Despite the fact that cats are more prevalent as pets than dogs, only about one cat per every five dogs receives regular veterinary care, and there are a number of factors that contribute to limited veterinary visits for cats. Consider these tips and tricks to make your cat’s visits to the veterinarian easier.
Keep Up with Your Cat’s Health
There are a number of factors that contribute to limited veterinary visits for cats. According to a survey by Royal Canin, two-thirds of cat owners simply believe cats have fewer health issues than dogs. However, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), routine check-ups are vital for giving cats long, happy and healthy lives.
Cats age more rapidly than humans, and they are quite adept at hiding sickness and pain, making it difficult to know if there is something wrong that requires veterinary attention. Hidden diseases commonly go untreated for this reason, which is why the Take Your Cat to the Vet initiative was created to spread awareness about the importance of preventative feline veterinary care.
For example, up to one-third of cats over the age of 12 have some form of kidney disease. Managing the progression of the disease, if caught early, can be accomplished with a proper diagnosis and reduced-phosphorous diet. Your veterinarian may recommend an option like one of the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet® Renal Support formulas as part of a treatment program.
Obesity is also a common problem for cats that can lead to more severe health issues down the road. In fact, multiple studies indicate that more than half of the nation’s domestic cats are carrying more weight than they should. A veterinarian can help with dietary recommendations and other suggestions to help trim your cat’s waistline, along with screening for the onset of secondary complications.
Another common cat ailment is urinary stones, which can be extremely painful and cannot normally be detected without professional evaluation. Regular visits to the vet can help assess your cat’s risk for developing stones and determine nutritional changes that may help prevent a problem.
Vet visits are also an opportunity to let your veterinarian know about any behavior changes and implement preventive care measures, which can be more effective than reactive care once a problem is revealed.
However, the very act of getting to the vet can be traumatic for cat owners and cats alike. Repetition is likely to help alleviate those concerns as your cat becomes more accustomed to the process, helping to put you at ease as well. In honor of the Take Your Cat to the Vet initiative, consider these tips and tricks from the experts at Royal Canin and the AAFP to make your cat’s visits to the veterinarian easier:
1. Get your cat familiar with a carrier. Getting your cat into the carrier is often the most difficult part of getting him or her to the vet. Start by leaving the carrier out at all times and make it a safe place by placing food or a cozy towel inside. Using a secure, stable, hard-sided carrier that opens from the top and the front that can also be taken apart in the middle is best. When traveling, it’s also a good idea to place your cat in the carrier rear-first, cover the carrier with a blanket and avoid bumping into things while carrying it.
2. Make the vet visit a positive experience. It’s easy to imagine that vet visits can seem scary to a cat. Feeding your cat veterinary-approved treats from carrier to clinic can help create a positive connection with the trip and distract your pet from the busy waiting room or examination.
3. Take advantage of slow times at the clinic. The waiting room of an animal hospital can be loud and full of unfamiliar animals and smells, making it a chaotic and overwhelming environment. Ask if certain days or times are slower than others. Scheduling appointments at those times may help your cat feel less overwhelmed by a new environment.
4. Give your cat practice exams. In the examination room, your vet will give your cat a full examination. To make your cat comfortable with being touched in such a manner, consider giving him or her practice examinations at home and positively reward your pet for letting you look at and touch his or her stomach, feet, face and ears.
5. Talk to your vet. Your veterinarian is your best partner to help your cat feel comfortable inside and outside the clinic. Discuss with him or her other ideas to help make visits less stressful.
To learn more about the importance of taking your cat the vet, visit royalcanin.com/cat2vetday.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Farmers use antibiotics in farm animals for the same reason antibiotics are used in people – to treat, control and prevent disease that causes pain and suffering.
The Importance of Animal Antibiotics
Farmers use antibiotics in farm animals for the same reason antibiotics are used in people – to treat, control and prevent disease that causes pain and suffering. Keeping farm animals healthy helps improve food safety for all of us by reducing bacteria in the food supply. Learn more about the benefits of treating animals with antibiotics at animalantibiotics.org.SOURCE:
Phibro Animal Antibiotics
Summer is officially here and while it may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend. By keeping your cat healthy, hydrated and active with these tips, your family will be able to enjoy more time together and get the most out of the season.
4 Summer Health and Safety Tips for Cats
(Family Features) Summer is officially here and while it may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend. By keeping your cat healthy, hydrated and active, your family will be able to enjoy more time together and get the most out of the season.
