Kitten Care Tips

Are you thinking of bringing home a kitten in the near future? Kittens make wonderful pets and will grow into beautiful adult cats who provide years of joy and companionship. Here, your veterinarian Lafayette, LA provides a few important kitten care tips.

Diet

Newborn kittens require the mother’s milk, or a synthetic substitute product, for proper growth in the early stages of life. Eventually, they’ll be transitioned to a wet kitten food once they’re ready to start eating solids. Ask your vet for help with your kitten’s diet during this crucial period.

Safety

Before bringing your pet home, examine your home for potential hazards and remove the danger. Kittens are quite mischievous! Remove hazardous chemicals, poisonous plants, sharp objects, small items that could be choked on, and dangerous food.

Veterinary Care

Don’t forget that your kitten will require vaccinations, pest-control medicines, and regular checkups at the vet’s office. Call your veterinary clinic today to set up a schedule for your kitten’s first years—it will be well worth the effort!

Does your new companion need an initial checkup? Would you like help with your kitten’s behavior or healthcare needs? Call your vet in Lafayette, LA to set up an appointment.

Cat Hairballs 101

Have you ever seen your cat produce a hairball? It’s certainly unpleasant, but can it do your cat any harm? Below, your veterinarian Aurora, CO tells you everything you need to know about hairballs.

Why Do Hairballs Form?

Tiny barbs on your cat’s tongue pick up loose fur from the coat when your cat grooms herself. Most of this swallowed hair is expelled in the feces after it moves through the digestive tract. Some hair, though, remains in the gut and forms a hairball, which your cat eventually regurgitates.

Are Hairballs Safe for Fluffy?

Yes, the occasional hairball is a part of life for most cats and won’t harm them. However, if your cat is retching and gagging but not producing a hairball, she may have a blocked windpipe. Rush her to the emergency room right away. Also, hairball regurgitation and vomiting are not the same thing—consistent vomiting is an indicator of serious illness!

Can I Make Hairballs Occur Less Often?

Ask your vet about a special diet that may help your cat shed less. Daily grooming with a brush is the best way, though, to help Fluffy produce less hairballs.

To learn more, contact your vets Aurora, CO.

Your Cat and Hairballs

If you own a cat, the occasional hairball is probably a part of life. These regurgitations by your cat are certainly unpleasant… how much do you really know about them? Here, your vets Savannah, GA goes over the basics of hairballs.

What Causes Hairballs?

When your feline friend grooms herself, tiny barbs on her tongue pick up hair, which your cat swallows. Most of the swallowed hair passes through the digestive tract and is expelled through the feces; that which isn’t, though, clumps together into a hairball. Eventually, that hair gets regurgitated!

Are Hairballs Safe for My Cat?

Yes—the occasional hairball is a natural part of life and shouldn’t cause your feline friend any harm. Frequent hairball production, though, could mean a health issue; you’ll want to have your cat examined if your cat is producing a lot of hairballs. If your cat is gagging and retching without producing a hairball, take them to the emergency room.

Can I Minimize Hairball Production?

Grooming Fluffy yourself will prevent her from swallowing excessive amounts of hair. Additionally, specialized diets or dietary supplements can help cats who are particularly prone to high hairball production.

Call your veterinarians Savannah, GA to learn more.

Dangerous Plants and Flowers for Cats

There are plenty of harmful plants and flowers out there for our feline friends. It’s important to know what to look out for! Here, your Rochester, NY veterinary professional tells you about three of the most common offenders.

Lilies

Did you know that many varieties of lilies are toxic for cats? Day lilies, Easter lilies, and tiger lilies are just a few examples. Symptoms like drooling, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea could result if your cat eats lilies—keep your feline friend away!

The Sago Palm

The sago palm is highly toxic for pets, your cat included. Bleeding disorders, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, and more could be caused by ingestion! The sago palm may be found outdoors or indoors; if your cat ingests any part of the plant, take them to the vet’s office right away.

Rhododendron/Azalea

The rhododendron plant, also called azalea, can cause symptoms like irritation in the mouth, vomiting, and diarrhea after only a few leaves are ingested. Without treatment, blood-pressure drops and even coma could occur! Don’t keep these common houseplants in your cat’s living area.

Want more advice on keeping your cat safe from toxic plants? Call your animal hospital Rochester, NY to make an appointment.

Can I Give My Cat Milk?

Cats and milk seem to make a good match. Did you know that they actually don’t mix well? Your veterinarian Wake Forest, NC veterinarian tells you more below:

Why Isn’t Milk Good for Cats?

Most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, meaning that they can’t digest milk properly. Many humans suffer from this same condition! If your cat ingests a lot of milk, they’re likely to experience an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Don’t Kittens Need Milk?

Yes, kittens will need the mother’s milk (or a substitute milk if the mother isn’t around) during the early nursing stage to grow properly. As they get older, though, they produce less and less lactase in the gut, meaning they can’t digest lactose as well. By the time a kitten has grown into an adult cat, milk probably won’t do them much good!

How About Other Dairy Foods?

Other kinds of dairy like cheese and yogurt either contain less lactose or are pasteurized, meaning that microscopic organisms have already removed much of the lactose. As such, these foods are a bit safer for cats. Still, they’re not nutritionally necessary at all!

