Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cat Health Problems Paranoia

Cute catImage by Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi via FlickrThanks to misinformation and scare tactics, many people are afraid of their cats, or even the prospect of owning one in the first place. Sometimes people surrender or abandon a cherished pet because they believe something terrible is happening or is about to happen. Pity the poor feline who has come to trust and love his humans, only to be suddenly cast out with no place to go, or finds him- or herself at a shelter in unfamiliar and frightening surroundings.

The paranoia must end. Many thousands of cats die yearly for no good reason. They've done nothing wrong. They deserve protection, respect and understanding. We can do that by becoming educated.

People must stop attributing ultimate authority to others, even when it's someone they trust. There are many sources for information, but there is no one single source that has all the answers. Therefore, we owe it to our pets, ourselves and our families to look in many places and make comparisons to "see how much mud sticks to the wall." Good research doesn't rest on one source.

If you suspect your cat may have a health issue, visit your veterinarian...not the pound, not the shelter, and definitely not a remote dump site.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How to Add a Kitten to Your Home When You Already Have Cats

When adopting a new kitten, it's essential to consider not only its health needs, but those of any other pets in the home. Even if the older cats in the home are up to date on their vaccinations and in good health, it's wise to protect them with a few precautions. After all, every cat is different and can respond to vaccines differently, meaning they can't be guaranteed to always have 100% immunity.

The first thing to do with the new arrival is to isolate her, not only for health reasons, but as part of the natural introductory process. Cats, in particular, do not generally accept new members into their family easily. With cats, the gradual approach is called for, with plenty of patience on the part of the owners.

It could be part of the way Nature intended things to be, in order to enhance the prospects for survival in any animal group. Allowing new ones into the group readily could be risky, so it's wise to hold back and get to know them first, as well as to weed out health problems before the entire group would be infected.

We should follow suit and take the same precautions. However, we do have some advantages, such as veterinary care as a way to introduce preventive care into the mix.

So when the new kitten comes along, get her to your vet as soon as possible for an examination, testing for common infections, such as leukemia, FIV, and parasites, and then administering the first set of vaccinations.

The most common malady brought in by a new cat or kitten is upper respiratory infection. Watch for watery or oozing eyes and a runny nose.

Keep the new kitten in its own area for at least two weeks, with its own food, water and litter box. Never let the other cats use common items until you're sure everyone is healthy and ready to share. Gradually introduce everyone with supervised together time and be sure they're getting along before you leave them alone.