Signs of Ear Infection in Cats

When it comes to the well-being of our feline friends, vigilance is key. Cats are known for their independence and stoicism, often making it difficult for pet owners to detect when something is amiss. One common issue that can plague cats is an ear infection, a condition that can cause discomfort and, if left untreated, lead to more serious problems. Here at Affordable Pet Hospital in Tampa, Florida, we aim to educate pet owners on the signs of ear infection in cats and the importance of timely veterinary intervention.

Common Symptoms of Feline Ear Infections

Ear infections in cats can manifest in various ways, but there are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Scratching and Pawing

If a cat is constantly scratching or pawing at its ears, it may be experiencing discomfort due to an infection.

  • Head Shaking

Frequent head shaking is another sign that something may be irritating the cat’s ears.

  • Odor

A strong, unpleasant smell emanating from the ears is often an indicator of an infection.

  • Discharge

Yellow, brown, or bloody discharge is a clear sign that immediate veterinary attention is required.

  • Redness and Swelling

Inflamed, red, or swollen ears are symptoms that should not be ignored.

  • Behavioral Changes

A cat suffering from an ear infection may become more irritable or withdrawn than usual.

Causes and Risk Factors

Ear infections in cats can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Parasites such as ear mites
  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Allergies
  • Foreign objects lodged in the ear
  • Underlying medical conditions

Diagnosis and Treatment

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from an ear infection, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. The veterinarian may perform tests such as ear swabs and cultures to identify the underlying cause of the infection. Treatment often involves cleaning the ear canal and administering medication such as antibiotics or antifungals.


Prevention is always better than cure. Regular ear checks and cleaning can go a long way in preventing ear infections. Consult your veterinarian for advice on how to properly clean your cat’s ears and what products to use.

Think Your Cat Has an Ear Infection? Call Affordable Pet Hospital Now

Ear infections in cats are more common than one might think, and early detection is crucial for effective treatment. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. 

For residents of Tampa Bay, Affordable Pet Hospital is here to provide top-notch veterinary care for your beloved pets during urgent times. If you suspect your cat has an ear infection, don’t wait. Call our 24/7 emergency line at 813-991-9244 for expert guidance based on your cat’s individual situation. You can also reach us during normal business hours by calling 813-991-9898, or skip the phone call and request an appointment online for any of our services. Your pet’s well-being is our top priority, and we are committed to providing the best care possible.

Signs Your Cat May Be Pregnant

Has your sweet girl been acting a little strange lately? Cats are notoriously difficult to diagnose when they’re ill because they tend to hide their symptoms. However, pregnancy is hard to hide since many of the symptoms cause physical changes. If you notice some or all of the following signs in your kitty, it’s time for a trip to your vet for an ultrasound confirmation:

She’s eating more

Are you going through bags of cat food faster than usual? Is your pretty kitty meowing at her food bowl every time you turn around? The increased appetite (and the resulting weight gain) is a common sign of feline pregnancy.

Her belly is swollen

This one should be obvious, but as a cat progresses through her pregnancy, her abdomen will begin to swell. The increased food intake contributes to this symptom of pregnancy. By the time your cat delivers, she’ll have a tight, round belly that you’ll probably be able to see movement in.

She’s also vomiting more

The increased food intake combined with less room in the abdomen due to growing fetuses and hormonal changes can result in more vomiting than usual. While all cats regurgitate hair and food at times, you’ll likely notice a significant increase in this behavior in a pregnant cat.

She’s taking lots of naps

Growing kittens is hard work, so your cat will probably nap a lot more than usual. You may also notice that she is less active at night, especially as her delivery date nears. Mama needs all the rest she can get since some cats can birth up to 12 kittens in one litter!

Her nipples look different

A few weeks into her pregnancy, you’ll probably notice some changes to your cat’s nipples. They will often swell, turn bright pink, and just appear larger. Cat breeders call this “pinking up”.

She seems to favor one spot

Many animals, including humans, have the instinct to prepare a place to deliver…cats are also known for this nesting behavior. You may notice your cat favoring one spot or even taking soft items there as they prepare for the coming litter. They usually prefer secluded, darker areas as their nesting spots.

