No matter if you live in Chico, CA or anywhere else in the USA, there are perils outdoors for your beloved kitties. In our urban setting, it’s obvious; cars, neighborhood cats, and feral cats. Out in the countryside, it’s coyotes, other wild animals including mountain lions, and often people with weapons. The problem with living indoors is often there’s nothing to do when you are a natural born hunter. Boredom is boredom no matter what species you are. Having nothing to do is a form of stress that we cat owners must be sure to prevent.
When I play with my cat Bo’s feet, he gets quite irritated with me. I didn’t adopt him until he was six years old so I wasn’t able to teach him to let me touch his feet. The pads of the front feet are rich with sensory receptors. The front cat paws are used in and hunting and manipulating food so need to be very sensitive. Between the pads there are the highest densities of nerve endings in the whole body. They produce tremendous sensitivity to speed and direction of movement across the pad.
Last year, a skinny old cat turned up one morning at our feline veterinary hospital. We are on a busy Chico street so it seemed like a particularly perilous journey. We brought her in and had a look. She wasn’t wearing a collar but looked clean and well cared for. She was quite sweet. We scanned her for a microchip and thankfully found one. The mystery grew deeper when her owner and address were in Washington DC.
Kittens appear like clockwork every spring and summer. Cute, playful, and worthy of a good home. Choosing the right kitten is just the beginning. kittens who are handled by humans regularly between the ages of two and eight weeks will become the most comfortable being around people especially if they’re mom likes people.
My house is bigger than it should be for two people, one dog and one cat. It was an accident of planning and what I think of as ” beautiful view avarice”. My husband, who built it, asked me which view I would prefer when he positioned the house, the one of the mountain or the one of the canyon. Naturally, I wanted both. To get both, the main part of the house stretched longer than it should have. I can’t say I’m sorry. But when I came home from work, I would find my beloved boy, Bo, a Burmese rescue sleeping in one spot without having moved much all day. He didn’t take advantage of all the space. Like many people who worry about boredom for their cats, I thought Bo needed a buddy. Even knowing that cats are not social animals and that introducing a new cat into the house could be stressful, I pressed on.
My 20 year old Woody has gotten pretty creaky in the last few years. He has arthritis. But he gets around with the help of some special arrangements, supplements and pain medication. He still jumps in my lap and onto the bath tub. Lots of our older cats have aches and pains and you can help them have a more comfortable time enjoying their older years. If you use words like “my cat’s just acting her age,” or “my cat has just been slowing down,” you are probably recognizing your cat doesn’t feel great. We don’t slow down or change what we do because we’re old, we change these things because it’s painful or uncomfortable doing them.
The drought that has plagued the northwest for four years has many unforeseen consequences. We all think more about washing the car or not, watering the lawn or not, and how long our showers last. These are the obvious things to think about.
Veterinarians have been talking to cat caretakers about the importance of dental health and encouraging regular dental care for at least the past decade or two, and with good reason. The American Veterinary Dental Society estimates that 85% of cats over 3 years of age need dental care. The trouble is, dental cleanings seem expensive because cats require general anesthesia for the procedure. Although we humans understand why our mouths are being poked, prodded and scraped with pointy things, this is not true for cats. There is no doubt that general anesthesia does involve some risk. Here at Chico Hospital for Cats our anesthesia procedure is quite advanced and the risk and discomfort to your cat is minimal.
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My next two blog entries will focus on appetite disorders in cats. Part 1 will discuss loss of appetite, and part 2 will discuss increased appetite. Remember, as always, that the vets at Chico Hospital for Cats are always happy to help you with you cat’s health needs.
A depressed appetite in the cat can occur for many medical reasons, and is not specific to any one disease. Kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, dental disease, GI tract pain, GI tract inflammation, urinary tract disease, musculoskeletal pain, anxiety,
We all know you love your cats but what else could you do to show them how much you adore them? How about a few simple gifts? When we assess our cat’s lifestyles, whether they are indoor only or go outside, there are a few important things to help our cats live in a healthier, more enriched environment.
What does a coughing cat look like? The descriptions are very consistent from and between cat guardians. It almost always is described as an “expected furball” that never materializes. In fact, most cats who cough are not seen immediately because of this confusion. The neck is outstretched and the wretching sound is mistaken for imminent vomit filled with a wad of fur.
Three weeks ago, a long standing and wonderful client of ours scheduled a long-awaited dental procedure for her cat Lily. Until we could get her scheduled, she was on pain medication for the cavities we had previously diagnosed. Since we know that dental pain is the same in the cat as it is in people, we knew she was uncomfortable despite the fact that she was still eating. The only significant change the client noticed was that she tilted her head just slightly to one side while eating.
Bubba is a young male cat that shares his home with two other cats. They are all indoor only and had been quite healthy until Bubba suddenly became lethargic and stopped eating. About 24 hours later he was drooling, sneezing and had excessive tearing of his eyes. When he came to see me he had 104 degree fever and ulcers on his tongue. He had to be hospitalized for 36 hours with intravenous fluids, pain control, and antibiotics until he started eating on his own again. It took 2 weeks for him to fully recover.
1. Make Yearly Vet Visits a Routine -- Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian. Preventive care examinations or check-ups for all cats should occur a minimum of once yearly, and more frequently for senior cats and those with chronic conditions. During the physical examination, veterinarians assess your cats current health, and also can often detect conditions that may affect your cat’s health long before they become significant so they can be managed or cured before they become painful or more costly. Cats need routine veterinary check-ups to promote longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Meet Jeffrey. In March, Jeffrey weighed 17 pounds, 1 ounce, and had a jungle pouch that he liked to show the world. When he strode across the room, that jungle pouch swung to and fro like a gelatinous pendulum, and when he rolled onto his back, he loved to ooze his extra inches sexily onto his owner’s lap. We could call Jeffrey “Everycat” in that he represents a cat we all live with now, or have lived with at some point in time: the overweight, carbohydrate-addicted, indoor cat.