Most of us know that large wild cats, such as tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards, can definitely roar. But did you know that because they can roar, they lack the ability to purr? Conversely, the domestic cats we know and love purr their hearts out, but they cannot roar.
The fact that our feline friends purr is one more reason to love them, but that doesn’t mean the mechanism is fully understood. A closer look at why cats purr, and how they do it, may generate an even greater appreciation for these amazing animals.Continue…
Ah, cats! They are fun, playful, loving, and fiercely independent. And, they often confuse us with their antics and behavior. Whatever the personality of your cat, there’s no denying they are endlessly fascinating.
Maybe that’s why at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we never tire of hearing fun cat facts, and we have a feeling you don’t either!
The physical abilities of cats is nothing short of incredible. Did you know that:
There are loads of reasons to adopt a kitten, but you’d be right to pump the brakes if you already have a cat at home. Given abundant time, space and encouragement adult cats or aging seniors can definitely adapt to a new addition. However, their acceptance and tolerance of an interloper/new pal typically do not develop sooner than a few months.
The best ways to introduce a kitten to your resident cat will require preparation, steadfast dedication, and a few of our go-to tips.Continue…
There are core and non-core vaccinations available for cats, and your veterinarian can help you to determine the best course of action for your pet.
Non-core vaccinations, such as those for feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are typically recommended based on lifestyle. If your cat is regularly exposed to the outdoors, these vaccines are worth considering.
What Is FIV?
Feline immunodeficiency virus affects the body’s ability to normally respond to an immune response. Similar to the way HIV can lead to AIDS in humans, an FIV-positive cat has specific challenges related to the immune system. Typically transmitted through bite wounds sustained in cat fights, proactive, effective treatment can help a cat live comfortably with FIV for some time.Continue…
A dog owner generally knows when their pup did something they knew was wrong. With tucked ears, droopy eyes, and a sad-looking scowl, their admission of naughtiness is written all over their face. But while the appearance of shame is super obvious to us, experts aren’t convinced that pets feel guilt the same ways that we do. That doesn’t mean, however, that pets don’t have their own versions of an emotional spectrum.Continue…
Cats sleep an average of 15 hours a day, but there are many that get upwards of 20 hours! When they aren’t dreaming of chasing mice, fighting rivals, or licking their chops for a taste of tuna, cats are highly alert and keenly aware of themselves. To that end, they spend up to half of their waking lives grooming themselves.
What is this fixation on grooming all about? More importantly, what can owners do to help their cats stay clean and encourage healthy grooming? Let’s take a look at cat grooming practices to get a better understanding of this important social instinct.Continue…
There are different reasons to consider adopting another cat, but if you already have an aging feline at home you’d be correct to take pause over the decision. It’s possible your senior cat is out of sorts if they’ve recently lost a friend or littermate, but introducing them to another pet won’t replace their buddy. What’s more, the situation could be fraught with territorial tension that could profoundly stress them out.
All this doesn’t mean your cat wouldn’t benefit from another pal. Instead, with a lot of love, patience and encouragement it could be the best choice of all.Continue…
Every cat boasts an array of uniquely feline physical attributes. Like the color of their eyes or the length of their whiskers, a cat’s fur coat tops the list of what makes them beautiful or handsome.
Aside from aesthetics, however, a cat’s coat is the ultimate indicator of overall feline health. Whether thick and fluffy or silky and smooth, when they feel good, their coats can take on a lustrous quality. But when something’s “off” you’ll likely see it first with a change in grooming habits.Continue…
If you own a cat, you know what mysterious, funny, and independent creatures they are. They can also be extremely loving. But whatever your cat’s personality, the fact is that they are a big part of our lives. So it’s natural that we want to care for them the best we can.
But when was the last time you thought about cat dental health? Maybe…. never? If that’s the case, let us give you some reasons that we should all be paying attention to cat dental health, beginning with our own kitties.Continue…
It used to be that an eight year old cat was considered a senior. But with better nutrition, indoor living, and preventive health care, cats are now regularly living into their teens and twenties. Making that time together the best it can be is one of our most important goals at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital.
Senior cats do tend to be less active and playful, have a harder time getting to their favorite places, and may lose weight. Don’t chalk up behavior or health changes to old age, however. Getting older is not a disease, and physical changes can be often be attributed to health problems and/or dental problems that we can address and treat.
Aging in Cats
Because aging changes happen gradually – without you even noticing them, perhaps – we recommend seeing your older cat twice per year so that we can catch small problems and treat them before they become advanced. Cats are masters at hiding signs of disease, so the quicker we catch these problems, the better your cat can feel.
Special Care for Senior Cats
In addition to routine preventive care exams, there are some simple things you can do to help your cat enjoy her golden years.
Some like it warm – cats like warm places, so make sure your senior cat has a bed or other comfortable resting spots in a warm part of your house. They may have more trouble moving away from discomfort, however, so think warm, not hot.
Easy access – senior cats may have trouble getting to food, water, and their litter box if these places are accessed by stairs, high on perches, or even behind a baby gate or a cat door. Arthritis may play a role as well. Pay attention to any eating, drinking, or litter box changes and assess whether difficulty getting there is having an impact.
It’s a good idea to have a litter box on each floor of your home for easy access, since older felines may also have reduced control over bowels and bladder.
Help her get there – senior cats love their special places but may have trouble getting up to a favorite window sill or perch. You can create box steps or a ramp for cats who can no longer jump up to their special spot. Make sure footing is secure and non-slip.
Gentle grooming – senior cats can benefit from a little help from you in the grooming department. Use a soft brush to remove loose hairs and stimulate circulation. Plus, it just feels good for your cat, and improves your bond. Keep in mind that a sudden lack of grooming may signal a health problem.
Play – although getting a rambunctious kitten for your older cat is not recommended, keep your senior playful with a feather wand, playing “fetch” with dry kibble, or mixing up crinkle mice toys with other novel toys.
Night light – older cats may have waning vision, so you can install a night light for her to help her get her bearings at night. If your cat is blind, try to keep her surroundings consistent (by not moving furniture).
Attention to the basics – good nutrition is important for cats at any stage of life. But senior cats can benefit from a little attention to this necessity. A high quality diet has been shown to improve health and longevity, so talk to us about the best fit for your cat.
Creatures of routine – just like older people, older cats can derive comfort from their normal daily routine. Senior cats may become more dependent on relationships, so make sure to carve out some time every day to spend quality time with her.
As our cats age, they can definitely benefit from a little extra TLC. Special cats (and they are all special, in our book!) deserve special senior care. If you have any questions or need assistance with any of the ideas above, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’re here to help you make your cat’s golden years the best they can be!