Happy Easter With Cats

Cats and easter

 

 

Having a Happy Easter With Cats is easy, however, there are some precautions that are necessary so everyone can enjoy the holiday rather than being at the vet office. Seasonal decorations, foods and plants are the cats biggest threat. Here are some examples. Some of this post is a reprint from my post Toxic Plants for Cats written on April 03, 2018.

Easter Plants

Lilly
Easter Lily

Easter Plants such as the Easter Lilly are extremely TOXIC to cats. Every part of this plant is toxic even the pollen. This plant will cause kidney failure and survivability rates are low even with immediate medical care.

The Lilly’s that are of the greatest interest to the cat owner are the Easter Lilly, Asiatic Lily and Tiger Lily plus day Lily.

Calla or Arum Lily contain crystals that irritate the mouth and cause drooling, diarrhea and vomiting but do not affect the kidneys.

Lily of the Valley will affect the heart causing low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. This could progress to coma or seizures.

To prevent all  problems with Lilys just don’t bring them into the house.

Poisonous Plants for Cats

Amaryllis
Amaryllis

Here is a list of Non-Pet Friendly plants. Norfolk Pine, House Pine, Croton, Jade Plant, Dwarf Rubber Plant, Azalea, Geranium, Aloe, Dracaena, Corn Plant, Ribbon Plant, Dieffenbachia, Giant Dumb Cane, Daffodil, Paper White, Calla Lily, Trumpet Lily, Yucca, Caladium, Elephant Ears, Cutleaf Philodendron, Hurricane Plant, Golden Pothos, Devils Ivy, English Holy, Amaryllis, Belladonna Lily, Tulip & Tulip Bulb, Peace Lily, Horsehead, Heartleaf Philodendron, Chrysanthemum, Daisy, Mum, English Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy, Snake Plant, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, Anthurium.

It is a good idea to Google search every plant a person brings into the house to check for animal toxicity. A person should be cautious with outside plants too. Should your cat have roaming outside privileges your garden should be as free from toxic plants as the house. Please follow this link to my post Toxic Plants For Cats for a list of safe plants for your home.

A good alternative to your cats chewing the houseplants is to plant Cat Grass for them. It is easy with seed from the pet store or purchase this example from Amazon. My cats love the grass and chew on it all day long. It takes about 3 days to sprout and within the week it is tall enough to eat.

The Kitchen Hazards

The Kitchen

Regardless of the holiday, most duties of any special day fall on the mummies of the house. It is nice if the chef gets enough help to prevent accidents and injury to anyone. Our cats enjoy everything in the kitchen especially the smell of food or just watching and participating by just standing on the cupboard or stove. Whenever anything comes off the stove and the elements are hot I always put a pot of cold water on the empty element to prevent burnt feet.

Sharp objects like knives should be stored to prevent being pushed off the cupboard. I never store sharp objects with the sharp side up as cats walk around the whole house when we are not looking. Because our cats are always underfoot please be careful not to get tripped by your nosey kitty.

Dangerous Foods For Cats

Turkey Dinner

All the great cuisine we humans get to enjoy are not good for our cats or our dogs. Foods to avoid for your pets are chocolate, tea, coffee, grapes and raisins. Uncooked yeast dough can be fatal. Any raw meat should be avoided because of salmonellosis. This is a symptomatic infection caused by bacteria of the salmonella type. Do not let cats munch on onions in any form. An ingredient called thiosulphate contained in onions which are toxic to cats and dogs.

Cooked turkey and other poultry is not a problem for cats unless it is too hot. The spices and bastings applied to a cooking poultry product can give your kitty an upset stomach. One of the hazards of cooked poultry is that cooked bones if eaten will splinter and pierce your cat’s insides. Meat wrappings such as plastic, aluminum foil will be licked and ingested by cats with disastrous results.

Meat soaked string is a lethal hazard to your cat. Should your cat eat string don’t pull it regardless of which end of the cat it is sticking out of. The string will tangle around their tongues and intestines and will require surgery to remove. Because of the serious damage string can cause I never leave any string, thread or yarn lying around. Take your time, get some help and spent time enjoying your day rather than sweating at the vet.

In closing this topic I must mention that the most common cause of home fires is unattended cooking. If you need a rest shut off the top of the stove.

Your Guests

When receiving guests I would recommend putting coats and other clothes in a closed room so that your kitty does not pee on the scents of other animals. It would be a good idea to set ground rules on the handling of your cats especially if there are undisciplined children present. I always feed my cats and dogs before the guests arrive so they are not tempted to hang around the table.

Holidays and Giving Pets

Flower

Many pets are given during holiday seasons and then many pets are abandoned because the people involved were not prepared for receiving a pet. Cats, dogs and bunnies are abandoned to often. If you want to give a pet to someone have a sit-down and explain the responsibilities of owning a pet with children and parents before giving an animal to anyone.  A cat is a lifetime commitment!

Spring And Summer

Temperature Chart

During this time of year as the outside temperatures climb we must remember that animals, babies and seniors must not be left in cars or hot rooms. The following chart will show how hot it gets inside a car. To experience this I suggest going to a parking lot, roll up the windows and shut the car off and see how long you can sit there.

In Closing

That’s my story for today. Be careful this holiday season and enjoy yourself by taking your time and getting help as necessary. Making your home safe for everyone including our furry family is important. Remember that no internet advice is better than the advice of your trusted vet.

If you have a moment please have a look at my Cat Care Products page for something for that special kitty.

Do You Need A Vet

Do you need good veterinary services in Manitoba.

Rolling Plains Veterinary Consultants Inc.

Rolling Plains

This service in southern Manitoba has three locations to serve you. They provide services for small animals and all farm livestock. Please follow this link for more information – Rolling Plains Veterinary Consultants Inc

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment below

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick

Rescue Cat
Norbu

Everyone wants their cat to happy and healthy. Cats being solitary creatures by nature do not always let us know when something is wrong or they are not feeling well. Today’s discussion will help you decide if your cat is sick.

A Healthy Cat

A Healthy cat displays all the signs of normal cat behavior. They eat regularly and use the litter box. They purr and groom as usual. When you pick them up there are no sore or swollen areas. A healthy cat has nice pink gums. The gum line should not have unnecessary redness and the teeth should not show plaque.

To check if your cat is hydrated properly, pinch the skin behind the neck and release. If the fold falls flat again your cat is drinking enough water. If the skin stays up where it was pinched your cat is dehydrated.

Is My Cat Sick

Litter Box Issues

Let’s begin with the obvious things we look at every day. Good cat servants clean the litter box regularly as a cat will not use a dirty litter box no more than you would use a dirty toilet. I have written several articles about the litter box and I believe that the open litter box that is regularly scooped out is the one of the best indicators of your cat’s health. Please use the search bar for more articles on the litter box or follow this link to my post on Litter Boxes.

