Tag Archives: cat health

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.

Signs That Your Cat Needs Immediate Veterinary Care

Do you have a kitty? Your furball may be very clear about her wishes when she wants food or attention, but she may not be as forthcoming about letting you know when she’s sick. In fact, cats learned long ago to mask any signs of illness, as showing weakness could attract dangerous predators. Therefore, it’s very important for you to be able to recognize any possible signs of illness in your furball. Otherwise, you may not realize that Fluffy isn’t feeling well until she’s very sick! In this article, a local Fort Collins, CO lists some signs of sickness in kitties.

Hiding

While it’s purrfectly normal for Fluffy to want to curl up in a quiet spot at naptime, she should emerge, yawning and stretching and perhaps a bit hungry, after a few hours. If your kitty doesn’t want to leave her hiding place, she could be ill.

Poor Grooming

Healthy kitties always want to look their best. Your feline friend may spend hours each day grooming that pretty fur. Sick kitties, however, often don’t feel up to going through their beauty rituals. Greasy, matted, or unkempt fur can be signs of illness in cats.

Change In Appetite

A change in appetite can also be a red flag. If Fluffy isn’t interested in her dinner, or suddenly starts scarfing down her entire meal, she could be ill.

Excessive Thirst

Excessive thirst can also be a sign of trouble in kitties. To monitor Fluffy’s water intake, fill her bowl with fresh water at the same time every day.

Litter Box Trouble

Litter box issues can be another red flag. If you notice a change in your cat’s waste, or if Fluffy stops using the litter box, there could be an issue. Straining to urinate can also be an indication of a serious medical problem.

Change In Behavior/Vocalization

Just like people, kitties often just don’t act like themselves when they feel sick. If your kitty is usually reserved, but suddenly starts demanding attention, she could be sick. On the other hand, an affectionate kitty that suddenly becomes antisocial could also be ill.

Weight gain or loss, sudden aggression, lethargy, and fever can also indicate illness in kitties. If you see any of these symptoms in your kitty, or if Fluffy just doesn’t seem like herself, contact us, your Fort Collins, CO veterinary clinic, immediately.

Caring for a Senior Cat

Is your kitty starting to slow down? Cats normally age gracefully, but as Fluffy enters her golden years, you may want to make some minor adjustments to your cat care regimen. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet discusses caring for a senior cat.

Mobility

Just like people, kitties often develop aches and pains in their senior years. Your cat will probably still make herself comfortable on your bed or sofa at naptime, but make sure she has at least one good bed of her own. Put it on the floor so she doesn’t have to jump to get into it. If you find her kitty bed becoming her favorite spot, pick up one or two more, and put them in different rooms. Fluffy may also find it difficult to get in and out of her litter box, so look for one that has lower walls.

Handling

Be very gentle when picking up a senior cat. When you put her down, be sure to place all of her paws onto the floor. Don’t let her drop!

Confusion

Kitties often experience a decline in their cognitive functions as they age. Fluffy may forget where the litter box is, or lose her way between the bedroom and kitchen. Interactive play can be very beneficial, as it will keep your furball’s mind engaged.

General Health

Keep an eye on Fluffy’s behavior, and take note of anything out of the ordinary. Hiding; poor grooming; change in appetite, thirst, or vocalizations; and litter box mishaps are a few signs of illness in cats. If you notice any unusual behavior, contact your vet right away.

Diet

Your vet will be able to advise you when it’s time to move your furball onto a senior formula of cat food. Certain supplements may be beneficial to her as she ages. Fish oil, for instance, can help lubricate stiff joints. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Love

Most of all, just do what you can to keep your furry pal comfortable. Make sure that your feline friend feels safe, loved, and secure, and keep up with her veterinary care needs.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, if we can ever be of assistance. We know your pets are part of the family, and we always do everything in our power to keep our furry clients in excellent health.

Is Your Cat Bored?

Kitties are unofficial experts at lounging around and looking cute. Your feline friend can spend as much as 18 hours a day napping! However, even with all that sleep, your furball needs stimulation to keep her happy and amused when she is awake. In this article, a Fort Collins vet discusses boredom in cats.

Signs of Feline Boredom

If Fluffy is bored, she might drape herself over the back of the sofa, staring winsomely at nothing. Bored kitties sometimes try to amuse themselves by knocking small items off coffee or end tables. Sometimes our feline friends will bolt and run to another room for no reason, perhaps to see if there is anything interesting going on in there. Your furball may also follow you around, climb up onto your lap, or try to explore a closet or cupboard to amuse herself. Some cats get a bit destructive when they are bored, so Fluffy might pounce on you. Kitties are also prone to snacking when they are bored, so if your cat seems to be eating a lot, she could be bored.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Furball Amused

Just like people, pets need stimulation to be truly happy. Playtime is great for kitties, as it engages their instinctual behaviors, and allows them to indulge their inner hunters. Mental stimulation is also good for kitties as they age. Senior kitties often experience cognitive decline, much like people do, and stimulation helps prevent that. Also, kitties that are entertained are less liable to indulge in destructive behavior, or misbehave by play-fighting.

Entertaining Fluffy

As they say, prevention is much better than a cure. Keep Fluffy entertained by providing lots of kitty toys. Boxes, paper bags, and kitty tunnels all offer fun spots to explore. A cat tower is also a great option, as it provides a sleeping spot, scratching options, exercise, and, if placed in front of a window, live entertainment. Actually, just watching birds, squirrels, and other wildlife can keep your furball interested for hours. Make sure Fluffy has at access to at least one window with a good view. To make this even more fun for your furball, put a bird feeder outside the window. Some kitties even enjoy watching nature DVDs, particularly those about birds.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health, care, or behavior? Contact us, your Fort Collins veterinary clinic, any time!