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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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. 

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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.

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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.

‘Tis the Season to Address Your Cat’s Quality of Life at Home

As we roll out the red carpet for Santa, it’s easy to feel consumed by the seemingly endless naughty and nice lists. Not only are we distracted by shopping for family meals or neighborhood potlucks, but there are always last minute gifts to purchase, and a million other things to do. 

The collective frenzy of the holiday season can cause us to shift our priorities a bit, and we’d be willing to bet that our cats sense it.  Luckily, with a few minor adjustments, you can improve your cat’s quality of life for the new year that is just around the corner.

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Disaster Planning For Cats

Natural disasters are some of the scariest and most damaging phenomena out there. Since they happen with little or no warning, they often cause chaos and confusion if not planned for in advance.

If pets are a part of your family, it’s important to include them in the family disaster planning and preparation. Cats especially require some specific thinking as you plan how to keep them safe in the worst case scenario.

The team at Cat Care of Vinings wants to help give you the knowledge and skills to make disaster planning for cats a breeze. Let’s get started!

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Kitty Confidential: Common Cat Myths Debunked

Since their domestication nearly 12,000 years ago, cats have long been considered creatures of myth and mystery. From being worshipped in ancient Egypt (a cat cemetery with more than 3,000 cat mummies was discovered!) to being viewed as a symbol of liberty during the Roman Empire, the housecat has had a wild ride through history.

Even in this age of modern technology, many cat myths still abound. Let the team at Cat Care of Vinings debunk some of today’s most common cat myths.

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A Quick Guide to Feline Behavior: What Does It Mean When Cats Hide?

When cats hide, they aren’t simply waiting for you to seek them out. Instead, cats sniff out quiet, dark, seemingly inaccessible places so they can go it alone – especially if they are in ill health. But why do they do this? How can cat owners help? Paying extra close attention to the subtle art of feline behavior is a good place to start.

February is National Cat Health Month; and while we focus on cat health every day, we wanted to take advantage of the spotlight to showcase this often-misunderstood feline behavior.

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A Purr-fect Year: Cat Care of Vinings’ Top 5 Cat Care Blogs of 2018

When it comes to Atlanta veterinary care for those of the feline persuasion, we believe there is nowhere better to turn to than Cat Care of Vinings. Our sincere passion for cats and their care is difficult to match, as is our love for sharing it with cat fanciers near and far.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen our blog’s readership grow faster than fluffy kitten, and we are sincerely grateful that so many of you have turned to our cat care blog time and time again to find the reputable cat health information you and your pretty kitty deserve.

So, without further ado; we offer you…

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Do You Have Doubts About Boarding Your Cat? Let’s Dispel Them.

Boarding your cat can be a great alternative to a pet sitter

Many cat owners believe that their cats are better off at home instead of a boarding facility, since felines are incredibly territorial. However, despite every last effort to ensure their safety and wellbeing, accidental injury or sudden illness can happen while you’re out of town. Sure, a friend, relative, or neighbor might pop in for daily meals, litter box duties, and attention, but unless your cat is being closely monitored in your absence, calamity can occur. Boarding your cat with us is the best solution!

The Difference

The primary reason why cat owners ultimately decide to board their cat instead of hiring a cat sitter is medical care and attention. Veterinary hospitals provide consistent monitoring of daily health and wellbeing, and we know when something is “off”. Our trained staff can address any needs that pop up in your absence.

Additionally, cats that depend on medication, subcutaneous fluid therapy, or specialized diet can have all their needs promptly addressed by a caring, professional staff.

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