Tag Archives: cat grooming

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.

Respect Your Cat Day

Did you know that there’s a very important kitty holiday coming up? March 28th is Respect Your Cat Day! While cats aren’t difficult to care for, it’s easy for us to overlook some of their needs, and unintentionally disrespect them. Here, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers tips on how to respect your feline overlord.

Toys

Make sure that Fluffy has suitable entertainment options. Kitties can get bored, restless, and unhappy with nothing to do! Offer your cute pet lots of toys to push beneath the couch, and take time to play with her daily.

Litterbox

Make sure to keep Fluffy’s litterbox clean. We recommend scooping it out daily, and replacing the litter about once a week. No one likes a dirty bathroom!

Veterinary Care

We know, coming to see us is definitely not one of your pet’s favorite pastimes. Fluffy would probably rather be napping. However, your furball will look and feel much better with proper care. Keep up with your feline pal’s regular appointments. At home, watch for signs of sickness. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.

Grooming

Cats take their beauty routines very seriously, but that doesn’t mean your kitty can’t use a helping hand now and then. Senior cats and longhaired kitties in particular need some help with grooming. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Stimulation

While toys are very beneficial for our feline friends, they shouldn’t be your furball’s only source of entertainment. Make sure your pet has a good window view, so she can watch birds and squirrels. You may also want to leave a TV or radio on for Fluffy if you are leaving her alone. The sound of voices and music will provide mental stimulation, and keep her from being lonely.

Kitty Comforts

Your four-legged pal will really appreciate having a few things that were specifically made to suit her needs. Offer your cute pet some kitty furniture that encourages her to jump and climb. Cat towers are great for this!

Purrs

Cats may pretend to be independent, but at the end of the day, they are quite cuddly and affectionate, and are happiest when they feel loved. Spend time with your kitty every day, and pay attention to her.

Please reach out to us for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. As your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, we are here to help!

Cold Weather Care for Cats

Like it or not, cold weather will be here soon. Winter can be a very dangerous time of year, both for people and pets. Below, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses cold weather care for kitties.

Sleep

Given the choice, most cats would probably be purrfectly content to sleep through winter. Offer your drowsy furball lots of comfy napping spots. However, while Fluffy’s fondness for naps is certainly adorable, it also makes it easy for her to get out of shape. Provide your kitty with lots of fun toys, and play with her every day.

Outdoor Dangers

Cats that go outdoors face many dangers, especially in winter. Deep snow, ice, frostbite, predators, and freezing temperatures are all dangerous to kitties. Chemicals, such as deicers and antifreeze, are also a serious concern. We strongly recommend keeping your furry buddy inside in cold weather. If you do let Fluffy out, bring her in at night, on cold days, and whenever bad weather is approaching. It’s also important to offer your furball a suitable emergency shelter.

Food

Kittens, senior cats, nursing mamas, and kitties that go outdoors may need a bit more food than usual when it’s cold out. Pets that suffer from arthritis or other bone/joint problems may benefit from certain vitamins or supplements. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.

Veterinary Care

Cats with bone/joint issues often get very stiff and sore in winter, and may benefit from pain management treatments. It’s also important to keep up with your furball’s regular veterinary appointments. Ask your vet for more information.

Grooming

Dead fur, dander, and dust all detract from the insulating properties of Fluffy’s fur. Although most of our feline friends are pretty good about keeping themselves clean, some of them –particularly senior cats, fluffy furballs, and kitties with thick coats—need a little help. Brush your cute pet regularly.

Litterbox

Don’t make your kitty use a cold bathroom! Make sure that Fluffy’s personal powder room is in a spot that is easy for her to access and isn’t too chilly.

Cuddles and Purrs

Purring cats make great snuggle buddies! On those cold winter nights, settle in with a good book or movie and your favorite beverage, and let Fluffy curl up on your lap.

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health? We’re here to help! Contact us, your Fort Collins, CO pet hospital, today!

Helpful Tips for Getting Through Shedding Season

Autumn is a beautiful time of year. The changing of the leaves, that first crisp, cool breeze, and the scents of pumpkin, apple, and caramel all have a whimsical charm. For pet parents, however, fall also brings some less pleasant things with it. Many pets shed heavily in fall, as they start growing their winter coats. A local Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on managing your pet’s shedding in this article.

Regular Grooming

Regular brushing is one way to help control your furball’s shedding. While it won’t reduce the amount of fur your pet loses, it will trap that dead hair in the brush. The more fur you get with a brush, the less you’ll find stuck to your clothes and furniture! Choosing the right tools is very important: different types of fur need different types of brushes. A shedding blade, for instance, may work on some pets, but a simple brush may be better for others. Ask your vet or groomer for recommendations.

Housecleaning Hacks

Did you know that a squeegee is great for removing pet fur from furniture? A dry kitchen sponge can also be very effective. Another way to manage your pet’s fur is to use washable furniture covers, at least during peak shedding times. Look for something that is easy to slip on and off.

Other Tips

Pets that go outdoors tend to shed more than those that spend most of their time indoors. This is because being outside exposes your furry friend to the seasonal weather changes that trigger shedding cycles. There’s no way to avoid walking your dog, of course, but kitties can stay inside. Fluffy’s also safer indoors, so this is a win-win solution!

Diet

Proper nutrition is crucial to your furbaby’s health. A good, high-quality diet will help keep your pet’s fur shiny and healthy, and may reduce shedding. Ask your vet for specific recommendations, including supplements.

Keeping Your Clothes Fur-Free

When it comes to removing fur from your clothes, a good lint roller may be your best friend. Another thing you can try is wrapping duct tape around your hand, sticky side out, and use that. Or, simply dampen the palm of your hand, and wipe your clothes off that way.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health? Call us, your local Fort Collins, CO veterinary clinic, anytime!