Is Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia) Toxic to Cats?

Is dumbcane toxic to cats?

Is dumbcane toxic to cats?

Dumbcane (dieffenbachia) is toxic to cats. The toxic principle is insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which are formed by specialised cells known as idioblasts. These needle-sharp crystals clump together in bundles known as raphides. When a cat chews on the plant, calcium oxalate crystals penetrate the delicate tissue of the mouth and throat leading to intense pain and in some cases, swelling and difficulty breathing.

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Cat Tail Speak: Understanding Cat Tail Language

Cat tail language

A cat’s tail can tell us a lot about how the cat is feeling and is a valuable communication tool not only between cats but also to communicate emotions to humans.

Paying attention to the cat’s tail is just one part of a larger picture. The position of the body, eyes and whiskers, as well as vocalisations (meowing, hissing, purring, chirping), are also important clues as to how the cat is feeling.

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Can Cats Eat Bananas?

Can cats eat bananas?

Can cats eat bananas?

Yes, cats can eat bananas in moderation. Rich in vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre, bananas make a healthy treat. However, because cats have evolved to consume a meat diet, they are not able to digest plant material as effectively as omnivores and herbivores.

Snacks should make up no more than 10% of a cat’s diet. Cats are obligate carnivores which means they need to consume meat to survive as they are unable to manufacture some vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids and must obtain them in their pre-formed state from the meat and organs they consume. Some cats do enjoy the additional non-meat treats including fruit, vegetables, eggs, cheese and yoghurt.

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Foreign Body in a Cat’s Eye – How Is It Treated?

At a glance


An ocular foreign body can be present on the cornea, protrude through the cornea or penetrate the eye. Common foreign objects include grass seeds, thorns and splinters.


  • Pain
  • Blinking
  • Redness
  • Rubbing the eye
  • Excessive watering


Flushing the object from the surface of the cornea, forceps or in some cases, surgery.

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Medical Problems Which Can Masquerade As Bad Behaviour In Cats

Medical problems which can masquerade as bad behabiour in cats

At a glance

About: Several diseases can lead to changes which pet owners may put down to bad behaviour, this highlights the importance of a thorough medical evaluation for any cat displaying undesirable behaviour to determine if there is a medical cause.

What kind of behaviours can be caused by disease?

  • Going to the toilet outside the litter tray
  • Overgrooming which can lead to baldness
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Aggression
  • Excessive crying


  • Neurological disturbances
  • Oral pain
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Urinary tract diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Skin diseases
  • Liver disease
  • Pica
  • Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (senility)

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Bottle Feeding Kittens

Bottle feeding is necessary for kittens under five weeks who are orphaned, have been rejected by their mother, the mother has a medical condition that makes her unable to nurse, or if the litter is large. It is both rewarding and challenging to bottle feed a kitten and requires knowledge to do it safely.

Deciding to hand-raise a kitten takes time and commitment. Neonates will need to be fed, cleaned and helped to go to the toilet every 2-3 hours, around the clock until the kitten is old enough to start solid food.

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Cat Friendly Treats – People Food That Is Safe For Cats

Cat-friendly treats at a glance

  1. Boiled, grilled or roast chicken and turkey
  2. Cheese (cottage or cheddar)
  3. Tuna
  4. Fruit and vegetables
  5. Eggs
  6. Prawns and shrimp


Why give treats at all?

Treats for most cats are not necessary, and with obesity at endemic rates, the addition of treats can add additional calories that a cat doesn’t need. So, why feed treats?

  • Sometimes a cat is not well, and a treat can encourage him or her to eat something
  • Treats can be used as a reward when training a cat
  • To hide pills or medication in (this generally works better for dogs but can be attempted for cats)
  • To celebrate the cat’s birthday or another special event

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