Tips for Preparing Your Cat for Summer

A cat playing in the sprinklers.

Summer is just around the corner, and whether you have a cat who stays strictly indoors or a nature-loving explorer who enjoys the great outdoors, we’ve got tips to help you keep your fabulous feline cool, safe, and comfy all summer long.

Follow these helpful hints from our compassionate team of cat-loving experts, and your cat will be well-equipped to take on the dog days of summer!

Continue…

Can You Train Your Cat Not to Bite or Scratch?

A cat scratching a couch.

Just as birds fly and fish swim, there are certain cat behaviors that are highly specific to their species. Many are learned, but quite a few simply come with the territory. Cats have finely-tuned instincts that enable them to hunt with accuracy. Of those instincts, biting and scratching are common traits associated with the ways cats play. The good news is that you can train your cat to play without getting hurt, and they’ll enjoy all your attention towards that goal.

Continue…

When You Trim Your Cat’s Claws Well, They Won’t Mind At All (In Theory)

Cat's claws.

Claw maintenance is just one of those things in the world of cat ownership that you really can’t ignore. Like human nails, your cat’s claws will keep growing until they either break or grow into their paw pad (ouch!). And, if your cat is like the ones we know and love, they probably spend a good amount of time every day sharpening their claws into little razors. We understand the trepidation, but trimming your cat’s claws doesn’t have to be stressful, scary, or painful. Without tips and tricks, the experience can be easy and fun!

Continue…

How to Identify Anxiety in Cats

An anxious cat hides under a bed.

A cat with an anxiety disorder is a frightened cat. Something has happened in its life to make the cat fearful. It could have been loud noises, mistreatment, a fall, or any event that caused trauma. If your cat is overly sensitive to sounds or abrupt actions, anxiety is likely the cause. A specialized cat veterinarian can diagnose this condition and help you understand how to address it. 

Continue…

Working at Cat Care of Vinings

Have you ever wondered about what it’s like to work at Cat Care of Vinings? It takes a team full of multi-talented individuals to make sure that our patients and clients are taken care of. Most of you know Dr. Mike and have an idea of what she does, but did you know that there are always five or six people behind the scenes helping her on any given day? 

Continue…

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. 

Continue…

Basic Kitten Training for Lifelong Health and Happiness

A kitten climbs out of its carrier.

Cats seem like they come perfectly skilled at living with humans, as if the learning curve to cohabitation doesn’t apply to them. While it’s true that cats are pretty savvy at picking up the routine of a new household, they do benefit from learning some basics from their owners. 

Luckily, kitten training is fairly straightforward. When they know what to do (and, perhaps more importantly, where to do it!), cats can enjoy lifelong health and happiness at home. 

Continue…

Taking Your Cat to the Vet Is Necessary, But It Can Also Be Fun!

A furry white cat receives a scratch under the chin. Taking a cat to the vet can be a chore, so have as much fun as possible with it!

As a practice with certified Fear-Free professionals, Cat Care of Vinings goes to great lengths to ensure our feline patients are comfortable while they’re with us. It is our privilege to care for your cat and we take everyone’s emotional well-being into consideration during your pet’s appointment. To that end, we provide a calming environment throughout our hospital, apply careful handling techniques that minimize stress and anxiety, and customize each visit to the needs of the individual cat. 

A huge part of the fear-free equation is the at-home preparation needed prior to coming in with your cat. We know it’s not always easy to get your cat to the vet, but together we hope we can change what the veterinary experience means to our feline friends.

Continue…

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.