Ash Veterinary Clinic


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Some pet owners think that it is easier taking care of cats than dogs. It is true in some aspects, like not having to walk your cat outside to go to the bathroom. Some people however think that all a cat needs is some food. We want to inform you about the top ten mistakes that cat owners make, so that you and your feline can have the best relationship possible.

1. Hand Play: Lots of owners with new kittens get caught up and use their hands for toys– batting at them, letting the kitten chew on their fingers, etc. Find an acceptable substitute like a laser pointer or cat toy because hand chasing behavior is not as cute when your cat is ten pounds!

2. Declaw: We are not going to solve the age-old issue of declawing here, but it deserves some thought before you take a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ stance on it. Declawing is an acceptable option. It should be reserved for only those cases where a cat may lose its home due to the damage caused to the home or to family members. Bored cats with nothing to do can get into trouble. Get them plenty of acceptable things to scratch, such as a scratch post; keep them active and stimulated and the chances of destruction go way down.

3. Lilies: No one knows what the toxin is in a lily that makes them deadly, but they can cause sudden kidney failure in cats with only a tiny nibble of a leaf. All parts of the lilies are toxic. Make sure you have no lilies that your cats can access.

 4. Tylenol: Acetaminophen is toxic to cats. I have treated many cases of this toxicity where the well-intentioned, but misguided, owners gave this medication to their cat. It causes anemia and severe liver failure. This is why we recommend to never give any medication to any animal without consulting your veterinarian.

5. Vaccinations: Young cats absolutely need a vaccine series to prevent serious conditions like feline distemper and rabies. When cats are older, we recommend having a conversation with your veterinarian about which ones your cat needs and which ones are optional as they age.

6. Pet Insurance: Pet insurance is now the real deal. It is becoming more readily available and can take the sting out of ever-growing vet bills. In most cases with insurance, you usually have to pay the veterinarian and get reimbursed. Veterinary bills run into the thousands for serious illnesses, and many folks do not have the savings to cover the unexpected.

7. Outdoors: Cats love to explore the neighborhood and make little kitty friends, but along with all the positives come a handful of hazards. We recommend that if you do let your cat outside, make sure you know the neighborhood and consider supervised trips outside. The average lifespan for an outside cat is about 1/4 the average of an indoor cat.

8. Vomiting:  Some people think that a vomiting cat is normal and it can be. Hairballs are a regular occurrence for some cats. When vomiting starts occurring more than twice a week or daily, we recommend bringing your cat in for an exam.

9. Grooming: Some cats need grooming just like dogs do. Most of the short-haired variety can get by on their own, but you may notice if you brush them once weekly, that the shedding in your house is drastically reduced. Long-haired cats should be brushed multiple times a week to ensure that their coats are not matting. Some people do shave their long-haired cats so their coat is easier to take care of.  

10. Ignoring Them: Cats by nature are self-sufficient and have an independent streak. Cats love to hide when they are not well and illnesses and injuries can go undetected for days. Cats may look totally normal while things brew under the surface. Touch, stroke and pet your cat every day and make sure they are active, bright eyed and not losing weight. Monitor water intake and litterbox output. If you notice anything amiss, have your vet do a good physical to get to the root of the problem early.

                Here at Ash Veterinary Clinic in Carleton, we know that each cat has their own special personality. Spending time with your pet and forming a bond with them will help you to discover what a goofy or sweet disposition each friend has. If you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment, please call us at 734-782-2827.

[4:06:25 PM] Dianne Raftopoulos: