Monday, June 13, 2016

Pets in the Car: 10 Tips for Safe Travel with Your Furry Friend

For some pet parents, a road trip is no fun if the four-legged members of the family can't come. But for animals, traveling can be highly stressful. Here are 10 tips to help ensure a safe and comfortable trip for everyone.

1.       Keep your pet safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. There are a variety of wire mesh, hard plastic, and soft-sided carriers available. Be sure the carrier you choose is large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down, and turn around.
2.       Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car. It's smart to get your pet accustomed to the carrier before your trip. Be sure to always secure the crate so it won't slide or shift in the event of a quick stop. 
3.       Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal 3 to 4 hours prior to departure. Don't feed your furry friend in a moving vehicle, even if it is a long drive. 
4.       Never leave your animal alone in a parked vehicle. On a hot day, even with the windows open, a parked car can become a furnace in no time, and heatstroke can develop. In cold weather, a car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. 
5.       What in your pet's traveling kit? In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. 
6.       Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your contact information, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number, and any other relevant contact information.
7.       Don't allow your pet to ride with his or her head outside the window. He or she could be injured by flying objects. Keep him or her in the back seat in the carrier or with a harness attached to a seatbelt. 
8.       Traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet's rabies vaccination record; some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings.
9.       When it comes to H2O, we say BYO. Opt for bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an area your pet isn’t used to could result in tummy upset. 
10.   If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, both of which are available at auto product retailers.

Safe travels!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

7 Signs Your Cat Has Spring Fever

Spring is here and cats love frolicking in the warm weather just as much as their human companions. These seven surefire signs will let you know spring fever has hit, along with some tips for how to ease your kitties through the seasonal transition.

She Wakes Up Early

With the warm weather, your cat no longer needs to use you as a human furnace. This means she'll be waking up at the crack of dawn, pawing your face and scampering across your sleeping body. She wants you to play. Immediately. Your cat is just responding to nature’s call, and unfortunately, there is no snooze button.
The Fix: Cats are like kids—they need to be worn out before bed. Any excess energy will turn into the nighttime crazies and an appallingly early wake-up time for you. In the evening, try playing hunting games with your cat and feed her afterwards. She'll likely groom herself to relax and unwind and then fall asleep. Be aware that her demands for attention, regardless of the time of day or night, are signs that she needs more interaction during waking hours.

She Seeks the Sun

During the winter, when the sunlight is minimal and indirect, Fifi would prefer to snuggle up with you or rest in her warm bed to keep her temperature at a comfortable level. With spring sunlight filtering through your windows, your cat will seek out any spot and lay down to sunbathe. 
The Fix: Read Can Cats Get Sunburn? to make sure kitty's delicate body is protected from overbaking. You can also apply UV film to your windows to protect her from potential skin damage. If kitty happens to be lying in your spot on the sofa—move over. Like you, she's been waiting a very long time for those sunny spots.

She is Glued to the Window

When the outdoor wildlife show was on hiatus during hibernation time, there was nothing for your cat to see. Now, she’s dying to teach all those delectable birds and squirrels to stay off her turf. Hunting is a year-round activity in the southern states, where bugs and lizards are always out in full force, but felines who live where snow shoos them away eagerly anticipate the return of critters.
The Fix: Unless your cat is allowed outdoors, do not block her view of the window. Think of her like the furry equivalent of a football fan that will physically remove any obstacle in front of the TV. You may want to consider showing her a looping cat video of nature entertainment featuring butterflies and tasty wild animals during the lean winter season. The Animal Channel is also a good substitute.

She Becomes a Wrestling Star

If Fifi has a kitty companion (or even a dog with whom she’s friendly), she will engage in wrestling contests that rival the WWE. These contents will come complete with snarls, pinned back ears, growls and yelps that make you wonder if it’s time to break it up. It’s not. She’s just getting out her energy. Be warned—a cat without a partner may use you as her opponent. And she'll expect you to let her win.
The Fix: Keep a close eye on the wrangling furballs to make sure no one gets hurt. If they’ve been together for enough time to get to know each other, their fight is most likely posturing. If your feline uses you as her playmate, teach her to keep her claws to herself and discourage biting. Cat scratch fever and puncture wounds will surely ruin the fun.

She is Getting Bigger

Springtime brings on growth spurts for most living things, including kittens. Chances are your grown cat won’t be putting on weight, though, since hanging from the chandelier burns lots of calories.
The Fix: Take lots of pictures. Keep your camera handy for every possible cute moment, and video all of her cute adventures—especially when she's trying to get out of that grocery bag. Like children, kittens grow up shockingly fast. Enjoy her kittenhood as much as you possibly can.

She Gets the Crazies

Her high-speed dashes on the surface of the walls rather than on the floor make your house seem like a velodrome. Kitty has all day long to run laps, yet she chooses to do it at night when you’re trying to sleep. Why? Because she is a nocturnal creature. She works the night shift.
The Fix: While it’s tough to beat biology, it is possible to train your cat to adapt to your sleeping schedule. However, it won’t happen overnight. As mentioned earlier, give her plenty of exercise before bed to encourage exhausted, lasting sleep. 

