Stop Cat Scratching With These Helpful 4 Tips! (Part 2)

Destructive scratching from your cat is frustrating and can destroy many of your belongings. Learn how to better prevent it today!

  In part one, we discovered why cats scratch and began to look at ways to better combat destructive cat scratching.   At The Vet Set, we’re here to tell you that cat scratching is totally normal, and when you work with your space and create a scratching area that your cat loves, it can help prevent damage. Join us to learn more about what you can do. 

Stop the Damage From Destructive Cat Scratching!

  In our last post, we mentioned how cats love textures, so while they’re not trying to damage anything, the texture of your couch is so appealing. You can combat the damage by setting up a space just for them! Get more ideas below.      Attract your cat - It’s important to make their scratching post both fun and relaxing, and not a place they’re forced into. To make it more appealing, leave catnip toys and toys they can bat at, at in the area. This way, they’re more likely to play, take a cat nap, and scratch — it’s an all-in-one play place for your cat!     Keep your cat busy - Like any pet, when your cat gets bored, they’re more likely to be destructive through scratching. So, keep your cat happy and entertained where they can play and express their innate behaviors. Not only are scratching areas crucial, but providing them with stimulation whether that be from chasing a toy mouse for predatory play or letting them patrol the yard and engage in a hunt.    Trim their nails - The reason for scratching has a lot to do with keeping their nails trimmed, so when they don't have the opportunity to do it regularly, their nails may get long. You can help address the issue by trimming their nails or taking them to the groomers to clip them.    Now that we know the importance of the perfect cat scratching environment, there are ways to help keep them off the couch!   To get them off the couch and onto the scratch post, consider the following: Apply a citrus scent around the area - Cats have a natural aversion to citrus scents so keep them at bay by diffusing citrus near your couch or even placing cotton balls with essential oils in the corners of the cushions.    Place a barrier on your couch - Texture is huge for cats, especially when it comes to scratching. So, if they love your leather or fabric couch, tuck a sheet over the couch or place aluminum foil in the places they are known for scratching.      Block them with furniture - If your cat routinely scratches the side or back of your couch, try using furniture to detract them. Side tables are perfect to place at the side and a long chest or storage piece of furniture works great at the back. The best case scenario? Finding a place where you can move your couch to the wall so less of it is exposed and tempting to your cat.    

Why Declawing is Not An Option

  For some, declawing your cat seems like the perfect solution, but for whom? Yes, it keeps them from destroying your belongings, but at what cost? Cats claws don’t grow from skin — they’re actually an extension of their bones in their paws.    Declawing is a major surgery that is an amputation of this bone where nerves, tendons, and ligaments are severed. Not only does this put your cat at risk for post-surgery complications, but it puts a huge damper on their physical and emotional health.    They no longer can defend themselves nor climb, in addition to relieving stress and anxiety. Declawing your cat disrupts every part of their life and how they interact in the world.    Claws and scratching are an integral part in which cats are able to interact with their world, and though it can be frustrating for us, it’s what comes naturally to them.    If you have a cat who repeatedly scratches your furniture, the best course of action is to create an area or multiple areas that allow them to stretch and scratch in freedom.    

Keep your cat happy and healthy and learn more about the vet services we offer! Call today. 

            

Stop Cat Scratching With These Helpful 4 Tips! (Part One)

Ruined furniture and household belongings? It’s time to stop destructive cat scratching in its tracks!

  We love our feline friends, but what we don’t love is the destruction they do with their claws! How many times have you come into the living room and found a long, running claw mark down the side of your couch slashing the fabric, or small puncture holes in the cushions on your leather couch? This is real damage and it’s never cheap to replace.    At The Vet Set, we understand how destructive cat scratching can put a damper on your relationship with your cat and your wallet! Get the best tips to prevent cat scratching to keep your belongings safe and protected!

First things first, why do cats scratch things in the first place?

  Although cats can be fussy and have an attitude towards you at times, they don’t scratch to spite you! Scratching is an innate behavior that you’ll see in both wild and domestic cats and they do it for both mental and physical reasons.       Stretching - We all need a good stretch from time to time, right?! So do cats! It just happens that when they get a long, cathartic stretch in, they have razor-like claws at the end that can rip and shred whatever they’re on.    Maintaining their predatory instincts - Cats are notorious for two things when they’re outdoors — hunting prey and climbing, and, both rely on cat’s claws. They need to scratch to capture and kill prey and they need sharp claws that can climb trees to catch the prey!    Protection - If your cat roams the streets, they need to have the protection to defend themselves from any pesky dogs that try and attack or other felines trying to pick a fight.    Marking their territory - When cat’s scratch, their paws secrete a scent that marks their territory. This is a valuable piece of information in the cat world because it communicates to other cat’s and helps maintain a social hierarchy.    Nail care - It’s important that cats keep their nails trim and healthy so they can hunt, climb, and do other behaviors with ease, and this involves scratching to for nail care and maintenance.     Emotional relief - Cats need to release stress too! Not only does scratching help cats release any stress and frustration, but they also do it when they’re excited. Cats need to scratch to help maintain a healthy emotional balance!   Movement - Scratching is a natural movement, almost like yoga, where they can root their claws and stretch their muscles and also extend and retract their nails, giving their paws good exercise!    Now that we have a better understanding of why cat’s scatch, let’s explore how we can prevent them from ruining our belongings!   It’s not about preventing the itch to scratch, it’s more about finding better outlets that are less destructive to your belongings!  

