Poisonous Houseplants and Your Cat’s Safety: What You Should Know

A cat looks at a houseplant.

Houseplants are a great way to bring the outdoors into our homes. Plants can bring benefits of improving indoor air quality, beautifying living quarters, and even easing symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s important to know, however, that some houseplants are poisonous to cats.

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The Big Hack: What You Need to Know About Hairballs and Cats

Orange tabby cat eating out of bowl.

If you are a cat owner, chances are you have heard that bizarre gag-hack-retch combination of sounds from your furry friend. This noise is usually accompanied by a mess to clean up, along with that strange oblong wad of fur—the dreaded hairball. Hairballs and cats seem to go hand-in-hand, but they aren’t always a normal occurrence and can signal a health problem.

The team at Cat Care of Vinings is here to explain more about hairballs, how you can help your cat pass a hairball, and when hairballs mean trouble. 

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Why the Prevention of Heartworm Disease in Cats Is So Important

A cat sits outside.

Because the focus of heartworm prevention is commonly placed onto our canine friends, owners of dogs and cats may be surprised to learn that heartworm disease affects both species. The fact is, cats are equally vulnerable to the bites of infected mosquitoes. And, to make matters worse, while dogs are able to safely receive treatment for heartworm disease, it is incurable in cats. This is why preventing heartworm disease in cats is so important. 

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The Fur Tumbleweeds are Flying! How to Reduce Your Cat’s Shedding

If you are a cat owner that has had to replace one too many vacuums, we know the struggle. How to keep your cat from shedding so much is a common complaint we hear a lot at Cat Care of Vinings. Unfortunately, shedding happens.

Did you know we offer grooming for long haired cats? We don’t always recommend shaving them down simply for shedding, but a lot of owners with long haired cats choose shave-downs to prevent matting and hairballs!

There are some good solutions to reduce your cat’s shedding, which is why we are devoting an entire blog on this hairy situation!

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Cracking the Code: Simple Tips to Improve Feline Mental Health

It’s been proven that cats enhance the quality of their owner’s lives. Just being near them lowers blood pressure, and petting or snuggling with them releases the “love hormone”, oxytocin, known to invigorate emotional well being. 

Since cats benefit us so much by simply being, it makes sense to repay the favor. Understanding and valuing the importance of feline mental health is an intrinsic part of a loving, compassionate, mutually beneficial human-cat relationship.

Love Works Both Ways

Cat lovers know very well the healing powers of feline ownership. Much has been said of the many ways they benefit human health, and perhaps it’s not surprising that human interaction boosts their mood in similar ways.

Human stress goes down when we cuddle with cats, and it happens to cats, too! Studies show dramatic increases of oxytocin after close time with the people they’re bonded with. Unsurprisingly, the strongest foundation for feline mental health may be building on these feelings of closeness and security. 

In other words, it truly is a two-way street when it comes to cat companionship. Contrary to some dubious feline body language, both parties are equally lucky to be in the presence of the other.

Look Good, Feel Good

Another facet of feline mental health actually starts with their physical state.

Like us, cats feel good when they look good. And how do they look good? By working out, of course! Exercising your cat at least 30 minutes every day is essential for a healthy mind and body.

Inherited Skills

Similarly, the installation of a cat tree, catio, window perch, or other vertical vantage point can help feline mental health enormously. They like to employ their predatory skills, so try to find games to play that encourage stalking, pouncing, or ambushing.

Is Scratching Good?

While scratching up furniture or curtains isn’t great, it’s a sign that cats need a proper outlet for scratching. The action gives them a great stretch, relieves stress, and helps shed dead claws.

What They Eat

On the same note, it’s important to watch what your cat eats. A balanced and complete diet that is rich in minerals and antioxidants is critical for optimal cognitive function.

We are happy to discuss whether your cat would benefit from omega-3 fatty acids or nutritional supplements to maintain feline mental health, especially as they age.

The Smart Test

Puzzle balls or food mazes incorporate your cat’s love of food with their ability to solve problems. Likewise, training your cat is extremely important to feline mental health – crate training, leash training, and agility training add significant value to your cat’s life. Plus, you can teach them commands, how to perform certain tricks, or even to use the toilet!

Feline Mental Health

The bottom line is that when your cat feels good, they are likely experiencing optimal health. Since we know that cats hide signs of illness or injury, it’s always a good idea to keep up their routine wellness checks.

If you have additional questions about how to help your cat look and feel their absolute best, our staff is always here for you at Cat Care of Vinings.

Itchy & Scratchy? A Look at Common Allergies in Cats 

Imagine having an itch that just won’t go away. No matter what you do, you can’t figure out how to soothe yourself. And the worst part? You’ve scratched at the itch so much you’ve actually broken the skin and are now suffering an infection. 

The idea of an itch that won’t go away seems unbearable, and yet it’s surprisingly common in our feline friends who suffer from allergies. Allergies in cats are no fun to deal with (especially if you’re a cat!), but when they’re quickly recognized and treated, they can be successfully managed.

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When It Comes to Senior Cat Care, Less Is Not More 

If you’ve been the proud owner of a cat for many years, it’s probably time to consider their aging process if you haven’t already. Cats age faster than we do, and as a result, they benefit from routine wellness checks every 6 months once they hit the age of 8. Increasing their annual exams from 1 to 2 times a year helps to prevent age-related issues and detect health conditions before they become serious. 

Senior cat care doesn’t have to be stressful, and once you know what to expect, you and your cat can move toward the golden years together. 

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All Cats Shed, but What’s Normal, and What’s Not? 

Whether it collects in the corners, gets all over your clothes, or shows up in an elongated regurgitated “ball”, cat hair just comes with the territory of feline cohabitation. A gleaming coat is one of their finer physical attributes, but let’s face it, cats shed. Loose, dead hair is set free 1-2 times a year, usually becoming airborne at some point only to settle in places you’d least expect it. 

Yes, cat lovers must be willing to put up with loose hairs around the house. But is it always part of a normal process, or could excessive shedding be explained by something else?

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The Gold Standard: The Highest Honor For a Feline Friendly Practice

Our vision at Cat Care of Vinings is simple: to provide veterinary excellence to every single one of our valued feline patients. And, by achieving the Gold Standard from the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), we get to do that – and much more! 

Indeed, our feline friendly practice is part of a global movement that supports and elevates cat health. By focusing on the comfort and safety of our feline patients, we reduce stress and anxiety. In turn, this cultivates trust between our veterinarians, patients and their owners.

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When Food Is Not Love: The Rising Cost of Feline Obesity

The ideal weight for a domestic cat is about 8-10 pounds. Some breeds, like the Maine Coon, can top out at about 15 pounds, while Siamese cats may weigh as little as 5 pounds. In striking contrast to these figures, the majority of pet cats in our country are considered overweight or obese. 

The best way to counter the health ramifications associated with too many pounds? Prevention, of course! Staying in front of feline obesity is an enormous responsibility, and we’re here to help our patients live their longest, healthiest life possible.

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