Why a cat clinic anyway?

So why should you choose a cat clinic? What makes us so special?

Well as you, dear reader and also dedicated cat person, already know cats are special beings. They have very different sensibilities than our other furry friends and see the world in a very different way. Cats are predators, yes, but they are also small enough to be prey. Cats are also very territorial critters and generally do not like to be removed from their homes.

So what’s a devoted cat parent to do? You want the best for your cat, which includes high quality preventative medicine and care when your feline friends are ill, but how to provide it without making them afraid for their lives?

We love to spoil our patients!

We love to spoil our patients!

Enter the cat clinic. In an average veterinary clinic the vast majority of patients are dogs. Smelly, scary, noisy, curious dogs. Have you ever had the experience of a large, suspicious looking strange dog leaping at you to say hi? It can be pretty scary if that dog looks big enough to cause you harm and you don’t know them. Well, imagine you’re sick, stuck in a box in a strange place and that same thing happens. Even with the best of intentions, exuberant canine companions often can’t control their curiosity when sharing a waiting room with kitties. This doesn’t happen at our clinic because we don’t have dogs in the building during our business hours. No chance your cat will be ambushed by a (hopefully) well meaning dog.

Not only are there no dog ambushes, but the noise and smell of dogs that can often stress out our kitties are eliminated as well.

CCC relaxed cat

Ricochet loves our wooden tables, especially selected to not be cold on kitty feet.

Cats generally dislike being in strange places. They are territorial and want to know that the place they are in is safe and is not the territory of a strange cat. Because we understand this we take a few special precautions to help minimize the effect this can have.
We use Feliway in all of our patient areas. Feliway is a special synthetic pheromone that is designed to mimic the pheromone that your cat’s chin and cheeks produce. When the room smells like feline facial pheromones, it’s like a big message saying “This place is familiar. This place is safe.” The other thing we do is to change towels after every patient. Your cat will not be sitting on a towel that smells like it should belong to another cat. Hygiene and disease control considerations aside, clean bedding for cats is very important.

What’s the best part of going to a cat clinic?
The people! Every person who works at our cat clinic is a cat person. We all love their quirks!
You will not find us in the treatment area drawing straws over who has to see the stressed kitty, we are all eager to get them out of the waiting room and settled into an exam room where they can hopefully feel more comfortable. We understand delicate feline sensibilities and are sensitive to their needs. We love to snuggle your babies when they come to visit us and have compassion for their situation if they need to undergo something stressful. When we bring a patient into the treatment area for a procedure or sample collection, you can be confident that we are chatting with them and loving on them the whole time they are apart from you.

We know that vet visits can be stressful for your cat and for you! We do our best here to ease your mind and do everything we can to help your cat have the most positive experience possible.

– Dr. Erika Raines, DVM, CVA, CVSMT

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/why-a-cat-clinic/

What do cats want?

What do cats want?

Cats can be mysterious creatures. Like many cat lovers, you may be wondering: What does my cat want?

 

Though there are certainly many individual preferences among our feline friends for fun and comfort items, there are a few basic necessities we believe all cats require.

 

Ethology is the study of animal behavior under natural conditions and it has shown us much about the needs of the smaller felines like our companions. We know they need food and water but did you know that most cats prefer not to have their food and water sources near each other? While convenient for us to clean and change the dishes in one spot, we suggest you locate water in several other rooms in the house. The location for the food and the water should be calm and free of foot traffic or intermittent noises like water heaters that may click on or vents that might suddenly blow air. Many cats prefer bowls wide enough that their whiskers don’t touch or rub while eating or drinking so feeding on a flat plate or saucer may be preferred, and you might consider a dog-sized water dish. Some cats move their food out of deep bowls and eat on the floor. They may also move food to gain their own space when sharing a dish with another cat or as a habit when brought up feeding with other cats (perhaps in a shelter). We think cats should have their own bowls at feeding time so they are not forced to share with another. Why do cats like to drink out of your water glass where their whiskers are clearly squeezed? Cats may prefer water that has recently run or moved. Changing their bowl often prompts them to come get a drink! Fountains work for some cats and quiet ones seem most favored.

