Our forgotten friends

What you need to know about cats

ASK THE VET By Dr Lisa Silk

I’ve written so many articles and realized I’ve never dedicated an article to our feline friends. Cats have some specific considerations living on Guam.

Cats really love being outside, roaming, stalking, climbing and exploring. But on Guam, they need to be monitored and that can be difficult.

Many people take care of stray cats that stay outside. But house cats are safer to be inside. There are so many stray dogs and cats. If your cat is outside, it may be considered as being in their territory and a target for attack. This can lead to death, painful and dangerous infections and abscesses and the spread of the feline viruses, feline AIDS and feline leukemia.

These viruses are common on Guam and in the stray population and are spread by pregnant mothers to their kittens.

Of course, there is always the risk of being hit by a car. I treat these accidents weekly. I’ve also seen two brown tree snakes on the street large enough to kill and eat a kitten or a puppy.

I’ve also written about overheating on Guam. While I mostly see this in dogs, I can’t say if this is because it happens more in dogs, or people just bring their dogs in more for this condition.