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My cat never purrs - so is she unhappy? PetsCorner.

PDSA VET IAN FLEMING ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS

Q My cat is healthy but she never purrs. Is she happy? A It is a myth that cats only purr when they are happy. Many cats will purr when they are being stroked, are eating, when they are injured or in pain.

Kittens will purr to tell their mother that they are well and getting milk successfully. The mother purrs back to communicate that she is relaxed and able to care for them.

If your cat is never heard purring this may be perfectly normal and doesn't necessarily mean she is unhappy. If she is bright and active, is eating and drinking well, not losing weight, and showing no signs of disease or injury I wouldn't worry. However, if you have health concerns, get her checked by your vet.

Mystery lumps Q My dog has lumps on his chest and I've been told it could be mastitis. What is this? A Mastitis means inflammation of the breasts and is usually caused by a bacterial infection of the breasts. The signs are red, swollen and painful teats and the condition almost always affects female dogs.

Other possible causes of these lumps are abscesses, or tumours, which could be completely harmless, but get them checked by your vet to be on the safe side. If harmful, they can be removed through surgery and this will be more successful if they are diagnosed quickly.

'Despot' cat Q Our next door neighbour's cat is always chasing my dog out of our garden. Please can you help? A This is unusual. It's possible that the cat is what pet behaviour counsellors call a "despot" - that is, a cat that is actively expanding its territory using aggression. Despots usually show aggression to other cats, but this one may be unhappy about your dog being in his territory.

It is difficult to keep a cat out of your garden. The most effective solution is if you and the cat's owner co-operate by letting your pets out at different times. It would be beneficial to get the cat checked by a vet, to ensure there isn't a medical problem underlying this aggression.

Email your questions to Ian Fleming at asktthevet@pdsa.org.uk. The PDSA has two hospitals locally: Aston PetAid Hospital, 1 Dulverton Road, Witton, Birmingham, B6 7EQ.

Birmingham Quinton PetAid Hospital, 456/458 Hagley Road West, Oldbury, Birmingham, B68 0DL.

For information about PDSA PetAid services call 0800 731 2502. To donate or fundraise, visit www.pdsa.org.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 13, 2009
Words:421
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