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21/Oct/2018

It’s important to make sure that you get the right recovery set-up for your cat at home. It’s hard for your cat, too, you know? If you’re a cat owner, then you don’t have a lot to worry about. Most felines would probably only need neutering and spaying for their surgery. But, sometimes, you get unlucky, and your pets need surgery for health complications. In fact, the most common surgeries that are being done on felines other than the spaying and neutering are removal of skin mass and various lumps.

Regardless of what kind of surgery your cat gets, it’s important to prepare a post-op environment for her fast recovery. In this article, we will explore some of the ways that you can take care of your pet after surgery. We will list down some of the ways that you can restrict the movement of your cat for better recovery. We will list down some of the ways that coping with a recovering pet would be less stressful on your part.

  1. Talk to your vet

You should make sure that you understand all the instructions from your doctor. Any pre-surgical requirements from your doctor should be followed. Some of these requirements include restriction on food and taking them away from the felines before surgery. You should also ask your doctor for what the recovery would be like. Setting your expectations straight would lessen your stress.

You should also ask your doctor if you need to put your pet in the vet hospital first. Most of the doctors today send the felines home, but some of them would ask that the cats stay for the night first. You should also not forget to ask your vet about how to give the medication to the cats. Let the vet indicate the date, the times and other important information on how to give the antibiotics to your cat. You should put that list on a piece of paper for easier recall. You should remind yourself of that when you get home. Don’t ever forget that.

  1. Financial Plan

Never underestimate the costs of your vet. They could be a lot. You could get a sticker shock for the amount you’re about to pay for the post-surgery needs. Arrange a good plan with your vet, so you don’t get surprised of the bill. Before you get surgery, you can also ask your vet about the entire total cost. It’s advantageous if you have an insurance for your pet.

  1. Quiet Place

Provide a safe and quiet place for your cat. Your cat may still be a bit nauseated after the surgery. Putting your feline in a room that won’t wake it up will be healthy and increase its recovery rate. Don’t give the entire house for her to enjoy. She may hit its stitches and ruin it. It would also help to put a blanket over your pet. Putting the cat litter near to where she sleeps would also be a help.

  1. Keeping an eye on stitches

You should be able to watch over your feline all the time. Make sure that you don’t let her touch the incision. Find a way that your cat won’t chew out the stitches. Although licking is a good way to heal naturally, you should call the cat out if the scratching proves to be too much. If you think that the scratching is too abrasive for the stitches, you may need to put an Elizabethan collar, which is also known as the Dunce Cone.

Summary and Conclusion

With this article, you learned some of the easy ways that you could promote faster healing for your pet after surgery. We hope you found great value in the article! Should you have any questions, just call us at UVC – 203 957-3375.


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21/Oct/2018

There are many issues that a cat owner or a cat parent face. Most of them are negligible. Many of them are nothing to worry about. However, there’re a few of them that could pose a lot of stress, worry, and concern for a cat parent. In this article, we will explore some of the common cats’ diseases that cause fear to their owners. We will examine here some of the symptoms and signs to verify if the cat has the disease stated. We would also tell you some of the ways that you can cope with these conditions so that you can address them quickly. For more detailed explanations, visit a cat vet near to you.

Cancer

This is the first disease that worries cat owners today. Cancer for cats is referred to as a class of the many life-threatening diseases that should be identified the soonest time possible. It’s that dangerous.

When cancer happens to cats, there’s an abnormal and increased growth of cells around the tissue of the cats. These cells spread around the body, and can also be confined to a selected area of the cat. You should also learn that there’s no single identified cause for cancer in cats. The term used for this is “multifactorial”. The cancer disease in cats may come from the environment, or they can be caused by hereditary factors.

