Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm
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Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Bad cats?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Behaviour problems like urinating on the curtains, aggression to other cats or people, and toileting on the bed, are common reasons for euthanasia of cats.

Our vets and nurses find it very hard to euthanase these healthy cats when many of these behaviours can be remedied if they are brought to us when they first start and before they become ingrained habits.

Many perfectly normal cat behaviours are unacceptable in the domestic situation. Understanding this and providing a more enriched environment or improving resource access is often all that is necessary.

For example, inter-cat tensions can be defused if we recognise that cats like to have privacy when eating, drinking and toileting. This means that the bowls and litter boxes for each cat or family of cats in the household should be well separated, preferably in different rooms. Cats that groom each other and sleep touching each other regard each other as family. The odd one out requires separate bowls and litter.

Many indoor cats are anxious. Just spotting a strange cat out the window can make them anxious and set off a bout of urinating on the window, curtains or corner of the room.

To analyse and prevent these unacceptable feline behaviours from escalating we offer a behaviour consultation service. Any behaviour consultation takes at least five times as much time as a normal disease consultation or health discussion and examination. Our vets spend about an hour preparing material and reading your responses to a special survey we send out before meeting with you and your cat.

The meeting takes about an hour and includes a full physical examination and blood tests to rule out medical causes of the behaviour. For example, some cats who urinate outside the litter box have diabetes, kidney disease or a urinary tract infection.

After the meeting, the vet spends another 1-3 hours writing a report and recommendations individualised to your cat. Our vet will also call you to see how you are progressing and may recommend drug therapy in some cases.

Understandably we require a deposit before such a consultation to cover the time your vet spends preparing to seeing you and your cat.

Time to say goodbye?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last week we had to make a hard decision for our much loved clinic cat Oliver. He had multiple problems - diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease - and despite our best efforts was fading away to nothing.
He has lived at Canberra Cat Vet since almost the day we opened as his owner went into hospital and passed away while he was staying with us. For the last year he has been faithfully medicated and cared for by his staff. However, we discovered that he had a liver mass recently and although he was still as bright as a button and ordering us around as usual, he lost weight rapidly. His kidneys were also deteriorating and he required fluids under the skin every second day - which he hated.
Some days he ate well and some days he didn't. Some days he came out of his office to check the hospital was running smoothly and others he stayed on his bed(s) all day. His litter tray was a mess some days and empty others. Just as we would decide that he wasn't enjoying life he would spark up again.
We had to ask ourselves the hard questions:

  • Was he having more good days than bad?
  • Was his appetite stable and was he enjoying his meals?
  • Was he responding to us and his surroundings as much as he had just a few months before?
  • Would he tolerate yet more treatment for his kidney disease?
  • Was he staying in his familiar places or moving to unusual places - or was he not moving a lot at all?
  • Was he crying a lot - or quieter than normal?
  • Was he using the litterbox, missing it or soiling his beds?
  • Was he losing weight more rapidly than expected in an elderly cat?
  • How much enjoyment was he really getting out of life?

The clincher for Ollie was the regular kidney treatment - he hated being interfered with at the best of times. And he had lost over a kilogram of weight in the last 6 months, despite Nurse Leanne's intensive feeding regime.

All of his staff eventually agreed that it was time for Ollie to go. We gathered around him on his favourite bed, and purring loudly, he slid off into a happier hunting ground.


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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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