 

Another basic need is an elevated resting site or perch. Studies of what cats do with their time show they spend about 30% of it on a high perch, awake and observing! Cat trees and towers fill that need nicely. But if you don’t have room for one of those, perhaps provide access to the top of a stable book shelf and replace any bump-able items up there with some soft bedding or an observation box. Check out our Pinterest page for ideas on how you can meet this need for environmental enrichment even in the smallest of living spaces (or google cat wall furniture, or check out catsplay.com). As your cat friends get older and possibly less mobile, they may need more of your creative input to help them get off the ground and gain a little altitude. A favorite reference for off-the-ground feline habitats is The Cat’s House by Bob Walker. Bob and his wife Frances wanted to provide more space for a growing indoor cat family but had only so much floor space so they used the non-floor space in clever and artistic ways. We have several copies of that book to loan you for brainstorming!  Another idea from The Ohio State Indoor Cat Initiative is a simple wooden ladder from the hardware store left standing open. The group of researchers and faculty at Ohio’s Veterinary School work to enrich the lives of indoor felines through their website and outreach.

 

Finally: the litter box. When it comes to this biological imperative, your needs and your cat’s needs are probably very similar so think of yourself. Like the food and water station, the litter box should be away from foot traffic, noise, machinery. (Would you like to be observed? Startled by sudden noises? Buffeted by puffs of air?) And there should not be access by dogs, other bully cats, or children to ambush your feline during or after the sacred squatting. (How well do you go when someone is pacing outside your door?) Most cats have been shown to prefer an open box instead of a hooded box, presumably due to odor accumulation. (Hmmm, sort of like a Porta-potty?) The box size varies with the cat size and should be large enough that the cat can turn around without brushing the walls. (Would you want an airplane bathroom in your home?)

The litter boxes should be scooped at least once a day and preferably twice. (Surprised? Really? Do you settle yourself over a vat of stale product? Or worse, nudge through it with your tootsies?)

In fact, studies of litter box use show a strong correlation with the amount of time a cat spends in the litter box and “litter box satisfaction.” (How long do you hang out in gas station rest rooms?) So if your cat is a landscape artist in his/her box, you are doing something right!

– Dr. Sharon Blouin

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/what-do-cats-want/

What’s up with the upset tummy?

Cat’s can get an upset tummy for a variety of reasons. Today we’re going to talk about pancreatitis, or an inflammation of the pancreas.

Feline pancreas

Feline pancreas

Pancreatitis is, unfortunately, a common condition in cats. It can occur for any number of reasons: drug reaction, reaction to chemicals like flea products, vaccines, or pathogens. One big reason to have an inflamed pancreas is diet. It can be a food that the body has not seen before and that was introduced in a large amount suddenly, a food that doesn’t agree with that body, or just overeating a lot of food at once, especially if it is a new food. I (Dr. Blouin) find that a cat that has been eating just one brand of food for a long time may be more prone to pancreatitis when they undergo a sudden change.

The pancreas is an organ that secretes enzymes to aid digestion. So when an animal overeats and consumes quite a bit more than they usually eat, that organ is called upon to make a lot of enzyme all at once and it gets stressed. This can occur if an animal really likes a food and simply gobbles down a ton of it!
The stressed pancreas will then leak enzymes into the blood stream and into the surrounding tissue. This is painful and the patient often runs a fever from all that burning of the insides. Also, these enzymes inflame the rest of the digestive tract and can slow it down causing constipation or cause it to spasm causing diarrhea.

Apart from diarrhea or constipation, some other signs of pancreatitis are vomiting and lack of appetite. You might expect that when your digestive tract is inflamed and painful, putting food into it is not usually what you want to do. Also, the inflammation that causes constipation or diarrhea affects the stomach as well and can lead to vomiting.

The first part of treating pancreatitis is that we give the body lots of fluids to rinse out the built-up body products and pancreas enzyme that is now floating around loose. This takes from a few days to over a week depending on the animal’ response. The best way to do this is to put in an intravenous catheter and hospitalize the patient to really flush them out. The second best way to do it is by subcutaneous fluids where we inject a volume of fluids under the skin once or twice daily. Cats usually tolerate fluids under the skin very well and this is often something that we can teach pet parents to do for their cats at home.

