When Your Cat Needs to Go to the Vet

Cat’s can’t always communicate when they need help — learn about the signs and symptoms to look for as you make the decision to take them to the vet.

  If you’re a cat owner, it’s important to know a couple basic health signs to better keep them happy and healthy. The more aware of your cat’s health, the sooner health problems can be addressed, and oftentimes it saves you from costly procedures the longer you wait. Get a favorable outcome when you take your cat to your local animal health clinic at the first sign of illness.      The Vet Set treats a variety of furry friends, including cats. We have a keen eye, trained skills, and innovative technology to offer your pet the best care. Examine signs and symptoms that may better clue you into your cat’s health.

Health Signs to Look For in Your Cat

  Cat’s come with a baseline of what’s considered normal in their health, just as dogs and people do. Below are common signs and symptoms to look for when assessing your cat’s health.   Breathing   A breath or respiratory rate that is normal for cats falls between 16 to 40 breaths per minute. Cat’s who are ill, stressed, experiencing discomfort, or suffering from heatstroke will have an increased and rapid respiratory rate. If your cat has an increased breathing rate and they’ve only been resting, you may want to check in with your local vet.   Temperature   Cat’s temperatures run a little higher than humans, as a normal range is between 100.5 F and 102.5 F. Anything that peaks 103 F or drops below 100 F, may warrant a call to your vet. Despite the tips of taking your cat’s temperature via the moistness of their nose, this is not reliable. The only way to know their temperature is through a rectal thermometer.   Heart Rate   A cat’s normal heart rate is between 120 and 140 beats per minute, but if they’re stressed or ill it will be higher. Cats can suffer from heart issues such as heart disease and other conditions including hyperthyroidism that can skyrocket their heart rates to a rapid 200 beats per minute.     Adverse Symptoms   Along with cat’s vital signs listed above, there are symptoms that you can look for in a sick cat.   Diarrhea - If your cat suddenly begins to have diarrhea, take note and see if it becomes chronic. Sometimes they may just have an upset stomach, while chronic, untreated diarrhea can indicate other health issues such as a parasite. Ensure your cat is not dehydrated and schedule an appointment with your vet.   Lethargy - If your cat becomes inactive and seems disinterested, even in a subtle way, this could reveal a potential issue. If your cat is laying around, has low-energy, or is sleeping more than usual, you may want to connect with your animal health clinic.   Vomiting - Some people think vomiting is a normal symptom for cats, but truly, it’s not. Yes, cats do get the occasional hairballs, but it shouldn’t go beyond this. If your cat begins vomiting, get a consult with your veterinarian.   Changes in appetite - If your cat begins to lose interest in eating and food or begin to have an increased appetite, this could raise concern. Because a cat’s appetite will ebb and flow daily, it’s important to keep track of major changes. If your cat skips a meal here and there, that may not be an issue, but if they’ve stopped eating for the entire week, this should raise a red flag. If your cat begins to eat a lot more food, especially if they’re older, this could be signs of hypothyroidism and can lead to feline obesity.      Personality changes -You know better than anyone, your cat's distinct personality. If it begins to change and they suddenly are more aggressive or are acting afraid, explore these changes with your animal care clinic to better understand what may be going on.   There are many signs and symptoms your cat may be struggling with a health issue, so know your cat’s behavior, and when in doubt, schedule an appointment with your vet.  

Is it hard for you to make it to the vet? No worries! The Vet Set is mobile and can come to you! Schedule your appointment today!

 

Why Do Cats Love Bathrooms?

It’s never a surprise to find your cat relaxing in your bathroom!

  As a cat owner — or let’s face it, the cat owns you — your fluffy feline has the special places that it likes to be. From dangling on top a high shelf or curling up on top of your bedroom pillow, cats are creatures of habits. It’s also not uncommon to find your cat in the bathroom — cats love bathrooms. They love to follow you in and rub against your legs as you’re brushing your teeth or getting ready for the day! But why do cats love bathrooms?   At The Vet Set, we love cats! Whether you need to bring them into our Carroll Gardens animal health clinic or schedule a mobile vet appointment, we’re here to give your cat the best care possible. Get in touch with your inner feline and get playful with us as we explore why cats love bathrooms!

Why Cats are Drawn to Bathrooms

If you’re a cat owner, you’ve likely experienced finding your cat leisurely lounging in the bathroom sink or pawing and meowing loudly if they get shut out — so what is it with cats and bathrooms?   Cats can find attention in the bathroom.   Let’s face it, cats find attention on their own terms and stalking you in the bathroom is a great way to do it. The cats are keen to the time you spend in the bathroom so they know they can get your undivided attention when you’re combing your hair or sitting on the toilet.   The bathroom is a playground for cats.   For cats, every home comes with at least one in-house playground that they can meander in. They can climb towels and hide in clothes, spin and destroy the toilet paper roll, and play with a leaky faucet! There are so many fun textures and accessories that cats can get into, it’s no wonder you find them hanging out there.   Your bathroom sink is a natural cat bed.   What fits perfectly into the bathroom sink? Cats of course! The shape perfectly hugs and cradles your cat making it the perfect place for, well, a cat nap! In the warmer months, the sink may provide a place to cool off and lap up dripping water and in the winter, they provide a place to snuggle and retreat.   The bathroom is interesting...when the door is closed!   Closed doors drive cats nuts — what wasn’t at all interesting, now with a closed door, piques their interest. When your cat realizes this game where you often close the bathroom door, they want it. They want in on the fun and they can’t simply miss out — cats have FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to closed bathroom doors.   Cats like to be around water.   Cats may not like to be in the water, but believe it or not, they like to be around it. They can sip the fresh coolness of water from the tub and sink faucets, and if you leave the water running, they’ll have a jolly ol’ time playing in it!   Cats love a good routine.   Cats pick up on where you’re at and when you’re there, and so, they’ll stop by for a visit. It’s most likely a part of their daily routine — right after they’ve been fed and before their first morning nap.   Your cat wants to be near you.   The truth of the matter is, your cat loves you, despite their fickle ways! The bathroom has your smells all around it — in your towel, the bathmats, and even your grooming products — so when you’re gone, it is the perfect sanctuary to feel safe and close to you. When you’re physically there, they want to be near you. They probably find what you do in there quite interesting, so you have an engaged audience in your cat! This is the best time to bond and spend quality time with your cat.   Cats are elusive creatures that can be difficult to understand — the bathroom is a middle ground where you both can love on each other!  

