Tag: top 5

cat at vet

5 Tips for Better Vet Visits [Pet Expert]

5 tips for Better Vet Visits for everyone!

Working at a veterinary clinic I saw many cats who did not want to be at the office and heard too many stories from owners of how much of a fight it was to just get the cat in the carrier.  Taking our cats to the vet is something that people loathe doing because its such a hassle so often times people only take them in when there is a serious issue.

Cats are missing their regular check-ups because the pet parents do not want to fight them and that can cause medical issues to be missed early on or even prevented.  There are ways to make vet visits easier for everyone and that starts right at home.

  1. Don’t just bring out the carrier when its time to go to the vet. Typically, a cats carrier lives in the closet or garage and comes out minutes before you are ready to leave for the vet clinic.  This is a big mistake that pet parents make because the cat has only associated that carrier with the terrifying place that they are about to head off to.  Instead, leave the carrier out and allow the cat to get comfortable with it and even use it as an extra bed
  2. To build up the positive association, even more, you can use feeding time and treats near and in the carrier to make it a good place to be.
    Use Feliway. Feliway mimics natural feline facial pheromones which can help to calm your cat.  You can spray Feliway inside the carrier and even ask your veterinarian if they have a Feliway diffuer in their cat room and/or can spray it on their exam table.  You can purchase Feliway here
  3.  Visit a Fear Free vet clinic. Veterinary professionals that are Fear Free certified have gone above and beyond to make the clinic experience comfortable for all pets.  They reduce stress as much as possible in pets by doing a few simple things that you may not see in many practices such as using non slip mats on their exam tables, using low-stress handling techniques, using pheromones in their lobby and exam rooms, ushering pets into exam rooms as quickly as possible to reduce any possible confrontations with other animals in the waiting room, and so much more! Fear Free is a newer movement in the veterinary world and if you vet clinic isn’t on board yet ask them if they have heard of the program and would be willing to implement some techniques to make the visits more comfortable for your cat.  You can learn more about the Fear Free mission at https://fearfreepets.com/
  4. Handle your cat at home. Use positive reinforcement to reward you cat while at home for being handled like she would be a the vet clinic.  Rubbing her paws, touching her mouth and ears, and handling her all over will help to make being handled at the vet a less terrifying experience. Remember to pair the handling with a reward to make it an experience she learns to enjoy.
  5. Go to the vet on a regular basis. Having positive experiences at the vet will help your cat to learn that the clinic is a pretty great place to go! Regular vet visits can also prevent and help to detect illness and diseases early on which will keep your cat happy and healthy for many years to come!

If you need any more tips on how to make a visit to the vet easier for your cat please reach out for a phone consultation!  I am also happy to speak with you or your veterinarian about the Fear Free initiative if you would like more information.

kitten playing in milk

5 More Myths About Our Feline Friends

Myths About Our Feline Friends

A couple of weeks ago we started talking about myths that people have come up with about cats.  Here are 5 more rumors about cats simply not true and we talk about what is true with our feline friends!

1.      Cats are independent, I can leave them alone when I go on vacation

-It is true that many cats will hide when a stranger comes in the home if the owner is away.  This is usually due to the fact that the cat was never properly socialized as many cat owners do not consider socialization a key part of their cat or kitten’s upbringing.  Cats can be very social animals, as anyone who knows my cats knows very well! Even if your cat is not very social it is important to have someone check on them every day to ensure they are eating and drinking normally since cats can be very sensitive to changes and their health can decline quickly if symptoms go unnoticed.

2.      A cat uses its whiskers for balance

-A cats whiskers are important, but they are not for balance.  A cat actually uses their whiskers as feelers in dim lighting and to get into small spaces.

3.      Cats should be given cow’s milk

-I know kittens are adorable when they are sitting drinking milk from a saucer, but despite popular belief cow’s milk is really not good for kitties.  Cats are generally lactose intolerant and the milk can give them upset stomachs which is not comfortable for them and the clean up is not comfortable for you!

4.      Cats are nocturnal

-Cats are crepuscular which means they are most active at dusk and dawn.  This is when there are the most hunting opportunities and there is still enough light to be able to see their prey.  Cats often sleep when the house is quiet during the day and no one is home and will be more active as everyone gets home in the evening throughout the night.  You can help to prevent your cat from keeping you up at night by having evening playtime and setting up a routine. A cat can adapt to your routine fairly easily.

5.      A cat must be happy if its wagging/flicking its tail

-A cat uses its tail to communicate.  They may be telling us they are happy, but often that is not the case.  Many times, when a cat is flicking the tip of its tail it is upset and would like distance from whatever person or other animals are around.  A cat can use its tail to communicate excitement during playtime and hunting as well.  One of my kitties, Fiona, will quiver her tail when I first get home in the evenings and this is her communicating that she is in an excited state (and probably ready for dinner time!)

Cat behavior is starting to become a better-understood topic as more and more pet owners are getting a cat as a pet and want them to fit in their home and be happy and healthy.  If you want to know more about cat behavior or their health and nutrition then contact us today!

kitten playing with ball of paper

Top 5 Common Cat Myths [You didn’t Know]

Cat MythsThere are so many myths that I have heard over the years about cats. Most of these come from people who have never owned a cat or have had a bad experience with them. Let’s talk about 5 common myths and what is really true about cats!

1. Cats don’t need exercise

-Cats do need exercise even though it may not be in the way that you think about exercising a dog. For cats, we use playtime as exercise time and there are many different styles of toys to use and you may have to test a few in order to find the one that fits your cats play style.

Many cat owners end up with obese cats with other medical issues because they do not play with their cat enough and provide that exercise time. And remember that mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise and often times they can go hand in hand.

2. Cats don’t like to be cuddly, you should get a dog if you want a friendly companion

-People are often very surprised when I say that my cats wait for me by the door when I come home, or they sleep with me in bed. Cats can be very affectionate animals and proper socialization can help to make them more friendly with people and other animals.

3. Cats purr only when they are happy

-Cats purr in a number of different situations. Some happy and some stressful. It is not fully understood why a cat purrs but my thought is that it is self-soothing. When they are happy they are expressing their contentment and when they are stressed or not feeling well, say at the vet’s office, they are attempting to calm themselves. Mother cats also purr to soothe their young.

4. Outdoor cats are happier than indoor cats

-There is a big misconception that cats should be allowed outdoors because they will be happier being able to roam. The reality is that outdoor cats have shortened lifespans due to animal predators, unkind people, and disease.

Outdoor cats have to deal with so many risks to their health and life on a daily basis that to me, as a cat owner, I would never want to put my cat in that type of potential harmful situation. What you can do to make your indoor cat happier is enrich their environment. Make being inside just as exciting as being outside.

5. Cats can’t be trained

-People often think only dogs can be trained, but did you see that video going around on Facebook recently of the cats ringing the bells to get treats? Super cute! And it just goes to show everyone that cats can be trained just as easily as dogs.

Often times it can be more difficult to find a cats motivation, but do not give up! My cats know how to sit, come, and Fiona and Bianca will both give kisses too!

These are just a few of the most common myths that I have heard or seen people talking about recently. There are many more myths about cats that we can debunk, so stay tuned for a parts 2 and 3!