Top tips for getting your cat to the vet

Top tips for getting your cat to the vet

By Dr. Jeremy Campbell BVSc, MANZCVS (Feline Med) RCVS Advanced Practitioner (Feline Medicine) MRCVS

Ever wondered why your cat scrapers as soon as you even think about getting the cat carrier out? They may look into your soul with those piercing, inscrutable eyes but they’re not mind readers. Instead, acutely sensitive to your smell, respiration, voice and actions they sense what your planning almost before you do and so the battle lines are drawn.

You have a formidable array of weaponry at your disposal – treats, toys, oven gloves and the cat carrier. They have claws, teeth and speed. No contest. So if you want to come out of this an unscathed winner, you’re going to need to adapt your behaviour. Their instincts have been winning battles like this for millennia.

Training and preparation for the cat carrier, like charity, begins at home and from the very beginning. As soon as you bring your kitten home in fact. We love these three videos on cat carrier training produced by International Cat Care – a fantastic charitable organisation involved in improving the life and health of all cats in this country and abroad. Look up iCatCare on youtube:

As you’ll see it all starts with patient, calm training. But whether you have a kitten or an adult cat take a look at our top tips for making your cat’s trip to see us better for you both.

  • Choose the right cat carrier. We recommend a carrier which your cat can comfortably turn around inside and lie down and is easily cleaned. The perfect carrier is one that opens from both the top and front and can be taken apart in the middle. This makes it easier to examine nervous or injured patients as it allows them to relax in the bottom half of the carrier throughout. Avoid buying carriers that are too small, too flimsy and only open from the front because these can cause difficulties if your cat is not in the mood to be social. That said, we would always work with your cat and would never tip or pull your cat out of the carrier.
  • Get your cat used to the carrier from an early age so they associate it not just with a trip to the vet but with everyday life. Leave it out in the open and put it in a place they like to go to.
  • Encourage them to go into the carrier every day by putting their favourite toys in there.
  • Reward them for going into the carrier by giving them their preferred treats. Remember, like us humans, cats respond well to positive reinforcement.  They don’t respond well to punishment or force.
  • When you’re training your cat to enter the carrier, remember to stay really calm. Cats are smart and they can pick up on anxiety and frustration.
  • Once your cat is familiar with the carrier, progress to getting them used to being in it with the door closed. At first, do this for just a few seconds, rewarding them with a treat.  Gradually build up the time.
  • If you travel to the vet by car, get your cat familiar with being in it first. Then do some short car rides, again rewarding them with treats.  This will make a car trip to the vet much easier when the time comes. In the car, remember to strap the carrier with a seatbelt to reduce movement.  Some nervous cats also respond well to having a towel put over the carrier, others like to see out – experiment with your cat they are all different!
  • Choose one carrier for all your needs. If you make use of the pet passport scheme for example and might want to transport pets commercially, then you will need to buy a more robust IATA approved container.
  • If your cat is injured or is just seriously unwilling but you need to come and see us, we suggest you put the carrier in a small room, put blankets in it and spray with Feliwayâ Not in your cat’s eye-line or earshot – as it sounds like a cat hissing and can make them more upset. Bring your cat to the room and gently coax it into the carrier with treats and toys.  If they still don’t go in, gently cradle your cat and lower them into the carrier.  An alternative for very unwilling cats is to place the carrier on a table with the front very slightly over the table edge and gently funnel them in.  Cats usually prefer the safety of the container rather than face the drop below.

There is also a further post on this here on Katzenworld.

Basically, put yourself in their shoes (or at least their furry feet). They’ll pick up on anything that stresses you and it will stress them in return and the whole negative cycle perpetuates. Take your time and start planning and thinking about it early and Mr. Tibbs will take trips to Vetland in his stride in no time.

Article has kindly been provided by the London Cat Clinic

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Catnip – everything you need to know

Catnip – everything you need to know

Catnip is a plant that has a mildly euphoric effect on cats, often making them revert to a kitten-like, playful state.

Some cat-owners might be concerned about giving their pet a plant that has such an effect, but there’s nothing to worry about. Argos Pet Insurance reveals everything you need to know about catnip:

What is catnip?

Nepeta Cataria, better known as catnip, is a type of herb that belongs to the mint family. It contains the feline attractant nepetalactone, which is released in oil when the plant’s leaves are crushed. The scent of the oil is what causes the reaction, but cats bite the leaves to release more oil. The effects of catnip last for around fifteen minutes.