Some of the varieties of cancer that cats can experience include squamous cell carcinoma, which can be found in the ear or nose, and lymphosarcoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is a skin cancer that’s caused by constant sun exposure. If you observe the following symptoms in your cats, you may want to get them checked by your vet:

  • Lumps
  • Swelling
  • Bad Breath
  • Skin Infections
  • Lack of Energy
  • Abnormal Defecation
  • Sores that are hard to heal
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Skin Patches
  • Behaviour Changes

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases

Commonly called as FLUTD, these diseases affect about 3% of the cats being checked in America by all vets. You should know that this health condition is not gender-centric. It can affect both male and female cats. This usually happens to overweight cats that don’t move about often. Their sedentary lifestyle could also worsen their problem. Felines who don’t eat healthily and don’t vary their food are also prone to experience FLUTD. There are also various triggers to getting FLUTD. Some of them include stress and having a lot of people in the household. Some of the symptoms you should check for FLUTD include:

  • Urinating in uncommon places
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Urine contains blood
  • Cat licks the area near its urinary tract, mainly caused by intense pain.

Fleas

Another common illness that felines usually experience is fleas. They’re not a disease, but they’re still a worrisome issue that cat owners deal with regularly.  Of course, there are easy treatment options for cats with fleas. If these signs and symptoms are found in your cats, then you should get her checked with a vet:

  • Flea dirt found on their skin. This dirt would look like little black dots.
  • Hair loss
  • Skin infection
  • Licking that happens way too frequently.

What you should remember about fleas is that they can last for about a year.  They can also worsen if you’re not careful. To make sure that you get rid of the fleas from the cats, treat it immediately. Treating it the first time you detect it will also prevent further infestations.

 

Diabetes

This is also a surprising disease that’s also common to cats. You should watch out for the following symptoms so you can detect diabetes from a cat early on:

  • Appetite changes
  • Thirst that’s excessive
  • Urinating in areas outside the litter box
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Weight Loss
  • Lethargy
  • Sweet-smelling breathing that’s unusual
  • Hair coat that’s usually unkempt

There’s no known cause yet of diabetes, but some of the more likely factors that contribute to the issue are genetics and abnormal levels of protein deposits in the pancreas. Obesity and medications could also be a contributing factor in diabetes. For your doctor to check if your cat has diabetes, s/he will conduct urinalysis and other clinical exam on your cat to gather information about its blood.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned some of the common diseases that felines face. We hope that this enlightened you the next time you’re checking your cat’s health. Get a Cat Care Plan to Ensure a Long and Healthy Life!


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21/Oct/2018

Cats are notorious self-bathers and are able to clean their fur thoroughly with their tongue in a matter of minutes. However, while cats are particularly skilled in this regard, there is one area of their body to which they are unable to give adequate attention: their ears. Your feline’s ears will stay pretty clean most of her life, but every once in a while, you will need to give her a helping hand.

Before you approach your pet’s ear with a Q-Tip and some saline solution, however, know that there is a right way and there is a wrong way to clean a cat’s ears. From understanding their ear structure to knowing what tools to use, this post will help you clean your pet’s ears in as safe and effective way as possible.

Is it Necessary to Clean My Cat’s Ears?

First and foremost, you probably want to know if it’s even necessary to clean a feline’s ears. After all, they are self-bathers, as mentioned above, and wild cats managed to survive and evolve for thousands of years without our help, right? While each of those statements may be true, it is still necessary to lend your pet a helping hand every once in a while. That said, you should only clean them if you feel comfortable doing so.

If your pet is just a kitten, you can likely begin cleaning her ears now without a problem. If you make it a point to do so once a month or even more frequently, she will become used to it and sit nicely for you until you are done. However, if you adopt an adult cat, it may be more difficult for you to get in there. Adult cats who have never had their ears cleaned are generally skittish of anything coming near them. It would do them more harm than good if you were to try to wrestle a cotton swab in their ear than if you were to just leave them be. If you suspect that your cat’s ears need a good inspecting and cleaning, take her to your local feline vet, where she can be sedated and properly taken care of.

