Posts in Category: Pet Health & Wellness
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.
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.
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.Continue…
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.Continue…
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?Continue…
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.Continue…
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.Continue…
Although cats consistently beat out dogs for the title of “Most Popular Pet,” owners don’t bring them in to see a veterinarian as often as their canine counterparts. In fact, studies show that veterinarians see 5 dogs for every 1 cat. As cats get older, they’re even less likely to make it in for a wellness exam.
Anyone who’s ever owned a cat probably isn’t surprised by this statistic. Cats are notoriously resistant to their carriers and often experience high levels of fear and stress while at the clinic. As a result, millions of cats don’t receive the health care they need. Because cats are hardwired to mask signs of illness or injury, regular visits to the veterinarian are critical.
At Cat Care of Vinings, we take the bond between cats and humans seriously. We know cat owners don’t want their pets to suffer, yet the importance of regular wellness exams cannot be overstated. With this in mind, we’re proud to have certified Fear Free professionals at our practice and want to share the benefits of what this means to our patients.Continue…
It is good news is that humans are living longer, healthier lives. But the great news is that our cats are living longer, healthier lives too! Our feline companions used to be considered “getting up there” at around age 10 or 12 years of age.
Now, according to Cornell University Feline Health Center (CFHC), that figure needs to be adjusted downward to 6 to 7 years of age. According to CFHC, the idea that one human year equals seven cat years is incorrect: a 10-year-old cat is really closer to 53 in human years, and a 15-year-old cat is more akin to a person aged 73! Continue…
This year is rapidly coming to a close, and we all have the opportunity to look back and consider the moments that made 2017 special. For the team at Cat Care of Vinings, so many of these moments have been with our patients and their families. We are so grateful to have had moments of laughter, tears, and learning with you!
Speaking of learning, one of our passions is learning more about cats and their care, every day. That’s why we spend time writing our blog, and we hope that it has been informative, fun, and a way for you to learn, too. Looking back, we have compiled our Top 5 Cat Care Blogs of 2017 and we’re sharing them with you here.
Have you ever wondered why we check your cat’s mouth and teeth during a regular wellness exam? Besides the fact that we leave no stone unturned, we look under the lips, around the gums, the tongue and throat because periodontal disease affects 85% of all adult cats. Like parasite prevention and proper nutrition, the state of your cat’s oral health and hygiene largely contributes to overall wellness and longevity. Think feline dental care is a big deal? We do, too!
Your cat is hardwired to mask problematic symptoms as a method of self-preservation. Because of this, your cat could be suffering from painful dental problems or periodontal disease and you’d be none the wiser. That’s why we take a full account of your cat’s oral health at his or her annual (or biannual) exam. Ignoring the importance of feline dental care can be disastrous, leading to shorter life spans, painful systemic infections, emergency situations, and dental extractions. Continue…
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