Vet Trips Made Easier

Amy D. Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant and the award-winning author of 23 pet care books, including “Complete Kitten Care” and “Pet Care in the New Century: Cutting-Edge Medicine for Dogs & Cats.” View more about Amy by clicking here:
https://www.thesprucepets.com/amy-shojai-cabc-551736
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Cats get the short end of the health care stick. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats visit the vet much less frequently than dogs. It’s not that felines are healthier (although cats do hide illness better) but many cats hate the vet so much their owners find it easier to just skip it. But even healthy cats need well exams once or twice a year.

Cats are adept at protecting themselves from stranger danger. What’s familiar is safe, while anything new or different raises kitty suspicions. A vet visit delivers a triple whammy by changing the cat’s routine, environment and exposure to strangers. Here are seven reasons cats hate the vet and how you can ease the angst.

Negative Crate Expectations. Cats learn very quickly to recognize cause and effect. The appearance of the cat carrier prompts kitty disappearing acts if used only for vet visits. Make the carrier part of the furniture and add a fuzzy bed or catnip toys inside to create a pleasant association.

Claustrophobic Car Rides. Though humans can look out windows and know what’s happening, the cat’s-eye view from the carrier offers movement without warning. Odd sounds and being in a strange environment raise cat blood pressure and might even prompt motion sickness. Covering the view with a towel over the carrier’s door helps some cats. But simply taking Kitty for many short rides around the neighborhood (and never going to the vet!) followed by treats or games can diminish nerves.

Scary Smells. Cats experience much of life through their noses. The array of unfamiliar smells found in a hospital — antiseptic, strangers, other animal’s fear — can ramp up the kitty fright factor. A pheromone product like Comfort Zone with Feliway that can be spritzed on a towel inside the carrier can help soothe environmental stress.

Strange Pets. Nothing turns felines into hiss-terical claw monsters like barking dogs or meowing cats. When confined inside a carrier, your frightened cat can’t flee, so the fight-or-flight instinct has no outlet. She may redirect her fear aggression on the nearest target — you or the vet staff. Ask to schedule your cat’s exam early in the morning or at slow times to avoid a busy waiting room. Some vet practices have separate waiting rooms and entrances for cats and dogs, so at least your cat never has to see or hear the mortal enemy.

Cold Exam Tables. Though cats may hate getting into their carriers, being dumped on a cold metal table elevates the “strangeness” of the experience significantly. After all, Kitty-Boy’s preferred lounging spots are the windowsill with a view, the soft top of the sofa, or a table underneath a warm lamp. Take along a towel or even the cat’s bed that smells like your cat to make the exam table more feline friendly. Some cat specialty practices have exam room windows with bird feeders outside or water fountains and fish tanks for kitty distraction.

Weird People Doing Weird Things. The vet and clinic staff love animals, but to your cat they’re from Mars. Maybe they wear uniforms and smell like dogs (spit!) and don’t ask permission to stroke his fur. A particular stressor is being handled by several people — the vet tech for getting a temperature or stool sample, for example, and later the veterinarian. Reducing the number of handlers may help. Scheduling enough time so the cat doesn’t feel rushed also can ease the tension.

Painful or Surprising Events. Needle sticks aren’t much fun. And a cold thermometer inserted into the nether regions is no way to make friends. It’s up to owners to offer treats or toys during and immediately after upsetting procedures to help change how cats feel about vet visits.

Cats remember discomfort, fear and bad experiences and expect them in the future. But they also remember good experiences and anticipate accordingly. Ask about taking your kitten for “fun visits” to meet and get used to the vet and staff, so he can simply play and be petted rather than examined and treated. Repeated happy visits take the scary out of the equation. Make vet visits more pleasant, and your cat will be happier — and healthier.

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I Want to Celebrate Cats!

I have loved cats since infancy.  Or so my Mom used to say.  My first cat was a jet black, sleek looking cat named Ebony.  There’s a faded picture of my Mom lowering Ebony into the cradle to take a better look at me.  I don’t know if Ebony was that impressed, but I’m sure that I was!

Since then, after years of living with Ebonys, Taffys, Lilys, Bogeys and Chesters, with countless moments of joy and of sadness (at their eventual loss), I am still crazy about cats.  I was crazy about cats long before the internet’s love affair with them.  In fact, I even opened a cat shop in 1998 and appointed a newly adopted tuxedo boy named Bogey as our official shop cat. (now, you can shop at my website, MyThreeCats.com)

My heart has expanded with each cat experience.  So much so, that I couldn’t help sharing the passion.  Today, I serve on the Board at FosterCat, Inc., a Pittsburgh based network of foster homes and volunteers who rescue and save cats’ lives every day.

Cats are so tuned into us that they know when we are energetic, happy, stressed, sick, exhausted or grieving.  How many of you have experienced the comforting feeling of a cat tending to you while you lay in bed, sick or hurting?  It’s pretty special, whether they decide to catnap beside you, or tap your face with their little paw to say, OK, I’m here.  (Of course, LOL, they also use techniques to wake you up.)

The daily care giving time I have invested in my cats has been rewarded many times over with their unconditional companionship and affection.  Only those who have owned cats (or should I say, have experienced being owned by them) will understand this.

Anatole France made this observation:  “Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remained unawakened.”  I wholeheartedly agree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Happy Cats are Healthy Cats”

http___www.bigleaguekickball.com_about_ Buy Soma no script next day delivery Lynn Baer, DVM, Cat Specialist, shares her top tips for cat owners to ensure well adjusted, happy cats.  Lynn says, “happy cats are healthy cats and happy cats make owners happier and healthier, too”.