The second step is to treat the pain. Humans get this condition too and we know from their reports that it is super uncomfortable to feel like your insides are burned by enzymes.

The third part is to keep the patient eating enough to meet their daily energy requirements. We can calculate that amount using a formula. We can give appetite stimulants to get them to eat on their own or we can assist them in eating with syringed food. One must be careful when doing the latter so as not to cause them to choke (aspirate) on the food.

Finally, we treat the inflammation caused by the leaking enzymes. We can use steroids to do this. In our clinic, we usually use natural products like homeopathics and herbs as steroids can have undesirable side effects.

We treat this condition frequently with good results and return to quality of life. Some cats can have chronic pancreatitis that never really goes away completely but gets better allowing them to be comfortable. The two main ways of managing chronic pancreatitis are through diet and stress reduction. Often these cats have some level of food sensitivity and a big part of controlling the inflammation is finding a food that they are less reactive to. Stress can also play a big role in chronic pancreatitis and we usually recommend stress reducing measures such as using Feliway diffusers, daily interactive play, and daily use of catnip.

Remember, the sooner we treat problems, the easier they are to treat. If you notice anything not quite right about your kitty, please give us a call right away!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/upset-tummy/

Forget the eyes… the tongues have it.

Have you ever wondered what makes traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) different?

When I first learned TCM one of the things that mystified me greatly was how this ancient system of medicine could diagnose things so precisely based simply on taking a good history, palpation of the pulse, and looking at the tongue. I wondered, as you might, how could so many secrets be hidden in the pulse and the tongue?

Today I thought I’d share a couple examples of tongues and discuss what I see in them as a trained veterinary TCM practitioner.

Just a cat tongue? Not quite.

Just a cat tongue? Not quite.

This attractive tongue belongs to a young exotic shorthair kitten. This is not a normal tongue. If you look closely at the edges you will notice three things: The edges of his tongue are quite shiny. The sides of his tongue are very rounded. If you look very closely you will also see some indentations in the sides of his tongue from where it has been pressing against his teeth when his mouth is closed.

Another thing I notice when I look at this tongue is that it is redder than it should be, and there is more free saliva (see the bubbles where the tip of his tongue is a bit creased?) than I expect to see in a normal cat tongue.

To sum up, Mr. Walter has a red, swollen, wet tongue. Without the benefit of pulse diagnosis or history I can already tell you that this kitten is experiencing what we call “Damp Heat” in TCM. I have this picture because he had terrible diarrhea ever since he was adopted. It stopped briefly when he was treated for intestinal parasites, but as soon as the treatment stopped the diarrhea started up again. His fecal samples showed no further parasites, he’d already been on probiotics, and his diet was stable and appropriate, so his poor mom was stumped as to how she could treat him.

After I diagnosed him with Damp Heat in the intestines and we treated him with herbs his diarrhea finally cleared up and he’s been normal since.

 

 

 

Let’s look at another tongue:

This tongue to the left, taken as part of an ultra-close up photo study is what I would classify as a normal cat tongue. Normal

From http://37prime.com/blog/2007/02/26/cats-got-the-tongue/

From http://37prime.com/blog/2007/02/26/cats-got-the-tongue/

tongues in TCM are considered to be the color of a peach blossom. This is a bit species dependent and breed dependent: Herbivores often have paler tongues than omnivores or carnivores, and certain breeds can have dark coloration to their tongues as a normal pigmentation. This tongue on the right is a normal pink shade, relatively dry, and the spines nearly go to the edge. Spines that are very much confined to the middle (like Walter’s tongue) make me think that the edges are swollen. Moisture of the tongue is species dependent as well. Cat tongues, for example, are normally moist, but not wet. Dog tongues are normally moist to slightly damp. Horses often have moderately wet tongues and some amount of free saliva is normal for a horse.

Let’s look at a couple more not-quite normal tongues.

This tongue is a bit red around the edges.

This tongue is a bit red around the edges.

This photo is a bit blurry, as you might imagine, cat’s tongues are not the easiest things to photograph!

The most prominent feature of this tongue is the red edge. You can see there is a dark red edge that goes all the way around the tongue from the sides to the tip. This is actually about the fifth photo we took of this tongue. In each photo the tongue got redder and redder. Unfortunately, this is the only one in the series that turned out.