Is it safe for my cat?

Catnip is safe as long as it is used in moderation! Too much may cause vomiting and diarrhoea so be careful. If this does happen, however, it is usually mild and transient but always be careful not to overindulge.

While catnip is usually just used as a play item, it also relieves stress in cats, causing a carefree attitude. It may be handy to play with during stressful times, such as returning from a vet trip.

It’s best not to overindulge your cat with catnip, saving it as an occasional treat. Giving it to your cat too often will eventually wear out the affect, so just one weekly playtime is recommended.

It is also safe for you and can be brewed to soothe an upset stomach.

What is the best kind of catnip?

You can purchase catnip in a variety of ways. The crushed leaves can be placed inside toys, which you can buy online or from shops. However, some cat experts warn against this as the plant’s stems can be used as toy filler, which are sharp and potentially dangerous if your pet bites the toy. Buying a refillable toy that you can fill with your own catnip is a safer option than a sealed toy.

Loose catnip can be bought from many pet shops and online stores, allowing you to give your cat loose catnip or even make your own toys, sewing a pouch for the treat.

If you want to know exactly where your catnip comes from, you can grow your own. Be careful though – you might have all the neighbourhood cats eating it!

My cat isn’t interested in catnip.

An interest in catnip is hereditary and has an effect on 50-75% of cats. It doesn’t tend to affect kittens either, with reactions usually seen in cats aged six months or older.

If your cat seems to have lost interest in a catnip toy they once wouldn’t leave alone, all of the oil from the leaves may have been released, so you may need to refill the toy with fresh catnip or replace it altogether.

Pic © Creative Commons

Content provided by Argos Pet Insurance

Healthy From Head to Tail: When to Visit the Vet

Hi everyone,

Today we’ve once again teamed up with our friends from petco to provide you with their Healthy From Head to Tail.

There is something pretty wondrous about welcoming a new animal into your home.
But after you’re done appreciating the newness of the animal, it’s time to make a plan to keep them fit, healthy, and happy for as long as possible. And that plan needs to include a regular schedule with your preferred veterinarian.
Different animals at different stages of their lives need different check-ins with a pet-care provider. Very young animals such as those cute kittens and puppies, for example, probably need to visit the vet more often than adults. That’s because their immune systems are still developing and they must reach certain growth milestones.
But even after they’re fully grown, your animals need you to help them be seen regularly by a vet. To learn more about what those visits look like and what you can do, check out this graphic.

The first post looks at preventative measures:

For further information check out their health page.

We hope you found this useful and if you never want to miss a post why not sign-up to our Newsletter. 😀

Thanks,

Marc

My cat said that she does not want milk…!

We used to see cats drinking milk in cartoons as their only food and I used to put a bowl of milk beside my door for homeless cats, but not after today.

Most cats’ owners who are newbie’s in this field make this mistake. Well, I do not know exactly who associated cats with milk at first, but I know that he/she just did without knowing that milk is bad for cats. Well, cats look very cute and adorable while having a white drink and are usually attracted to it, but let’s face the truth: it affects their health.

If cats can talk, they will tell you how much it is hard for them to digest milk and that they wish if you prevented them from tasting it. They are like us. They may have craved, but it is harmful to give them what they like. Your kitten may ask for spaghetti sauce, chocolate, bread or even grapes that lead to their death after few days. Watch out!

Here are some facts about cats and milk that will completely change your mind:

  • I cannot deny that our cute fluffy pets adore milk, but too much of it may be dangerous. It causes diarrhea and you never know if your cat is lactose intolerant as many of them are. It is commonly known that cats have less and less lactase (an enzyme that helps to digest lactose) while growing up. That’s why your cat will have a tough time processing milk.
  •  Water is more important and beneficial to your cat than giving them milk. While milk can be a cause of many health problems, water regulates the body temperature, weight, and help in digestion. If you notice do not really enjoy the water and do not get enough of it, try to use water fountains.  They are very effective.
  • Kittens need their mother’s milk not other animals milk like cows. Like all the species, only mothers carry the right formula of milk to help new babies grow up healthy. That is an enough reason to avoid another kind of milk and let the mama brew its child. But if your cat is an orphan, you might want to use special milk that is usually sold in pet stores.
  • You might not know that cats do not gain anything from you huge bowl of milk. So, it is preferable to keep it way. The myth and tales are wrong. Milk does not have any nutritional role because all that your cat needs is included in high-protein diets. In addition to that, the cat’s digestive organs do not support too much liquid.
  • The most common health issues that milk can cause to kitties are obesity, skin problems, vomiting, upset stomach, and allergies.

