Category Archives: Cats

Early Days: Kitten Care

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beautiful small kittenEarly Days: Kitten Care

Your new ball of hyperactive fur is undoubtedly as adorable as you think she is. You may be ready to take your new fur-baby home and play, but she’s going to need you to do much more than that. Your baby needs your help to adjust to her new home, and grow up healthy and happy.

The First Few Days or Weeks:

Bonding

Kittens are generally several weeks old before going home, and unless they were unfortunate enough to lose their mother, they may have had more time with other kittens than humans. When you first choose your kitten, she may seem friendly. Once you get her home, however, she may seem skittish and react badly. Do not be upset by this. Give your fur-baby some space to adjust. Continue gently encouraging her with food and toys, but don’t overdo it. She’ll likely come out in time and let you know when she’s ready to play and cuddle.

Food

Your kitten needs to begin with the right kind of food. Hopefully, you don’t have to worry about bottle feeding, and your little one is ready to eat kitten food. You can always talk to your vet about the best food, but make sure you choose something with plenty of calories and fats, and other essentials for growing kittens.

Behavior

Your kitten may already have some litterbox experience, and most are naturally inclined to bury their waste. However, it may take time a patience as your little one adjusts. She may go outside the box, or play in the litter. Put the litterbox where she can easily find it, and don’t get upset or punish her if she doesn’t do as you hope. Try using a different type of litter, or box, or move the box to the spot on which she seems to prefer.

Your excitement is not unfounded; you are likely in for a long, loving, fun future with your new fur-baby. Don’t forget to contact us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us examine your new kitten to help you keep her in the best of health, now and in the future.

Indoor Cats, Outdoor Issues

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Most of our cats are indoor cats because we feel that’s safest for them. It’s important to remember, however, that even indoor cats need a little extra protection from problems commonly associated with the outdoors.

Parasites: Parasites are common enough problems, even for indoor cats. Parasites come in many forms, including fleas and various worms. Indoor cats can still get fleas rather easily, and thus tapeworms become a potential problem, too. If a mosquito makes its way into your home, your cat could also contract heartworms. It’s important to keep your cat updated on all prevention medications, even if she is lone, indoor cat.

cat-649164_1920Plants: Sometimes we bring plants into the home, and usually, when we think of the issues involved with cats and plants, we think of how to keep cats from tearing them apart or knocking them over. However, even somewhat common houseplants can pose a risk: poison. There are hundreds of different plants that can be toxic to pets, including types of lilies, heartleaf philodendron, certain ferns, and more. So, be sure to consider your cat before you add greenery to your home.

Other Cats: Other cats pose a risk outdoors; feral cats are at much higher risk for disease and can be vicious, and even outdoor cats with a caring owner can carry these problems. However, that doesn’t mean that two indoor cats who live together and appear to get along are completely safe. Together, they can get into all sorts of trouble, including fights that result in injuries, passing fleas and illness between one another, and more. Two can be better than one, but it does mean a little extra work to keep them healthy and happy.

Many people argue in favor of keeping cats as purely indoor pets for many reasons; it’s estimated that they’ll be safer and live much longer. Just remember to be prepared for outdoor problems that may make their way indoors, too.  Contact Pet Vet Animal Hospitals today to find out how we can help.

Seasonal Allergies, Part II: Cats in Spring

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Like any of us, human or animal, cats can be affected by seasons that bring new allergens to the air, and everywhere else. Seasonal allergies can be as miserable for your cat as they are for you, messing with her skin, causing respiratory problems, and more. Sure, indoor cats may be somewhat protected from spring allergens, but it’s not foolproof, and you may still need to watch out for symptoms.

Pollens and more cause allergies in your cat just as they do in you. They make their way from the outdoors into your home and can make an allergy-related mess of your cat. She may have itchy eyes, watery eyes, a runny nose, and she may sneeze. Her respiratory symptoms will be similar to yours with sneezing, coughing, and wheezing.

She may also have intestinal problems. Vomiting and diarrhea can be signs of allergic reactions. However, skin irritation is a more common symptom. Watch for excessive scratching and chewing, or more severe symptoms like hair loss and clearly irritated skin.

