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Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Scratching is normal feline behavior. Cats use their claws to mark territory, climb to safety, hunt prey, and stretch their bodies, among other important routine behaviors. Cats that live primarily or exclusively indoors are still inclined to claw prominent objects and do not discriminate based on an object’s personal value, which may be undesirable to their owners. Providing multiple appropriate scratching surfaces that suit your cat's preferences and using positive reinforcement when your cat scratches these provided surfaces can be helpful. If you notice changes in your cat’s pattern of scratching, check with your veterinarian. Your cat may be experiencing pain or another health condition. Next, a behavioral consultation may be needed to identify the underlying behavioral condition and to find an appropriate treatment.

  • Cats vocalize to communicate. Vocalizing can be problematic when it interferes with people’s sleep. Often, the behavior develops due to unintentional reinforcement. Since vocalization can also reflect underlying illness, particularly if it is a new behavior, both a medical exam and a behavioral work-up are needed. Providing adequate social and environmental enrichment while discontinuing reinforcement can resolve the problem.

  • The American Association of Feline Practitioners is committed to advocating for excellence in healthcare for cats. The AAFP launched the Cat Friendly Practice program in 2012. They provide a specific pathway through which a veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team can objectively demonstrate their commitment to tailor their practice to the special needs of cats, as well as enhance the quality of care that cats receive in their practice. In order to earn the Cat Friendly Practice designation, a veterinary practice must demonstrate that they have taken specific steps to understand cats’ unique needs and have implemented feline-friendly standards of care. A Cat Friendly Practice is committed to making your cat’s healthcare delivery more pleasant for both you and your cat.

  • A cat-only veterinary practice is typically designed and built with cat comfort in mind. Feline Practices are especially interested in delivering medical care to cats in ways that help the cat (and her human family members) experience as little stress as possible. Cats need to see their veterinarians for preventive care. It is recommended that cats be seen by their veterinarian twice per. You can make regular veterinary assessment as easy as possible for your cat by seeking out a cat only veterinary practice.

  • Treats are a great way to bond with your cat but can be a major contributor to obesity. Treats should be no more than 5-10% of your cat’s caloric intake as they add calories, and in greater quantities, can create a nutritional imbalance. Excellent treats that are low calorie and satisfying are vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower as well as air-popped popcorn. Many homemade treat recipes can be found on the internet but be sure that these are not too high in calories or contain inappropriate ingredients for your individual cat. Check the recipe with your veterinarian before having your cat taste test them!

  • There are many potential hazards for cats who go or live outdoors compared to indoor cats. Fenced yards do not protect cats nor keep them contained to the yard. Other cats and wildlife can enter the yard and cause damage through fighting or attack. Although vaccines can be effective at preventing disease, there are many infections your cat can acquire outdoors that cannot be prevented, including FIV from cat bites, intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks and even lice. Cats can also be exposed to toxins through contact or ingesting poisoned rodents. They can be hit by cars or injured by humans who do not appreciate them. If you feel your cat must go outdoors, train them to wear a leash and harness and/or create a safe outdoor cat enclosure and monitor them at all times they are outdoors.

  • Periodontal disease is the most common problem affecting cats of all age groups. The importance of daily dental home care cannot be overemphasized. Nutrition can contribute to preventing periodontal disease and gingivitis.

  • Online shopping for convenience and great prices has quickly become the new normal in today's consumerism society. Although technology may help us be savvy shoppers, it's still good to be cautious about what you purchase online, especially when it comes to your pet's medications.

  • Chin acne in cats is a poorly understood disorder of follicular keratinization (the overproduction of keratin, a protein found in the outer layer of skin). If this excess keratin is trapped in the hair follicle, comedones (blackheads) form. Pustules (pimples) may form if bacteria infect the comedones. The underlying causes are not fully understood but may be associated with excess sebum production, viral infection, immunosuppression, stress, or poor grooming. Treatment options are available and often involve improved hygiene.

  • The general condition of your cat's skin and coat are good indicators of her health. A healthy coat should be shiny and smooth, not brittle or coarse, and healthy skin should be supple and clear, not greasy, flaky, or bumpy. Selective breeding has led to the development of cats with a myriad of different coat characteristics requiring varying grooming needs. In order to maintain the skin and hair in a healthy state, your cat also requires a properly balanced diet.