Peeing outside the box could be an indication of a Urinary Tract Infection, kidney disease or bladder stones. I like to watch my cats in the box occasionally to watch for crying when peeing or some sort of struggling. Blood in the urine is hard to spot in the litter box. If you can see blood in the urine a vet visit is necessary. My newest rescue Norbu went to five litter boxes one morning and I took him to the vet immediately and he was given antibiotics for an infection. Crystals in the urine will lead to organ failure if not treated. It always helps the vet if you could capture a fresh urine sample as this will save time at the vet office. If this is  impossible your vet can extract a urine sample.

I copied a picture from Google of the Purina Fecal chart. This has been very helpful when talking to my vet. Cat diarrhea is serious and needs attention. If your cat has not been dewormed Blood in the stool should be investigated as well. It should be noted that a drip of blood at the end of the stool is  generally not a problem.

Cat Vomiting

Lexi
Alexis

Cat vomiting is an issue that will cause you concern. My senior cat Alexis was throwing up every meal. The cause turned out to be eating to fast and poor food. I put a golf ball in her bowl and fed smaller portions. This cured the problem. A cat that throws up after eating to fast will probably leave a long line of undigested food soon after eating.

Hair Balls are another reason cats vomit. My long haired cats loved to be brushed and this helps a lot in reducing the hair ingestion during self grooming. Alexis also gets Hair Ball cream daily. Please follow this link to a Wikipedia article on the Hairball for pictures. The hair ball cream helps the hair pass through the cat easily.

Poisoning will cause vomiting. Toxic plants will kill your cat quickly if medical attention is not immediate. Survival rates are poor from plant poisoning so please remove all toxic plants from your home. Pollen from some plants are equally toxic as the cat ingests the pollen through grooming. Please follow this Link to my Toxic Plants for Cats post. Cats with outdoor privileges can easily encounter toxins. I personally do not allow my cats free roaming privileges.

If your cats are vomiting in colors not associated with food or hair and there is blood present a vet visit must be immediate and if possible bring a sample of what they have eaten. I have had people tell me that they put out automotive antifreeze for pest control. This is very toxic to cats and every animal out there.

Another source of poison is mouse or rat bait. Cats that eat a poisoned mouse will be poisoned as well. This business of rodent control effects the whole food chain and is really an unacceptable practice.

My Cat is Drinking Lots Of Water

An increase in water consumption may indicate kidney disease, diabetes or possibly an issue with the thyroid gland. An overweight cat is a candidate for diabetes.

Lack Of Appetite

Lacy 2
Lacy

My Lacy went off her food and was obviously not feeling good. A late night vet visit revealed she was dehydrated. She was given fluids and an appetite enhancer. I think that the real reason for her lack of appetite was that we rescued two kittens and she was emotionally overwhelmed by the event. She soon went back to normal. Lacy also started defending herself from pushy kittens and that really improved her mood. Cats are emotional too.

Old Cats

Old cat

We all get older and can not move as fast as we used to. Arthritis will cause sore joint and mobility problems. Your vet can prescribe medicines or supplements for your old cat. I give my senior dog China Omega 3 for her joints.

Do not give your cats human medicine.

To help our older kitties get around a person can start to build stairs so they can get on the bed. If your kitties are used to eating up high providing a low secure safe spot away from the dog would be appreciated.

My Cat Is Hiding From Me

Changes in your cats behavior might indicate that they are sick or in pain. A cat that is normally out and about and has suddenly taken to hiding might indicate a problem. These kitties can become aggressive so handling should be done carefully. Take care until a general inspection can be done. Do not be rough on legs and try not to squeeze too hard until you have an idea what the problem is.

When getting your hurt cat to the vet putting them in the carrier might be hard. Wrap them in a towel starting by laying it over their head and then wrapping the legs. This way the kitty will be easy to put in the carrier for the trip.

During regular vet visits your cat might hide from you after some vaccinations. This is normal. Be sure to ask your vet about side effects after regular scheduled vaccinations.

Eye, Nose And Ear Discharge

Eye or Nose discharge such as a yucky paste might indicate an upper respiratory infection. This condition is contagious and must be treated quickly. If this is accompanied by irregular breathing in any way it must be treated immediately.

Ear discharge or wax might indicate ear mites or an infection. Ear mites can infect other cats so treatment should be done as soon as possible.

Overgrooming

A cat that is over grooming might have dry skin, a skin infection or external parasites. That is why an isolation period is necessary before introducing a new rescue cat to your group. If there is hair loss or excessive scratching it must be corrected soon.

There are shampoos and treatments available from your vet to treat these conditions.

 

In Conclusion

A healthy cat is a happy cat. A cat that is fed a good quality diet will save you in vet bills. If you are one of those cat owners that allows you to brush their teeth, congratulations. Dental care is where probably most cats are lacking. Your vet can help you with dental care. Every cat deserves regular medical checkups and a good diet.

It must be noted that no amount of internet advice is better that the advice of a qualified veterinarian. If you have any questions or comments feel free to do so below and never hesitate to call your vet if something does not look right.

I do not believe in free roaming cats. There are just too many hazards outside to be worth the risk. This also means that most kitties do not get enough exercise. Toys are necessary or may be a running wheel to help that kitty stay in shape.

Check out this example from Amazon.

That’s my story for today. Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Maybe rescue a kitty or volunteer at a shelter. Don’t forget to check my Cat Care Products Page for something for that special kitty.

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

Female Cats In Heat

Mother CatA female cat in heat or estrus can be a confusing and stressful time for the new cat owner. A female cat can go into heat as soon as they are ready to reproduce. Going into heat means that the kitty has entered the phase of the feline reproduction cycle. This can be as early as four months or as late as a year. Cats can have several cycles per year and produce several batches of kittens every year.

On average a female cat can have 1 to 8 kittens per litter and 2 to 3 litters per year. During her lifetime, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. A single pair of breeding cats and their offspring can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years. We will come back to this statistic.

Symptoms Of Cats In Heat

Cat hissingThe first thing most new cat owners experience is the yowling. This yowling can be quite loud and may continue all night until the cycle is over. This vocalization is necessary to attract a mate.

You will notice that the male cats in your house will try mating with the female even if they are neutered.

There is a possibility that the female will spray around your house as she uses her urine to attract a willing male.

In an effort to exercise her natural desire to mate your kitty may try to escape your house. This may start with lots of restless pacing. There can also be displays excessive affection and rubbing.

There can be excessive licking of the genitals. The genitals may be swollen and there could be a bloody discharge. If your kitty is constantly licking the genital area without the above symptoms it is possible that your cat has a Urinary Tract Infection. Please follow this link to my “Cat Urinary Tract Infections” post.

Duration Of The Heat Cycle

Your kitty will be in heat from a week to ten days. If she can not mate she will go into heat again in the next three weeks. This could turn into a constant event if the cat is not allowed to mate.

