Monday, June 1, 2015

June is Adopt A Cat Month!

Brought to you in June by American Humane Association

Each spring during “kitten season,” thousands of newborn kittens join the millions of cats already in shelters across the country. That means your local shelter has tons of cute, cuddly newborns, in addition to all the mellow, older cats and everything in between. And the shelter staff are ready to help you adopt your very first cat — or to bring home a friend for another beloved cat!


  1. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other. Plus they’ll provide more benefits to you. Cats’ purring has been shown to soothe humans as well as themselves – and they have an uncanny ability to just make you smile. A great place to start your search is online. Sites like let you search numerous shelters in your area simultaneously to help narrow your search and more quickly find the match that’s right for you and your new feline friend.
  2. Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. Just as we each have our own personality, so do cats. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the cat’s personality with your own.
  3. Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption. You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit. Kittens in particular should accompany you to make the appointment – even before the exam itself – so staff can pet the cat and tell you that you’ve chosen the most beautiful one ever.
  4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home.Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to make a proper introduction.
  5. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. Understand any pet is a responsibility and there’s a cost associated with that. A cat adopted from a shelter is a bargain; many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip for permanent identification.
  6. Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
  7. Cat-proof your home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords, and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow).
  8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded to a single room (with a litter box, food and water, toys, and the cat carrier left out and open with bedding inside) until the cat is used to the new surroundings; this is particularly important if you have other pets. If you’ve adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember – take it slow.
  9. Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. You probably have a plan in place for getting your family to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list.
  10. If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process. Though well-meaning, the surprise kitty gift doesn’t allow for a “get-to know-one-another” period. Remember, adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry – this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Common Causes of Seizures in Cats

What Can Cause Seizures in Dogs


Brunfelsia (Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow)
Sago palm


Dark chocolate


Zinc phosphide

Illicit Drugs

Synthetic cannabinoids


Ethylene glycol
Bee eting Envenomation
Homemade play dough or salt dough

Monday, April 13, 2015

Do Cats Hold Grudges?

Do Cats Hold Grudges?

A cat’s memory can last as long as 16 hours compared to a dog’s memory, which typically lasts no more than 5 minutes, according to research at the University of Michigan.  What’s more, researchers at Tufts University found the structure of cat brains to be similar to humans. Cats have the same lobes in the cerebral cortex (the “seat” of intelligence) as humans. Cat owners aren’t surprised. They’ll tell you their cats remind them when it’s mealtime, are able to open doors, and use body language to communicate. And yes, some cats are still perturbed (hours later) for something like being shooed off the sofa.
How does memory affect a pet’s behavior?
Veterinarians and animal behavior specialists agree there is a great deal we don’t yet know or understand about our pets’ abilities to remember. But many owners say their cats have good memories, and insist cats are especially skilled at remembering events related to pain or pleasure.
A visitor, for instance, who routinely gives the pet a treat or kind attention may be associated with something pleasant. On the other hand, a cat’s carrier may be associated with confinement, a trip in the car, or visit to the veterinarian. A cat’s reactions and changes in behaviors in these kind of situations can also reveal underlying problems.
Strange behaviors are just normal for cats, aren’t they?
It’s true, our feline friends have a reputation for being independent, moody and finicky. This generalization leads many cat owners to just accept unwanted behaviors, such as withdrawal, litter box avoidance, aggression or urine marking. They may believe these are just ‘cat quirks,’ or think their cat is being spiteful.
“Many cat owners don’t know unwanted behaviors can be signs of an anxiety disorder, and their pet may be suffering unnecessarily,” said Heidi Lobprise, DVM, Virbac. “If treatment for anxiety is delayed, the constant stress can lead to aggression, as well as an increased risk of skin conditions, weakened immune functions, digestive issues, even heart disease.”
Are anxiety disorders in pets a rare condition?
You may be surprised to learn how many cats (and their owners) are suffering through anxiety-related behavior problems. Nearly 60 percent of pet owners say they have one pet that experiences anxiety; and 40 percent say they have more than one pet with anxiety problems.1
What if my cat has an anxiety disorder?
Always start with appropriate training methods to change unwanted behaviors. Additionally, veterinarians now have new ways to help with anxiety disorders in pets. Therapeutic options include ANXITANE® (L-Theanine) Chewable Tablets, a nutritional supplement proven to reduce anxiety in pets with few side effects.2 Given daily along with appropriate behavior training, ANXITANE Tablets help to keep cats and dogs calm so they can learn new behaviors.
Questions lead to better answers.
Learn more about anxiety disorders in cats and dogs at

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tips for a Pet-Safe Easter

Man looks up at white cat with black spots
With Easter right around the corner, we want to remind pet parents of a few holiday dangers.
  • Beware of Easter lilies. These toxic plants can be fatal if ingested by our furry friends.
  • Keep candy bunnies in check—chocolate goodies are toxic to cats, dogs and ferrets. And any treats containing xylitol an artificial sweetener used in many candies, chewing gum and baked goods—may be toxic too!
  • Decorations can be dangerous, especially Easter tinsel. Kitties love to nibble colorful plastic grass, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting and dehydration.
  • Baby chicks and rabbits are not Easter gifts. While these festive babies are adorable, resist the urge to buy; they grow up fast and often require specialized care! Thousands of ex-Easter bunniesand chicks are abandoned each year when their novelty wears off.

Friday, January 9, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Take Care of Your Pet's Teeth

February is National Pet Dental Health Month 

To celebrate, we've pulled together some of our best dental-health articles for cats and dogs, which you can page through below, as well as the top reasons caring for your pet's teeth is so important.
Here are our top reasons why dental care is really important!

1. A pet with healthy teeth equals a pet with better breath !
2. Dental disease can actually lead to problems with your pet’s organs , such as the heart.
3. Retained baby teeth can cause problems in pets too! Did you know that full grown dogs have 42 teeth and full grown cats have 30 teeth? Before their adult teeth grow in, though, their baby teeth have to fall out. Sometimes, not all of the baby teeth want to come out. This can lead to problems like gum irritation and tartar buildup.
4. Caring for your pet’s teeth can prevent other health problems, saving you tons of money over the long term!
5. You need regular dental care and you brush your teeth everyday – why wouldn’t your pets? Your veterinarian and these handy videos can help you learn to brush your dog's teeth and your cat's teeth .
6. Did you know that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 years have some sort of periodontal disease? It can be caused by the buildup of plaque, so it’s important to go in for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Learn more about the importance of removing plaque from your cat’s teeth in our video, Why Is It Important to Remove Plaque On My Cat's Teeth?
7. Pets that don’t get dental care can painfully lose their teeth – this can be terribly painful and cause serious health problems.
8. Your dog and cat are very good at hiding pain – you might never know that your pet has a serious dental problem until it’s very advanced. This is yet another reason it’s important to take your pet in for regular dental checkups.
9. Teeth wear out! Your pets are tough on their teeth. Learn the symptoms to keep your pet from experiencing the pain of severely worn teeth .
10. Learn more about the importance of dental care by visiting our dog dental-care centers and our cat dental-care centers .
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call