Tag Archives: cat health

Signs Your Cat is Happy

September may very well be Fluffy’s favorite month: it’s Happy Cat Month! Cats are definitely very complicated little furballs. It isn’t always easy to tell if a kitty is in a good mood or not. After all, our feline friends can be purring and affectionate one minute, only to randomly bite us the next. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet lists some signs that you have a happy cat.

Playfulness

Friskiness is definitely a sign of a satisfied kitty. If your cute pet loves to pounce on things, and clearly enjoys it when you play with her, you’re doing something right!

Relaxation

We know, even unhappy cats sleep a lot. The thing you want to look for here is where and how your furry buddy falls asleep. If Fluffy has no qualms about sprawling out in the middle of the floor, it’s a good sign that your kitty is comfortable in her domain.

Smug Look

Our feline overlords have an adorable way of looking smug and self-satisfied when they are content. That superior expression Fluffy gets sometimes is a great sign!

Interaction

Although some cats are just more outgoing than others are, even shy kitties often have a favorite person they interact with the most. If Fluffy reacts when you talk to her, comes when you call her, follows you around, or even talks back to you, she’s probably pretty pleased with her life.

Clean Bill Of Health

Does your kitty get a thumbs-up from the vet at her appointments? That’s also a positive sign! While of course even the most pampered pet can fall ill, if Fluffy is getting good care, it will show in her exam results. You can also tell a lot by your furry pal’s appearance. Clear eyes, smooth fur, and a good body weight are all great signs. Healthy cats are happy cats!

Affection

Cats are very thankful for the love, food, toys, catnip, and care we give them. Fluffy often expresses her gratitude just by being affectionate. Your furball may hop into your lap, head butt you, curl up with you at night, or just quietly hang out with you. (She may also thank you by bringing you dead rodents, but that’s another topic.)

Please contact us, your local Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re dedicated to offering excellent care!

Signs of Sickness in Cats

February is National Cat Health Month. Kitties are very easy to care for, but they aren’t as invincible as some of them seem to think. They also instinctively try to hide signs of illness. This is because in the wild, showing weakness can attract predators. Therefore, it’s important to watch for warning signs. Here, a Fort Collins, CO veterinarian lists some signs that your feline buddy is sick.

Hiding

Some kitties are scaredy-cats, and will bolt for their favorite hiding spot when the doorbell rings. Fluffy   may also take a nap in a quiet spot. However, if your pet seems uncharacteristically withdrawn, and doesn’t want to leave her chosen hiding place, something could be wrong.

Poor Grooming

Cats are usually very meticulous about keeping themselves clean. However, just like people, they don’t always keep up with their beauty rituals when they’re sick. If Fluffy ignores her fur, it will soon start looking unkempt.

Reduced Appetite

Kitties can be finicky, but a lack of appetite is far more serious than simple fussiness. If Fluffy just isn’t interested in dinner, there may be something wrong with her. Sudden increases in appetite can also be a sign of sickness, as can changes in water consumption.

Vomiting

The occasional hairball is more or less ‘purr’ for the course with our feline friends. Frequent and/or excessive vomiting, however, is definitely not normal.

Fever

Fever is as much of an indicator of illness in cats as it is in people. If Fluffy seems unusually hot, contact your vet.

Litterbox Woes

Changes in the amount, texture, color, or odor of Fluffy’s waste can be signs of sickness. Straining to go is also a huge red flag.

Respiratory Issues

Your feline pal should breathe quietly, at least when she isn’t meowing at you. Fluffy may sneeze occasionally, but she shouldn’t gasp, wheeze, or cough.

Unusual Behavior

To be fair, if we recommended that cats come in every time they did something unusual, our waiting room would be overflowing with kitties 24/7. What you want to look for is behavior that isn’t normal for your pet. For example, if Fluffy is normally very aloof, but suddenly starts demanding attention, she may be ill. Changes in vocalizations can also be a warning sign.

As your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care for cats. Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Tips For Playing With Your Cat

Kitties are very playful, which is one reason why they make such fun and entertaining pets. Fluffy is super cute when she is pouncing on a catnip mouse or chasing the dot from a laser pointer! Actually, playtime benefits your furry friend both mentally and physically. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some tips on playing with your cat.

Know The Benefits

Playing is a great way to keep your pet happy and healthy! Your furry pal will not definitely benefit from the physical activity. Pouncing, jumping, and running will all help keep your furball strong and fit. She’ll also get mental stimulation, which is great for her emotional well-being. Plus, playing will burn off any excess energy she has, leaving you with a calmer, better-behaved pet. Last but not least, playing is a great way for you to bond with your kitty and make her feel loved and safe.