The Solution

Cat and kittensThe solution to your kitties heat cycle is to have her spayed. This is a major surgery and must be done by a veterinarian. This procedure is in fact an ovariohysterectomy and removes the reproductive organs from the cat. This can be done at any age. My vet will keep the cat overnight to check for complications. It is recommended to have your cat spayed before the first heat cycle. Check with your vet for the best advice.

This procedure will give your cat a better life as she will not go through the regular heat cycles with all the natural urges. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 90 percent of cats. Please follow this link to a Wikipedia page on Neutering.
I have written an article on what to watch for after your cat is spayed. Follow this link for the article Why Spay and Neuter Your Pets – What To Watch For.

Spaying is the ethical answer to the issue of unwanted kittens. Let’s review this statistic.

On average a female cat can have 1 to 8 kittens per litter and 2 to 3 litters per year. During her lifetime, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. A single pair of breeding cats and their offspring can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years.

So many of these kittens are abandoned or euthanized. The number of feral cats is astounding and control measures are sometimes very cruel. We must remember that it is not the cats fault they are free and uncared for. It is the responsibility of society to prevent unwanted kittens by spaying and neutering your pets.

Some communities have through volunteers and support from veterinarians conduct TNR (Trap Neuter Release) programs where colonies of free cats are caught and sterilized and released back into the wild. These people also feed and shelter homeless cats to help them survive the elements. These efforts are usually volunteer funded and are in constant need of support. Please don’t hesitate to support your local group.

Outside Cat Shelters

Every feral cat appreciates a place to sleep. They can easily be built from material at any hardware store. Google can give you many ideas. Here are a couple examples from Amazon that will make any feral cat happy.

Some feral cats can never be domesticated and that is reality, however if you can get close enough it may be possible to trap them and have them spayed or neutered.

Frost Bite

Winter CatWinter is hard on all cats living outdoors. If it is to cold for you outside it is to cold for cats. This winter my little Roxanne escaped outside under the dogs legs. It was -32c with a wind. She was outside for 15 minutes max and had frost bite on her ear tips. I heard her crying from the kitchen. There was no permanent damage and I am more careful about her sneaking out. That’s how long it takes to freeze body parts when exposed to cold temperatures with a wind chill. Imagine what a cat with no home has to cope with.

That’s my story for today. We must remember that responsible cat ownership means managing their reproduction. Cat population are best controlled by spaying and neutering. Spaying and neutering also reduces your cats natural mating desires and gives them an easier life in the house.

The pictures I included in this post include a lot of kittens. The point is that kittens are precious and their lives should not be taken lightly. Every life is precious and as we must look after our cats in a responsible manner.

Please take a moment to visit my Cat Care Products page for something for that special kitty.

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Litter Box

Cat in the flowers

Our kitties are amazing creatures. They deserve the best and the best litter box is one way to show your kitty how much you care. The litter box is a very important tool in cat maintenance. The litter box is an indicator of your cats health and when maintained properly everybody is happy.

Before we begin our investigation of litter box and litter options I would like to review my opinion on litter box etiquette. I believe that the open litter box is the best way to keep track of your cats health. I have eight cats and eight litter boxes. They are cleaned several times a day or when somebody sees something that needs cleaning. Open litter boxes allow a cat owner to observe their cats using the box and this can allow you to detect problems before they get serious.

Litter Box Problems

There are several litter box problems that cat owner’s encounter. To begin with it must be established if there is a medical problem, a behavior problem or an owner’s problem.

Peeing Outside The Box

Vet small animalsThis issue has the three problems we discussed. First it could be a medical problem. A urinary tract infection will cause your cat to pee where they sit. It is a good idea to watch your kitty pee and notice if there is any struggling or crying. This will require a vet visit and is curable, but it must be caught early to prevent organ damage. Later as I discuss different types of litter I will give a short discussion on diagnostic cat litter.

A behavioral problem can be caused by a dirty litter box, a new kitty or a kitty that needs spaying or neutering as an intact cat tends to do its natural marking. A litter box must be cleaned regularly. This means frequent scooping along with regular washing and sterilizing of the litter box.

Cat Declawing is an unnecessary procedure that is nothing more than animal cruelty. It is of no benefit to the cat and causes behavioral issues. Tender paws are unable to dig in the litter and the kitty will look for softer places to pee. Please follow this link for more information on declawing.

Fecal Quality

This odd paragraph is probably causing readers to ask why is this important. The importance of your kitties fecal quality is an indicator of your cats health. A good resource for this is to refer to the Purinal Fecal Chart and you can use this to describe to your vet what your cat is doing. Anything from worms to a poor diet will give your kitty diarrhea. A cat with a proper stool is a happy cat.

Living with multiple cats makes watching each cat difficult, however it is worth the effort to monitor your cats. I would like to note that the open litter box is the best way to keep track of your cat’s health.

The Litter Box Options

Picking a litter box for your kitty is not hard. I am going to provide some Amazon options for you to help make your choice. Don’t forget to purchase a scoop for sifting the good litter from the dirty litter.

Decisions that need to be made will be based on the size, age and physical condition of your cat. Litter box training will be easy. I have provided litter boxes for cats ranging from just weaned kittens to seniors. All I had to do was set up a box and the adults immediately used it. For the kittens I set them in the box once and training was over.

Big Cats

Big cats need big boxes. If you have large cats like Maine Coons a large box is mandatory. My big cats weigh 16 pounds and when they get in the box if their head is touching the front of the box their must be enough room so that their bum is well inside the box. I have used large stacking plastic containers for litter boxes and this works great as it reduces the litter that gets kicked out. These containers are better for the big cats, but they must be agile enough to jump over the side.

Old Cats

Older cats with mobility issues need a box with lower sides. Their may come a time when you have to lift your cat into the box, however until that time they will need a box they can step into. When your kitty gets older and they can not groom themselves as well it will be necessary to wash them as required. My long haired cats go to the groomer to get their backsides trimmed to prevent matted hair and dirty bums. Regardless of your cats fur length they still might get cling-ons. I just wipe them with a cloth and all is fine. Wash your hands when you are done.

Small Cats or Kittens

Obviously the small cats need a box with lower sides. There are boxes available with tall sides and an opening that is set lower so it is available to greater range of cat sizes.

Self Cleaning Litter Boxes

The self-cleaning litter box is an option. I have never used one, however I believe that it will not reduce your work load as this unit will need service too. If your cat gets diarrhea will you notice? Then the automatic scoop will get plugged and will need cleaning as well. I would investigate this option thoroughly as they are expensive. Please read the reviews from Amazon.

Enclosed Cat Litter Furniture

There are several sizes and styles of enclosures available for you to hide your litter box and reduce tracked litter. If you do not mind a visible litter box there are mats that you can place your litter box on to help contain the litter that sticks to your cats feet.

