Educational Articles

Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Giving pills to cats can be a challenge even for the most experienced veterinarian! The easiest way to give your cat a pill is to hide the pill in food. Soft treats are also available that can be used to hide the pill by molding the treat around it (e.g., Pill Pockets™). If your cat persists in spitting out the pills or if dietary restrictions prevent you from hiding the pills in an appealing food or treat, you will need to administer the pill directly into the cat's mouth. Following pilling your cat, give her some positive reinforcement (e.g., treats, brushing, petting or playing).

  • Although health and nutrition influence the luster and texture of your cat's coat from the inside, regular grooming and skin care on the outside will help keep your cat's coat clean and free of tangles, no matter what type of hair coat she has. Brushing helps to remove loose hairs and dead skin cells, to keep the coat free of dirt, debris, and external parasites, and to distribute natural skin oils along the hair shafts. How often your particular cat needs to be bathed will vary somewhat with her age, lifestyle, and underlying health status. If your cat is arthritic or overweight, she may have difficulty grooming herself properly and you will need to help by grooming certain areas of her body.

  • Bad breath (halitosis) is caused by bacteria, plaque, tartar, decomposing food particles, or death of tissue. Treatment of halitosis in cats involves eliminating the cause(s). The teeth need to be thoroughly cleaned and polished under general anesthesia. Teeth affected by advanced periodontal disease or tooth resorption need to be extracted. Reducing the accumulation of plaque, tartar, and resulting halitosis can be achieved by using VOHC accepted products.

  • Halloween is an annual event that most children, and lots of adults too, look forward to enthusiastically and anticipate a day and evening filled with masks, candy, and pranks all year long! But this holiday can be particularly spooky for the furry children in your family. To make Halloween fun for all of your family members take note of a few Halloween safety tips for your pet.

  • Many pets are sensitive to being restrained for grooming. With slow progress and highly positive rewards, your pet may learn that these are enjoyable activities.

  • This handout outlines the various health registries in existence that strive to improve the health of dogs and cats. Included in this list are the Canine Health Information Center, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Companion Animal Eye Registry, Animal Registry of Certified Health, and the Cat Phenotype and Health Information Registry. Also discussed are canine breed-specific registries, along with the National Pet Microchip Registration.

  • Senior cats need extra care and monitoring to ensure they are enjoying a good quality of life. As cats age, many chronic diseases can develop that can be managed quite well if they are diagnosed and treated early. The best care is achieved through a cooperative relationship between the pet owner and veterinary team.

  • It is estimated that 90% of cats over age 10 are affected by osteoarthritis, making it the most common chronic disease cats face. It is important to develop a plan with your veterinarian to help your cat maintain a good quality of life despite her arthritis. Arthritis management plans include weight loss, exercise, medications, diet, supplements, and modification of the home environment to ease your cat’s daily activities.

  • While the holidays add excitement to the winter months, we cannot forget about indoor and outdoor toxins frequently seen at this time of year. Keeping your pets healthy and safe will help keep the holidays stress free.

  • An increase in your pet’s breathing rate while resting quietly or sleeping is an early clinical sign that your pet may be developing heart failure and needs to see your veterinarian. In general, all normal dogs and cats have a breathing rate of between 15-30 breaths per minute when they are resting. Resting breathing rates that are consistently greater than 30 breaths per minute are increased and considered abnormal. One breath is counted when the chest has moved in and out once. Typically, your veterinarian will have you count the breathing rate once per day for a week while you are learning and then will set up a schedule depending on your pet’s heart health status.

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