Tag Archives: cat health

Caring for an Aging Cat

Did you know that cats are officially considered seniors by the time they are 11? Our feline friends usually age slowly and gracefully, so you probably won’t’ notice major changes happening very quickly. However, as your furry buddy grows older, you will want to make some changes to her care routine. Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet offers some advice on caring for an aging kitty.

Grooming

Older kitties sometimes have trouble reaching their entire bodies to groom themselves. Brushing Fluffy gently will help keep her fur from getting matted or tangled. This is a good time to check your pet for bumps, bruises, or other signs of trouble.

Playing

Playing is actually great for your kitty! Running and jumping keep her in shape physically, while timing those pounces offers her mental stimulation. Try to play with your feline pal every day. Don’t worry about overdoing it: if Fluffy gets tired, she’ll just walk away and find her next napping spot.

Kitty Luxuries

Fluffy will spend most of her retirement napping and relaxing. Make sure your home has plenty of comfy kitty napping spots. Store-bought beds are fine, but your furball will also enjoy sleeping on an ottoman or chair with soft blankets.

Safety

We recommend that all cats stay indoors. This is especially important for older kitties! Fluffy won’t be as quick or agile as she once was, and may not be able to escape predators. She may also forget how to get home, and will be at higher risk of getting lost.

Confusion

Just like people, cats can get a bit confused and forgetful in their golden years. Fluffy may forget where her water dish is, or get lost on the way to her litterbox. She may meow loudly to vocalize her angst. Just try to soothe her.

Litterboxes

Speaking of litterboxes, you may want to get one with low sides. We also recommend keeping litterboxes on every floor of your home. That way, your cat won’t have to navigate the stairs as much.

Purrs

The most important thing you can do for your feline buddy is just pay attention to her, and make her feel loved. Just be very gentle when picking Fluffy up or putting her down!

Please contact us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, for all of your senior pet’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Fluffy’s Goals for 2020

Happy New Year! Are you making resolutions for 2020? If so, your feline buddy will no doubt monitor you closely as you strive to make your new goals. Kitties certainly do like to keep a close eye on their owners! In fact, if Fluffy could make resolutions of her own, she may very well vow to supervise you more carefully. What else do you think your pet would want to achieve? A Roanoke, VA vet lists some options in this article.

Sleep More

Sleeping, as you may know, is Fluffy’s favorite pastime. Some of our feline pals can spend as much as 20 hours a day snoozing! Your drowsy furball may try to improve her napping times this year. Or, she may just want to experiment with dozing off in new places or positions.

Catch That Red Dot

Kitties are always super cute when they’re feeling playful. Interactive play is great fun for Fluffy. If you are controlling that red dot or feather toy, your frisky pet won’t know what her prey is going to do next. Try to play with your cat every day.

Help Around The House

Fluffy is very grateful for the love, food, and care you offer her. Your thoughtful pet may try to reciprocate by giving you a helping paw. Don’t be surprised if your furry friend tries to ‘assist’ as you change the sheets, wrap gifts, or fold laundry!

Distribute Fur More Evenly

Our feline friends have beautiful coats, and they thoughtfully try to share them with us. Fluffy may want to spread her fur around a bit more evenly this year.

World Domination

You may have heard the quote about how cats have never forgotten the fact that the ancient Egyptians considered them divine. Kitties certainly do have a very smug, superior look at times. Have you ever wondered why there are so many cat memes and videos on the internet? Is Fluffy actually trying to take over the world? 2020 may be the year we find out!

Spend Time With The Humans

Kitties are very emotional little furballs, and are always happiest when they feel loved. Fluffy may want to squeeze in more cuddle and lap time this year.

All of us here at Old Dominion Veterinary Clinic, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, want to wish you and your pets a wonderful new year. Please contact us anytime!