Preventing The Destructive Scratching

  Scratching is innate and it’s something that you can’t prevent or stop in a cat, you can, however, offer them a better solution than your couch!   Scratching is personal for your cat! - Every cat has their own personal preferences on the type of texture and material they like to scratch, so it’s vital that you figure this out. Start by investing or making a couple of different scratching areas that vary in size, material, and style. Common scratching posts are made from rope, carpet, cardboard, and wood and are available in both horizontal and verticle surfaces.    Create the perfect scratching space - Cats like to be social and in the same room as us, so create a scratching area where you are. Even better, put a couple of scratching posts around the house to keep the area and variety fresh for your cat! It’s also important when you’re making a scratching area to ensure that the posts are strong and sturdy. Your cat will be scratching and stretching with all the bodyweight and a wobbly surface can be dangerous and it can easily deter your cat.    What we’ve learned so far is that cat scratching is natural and it’s not something that can be stopped. You can, however, remove the temptation by creating a scratching space just for them!   There are a lot more things to cover on destructive cat scratching, so look for part two soon!  

To schedule an appointment for your cat, reach out to our Carroll Gardens cat clinic today! 

   

8 Health Issues You Can Get From Your Furry Friend! (Part One)

It’s important that everyone stays happy and healthy in your home — learn all about the diseases our pets can give us.

  When your pet is under the weather — they’ve stopped eating, they’re sleeping a lot, or perhaps you can just sense an illness — your heart aches and you would do anything to help them feel better.   And then you notice, you’re not feeling so great either. Is your empathy on overdrive or did your pet just give you something?   At The Vet Set, we’re your local vet in Carroll Gardens and we encourage you to give us a call when your pet is under the weather, this way we can identify and diagnose what they have, preventing them from getting sicker or spreading what they have to you. Learn about common diseases your pet can spread in today’s post.

8 Diseases Your Pet Can Spread To Humans

  No, your empathy is not on overdrive, and yes, your pet just got you sick! Below are the most common diseases you can get from your pet — learn them, know them, and prevent them from spreading!  

Pet-to-Human Diseases

  When a pet spreads their illness and you contract it, this is what’s known as a zoonotic disease. This type of disease can be spread through direct or indirect contact with animals either through pests such as ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes, while others can be foodborne.   Older, younger, and pregnant people or those with compromised immune systems are the most at risk for zoonotic diseases. The best prevention is through keeping a clean home, washing your hands after pet snuggles, and avoiding any pet bites or scratches, in addition to always washing your raw fruits and veggies and thoroughly cooking your food.  

Giardia

  Giardia is a cluster of parasites that affect many animals such as dogs and cats, and also rodents and humans. These organisms can survive in the harshest of conditions. Giardia is ingested and causes severe GI issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.   Because many animals are exposed to the outdoors and the host of germs and bacteria present in the soil and water, they can easily lick or drink in the parasite.   While it’s more uncommon for humans to get giardia, it can be contracted from your cat walking in contaminated soil and then walking on your kitchen counters or even just petting an infected animal and not washing your hands afterward.   If you notice abnormal symptoms in your pet, it’s vital to take them to the vet and quarantine them at home. Always wash your hands after handling an infected animal and bathe them daily to reduce the risk of spreading the parasite.  

Salmonella

  When you think of salmonella, you think of food poisoning from eating undercooked meat, not from cuddling your cat. Similar to giardia, salmonella can be contracted through rolling around in feces or soil outside and then you petting them and not washing your hands. Again, washing your hands is critical in preventing the spread of germs and bacteria.     

Cat Scratch

  You’ve likely heard of cat scratch fever and this is a real disease caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae. Cats contract cat scratch disease from blood-sucking parasites such as fleas, ticks, biting flies, and lice. And the kicker, this disease doesn’t typically affect the host!   Humans get cat scratch fever from a cat bite or scratch that breaks the skin, it is also contracted when a cat licks an open wound on a human, so keep those wounds protected and covered!   The symptoms of cat scratch disease are swelling at the affected site, fever, headache, and fatigue. If it appears you have an infected area from a bite or scratch, seek medical attention.   We’ve covered three of the eight zoonotic diseases that can impact both the health of your pet and you! It’s always important to know the signs and symptoms so you can better prevent and recognize these health issues.   There are five more diseases we have yet to explore! Stay tuned for part two as we examine Lyme disease, ringworm, and more!  