Types Of Litter

The general rule of the litter box is to have a litter box for each cat plus one extra. Litter boxes should be cleaned often. This includes regular scooping and then on the schedule of your choice the boxes should be emptied, washed with hot soap and water. Be sure to scoop into the corners and any ridges on the bottom of the litter box. Then a sprinkling of baking soda and replaced with a layer of new litter. The litter should be about three inches deep. If your kitty is digging to the bottom of the litter tray to cover there is not enough litter.

Clumping Cat Litter

I use Purina Clumping Litter This is a multi cat product with Glade odor control and is available from Amazon. The Purina product is relatively dust free and I recommend this product. I have read stories of kitties eating the lightweight clumping litter and filling their bellies with it. I have never used it, however I would be cautious with it until you can see there will be no issues.

I am also using a clumping litter from Wundercat. It is not available everywhere, but we actually received it by accident when we ordered Wundercat Pine pellets cat litter. We found that the cats like it and went to it immediately. I don’t like the fact that it is dustier than the Purina product. Some cat owner’s find the dust from clay litters unacceptable and have gone to a wood product cat litter. I tried wood chips for a while. The kitties used it but the wood chips got everywhere and after a while it looked as if I was building furniture in the house.

Pine Pellet Cat Litter

I have three litter boxes with Pine Pellet cat litter. It is a Wundercat product. Not all the cats use it, but those that do seem to be using it regularly. It has good odor control and last a long time. When the cats pee  the pellets turn to dust and when I scoop out the feces the dust goes to the bottom of the box. We clean the pine litter boxes regularly by scooping and saving the good pellets. I reuse the good pellets and add fresh pellets as necessary. If necessary throw the whole batch away and sterilize the litter box and refill with fresh pellets. There is no tracking of the pine pellets as they do not stick to the cat’s paws. I would think that this litter would not be liked by a cat with sensitive paws such as a declawed cat as the pellets are course to dig in. Amazon does not supply the product I use, however I have found an Amazon product that should work nicely.

Diagnostic Cat Litter

There are diagnostic cats litters available so that you can monitor your cats urine pH or level of acidity. These litters are coated with a specialized pH detector that changes color when your cats urine touches it. There will be a handy chart where you can reference the color change and then take this information to your vet. I was unable to find a product on the Amazon website so here are three products for you to look for in your local area. They are (1) PrettyLitter (2) Perfect Litter and (3) Ultra Monthly Monitor. If you have multiple cats it will be necessary to have your test cat have sole use of the diagnostic litter for accuracy of the test.

Cat Litter Disposal

Most cat owner’s have to dispose of their cat litter in the household trash. This is fine, however do not make your trash cans too heavy as they might not get picked up. Due to the smell and the fact that clay cat litter takes a long time to decompose I would not put it in the garden or compost bin. I live on a large acreage so I can just spread it in the bush and let it naturally compost.

Handling used kitty litter is usually not a problem. If the person cleaning the litter boxes is sensitive to dust wearing a dust mask will be a solution. Pregnant mummies might be concerned about Toxoplasmosis. This is a disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can be found in garden soil and raw meat. This disease can be passed to humans through the dirty litter. Pregnant mummies and immunocompromised people with cats who cannot get someone else clean the litter box for them should wear gloves, clean the litter box promptly twice a day and wash their hands when finished. Follow this link for more information on Toxoplasmosis. Please do not get rid of your kitty because you are pregnant. Talk to your doctor and veterinarian if you are concerned. 

In Closing

Finding the best litter box will be determined by what suits your life style and your cat or cats. I prefer an open box and scoop regularly. It really is important to observe your cats using the litter box and catch any problems before the kitty gets sick. I have provided several items for your review. Be sure to check all the options Amazon has to offer. Do not be afraid to call your vet and get advice if necessary. No amount of internet advice is better than a qualified veterinarian’s opinion.

That’s my story for today. Please leave a comment or critique below and have a wonderful day. Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Don’t forget to check out my Cat Care Products page for something for that special kitty.

Trevor

Rescue
Miss Kitty

Before I go I would like to introduce you to Miss Kitty. She was rescued last week in Ottawa, Ontario and save from a week of very cold Canadian weather. She is now living in the house and will be expecting two babies at the end of February which was revealed by Ultra Sound during the vet visit.

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

Cat Proofing Your House

Kitchen

Cat proofing your house/home is as necessary as preparing your domicile for the crawling toddler. It must be done for your kitty’s protection and your own piece of mind. Cats are inquisitive, they love to climb and push things over. I really believe that cats must not be allowed to freely roam. There are so many hazards outside that keeping them inside is the best option.

Your Home

The fact that cats like to climb and push things over the best place to start cat proofing is any ornament or knickknack that can easily be pushed over. These things should be put away, especially if they are expensive. Because my cats are inside cats they have free run of the house. I let them sit on top of the cupboards and I love it when Ariel watches me do dishes. This is why we have cats so they can interact with us.

The Kitchen

KitchenThe kitchen is a popular spot for the kitties. The smells and the clattering of bowls brings them running. My boy Ariel likes to watch me do dishes. With all the activity it is important to watch they do not get stabbed by any sort of sharp objects. I always wash a knife and put it in the knife block as soon as I am done with it. Another hazard I have seen is that cats will chew and swallow elastic bands and possibly twist ties.

The stove is a potentially dangerous spot for cats. I put a pot of cold water on open hot elements so somebody does not burn their feet. We should always be aware of what our cats are eating when we cook. Grease soaked string, greasy tin foil are not for cats to eat. Please follow this link to a previous article on hazardous foods and plants for cats.

The Bathroom

Cat in the sinkThe bathroom is full of poisons that will kill cats or dogs. All cleaning supplies should be behind closed doors. This means bleaches, toilet bowl cleaners, liquid soaps and personal hygiene items could be something a kitty could lick. If you use toilet bowl cleaning pucks that practice must STOP because cats love to look in and drink from the toilet bowl. It should be a habit to clean the toilet after every use so it has clean water in the bowl only.

Your personal medications must be handled properly so that your cats do not eat your prescriptions. If you loose a pill it must be found. Any medicine for humans can be lethal to a cat. I put a dog antibiotic on the cupboard once and my boy Soxs jumped up and ate it in a second. That was a real wake up call. Be careful.

The Living room

My cats love the living room. It is a great place to sleep, play and run around. If you have anything fragile and expensive it should be in a cabinet or put somewhere so it can not be knocked over. Furniture should have covers to protect from scratches and loose fur.

Shelving units are potential hazards. I have some shelving units with wire shelves spaced about an inch apart. I was working in the kitchen and I saw Esther climb into the plants on the shelf. When she jumped down she caught her leg in the shelves and was hanging upside down. If I would not have been there she would not have gotten free. We have since covered all the shelves with floor tiles and other items so the cats feet can not get between the bars.