Set A Schedule

Cats are very much creatures of habit. Fluffy may stick to a set schedule for naps, meals, and cuddle time. Try to play with your feline buddy at roughly the same time each day. Even five or ten minutes a day will be beneficial.

Keep Toys On Hand

Many people like to relax at the end of the day by watching TV. Keep a laser pointer or wand toy handy near your favorite lounging spot. This will make it easier to incorporate your kitty’s play sessions into your personal down time.

Let Fluffy ‘Win’

Our feline pals are actually quite emotional. If Fluffy never ‘catches’ her prey, she may become discouraged and lose interest in playtime. Make sure to let her win sometimes.

Use Toys You Control

Fluffy should have some things that she can use by herself, such as catnip mice. However, when you play with your furry buddy, use toys that you control, such as wand toys and laser pointers. This will make playtime both more fun and more challenging for her.

Don’t Encourage Attacks

Kitties are skilled predators in the wild, and they like to practice their hunting skills on, well, pretty much everything. Many furballs use their humans as toys. Don’t encourage Fluffy to bite or scratch you! This is bad petiquette, and can actually grow into dangerous behavior.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime. We’re always happy to help!

Taking Your Cat to the Vet

August 22nd is Take Your Cat To The Vet Day! Of course, given the option, Fluffy would rather celebrate Spoil Your Cat Day, Hug Your Cat Day, or Take Your Dog To The Vet Day. We know that most of our feline patients would rather stay home and take yet another nap than come visit us. However, proper veterinary care is crucial to your kitty’s health and well-being. A Fort Collins, CO vet discusses taking Fluffy to the doctor in this article.

Fluffy’s Appointment Schedule

How often your pet needs to come in will depend on her age, lifestyle, and health. We recommend that all furballs be fixed, spayed or neutered, and kept current on vaccines and parasite control. Generally, adult kitties should come in at least once a year. If Fluffy is a senior, is allowed to go outdoors, or has medical issues, she may need to come in more often. Ask your vet for specific advice.

The Trip

Most cats are not particularly fond of car rides. There are some ways to make the trip a bit easier on your kitty. If Fluffy only sees her carrier before appointments, she may immediately be on edge when she spots it. Leave the carrier out between appointments, and put comfy bedding and some toys in it. On the ride, keep a window cracked, and play some soft music for your furball to meow along to. Also, try to avoid sharp turns, bumps, and sudden stops or starts. If your feline pal is extremely nervous, ask your vet about using cat-calming products.

Emergency Care

If you know or suspect that your pet is sick, schedule an emergency visit right away. Cats tend to be very secretive when they are ill, and often try to mask signs of illness. Some warning signs to watch for are hiding, poor grooming, respiratory issues, uncharacteristic behavior or vocalizations, vomiting, diarrhea, litterbox issue, and changes in food or water consumption.

Coming Home

Even if your kitty protests all the way to the clinic and all the way back, she’ll likely calm down very quickly when she gets back to her domain. Get Fluffy’s motor going again by offering her a yummy treat or a new toy. Some extra cuddles may also be in order.

Please reach out to us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

Fluffy’s Thanksgiving Plans

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Many people are starting to make plans for the autumn holiday. As it turns out, our feline pals may also have a few things on her agenda. Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses Fluffy’s Thanksgiving plans.

Supervise

Kitties like to keep a close eye on their human friends. Your feline friend will no doubt supervise you carefully as you prepare for your guests. She may even follow you around from room to room!

Steal Chairs

If there’s one thing Fluffy can’t resist, it’s a warm, cozy napping spot. If any guests get up from the table, your furball may immediately hop into that recently-vacated seat.

Naps!

Watching people and napping can be very tiring for our furry companions! After observing your guests for a while, your feline buddy will probably start yawning, and curl up for a nap, possibly on someone’s coat.

Find The Allergic Person

Kitties have a rule about people with allergies. If one person in the room is allergic to Fluffy, there’s a good chance that she will gravitate to that specific person.

Socializing … Or Not

If Fluffy is friendly, she may spend some time hopping from lap to lap, or just going around the room collecting forehead rubs and ear scritches. Shy cats, on the other hand, may spend a chunk of their day under the bed.

Beauty Ritual

Kitties certainly aren’t shy about grooming themselves. Don’t be surprised if Fluffy starts cleaning her bottom in the middle of a room full of guests!

