kitten

A cute grey kitten staring at a pink stuffed animal (mouse) toy.

If you’re looking to give your teething kitty a little something new to chew on, you’re more than likely going to be overwhelmed by the number of teething toys available for kittens. While the numbers are nowhere near as high as chew toys for their canine counterparts, there are still plenty of options. With this in mind, it’s important to know what to look for in a teething toy for kittens.

  1. Material: Teething toys for kittens can be made of a variety of materials. Some may be plush and soft; some may be rubber or firm plastic. Some are even made of natural silvervine or catnip plants. What’s right for your kitten will depend on their preference. Pay attention to what textures your kitten seems like better. If they are trying to chew your couch or pillows, a softer texture may be best. If they’re working on the legs of your table, a silvervine chew or firmer rubber material may be better.
  2. Safety: Of course, you’ll want to make sure any teething toy that you get for your kitten is safe for them to use (non-toxic materials and as indestructible as possible). Rubber or plastic teething toys may be chewed into chunks, swallowed, and soft, fabric toys can be ripped open the stuffing comes out and can be eaten. Choosing a higher quality toy can help to decrease these risks, but no toy is completely indestructible. You’ll always want to supervise your kitten while they’re playing with their teething toys to avoid any mishaps.
  3. Size: When choosing a teething toy for your little one, you’ll want one that they can fit in their mouth. Since 10-week old kittens are still pretty tiny, a smaller teething toy may be best for beginners, while a larger toy may be necessary once your kitten reaches the 5 to the 6-month-old mark. You also want to choose a size that isn’t too small and could be swallowed, especially as your kitten ages. You may also consider whether your kitty likes to pack their toys or kick and cuddle them and get an appropriate size.
  4. Bells and whistles: The teething toy choices don’t end here. You’ll be able to choose from many different features, including various textures on the same toy, toys that double as teething toys, kicker or chase toys, and cuddle toys. You can find all different colors, products with bells, or different shapes to satisfy your kitten’s teething desires. You may also find interactive teething toys in which you can partake in your kitten’s gum-soothing play.

Final Thoughts

Of the many supplies that a kitten requires, don’t forget to stock up on some kitten teething toys. Not only can they help entertain your kitten with seemingly boundless energy, but they can also help to decrease their discomfort when it’s time for them to get their adult teeth. As a bonus, the right teething toys may spare your fingers and toes from being nibbled and your furniture from a little destruction.

Why Does My Cat Scratch The Wall?

A white cat with black and grey patches looking up at something and extending its right paw towards it.

You’ve no doubt seen your cat do it, that lazy stretch up the wall followed by the digging in of their claws as they return to the floor. Or maybe you’ve witnessed your cat, with intense determination, frantically scratching at the wall with both paws as if trying to dig a tunnel. Scratching your wall can be a normal behavior for cats, but not one that you may want to promote. Let’s learn why cats scratch walls and how you can try to stop it.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Two kittens, one cat is black, white, and orange sitting down on the right. The other kitten is white and orange, and is standing and clawing at a wooden board sticking in the ground.

The scratching behavior is important to your cat. It’s completely natural and normal. The trouble is that it can often involve the destruction of furniture, carpets, and other things you would like to keep intact. 

Reasons Why Scratching is Important for Cats:

  1. Maintain Claw Health: Scratching helps to remove the outer layer of a cat’s claw. This layer is often flaky and needs to be removed to make way for the healthy layers underneath. Scratching also helps keep nails a comfortable length so that they don’t get so long that they cause pain. Also, scratching helps to sharpen the ends of those claws into a nice point. While sharp claws aren’t nearly as important for our housecats as cats in the wild, it’s still instinct to keep their claws sharp and ready for protective purposes.
  2. Mark Their Territory: When a cat scratches the wall, they’re doing more than just sharpening their claws. The scratch marks they leave can tell other cats that this area belongs to them-both visually and by smell. Cats possess scent glands in their feet that leave their specific scent where they scratch. It helps other cats know who was here and when.
  3. Stretch: A big ritual in a cat’s day is stretching. It has to be considering the amount of time that they sleep. Your cat may find all kinds of interesting ways to stretch, including standing up against your wall. Scratching also can help stretch their feet, toes, and hand legs.
  4. Get Your Attention: Your cat may scratch the wall next to you, the door, or the place where their food is kept to get your attention. It’s hard not to notice a cat when they’re leaving their mark in places like that.

Why Do Cats Scratch the Wall?

A grey and white cat with black stripes standing up clawing at a ropes tied around a wooden post.

If it makes sense to you why cats feel the need to scratch, you may still be confused about why it happens on your wall. Most of the time, cats prefer to scratch things with specific textures; think about scratching posts covered in fabric or rope. Sometimes they want something different. 

Even though your cat may have every scratching post, pad, or toy on the market, it doesn’t mean they’re satisfied. Some scratching equipment for cats might be too small to achieve a good stretch while scratching, or the material might catch their nails. Instead, your cat may prefer the wall because it’s big enough to accommodate a full stretch, and it won’t obstruct their nails.

How to Keep Your Cat From Scratching the Wall

A light brownish cat with black stripes with one of its paws clawing a scratching post.

If your cat’s scratching behavior has become destructive, it’s time to steer that behavior in another direction. There’s no use in trying to keep your cat from scratching altogether. Instead, try the solutions listed below.

  1. Use a Scratching Post: A good scratching post can be the answer to you and your cat’s needs. Observe your cat’s habits. Does your cat only scratch at the wall, or do they have other favorable spots? This will help you determine what kind of textures and orientations to consider. If walls are the preferred option, look for a large vertical surface, preferably one that you can hang in the location that they’ve been scratching.
    • The same goes for scratching near the door or food cabinet. Place a large, vertical scratching post in these areas. This will still allow them to draw attention to themselves without damaging your home.
    • You can use some attractant, like catnip, on the new scratching posts to encourage use.
  2. Use a Deterrent: If your cat is set on scratching the wall, especially in a specific area, using a deterrent may help. You can place furniture or some other object to block the area off, or you may also try covering the area in aluminum foil or double-sided tape.
    • For a chemical deterrent, you may try one of many commercial sprays available on the market or some DIY solutions with essential oils that cats don’t like the smell of.
  3. Clip Their Nails: By clipping your cat’s nails, you’re keeping them short so that your cat doesn’t have to. It will also blunt the tip so that their scratching doesn’t cause as much damage. Just be sure to use the right type of nail clipper for your cat.
  4. Keep Them Engaged: Scratching can result from boredom or as a way to get your attention. Make sure your kitty gets their fill of together time by carving out some time for play, grooming, or snuggles every day, preferably when you first get home.

Final Thoughts

Scratching is completely natural for cats. However, it may also be something that is coming between you and your feline friend. Hopefully, if your cat is scratching the wall, some of these tips will help you maintain minimal damage while fulfilling your cat’s scratching desires.