The Anatomy of a Cat’s Ears

cat ear close upIf you feel comfortable with the process, study up on the anatomy of a cat’s ears. A feline’s canals are intricate and vastly different from those of a human’s, and if you attempt to stick anything in their ears without knowing how their canal is constructed, you could end up hurting them. Fortunately, harm can be avoided with a brief anatomy lesson.

A feline’s ear is composed of three basic sections: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.

The outer ear consists of two parts: the canal and the pinna (or what you likely think of as the “ear”). The ear canal is the gateway to the middle ear, which is much more complex than the outer ear.

The middle ear is composed of the eardrum, three miniscule bones and a tube that brings oxygen from the nose to the ears. The middle ear is highly sensitive, and if you proceed with the cleaning process in the wrong way, you may end up puncturing an eardrum or breaking one of those small bones, two problems that would result in hearing loss.

The inner ear is the most complex part of the ear, and also the most sensitive. Believe it or not, but the inner ear is what is responsible for your pet’s ability to maintain her exceptional balance, and is the reason for her ability to land on her feet no matter from how high she jumps or what acrobatic tricks she pulls. If the inner ear becomes injured, so does your pet’s personality.

Now that you’re familiar with your cat’s ears and why each section is important, let’s move on to the process of cleaning.

Examine the Outer Ear First

Before you begin cleaning, thoroughly examine your cat’s outer ear for any signs that something is wrong. Begin by looking for any abrasions, missing patches of fur or swelling. Smell her ears for any foul odors, and check for discharge. Any of these things could be the signs of an infection, in which case you may want to put off cleaning your pet’s ears and schedule an appointment with the vet.

Some other signs to look for include:

  • Bald spots
  • A bad odor
  • Excessive yawning, shaking of her head or ear scratching
  • Head tilting
  • Dry, scaly or dark colored debris in the ears (not dirt)
  • Earwax buildup
  • Visible discomfort when you touch your cat’s ears

If you notice any of these signs, cease the inspection and call your vet.

Get the Right Tools

If your inspection revealed nothing amiss, you may proceed, but continue to do so with caution, and only after you make sure that you have the proper tools on hand. Those include:

  • A cotton ball or soft rag (put down that Q-Tip!); and
  • Warm water;
  • Olive oil;
  • Hydrogen peroxide; OR
  • Any liquid solution recommended to you by your veterinarian.

Do not use rubbing alcohol or any product that contains alcohol on your cat’s or any other pet’s ears, as alcohol will sting and irritate the sensitive skin of your pet’s ears.

It’s Cleaning Time!

Once you determine that you have the necessary tools on hand, you can begin. Find a nice, quite place without a lot of distractions so that your pet doesn’t feel a need to get up and go check something out every few seconds. Hold your kitten securely in your arms and stroke her fur to let her know that she’s safe. Dip your cotton ball into your preferred cleaning solution; make sure that it is moist but not sopping wet.

Fold back your cat’s outer ear and wipe the cotton ball along the lobe, removing any excess ear wax or debris. Throw the used cotton ball away and get a clean one. Do the same with the other ear.

Never reach further inside the ear than your first finger joint can reach. Going any further than that can result in an internal ear injury. And never, ever just pour cleaning solution into your cat’s ears in the hopes of cleaning them further, as this will most likely result in infection.

Scheduling Your Cat’s Ear Cleanings

If you are going to clean your cat’s ears, you should have a set schedule for doing so. Try to inspect her ears at least once a week, and if possible, clean them after inspection as well. If you give your cat weekly baths, clean her ears then. Like with all things with your pet, habits are key. Make ear cleaning a habit for both you and her and the process will never feel like a chore.

Though helping your feline clean her ears is not a necessity, it is an extra measure you can take to protect her health. If you are uncomfortable cleaning your cat’s ears yourself, don’t feel bad—not many people are! Just be sure that your pet gets into see the vet every six months or so and request to have her ears cleaned then. To schedule your kitten’s first appointment with the skilled team at the United Veterinary Center, call now – 203 957-3375 !


