Posts Tagged ‘cat health’

Previously, on the Little Creek Veterinary Clinic blog, we discussed the importance of yearly check-ups for cats. Cats benefit from wellness care and from early intervention when you notice signs of trouble. [Click the link above to review the list.]

However, we have heard from owners who would rather avoid bringing their cat to the doctor, if the cat appears healthy. Common sticking points for owners are that their cat puts up a fuss at going into the carrier, leaving the house, going for a car ride, or being handled by the veterinary team (whom the cat sees infrequently.)

But since you know that yearly health check-ups and preventative care, such as vaccinations and parasite control, are important components of pet care, you’ll want to find a way to make getting your cat to the vet easier and less stressful — for you and your pet.

Try these tips from BI-Vetmedica, available in a brochure at our office:

  • Start with a carrier that is easy to take your cat in and out of (top-loading carriers work best.)
  • Help your cat be more comfortable in the car by using the carrier and taking shorter rides to places other than the veterinary clinic.
  • Avoid feeding your cat for several hours before riding in the car (cats travel better on an empty stomach.)
  • Bring your cat’s favorite treats and toys with you to the veterinary clinic.
  • Practice regular care routines at home, like grooming, nail trimming and teeth brushing.
  • Pretend to do routine veterinary procedures with your cat, like touching the cat’s face, ears, feet and tail.
  • Give your cat and the veterinary healthcare team a chance to interact in a less stressful situation by taking your cat to the clinic for a weight check, rather than only for exams and procedures.

Bonus Tip 1: Leave the cat carrier out where your cat can access and explore it. Put a blanket and toy or treats in the carrier, and allow your cat to nap in its comfy little nest. Encourage your cat to become accustomed to the carrier as a “happy place.”

Bonus Tip 2: Spritz the inside of the carrier with Feliway synthetic calming pheromone 15 minutes before you place your cat in it for the ride to the vet. Then spray Feliway on a towel and place the towel over the carrier in the car and at the veterinary clinic. 

Check out these extra ideas from

Angell Animal Medical Center has produced this video as a guide to placing your cat in its carrier.

Ready to make your cat’s veterinary appointment? Contact Us to let us know!


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Cats can be such quiet, independent creatures that it is easy to forget they need regular doctor visits, just like dogs.

Cats should receive a yearly check-up, fecal analysis, and vaccine boosters. And remember to pick up their flea and heartworm preventatives (such as Revolution)!

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, says the good news is, certain conditions viral diseases and parasite infestation can be prevented or quickly treated — but aging brings its own problems, and you can’t stop the sands of time. That’s why it’s important to combine careful observation with annual veterinary check-ups.

Cats are notorious for hiding pain and illness, but you can use your detective skills to know when there’s a problem.

Look for these signs — and Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic to request a brochure with detailed information on each:

  • Peeing or pooping outside the litterbox
  • Becoming less social
  • Decrease in activity
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Increase or decrease in food and water consumption
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Over-grooming or under-grooming
  • Howling; increased vocalization
  • Bad breath

Remember: you don’t have to wait for your cat to be sick before scheduling a visit with the veterinarian!

Coming up next: What you can do to prepare your cat for veterinary visits.

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Cats need healthcare, too!

Cat stunts

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Cats are among the most popular pets in the U.S. — so why do veterinarians see so few of them in the office? Maybe it’s because cats are stoic, often independent creatures — it can be easy to forget they face their own health challenges, just like dogs.

Cats should be kept up-to-date on Rabies vaccinations (it’s the law), and Feline Distemper combos and Leukemia, depending on lifestyle. Since cats age faster than humans, a lot can happen in a year, which is why we recommend an annual check-up.

Make a New Year’s resolution to bring your cat
to the veterinarian for a check-up,
especially if her last visit was over 12 months ago.

But other than an annual wellness visit, when should you take your cat to the vet? Here are some potential poor health signs to watch for:

  • Inappropriate elimination behavior / failure to use litterbox
  • Changes in interaction with family members or other housepets
  • Changes in activity level
  • Changes / increase in sleeping
  • Changes in food and water consumption (may increase or decrease)
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Changes in grooming (may increase or decrease grooming)
  • Changes in vocalization
  • Bad breath

For details on each symptom listed above, stop in at our clinic and pick up the brochure, Have We Seen Your Cat Lately?