Venetian blinds can be dangerous as well. I have replaced our blinds with heavy slatted items so the cats can’t get between the slats. When the blinds are open I recommend tying the cord up so the cats can’t get tangled in the cord.

The Garage

Cat and car

If you have kitties that live in the garage it must be cleaned of any toxic substance that could poison your cat. If there are cars in the garage with your kitties it must be necessary to watch for fluid leaks. Antifreeze will kill your cat in 24 hours with kidney damage. During the time when my Norbu was isolated in the garage I put drip trays under my old car. I put the pans on blocks so the cat could not get into the antifreeze. I made sure there were no fluids of any sort that could hurt Norbu. Cats will sleep where its is warm. They will crawl under the hood and sleep right beside the warm engine. It is necessary to bang the hood or open the hood and have a look before starting the engine.

Solutions

To prevent damage to your furniture I really recommend furniture covers. Scratching posts and cat trees will give your cats other things to scratch. It helps to trim your cats nails regularly. It is necessary for me to mention at this time that Cat Declawing is a cruel procedure that is of no benefit to the cat. Do Not Declaw. I built a scratching post from a piece of Oak and my cats love it. They just walk up to it and scratch on throughout the day. We have a few heavy weave door mats for cats to scratch as well. Cat toys are invaluable for keeping your cats occupied.

In Closing

If you have never had a cat before all the contents of this post make it sound as if  you are in for a stressful experience. I have to tell you that my cats mean more to me than any mess they can make. It is a lot like having that  first child that is just starting to crawl. You will organize your home, love your cat and carry on with living. If you want your house to look like a museum don’t get a pet because any pet you bring into the house will do something to require you to clean up. That’s life and a cat is worth it.

A cat is like a piece of living sculpture.

White Cat
White Cat

It will be necessary to have a large litter box and keep it clean. Feed a good quality cat food and you will have a happy home. Please follow this link to my Maintaining Your Cat for more information.

That’s my story for today. Please go to my Cat Care Products page for some great items for your special kitty, now hug a kitty and do something green for the planet.

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

Cat Carrier Reviews

Feral Cat in Carrier
Norbu

A cat carrier is an essential piece of equipment. The ability to transport your cat to the vet or a place to keep your cat safe in the event of an evacuation the cat carrier will become an indispensable item in your kitties life and your piece of mind. I have a cat carrier for every cat in my house.

The Cat Carrier

Cat Carrier

Cat carriers come in a variety of sizes and materials. Picking one is not hard, it is just a matter of picking one that suits you and your cat. Earlier I mentioned that I have a carrier for each cat. I have both soft and hard carriers. In the event of an emergency each cat gets a carrier and can be put in the vehicle easily. I once took a cat to the vet without a carrier, the poor kitty got scared and went under the seat. It was really hard to get the cat out. The last point I would like to talk about is that getting a cat into the carrier is not easy at times. I find the easiest method is to put a large towel over the kitty and wrap up the legs and just gently put them into the carrier. I recommend only one cat per carrier. Now lets look at some carriers.

Hard Carriers

This cat carrier is one of my favorites. Its hard design allows it to be seat belted in your vehicle. I like the fact it has a bolt together construction so if it is dropped it will not fall apart. It is available in a variety of sizes and colors to fit every cat in your home. It has a hard floor so a blanket or pillow will make it a little more comfortable. If you have multiple cats that need to travel together stacking hard carriers is acceptable especially in an emergency.

Please click on the picture for sizes, pricing and more options.

The example above is  collapsible and has good Amazon reviews. I have personally not used it, however I think it is a good item.

Soft Carriers

I like soft carriers because they easy to store. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. Soft carriers will be comfortable for airline carry on traveling. Some folks prefer the soft carrier for kitty comfort. Some soft carriers come with seat belt loops for securing in your car.

Please click on the picture for sizes, pricing and more options.

I have several of these pictured above and the Amazon description states they are approved for airline travel

Here is a nice example of an expandable carrier

Wheeled Carriers

There are many examples of wheeled carriers. Please click on the images for more options.

Cat Strollers

The cat stroller is a fabulous item for taking that special kitty for a day out. I would have an escape proof harness on my cat and have them tethered in the carrier. We must always be prepared for the escape.

I have picked examples of strollers with big wheels. This will make rough terrain easy to navigate. Even though the bottom image has a cute puppy in it there will be enough room for your Main coon.  Please click on the images for more examples.

Cat Backpacks

The Backpack for cats is popular for the adventure cats in our families. Be sure to watch for signs of over heating when the sun is on your back. There are many examples on the Amazon  website.

In Closing

Cat carriers are a cat owners necessary piece of equipment. For the seasoned cat owner transporting your kitty is probably not a problem. For the newbie taking your cat to the vet or groomer can be an issue. When I take my carrier out the cats know somebody is going somewhere. I have to take Ariel to the groomer at the end of January. When I bring the carrier out Norbu will hide, Tenzin will run to the bedroom and Ariel will be on alert. I have had to put a towel over Lexi to get her in the carrier.

The point is that most cats will not like traveling. My kitties cry all the way to town so I put my fingers through the bars of the door so they can rub on me. Usually they don’t want to get out of the carrier when we get to our destination so I must be careful not to hook their legs in the door.

The next event that might happen is that the cat will bolt out of the carrier. Norbu got out of the live trap so fast I could not react. We must be ready for the escape. Be careful. It is possible that if your cat gets frightened in a strange environment and escapes you might not see them again.

We all have seen the videos where the kitty is calm and riding in the stroller or walking nicely on the leash. When I take my two tuxedo’s out on the leash and they get scared they will bolt and are very difficult to hold and all they want is to get back in the house.

My advice is that until you are 100% sure you can control your cat in an emergency you must be prepared for an escape. I recommend an escape proof harness and a leash and if you are using a stroller there must be the ability to either screen it or cover the carriage until the kitty calms down or the emergency is over. A domestic cat run 30 mph or 48 kph and when they are scared they will not be listening to you.

This my story for today. Please leave a comment or question below. Don’t forget to check out my Cat Care Products page for something for that special kitty. Click on the images for access to the whole Amazon website.

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

 

I Have A Cat

Cat

I have a cat. I actually have eight cats. Each one has a unique personality. My cats are all rescues and come from various backgrounds. They are all beautiful elegant felines. If you follow this link to my Meet The Kittys page you can read Bio’s of my clowder. The rescue of cats and my dogs and horses has brought about a unique understanding of life and the world around me.

My First Cat

Tuxedo Kitten
Soxs

My adventure starts on a late October afternoon in 2013. Weak kitten cries from the wood pile led me to find a small tuxedo kitten looking for food and being scared. This kitten is now sitting beside me as I type this as a full-grown kitty that has brought me endless joy. Soxs is my first cat Then came Lacy and then Tenzin. Next we rescued Rufus. What a gentleman he was. He was only with us for a few months when he suddenly passed away. That was a very sad day.