She Wants to “Get Busy”

While the weather was cold, she could care less if any boy kitties were around. But with the arrival of spring, she begins that familiar howl accompanied with rolling around and carrying on. The commotion is so loud that it carries down the block. Before you know it, male felines might be stalking your yard to get in on the action. 
The Fix: Although you might have been trying to keep all of your cat’s parts intact, one too many heat seasons can weaken even the most convicted pet parent. If her call of the wild is too much for you to handle, march your cat to the nearest spaying and neutering center pronto. Besides keeping her quiet and clearing off your lawn, cancer risk is significantly decreased without your kitty's hormone-producing parts.

If you have any questions or concerns about your feline friend, we encourage you to call Greater Lafayette Cat Hospital at 765-449-4195 or visit our website at


Monday, March 14, 2016

Cat Grooming

Don't forget to call Greater Lafayette Cat Hospital today to schedule your cat's grooming appointment! 

Check out for more details! 

Your feline will look (and feel!) like the cat’s meow after a good grooming session.
By nature, cats are extremely fastidious. You’ve no doubt watched your kitty washing herself several times a day. For the most part she can take care of herself very well, thank you, but sometimes she’ll need a little help from you.

Make Grooming as Enjoyable as Possible—For the Both of You!

Grooming sessions should be fun for the both of you, so be sure to schedule them when your cat’s relaxed, perhaps after exercise or eating. You want your pet to remember grooming sessions in a positive way, so you never want to risk losing your temper. If you’ve had a stressful day or are in a bad mood, it’s probably not a good time to groom your cat.

Keep your first grooming sessions short—just 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually lengthen the time until your pet is used to the routine. You should also get your pet used to being handled. Get in the habit of petting every single part of your cat—including ears, tail, belly and back—and especially the feet!

And keep in mind, a little patience can go a long way. If your cat is extremely stressed out, cut the session short and try again when she’s calmer. Unfortunately, most cats do not like baths, so you may need another person to help. And remember to pile on the praise and offer her a treat when the session is over.

Originally published by the ASPCA.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How to Care for Outdoor Cats in Winter

As the weather gets colder, you may worry about the cats you see around your neighborhood.
They may be pets whose owners let them outside, or they could be community cats, a group that includes ferals (who are afraid of people) and strays (who've been lost or abandoned). No matter how resourceful these outdoor cats are, they need help surviving winter.
If you've got time to help, the kitties will thank you! Follow these tips to help your local outdoor cats during the cold months.

Give outdoor cats shelter from the cold

Yes, their thickened winter coats help feral and stray cats weather winter's chill, but they still need warm, dry, well-insulated and appropriate-sized shelters.
It's cheapest to build your own, and there are many plans and instructions that can help you get started.

How to get help building your outdoor-cat shelter

A shelter-building party can be a fun weekend project! Ask your friends, neighbors and coworkers to join in. Try contacting local youth groups to find out if they will help build shelters as a service project.

Where to find materials 

You may find inexpensive or free materials by asking building-supply stores or contractors if they have scrap lumber. Ask friends, neighbors and coworkers for used dog houses, which can be modified to make good shelters. You can even use a storage bin from the local hardware store.

A shelter must trap the cats' body heat to warm its interior. If the shelter is too large, it will be difficult for the cats' body heat to keep the space warm.
Why size matters with cat shelters

What to put in your outdoor cat shelter

Straw allows cats to burrow. Pillowcases loosely stuffed with packing peanuts and shredded newspaper also work.
Keep things clean: Replace straw and newspaper if moist or dirty, and wash and re-stuff pillowcases as needed.
However, if it's really cold where you live and you can't check on the shelters regularly, don’tuse the above insulations. Instead, "wallpaper" the shelter's inner walls and floor with Mylar. It reflects back body heat, and it's okay for cats to lie on it.

What NOT to put in your outdoor-cat shelter

Don't use blankets, towels or folded newspaper; they absorb body heat and chill cats who are lying on them. Forego hay, too, which may irritate noses and cause allergic reactions.

Give outdoor cats food and water

Where to place food and water

One way to protect food and water is to place two shelters—doorways facing each other—two feet apart. Then create a canopy between them by securing a wide board from one roof to the other. Then put the food and water under the canopy.If you can do so without compromising the privacy and security of the shelter, place food and water near the shelter so the cats won't have to travel far.

How to keep outdoor cats' food and water from freezing

What you put food and water in can make a difference. A thick plastic water container that's deep and wide is better-insulated than a thin plastic or ceramic container. A solar-heated water bowl can prevent or delay water and canned food from freezing.
If shelters are well-insulated, you can put bowls of dry or moist food inside them, far from the doorway. Even if the moist food freezes, the cats' body heat will defrost it when they hunker down in their shelter.
Don't put water bowls inside the shelter. Water is easily spilled, and a wet shelter will feel more like a refrigerator than a warm haven. 