  Tip #1) Recognize the fact that indoor only cats have no choices of their own in life

They are completely reliant on what we offer them.  We choose their litter box size, shape, location and litter substrate. We choose where they are fed, what they are fed out of, and what foods they are offered.  We choose their toys, their beds, their bowls, and everything within their lives.  Cats have few choices of their own.   They would be happier given more choices of their own and once owners understand that and begin to expand their options, cats would remain healthier and happier. 

Tip #2) Bring the outdoors in 

Cats are held captive within four walls for their entire lives.  Open the blinds, open the windows, grow grass, bring leaves and branches in for them to smell. Again for owners to be more aware of the fact that their cats have never walked on grass or soil, experienced changes in temperature, smelled different smells, or had the ability to walk around the block to explore new surroundings.  Owners should evaluate every opportunity to enhance their indoors cat’s lives by bringing new things into the home.  Build catios, window units or other alternative opportunities for cats to experience the outdoors.  At a minimum place window seats around the house (off the ground), build vertical spaces for them to climb, train them to walk on leashes, erect cat proof fences, etc.

 Tip #3) Play, play, play and more play

Indoor cats are bored, depressed and inactive.  Owners don’t generally play with their cats daily.  Cats need exercise, mental stimulation and fun.  Having a basket of toys for cats is not enough.  Owners should actively engage with their pets by using wand toys, laser lights, throwing blankets over furniture to create tents, rotating toys daily.  Adding silvervine, catnip, and valerian to their arsenal of toys will give cats new experiences.  Using foraging toys for food rewards, making cats hunt for some of their food all help to stimulate their body and mind.

Tip #4) Lots of scratch posts – both vertical and horizontal for cats to scratch on. 

I am completely opposed to declawing (having never performed one in my entire career).   Scratching is a form of communication and also gives cats the ability to stretch their muscles.  It is important they have great areas and substrates to scratch on.  It makes them happy.

 Tip #5)  Seek out cat only veterinarians

Don’t allow a veterinarian who declaws to treat your cat.  Take your cat to a vet at least once a year for a good physical exam and blood work.  Cats are notorious for hiding pain and illness and if an owner thinks their cat is sick, they are likely very sick.  Pay attention to any changes (no matter how small) and seek veterinary care immediately.  Age is not a disease and many owners ignore signs of illness as due to advanced aging.  That is not in a cat’s best interest.  Owners need to advocate on behalf of their pets and insure good medical care.  Seek second opinions.  Good veterinarians encourage owners to do so and are never offended by it. 

 Tip #6) Cats need wet food more than dry

Wet food is lower in calories and higher in protein and moisture.  It is extremely important to feed cats at least 5-6 times daily.  Don’t feed one brand or diet only.  Variety is the spice of life and cats are used to eating birds, squirrels, rats, mice, chipmunks, bugs, etc.  One diet or one brand is not normal.  Either is feeding once or twice a day.

 Source:  The Purrington Post

Editors Note:  Find many of the toys, scratchers, outdoor enclosures and cat furniture mentioned in this article right here.

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Cat’s Bill of Rights

Remember fidgeting at your sixth grade desk, while your teacher earnestly attempted to teach you about our country’s forefathers and how they created the Bill of Rights?

Now it’s your time to help create the first ever MyThreeCats.com’s version of the “Cat’s Bill of Rights”!
You and MyThreeCats.com will together author this marvelous document, combining our wisdom and experience with cats and creating a veritable Cat Manifesto!

The purpose of this document is to set forth ways in which our cats can attain “life, love, and the pursuit of happiness” in their brief, but meaningful lives. Your suggestions can be serious or humorous, but must ring true about cats and their nature. (Note: all comments will be screened for appropriateness by MyThreeCats.com staff before posting to this website.
By adding your comments and submitting your “Cat’s Bill of Rights” contribution to this blog site, you acknowledge that MyThreeCats.com reserves the right to publish your contribution as part of the MyThreeCats.com “Cat’s Bill of Rights” on any website or print publication owned or not owned by MyThreeCats.com.
Let’s get started.

Listed here are the first five tenets of the MyThreeCats.com’s Cat’s Bill of Rights:

I, cat extraordinaire, have certain unalienable rights:
#1  I have the right to assume my normal position on your lap and stay there for an indefinite period of time, until nature calls, someone opens a can of cat food, or a bug crawls across the floor.
#2  I have the right to walk all over your computer keyboard, !@#$$%^&*(()!! causing you to lose forever that hour long document you’ve been carefully typing and not saving.
#3  I have the right to tear through your bedroom at 3:00AM, knocking over who knows what and scaring the living daylights out of you.
#4  I have the right to decide if, when and where I allow you to pick me up, hug me and fuss over me. The optimal time is usually right before dinner. I will readily accept bribes, I am shameless.
#5  I have the right to send projectiles of litter and other assorted contents out of the litter box when using it, and scratch all the way to China if I so desire.
Now, it’s your turn! Add your comment, and together, we’ll create one of the cat world’s greatest achievements.

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Cats are Natural Yin Yang Creatures

 

Did you ever see cats looking like this?   Cats love living in an ordered world, including how they arrange themselves spacially as they eat, sleep, meditate, and play.   Oftentimes, two of my cats will perch themselves on the same living room window sill, facing each other in an identical pose, looking perfectly content with their arrangement and with the world in general.

We found a purrfect catnip toy for you that reflects your cats’ natural yin yang.  Click here to view and enjoy some savings if you order 3 or more.  Put some yin yang into your cats’ playtime!   01347_yinyangtoyMO

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