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21/Oct/2018

Are you a pet parent that treats their furry loved one more like a child than an actual pet? Do you want nothing but the best possible healthcare for your dog, cat, horse or exotic animal? Have you been in the market for a new veterinary team—one that utilizes the most advanced equipment – offers compassionate and knowledgeable care – and provides all if the necessary services animals need to maintain good health, including lab services and emergency care—but aren’t sure where to find it?

The team at United Veterinary Center is the team you’ve been looking for!

If you have been hesitant about changing up vets or about giving our team a call, we’re currently offering a full exam for as little as $25 to all first-time visitors. Our goal is to help the animals of Connecticut live long, healthy and happy lives. If your goal is to provide that for your pet too, then we might just be a great fit for you.

 

All the Healthcare Services Your Pet Could Possibly Need in One Location

Our services are top of the line, and include everything from laboratory services to diagnostic testing, and from allergy testing to diagnostic imaging. We provide stem cell therapy, perform surgery and perform routine vaccinations. In addition to all that, we offer routine wellness checks to ensure our patients are experiencing optimal health all year long.

 

We Work With Dogs, Cats and Exotics Too

If you’re the proud owner of a rabbit, a chinchilla, a fennec fox, salamander or any other exotic species, you probably have a hard time finding your pet the care they need to live an optimal life. At the United Veterinary Center, we are specially trained in the preventative care, diagnosis and treatment of exotic creatures. While veterinary school does a great job in teaching students the basics of feline and canine care, those who wish to help an array of animals must go through additional schooling as well as study under the apprenticeship of an already established exotic pets vet.

Moreover, our staff has been trained in the handling of small animals and in how to use the special equipment necessary to provide treatment in a safe and comfortable manner. For all these reasons and more, if you own an exotic pet, you should entrust them to our care, as our entire team possesses the knowledge necessary to help your exotic pet live a long and healthy life.

 

What Our Customers Are Saying

While we can talk ourselves up all we want, the proof is in the reviews.

  • Truly great people who genuinely care about both the pet and the owner.” – Mike F.
  • Am lucky enough to have the pleasure of taking my little Houdini over to UVC. I trust them explicitly with his care. Dr. Pete is knowledgeable, kind, and gentle. He makes sure my pet leaves happy and healthy. Megan and Jodi are amazing and welcoming. I love UVC.” – Amanda F.
  • Amazing place fabulous workers and hospitality.” – Lessard S.
  • Amazing veterinarian hospital and of course one of the best places that I’ve ever seen and been to. Plus the staff is amazing!!” – Megan C.
  • Had such an amazing experience, they truly are compassionate and loving to my animal. It is clear that integrity and client education is important to them! The staff always seem like they are having a great time as well!” – Morgan S.
  • New animal hospital in the area, all brand new facility with an amazing staff.” – Mike R.

 

Check us out on Facebook or visit us online to learn more about our vet center. Or you can always stop in and see for yourself why all of our patients love us! Don’t forget: you get a full exam for your pet for $25 only if you do! Call 203 957-3375.

We’ll see you soon!


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21/Oct/2018

If you own a cat, you likely assume that you don’t need to help with their oral hygiene—after all, aren’t cats one of those animals that bathe themselves? While it’s true that cats self-cleanse, they aren’t entirely thorough about it, especially when it comes to those hard to reach areas. One of those areas is their ears.