“For both people and cats, hydration, proper nutrition and overall healthy habits are imperative to fully enjoying the summer months,” said Dr. Ernie Ward, veterinarian and IAMS Cat spokesperson. “To live their best lives, cats need to feel healthy from the inside out and much of that stems from what they eat. It’s important to look for a premium cat food that includes high-quality protein to help your cat maintain strong, lean muscles and incorporate healthy vitality.”
These tips from Ward can help keep your cat active, healthy and safe during the summer months. For more information on establishing healthy habits for your furry friend, visit IAMS.com/visibledifference.
Focus on food – Cats are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. Ward recommends IAMS High Protein cat food, which is formulated with 84 percent animal protein – more than the leading dry cat brand*. The high concentration of high-quality chicken and salmon helps maintain strong muscles and keep cats active.
Other key elements to look for in a high-quality dry cat food include:
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
Keep hydrated – Cats need to stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather. Make sure their water dishes are always full and place a few dishes throughout the house. If there are certain rooms your cat is drawn to or if the family is spending quality time in a different area, have water readily available so pets can easily quench their thirst and avoid dehydration.
Photo courtesy of Grace Atwood of The Stripe
Prioritize playtime – Though they tend to sleep a lot, cats need exercise, too. Playing a cat and mouse game with your furry friend is one way to give him or her necessary exercise and create a fun bonding experience. Toys that can encourage cats to get off the couch are a great way to get engaged in a little aerobic activity.
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
Eliminate clutter – Cats are curious by nature and it’s no secret that they tend to explore even the highest or smallest nooks in the house. It’s nearly impossible to keep an eye on your cat at all times, so it’s important to create a safe environment at home. Tuck cables and cords away, limit the amount of free-standing, sharp or glass objects and keep hazardous chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, locked away to help reduce the possibility of illness or injury.
*Based on Nielsen sales data and in-market packaging as of March 11, 2017. Comparison does not include specialty products.SOURCE:
The holiday season is synonymous with family gatherings, dinner parties, gift openings and plenty of festive food, all of which can pose challenges for pets. This advice can help keep pets safe, healthy and happy this holiday season and throughout the cold winter months.
Keep Pets Safe, Healthy During the Holidays
Lisa Darling, DVM, PetSmart's resident veterinarian and pet care expert, offers this advice for keeping pets safe, healthy and happy this holiday season and throughout the cold winter months.
Create a Safe Home
Christmas trees can also pique the interest of curious cats and playful pups. Darling urges pet parents to firmly anchor trees so they can take any potential playful swatting and to keep breakable glass ornaments higher up on the tree, out of pets’ reach, along with temptations like tinsel and ribbons.
Candles can also be problematic, so it’s best to avoid burning them or put them far out of pets’ reach. Seasonal plants like holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs and cats, so if you plan to decorate your home with them, place them in an area your pet cannot reach.
Savor the Season
“Table scraps such as turkey, gravy and stuffing may look harmless, but even small amounts can lead to serious health issues,” Darling said.
Instead, include pets in your festive feasting by offering them pet-friendly treats that look and taste like the real thing. An option like Simply Nourish Merry Meals, in flavors like Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry, are healthy alternatives to the human food on the holiday table. Additionally, PetSmart’s meat and cheese tray, pie slice and turkey leg made of rawhide are fun takes on holiday feasting specifically formulated for pets.
Keep Them Calm
“Before company arrives, try putting your dog or cat in a Thundershirt, which is designed to provide a calming effect when they experience fear or discomfort,” Darling said. “Many pet parents also find that supplements can work by promoting calmness and behavior which may help stabilize pets’ moods.”
Keep Them Cozy and Warm
Darling says that sweaters, coats and booties to protect their paws are all smart (and comfortable) solutions. Booties are particularly important for icy areas that may be salted and can help guard paws from the harmful solution.
A safe home is a happy and festive home this holiday season. Keeping these tips in mind can help avoid emergency trips to the vet, which means the whole family can celebrate a joyful holiday season.
It can be dangerous to feed human food to pets. This holiday season, look for human-inspired treats specially formulated for pets – like this turkey leg-shaped rawhide chew.
Find more pet-friendly tips for the holidays at PetSmart.com.
Photo courtesy of PetSmartSOURCE:
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