After knowing all the bad sides of milk, the question now is why cats are so attracted and run faster the milk bowl than the water one?

Many answers are given by people, but no proven scientific facts. Some say that it tastes good and other that it is part of their nature. I, personally, think if cats can show a sad face, play, love their owners, feel pain, jealous and be bossy, they can miss their infancy too. Why not? They carry in their little chest a variety of emotions, so why not nostalgia?

If you want to know extra information, here are additional answers:

What if my cat loves milk and does not show any reaction to it?

Some experts say it is okay then if the cat does not throw up or have diarrhea, but they advice most pet owners to either give them free-lactose milk or better cream as substitutes.

What are the drinks that work better than milk?

Whatever your cat’s breed is, water is very essential in your pet’s diet, but not any water. Do not let your dear friend take sips from the toilet. Clean and fresh water is obligatory.

What are the worst results of feeding your cat milk regularly?

The results are fatal and are very regrettable, milk causes many health issues but the worst that can happen is dehydration (a condition that happens when the body loses more than it absorbs).

What is special about giving a newborn kitten its mother’s milk and not any available kind?

Mothers know best and their milk is the best for the newborn kittens. It simply enhances the immune system because they are rich in antibodies. It also provides vitamins and protein for healthy adorable pets.

Can I treat my cat with milk on special occasions?

Of course yes. You cannot deprive your kitten of delicious treats even if it is milk because after all, they go together.

Can I buy Cat’s milk and give it to my kitten regularly?

It would be preferable to buy products that stimulate the formula of the cat’s milk.

If you have a cute beautiful cat that you adore, just take good care of it and it will be a very loyal friend!

Stay safe and secure open windows!

Hi everyone,

Many of us are probably in similar situations it gets warm in our flats and we want it to cool down and the easiest thing of course is to open the window… Unfortunately this is not a good idea when you’ve got cats and you are above ground as they might not realise that there is a sheer drop below…

In addition to the important information from Blue Cross below we would also like to point out that balconies can be equally dangerous unless you secure them using Cat Balcony enclosures such as the ones sold by ProtectaPet.

But now on to the details from Blue Cross.

Thanks,

Marc

National pet charity Blue Cross is sending a warning of open windows as warm weather leads to cat casualties 

As the temperature is set to rise, Blue Cross pet charity is warning cat owners of the dangers of open windows and balconies after the admission of three young cats recently, all with broken pelvises after falling from high windows.

The three cats, a two-year-old female tabby, four-year-old Kenzo and one-year-old Mishmish, came in separately after each fell out of open windows during the warmer weather. Mishmish fell four stories during the night after owners left the window slightly open for cool air. Kenzo also fell from the fourth floor where he has access to a balcony.

Seb Prior, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Victoria animal hospital said:

“These poor cats will have suffered a great deal of pain after falling and breaking their bones. It is myth to think that cats will always fall on all four paws, which implies an open window or balcony doesn’t pose a threat. They may well land on their paws but the impact from such a great fall can easily shatter bones, like we can see for these three poor pusses, who are lucky to be alive. Last year, we treated a cat at the hospital who was impaled on a railing after falling from a window.”  

Mishmish’s owners said:

“We left the window open only slightly to keep the air cool in the flat as it was a warm night. Mishmish is a slender cat and we didn’t realise she could fit through the gap. She didn’t wake me up in the morning as she usually does so I went looking for her; I found her outside, very quiet and calm, I knew something was wrong so I phoned up Blue Cross to get her seen by a vet. I was devastated to find out she’d broken her pelvis.”

Kenzo’s owner had a similar story, she said:

“I have two cats; the other often goes out onto the balcony to visit my neighbour’s cat but Kenzo never showed interest before. I couldn’t find him one evening so I looked all over the flat, on every floor of the building until I eventually found him outside, scared and hiding underneath a motorbike cover. The only way he could get there was from the balcony I knew he must have fallen.”