Cats ears in particular are prone to injury and infection, both of which can occur to one of four parts of the ear: the pinnae (the ear atop of the head), the external ear canal, the middle ear and/or the inner ear. These infections are usually due to ear mites, otitis, ear polyps and malignant tumors, but could stem from other things to. If your cat seems like his ears are bothering him, take him to your cat veterinarian right away for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

 

Signs of Ear Problems in Cats

If your cat’s ears hurt him you may be able to tell right away. Cats may not be very verbal, but they are expressive. Your cat may demonstrate the following signs if he is in pain:

  • He will shake his head frequently and paw at his ears;
  • You may notice hair loss or scabs on or around his ears, on his neck or on his face as a result of him scratching;
  • You may notice a pus or discharge at the ear;
  • You may notice an unpleasant odor coming from your cat; or
  • Your cat may tile his head to one side or the other as a result of the infection.

If you notice any of these signs, be kind and take your cat to the vet. An ear injury or infection can quickly become worse and lead to deafness if not taken care of right away.

 

Common Ear Problems in Cats

If your kitten is showing signs of pain in or near his ears, it may be due to one of the following common organ of hearing problems in felines:

 

Ear Mites

Ear mites are similar to fleas except worse, as they’re extremely tiny and about the size of a pin head. Ear mites are easily passed from one cat to another and are most commonly found in kittens. If your feline has mites, he’ll likely shake his head aggressively, scratch at his ears, neck and face and have what appear to be chunks of coffee grounds on him. To know for certain, take a coffee ground looking chunk and place on a dark background and under a magnifying glass. Ear mites are white, moving specks, so if that’s what you see, mites are the culprit. However, take your pet to the vet for an official diagnosis and to start your feline’s treatment.

 

Outer Ear Infection

Cats are prone to bacterial and yeast infections on their outer ear, both of which present themselves in a form that looks similar to ear mites. The symptoms are generally the same as well, so if your cat has an outer ear infection, look for scratching, shaking of the head and scabs. However, outer ear infections are generally worse than ear mites and will cause your pet’s ears to become intensely swollen and bright red. There will most likely be discharge with an unpleasant odor, which doesn’t happen with a mite infestation.

In order for your vet to accurately diagnose an outer ear infection, they will need to take a sample from your cat’s ear and examine it under a microscope. By doing this, they can determine if it’s a bacterial infection or a yeast infection that’s plaguing your pet. An accurate diagnosis is imperative for prescribing the right course of treatment.

 

Inner Ear Infection

Inner ear infections are usually the result of one’s failure to treat an outer ear infection. When an infection isn’t treated in time, or if it is not treated properly, the bacteria can move through the bloodstream to the Eustachian tube. Once an infection hits the inner ear, it can be very painful for your cat, causing him to demonstrate many of the same outward symptoms of a outer ear infection—head shaking, tilting of the head and scratching. However, unlike a surface issue, an inner ear infection means that your cat is actually ill. He may become lethargic and want to eat less. Additionally, your pet’s face may droop to one side, he may squint in order to see better, develop a raised third eyelid, have differing pupil sizes, perform strange eye movements and have difficulty walking. He likely won’t be able to hear very well either.

If your kitten gets to this point, your vet may need to perform an x-ray, CT scan or even MRI to diagnose the root of the issue. Treatment may consist or systematic antibiotics, topical treatment or even surgery.

 

Ear Polyps

Ear polyps in felines are a benign growth that look similar to a tumor and that infect the middle ear. They can cause middle ear infections, which you may notice by some of the symptoms mentioned above. However, in addition to the standard head tilt, shaking and scratching, you may also notice nasal discharge and heavy breathing. Diagnosing such polyp is fairly simple—your vet will simply take a handheld otoscope, a tool similar to what your own doctor uses to examine your ears, and examine the earholes and nasopharynx. The only hard part about this is that cats generally don’t like their ears to be probed, so the vet may request that your pet undergo anesthesia. In some instances an x-ray may be necessary.

Surgery is usually required to remove a polyp, but once it’s gone, it’s gone. However, it’s imperative that the entire stalk of the polyp is removed, as if any is left, there is a significant chance of the infection recurring.