Red around the edge of the tongue indicates Heat. The tip corresponds to the Heart, the emotional seat of the body as well as the physiological heart, and the edges correspond to the Liver, which is not only the detoxification organ we think about, but also the organ responsible for handling stress and frustration.

This little Siamese mix, Kato, is prone to having problems with Heat anyway, and was getting quite stressed and upset that we kept trying to photograph his tongue. This explains why the edges and tip of the tongue got redder and redder as we kept on.

The final tongue belongs to my young, fairly healthy Maine Coon, Pippilotta Fluffstockings.

This tongue is almost normal!

This tongue is almost normal!

Pippi’s tongue is almost normal. On most of the tongue body the color is a nice pink color. If you look closely at the tip, however, you will notice that not all is right. The tip of Pippi’s tongue is a bit pale. This is actually also a response to stress. After I noticed the abnormality in the photo I checked her tongue again and it appeared normal as long as I looked for only a moment and we were not photographing it.

This response to stress is a response of Blood deficiency, and as we already established the tongue’s tip corresponds to the Heart, this Blood deficiency is in the Heart. Pippi and Kato have different responses to stress, Kato immediately gets frustrated and experiences Heat, whereas Pippi gets a bit more quietly stressed and worried and experiences a temporary Blood deficiency.

 

It’s a great idea to inspect your cat’s tongue and teeth! (Just watch out not to be bitten if they object.) If their tongue does not look entirely normal, Dr. Erika or Dr. Carter will be happy to have a look and tell you what Chinese medicine has to say about it. If the teeth don’t look right, well, February is dental month, so it’s a great time to come in and have one of our technicians examine your cat’s teeth and let you know if they need a dental cleaning!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/the-tongues-have-it/

23 Days ‘Til Christmas!

blog MooKittyHolidayChecklist

Christmas is coming, are you ready?

Is your cat ready?

As we come into the holiday season there are lots of potential hazards for our feline friends. It’s important to stay alert to the hazards and do what you can to keep your kitties safe through the holidays.

If you’ve ever had to child-proof your house (and I haven’t) then cat-proofing is pretty similar. Child proofing involves getting at their level and being curious. Seeing what dangers you can expose yourself to on a crawl around the house. Basic cat proofing is very similar and is a good skill to have all year round. Cats are so curious and mischievous (I think they prefer “busy”) that any list of holiday hazards is going to miss something. Or maybe it will be geared toward the wrong holiday. Perhaps the biggest danger in your house is not the tree, but a menorah full of candles.

To cat proof a house I would recommend sitting on the floor in each room and imagining yourself as a cat. See what is on your level. See what you could reach with one of your super human leaps of five times your feline body length. What could you knock over? What could you chew on? How many of those items are safe? (Probably not many.) Are there party snacks on the counter that might smell nice to eat? Even a cat who has never tried this before might go for it in the middle of a busy party.

In addition to this basic walk-through (prowl-through?) of your house, keep in mind the following common holiday dangers:

This is not a positive. "Sparkly poopz" can be a life threatening issue!

Not a win-win. “Sparkly poopz” can be a life threatening issue!

1. Tinsel! I can’t say this enough. Cats love tinsel. Tinsel does not love them back. Sparkly, stringy objects are very exciting for a cat and are very frequently stimulus enough to take “PLAY!” to “EAT!” Tinsel is very dangerous on the inside (think plastic blades of tangly terror) and could very likely lead to an unpleasant visit to us or the emergency hospital. We love to see you and your cat. Just not for this.

2. Holiday food. Rich holiday food can range from toxic to just upset-tummy-causing for your cat. Probably not a big deal when you’re home by yourself, you know what is good for your cat and what isn’t and you know your cat’s sneaky tricks to get into your plate. Guests may not be cat people or may not know your cat well enough to take the appropriate precautions. It only takes a second of opportunity from a neglected plate on the coffee table to lead to some real problems for your cat.

3. Holiday party traffic.You do not want to be panic-looking for your cat in the wake of a holiday party. Keep your cat far away from the door as guests come and go. Better yet, create a retreat like the first checklist suggests. Create a safe, quiet space with all the necessities where you can enclose your cat during the festivities.

