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Cat Health | PetsWeekly

The Reasoning for Indoor Cats

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outdoor-kittenAs a veterinary technician, Nancy Peterson has seen her share of hard-luck cases. But one cat in particular got to her. “Some students found a cat that was hit by a car,” says Peterson. “He had a broken jaw, cuts all over his body and no owner that we knew of. It was so sad. He may have been euthanized had he been brought to another clinic. But we did surgery on him and brought him back to good health.” Peterson decided to adopt him, naming him Stu -- short for students’ cat. Outdoor Cat vs. Indoor Cat

Stu’s lucky tale isn’t just a lesson about making your cat wear identification. Peterson, who is now the cat programs manager at the Humane Society of the United States, believes it’s a cautionary story for the 66 percent of cat owners (according to a University of Michigan report) who say they let their cats go outside. “It really is a myth that cats have to go out to be happy,” says Peterson. “And unfortunately, the belief that cats can fend for themselves really harms cats. People just let them roam and think they will take care of themselves, when they can’t. They depend on people.”

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Kitty Housecalls

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Cathy Bryan, an accountant in Marina Del Rey, Calif., first discovered mobile, or house-call, veterinarians when she was planning a family trip. She almost had to cancel her vacation because she couldn't show a boarding facility proof of her cats' vaccinations. "I only realized a day before our trip that my cats were overdue for their vaccinations. I was up to my eyeballs trying to wrap everything up at work.... There was no physical way for me to get them to the vet before our trip." Desperate, she found a veterinarian who would come to her home to vaccinate her cats -- and she was hooked. Like Bryan, a growing number of pet owners are finding the idea of receiving medical treatment for their pet without the hassle of making a trip to a veterinary office irresistible. While traveling veterinarians may conjure up images of small towns and simpler times, for the most part, veterinarians who make house calls cater to over-scheduled career-driven people living in metropolitan areas. Jim Claghorn, DVM, a mobile veterinarian who has been seeing patients in Northern California for 25 years, says the vast majority of his clients are working people, 30 to 55 years old.

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Five Reasons to Keep Your Cat Indoors

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When cat owner Bethany Hart, 35, of Farmington, Mich., moved to a new home last year, she decided to let her curious tabby cat Cleo explore the landscape.

“I thought he would circle the house and come back in,” she remembers. “But an hour later, he was nowhere to be found. When he finally came back late that night, his ear was bloody and mutilated from a fight with another animal. I took him to the veterinarian to treat the wound, and I haven't let him out since.”

L.A.-based cat behaviorist Marva Marrow, along with The Humane Society, endorses Hart's decision to keep her furry friend inside. “Cats are curious, and they like bathing in the sun, but you can satisfy both those needs by making sure they have a window to look out of and a sunny space on the floor to stretch out. These allow cats to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors safely.”

Below, Marrow explains the five best reasons to keep your cat in its rightful place -- your home.

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Emergency First Aid for Cats

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The idea of something happening to your treasured feline is unfathomable. But accidents do occur and, like most things, there's no better time to be prepared than now when your cat is playing or snoozing safely at home, and not when it's in agony and you don't know what should be done.

Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, chairman of the department of medicine at The Animal Medical Center in New York City, offers her advice on what to do when your cat gets hurt at home.

Bites and Cuts

If another animal bites your cat, take a clean, absorbent bath towel or kitchen towel and immediately apply pressure to the wound.

"Apply pressure enough to stop the bleeding," Dr. Hohenhaus says. "It's likely that your pet won't like it because there is pain associated with the injury causing the bleeding, but bite wounds don't usually bleed much.

"Whatever you do, make sure you soothe your cat while you apply pressure, especially if the cat starts to squirm."

If the bleeding is so bad that you feel you have to apply pressure to stop it, it warrants an examination by a vet, Dr. Hohenhaus says.

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Cat Flu Truths and Myths

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Just a few weeks ago, a 13-year-old indoor cat in Iowa was diagnosed with swine flu. “Two of the three members of the family that owns the pet had suffered from influenza-like illness before the cat became ill,” explains Dr. Ann Garvey, a veterinarian with the Iowa Department of Public Health. Although everyone recovered, many pet owners remain concerned about their own cats and families. As is the case with so many other illnesses, the facts are hard to separate from fiction. We’ve debunked some misconceptions, and we offer facts and pointers to help you deal with cat infections.

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Feline Behavior

  • Is Mint Safe for Cats?

    Hello Grey Socks, Every time I put toothpaste on my brush, which is mint flavored, my cat wants to lick it. She goes completely banana's over it. Is it okay to let her lick some? Thanks,
    Kathy Easley

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  • Wool-sucking in cats

    Dear Kyra, I have an adopted 5-month-old ginger boy named Barney. He's a very sweet, funny kitty, and I love him to pieces. But...he has some strange quirks. The nice people at the animal shelter told me that he was… Read More +

  • Cats covering feces

    Dear Ghost, Why do cats cover their feces? My two cats are neurotic about covering up everything in their litter box, which is stupid because it's automatic anyway. Is it really necessary? Thanks,
    Kristin

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  • Cats spraying

    Baby, I live with 2 male cats (neutered) and 1 female cat (spayed). All of a sudden they have started spraying (they are 1 year old). They have sprayed my bed, my doors and in my closet (that I know of). I'm… Read More +

  • hypersthesia

    Mama-San, My 1 yr old tabby has developed a fear of its tail! The end twitches and she sometimes lightly attacks it, but most times just runs from it (especially at night) your site mentions anger in connection with tip- twitching.… Read More +

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