 

Less Complicated Types of Issues

In many instances, a cat’s ear problems are relatively easy to deal with and prevent. Some of the more common issues that veterinarians see in felines are bites and scratches, mange and foreign bodies such as thistles. If your cat is allowed outdoors, they run the risk of running into other felines who may bite and scratch at your cat. They also risk getting thistles, grass and other foreign bodies lodged in their organs of hearing or on the outer parts of their ear if they’re allowed to roam around outdoors on their own.

Mange occurs when felines have mites. If your cat scratches hard enough, or if the mite problem persists for long enough, your pet may develop thick, scaly skin that is covered with crusts. If this happens, you need to get your pet into the vet right away, as many cats end up dying from mange. Fortunately, mange is fairly easy to treat as it merely involves getting rid of the parasite.

 

Allergies

In many cases—with humans, dogs, cats and other mammals—organ of hearing infections stem from allergies. If your cat is allergic to a certain food, it could cause them to feel itchy in their throat and ears. If your cat scratches at his ears but you cannot see any physical sign of infection, you may want to talk to your vet about testing for allergies. The United Veterinary Center has a lab in which pets can be tested for allergies and a diagnosis made fairly quickly.

If your pet is demonstrating signs of an ear infection—head tilting, excessive scratching, head shaking, discharge or worse—reach out the lab at the United Veterinary Center today. We can make a quick diagnosis and ensure that your cat is given the treatment he needs to get healthy.


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21/Oct/2018

From 8 weeks to 8 years, your cat’s needs are going to change with each passing year. This is especially true when it comes to her medical care needs. At the United Vet Center, our professionals want to help you keep track of what vaccines, exams and other procedures your feline needs, and when she needs them. However, this guideline can help you plan accordingly for your cat’s medical care, and make any necessary preparations prior to each appointment.

 

8 Weeks

If you are adopting a kitten, she will be 8 weeks old before you can even take her home. Be sure that you have a veterinarian picked out and an appointment scheduled prior to taking her home. Preferably, you want to take her straight to the vet before you introduce her to your family members or other pets.

 

You can also expect…

  • A comprehensive physical exam
  • First FVRCP vaccine
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Begin preventative measures
  • Felv/FIV test
  • Weight and body conditioning score

 

You can also expect your veterinarian to discuss with you proper diet and nutrition, what type of behavior to expect from your cat, appropriate toys for your kitten, grooming habits, litter box training and use and parasite management.

 

12 Weeks

At this point, your kitten will have been with you for an entire month. Congratulations! At her 12-week check up, your doctor will again rate her weight and body conditioning, as he or she will want to ensure that your cat is being properly cared for. They will also give her a comprehensive physical exam.

 

You can also expect…

  • Rabies vaccine
  • Flea & tick control
  • Second FVRCP vaccine

 

16 Weeks

At 16 weeks, your cat will undergo another comprehensive physical exam just to ensure that she is growing as is normal for her particular age and breed. Again, your vet will perform a weight and body conditioning test and score her accordingly.

 

You can also expect…

 

  • Nutritional assessment
  • Flea & tick control
  • Third FVRCP vaccine

 

4 to 6 Months

cats do not always look happy going to the vetAt this stage, your cat is becoming an adult. Now is the time to spay or neuter your cat if you don’t plan on entering him or her into a breeding program. Most vets recommend waiting until your cat is 6 months old to perform the procedure, but others suggest having it done at around 4 months. Talk to your vet to see what he or she recommends.

 

You can also expect…

  • Pre-surgical blood draw
  • Dental exam (any deciduous baby teeth will be removed)
  • Flea & tick control

 

1 to 4 Years

Once your cat reaches one year old, you will only need to take her to the vet once a year, assuming that she remains in good health. At these yearly checkups, you can anticipate a comprehensive physical exam and a weight and body conditioning score.