She’s just acting different

No one knows your cat better than you. When she starts acting weird, you’ll probably notice without knowing exactly what she’s doing. Many pet owners tell us that they just felt like their cat’s behavior was “a little off” before finding out she was pregnant. If your intuition is telling you that something is going on, trust your gut and consult with your vet.

She finds her voice

As labor nears, your cat might start making sounds she’s never made before or simply repeating sounds. No need to worry as this behavior is completely normal…just enjoy your cat’s new voice for a short while before she returns to normal.

She just can’t sit still

Another sign that labor is near is restlessness in your soon-to-be mama kitty. Hormones start raging as the feline body prepares for delivery, causing excitement and agitation that will make your girl seem like she can’t sit down. She’ll calm down a lot once the kittens are born.

Feline Pregnancy Care in Tampa Bay

If you think your feline friend may be pregnant, bring her in for a checkup at Affordable Pet Hospital on Cross Creek Boulevard in Tampa. To schedule an appointment, call us at 813-991-9898 or contact us online.

Cat Breeds for People with Allergies

For animal lovers with allergies, having a furry friend can turn into a life or death situation. Allergies to pet saliva and dander are common and can cause severe reactions in sensitive people. Some sources estimate that allergies to dogs or cats affect up to 20% of the global population. Allergies in dogs and cats are more prevalent in people who have other allergies or asthma.

Luckily for cat lovers, there are several breeds that seem to trigger allergy symptoms less than their dander-ridden counterparts. In this post, we’ll briefly discuss the top cat breeds for people with allergies:


Formerly known as the Siberian Forest Cat, this Russian native produces low amounts of Fel d 1 glycoproteins, which are the primary allergens in cats. They produce such low levels of Fel d 1 glycoproteins they are considered almost (but not entirely) hypoallergenic. While studies to confirm these hypoallergenic claims are scarce, Siberian breeders have banded together to support further study into the topic. (Tip: Females of all cat breeds produce lower levels of Fel d 1 glycoproteins, so adopting a female Siberian would give you extra protection!)


Similar to the Siberian, the Balinese cat (and the Javanese, which is a subset of the Balinese breed or its own breed entirely, depending on who you ask) is a favorite among allergy sufferers. The breed is thought to produce lower amounts of the Fel d 1 glycoproteins than most cats. However, the Balinese steps it up a notch by also producing lower amounts of the Fel d 4 glycoproteins – another common allergen culprit. However, scientific evidence confirming these low allergen claims is lacking, although Balinese breeders are also supporting further study.


The Sphynx cat is almost hairless, so they are much less likely to deposit allergen-covered hairs all over your house. However, since some allergens are produced in the cat’s saliva (and then transferred to their skin as they groom themselves), it is still possible to have issues with allergies with a Sphynx cat. Frequent baths and cleaning of the Sphynx cat’s favorite areas can be enough to keep allergies at bay.


Very fine, short fur coats that shed little, paired with fewer grooming needs, make the Bengal cat an excellent candidate for people living with pet allergies. Since Bengals don’t groom themselves as much as the typical house cat, less saliva is deposited on their skin, meaning less chance of allergens being deposited around your house.

Russian Blue

Another favorite among allergy sufferers worldwide is the Russian Blue cat. The Russian Blue has a thick, low fur that is thought to trap allergens close to the cat’s skin. Some also believe the Russian Blue produces lower amounts of the Fel d 1 glycoproteins that many other cat breeds. Frequent baths and diligent cleaning will be a must for Russian Blue owners.

Oriental Shorthair

With a very short, very fine coat of fur, the Oriental Shorthair cat is known to shed less than most cat breeds and thus spreads fewer allergens around the home. Frequent bathing and grooming can boost these allergy prevention benefits.

Cornish Rex/Devon Rex

The Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cat breeds have long been touted as hypoallergenic, but this isn’t exactly the case. It is true that the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex have very short, unusual fur coats that don’t shed as much as the typical house cat. However, they still produce allergen glycoproteins in their saliva that are deposited on their skin during grooming, so baths, grooming, and cleaning are important for Rex owners with allergies.


