Feline Fans | Volume 8 – April 2014: 5 Tips for Handling Nail Injuries, What to NEVER Do With Your Litter Box, and More!

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Cats and Dogs Together-Oh My!

Enjoying-the-sun-012-(3)We know you are out there! Those that have chosen to mix canines and felines under the same roof. Sometimes it’s by choice and other times by chance.

We know that multi pet households abound. As a matter of fact, 4 of 10 households live with more than one pet. While the numbers are not exact when it comes to households that include both cats and dogs we KNOW it’s significant because we see it in practice every day.

It can be challenging sometimes. The potential for conflict abounds when mixing different species, but the benefits are many. Who has not left for work in the morning feeling guilty that beloved pets must spend the day alone? This is one of the most common concerns we hear from pet owners-that their pet will be lonely.

In our house we have NO worries. As evidence check out this wonderful picture of Ulysses our Shihtzu and Tyler our Burmese cat, ‘cuddling’ on a brisk spring morning enjoying the sun together.

So..what can you do to minimize the conflict? Recognize that the most common issue is ‘possession of the owners’ lap. This time of year we help clients ‘adapt’ that have brought a new dog or new kitten or cat into their household. It’s important to provide the ‘first’ position to the pet already in the household, and then slowly work in time with the second and new pet.

Other tips? Understand that dogs chase intuitively. Provide your cat a safe zone with elevated cat trees or other places where dogs cannot ‘go’. Food is frequently a source of conflict. Separate pets when it’s time to feed, if an issue evolves.

It’s all about understanding species specific behavior and preferences. Need some help? Give us a call-we are good with behavior issues. If we can’t help we will provide you with a good resource.

Enjoy the enriching environment of a multi-species household!

Pam and Eddie Cole


Nail injuries: Common Problem for Our Beloved Felines

Enjoying-the-sun-009-(3)As Feline Fans we know when our cat’s nails are too long.

Holding, cuddling, stroking our cats with long nails can lead to torn human skin and scratches that are not intentional.

What’s not as commonly known are the nail injuries that can happen to the healthiest, best cared for feline.

Because our cats love to climb and scratch, claws can get caught on fabric, carpet, and any number of preferred feline ‘substrates’. When the claw bed is torn the pad is left without a protected covering.

Nail injuries are commonly ‘hidden’ by our stoic felines. It’s very normal that at some point during the life of our cats a torn claw will result. The injury can be painful. Worst case result is an infection if the injury is left untreated. What to do??

  1. Watch out for crying out at time of injury
  2. Do you notice a swollen paw or toe?
  3. Limping
  4. Constant licking of paw
  5. Avoidance of others contact with paw

At Home:

  1. Wrap affected area

If your cat is hiding or avoids movement that is normal time to visit IVS for a checkup


The Litter Box Issue

cat-in-litter-box2Not all, but some parasites need time to develop to the infective stage- so daily disposal of your cat’s feces may help to reduce their risk for parasite infections.

We recommend scooping feces from your cats litter box daily, and cleaning the litter box once a week. Cleaning means throwing out the old litter and washing the box before refilling it with fresh litter.

Hookworm and Roundworm eggs require more than one week to produce infective larvae. Toxoplasma oocysts, a parasite known to be harmful for a pregnant woman’s fetus, needs at least two days to become infective. However, there are many other parasites that become infective immediately- because of this it is always a good idea to wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly once you have cleaned the litter box.

Never clean the litter box in the kitchen, bathroom sink, or tub. It is best to use a laundry sink, or better yet- take the litter box outside for cleaning. Avoid harsh cleaning products that can be harmful for your cat; warm water and dish detergent will work just fine.

While it is impossible to completely remove the risk of parasitic infection, following these guidelines for litter box maintenance, and keeping up with your pet’s monthly preventative medication, will greatly help reduce the possibility.


Fecal Examinations – Why are they important?

Cat-on-exam-table2One of the most common problems veterinarians see in kittens is intestinal parasites. While cats of all ages can carry these parasites, they are a health issue primarily in young cats. The most common intestinal parasites have adapted to live “in balance” with your cat, making it so that there are no observable health issues or symptoms. This changes when parasites become too numerous and the pet’s health is affected.

Because parasite health related issues do not arise until the parasites have increased in number, it is best to keep up with regular testing and preventative treatment for your cat. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends fecal examinations two to four times during the first year of life, along with a biweekly deworming treatment that begins between 3 and 9 weeks of age and followed up with a monthly preventative treatment.

For adult cats, CAPC recommends continuing with a lifetime year-round preventative medication, along with fecal examinations one to two times per year.


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