Sphynx cat, 1 year old, itching in front of white backgroundPreventing seasonal allergies isn’t easy. You can try by keeping windows closed and keeping your cat indoors at all times. That may help if pollens are the problem, though they may still make their way inside. Sometimes, introducing the allergen gradually into the cat may help her immune system grow less sensitive to it. Your vet can give you medications, or recommend some over-the-counter medications that may work if the allergies are not severe.

You will need your vet’s help in figuring out the causes. Sometimes symptoms of other problems are similar to those of an allergy. The vet may have to run several tests to diagnose the allergy, including skin scraping and blood exams.

If you’re concerned that your cat may be suffering from allergies, give your vet a call so your cat can get back to enjoying the spring view from the open window. Call us at Pet Vet Animal Hospitals for more information.

 

 

Does My Cat Have a Cold?

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cat, cats, petsAs a pet owner, you have the responsibility of maintaining the well-being of your animal over time. That being said, it can be downright disheartening when your pet catches a nasty cold. If you happen to have a cat, there are a few signs you can look out for in terms of illness.

Sneezing
Yes, it’s true! Your cat may begin sneezing if he or she catches a cold. It’s an involuntary reflux that all cats have in the event that a foreign virus or bacteria has entered its nasal passage.

Eye and Nasal Discharge
If you aren’t sure if your cat is ill, take a look at his or her eyes and nose. In the event that your cat is sick, you may notice that his or her eyes or red. His or her nose may also begin to produce mucus.

Lethargy
Is your cat less active than normal? If he or she is usually bouncing around the house, but seems lethargic as of late, it could be a cold.

Of course, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as you suspect that anything is impacting your cat’s well-being. The veterinarians with Pet Vet Animal Hospitals can help you ensure that your cat is healthy and diagnose any issues, even if it’s just a seasonal cold.

How to Manage Your Cat’s Problem with Hairballs

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quality-surveyHair balls develop over time as cats instinctively groom themselves and swallow hair. Instead of passing through the intestinal tract, the hair comes out in a ball through the cat’s mouth. Hairballs are an unfortunate part of cat ownership, but there are a few things you can do to manage the issue for you and your kitty.

  1. Look for Hairball-Controlling Food
    Some cat food manufacturers market their products as efficient when it comes to controlling hairballs. They typically contain an ample amount of fiber, which keeps the cat’s gastrointestinal tract moving (thus, pushing out the hair).
  2. Limit Grain-Based Food
    Some experts believe that because cats did not evolve to eat grains, these types of food can alter the animal’s intestinal tract. In turn, this could potentially disrupt its ability to digest hair properly. A grain-free diet may be worth trying if you want to get your kitty’s digestive system back on track.
  3. Speak to Your Veterinarian
    If you have a specific concern about your cat’s hairball problem, such as an increase in vomiting, speak to your veterinarian as soon as possible. He or she can address concerns and check for underlying health issues.

Of course, any decision you make to control your cat’s hairball problem should be discussed beforehand with a veterinary professional. He or she can give you the best possible advice for your pet’s specific situation.

Pet Vet Animal Hospitals has four locations in the Greater Houston area to serve you, your cat and any other pets you may have. See how its compassionate staff can help you maintain the well-being of your furry friends by visiting www.PetVetHospitals.com.

Three Reasons Why We Love Cats

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It’s National Cat Day, which makes it a purr-fect time for the Pet Vet Animal Hospitals team to tell you all the ways in which we love cats. There are many, but we’ll keep it short with these three reasons:

  1. cat-649164_1920Their easy care. Cats are the easiest pets to care for. They don’t need you to let them outside in the middle of the night or take them for a walk. All they need is food, water, a clean place to potty, and love.
  2. Their love. While we’re on the topic of love, let us also say that cats do it so well. Whether lying in your lap or snuggling up against your leg, a cat wants to show his or her love. It’s also easy to know when they’re feeling loved – by the sound of their purrs!
  3. Their ability to make us laugh. Cats are moody, moving from serious to playful in a matter of seconds, and there’s just something about them that makes us laugh, no matter their mood. Maybe that’s why researchers have found that having a cat lowers our risk of death from a heart attack by 30%, making laughter truly the best medicine!

If you’re looking for a vet to take care of the new addition to your family, whether a young kitten or senior cat, we invite you to bring him or her to any of our four Pet Vet Animal Hospitals locations. We promise to treat your cat just like our own. After all, we love cats, so call us today.