 

You can also expect…

  • Nutritional assessment
  • Blood work
  • Rabies vaccine
  • FVRCP vaccine
  • Optional vaccines
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Dental work and polishing (if necessary)

 

5 to 8 Years

At this stage, your cat is entering her “middle ages,” and as such, will require more medical attention. To ensure that she continues to live happily and healthily, we recommend scheduling veterinarian appointments at least twice a year at this stage. Again, you can expect a comprehensive physical exam and a weight and body conditioning score at each bi-annual appointment.

 

You can also expect…

  • Nutritional assessment
  • Blood work
  • Rabies vaccine
  • FVRCP vaccine
  • Optional vaccines
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Flea and tick medications
  • Dental work and polishing (if necessary)

 

8+ Years

At this stage, your cat has officially reached old age. From here on out, it would be best to continue taking her to the vet at least twice a year, more if you notice any health conditions. She will undergo semi-annual exams, weight and body conditioning score and a nutritional assessment.

 

You can also expect…

  • Blood work (senior early detection)
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Limited vaccines (only as necessary)
  • Internal parasite screen
  • Dental scaling and polishing
  • Flea and tick medications

 

This guide should not be taken as medical advice, and you should always consult your own veterinarian about what your kitten needs and when she needs it. Additionally, take her to the vet if you notice a change in behavior, or if your cat is acting ill or injured.

Most felines develop dental health issues at three years of age, so it is best to practice good oral hygiene with her, such as brushing daily. It also wouldn’t hurt to find treats designed to clean cat’s teeth as they chew.

Finally, every breed is different, so look up specific information about your cat’s particular breed. Your vet should also be able to advise you on how to take care of your individual cat.

If you are thinking about adopting a cat or kitten, bookmark this page and share it on social media so that you can find it more easily when it’s finally time to take home your new pet. For ongoing tips for caring for your feline at every stage of her life, subscribe to our email newsletter; include your cat’s age and details regarding its breed for reminders about when it’s time to visit the United Veterinary Center.


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21/Oct/2018

Cats make great pets and are relatively low maintenance, but they still require some special treatment and care. Cats, like all animals, come with basic care instructions regarding feeding, grooming, housing and training. If you want to raise a fun, loveable, smart and healthy cat, refer to these basic care tips at every stage of your cat’s life.

Basic Cat Care Tips

Feeding

Every kitten is different, but your veterinarian can help you find the best food for its breed, size, activity level and age. He or she can also help you decide how much your kitten should eat to maintain the best possible health. Some considerations to make when feeding your kitten include:

  • Tourine: Cats need tourine, which is an essential amino acid for eye and heart health. The best cat foods contain all the fundamental ingredients that your cat or kitten needs at every stage of their life.
  • Water: Cats need fresh, clean water at least twice daily.
  • Treats: While treats are great for teaching your cat tricks and training them, they should really only be 5-10 percent apart of their diet.
  • Baby Food: If you want to feed you cat or kitten baby food, make sure that the baby food doesn’t contain any garlic, onion or garlic powder, all of which are bad for cats.
  • Visit the Vet: Always consult with a veterinarian if your cat shows signs of diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia or lethargy.

 

Also, make sure that her food bowl is placed far away from her litter box, as cats—like most animals—do not enjoy eating where they defecate.

 

Spaying and Neutering

Female cats that still have their reproductive organs howl and become restless during heat, and are at a greater risk for mammary cancer. Male cats that are not neutered are aggressive and tend to spray urine. For these reasons, you should always opt to spay or neuter your cat unless you plan to enroll them in a breeding program.

If you adopt a kitten, wait at least six months before having the procedure performed. However, some veterinarians suggest having the surgery done earlier in life; talk with your veterinarian to see what they recommend.

 

Environment

Though cats don’t require an enclosed space as other small animals such as rabbits do, they still need their own place within your home to go to for peace and quiet. Get your cat her own bed, and line it with soft, warm blankets. Wash her bedding often. Keep your cat indoors at all times, if possible. Though there can be perks to having an indoor-outdoor cat, outdoor cats don’t live nearly as long as indoor cats do, as they are susceptible to ticks and fleas, both of which carry infectious diseases. They also risk falling prey to neighboring dogs, coyotes, foxes and other predators.