Dinner

Fluffy can definitely have a special treat. Just be careful with what you offer her. Plain, cooked meat, chicken, or fish are fine, as long as you remove the skin, bones, and fat. Your kitty can also have some canned tuna or chicken in water; a bit of shredded deli meat; cat milk; or sodium free broth. Never give your cat dairy products; meat on the bone; raw meat, dough, or yeast; chocolate; nuts; caffeine; alcohol; or anything seasoned with garlic, onions, scallions, or chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; pitted fruits; and anything that contains xylitol.

More Naps

After a long day of being petted and eating, Fluffy will probably be tired, and ready for some snuggles. Kitty purrs are definitely something to be grateful for!

Happy Thanksgiving! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime!

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!

5 Things to Consider When Adopting a Cat

Are you considering adopting a new kitty? We love seeing cats go to wonderful homes. Choosing a cat can be tough, however: they’re all adorable! If a certain furball has already captured your heart, you may already have your mind made up. Otherwise, there are several things to consider before adopting. Below, a local Fort Collins, CO vet lists some things to think about before adopting a cat.

Age

Kittens, adult kitties, and senior furballs all have their own charms. Kittens are, of course, irresistibly cute. Adopting a kitten also allows you to raise your furbaby from an early age. Baby cats do require more care, however, and can definitely be quite a handful. Adult kitties are also wonderful, and can make great, loving pets. Senior kitties are great as well, and are often very sweet and calm.

Breed

While every kitty has their own purrsonality, certain breeds do have specific characteristics. Some, like the Siamese, are quite talkative. Other kitties, like Ragdolls, may be known for being mellow cuddlebugs. Of course, if you decide you want a specific breed, don’t assume you won’t find your kitty in a shelter: humane societies often have cats of every kind.

Other Pets

Do you have other furbabies? If so, look for a kitty that has lived with other pets before. This will increase the odds of your pets getting along.

Cost

Just like any other pet, kitties need good food, comfortable living conditions, and regular veterinary care to thrive. Fluffy will also need litter and toys. Before committing, make sure you can afford to give your furball proper care.

Time

While our feline friends can do very well as only pets, they can get lonely if they’re left alone frequently. If you’re out a lot, you may want to consider getting two kitties. Your furballs can play together, and keep each other company while you’re away. Look for a bonded pair, two kittens, or two calm, sociable adults.

Commitment

Adopting a pet is a lifetime commitment. Kitties are very emotional, and can be traumatized by a change of ownership. If you’re thinking of bringing a new furry friend into your home, make sure you can commit to Fluffy for the rest of her life.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO animal hospital, anytime!

New Year’s Resolutions for Kitties

Do you plan to make any resolutions this year? This is a great time to set some personal goals, and clarify your priorities for 2016. Of course, our feline friends have some goals of their own. Kittens, in particular, have a lot of growing to do, both physically and mentally. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet makes an educated guess on what little Fluffy’s resolutions would look like.

Perfect My Powers Of Cute

Cats are adorable, and we’re pretty sure they know it. One look into that furry little face is often all it takes for humans to be completely enchanted by their baby felines.

Gain Complete Control Over My Humans

As the saying says, ‘Dogs have owners, but cats have staff.’ Our feline friends use tactics like meows, purrs, leg rubs, and cuddles to ensure that they have us wrapped around those little paws!

Grow Up Strong And Healthy

A proper diet, regular veterinary care, a clean litterbox, and lots of love will help your tiny furbaby grow into a happy, healthy adult kitty.

Don’t Scratch Or Bite The Vet

Going to see the vet may never make the list of Fluffy’s favorite things to do, but it’s for her own good! We use caring techniques to keep our feline patients calm during veterinary appointments, but we appreciate the thought!

Scratch My Tower, Not The Furniture

Kitties need to scratch, but they don’t necessarily need to scratch the sofa. Teach your furball to use a scratching post or tower now, while she’s little.

Never Let My Human Go To The Bathroom Alone

Many of our feline friends follow their owners into the lavatory. Is this one of Fluffy’s Golden Rules?

Stop Pouncing On My Human’s Toes And Fingers

Cats are predators at heart, so it’s only natural for little Fluffy to want to perfect her hunting techniques. Unfortunately, she’ll probably want to practice on you. When your kitten attacks you playfully, tell your frisky furball to play nice, and then ignore her until she does.

Get Lots of Sleep

We’re pretty sure little Fluffy won’t have too much trouble achieving this goal!

Happy New Year! All of us here at Fort Collins, CO vet clinic are looking forward to serving your kitty’s veterinary care needs in 2016 and beyond. We love watching kittens grow from adorable baby felines into healthy adult cats.