Coming up next week: How to make vet visits easier for you and your cat.


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Now that Hampton Roads is having the occasional warm day,
bugs are on the march — right toward your pets!
Even indoor cats can be plagued by pests,
so take advantage of this great offer from Revolution.

Here’s the deal:

Buy 6* tubes of Revolution for cats, Get 2 tubes FREE


Buy 9* tubes of Revolution for cats, Get 3 tubes FREE

Healthy Dose of Savings 004

*Tubes are sold in packs of 3.

Why Revolution?

Revolution is safe to use on cats and is especially recommended for those that venture outdoors. Your “outdoor” cat is exposed to more natural pests than a cat that stays inside.

But there’s a catch: certain pests, like mosquitoes and fleas, can easily migrate indoors, exposing your “indoor” cats to heartworms and tapeworms.

Also, cats that go outside can bring ear mites and intestinal worms indoors and share them with the homebodies.

Revolution protects your indoor and outdoor cats against:

Purchase Revolution at our clinic and get a Healthy Dose of Savings!
Original post here.

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You might guess that visible injuries are the scariest result when two neighborhood cats have a tussle. But it may be something unseen — like a virus that attacks the immune system — that packs the nastiest punch.

IDEXX Laboratories reports that Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) “kill more cats than any other disease.” Cats that are allowed to roam outdoors are at risk of developing one or both of these non-curable diseases. Even indoor cats can be exposed if they have physical contact with cats allowed to go outdoors.

     Check this list to see if your cat is at risk for either FeLV or FIV:

  • it is allowed outside the house
  • it is a male cat
  • it fights with other cats
  • it has not been neutered
  • it has not been vaccinated for FeLV
  • it lives in a multi-cat household
  • it is an indoor cat, but has contact with an outdoor cat
  • it has a fever, weight loss, gingivitis, or other symptoms
  • it has an unknown or untested mother
  • it is from a cattery, pet store, or breeder

How do the viruses make cats sick? Both FeLV and FIV attack the cat’s immune system, so it is less able to fight off other diseases. Illnesses that would otherwise be controlled by a healthy immune system can instead be fatal to a cat infected with immune-suppressing disease.

How are FeLV and FIV spread?
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) 
is often spread through contact with an infected cat’s saliva, such as through sharing food and water bowls, mutual grooming, or through a bite wound. It can also be spread through urine and feces deposited in the litter box.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) lives in the blood of the infected cat and is typically transmitted through bite or scratch wounds. That’s why cats that fight are at high risk for developing FIV.

Can people get Feline Leukemia or FIV? People are not known to be at risk for these diseases. So far, only cats have been affected.

What are symptoms of FeLV or FIV?

  • fever
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • poor coat condition
  • loss of appetite755px-Hannibal_Poenaru_-_Nasty_cat_!_(by-sa)
  • weight loss
  • diarrhea
  • dehydration
  • mouth sores

Is there a test for FeLV or FIV? Yes, cats can be tested for both diseases. If the tests are negative, we recommend vaccinating against Leukemia and limiting your cat’s potential exposure to disease by keeping it indoors.

What if my cat tests “positive”? Since cats with FeLV and FIV have weakened immune systems, it is important to avoid opportunities for exposure to illness. Keep your cat indoors and on a healthy diet with plenty of fresh water available. Try to provide a stress-free environment. Schedule yearly check-ups with the veterinarian and practice early intervention if you see signs of illness. Keeping your cat indoors will also limit its ability to spread the disease. If you have other cats in the household, have them tested and vaccinated accordingly.

The good news about Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is that they are preventable diseases. You can control your cat’s exposure level by keeping it indoors and vaccinated. Remember, though, each time a new cat is introduced to the household, it has the potential of bringing an illness with it. Ask your veterinarian about testing and prevention.

Some information from this article was borrowed from IDEXX Laboratories’ publications.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Image 1. Image 2.
This post originally appeared on December 20, 2010.

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