Understanding Your Feline Friend’s Hairball Production

Do you own a cat? If so, hairballs are a part of life for you and your feline friend. They’re certainly not pleasant to look at, and it doesn’t seem very pleasant for Fluffy when she coughs one up, but are they dangerous? Learn more here from a Roanoke, VA vet.

Why Do Hairballs Occur?

Your cat grooms herself often, as you know. When she does, tiny barbs lining the tongue pick up much of the loose hair from your cat’s coat. She swallows that hair, and most of it gets moved through the digestive tract normally and is ultimately expelled in the feces. Some of the swallowed hair, however, remains in the gut, clumping together over time to form a hairball. That gets regurgitated eventually, likely accompanied by a small bit of stomach fluid.

Do Hairballs Hurt My Cat in Any Way?

No, the occasional hairball doesn’t hurt your cat. It’s a natural part of life! There’s absolutely nothing to worry about if you see your cat cough up a hairball every now and then.

If your cat coughs up hairballs frequently, something could be causing her to shed more than normal. You’ll want to have your pet checked out at the vet’s office to be safe. Additionally, if your cat is gagging and retching but not producing anything, rush her to the vet’s office—your pet could be choking, or the hairball itself could be lodged in the esophageal tract.

Last but not least: vomiting and coughing up hairballs is not the same thing. If your cat is vomiting frequently, it’s time to see the vet.

How Can I Help My Cat Experience Fewer Hairballs?

You’ll be happy to learn that there are a few simple steps you can take to have your cat cough up fewer hairballs. That’s more pleasant for her, and it leaves less of a mess for you! First, brush your cat regularly; this removes a lot of the loose hair from Fluffy’s coat, preventing her from swallowing it in the first place. Secondly, make sure that your cat is receiving a high quality diet that contains all of the proper nutrients. When your cat’s nutrition is in tip-top shape, her coat of fur stays healthy with minimal shedding.

Does your cat need a veterinary exam? Schedule your four-legged friend’s next appointment right here at your Roanoke, VA animal hospital. We’re here for you!

7 Ways To Keep Your Cat Happy and Healthy

Cats are very cute and lovable pets, and they have many charming qualities that have helped them earn places in our homes and hearts, as well as on our laps. One great thing about these cuddly little furballs is the fact that they are quite easy to care for. However, they aren’t completely independent. Fluffy needs good TLC in order to thrive. Here, a Roanoke, VA vet discusses keeping kitties happy, healthy, and purring.

Good Food

Proper nutrition will go a long way towards keeping your cute pet in good health. Offer Fluffy the best pet food you can afford. Treats are fine, but don’t go overboard. If your feline pal becomes obese, she could develop some very serious health issues!

Clean Litterbox

While cleaning litterboxes isn’t the best part of having a kitty, it is necessary. We recommend scooping daily, and changing the litter every week or so.

Beds

You may have noticed that cats are rather tired. Apparently, looking cute and doing nothing is really exhausting! Offer your sleepy furball plenty of comfy napping spots. Store-bought beds are great, but Fluffy probably won’t turn her nose up at a soft pillow or blanket in a box.

Playtime!

Cats are hunters by nature, so they are more or less wired to pounce and jump on things. Take time to play with Fluffy every day! Also, make sure she has plenty of things she can play with by herself when you’re out.

Stimulation

You may not think boredom is much of a problem for kitties. However, cats can get irritable, lonely, and unhappy with nothing to do, especially when they are home alone. Fluffy will appreciate having lots of nooks and crannies to explore. Pet furniture is great, but boxes, paper bags, and newspaper tunnels will also work. Kitties also like looking out windows, so offer your furry little voyeur a comfy spot with a good view.

Veterinary Care

It’s probably safe to say that Fluffy would rather take a nap than come visit us, but don’t be swayed. Proper veterinary care is crucial for your cat’s health! Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.

Love

Love is the magic ingredient in any pet care routine. Pay lots of attention to Fluffy, and make sure she feels loved!

Please contact us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We offer great veterinary care!

