Caring For Your Cat and Her Litter After Birth

It’s important to assist your cat in and after her kitten delivery! Cuddle them all closely and get the best post cat pregnancy tips.

  The time has come — the cat that you adore has given birth to a litter of kittens. You’ve been anticipating this moment over the last two months, and now they're here, all of them! What happens now, and how do you care for the new mother and her new litter?   The Vet Set loves tiny, new kittens! We’re here to support you and your cat in prenatal and postnatal care. Take a moment in your day and learn more about how to keep everyone happy and healthy in this new transition!

The Fragile Post-Pregnancy Stage For Cats

  After a cat gives birth, like humans, it is a new and fragile stage for them, so it’s vital for you to do what’s best and not interfere too much to the natural rhythm of nature. With too much obstruction, it can actually be more harmful to your cat and her litter, even when you mean well.   It’s a warm-up period, she’s a new mom, and needs some help but also some space!  

The Ideal Post-Pregnancy Cat Habitat

  After the kittens come, it’s important to quarantine them in a separate space that is calm, quiet and warm. One of the biggest health concerns when it comes to newborn kittens is chilling, so ensure there is enough warmth to keep them safe. You may even consider investing in a portable heater to better heat a room, or heated pad that they can lay on.   Help keep the family together by keeping them in a box or contained area that the momma cat can enter and exit with ease. Line it with towels or disposable liners and change them frequently to keep the area clean and stink-free!   It’s important that the new mom has all of her necessities nearby and this includes the litterbox, food, and water.      The first two to three weeks after birth are critical for both the kittens and the mother. Postpartum concerns to look for are eclampsia (blood calcium deficiency). The mothers often present symptoms that include:  
  • Poor maternal instincts
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Panting
Also in this time, the kittens will grow quite quickly and the mother will display any adverse postpartum symptoms.   Week one: The kitten is quite small and typically fits in the palm of hands. Week two: The kittens begin to open their eyes. Week three: The teeth begin to develop and their eyes may change color.    

Health Concerns Kittens Face

  Kittens are subject to a variety of health concerns that include infectious diseases (respiratory infections), parasites, and congenital diseases. One of the most heart-wrenching but common health concerns in kittens is known as Fading Kitten Syndrome (FKS). While there may be many causes, the end result is the inability of the kitten to thrive. Signs of FKS including sleeping more than the litter and lethargy.  

Take Cues From Your Cat

  New kittens are so cute and cuddly and we know that you just want to hold them and be near them all the time — especially if you have kids — but let the new mother set the tone. If you’ve had her for a while, she may know and trust you and allow you near her litter right away, but if she was fostered or rescued, it may be a minute before she lets you in.     Just keep an eye on their progress and ensure that they’re moving about, nursing, and thriving. If they are, just look to mom for your next move and watch her body language.  

What To Feed Your Cat Post-Pregnancy

  After birth, it’s important to continue to feed your cat high-quality cat food, both wet and dry food are fine. Because nursing takes a toll on their bodies, they require more protein. Your cat will not only need more protein, but they will also need to eat more, often doubling their food consumption while nursing. The more food she eats, the more milk she’ll be able to produce for her new kittens.   These eating patterns will need to continue throughout the duration of nursing, in which kittens are typically weaned anywhere from eight to 10 weeks old.   Water is also a non-negotiable after birth — they require much more of it to better produce milk. Ensure that your cat always has clean, fresh water available. As far as feeding, you may want to adopt a “free choice” style of feeding where you leave a bowl full of food and they can come and go as they need and when they need.     A new litter is exciting to be around but it’s important you take the right steps and respect the new mom, so everyone can thrive and adapt to the new life.   If you have additional questions about the post-natal cat and kitten care or need a vet well-check, schedule an appointment at our Carrol Gardens vet clinic today.  

Everything You Need To Know About Emotional Support Animals

Because navigating emotional wellness with a four-legged furry friend is always better!

  You may have noticed dogs roaming in unconventional places — airports, restaurants, and even shopping malls — and while service animals are quite recognizable, what is an emotional support animal (ESA)?   Our furry best friends complete our families — not only do they keep us company on runs and provide us with a lifetime of laughs, they’re always by our side offering their undivided emotional support. The VetSet is here to make sure your furry friend lives out their days healthy and happy. We provide traditional and alternative care at our brick and mortar vet clinic and also our mobile vet services. Join us in today’s post as we explore all that pertains to emotional support animals.

