Tag Archives: veterinary clinics Larimer County CO

All About Your Feline Friend’s Hairballs

Cats are quite talented when it comes to grooming themselves. Unfortunately, that means that your feline friend ingests a lot of hair—that hair will eventually present itself in the form of a hairball! Learn more about your cat’s hairballs below from a Fort Collins, CO veterinarian.

How Do Hairballs Form?

When your cat grooms herself, tiny barbs on her tongue pick up loose hair from the coat, which your cat swallows. Most of that hair will move through Fluffy’s digestive tract, eventually getting expelled in your cat’s feces. Some of that hair, though, stays in the gut, forming a hairball—that hairball will occasionally be regurgitated. You’ll likely see some retching and gagging before your cat expels the hairball itself.

Do Hairballs Cause My Cat Any Harm?

The occasional hairball is a natural part of life for almost any cat—although it may not look pleasant when your cat is regurgitating a hairball, it shouldn’t hurt them in the least. If your cat coughs up the occasional hairball, there’s no need to worry.
With that being said, there are a few warning signs to watch out for when it comes to hairballs. If your cat’s hairball production has become frequent, or if they’ve suddenly started coughing up hairballs in rapid succession, it’s best to have them examined at the vet’s office right away. If your cat is retching but not producing an actual hairball, it may mean that the hairball is blocking your cat’s windpipe—this is a medical emergency and should be dealt with immediately.

Can I Help Lessen My Cat’s Hairball Production?

If you would like to try and reduce the amount of hairballs that your cat expels, there are a few steps you can take. The first is perhaps the simplest and most effective: brush your cat on a daily basis. This traps loose fur in the brush itself, preventing your cat from swallowing it in the first place. Another way to help minimize hairballs is by feeding your cat a specialized food, formulated to help reduce shedding and help hair flow through the digestive tract smoothly. This may be a helpful choice for cats with high hairball production—ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Want to know more about your cat and hairballs? Does your feline friend need a veterinary checkup? We’re here to help! Schedule an appointment with your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic.

Great Holiday Gifts for Cats

Happy Holidays! As you check items off your holiday shopping list, don’t forget to pick up a few things for your kitty! Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some great gifts for cats.

Beds

Our feline pals certainly are drowsy. In fact, Fluffy can sleep up to 20 hours a day! Get your tired pet some comfy beds to snooze in. (Don’t worry if your kitty already has a bed or two. As far as cats are concerned, you can never have too many napping spots.)

Kitty Garden

While we recommend that cats stay indoors, you can give your kitty a taste of the outside by getting her some pet-safe plants. Check the ASPCA site for suggestions.

Robotic Mouse

Robotic mice are another great gift option. These adorable modern toys react to your feline friend’s movements and vocalizations, providing lots of interactive fun.

Automated Laser Pointer

Does your furball love chasing that little red dot? Get Fluffy an automated laser pointer, so she can keep chasing after her elusive prey.

DVDs

Have you ever noticed your furry buddy ‘watching’ television? Get Fluffy some kitty DVDs, and let her binge-watch shows about birds and squirrels.

Wall-Mounted Furniture

If your kitty loves high spots, wall-mounted furniture would be a great gift option for her. Look into getting Fluffy some cat shelves, or even a catwalk.

Scratching Board

Is your pet using your sofa or carpet as a nail-care station? Give your furball a good scratching post or board. (Tip: sprinkle some catnip around it to make it tempting for Fluffy and encourage her to use it.)

Cat Tower

Cat towers are great for Fluffy! They offer her a scratching post and jungle gym, and also give her a good vantage point, so she can look down at her kingdom. If your budget is tight this year, go the DIY route and make your kitty a cat tower. Look online for step-by-step instructions.

Catnip Anything

Catnip mice are a classic holiday kitty gift, and are always a wonderful choice. However, Fluffy can now enjoy her catnip in several different forms. Why not offer your feline pal some catnip bubbles? You can also give Fluffy her own little catnip plant.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Fluffy’s Cutest Secret Talents

Cats are quite talented little furballs. Our feline friends are excellent hunters and snugglers. They are also expert nappers! However, Fluffy actually has several other skills that you may not have noticed. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some of kitties’ cutest secret talents.

Traffic Weaving

Kitties are very small, so they sometimes have to be bold when they want attention. One way Fluffy does this is to run right out in front of her owners as they walk past. While cats do occasionally mistime these tricky maneuvers, what usually ends up happening on those occasions is that the human stops short to avoid accidentally kicking their frisky pet. (We suspect that this is actually a feline sport.)

People Training

Many of our feline friends have their owners wrapped around their adorable little paws. Fluffy may have you trained to feed her, pet her, or play with her on command. If you have a lap cat, your kitty may also have taught you how to properly be cat furniture. This basically entails not moving until it’s absolutely necessary, to avoid disturbing Her Furry Majesty.

Comedy Routines

In Fluffy’s mind, she is a fierce and ferocious hunter whose vicious killer instincts can only be soothed by cuddles, treats, and soft beds. However, it’s hard not to laugh when watching some of your cat’s playful antics. Whether Fluffy is attacking a bottle cap, sprinting across the room, or batting at a fuzzy toy, there’s a good chance that your kitty keeps you smiling.

Housework

Cats may seem aloof, but they actually do try to help their human servants out from time to time. Your thoughtful furball may offer her assistance with giftwrapping, changing sheets, and packing or unpacking suitcases and boxes. She may also help keep the coffee table clear by knocking small objects off it.

Interruptions

Fluffy certainly has a knack for demanding attention at inopportune times. Your cat may sprawl out on top of a book you are trying to read, bat at your pen as you’re writing something, or wake you up when she wants breakfast. Kitties also like to interrupt traffic by napping in the middle of the kitchen or living room.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are completely dedicated to keeping our feline patients happy, healthy, and purring.

