Blog News

June 22, 2017

Bad cats?

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.
June 15, 2017

Is my cat in pain?

Because cats in the wild are preyed upon if they show signs of pain or illness cats will disguise pain until they cannot hide it for a minute longer. Changes in behaviour are the most common early signs of pain. Contact us as soon as possible if you notice your cat: hiding or avoiding interaction with you or other pets showing reduced interest in food hesitating to jump or climb stairs showing reduced activity or tiring rapidly during activity having difficulty getting up, standing or walking is not grooming normally has changed urination or defecation habits squinting is hunched up or tucked up instead of curled up to sleep is sensitive to touch, particularly if he or she vocalises when you pet changes temperament eg becomes aggressive or crotchety
June 2, 2017

Sudden blindness?

The most common cause of sudden blindness in cats is high blood pressure. Some cats with high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, may appear to have headaches. They keep to themselves, are a bit crabby or stare into space. Older cats, especially if they have kidney disease or hyperthyroidism, may develop high blood pressure. If hypertension is not controlled the blood vessels at the back of the eye may burst causing instant blindness. More insidiously any existing heart or kidney disease worsens, and vascular dementia develops. We routinely check the blood pressure of cats older than 10 years of age with a machine that amplifies the sound of their pulse, but is otherwise very similar to the device used on humans. Most cats are like the old chum above, happy and reasonably relaxed - as long as their person is close by. Treatment is relatively simple and effective. Many cats even regain their sight.