Then we adopted Alexis. She is a senior female and I call her Grandma Lexi. Next I found the kittens Ariel and Esther. Little babies less than a month old. What a blessing. Then Roxanne came into our lives. She is my adventure cat and finally my big boy Norbu. Norbu went from a wild feral cat to a big gentle house cat.

When I held Soxs for the first time it was like a moment of illumination. I was holding this fragile little life. Now I can not imagine my home without him or the rest of the cats. Click on this link to Meet The Kittys.

Why Rescue Cats

Every cat needs a home. Every cat that has a home has a chance to live a happy life with regular health care, a good diet and a family. Cats that have a family will be neutered or spayed thus reducing the number of unwanted cats. Dumping of cats and animal abuse is greatly reduced if every cat has a home.

Rescue CatNot every cat will like being in the house. Of my eight cats only two can go outside and then they are on leashes and monitored. Some cats like living in a barn and that’s acceptable, however as a responsible cat owner the kitties need health care, feeding and shelter.

The health care mentioned should include a Trap, Spay/Neuter Release program. All medically sterilized cats need monitoring for infection or other medical issue for up to three weeks before being released back to the barn. I personally do not like free ranging cats. There are just to many threats for the kitty from wild animals, vehicles, and cruel people. Health care does not mean Declawing. This is a cruel medical procedure done for the benefit of people with no benefit to the cat. Not only is it cruel, but if the cat gets out it can not hunt or defend itself.

Australia is a perfect example of a species gone unchecked. They have a runaway cat population and it is not the cats fault. It is the fault of poor cat ownership. Now these cats have to suffer the most cruel tactics in order to control the population. Follow this link to read about cat reproductive rates.

Why I Love Cats

There are no ordinary cats. All of my cats are rescues. They have no pedigrees, but they are as special as any cat on the planet. All cats possess the same attributes. It makes no difference if it is a large jungle cats or a feral feline. Here are some attributes that every cat possesses.

Elegance

Lacy
Lacy

What magnificence is the cat. When I watch a cat walk they move with deliberate elegance. They always sit with poise. I am amazed at how they can reach all parts of their body while grooming. The cat moves with attentive independence like they are always ready to move for either hunting or survival. Domestic cats are both prey and the hunter. Cats are like a piece of sculpture whether they are sitting, sleeping or in motion.

Agility

Did you know that a cat can run up to 30 mph or 48 kph. That is why when you are leash training you must keep a good hold on the leash and for the early lessons a person should wear a jacket and gloves so you can hold you cat when the get scared. A cat that runs away with a leash attached will get it hooked somewhere or if the kitty climbs a tree it will probably wrap its self around branches and be stuck or worse. I have seen this happen so be careful.

Did you know a cat can jump six times their length or over eight feet in a single leap. It is amazing to watch a cat jump up on the counter and land with such grace. I love watching my cats climb their tree or walk on the tops of the cupboards.

Fragile

Siamese
Baby Esther

Cats are resilient. They survive in harsh conditions and can reproduce beyond control and yet they are fragile. Cats need our protection. My little girl Roxanne will run out of the house from between the dogs legs. It has been very cold lately and she runs out to the drive way and then just stood there and cried. She needs my protection and support. All my cats need my support. All feral cats need someone to look out for them.

My newest rescue Norbu loves being in the house. Norbu was a wild feral cat. Now he is a happy house cat. Tenzin would be a tangled mess in a week without regular grooming. When Lacy got out for two weeks she got skinny and now does not even want to go outside. I could imagine that all my kitties would not do well without support.

When you love your cats you will realize how much they need you.

Why Do I Have A Cat

Tenzin
Tenzin

I have a cat Because THEY MAKE ME SMILE! Regardless of how my day has gone my cats make me smile. When they sit on me and purr it is magic. When Esther comes to bed and cuddles it makes my day. I love hearing feet running in the middle of the night. Cats match my personality.

We should have compassion for all animals that need rescuing. If you rescue a cat it is a lifetime commitment with endless rewards. If you can provide help to feral cats they will appreciate the effort even if it’s not apparent.

Feral Cat in Carrier
Norbu

This world needs people that can provide protection for the most vulnerable creatures of the earth. Everyone can do something. For example, you can adopt, if adoption is not an option, volunteering at a shelter is possible. Shelters need funding so perhaps regular donations to your favorite shelter could be done. Feral cats need protection. Building shelters, feeding, trap neuter/spay and release programs is a project for the right person.

We can’t save every life, but every life you save will is important.

This my important message for today. Please leave a comment or question below. Don’t forget to check out my Cat Care Products page for something for that special kitty. Click on the images for access to the whole Amazon website.

Here is an example of a heated outdoor cat shelter. Please click on the image for pricing and other options. 

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cats And Christmas

 

Christmas
Cats and Christmas

Cats And Christmas

Christmas is right around the corner and with that all the excitement that thrills everyone. This includes our cats. They love the smells and all the new shiny things and will participate in every thing that appeals to a cat. There are some hazards that are not always evident at this time of year. With a little forethought and preparation we can avoid these issues and just have fun. Let’s have a look at some common elements in almost every home.

The Christmas Tree

We all love a beautifully decorated tree and so do our kitties.

The Natural Tree

Real tree

The natural tree is beautiful and smells nice, however it drops needles which are dangerous and can be lethal if swallowed by our cats. I recommend cleaning up dropped needles regularly. The water that the tree sits could be contaminated by pine oils, fertilizers, or fire retardants which are poisonous to your pets. If necessary cover the water bowl for your tree with tin foil. A sturdy stand is necessary especially if your kitty might try climbing the tree. It maybe necessary to tether the tree to the wall.

Here is a tree stand from Amazon that will stand up well. Please click on the image for pricing and more options

Regarding decorations we used to hang small stuffed animals on our tree to avoid anything that might be broken such as glass bulbs. Any ornament that was hung was generally unbreakable. We quit using tinsel or garlands that could be a choking or bowl obstruction hazard. With eight cats now we do not put up a tree.

The Artificial Tree

Artificial Tree

These trees are a nice alternative, but they shed needles as well. These will be an aluminum needle probably and will be a health hazard if ingested. If these trees come pre-decorated the ornaments should be checked to see how fragile they are. An inspection of the stand is necessary to see how topple proof the tree is.

Electrical cords might be a chewing problem if your cat does such things. It might be best to unplug the tree if no one is present. Any device with batteries should have the batteries disposed of properly when changed. Button batteries will burn the inside of the kitty or child if ingested. Be careful.

Hazardous Christmas Plants

There are many plants that come into our homes during the Christmas season. The Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe, Lilies, Daffodils, Amaryllis and the Christmas Cactus are toxic to cats and dogs. The Lilies and the Amaryllis are particularly lethal and should be kept away from pets.