The Power of Animals

  While emotional support animals have received a lot of media attention from both critics and those in favor, most people can identify and have experience with the power of animals. Whether it’s a special bond you have as a pet parent or the joys of fostering, you can relate to the ease and calm that pets can bring. They can sense when your in turmoil both physically and emotionally, and are the first ones at your side to help soothe.   Emotional support animals are no different and they offer those who are managing health issues more rights than your typical household pet.  

What’s The Difference? Emotional Support Pets Vs. Service and Therapy Animals

  A service animal is typically a dog trained for a specific task. We have service dogs for the blind, for those in wheelchairs, and even those who have epilepsy. Emotional support dogs differ from service animals in that they’re not trained for a specific job so they don’t have the same public allowances that service animals do.   A therapy animal — again, typically a dog — is a pet trained to offer psychological and emotional support. Common places to spot therapy animals are in nursing homes, schools, and therapists offices.   The largest difference between an emotional support animal and service and therapy animals, is that they’re not trained for a specific task or job. They are simply there in their presence to offer an emotional connection void of less legal accommodations.     Emotional support animals do not have the same rights as service animals under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) because they are not needed to provide their owner’s in assistance in everyday tasks and do not receive ongoing, consistent, and professional training. The very beautiful thing about ESA is that the law recognizes their significance, and some laws extend to them — you are allowed some rights in public spaces. ESA’s are recognized in the Fair Housing Amendment Act (FHAA) and those with emotional support animals are allowed to keep them, in addition to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) that allows owners to bring their animals on a flight even beyond whether they fit in a carrier under the seat or not.   The laws are only so permitting — in units with a no pet policy, ESA animals are still not allowed, and within the ACAA, you can only fly with a dog or cat.  

What Makes An Emotional Support Animal Legal?

  To certify an ESA, you must get prescribed a script requesting an ESA by your mental health practitioner. These scripts are typically written for those who suffer from the following mental health concerns:  
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Cognitive issues
  The letter must include all information such as:  
  • A script written by your current mental health practitioner
  • The disability stated for an ESA
  • How your life is impacted by the health concerns you have
  • How the ESA would improve your quality of life
  • Be dated a year or less out from the time you require it for housing or travel
 

More on Emotional Support Animals

  ESAs are widely beneficial for the quality of life they can help guide you towards. An ESA needs no specific training or certifications and can be a pet you already have or one you’re planning on adopting.   It is highly recommended that they do have basic obedience training and manners so they can behave well in a public space.   ESAs play a vital role alongside side both service and therapy animals. They can help those struggling with a psychological issue gain a better quality of life and soothe them in stressful situations such as long flights or being home alone.     It’s also important to go through all of the right avenues to gain certification, so as not to abuse the system and make it more difficult for those in the future to obtain a ESA.   If you are managing a health issue and feel you need the support of an animal, look into an emotional support animal to help you through your toughest days.  

If you have an emotional support animal and are in need of vet services in the Carroll Garden area, reach out to us today!

      

The Only Guide You’ll Need To Planning Your Dog’s Birthday Party!

Dog birthday ideas for planning the perfect pawty!

  Your furry best friend is an extension of your family — after all, they go practically everywhere with you, and when you refer to them as your child, everyone knows who you’re talking about!   It’s only natural that they get a birthday party in their honor every year!   At Vet Set, we celebrate your dog by keeping them happy and healthy so they can celebrate each passing year with you! From alternative vet methods to x-rays and vaccinations, we can meet you where you’re at via our mobile vet clinic! For now, relax and find great ideas for planning your next puppy birthday party!

Plan a Dog Birthday For the Books With These Ideas!

  Spoiling your dog is something dog owners love to do — whether it’s making them go gaga over their favorite toy or indulging them in a new treat — we live to give our dogs the best quality of life.   So, if you’re ready to see the pure bliss on your dog’s face, now is the time to plan for their upcoming pawty!  

Find the perfect doggy birthday venue!