4. Non-tinsel decorations. Be careful with trees, anchor them. Tree ornaments should be safe and not something your cat might like to eat. No tinsel. No tinsel. Oh, this isn’t about tinsel. Candles should be kept out of places your cat might go, and cats should be separate from candles left alight when not directly in the room to supervise. No one wants a singed kitty, or worse, a house fire from an upended candle!

6. Cords. Those of us who forego candles for safety sometimes forget that the electrical lights to celebrate the season of lights can be hazardous as well. Make sure that cords are safely tucked away or otherwise protected so that inquiring feline minds don’t decide to try chewing them!

These are just a few common hazards. Remember when you do your cat-proofing prowl-through to have your naughty kitty eyes in full force so that you see all the tempting hazards that could be harmful to your cat.

If you have questions through the season and for sure if you happen to miss something that leads to an accident give us a call so we can help you out!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/christmas-cats/

Litterbug

catboxLately we’ve been seeing a lot of cats with “box issues”. Sometimes it’s “just” inappropriate urination, sometimes it’s a full blown urinary tract infection or large amounts of crystals. If you’re a boy cat and really unlucky it might be a urethral blockage.

Pee problems can range from the annoying (inappropriate urination) to the life threatening (urinary blockage). Yes, if your cat “blocks” it can be life threatening. In this condition they are not able to pass urine at all and, once the bladder fills, the toxins that the kidneys usually filter out of the body will back up into the blood stream. Also, as you might imagine, with nowhere to go, the urine can eventually cause the bladder to rupture! So, for starters, if your cat is not peeing, or is passing only small amounts of urine frequently, bring them in to see us right away!

But let’s assume you haven’t called us because everything is ok. What can you do to maintain that status quo and not have any box issues?

To start with, make sure you have enough boxes. No one likes to be stuck outside an occupied bathroom crossing their legs! The basic rule of thumb is to have one box per cat in the house plus one extra.

Are your boxes big enough? The rule of thumb for box size is that it should be 1.5 times the length of your cat from head to the base of the tail. That’s a pretty big box and I’m willing to bet that unless you have a very petite cat the average box in the pet store will be too small. Sure, lots of cats live with these small boxes and do ok, but if we really want to provide the optimal bathroom situation to prevent problems, bigger is better. I (Dr. Erika) have a young Maine Coon cat and have already had to upgrade box size. I didn’t do it until it was far overdue, and she let me know. She let me know by not being able to make it into the box! She would walk in and have a pee facing the back of the box. Her heart was in the right place, but unfortunately she had become too long and her little fuzzy bum would hang over the side of the box. Good thing we had litter mats in front of the boxes! Now that we upgraded box size even this completely accidental accident doesn’t happen anymore.litter-spinner-cat-litter-box-2

There are an overwhelming array of cat box options out there. Most of the fancy “self-scooping” boxes get ruled out when you follow the 1.5 cat length size rule, but in case they don’t I’ll give you my two cents. Any box that “self-cleans” by being twisted, turned, or rolled over is probably not a good idea. These boxes take the dirty, smelly used litter and wipe it all over the inside of your cat’s bathroom. No one wants to use a bathroom with pee on the walls!

Some of the automated mechanical scooping litter boxes are ok as long as your cat is not upset about them. Most cats seem to do ok with these kinds of boxes.

litterboxOpen or closed? That’s a very good question. For cat’s sake I say open. For my house’s sake I say closed. Ideally an open box will have the best ventilation and the best view of the outside world. This helps your cat feel secure that they are not likely to get ambushed. Plus, if someone does approach, any side is an exit. Now, speaking as a cat owner with a “sneaky sprayer” boy cat, I have to use closed boxes or I get pee on my walls. There are boxes with high walls that can help this problem depending on the size of your cat. Closed boxes are ok, just remember to choose a box with adequate ventilation so you don’t end up with porta-potty syndrome. Bigger doors are better, and doors with flaps or other coverings should be avoided.

