Friday, December 7, 2018

A few holiday reminders to keep your cat safe and anxiety (for you and your cat) to a minimum.

With the holidays quickly approaching,  it is easy to become distracted by  long to-do lists. Be sure that YOUR CAT  is included in your holiday planning.
Enjoy the holiday delicacies, but be very aware that most table food is not appropriate for your cat. Reactions from unusual and inappropriate foods can range from mild gastrointestinal upset  to severe toxicity. Beware of chocolate, onions, garlic, fatty meat scraps, bones, poultry carcass and meat wrappings/strings.  A few small pieces of cooked unseasoned meat as a topping to their regular meal should not be a problem for most cats, after all, it is a celebration!
Deck the halls. Safely! Secure your Christmas tree to prevent tipping, especially if your feline is prone to climbing or you have a kitten. Avoid any water additives for made to prolong the life of your tree. Many of these can be harmful to your cat if they chose to sample ‘the new water bowl’. Avoid fragile ornaments or lights. Tinsel is especially dangerous to cats as many find the texture irresistible for chewing that could lead to an intestinal blockage if ingested. Shiny bows and sparkling ribbons can easily become cat toys, and be ingested.   Many common holiday plants (holly, mistletoe, lilies, and poinsettia) are dangerous if eaten.  
Visitors can be stressful; especially for your cats. Provide a safe cat sanctuary as a retreat if things become boisterous. Cats may feel uncertain about traveling through high traffic  areas to get to their food and water or litter box. Be conscious of open doors. As new guests arrive, be sure to safeguard against the opportunity for an unplanned outside cat adventure. FELIWAY is your cats best friend around the holidays.  Use it daily to help your cats thru the chaos of holiday parties, company, visitors.
Traveling with your cat? Be sure to desensitize your cat with frequent, short trips before jumping into the car for a trip over the river and through the woods. Ask your veterinarian for treats or supplements that may lower their anxiety levels; many of which should be started days or weeks before leaving. FELIWAY is a great product for use in the car and carrier. Be prepared to make frequent stops for the comfort of your cat and schedule accordingly. Create a pet packing list! Include bowls, litter, medications, comfort items, and of course their favorite food. COMPOSURE  is a cat treat that is formulated to help your cat handle stressful situations.  NUTRICALM is a liquid supplement that is a great addition to a cat's canned food in times of change.
If your cat is on prescription medication or a veterinary prescription food, be sure to stock up before the holidays.    Know your veterinarian’s holiday schedule. If an emergency happens and your cat needs veterinary assistance, do you know where to go and who to call if your regular veterinarian is closed for the holidays? It is always good to have an emergency number handy in case it’s needed.  This is true especially  during holidays when normal business hours may be unpredictable.

The holidays should be a special time for both you and your cats.  Preventing the unexpected is the key. Be safe.  From our cats to yours, have a purrrrfect  Holiday Season!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Healthy Reasons To Own A Cat (or two...)

Any cat owner will tell you that having a cat in their home has infinite benefits, but did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that pet ownership is good for your health?
They’re good for your heart: We all know that having a feline companion can lower your stress levels. Even a quick lap cuddle can release calming chemicals into your body which lowers blood pressure.  Lower stress can actually lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and a stroke by around 30-40 percent.
Keeping your cat happy may help you heal: A cat’s purr creates vibration at a frequency that has been shown to have a positive healing effect on joint mobility following injuries by promoting bone strength and helping to heal soft tissue. The vibration of the purr has even been shown to help with infection and to reduce swelling.
Cuddling with you kitty improves your sleeping habits: Multiple studies have reported that the majority of people with cats in their home sleep better with their cat in their bed than with a human companion.  Better sleep has been show to promote overall health, better memory and creativity, and even increased productivity on the job. Who doesn’t feel better after a good night’s sleep?
Less sneezing: The National Institutes of Health released a study in 2002 that found that children who were exposed to a cat during their first year of life are less likely to develop allergies as they grow up. And not only pet allergies! Allergies to dust mites, ragweed, and grass are also less common.
Crazy cat ladies (or gentlemen) are more intelligent: In one study, cat lovers scored higher in intelligence and were more likely to have a college degree that those who consider themselves ‘dog people’.
Your kitty may manage  symptoms of depression and mental illness: Loneliness has proven to be a large factor in many disease including depression and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Who can deny that their pet is a positive influence in their life and gives them a reason to get out of bed each day (to fill the food bowl for breakfast if nothing else)? Studies have shown that having a pet in the home is beneficial for individuals with Autism or suffering from PTSD.
They teach us to enjoy the little things in life: Take a lesson from you furry friend. Cherish the simple things. If your cat can get joy out of cardboard box, a dancing red light from a laser pointer, or the jingle from a rolling toy, you can surely take a few moments from your busy day to find something that makes you smile.
So now you know. Not only is your cat a loving member of your family, but they do an important job. Keep your cat healthy and they’ll keep you healthy!  Now, time to cuddle the cat.

If you enjoyed this blogpost, please share with your friends!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Keep the claws, train the cat -use FELISCRATCH

FELISCRATCH, a brand new product to encourage appropriate scratching behavior, is now available at Fox Valley Cat Clinic.


 Feliscratch  works  in 3 different  ways:

1.    The pheromone message directs the scratching to the surface where the product has been applied.

2.    Catnip contributes to attract your cat to the scratching post

3.    Blue stained lines that mimic the visual message of the scratch marks

Feliscratch is proven effective!

1.    With unwanted scratching on both vertical and horizontal surfaces

2.    In cats exhibiting unwanted scratching or newly adapted cats/kittens

3.    With single or multiple cats in the same household

 Once you have successfully drawn your cat to the appropriate scratching surface or post, rewards should be readily available to encourage repeating the appropriate behavior.

 Training a cat to use a scratching post can be a challenge.  It is accomplished by enticing/rewarding the cat when it uses an appropriate surface. Rubbing catnip or a desired treat on the post and/or holding treats or toys part-way up the post can encourage stretching and scratching. A recent addition to the battle of inappropriate scratching, Feliscratch can easily be applied to the post to entice your cat or kitten to scratch where you want them to scratch!


Scratching is very instinctual for cats. The act of scratching is believed to act as general maintenance for the claws, a way to stretch their muscles, as well as to leave visual markers for other cats.

  Working with a young kitten may prevent inappropriate and destructive scratching as an adult.  Start FELISCRATCH early!  Provide your cat  with both vertical and horizontal services that are appropriate for scratching. Vertical scratching posts must be sturdy and able to support your cat's full adult weight and tall enough to allow your cat to stretch out completely.

  Most cats prefer wood, cardboard, rough rope or fabric. Place scratching posts in areas that are agreeable to your cats such as in view of windows or in sleeping areas, and close to feeding stations. Multiple cat households need plenty of scratching locations –remember, cats do not like to share.

 To deter inappropriate scratching it may be effective to place double-stick tape on surfaces that you want the cat to avoid. If scratching continues, restrict your cat's access to specific rooms or areas that contain the objects. Trimming the nails often and/or the use of products such as Soft Paws may also be effective in protecting surfaces you want your cat to avoid.