Burmese cats have short, dense fur coats and keep their shedding to a minimum, meaning less hair and dander being spread around your home. Their coats are also thought to keep saliva allergens trapped against the skin. But like many of the cat breeds on this list, they still produce allergy-causing glycoproteins in their saliva, so they won’t be suitable for all people.


While Ocicats are thought to produce lower amounts of Fel d 1 glycoproteins, they also shed and produce dander, so they won’t be suitable for all allergy sufferers. We’d suggest visiting a cattery to spend time with Ocicats to find out if you are sensitive.

The Best Care for Your New Cat

Once you’ve found the perfect feline companion that doesn’t make you sneeze and wheeze, bring them to Affordable Pet Hospital for the absolute best veterinary care in Tampa. We’ll keep your furry friends in great shape while giving you tips and lifestyle advice to keep your allergy symptoms at bay. Contact us at (813) 991-9898 to schedule your cat’s first appointment today!

How to Care for Your Cat after Spaying or Neutering

50164529 - veterinary nurse with cat in surgerySpaying or neutering your cat is an important element of his or her health. The American Humane Society believes that all cats and dogs adopted from public and private animal care facilities should be spayed or neutered to help prevent pet overpopulation. Considering that nearly 4 million poor animals are euthanized at shelters each year due to a lack of willing adopters, it’s critical for you as a pet owner to do your part to minimize this overpopulation. Since spaying will eliminate the crying and nervous pacing of adult females in heat and undesirable sexual behaviors of male cats, spaying and neutering really is the best choice. Read more

What is Toxic to Cats?

Written by Dr. Tanya Ruisi

tanya ruisi veterinarian affordable pet hospital cat

Dr. Tanya Ruisi and the clinic cat, Chubbers

Cats are notoriously curious creatures. This can easily get them into trouble at home. Many household products are toxic and potentially deadly to our feline friends. Keeping an eye out for these common toxins can help keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Cats are particularly sensitive to both oral and topical insecticide toxins. The most common cause for exposure is when canine products are used on cats: particularly permethrin. NEVER apply medications intended for dogs to cats. Application can cause tremors, seizures and even death. If you cat is ever exposed by accident, immediately wash off the product and bring the pet to the vet.

At home insect traps and sprays can also attract cats. Because cats groom so frequently, it is easy for them to ingest toxins from the home or yard, just by walking through them. Always keep cats away from sprays, powders, or pellets. This also applies to household cleaners. Bleach and other products can cause damage to a cats sensitive mouth or stomach, so allow all products to dry or wipe down with water after use.

Human and other animal medications can pose a threat to cats as well.  Medications like antidepressants and amphetamines (ADD/ADHD medications) can cause neurological symptoms like seizures and panting. They can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, increased temperature, and fast heart rate. Keeping these medications in a safe place away from cats is important. If exposure is suspected, DO NOT WAIT, bring your pet to the vet immediately for hospitalization and monitoring.

Pain relievers, NSAIDs and acetaminophen, are common medications found in almost every household. NSAIDs, like aspirin or ibuprofen, can cause bleeding ulcers in the stomach or intestines. They can also cause kidney failure at relatively low doses. Acetaminophen: Tylenol, can cause drooling, anemia (low red blood cell count), liver failure, and death. NEVER give your pets human or other pet’s medications. Always consult a veterinarian if you suspect your pet has eaten these medications.

Household plants, particularly lilies can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea, depression, and even progress to kidney failure. Be aware before buying house plants of toxic species like the umbrella plant, lily-of-the-valley, poinsettias, etc. Check with your veterinarian if you are unsure.

We always try and protect our pets. By avoiding exposure to toxins we can keep our pets healthy. If exposure occurs it is important to contact your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY for further instruction. If you are unsure if the pet got into anything (finding pills spread on the floor), bring your cat and the medications to the veterinarian ASAP.

If you believe your pet may have been exposed to something toxic and would like help, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control or contact us at 813-991-9898 or if it’s after hours, call us at 813-991-9244.