Just can’t find a box with the right size door or the correct length? Make your own! It’s super easy to give your cat a deluxe custom bathroom that says, “I care about the resale value of your condo.” In all seriousness, though, a large luxurious cat box can be created from an inexpensive plastic storage tub. These tubs can be purchased in many sizes and depths, allowing you to protect your house from stray sprays and to reduce some of the litter spray from exuberant diggers. Simply cut a hole in the side for a door, fill with litter, and viola, a custom sized cat box! They come in just about every color, too.

We’re about out of time for today, but watch for a future post on litter types coming soon.

Is your cat currently having some “box issues”? Don’t delay, give us a call today. Remember, pee problems in boy cats can be a fatal illness, and no one wants to go longer than necessary with an uncomfortable bladder!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/litterbug/

Rabbits and chickens and ducks, oh my!

Rabbits and chickens and ducks, oh my!

 

Feeding our cats is one of the most basic things that we do as caretakers to support the well being of our furry family members. It’s also one of the things we here at Corvallis Cat Care are passionate about. We have seen what happens when cats do not get appropriate nutrition (diabetes, urinary tract problems, allergies, and more) and prefer not to treat these problems if we an instead spend some time educating our fellow cat care givers on how to feed their cats to support wellness and avoid health issues.

I’m passionate about food, and this is definitely something that I try to talk about with every client who sees me for a new kitten or new cat visit, or any time that the diet is less than ideal or appears to be causing health problems. What follows is just a short overview of what to feed and what not to feed your cat under ideal circumstances. To read the cat food manifesto and how to transition kibble addicts off of dry food, visit Dr. Peirson’s excellent page, catinfo.org.

kitten and kibble

But Doc, my cat just loves his kibble!

So what should we feed our cats anyway? Surely “Cat Chow” should be ok. Cats love it and the picture looks great, right?

friskies mouse flavor

Wouldn’t it be great if this existed?

Actually, kibble (dry cat food) that is loaded with grains and other carbohydrates is not usually a good choice for our feline friends.

There are a couple of reasons for this. For a start cats are desert animals and don’t tend to drink very well on their own. Desert animals tend to get their hydration primarily from the foods they eat. For a cat this would be small prey animals like mice. When we replace their natural hydrated diet with completely dehydrated foods they have to drink to not only hydrate and soften the food enough to be digestable, but also to meet their own hydration needs. Because cats often have issues related to their urinary tract (such as inflammation, kidney issues, etc), we want to keep them well hydrated.

Well, what about the mouse flavored Friskies? To start with it doesn’t exist yet (that I’m aware…). Also, the reason that a food like Friskies is not a great choice is the same as the second reason that dry food is not ideal. Carbs. Grains. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that unlike dogs who will eat vegetation and who evolved to consume our trash (often including cooked leftovers of grains or carbs), cats are evolved to eat a diet that consists nearly 100% of whole prey. This does include the digestive organs and whatever the mouse or bird had eaten over the last day, but those vegetable materials would be fairly well “pre-processed” by the prey before entering the cat. One study showed that whole mice are only 3% carbs! That is ideal for a cat. 3%. Any dry food needs some kind of carbohydrate to make it stick together, and many foods like Friskies use wheat and corn glutens as a cheap way to drive their protein percentages up. I think you can figure out by now that I’m going to tell you that protein for a carnivore should come from, you guessed it, meat!

While I have seen and personally used high quality kibble successfully to support health in kibble addicted cats, it isn’t ideal, and I prefer that the food have absolutely no grains at all. In my experience cats frequently cannot tolerate grains the way we process them and often have inflammatory reactions to them.

So, great, that rules out about half of the cat food section at Petco, and pretty much all of the veterinary diets out there. So you’re probably asking yourself, “What the heck am I supposed to feed then?”

Meat. Pretty much.

Meat. Pretty much.

Cats need meat. So the idea of feeding a cat for optimal health, generally speaking, is to feed a diet that is as close to their natural whole prey diet as possible. We domesticated dogs to be hunting buddies and eat our leftovers. Cats domesticated themselves when we started farming and attracting large numbers of “vermin”. It was only recently that we really started to support them, before that domesticated cats hung around for the barn mice and enjoyed a few pets now and then if it suited them.