All three cats are young and the two females had not been neutered. A commonality with unneutered cats is that they stray and escape from the home in the search of a mate. Often not taking into account the danger they can get in and fall from windows and balconies.

Senior Vet Seb continued:

“We hope these cases will provide a grave warning for cat owners. It can cost a very small amount to order some safety mesh online versus the terrible pain your beloved pet may endure if they fall. Open only upper parts of windows or put safety mesh firmly across them so that cats don’t fall out. Don’t let your cat sunbathe on a balcony even if you think they won’t jump or fall – it is a risk for any cat and the consequences can be devastating.”

For more advice on keeping your pets safe or to make a donation towards caring for sick, injured, homeless and unwanted pets visit www.bluecross.org.uk.

Sunburn advice issued to cat owners as soaring temperatures put cats at risk of skin cancer

Hi everyone,

Please find below important advice from our friends over at Cats Protection:

Sunburn advice issued to cat owners as soaring temperatures put cats at risk of skin cancer

Cat owners are being urged to protect their pets from sun exposure as soaring temperatures puts them at risk of developing sunburn and skin cancer.

Cats Protection says cats with white or pale coloured ears or noses are particularly susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays – with some needing drastic surgery to repair sun damaged skin.

Ahead of Sun Awareness Week (May 8-14), the UK’s largest cat charity has issued advice to owners to keep cats indoors during very sunny weather.

Cats Protection’s Education Veterinary Officer Sandra Milburn said: “We regularly have cats coming into our care with early or advanced stages of skin cancer caused by sun exposure. In many of these cases, we need to amputate the ears to prevent the spread of the disease.

“Like many of us, cats love the warm weather and enjoy lounging around in the sun. However, just as with humans, too much sun exposure can be very dangerous and owners should take precautions to protect their cats.

“White cats, or those with unpigmented white noses or ears, are at the greatest risk. It may take a few years before the damage is visible but, once the early stages of cancer set in, it is important cats are given urgent veterinary treatment to prevent it spreading.

“The good news is that you can protect your cat by keeping him or her indoors during the hottest part of the day, particularly during the summer months. It’s also a good idea to provide lots of shady areas in the garden where your cat may like to snooze – whether it’s a large shrub or artificial shade, such as a small pop up tent.

“There are also sunblocks available that have been manufactured specifically for use on animals, some of which have been designed to be lick-proof. Your vet should be able to recommend one or source one for your cat. It is very important that it is suitable for cats, as they can be more sensitive than some other animals to the chemicals included. Please check with your vet before using anything intended for humans on your cat.”

One cat currently recovering from surgery to remove both her badly-sunburned ears is Pearl, a 16-year-old former stray being cared for at Cats Protection’s Derby Adoption Centre.

Manager Helen Wood said: “Poor Pearl was in quite a state when she was found as a stray, with both ears having sustained serious damage as a result of sun exposure. Sadly, her ears could not be saved and both needed to be removed to prevent the spread of skin cancer.

“Fortunately, she has coped brilliantly with this and is now looking for a new home. Her new owner will need to ensure she stays indoors during hot weather to protect her from further skin damage.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, with over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres helping around 500 cats a day, or 200,000 a year.

For more information about the charity, please visit www.cats.org.uk

Controversies of Pet food industry – US

We people being fastidious while choosing a right food for us then why we are not concerned while selecting our pet’s food carefully? Past few years, many heated discussions are going on on pet food industries. It puts all the pet owners in confusion of whom to believe while buying food for their pet.
While the pet food companies gave us a warm feeling about the food they are selling are really good and we are making a good choice, for the health of our lovely animal companions the question is are they really a good choice? Generally, we take products of well-known companies but big companies are now overlapping smaller companies and it becomes difficult to understand exactly from where the actual products come from. Where its ingredients come in. In general, it’s seen that “Made in USA” tagged product don’t always include ingredients coming from the USA.
So to choose a healthy product for our pet, important thing is to be more skeptical and educate ourselves. Here in an infographic named“19 controversies about the pet food industry”, creators given such 19 controversies that surround pet food industry. For e.g. how multinational companies are buying smaller companies to silence online critics caused against them or the labels on products are isn’t always correct and pet food grades aren’t consistent. There are many similar questions which need to be answered and this infographic has tried the best to answer them all. Have a look.

 

Source: TopDogTips