Travel and Veterinary Visits with your Cat
Do you worry about the stress associated with car travel and veterinary visits for your cat? Check out the great information on "Visiting the Vet" from the "Have We Seen Your Cat Lately?" campaign, including an instructional video and specific tips for reducing your cat's fear and anxiety.
Cat-isms: Purrrr-ls of Wisdom
From our friend and former staff member Allison Miller, LTV
Tips for Getting Pills into your Feline Friend
Instead of chasing your cat around the house and then fighting to get a pill down her throat, try these non- aggressive tactics that may even strengthen your bond with each other. Your kitty may think she is getting a special treat, and you feel good giving her the medication she needs. Sometimes with cats, variety is the spice of life. You may need to switch around among a few of these options every month or two to keep your cat interested.
1. Pill Pockets work for a majority of cats, but a lot of them eventually catch on to the trick and will eat around the pill.
2. You can try hiding the pill in a piece of meat or cheese.
3. You can crush the pill and mix it up in yogurt, chicken baby food, or tuna fish juice.
4. It is often easier to get cats to eat treats if they are hungry. So, try giving pills before the morning or evening meal. (First be sure that it is not medically necessary for the pill to be given with food already in the stomach).
5. If pilling becomes necessary and all other options have failed:
Try not to make it a scary or completely unpleasant event for your cat.
Keep it as a routine.
Make sure to give a lot of affection; chin scratching; or belly/face rubs before, during, and after.
Give your cat a special treat that she loves and only gets at that special time. (tuna fish, treats etc.).
House Cat Calisthenics and other Feline Fun
Looking for ways to keep your cat both fit and entertained? Give some of these ideas a try!
Food on High - begin feeding your cat on the top level of his own "cat tree." Climbing uses hind limb muscles and promotes balance.
Toss the Treat - teach him to run for a tossed treat or dry food nugget, much the way a dog chases a ball. You can also toss treats and toys into boxes so that your kitty must leap and maneuver to get his reward.
Will Work for Food - purchase a feeder such as the Booda Treat Ball or the Stimulo Cat Feeder that makes your cat work for her meal. She'll have to manipulate the toy or reach into a tube to get at her kibble. This will stimulate her brain and her hunting instinct.
Make a Maze - set up cardboard boxes for your kitty to creep and crawl through.
Kitty Yoga - buy some cat nip and rub it over a big patch of rug. Watch your kitty twist, turn, and roll!
Best Friends? - talk to your vet about your cat's specific temperament. Maybe you can add another kitty to your household to give your cat a playmate andcompanion. Note: territory can be an issue, and it can be easier in an established family to add a kitten instead of a full-grown adult.
Food to Find - don't simply feed the cat in one location of the house, but place small meals (split between 2 or 3 small bowls) around the house. She'll burn calories before she even has a meal as she changes locations and uses her hunting and exploring skills.
Tech Toys - purchase a laser light to engage your cat in chase activity that is safer than the classic string toys which can be swallowed when you aren't looking. Try rotating through many different sorts of toys each day (some that jingle, some that look like mice, etc.) to keep things interesting and to stimulate the hunting instinct.
Scratch my Back - scratch your cat's back such that he'll rise up to meet your hand and bend underneath it. These "squats" are great for quadriceps strength.
Bird Watching - hang a few outside the window to keep your cat climbing to the sills. In fact, window perches and (secure) screened-in porches can afford ever-changing and exciting views of the outdoors from the safety of your home.
Cat House Architecture - check out Bob Walker and Francis Mooney's book The Cats' House; then steal an idea or two for your own home!
Outside Exploration - some cats can be trained to walk on a harness and leash. Alternatively, you can buy an enclosed "stroller" for your cat to safely ride inside. As long as you discuss appropriate vaccinations and preventives with your vet, you could get the green light to take your kitty exploring around your neighborhood!
Buddy Learns the ABC's of "ADR"
Buddy is an example of one of our patients who presented as "ADR" (veterinary-speak for "ain't doin' right"). His owners knew that something was amiss with their dear friend, but they weren't quite sure what. Read on to see how veterinary professionals can piece together symptoms to solve medical mysteries.
In the autumn of his eleventh year, Buddy's owners made an appointment for him because he just seemed a little bit off. He would hide from his family for much of the day, and he was quieter than usual, sometimes to the point of lethargy. His bowel movements had decreased in frequency, but he didn't show any signs of abdominal pain when touched. Buddy was also running a fever. He was, however, eating and urinating normally. We began with hospitalization for observation, to administer subcutaneous (under the skin) fluids, and to begin medications to treat his discomfort and fever.
Your Stream Valley veterinarians are proud members of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, an organization of veterinarians dedicated to providing excellence in the care and treatment of cats, and we are currently working toward the AAFP's certification as a Cat-Friendly Practice. As part of this initiative, we are pleased to offer our "Meowy Mondays" appointment schedule. The first and fourth Fridays of each month, we'll reserve half of our morning's schedule for cat appointments only, to help minimize fear and distractions, such as many dogs in our lobby. We hope that Stream Valley Veterinary Hospital can be a safe and comfortable place for your feline friends. Call us today to set up your cat's Meowy Monday visit!