Posts in Category: The Cat’s Meow
That dreaded hack is something most cat owners don’t want to hear from their furry friends, because they know the end result is almost always a mess. At one point or another, though, the majority of cats will experience this loud and yucky ritual. The hacking cough we are describing is most notably associated with gagging or vomiting up a wad of undigested fur, also known as a hairball. Some cats may suffer from these, dare we say, disgusting oddities more than others, especially if they have long hair.
Hairballs in cats are something we often get asked about here at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center. Cat owners who are new to the hairball want to know if they’re normal or a cause for concern. Don’t worry, we have you covered (and not in undigested hair). Let’s explore this phenomenon in cats and what you can do to prevent future hairballs:Continue…
It’s not that whacky to think that our pet cats actually disdain some of the things we do. We’re not talking about vacuuming the floor or using the (really loud) blender for smoothies. No, cats seemingly sneer at us when we lace up for a jog, or tune up our bikes for the trail. Do we avoid cat exercise because they appear to dislike it?
But with feline obesity on the rise each year, we must all do our part to instill a love of feline fitness. Here we have 5 possible reasons to explain why you (and your cat) may be shirking the responsibility.Continue…
People honored with the privilege of cat ownership usually know – and distinctly remember – the first moment they saw their cat.
Some owners never had a plan to adopt and spontaneously did so moments after being introduced. Others prepared for their cat’s initial arrival like they would the Queen of England. Indeed, the connection between cats and people is recognized far and wide, and the indelible impression on our hearts makes us forever grateful.
Heart to Heart
Evidence suggests that simply being near cats, let alone snuggling with them, increases the production of oxytocin, the love hormone. This hormone facilitates the deep bond between cats and people, but we’re not the only ones that benefit from it. Cats, too, produce oxytocin when in the company of their beloved person.Continue…
The look and feel of a healthy cat’s fur coat is a thing of beauty. It should be soft, shiny, and smooth. After all, they work hard to get the best results, spending up to half of their waking life self-grooming. But if your cat has greasy fur, it could signal underlying problems that should be addressed right away.
Importance of Cat Grooming
Cats self-groom to keep themselves clean but the practice also maintains a healthy body temperature and supports good circulation. With their rough tongues and top-notch flexibility, cats keep their entire coats extremely tidy by evenly distributing the skin’s natural oils. Not only does grooming keep the coat free of mats, parasites, and allergens, but provides an outlet when they are stressed out or anxious.Continue…
Did you know that cats actually out number dogs as pets in the U.S.? Yet, in spite of their greater numbers, we see far fewer felines at the clinic than we do dogs.
Traditionally, cats don’t like coming to the vet. They don’t like the carrier, the car ride, or the office visit. The great news is, there is something we can do to make things better. Cats can learn to tolerate, dare we say even enjoy, veterinary visits if we just take the time make things a little more cat friendly.
Planning for Feline Veterinary Visits Ahead of Time
As an owner, you can help decrease your cat’s stress by taking the time to get them used to the experiences associated with veterinary visits ahead of time. We have included a list below of some cat-friendly recommendations based on information provided by the International Society of Feline Medicine and American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Cats are amazing creatures. They are also, however, masters at hiding signs of pain or discomfort. This means we may not know something is wrong until it’s too late, which is why we want to take a moment to focus on cat health and wellness.
In the wild, cats who show weakness or disease are targets for predators, so it’s no surprise that they’ve developed a survival instinct to hide their pain. This means the best way to ensure your kitty is healthy (even if they seem ok) is with regularly scheduled veterinary exams.
The Importance of Wellness Visits
The purpose of wellness exams (or preventive care exams) is to make sure your cat is in good health and to prevent problems from developing later on. Cats age much faster than humans, so it’s important that they be seen at least once a year. Young pets, senior pets, and those with chronic conditions should be seen more frequently. Continue…
Cats. Kot, Katt, Gato, Got, Kissa, Felis catus. They domesticated themselves, of course, 3500 years ago but have been around our periphery since prehistoric times. Whether you love them or hate them, cats maintain a kind of tolerant interdependence with mankind. They are neither master nor slave and though they may love us it is only on their own terms.
