Tag Archives: Vet

Indoors vs. Outdoors

My cats are 99%  indoor cats and I would never think of letting them roam freely outside.  My opinion on indoor vs. outdoor depends on where you live.  If you live in the city please don’t let your cats roam freely outdoors.  If you live in the country and it’s not highly populated (except with animals, lol) than I’m ok with people letting their cats outdoors.

Risk for Indoor City cats that are let outside and cats that are strictly outdoors:

  • Health issues: worms, ear mites, rabies, URI (upper resporatry infection) among many other illnesses.
  • Annoyed neighbors who don’t appreciate cats using their gardens as litter boxes.

Another thing to consider is that indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats.  Indoor cats tend to live from 12 to 20 years of age, while outdoor cats typically live  10 years, and stray/feral cats live to 5 years of age.

Today I saw a dead cat on a country road.  It always breaks my heart when I see dead cats on the road.  I’m sure everyone has heard about the cat who got shot with an arrow.  On Instagram someone had their cat stolen, numerous cats have been run over, and a cat died when he fell off a fence.  If these cats would have been indoor cats, their deaths could have been prevented.  Harsh, but true.

I do occasionally take my cats outside with a halter and leash.  Eddie and Java hate it outside, while Dac loves it.

Advertisements

Head, Ears, nose, and eyes, nose and eyes.

When I got Dac I noticed her eyes were constantly running.  When I took her to the vet, he said he really couldn’t do anything for her.  The tube between her eyes and nose are plugged on both sides so instead of fluid draining into her noise it drains out of her eyes.  He said he could do surgery, but it may not work or the tubes could close up again.  He said the draining out of her eyes wouldn’t affect her health so I just let it be.  I will occasionally clean her eyes, but usually I just let her be.  I have noticed she occasionally cleans her eyes so that makes me happy.

Cat use their ears to balance (humans also use their ears to help them balance).  Their tail also helps them balance, but is not essential for balancing.  Dac has just a stub of a tail and can balance exceptionally well.  If you do ever get an outdoor cat, make sure the vet checks for ear mites.  Dac’s ears were filled with ear mites and after she got medicine they were gone.  Dac’s ears are now clean and ear mite free.  Ear mites are extremely contagious so it is important to check outdoor cats regularly.

There you go: head, ears, nose, and eyes, nose and eyes.

Camera360_2014_8_4_123239_jpg

Anti-Vet?

Anti-vet??  This is a question I often mull around in my head.  I have concluded I’m half and half, let me explain.

I grew up in the country and often visited my Uncle’s farm.  I was taught that animals were not “permanent” and could be replaced.  If an animal was sick it was put down and we got a different animal.  Also our dogs got run over a lot, for some reason.  We tried to train them to stick around the yard, but it never seemed to work.  I was attached to the animals I grew up, but not too attached.

My mullings on being anti-vet have started when I joined Instagram.  I often see people pleading for money to help a stray animal or help with a large vet bill.  This is where it gets a little grey.  I am totally for people helping animals, but don’t understand pumping thousands of dollars into an animal.  I have often thought what I would do if my cats got sick and it would cost hundreds, if not thousands to get them well.  I think, because of the way I was brought up, I would put them down.  I love my cats dearly and each is unique in their own way, but I’m not rich so I would never be able to afford a massive bill and I don’t feel right pleading with people for money.

I’m all for animals getting fixed and strongly encourage people to fix their cats and dogs.  We have far too many dogs and cats in this world and we don’t need to keep adding to the overpopulation.  I also believe in vaccinating animals, but haven’t done enough research into it to really give an opinion on it.

My other thought is instead of pumping hundreds or thousands of money into one animal, why not donate that type of cash to a no-kill animal shelter?  Instead of saving one animal, you could be saving several if not more.  I totally get that some people view their animals as their children and would do anything for their children.  And your money is your money and you can spend it as you see fit :).  My cats are my fur children and I love them dearly, but I can’t justify putting tons of money into getting them well if they would fall sick.

Also I grew up frugal and know that money doesn’t grow on trees.  I also went for a period of living on no money for 7 months and never want to do that again so any leftover money I have goes into a savings account.  My other thought is if I were ever to get a $1000 vet bill, it would take over 10 months to pay it back.  Ouch!!!  What are your thoughts on paying hundreds or thousands of dollars on vet bills for animals?

Allen and I.
Allen and I.

Vet or No Vet

I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and I’m a paranoid mother.  When ever my cats being to act a little abnormal I panic.  I have come up with a list to know whether I need to go to the vet or not.