Amaryllis
Amaryllis
Lilly
Easter Lily

 

The Presents

Cat and presents

A nicely wrapped present is lovely to look at. My cats love to scratch boxes. I am sure that a present with ribbons and bows will hard to ignore for any kitty. Sometimes for reasons I can not explain they will pee on things. With these things in mind it might be better not to put the presents out until it is necessary.

Guests

During this busy time of the season lots of people might be in attendance. With that some pets might be overwhelmed by all the traffic. It might be best to isolate the kitties or puppies from people until things are more relaxed. Guest with small children must be instructed not to rough house your cats.

Guest coats should be put in a separate room to avoid something getting peed on. This could be brought on by the odors of other cats and dogs brought in on different clothing.

We have fed our cats and dogs before our big meal and this has reduced the cat traffic at the table. In fact even with eight cats and two dogs we have had very little trouble with pets at the table.

The Kitchen

KitchenDuring any festive season the kitchen is a hub of activity. Chefs are busy and the action and smells of this time makes our cats want to take part. We must be careful not to let our cats jump on the counter or stove to prevent burnt feet or injuries. I always put a pot of water on an open element so that it can cool down. I could not imagine what a paw would look like after stepping on the stove.

Accidents can happen when we are the busiest. With lots of traffic between cupboards and stoves watch that you do not trip over the cat. This is when its nice to have help or put the pets in another room until your work is done.

One of the most common causes of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.  If you need a rest shut the top of the stove off or have someone watch for you.

The Menu

As humans we can eat many things that are not healthy for our cats.

Turkey is typical offering at this time of year. Turkey is not hazardous in its self unless it is too hot. It is the additional things we put on the turkey that can give upset your cats stomach. Butter, oils, stuffing and spices may not agree with you kitty.

Onions must not be given to cats or dogs in any form. N-propyl disulfide is the compound in onions that will damage the red blood cells and their ability to carry oxygen.

Chocolate has an ingredient called theobromine(similar to caffeine) that is extremely toxic to cats. It can be fatal.

Raw bread dough can make your cat very sick. The yeast can cause bloating from the production of carbon dioxide and produce alcohol. The alcohol produced can cause drops in blood sugar, blood pressure and body temperature.

Raw eggs used during baking can cause salmonella infection or E.coli.

Food Wrappings

The cautions here are necessary so that your can spend your time celebrating rather than be at the vet for an expensive after hours doctor visit.

Any wrapping such as aluminum foil, plastics and wax paper can be very seductive to a hungry cat. These items if swallowed will need a vet visit.

The most dangerous item I see is greasy string. If ingested it might wrap around something inside the cat and MUST NOT be pulled. This requires medical attention! If there is string hanging out of your cats bum you could cut it off and then hope it passes.

All food wrapping should be disposed off immediately.

Cats As Gifts

Girl with cat

What Magnificence is the Cat. For us cat lovers this is an easy choice, however to give a cat as a gift is a big decision. Cats have been dumped after the thrill wears off. This is a crime. When considering a cat, dog or bunny as a gift this decision must be thought out ahead of time and everyone must be on the same page.

The saying goes, you can have a clean house or a pet – not both. My cats are family and my home is their home and we live together. Just to clarify, my house is clean because we work at it and it’s WORTH IT.
For this reason not everyone can tolerate a pet in the house.

In closing

When writing an article like this I try to cover a lot of ground. Every one knows their cats and most things we do anyway. Perhaps for a new pet owner this should be informative. It is no different from preparing your home for that crawling toddler. A little time spent being careful is way easier than being at the vet.

I wish everyone a Great Christmas season and for those that don’t celebrate this time of year every blessing to you too.

Don’t forget to check my Cat Care Products page and pick out a nice present for that special kitty.

Here is a nice cat bed. Please click on the image for pricing and more options.

 

Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment.

Merry Catmas

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Become A Veterinarian

 

Vet and animalsThe Veterinarian

As a responsible pet owner every member of our family requires regular medical care. Your veterinarian is your first point of contact. The veterinarian is a highly trained and compassionate individual. That’s why becoming a veterinarian is a noble occupation, a necessary public service.

Become A Veterinarian

AngelBecoming a vet begins with a passion for animals. If my vets did not have the same compassion for my pets as I do they would not be my doctors. A veterinarian is a Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine that has six years of training at a university and is licensed to provide medical, dental and surgical care for animals.

It should be noted that as a DVM the work is not all cute and cuddly. There will some messy days and it must be necessary to overcome the messy part of the business. Remember the rewards are priceless.

Required Education

Should you be fortunate enough to still be in high school you can prepare by selecting courses in science. Science courses in biology, chemistry and physics will give you a foundation to build on as you undertake post secondary education. Other disciplines to consider and depending on how you want to specialize will include courses in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics and business administration/management.

Practical experience can be gained by volunteering at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic. Experience with several animal species is helpful. Be sure to maintain a list of references for future applications.

This next paragraph is Canadian oriented, however an internet search or a session with a guidance counselor should answer any questions you may have to suit your local situation.

Obtaining a Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in Canada will require two years of pre-veterinary study at a regular university. Then four years of study at one of the five Canadian veterinary colleges.

They are : University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College

University of Montreal, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

University of Prince Edward Island, Atlantic Veterinary College

University of Saskatchewan, Western College of Veterinary Medicine

In order to practice veterinary medicine in Canada you will need a license. This will be obtained in the province where you chose to work.

The average income for a new vet is approximately $62000/year CDN

The Specialized Veterinarian

In the field of human medicine there are specialists. Its is the same for veterinarians. Here are some options.

 

Small Animal Practice

Vet small animals

In this field a veterinarian works with companion animals and services a local community. Patients can include dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and small mammals. Other services may include a broad spectrum of pet care and counseling, including wellness, preventative medicine and late stage life education. Other courses that this practice requires are surgical, dental and alternative medical procedures.

These facilities are regularly inspected and must comply with a high standard. Most facilities equipped with laboratories, x-ray equipment, surgical facilities and pharmacies. They will have proper kennels and may provide 24 hour care.

Private Practice

In Canada this is the largest employment group in veterinary medicine. This practice includes small, large and mixed animal care Vets in private practice manage their own business and treat and maintain various animals with current recommended techniques and procedures. Veterinarians in private practice ensure healthy maintenance among farm and companion animals.

Large Animal And Mixed Animal Practice

Vet

Large animal practice as the name suggests encompasses the group of large livestock including poultry. Medical services include diagnostic and treatment of individual animals and herd maintenance.

The mixed animal practice encompasses both large animals and companion animals. This practice is common in rural areas and will provide comprehensive medical and surgical service. I personally use a clinic like this and I think that this type of practice provides a new DVM extensive life experience.

Becoming A Specialist

kittenSome examples of a veterinary specialist are: cardiology, dermatology, neurology, ophthalmology, oncology, behavior specialist, internal medicine, dentistry, and anesthesiology. There are also species specialists which focus on felines, equine, bovine or a zoo specialist.