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cats as Christmas Presents

Sometimes it may seem like a cute idea to give someone a cuddly kitten as a Christmas present, but it’s important to give that some extra thought before you do it. Most cats that are given up lose their home because their owners lose interest in them or are unprepared for the responsibility of cat ownership. This is a huge problem seen among cat owners who receive their cats as “gifts.” Children especially are given the mistaken idea that kittens are all fun and games, but they are not fully ready to take on the responsibility of feeding, cleaning the litter box, and trimming their claws.

Instead of giving cats as presents, we recommend getting acclimated to the idea of bringing a new cat into your home. Bringing your children to volunteer at an animal shelter or babysitting the cat of a friend or family member can help. Children and potential cat owners (no matter their age!) need to be reminded that cat aren’t just cute; they are also hungry, need to exercise, and need to use the bathroom. They can be messy when they aren’t fully trained, and the training process can be difficult too.

Please, don’t adopt until everyone in your family is READY. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

What Every Cat Owner Must Know

Adopting a cat is an important responsibility. Cat owners should have a good understanding about:
  • how to meet their cats basic environmental needs 
  • how to properly care for their cat and keep them safe 
  • understanding their cat’s behaviors 
  • understanding feline health conditions, treatments and diseases 
  • and last, but importantly not least, the need for routine preventive veterinary visits
  • Every Cat Needs Routine Preventive Physical Examinations

    Preventive care examinations or check-ups for all cats should occur a minimum of once yearly, and more frequently for senior cats and those with chronic conditions. These visits are important to your cat’s individualized healthcare plan. Some things that will be discussed and assessed are your cat’s nutrition, lifestyle, environmental enrichment, disease and parasite prevention, and behavior.
    Preventive Care Examinations:
    • Information discussed along with a thorough physical examination provide you and your veterinarian with a plan to help your pet remain healthy.
    • Cats age more rapidly than we do so preventive care examinations are a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle.
    • During the physical examination, veterinarians can often detect conditions that may affect your cat’s health long before they become significant so they can be managed or cured before they become painful or more costly.
    • As a member of the family, your cat deserves the best possible care. Together, you and your veterinarian can best decide how to accomplish that by meeting at least annually to talk about your cat and any changes that have taken place in their life. With the information you bring and a good physical examination, a plan will be created that meets the needs of your cat and the family.
    You are an important member of your cat’s healthcare team. You can be instrumental in helping your cat live a happy and healthy quality of life.                                                                                                         
    Click the video below to see why routine veterinary checkups for your cat are important:
  • What Your Vet Looks for During Exams

    Are you curious about what’s going on during your cat’s yearly check-up? It may seem like your veterinarian is just petting your cat, but they are examining your cat’s entire health and lifestyle during the checkup. Some of these include:
    • Abdomen and Body
    • Muscle Tone and Weight
    • Coat, Fur and Skin
    • Ears and Eyes
    • Mouth, Gums and Teeth
    • Heart and Lungs
    • Joints and Spine
    • Under the Tail
    • Taking and Analyzing Samples


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Missing the litter box

You have a problem. Your cat is thinking outside the box, and not in a good way. You may be wondering what you did to inspire so much “creative expression.” Is your cat punishing you? Is Fluffy just “bad”? No, and no. House soiling and missing the litter box is a sign that your cat needs some help.

According to the Winn Feline Foundation, house soiling is the number one complaint among cat owners. The good news is that it is very treatable.
An accredited veterinarian can help you determine if the problem is medical or related to social or environmental stressors. In addition to a complete physical exam, the doctor will ask you specific “where and when” questions.
Health factors
Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, a specialist in feline urinary disorders at The Ohio State University, and founder of the Indoor Cat Initiative says that many veterinarians recommend a urine test for every cat with a house soiling problem. The urinalysis will determine if blood, bacteria, or urinary crystals are present — signs that your cat might have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
FLUTD is very common and can cause painful urination. Cats that begin to associate the litter box with pain will avoid it. Other medical possibilities include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis and muscle or nerve disorders that might prevent your cat from getting to the litter box in time.
Environmental factors
If there is no medical cause, the next step is to look at environmental factors. Start with the litter box. Your cat might be avoiding the litter box because it is not cleaned well enough, you’ve changed the type of litter you use, or there is only one box for multiple cats.
Another possibility is that your cat is “marking” — spraying urine, typically on vertical objects such as walls and furniture, or in “socially significant” areas near doors or windows. Both male and female cats mark. The most common offenders are cats that have not been spayed or neutered.
Buffington says that stress can cause elimination problems too. For example, subtle aggression or harassment by other house cats or neighborhood cats may be an issue.
Even unremarkable changes in your home can make your cat anxious or fearful. Look around. Did anything change right before your cat started having problems? Did you get a new pet? A new couch? Maybe you just moved the old couch to a different part of the room, or had a dinner party. Cats are sensitive creatures and changes that seem small to you can throw your cat off his game. Check with your veterinarian about finding solutions that work for both you and your cat