Is my cat sick:

  • Has my cat not eaten within the last 24 hours?
  • Has my cat stopped drinking?
  • Is my cat hiding? (this is normal behavior for my cats, but I know what abnormal hiding is).
  • How’s elimination? (This can be hard with multiple cats.  I’m use to studying poop because of my job so I know what each cat has done in the litter box, lol).
  • Are my cats sleeping all the time? (Again you really have to know your cat to figure this one out.  My two oldest aren’t that active, but Dac is.  If Dac stopped playing, I would be very concerned).

I take all these things into consideration before I make the decision to head to the vet.  Luckily (knock on wood, I’m not superstitious, but sort of, lol) I haven’t had to take my cats to the vet for anything serious.

If you cat is having seizures, having trouble breathing, unconscious, or ingested something poisonous head to the vet ASAP.

6tag-1282201065-714508452202851212_1282201065
Is this normal or abnormal??

 

Obesity in Cats

Found this on facebook and thought I would share it:

“Fat Cats. I used to love fat cats when I was kid. I didn’t know what sort of problems it created for the kitty, I just saw a cute and loveable furball. Some cats are built big, Maine Coons, Scottish Folds are a bigger frame but most cats are about 8-11pounds. When I read 3 extra pounds on a 10 lb. cat is equal to 45 extra pounds on a 150 lb. person I freaked!

October is Pet Obesity Awareness month so over the next coming months I will be bringing you some not only tools and solutions to help kitties shed some pounds but also stories from cat lovers sharing what they have done to help their baby lose weight. I look down at my kitties and think these are my best furfriends and don’t I want my best furfriends to remain by my side for as long as possible?

When cats are obese it can create problems like and not limited to: heart disease, a reduced life span, joint problems, ruptured cruciate ligaments, labored or difficult breathing, fatigue/exercise intolerance, greater risk for heat stroke/heat exhaustion, greater susceptibility to fatty liver disease, diabetes, and osteoarthritis, Arthritis, creates joint and structural damage, respiratory problems, heart disease, kidney problems…they can’t even jump up on our laps or scratch their chins because they can’t get their leg up poor things.

Hey, I love pampering my babies and when I was younger I used to be a push over for some sad eyes and of course the incessant meowing didn’t hurt. As I got older I realized if I really loved my kids I would make sure they had the healthiest and happiest life condition I could provide for them and that means the fleeting moments of joy provided by treats was nothing compared to the many memories I could create if I didn’t give in to their every demand. I knew this wasn’t going to go over well with the cats but I would make up for it by playing with them more and spending more time cuddling. I kept sticking to my guns and stopped giving in – even though it drove me nuts for a couple of weeks.

Eventually they learned. I hope I am not coming off as one of those people trying to tell you how to raise your fur kids, if I am that was not my intention, I just know that there are those of your out there that feel the same as I do, like we are here to protect them and make sure they get the best we can provide, some times even beyond what we would even do for ourselves”.

https://www.facebook.com/cat.addicts?fref=nf

http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felineobesity

Samson.  One of the farm kittens.  He's one the special kitties (he's fixed :)).
Samson. One of the farm kittens. He’s one the special kitties (he’s fixed :)).
Hisser.  One of the farm kiities.  He's special because he has used up almost all of his nine lives and he's fixed.
Hisser. One of the farm kitties. He’s special because he has used up almost all of his nine lives and he’s fixed.

Dac got fixed

So DAC went into heat and was driving me nuts with her constant yowling at 3 am.  The solution was easy: a trip to the vet.

On Monday I brought her to the vet.

Tuesday she came home and my cats hated her for the day.  They thought she was gone for good.  She was her almost spry self.  I tried putting a onesie on her so she wouldn’t lick the stitches, while that lasted 7 hours before she was out of it.  Now I’m just watching her like a hawk (she is a licker, but leaving her stitches alone so far).

Wednesday she was back to her nutty self.  Oy, I thought she would take it easy after major surgery, but no.  I’m hoping she knows her limit.

Thursday she was even more wild. I thought getting her fixed would slow her down, but no.  I have a couple of new scratches from her.  Taking it easy is not in her vocabulary.

WP_20140413_008

 

 

Thigh or drumstick??

Dac hurt her leg a couple of months ago.  She was suddenly running around on 3 legs.  It lasted two days and then she was limping.  I have no idea what she did as she is one crazy cat.  I decided not to take her to the vet because it didn’t look too serious and I had just spent $150 on her.  Also she was back to her usually nutty self quite quickly and I’m thinking she might have some deformities because of the length of her tail (it’s a mutation because she is not a manx).  The only residue effect has been a slight limp and her sitting and lying in really weird positions.