Get the leading cat vet services in Carroll Gardens when you partner with us! Connect today!

 

Why Is My Cat Drinking So Much Water?

Drinking water is a natural part of living.  The most common reason why cats drink water is because they’re thirsty.  Cats are very efficient in their internal water conservation which is one of the reasons why their urine has a pungent smell to it.  A normal, healthy cat will drink between 10-30 ml/kg daily.  Cats that eat dry food may drink a little more, but we do recommend feeding cats moist food to help maintain their water consumption.  Your cat should always have access to clean, fresh water. Polydipsia is the medical term utilized to describe increased water consumption.  If you notice your cat drinking more water it’s important to not dismiss it as it’s often the first sign that something has changed with your cat’s internal function. Increased water consumption is a result of 3 things:
  • Compensatory – drinking more due to exercise or increased temperature; vomiting or diarrhea leading to water loss and compensatory drinking; food with increased salt leading to increased consumption.
  • Pathological – drinking more water due to excessive water loss from a medical problem. Generally more of a chronic, ongoing problem.
  • Behavioral – drinking more water due to a behavioral problem. Behavioral polydipsia is a diagnosis by exclusion meaning we have ruled out all other reasons for increased water consumption.
The three most common reasons why cats drink more water are:
  • Kidney disease – Kidney disease is the most common diagnoses ailment in older cats. The initial signs of renal disease include increased water consumption and increased urination (polydipsia, polyuria or PU/PD for short), decreased appetite, and weight loss.  While we cannot cure chronic kidney disease, there is a lot we can do to help manage it, and early diagnosis is critical.
  • Diabetes Mellitus – Cats develop diabetes similar to Type 2 diabetes in people. The initial signs of diabetes in cats are increased water consumption, increased appetite, and weight loss.  Early diagnosis is critical to prevent a medical crisis.  Diabetes is more common in overweight cats.
  • Hyperthyroidism – A common endocrine disorder in older cats hyperthyroidism leads to increased energy, increased water consumption, and a big appetite coupled with weight loss.
Any time you and your veterinarian are suspect of increased water consumption your veterinarian will want to run bloodwork and urine work to try to diagnose the reason why.  The sooner you and your veterinarian know why your cat is drinking more and urinating more the sooner a treatment plan can be created to increase the chance of a positive outcome.  If you have questions about why your cat is drinking a lot of water please contact The Vet Set team.

Tips for Taking Your Cat on a Road Trip

Thinking about taking your cat on a road trip? Dr. Eva recently contributed some helpful tips to Popsugar Pets! See link below: http://www.popsugar.com/pets/How-Prepare-Cat-Car-Ride-39849701 photo credit: Flickr user Sharonhahndarlin  

5 Tips To Keep Your City Kitty Happy

Top Five Ways to Keep Your City Kitty Happy!

As dictated by the cat that owns Taylor Truitt, DVM

 Your city kitty is indeed a lucky cat!  Since she can’t go outside she doesn’t have to worry about being attacked, contracting disease, and will most likely live a longer life.  But we do need to keep our city kitties happy by modifying their home environment so they don’t get bored.  Here’s the top 5 ways to keep your city kitty happy!

5) Cat Grass.  Cat grass is a special variety of grass you can grow indoors for your cat to munch on.  It can help control hairballs by helping them pass and provide some additional nutrients that aren’t apart of their carnivorous diet.  While the jury is still out on whether cat grass offers any health benefits, most cats really enjoy it, so let them have it! 4) High quality diet and quantity management.  City kitties are prone to gaining weight since they aren’t out prowling all day.  It’s important to put them on a set quantity of food daily based upon their activity levels.  Cats that are allowed to graze throughout the day end up overweight over time.  Cats have an easier time managing their weight when fed canned food. 3) Appropriate toys and exercise.  Cats are hunters by nature.  Hunting their toys is stimulating for them both mentally and physically.  Using the fishing pole toys, cat n14805-Tabby-cat-playing-with-a-feather-duster-white-backgroundip toys, or toys with feathers or fur are often kitty favorites, but there are so many – find some your cat enjoys!  And don’t forget to interact with your cat!  Movement is 50% of the fun! 2) Window hammocks and perches.  Cats love to watch the world go by!  Why not give them a fun and comfortable place in a window to catch a ray of sun or spy on the lowly citizens below.  Windows can be prime entertainment! 1) Cat trees.  Cat trees allow cats to climb, scratch, and get to a high perch in their environment.  Cats love to be up high.  By giving them their own territory they feel they have a safe spot to sleep, and lots of cat trees now have many levels allowcattreeing them to exercise and scratch in a place we all approve. Incorporate these simple tips into your cat’s home to create a happy home environment for you and your cat!  Of course, don’t be surprised when your cat is initially more interested in the box your new gifts came in than the gifts themselves.  Please contact The Vet Set for any questions you may have for your city kitty!

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