Tag Archives: cat safety

Adopting a Stray Cat

Have you made friends with a stray kitty? Perhaps Fluffy just showed up on your doorstep one day. Or, maybe you’ve spotted her in your yard on occasion. Chances are, it didn’t take long for your new feline friend to melt your heart. Why not give her a forever home? A Roanoke, VA vet offers tips on adopting a stray cat below.

Considerations

Not all strays will make good pets. Others need a lot of time to go from homeless furball to purring lap cat. It’s worth noting that there is a big difference between stray and feral cats. Strays have been around people before. In fact, many of them are former pets themselves! Feral cats, on the other hand, are completely wild. (An interesting note on this: there’s no physical difference between stray, domestic, and feral cats. However, only domestic kitties hold their tails up. This may be Fluffy’s way of announcing that she has humans.)

Convincing Fluffy

Cats all have their own purrsonalities. Some strays are quite friendly, and will nonchalantly stroll into your home and sprawl out on your couch. Others will be quite scared, and may spend a lot of time hiding, especially at first. A trip to the vet’s is definitely in order, but aside from that, just give Fluffy time to settle in.

Settling In

You may want to keep Fluffy in a quiet back room at first. A spare bedroom or utility room is perfect. Make sure your pet has comfy bedding, food, water, toys, treats, and, of course, a litterbox. You’ll want to spend time with her, but don’t force attention on her. Also, let her come to you. This is very important for building trust! Sit on the floor, cross-legged, hold a treat out, and call her to you. We strongly recommend keeping your cat indoors, however. Play with your kitty daily to burn off excess energy.

Building Trust

It may take some time for your new furball to truly learn to trust you, and realize how comfy the life of a pampered pet is. Offer Fluffy lots of great care and TLC. Many former strays become so comfortable and happy with their humans that they lose all desire to go outdoors. You’ll have that little motor going before you know it!

Please reach out to us, your Roanoke, VA vet clinic, anytime. We’re happy to help!

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!