Our domestic relationship with cats evolved because it was mutually beneficial to us both. They were attracted to the rats and mice near human grain stores and we enjoyed the rodent control felines provided. They slowly became accustomed enough to us to grudgingly move inside our homes. Today while there are some fancier breeds of kitties out there, by and large they remain unchanged. Continue…
Most pet owners are familiar with the unpleasant (or downright foul) stench of doggie or kitty breath, but did you know that bad breath can indicate less-than-stellar dental health for a pet? Studies show that 85% of adult pets have some form of dental disease, and the bacteria found in plaque and tartar can have a negative impact on the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver.
When it comes to pets, a healthy mouth is paramount to a healthy body. You can help your furry friend achieve optimal oral health through a commitment to pet home dental care, and your team at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center can get you started.
To explain any number of the great mysteries of the universe, one has to conduct extensive research and amass endless observations. Scientists have uncovered possible truths about the Easter island statues, dark matter, the lost city of Atlantis, and other fabulous head-scratchers. Among the list of unsolved enigmas is a very important topic for us: cat drooling. From the serious to the silly, this feline behavior can be explained through a variety of factors, and we’re happy to share them with you!
Oh wow! Anesthesia can be so scary! How do you know your pet is going to be ok? Will they wake up? How does a pet owner make certain their pet is receiving the safest surgical care possible?
What you should look for:
- Take a tour of the facility. Check out the surgical suites. Do they have up to date anesthetic machines, monitoring and warming equipment?
- Do they stress the importance of pre-surgical bloodwork? Pre-anesthetic testing is what determines if your pet has health problems that would make anesthesia unsafe or if they require special anesthetic drug protocols.
- What type of anesthesia is used? There is a huge difference between cheap injectable first generation anesthetics and the newer generation of drugs and inhalants that can be specifically tailored to an individual animal’s needs.
- What kind of staff do they employ? Are the surgical staff highly trained Veterinary Technicians or poorly paid lay persons who learn their trade on the job and with your pet? The best equipment in the world is no good if there is no one who understands what the readings mean.
- Do they have complete monitoring systems in place? This should include heart rate, blood pressure, carbon dioxide levels, oxygen levels, respiration, body temperature.
- Do they employ intravenous catheters, IV fluids and endotracheal tubes needed to control blood pressure, oxygen and anesthetic delivery? Or do they use an injectable anesthetic and hope for the best?
- Do they keep their staff up to date through continuing education? Technology is improving and changing all the time. Make sure the clinic you use keeps their staff current and well trained.
- Is it clean? Does the clinic smell clean? Believe it or not there are clinics that will use the same surgical pack on more than one animal. Are all the instruments, including those used in dentistry sterilized after each procedure?
- Is there a good pain management protocol in place? Or will your pet lay in a kennel with no relief once surgery is complete.
What you can do to make anesthesia safer for your pet:
- Make certain that your veterinarian is aware of all medications, supplements and over the counter drugs your pet is receiving. Then follow their instructions about how and what to administer before anesthesia.
- Don’t feed your pet if your veterinarian tells you not to. Ignoring this can cause vomiting and aspiration pneumonia. Conversely, if you have an exotic pet, feed them if you are instructed to do so. They have different requirements than dogs and cats.
- Tell your veterinarian if your pet has ever had any reaction to any type of medication. If your pet has a seizure disorder or is diabetic, please make sure to share this information. This is especially important if you are new to the practice.
- Don’t let your pet become overweight. It makes anesthesia much less safe.
- Make sure your pet stays healthy by staying up to date on all routine health care.
- Don’t wait too long to spay or neuter. Large, overweight females that have been through several heat cycles are every veterinarians least favorite surgical patient. Everything is bigger, with more surrounding fat, more friable, harder to ligate and more prone to bleeding.
- If you’re not sure, ask questions. We don’t mind.