7 Reasons to Brush Your Cat

Cats have many wonderful qualities, but one of the best things about them is the fact that they are so clean. Fluffy will carefully groom herself every day. However, your furry little diva will still benefit from being brushed. Read on as a local Roanoke, VA vet lists some great reasons to brush your feline pal regularly in this article.

Hairball Prevention

One benefit of brushing Fluffy regularly is that you’ll be capturing that fur with a brush before she can swallow it. (We all know what happens when cats swallow too much fur. Suffice it to say, this is not the best part of having a kitty.)

Circulation

Grooming is also good for your feline pal’s circulation. While it isn’t absolutely necessary to brush Fluffy for this reason, it certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Kitty Comfort

Some of our feline friends—such as senior cats, obese kitties, and pets with chronic pain—have a hard time reaching their whole bodies to groom themselves, and may need a helping hand. Brushing Fluffy will help her stay more comfortable, since, as one can imagine, dirty hair feels matted and itchy.

Insulation

Did you know that your four-legged pal’s fur has insulating qualities that not only help her stay warm in winter, but keep her cool in summer? Dead fur and dander interfere with the insulating abilities of your cat’s fur coat. Therefore, brushing Fluffy will help keep her comfortable temperature-wise.

Health Checks

While brushing should never replace veterinary appointments, it does give you a good chance to check your kitty for signs of injury or illness, such as lumps, bumps, cuts, or lesions. Call your vet right away if you notice anything unusual.

Less Fur Everywhere

This one’s a definite bonus! The more of Fluffy’s fur you can capture with a brush, the less you’ll find stuck to your sofas, chairs, carpets, and clothing. (Tip: use a squeegee, rubber dish glove, or a damp sponge to remove dead fur from upholstered surfaces.)

Purr Activation

Last but not least, brushing your cat is a great way for you to spend some quality time with her and keep that little motor going. Kitties are always happiest when they feel loved and safe and purrhaps just a little bit pampered.

Please reach out to us, your local Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!

Your Cat’s Aversion to the Litterbox

Has your cat been eliminating outside of the litterbox, creating messes on your carpets and floors? About one in every 10 cats will experience a litterbox aversion at some point in their life! Here, your Roanoke, VA veterinarian tells you what to do if your feline friend has shunned her bathroom.

See the Vet

First things first—schedule an appointment to have your cat examined at the veterinarian’s office. There is a chance that medical issues, including infection, injury, or disease, could be the cause of your cat’s behavior! You’ll want to have any medical problems taken care of so that your cat doesn’t suffer further.

Many of our older feline companions suffer from arthritis, which can make it difficult for your cat to hoist themselves into the box. Try using a litterbox with low sides if you have an arthritic cat.

Placement

One of the main reasons that cats decide not to use their litterbox is because of where it’s located. Our feline friends are picky about this sort of thing; they don’t want to be disturbed while doing their business. Put the litterbox in a quiet, low-key area of the house where your cat won’t be interrupted by human family members or other pets. In most homes, a basement or laundry room works well.

Cleanliness

Who wants to do their business in a dirty bathroom? Not your cat! If you don’t clean Fluffy’s litterbox often enough, she may decide to go elsewhere. We recommend scooping out your cat’s waste on a daily basis, and changing all litter about once a week. This will ensure that the litterbox stays fresh and will further entice your cat into using it regularly.

Litter Preference

There is a wide variety of litter types out there, and different cats like different ones. There are scented versions, different granule sizes, different base materials… the list goes on and on! You may have to do some experimenting to find a litter type that your cat enjoys using. Ask your veterinarian for help.

Negative Association

If your cat was startled or injured while using a litterbox early on in life, she may associate negative things with the litterbox now. This kind of issue might take the help of a professional animal behaviorist or trainer to correct; ask your vet to put you in touch.

For help with your cat’s bathroom habits, call your Roanoke, VA vet.