  Not every venue is dog-friendly, so unless you have a venue dedicated to dogs (a dog park or doggy daycare), having the party in your home may be the best practice.   One of the highlights of celebrating your dog is they don’t know when their birthday is, which can make things easier for you. If they have a cold, December birthday, celebrate them in warmer weather when they can tromp around in your yard or the park with their buddies.   Create fun exciting invitations and decorations even the humans will love!   Invitations are part of the fun, so craft unique and cheeky doggy birthday invitations that dazzle. The practice of posting invites to fridges still happens, and people love slapping a cute dog invitation up for everyone to see!   As far as decorations go, go wild! You can never have too many dog decorations at the party! Get creative and go beyond the typical paws and bones decor. We can’t get enough of the UPS and mailman theme (if your dog loves to bark and tease them) or a tennis ball theme — whatever your dog is in to, create a theme around that.  

Pamper them with a pupcake!

When it comes to the cake, it has to entice and dazzle. It can be a delicious concoction of everything they love — dog bones, peanut butter, pumpkin, or bananas — or it can be a treat they love to destroy. We’ve seen cute cakes that let dogs go crazy with toilet paper, boxes, and bubble wrap — don’t be afraid to do something different!   Invite all their friends!   What’s better than a solo birthday? A birthday with all your favorite dog buddies! Invite as many of their dog friends that your house or park can contain and let them celebrate and play all day!   If your dog has a social media following, it’s also fun to create a little post about their upcoming party — create a hashtag that the other dogs can use when they post pictures from the day!   If you’re outdoors, a water station (or a couple) is a great idea. Keep a couple of bowls around, or have fun and create a doggy fountain that flows with fresh water.    

Strike a paws with a photo booth!

  Photo booths are not only for the humans, dogs love to use them too! It can be as basic or ornate as you want, but be sure to include birthday themed props and ones that are tolerated by most dogs — sunglasses, hats, frisbees, etc.   Not only does a photobooth create an area to document the day, the humans can post them on social media under the hashtag you created!   Include games!   Games can be a great way to control the chaos of a host of dogs. You could create a talent show where the dogs show off their tricks and talents for treats or a scavenger hunt where you hide treats and the dogs go around sniffing them out.    

Don’t let the guests leave without a doggy bag!

  Fill a bag full of treats that the doggy guests can take with them — this can be anything from balls and jerky to dog bones and a cute bandana.   Don’t leave the human guests out!   The dog party shenanigans can be a bit tiring for the humans, so try and create a space where everyone can relax and kick back at the party — food and adult beverages are always a great option! You can even play to the theme and customize a cocktail in honor of your dog!   Celebrating your dog is something that you and other dog parents love to do! No matter what you end up doing, have fun and make it a stress-free endeavor!  

For more information on how we can keep your dog happy and healthy with our mobile vet services, connect with us today!

     

Cat Behavior: Weird or Normal? (Part Two)

We know that cats present their butts and chirp at birds but why do they do this, and why is it so weird?

  In part one, we began our journey of bizarre cat behavior by looking at various oddball behaviors such as cats throwing shade and eating grass. In today’s post, we’ll explore more of these behaviors and try to understand what they mean!   At Vet Set, we know cats! We love to help you keep them happy and healthy so they can continue being their weird selves! Partner with us and find amazing care at our vet hospital! In the meantime, let’s learn more about our cat’s behavior.

Are All Cats This Strange?