Obesity in Cats

Did you know that obesity is one of the most common health problems in our feline friends? By some estimates, more than half of our feline friends are, well, a bit pudgy. We know, fat cats are very cute, but those extra pounds could cause Fluffy some serious medical problems! Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses feline obesity.

Dangers of Obesity

Obese felines have elevated risks of developing many dangerous health problems, including heart disease, liver trouble, diabetes, certain types of cancer, skin problems, and bone/joint problems, such as arthritis. They are also more likely to have respiratory issues, or to have complications after surgery or anesthesia.

Diet

As one might expect, diet plays a huge role in your kitty’s weight. Offer your furball good, nourishing food, but don’t overindulge her. Cats that eat dry food may be more prone to gaining weight than those who get wet food, as kibble is often very high in carbs. Don’t let your feline friend trick you into overfeeding her: if Fluffy is starting to look a bit plump, but tends to scarf down her dinner and beg for more, that plaintive meow could be a lie! Keep an eye on portion sizes: even a few extra calories a day can cause cats to gain weight. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations, including portion sizes, feeding times, and suitable treats.

Exercise

You’ve probably noticed that your feline friend is pretty fond of sleeping. Actually, napping is pretty much Fluffy’s favorite activity. This may keep your pet refreshed and well-rested, but it does make it easy for her to pack on pounds. You may have to trick your kitty into moving. Play with her every day, using fun, interactive toys. We also recommend giving your furball plenty of fun toys to play with. Offering your sleepy pet a cat tree or tower to climb will also encourage her to stay active.

Helping Your Cat Lose Weight

Do you have a chubby kitty on your hands? Talk to your vet before changing your feline friend’s diet. Cats must lose weight slowly in order to slim down without compromising their health. Crash diets are very, very dangerous for feline metabolism, and could make your furball very sick!

Do you know or suspect that your cat needs to lose weight? We can help! Call us, your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, today!

Holiday Gifts for Bunnies

Do you want to buy holiday gifts for your rabbit, but are having trouble deciding what to get her? Treats are always a great option, but what about toys? There may not be quite as many playthings for Floppy in your local pet store as there are for Fido and Fluffy, but there are still plenty of great gifts you can get your furry buddy. In this article, a local Larimer County, CO vet offers some great options for holiday gifts you can get for Floppy.

Wooden Toys

Many wooden objects, such as children’s blocks, can make great bunny toys. Just be sure to choose only safe woods, such as aspen. Avoid anything made from pine or cedar, as they are toxic to rabbits. You’ll also want to stay away from anything that has been coated with varnish, dye, or paint, as these things could contain chemicals that are dangerous for bunnies.

Paper

Plain paper is safe for rabbits to play with. You can shred it into strips, and hide a yummy snack under it, or fold and cut it into cute shapes. You can even wad up paper around a delicious treat, or make origami snowflakes for your furry pal. The options are endless!

Balls

Floppy sometimes enjoys playing with balls. Just be sure to get ones that are suitably sized for your pet. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Cardboard

Simple cardboard boxes can be lots of fun for Floppy. Make your pet a bunny castle or obstacle course, or just leave one out for her to play with when she’s out of her cage. Add some fresh hay for an instant happy pet! You can also give your furball the rolls from paper towel or toilet paper tubes.

Bigger Cage

Bigger is always better when it comes to bunny cages. Consider upgrading Floppy’s habitat. A larger cage would make a great gift for your adorable pet. Be prepared for that adorable bunny happy dance!
Remember to put Floppy’s safety first! Never give your rabbit anything with sharp edges that could cut her. You also want to avoid anything that is breakable, or has small parts that she could choke on. Ask your vet for more recommendations.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at your Larimer County, CO vet clinic! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us whenever we can be of assistance.

Bunnyproofing Basics

Have you recently decided to adopt a rabbit? If so, you’re definitely bringing a very cute little pet into your home! Rabbits have been charming us for centuries with their adorable little faces and playful antics. Bunnies make wonderful pets, but these little furballs do instinctively chew and dig, and have been known to damage their owners’ belongings and furniture. In order to keep both your furball and your belongings safe, you’ll need to bunnyproof your home. Read this article from your local Fort Collins vet for some great tips on bunnyproofing.

Where To Bunnyproof

Any areas of your home that your rabbit will have access to must be thoroughly bunnyproofed. Kitchens, bathrooms, and hallways are often the easiest rooms to bunnyproof. Some people choose to give their rabbits a room of their own, and just bunnyproof that one room. You will have one happy pet on your hands if you go this route!

Wires

Electrical cords are a high priority when it comes to bunnyproofing. Hide all your wires, or cover them in plastic protectors. This is very important, as your fuzzy pet could seriously injure himself or even start a fire if he chews on a live wire!

Chemicals

Don’t let your little furball loose in rooms where there are household cleaners or other chemicals stored in cabinets he can get into. Medicine bottles, aerosols, and automotive products should all be kept securely away from your pet.

Plants

Many common houseplants are dangerous for rabbits. Research any plants you have to determine if they are safe for bunnies. Toxic plants should be removed entirely or hung in a high spot where your furry pal can’t possibly reach them.

Carpet

If your bunny chews or digs at your carpet, get area rugs or floor mats, and place them over that section of the rug to protect it. You may want to use a ‘corral’ to designate a bunny play zone.

Furniture

Furniture legs should be encased in plastic coating to keep them safe from your furkid’s chewing habits. You can also put cardboard in the space under beds and couches, so your pet doesn’t damage the underside of your furniture.

Do you have any questions about caring for a rabbit? Is your pet due for a checkup? We are here to help. Contact us any time!

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