Spring Has Sprung! And So Have Hazards for Your Cat…

Cat in SpringtimeFlowers are blooming, the grass is growing, birds are chirping.  The outdoors looks so inviting.  Your cat probably thinks so as well.  The reality is that dangers of all kinds lurk outdoors for curious felines, and the springtime is no exception.  Here is a list of the top outdoor hazards for your cat this season:

  1. Parasites – The fleas are out in full force as well as heartworms which are transmitted by mosquitoes.  A variety of intestinal parasites are lurking outdoors as well.
  2. Predators – Hungry coyotes, hawks, and even raccoons may find your cat a tasty meal.  Other cats, particularly tomcats, will also often attack each other.
  3. Prey – Curious cats often stalk springtime newborns such as birds and bunnies.  These exuberant hunters may find themselves stuck in a tree or faced with an angry mother animal ready to defend her offspring.
  4. Plants – Things are blooming out there, and your cat may have a run-in with a bush or a foxtail resulting in wounds and potentially infection.

So as tempting as it is to turn your cat loose in the great outdoors, think twice before you do so.  An outdoor cat is at much greater risk for injury or death than its indoor counterpart.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Lyme Disease: It’s Not Just for People

Dog in Tall GrassSpring has sprung, and along with April showers and May flowers, the ticks are out in full force.  These little vermin are at peak activity during the spring and summer months.  Among other things, they are capable of transmitting Lyme disease to both people and pets.

Infected animals can have no symptoms while others may have fever, loss of appetite, joint pain, and lethargy.  Untreated, kidney damage can occur.  Lyme disease, when caught early, is relatively easily treated with antibiotics.  A blood test can be run to determine if your pet could be infected.

Preventing Lyme disease is not easy, however avoiding tick-infested areas, using tick preventatives (contact us if your pet needs a refill), and checking your pet frequently for hitchhikers can dramatically reduce the chances of infection.  A vaccine is also available for dogs.


Celebrate the ASPCA’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

Basset Hound and Tiger KittyGo orange this month and show your support for a great cause.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an organization that raises awareness and helps stop animal abuse year round.  Here are a few suggestions that you might consider to show your support:

  • Spread the word!  Let your neighbors know about the cause, blow up your Facebook page, or let your local media know what is going on.
  • Get political.  You can become an ASPCA ambassador and sponsor a grassroots event or even become an activist by fighting for anti-cruelty legislation.
  • Support the local effort.  Sponsor an ad for a pet in a local shelter that needs a home or collect supplies and donations for your shelter or a nearby rescue.

Prevention of animal cruelty is such a noble cause, it surely deserves its own month.  You can learn more at http://www.aspca.org/About-Us/ASPCA-April.


Litter Box Success!

Orange Tiger CatOne of the conveniences of having cats is that they use a litter box instead of needing to be let outdoors.  Most cats naturally take to the box, but some can be awfully fussy!  Make sure that you pay attention to the following factors when setting up your kitty’s potty palace:

  • Size: Make sure you aren’t trying to get a huge cat to use a tiny box!  There are many sizes of boxes available.  If you have a very large cat, using a shallow storage container may be a good solution.  If you have an older or handicapped pet, make sure that the sides aren’t too high for the pet to easily climb in and out of.  Also, if you choose to use a hooded box, be sure your cat can posture to potty comfortably.
  • Location: Be sure your box(es) are in locations that are easily accessible to your cat.  There should be a litter box on each floor of your home.  Also, be sure the litter box is secluded from potentially scary or distracting things such as noisy washing machines, furnaces, nosy dogs, and loud children.
  • Substrate: Some cats prefer certain types of litter.  You can try clumping vs. non-clumping, scented or non-scented, or even alternative types of litter such pine, wheat, or recycled newspaper.  Boxes should be scooped at least daily, although some particularly high-maintenance cats may prefer even more frequent cleanings.
  • Number: Every household with cats should have a litter box for each feline friend plus one!  This means if you have two cats, you need three boxes.

By paying close attention to these litter box musts, you will ensure that your cats continue to enjoy their “potty time”! If you’re still having trouble getting your cat to “go,” give us a call and we can set up an appointment to discuss it.