  Enjoy more odd cat behaviors below and dive into them with us and what they mean!   Getting Vocal With Birds   Cats love to get vocal with the birds that are flying around outside, only to get frustrated that can’t be out there harassing them. When you notice this chatter or clacking sound — different from many other sounds cats make — cat experts break this down to cats becoming frustrated that they aren’t able to act upon their prey drive and go after the bird, so elicit movement of the jaw happens. This act mimics them catching and killing prey, so though the noise is a little bizarre as it is hilarious, it serves a purpose!   Receiving Interesting Presents   Cats love to bring presents, dead presents that is! Have you ever wondered why they drop dead birds, snakes, and mice off at the door for you?   This is also an act of endearment for cats — not only are they displaying their cunning and successful talents, they’re essentially sharing part of the hunt with you! You are a part of the kitty squad!   While this may remain a bit unappetizing for humans, don’t discourage this behavior. You can help keep their prey alive and off your doorstep by attaching a bell to their collar.   Cat Kneading   Cats love to make a kneading motion, and as a human, you should just relax and enjoy the affection! Cats knead as a way to mark their territory and better quell any anxieties.   This behavior is innate and it begins after birth as a way for kittens to stimulate the mammary glands of their mothers to get milk.   “If I Fits, I Sits!” Cats love to find odd places to curl up into — from tiny boxes to a bathroom sink — if a cat can fit, they will absolutely sit! Cats love smaller places because it makes them feel safe and protected, and it’s also a survival mechanism.   In the wild, cats aren’t safe in a wide open area where larger predators roam, which is why they would seek refuge in dens and smaller nooks and crannies, to stay away from their predators. So, the next time you find them in a place that looks super uncomfortable, just leave them be — they don’t want to be hunted or perhaps bothered!     Rolling Around   If your cat is constantly rolling around, it is signaling that it feels safe in its surroundings and around you. It may also roll wildly while under the influence of catnip or when they’re trying to mark their scent and claim your space as their own!   Yelping in The Night   Sleep is precious to humans, so when your furry feline wakes you up with their insistent crying, it can drive you mad. This happens as a result of their urge to be out and about hunting prey. These cries are out of frustration that they can’t catch anything or out of excitement that they did!   Curb this energy by giving them more to do at night or even giving them the option to go hunt!   Cats are interesting creatures, to put it lightly, and they display a whole host of behaviors we have a hard time discerning as humans! From the affectionate displays of their butts to chattering with the birds, you can bet that all of this is cat language and it serves some clue to what’s behind it, even when it is strange!  

To get the best care for your cat, connect with our vet clinic in the Carroll Gardens area today!

 

Cat Behavior: Weird or Normal? (Part One)

Cats are surely a breed of their own — they’re independent as they are fussy, and sometimes their behavior can seem a bit odd.

  Cats are fun-loving pets that give you the right amount of cuddles at a time that is convenient to them! Which is to say, that they may be a bit odd and sometimes you may not fully understand their intentions.   When you partner with Vet Set and our premier veterinary services, you not only get a compassionate vet, you also get a team that is dedicated to providing the best care to your cat! Follow along in today’s post as we venture into cat behavior and explain what weird behaviors they elicit and how they may be more normal than you may think!

The Strange (and Often Misunderstood) Behavior of Cats

  Cats are often a mystery to most of us, but there are some behaviors that really just leave us clueless. Below are those behaviors — demystified!  

Cats showing us their butts.

  This is strange, but everyone who has been around a cat knows this strange behavior. When a cat presents their butt, this is a good sign. They are telling you that they feel at ease with you and are giving you an opportunity to get to know them a little better!   This is essentially like greeting a friend with a hug. When a cat does this, you can just give them a nice scratch in their favorite spot.  

Cat Head Butting

  Have you ever had a cat snuggle up to you, only to give you a head butt? It’s a little odd, but not out of their wheelhouse. Vets refer to this behavior as bunting or allorubbing and this is a sign of endearment — cats do this to mark their territory with a scent and claim you as their own!  

Cat Shade

  Perhaps you’ve caught a glimpse of your cat staring straight at you, throwing shade. This sneering or flehmen has nothing to do with you, human! They may be staring straight into your eyes, but really what’s happening is they’re getting pheromones from other cats that have marked that area which often produces a lip curl and dead-stare.  

Eating Grass

  Cats, just like dogs, commonly eat grass, but most of us don’t understand this behavior. Unlike humans who get vital nutrients from their greens, cats can enjoy some trace health benefits, but grass offers them added fiber to their diets to aid in passing hairballs.  

Covering Up Poop

  Have you ever noticed that cats cover their poop in their litter boxes — what is the point in this? How cats use their litter box is generally passed down from their older counterparts (if you have them), and the litter box is cat language in and of itself.       Typically, cats cover their poop as a way to mark their territory, a litter box graffiti of sorts, but mostly it’s something that has been domesticated into them.   Are there more strange behaviors to cover? Of course there are! We love covering cats, so stay tuned for part two!  

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