 

Identification

If you do allow your cat to wander outdoors, make sure that she has a collar with an ID tag on it. The collar should have an elastic panel that will allow you cat to wriggle loose if her collar should become caught on something. The tag should not only include your cat’s name, but also, it should include your name and contact information.

Microchips are a new and safe option for cats, as they include all of your contact information without the risks that come with collars.

 

Grooming

Cats are able to groom themselves, so they stay relatively clean without needing baths. However, you should still brush your cat regularly to ensure that her coat is free of tangles. Combing her will also reduce the amount of shedding and can significantly cut down on hairballs.

If you bring a kitten home, establish a grooming routine early on. Bathe and brush her regularly, and trim her nails often to prevent scratching. If you instate these pet care tips right away, she will grow used to them and not fight you as she grows older.

 

Litter Box

If you plan on your cat being a strictly indoor cat, she will need a litter box in a private but easily accessible area. If you have multiple floors in your home, you should ideally have a litter box on each floor. Once you establish a place for your cat’s litter box, try not to move it around. Cats become accustomed to going in the bathroom in the same place each time, so if you move her box around, she may just go where her box used to be. If this happens, you would need to clean the area with a special cleaning solution in order to get rid of any traces of her urine or feces, otherwise you may have an ongoing problem.

Clean your cat’s box daily, as cats will refuse to use a messy litter box. Scoop solid chunks of litter and waste every day, and dump the entire box once a week. Clean it with a mild detergent, and then fill with fresh, clean litter. Do not buy litter with ammonia, deodorants or any other scents.

 

Scratching Post

Scratching is a normal behavior for cats, so if you want to keep your furniture and carpets in good condition, get your cat a scratching post. Cats have different preferences for what they like to scratch though, so wait until you’ve learned their preferred materials and orientation before going out and purchasing a post. For instance, if your cat likes to scratch furniture, a vertical scratching post would be your best bet. However, if your cat tends to scratch at your carpet, a horizontal post or log would be a great choice for them. Once you’ve purchase a suitable post, introduce your cat to it and reward her with treats when she uses it.

 

Veterinary Care

When you first adopt your cat—whether it is a kitten or an adult cat—take them to the feline vet right away. Your vet can screen for any potential health issues as well as advise you on what vaccinations your cat needs to live a long, healthy life, what parasite control methods you should implement and what type of food to work into her diet. If you have other cats at home, it is not recommended to introduce them to the new cat until any potential contagions are ruled out. If your new cat doesn’t have a known health history, your vet will likely run tests to ensure she is disease free. Though a knowledgeable vet knows which tests to run, make sure that he or she at least runs tests for feline leukemia virus (FelV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Also ask your vet to check for internal and external parasites.

Vaccines are just as important for your pets as they are for people, as they protect your cat from deadly infectious diseases. Your veterinarian will place your cat on a vaccine schedule, which you should strictly adhere to.

 

Entertainment and Training

Cats are naturally playful animals, so make sure that you cat has plenty of entertainment and physical and mental stimulation. Provide her with a scratching post, as well as some simple toys such as Ping-Pong balls and paper bags. Rotate her toys to ensure that she never grows bored.

When playing with your cat, try to teach her how to do fun tricks. This will not only be entertaining for her, but also, it can strengthen the bond you share with your kitten.

Owning a cat can be a lot of fun, but when you implement these pet care tips, it can be even more so. If you are thinking about adopting a kitten, bookmark this page and share it on social media so that you can find it more easily when it’s finally time to take home your new pet. For ongoing tips for caring for your kitten at every stage of her life, subscribe to our email newsletter; include your cat’s age and details regarding its breed for reminders about when it’s time to visit the United Veterinary Center.


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