When it comes to ideal I have two recommendations. Canned food and raw food. Canned food is an excellent start, and great for cats who have weaker digestion and cannot process raw foods. Look for foods that are all or mostly meat. If there are other food ingredients than meat, make sure they are not carbohydrates. Pumpkin and kale are ok, potatoes and rice are less than ideal. Some of my favorite canned foods are like the 95% By Nature pictured at the right. They are all meat with a small amount of vitamin/mineral supplement added to make up for the fact that no bones or vegetable matter is included.

This cat is making the best of a mouse-free house.

This cat is making the best of a mouse-free house.

There’s always raw food as well. This is a little less convenient that canned food and does come with some precautions. Obviously hygiene is very important with raw food, especially if you have small children. Treat raw pet food the same way you would treat raw meat in your kitchen. Keep it frozen until you thaw it for consumption. Thaw in the refrigerator and serve it immediately after warming to room temperature. Any uneaten food should be discarded and bowls should be washed after each meal.

The other consideration with raw food is that, as we’ve touched on before, cats are whole prey eaters. So unless you’re ordering whole frozen mice for your cat, they will need more than just muscle meat like the cat in the photo is enjoying. They also need bones or supplement for calcium, and vegetable matter for a variety of vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget the organ meat! Heart has high concentrations of taurine and liver is full of trace minerals. The easiest way to go is to order pre-prepared raw food like Darwin’s (contact us for ordering info), or something from Animal Crackers pet shop like Rad Cat or Nature’s Variety. These are convenient frozen ways to give your cat a raw meat diet and make sure they still get everything they need.

Keep in mind, of course, that we don’t live in a perfect world and can’t always offer exactly ideal. Even if you can’t do a diet that is 100% following my recommendations, the more you can incorporate these ideas the better off your cat will be. If you have any particular concerns, come in and see us! We all love to talk about diet and work with you to get your cat on the healthiest diet you can manage that they will cooperate with! I also practice Chinese food medicine where we can use dietary changes as a way of specifically treating health issues.

Give us a call if you have any questions or want to come in to chat about diet or any other cat health issues!

-Dr. Erika Raines, DVM, CVA, CVSMT

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/healthy-cat-food/

Welcome to our new blog!

Cat’s Meow Blog!

Check out our new blog! Dr. Erika and Dr. Blouin are proud to present Corvallis Cat Care’s newest way to connect.

We hope you enjoy the posts we have planned for the blog. Primarily posts will be written by the doctors and other staff of the clinic, but we are planning to occasionally ask you, our clients, to help us out with guest blogs. We have two lined up already! I can’t wait to hear their stories of cat care in their own words.

Stay tuned for some cool stuff!

– Dr. Erika Raines

Permanent link to this article: http://www.corvalliscatcare.com/welcome-to-our-new-blog/

Pinterest

pinterestCorvallis Cat Care is now on Pinterest!
Check us out at http://www.pinterest.com/corvalliscatcar/

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Exams

Corvallis Cat CareWe believe a thorough exam, along with your input about your cat’s home life, is a critical part of medical care. Wellness exams are recommended for healthy cats on an annual basis until they are seniors, over the age of 10. At that point, we recommend twice-yearly exams. Cats age more quickly than humans, and more frequent check-ups will help identify health-related changes early on while in the senior years. At the time of your cat’s exam, the doctor will explain and discuss the findings. Together with you, we will review what is working well and also where your cat’s health may need some help, with emphasis on preventative care. The doctors can instruct you on what to monitor at home so that we can work together to keep your cat healthy, and will seek your input on solutions that will work for you and your cat’s unique situation.

We will discuss nutrition, behavior, and social interaction as well as vaccines, deworming, flea control, and blood testing where appropriate. We understand that vaccination is often a confusing and controversial issue, so we will work together with you to structure a protocol that is safe and relevant to your cat’s particular lifestyle while keeping the risks of inflammation from over-vaccination to a minimum. We will discuss the vaccine recommendations of the American Association of Feline Practitioners for the risks your cat encounters. We also offer blood titers as a way to monitor immunity and create an individualized vaccine plan. All of the vaccines we carry are non-adjuvanted to help prevent unnecessary inflammation at the site where the vaccine is administered.

We encourage adoption of cats from shelters, and will honor any certificate for a first-time complimentary exam.

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