Additional study is required after achieving a DVM to be considered a specialist. Then a board certification is necessary. The American College of Veterinary Medicine and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners are examples of boards registering specialists.

Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT)

A RVT works under the supervision of a DVM. Training for a career as a RVT requires up to three years of college education at an approved educational facility. In Canada this will be from a Canadian Veterinary Medical Association or the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians accredited program. It will necessary to complete the Veterinary Technician National Examination.

Upon graduation employment may be found in private practices, zoos or wildlife rehabilitation facilities. Research laboratories also hire RVT graduates.

For more detailed information please look at the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada at rvttcanada.ca

In Closing

This discussion on becoming a veterinarian is Canadian oriented. Please contact your career counselor or search for a university in your area. If you need any help please leave a comment below.

I have eight cats, Two dogs and two horses. The veterinarian is a necessary part of my life. From UTI with the cats, dental work for the dogs, vaccinations and medical care for the horses I could not live without my association with my veterinary facility. The Rolling Plains Veterinary Consultants Inc located in St. Claude, Manitoba has been my point of contact for twenty years. They have provided my menagerie with highly professional compassionate care. Visit them at https://rpvc.ca/

Becoming a DVM or RVT requires dedication and study and this will provide you with spectacular career. I really believe that this profession is a necessary public service. Becoming a Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine will give you a lifetime of rewards.

That’s my story for today. Take a look at my Cat Care Products page for something you might want to give your special kitty for Christmas. Now do something green for the environment and have a wonderful day. If you have any questions or comments please do so below.

Here are a couple of  books from Amazon for more information. Please click on the image for pricing and access to other books.

 

Trevor

We are a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Urinary Tract Infections

Lacy
Lacy

Cat Urinary Tract Infections

Feline Urinary Tract Infections is an important topic that cat owners must understand. FLUTD, which is the medical term for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. It is a term used to describe any group of disorders or diseases that affects the lower urinary tract (bladder or urethra) in cats. This problem can cause urination outside of the litter box and can be painful and if left untreated can be fatal. FLUTD is associated with the formation of stones or crystals in the urinary tract. The two most common types of crystals are struvite and calcium oxalate. These stones will cause extreme pain when urinating. Urinary Tract infections are serious and requires immediate medical attention. The recovery rate with treatment and proper nutrition is very good.

Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection

While there are many factors causing FLUTD there is no single cause of urinary tract disease. Contributing factors are, kitties that are overweight and lack exercise, cats over a year old are also at risk. Male neutered cats have a greater risk of lethal urethral obstruction, however both male and female cats can get the disease.

Other contributing factors include not having a good supply of clean drinking water and a poor grade cat food. Poor cat food that has an abundance of calcium(salt), magnesium and phosphorus will contribute to urinary crystals.

Stressed cats are prone to urinary infections. Stress could include strange people, conflicts with other cats or an inability of places to rest or find isolation.

Esther
Esther

Recently my pretty little Siamese cat Esther started peeing outside of the litter box. I collected a urine sample and took her to the vet. The vet found crystals in her urine plus bacteria. She is now on an antibiotic plus a diet change. In two weeks we go back to the vet for a checkup. There will be a good recovery because we caught the problem early. It is not necessary for me to collect a urine sample, but it was handy. Vets can do this easily at the clinic.

Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections

If your kitty is not using the litter box it is important not to blame the cat with a behavioral issue until all factors have been looked at. Cats have been surrendered to the shelter because of a problem that could be easily corrected by medical attention.

The Litter Box

This is the key to the monitoring of your cats health. If your cat is not using the litter box, first off, is it clean enough. The litter box should be scooped often and have fresh litter it. A cat will not use a full dirty litter box. It is also important to watch your cat while they are in the litter box so you can observe the cats behavior. You will be watching for struggling to pee or crying while peeing and what texture of poop is left behind. Pink or bloody urine will require a trip to the vet. Cats that are doing lots of genital licking are likely suffering from an infection and are trying to relieve the pressure or burning. Also observe your cats general behavior. A cat that is lethargic or has lost an interest in their normal routine might be a sign that an infection is present. All this information is necessary for your vet to help with a diagnosis.

When my senior cat Lexi started to pee where ever she was sitting it was discovered that she had a UTI and with antibiotics and a diet change she was cured in ten days.

Recurring Urinary Tract Infections

Vet and KittenWith veterinary attention and a proper diet UTI is easily treatable, however there is always a chance that it will reoccur.

The first step in management and prevention of FLUTD/UTI is to provide a constant source of fresh water. A proper diet is necessary with both wet and dry food. A constant source of poor dry food will leave your cat constantly dehydrated and is a contributor to crystals in the urine.

One of the questions to ask your vet is to determine if your cat is eating foods that are allergenic or pro-inflammatory. If your kitty has been eating the same protein for months or years on end it might be causing an inflammation of the cats bladder. Please follow this link to my “Maintaining Your Cat” page for two good articles on cat food.

As you determine if your cat’s litter box problems are behavioral or medical do not hesitate to ask for the appropriate tests so that your kitty is not given antibiotics unnecessarily. This means insisting on a bacterial culture. We all suffer from the overuse of unnecessary antibiotics and our pets do too.

In Closing

I have had two of my cats diagnosed with a Urinary Tract infection. I just took my boy Soxs in to the vet for a wellness check because he was peeing out of the litter box.

Soxs
Soxs

I think I caught these problems early because I watch my cats closely for unusual behavior. I clean the litter boxes often and I try to watch as many cats as possible use the litter box. This does not mean I can’t rest without chasing the cats to the litter box, but if I am there I watch. When something doesn’t look right I do more investigation.

If your cat is peeing outside the box, crying while peeing or there is blood in the urine, a visit to the vet is necessary. If you collect your own urine sample it should be delivered to the vet within 24 hours in order for it to be an accurate sample.

Feeding good food might be expensive, but good food is cheaper than vet visits.

Do not be afraid to ask questions of your vet. Ask for culture tests. Get a second opinion if something doesn’t feel right.

The internet is full of advice. Internet advice does not supersede the advice of a qualified Doctor Of Vetrinary Medicine.

That’s my story for today. I think its an important story not only for the cat but for your own peace of mind. There is nothing more sad than a kitty taken to the shelter because of something that could be fixed by a visit to the vet.

If you have any questions or would like to just make a comment please do so at the bottom of this post. Now have a wonderful day and do something green for the environment.

Don’t forget to check my Cat Care Products page for all your cat care needs.

Trevor

Todays Helpful Hint

While I was preparing my Husky dog China’s breakfast I put her antibiotic pill on the cupboard. I turned away to do something and one of the cats came up and ate it. I phoned the vet and there is no problem, however if it was some other drug it could have been serious.

The lesson here is BECAREFUL with drugs and don’t let the wrong cat or dog eat it!