Want to know more about your cat’s dietary needs? Contact your vet Wake Forest, NC.

Three Preventative Healthcare Essentials for Your Cat

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—this old adage couldn’t be more true than when it comes to your feline friend’s health! Here, your veterinarian Los Gatos, CA tells you about three key elements of preventative healthcare for your cat.

Vaccination

Cats require the core vaccinations to protect against diseases like feline leukemia, feline hepatitis, calicivirus, influenza, and others. It’s far more difficult to treat and eradicate these diseases after they’ve taken hold than it is to avoid them initially! Talk to your vet if your cat needs vaccinated.

Pest Control

Don’t let fleas, ticks, or worms afflict your beloved pet. Keep your cat on the proper preventatives to ward off these pesky critters. Make no mistake; even indoor cats are prone to infection and infestation by pests! Your veterinarian can set your cat up with the medications she needs.

Quality Diet

Feeding your cat a quality diet is one of the easiest ways to keep her healthy long-term. Make sure Fluffy is getting an age-appropriate food with all of the essential nutrients.

Want a recommendation on a great cat food choice? Contact your animal hospital Los Gatos, CA today to set up an office appointment.

Explaining Your Cat’s Kneading

You’ve probably seen your cat knead—it’s when your cat presses the front paws into a soft object before lying down. Have you ever wondered why Fluffy does this? Your vet Marietta, GA fills you in on a few possibilities below:

Napping Prep

You’ve likely seen your cat knead before bedding down for a nap. It’s believed that our cats’ ancestors kneaded grass or dirt surfaces in the wild, preparing them as a bedding spot for themselves or their offspring. This behavior may have gotten passed down to our domesticated felines!

Territory Marking

Your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands, and scents are released when your cat kneads. It may be her way of marking her territory—that territory might be a pillow, a pet bed, or your leg!

Nursing Instinct

Did you know that kittens often knead their mother’s belly during the nursing period to stimulate milk production? Adult cats may knead as a sort of “remnant” behavior from kitten-hood, and they may even associate the action with the feelings of contentment they felt while nursing!

Want more information on your cat’s behavior? We’re here for you. Call your veterinarian Marietta, GA today to learn more about your pet.

Common Cat Toxins

Although dogs are often more likely to gobble up whatever substance is in front of them, putting them at a somewhat greater risk for poisoning, cats are also susceptible! Here, your vet Aurora, CO tells you about some of the most common cat toxins to be aware of.

Poisonous Plants

Plenty of plants and flowers aren’t safe for cats, and they’re some of the most common toxins since our feline friends often like to munch on vegetation. Lilies are particularly poisonous, and other plants like dieffenbachia, elephant ear, certain aloe plants, rhododendron, and more can also pose a serious risk. Keep your cat away!

Human Foods

Garlic, onions, grapes and raisins, chocolate, candy, gum, alcohol… the list of potentially harmful foods is quite long! Don’t leave dangerous foods out on countertops; you know how easy it is for cats to leap up and start exploring!

Antifreeze

Antifreeze is a particular problem during the winter months; it contains ethylene glycol, a poisonous alcohol substance. The problem is that antifreeze tastes and smells sweet, which may attract your cat! Use antifreeze carefully and clean up spills right away.

For more information on cat toxins, give your pet clinic Aurora, CO a call.

How to Help Your Senior Cat Thrive

Do you have an aging cat on your hands? Keep your elderly feline companion healthy and happy so that she enjoys her golden years! Below, your Plano, TX vet offers three easy tips to do just that:

Great Diet

All aging cats should be fed a specially formulated senior diet, which is made with just the right ingredients for your older cat’s nutritional needs. Ask your vet to recommend a great choice, and also be sure to ask about the portion that your cat needs.

Fun Toys

Cats need exercise, even older ones! Provide your companion with plenty of fun toys to let her entertain herself. Catnip toys are always a hit, but even a simple string dangled in front of Fluffy’s face will likely do the trick! Try to get your pet moving on a daily basis to help stave off obesity.

Napping Spots

Cats always love napping; your senior companion probably sleeps now more than ever! Make sure she has plenty of soft, warm beds to relax in throughout her golden years.

Does your senior cat need veterinary care? We’re here to help with all of your pet-care needs. Make an appointment at your animal hospital Plano TX.

Your Cat’s Hairballs

Hairballs are a part of life for most cat owners. Have you ever wondered what causes these unsightly expulsions, and if they are a problem? Learn more here as your Sugar Land, TX veterinarian fills you in.

What Causes Hairballs?

A cat naturally ingests some hair while grooming herself, thanks to tiny barbs on her tongue. Most of this hair passes through the digestive tract and is expelled in the feces, but some remains in the stomach and is eventually regurgitated in the form of a hairball.

Are Hairballs Safe?

The occasional hairball won’t cause your cat any harm; it’s a normal part of your cat’s life. However, if hairballs are becoming frequent or if they’ve suddenly started appearing more than normal, it’s worth a visit to the vet’s office. If your cat is retching and gagging but not actually producing a hairball, let your vet know.

How Can I Reduce Hairballs?

Ask your vet about a high-fiber “hairball formula” diet; these are made to help your cat shed less and move hair through the system more smoothly. Grooming your cat is also helpful since you’re trapping fur in your brush!

For more information, contact your vet Sugar Land, TX.