About Cats

A healthy pet is a happy pet.

Proper nutrition, regular check-ups, and good grooming are key elements in assuring your pet stays healthy and happy.

 

But there are many factors to consider when deciding what is right for your cat, such as what and how much to feed him/her, and why it’s important to spay/neuter.

 

Many people choose cats as pets because they think that a cat is an easy pet to live with — one that is self-sufficient– not as “needy” as dogs are. Actually, cats often cause lots of mishap and mayhem. Fortunately, most cat behaviour problems have simple solutions.

Spaying/Neutering

Cat's Diet

Cat Grooming

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Spaying your female Dog at an early age greatly reduces her risk of developing pyometra and certain types of cancers, including breast cancer. Neutering your male protects him from testicular cancer, prostate disease (including cancer) and hernia.

 

It is good for you, too!

Sterilization eliminates the need to breed, producing a calming effect on the animal. Many aggression issues can be resolved or prevented by spaying or neutering your pet. Intact males tend to spray, (spraying urine around the house). Female dogs in heat can attract males from great distances, right to your doorstep! Likewise, intact males may roam in search of such females.

 

Spaying your female dog will eliminate the bloodstains on your furniture that may result from her cycle. Neutering your male will prevent embarrassing behaviour, like him mounting Old Aunt Gracie’s leg at Christmas. Millions of unwanted dogs of all ages are euthanized each year or live on the streets as a result of pet overpopulation.

 

Please help us stop pet overpopulation by spaying or neutering your pet. Spaying (technically called Ovariohysterectomy) is the surgical removal of the ovaries. Neutering (technically called Castration) is the surgical removal of the testicles. We advise that you neuter your dog at about 6 months of age. The younger the dog, the easier and quicker they recover.

Read the labels and choose the best brand your budget will allow. Adult cat food should offer 28-32% protein, and 10-12% fat. The first ingredients should be meat. Cats are carnivores.* If the first three or four ingredients are carbohydrates (wheat, corn, soybean) than choose something else.

 

Kittens require higher levels of calories, vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and protein than older cats. Look for packages labelled “Kitten” or “Growth” formulas. Most Supermarket foods like 9 Lives, Friskies and Whiskas are designed for adult cats (unless specifically labelled otherwise). Adolescent and Adult cats require much lower amounts of key nutrients than kittens, so keeping them on kitten food could lead to health problems later in life. Beware of foods labelled “for any age” because that is impossible.

 

Feed Schedule

Kittens aged 6 - 12 weeks               4 x per day

Kittens aged 12 - 24 weeks             3 x per day

Kittens aged 6 months - 1 yr            2 x per day

Adult Cats1 yr - 6 yrs                      1 or 2 x per day

Senior Cats 7+ yrs                           2 or 3 x per day

 

Once your cat is about 7 years old, the digestive system begins to show signs of aging. The kidneys begin to lose their ability to handle waste materials excreted in the urine and foods become difficult to digest. Senior foods are formulated to accommodate these changes. Your senior cat’s sense of smell may be diminishing or diminished. This can be serious for cats, as many of them rely on the aroma of the food to stimulate their appetite. There have been cases of geriatric cats that have refused to eat once their sense of smell was gone. A more aromatic food can help, or you might try microwaving the food for a minute to stimulate the appetite.

 

It is not recommended to leave free access to food throughout the day (with the exception of pregnant Queens) as it can lead to overeating and obesity. We do it anyway, because with the number of cats we have it is impossible to monitor who is eating what and someone may go without if we pull up the food too early, but if you can do it, we advise you offer your cat food for about 1/2 hr. and then remove it until the next meal time.

 

So what if you are like us, and have a multi cat household and cannot monitor who eats what? Well, if your crew consists of adults and seniors- your best bet is to go with senior food. However, if you have kittens in your crew (you will need to feed them more often anyway) we advise you feed them separately.

Most cats enjoy being groomed. They like the attention. To get your cat into the habit, start the grooming sessions with regular petting and caressing. Allow enough time for her to sniff your extended hand and accept the attention before you touch her. Stand your cat facing away from you and softly stroke her all over.

 

1.

Start by using a metal comb working your way down the sides. For long haired breeds, you may need to untangle some of the snarls with your hands.

 

2.

Switch to the rubber brush, and work your way down the sides and under the chest. To get out some of that loose fur and prevent shedding, brush hair upward, and then smooth back down.

 

3.

Apply a few drops of coat conditioner, and finish off with a soft cloth for a healthy shine.

 

Massage

You might think the idea of massaging your pet is a bit much, but the physiological and psychological benefits of massage are as real to animals as they are to humans. Massage improves circulation, increasing the supply of oxygen to the muscles. It relieves pain, easing muscle spasms and chronic stiffness. Studies have shown that massage can alleviate symptoms of depression and reduce stress – in the recipient pet and the masseur! So let’s get started!

 

Massage is easy to learn and take only a few minutes. But first, you have to be in the right frame of mind. Take a few deep breaths and let outside worries fade away so that you can focus on your pet – and only your pet. Animals can be sensitive to our feelings, so don’t try it in a bad mood.

 

Begin by speaking or singing softly some endearing words in a soothing tone over and over a few times to get your animals attention. You probably already have something you say all the time (”who’s my little pumpkin puss? ”, ”I love you Sadie, pretty lady” – whatever).

Allow enough time for her to sniff your extended hand and accept the attention before you touch her.

 

Never make first contact with the top of the head or face, always approach from the shoulder. Even your own dog or cat can become alarmed by your reaching for her from on top, and the point of the massage is to relax them, right?

 

Stroke your hand down your pets back and see how long it takes. Now, slow it down. Repeat the stroke in double the amount of time. It may seem like a waste of time, but the pets really like this slow movement. Repeat several times, and gradually put light pressure in the strokes without increasing speed. Look for positive feedback. For cats, this will be purring, blinking, drooling, sleeping or self-grooming and for dogs could be licking the lips, sleeping, or simply a relaxed body posture and love eyes.

We know and understand that your pet is a highly valued member of your family. Our philosophy here is to treat all our patients with gold standard care, from the moment they come in our door, until they leave. This applies to both the medical and surgical patients, whether day patients or longer term.

Direct Contact:

Telephone: (090) 64-74020

Fax: (090) 64-73217

Email: midlandvets@eircom.net

Address:

Bonavalley,

Athlone,

Co.Westmeath

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