WP_20140413_001
Relaxing and chilling. Watching some T.V. with my mom.
WP_20140415_008
Droooool, look at all those birds. I want out NOW.
IMG_4212
Mom, where are you going? Why don’t you stay home and hang out with me?? I’m so much more fun than your three goats. Goats are boring, I’m nutty and entertaining.

Obesity in Cats

I cringe every time I see an extremely obese cat.  I don’t think their cute and I think the owners are cruel.  To get the most out of life cats need to be an ideal weight.  Cats love to run, play, and jump and cats can’t do this if they are obese.  Below is a chart that gives a visual on what an ideal weight looks like.

A lovely chart that describes the perfect weight for cats:  www.pfma.org.uk/_assets/weigh-in-wednesday/pet-size-o-meter-cat.pdf

If I look at my cats I would stay Dac is on the thin side.  She is still growing and has an amazing amount of energy so I’m keeping a close eye on her to make sure she fills out.  She has been to the vet and he didn’t say anything about her being thin so I won’t worry about it too much.  Eddie is the ideal weight, but he does have a sagging belly.  Java is borderline ideal and overweight.  She loves to eat and since I feed everyone at the same time I have to watch that she doesn’t steal the other cats food.  I know that if I don’t keep an eye on her she will very quickly become an overweight cat.

My cats are fed throughout the day.  I don’t leave food out for them to eat throughout the day.  My cats are pigs and I know that if I put their portion for the day they will eat it all in one sitting and then whine non-stop for more food.  I once put out food for two days and for some reason I came back a few hours later and the food was all gone.  I use to put their daily ration in a bag and then feed them throughout the day (I now know that they get three feedings from the cup I use to measure food).  Or you can feed them at breakfast, supper, and right before bedtime.  Another option is to use an automated feeder.  Just make sure to do your homework because I’ve heard some are garbage: http://www.catfooddispensersreviews.com/

If you have an obese cat I would recommend visiting a vet for a check up and then putting them on a weight reducing diet.  Also try to get your cats more physically active.  My cats love chasing a laser and it can sound like a herd of thundering elephants when they chase it.  Also they love chasing balls.  I throw it and they chase after it.  It also gives me a workout because they don’t know what fetch is so I do quite a bit of walking.

If you love your cat(s) please make sure they are an ideal size so as to extend their life expectancy.

IMG_4325
My baby Dac. When she stretches out she reminds me of a Dachshund. She has a super long body and not much fat on her body. She isn’t full-grown so she will fill out yet.

Adoption of a Kitten or Cat

“Hey I want a cat” you say and I would reply “Whoa, have you thought this through”?

I got Eddie on an impulse, but I grew up around cats and I always wanted to have cats.  Also I knew I wasn’t moving any time soon after moving around 7 times in 14 years (I can’t exactly remember how many times I moved back in with my parents :)).  I know that I have lived in 4 apartments and now my condo in 14 years.  The one strike I did have against me was that I wasn’t in a financially stable position so it did add-on an expense.  I also knew there wouldn’t be any new humans in the house for a long or ever time.  I guess I had given it some thought, but hadn’t thought through the timing of getting a kitten.

Some things to consider before getting a cat:

  • Where is your life heading in the next 15 years?  That is the average life expectancy of an indoor cat and some live while into their 20’s.
  • Will you be able to care for a cat for the next 15 to 20 years?
  • Can you tolerate cat hair and having to vacuum A LOT or brush the cat A LOT?
  • Do you have finances in place for cat food, vet bills (they are EXPENSIVE), and litter?

I see red when people get rid of a cat because a new baby comes into the family, they change furniture and the cat no longer matches (that is the stupidest reason I have ever heard of), or because the cat scratches too much.   I know some circumstances you can’t prevent and you have no choice but to surrender your cat.  I don’t have an issue with these people and can understand their pain at having to say good-bye to a family member.  I have issues with people getting rid of their cat because they did not think it through and it was an impulsive decision and they now regret it.  Think before you get a cat.

Please make sure you do your homework before adopting a cat and make sure it is something that you can commit to for the long-term.  Another thing to consider is do you have the time for a cat?  Yes cats aren’t like dogs and need lots of walks and such, but cats still do need time with humans to play and be loved.   Cats should NOT be treated like a piece of clothing that you can discard and get rid of as you please.

Now if you have considered this all and you can say that you can love a cat and take care of it for the next 15 to 20 years, than congratulations and go get yourself a cat.  There are many in shelters that are looking for a forever home and there are so many cute kittens and cats out there.

uwantakitten
I am so very cute, but can you love me and take care of me for the next 15 years?

Camera360_2014_3_24_094100_jpg