Concerned that your pet may have a zoonotic disease? Bring them in right away and schedule your appointment in our Carroll Gardens vet clinic today!

 

Learn To Love The Litter Box!

Does a smelly and unsightly litterbox keep you from cats? Get the best tips on how to disguise your cat’s litterbox!

  Cats are equally lovable as they are adorable, but there may be one thing standing in the way of you and your cat — the litter box! Despite being the biggest cat person, one thing that can turn that unconditional love to conditional is the litter box, but it doesn’t have to be that way! There are plenty of solutions for disguising the litter box in your home.   The Vet Set is all about the relationship between the cat and the cat owner so if disguising a litter box improves it, it’ll make for a stress-free and thriving environment for your cat — that’s something we can get behind! For all the litter box laments, join us in today’s post for the best solutions.

5 Inventive Ways To Hide Your Cat’s Litter Box

  It’s important your cat has a litter box that they’re comfortable using and also one that you can hide, so let’s get to it — read all about ways to disguise a litter box below.  

Litter Box Cabinet

  One of the best ways to disguise a litter box is in a small cabinet. Simply cut a cat-sized hole in the side for them to slip into, and voila, problem solved! What’s nice about this option is it can be stored just about anywhere, and you still have two doors that open in the front for you to easily maintain the litter box from.  

Litter Box Plant

  No, we’re not suggesting you let your cat use a plant as a litter box, but rather the pot! Find an oversized plastic plant pot, and either cut a hole in the front or side of the pot for your cat to access.   Depending on how large the pot is, you could engineer space for both a live plant and your cat. The first half you could section off and leave room for a plant while leaving the bottom half for your cat. Or, you can leave the entire pot for your cat and place a fake tree or plant on top of the planter, which leaves guests wondering, is it a plant or is it a litter box?  

Spare Closet Litter Box

  Whether you have an empty closet or even just space at the bottom, you can easily turn this into a litter box haven for your feline friend. Essentially all you need to do to craft this space is cut a cat-sized space into the closet door and place the litter box inside.   You can get fun and creative with the opening, covering it in material or installing a cat door complete with a plastic flap and all.  

Under-The-Sink Litter Box

  Similar to the litter box cabinet, you can place your cat’s litter box under the sink — leave one side for you and the other, remove the door (or cut a hole), place the litter box inside and cover it with a curtain.  

Build a Custom Litter Box

  Put your cat’s litter box virtually anywhere sized exactly to your specifications so they avoid tracking litter and making a mess in your home. You can get inventive and blend in with the wall or disguise it in other furniture — either way, it’s your call so get creative!     What you’ll find when trying to disguise your cat’s litter box is anything (and we mean anything) can help hide it! You’ll never look at baskets, bins, and cabinets the same again!   So, how will you disguise your cat’s litter box? Tell us in the comments below!  

For more information on our cat vet services in Carroll Gardens, call our office today!

 

CBD For Cats

Promote and health and wellness in your cat with CBD!

  As cannabidiol (CBD) continues to gain media attention, it’s important to understand its impacts and how you can use it in your cat’s health and wellness regimen.   At The Vet Set, your cat’s wellness is why we do what we do! Cats are unique animals with a host of health and behavioral issues owners have to combat, so why not try CBD? Learn more about CBD and how it can benefit your cat in today’s post!

CBD For Your Cats’ Wellness

  CBD has received a lot of media attention, namely because of its association with cannabis and its wilder cousin, THC, but what is often missed is how healing it is for both humans and animals alike — once you get past that it’s not weed and it’s not marijuana.  

What is CBD?

  CBD is derived from the hemp plant, but let’s clarify everything a little further. Yes, the CBD that you’ll order online or find in natural grocery stores is derived from the hemp plant, that is, from cannabis.   The distinction we’d like to make clear here is hemp is a special breed of cannabis that is bred for its low, virtually without THC content — less than 0.3%. This is what makes it legal for you to access for yourself or your pet.   You can also find CBD oils from an isolate that contains no THC.   When CBD is cannabis-derived it preserves both THC and CBD and is only legal in states where medical and recreational cannabis laws have been passed.   It’s also important to note that CBD is non-psychoactive and will not get your pet high.  

How can CBD help my cat?

  CBD has been used in cats by working on their central nervous system (CNS), immune health, and other systems to improve their quality of life.   There are many benefits CBD delivers to cats including stress management, anxiety, pain and discomfort, and improved aggression.   Let’s explore more of the benefits cats can get from CBD below.  

Pawsing Joint and Arthritis Pain

  It was once thought that dogs experienced arthritis and joint pain issues more frequently than cats, but recent research has shown that cats get it just as regularly as dogs, especially in senior cats.   Impaired joints leads not only to arthritis but decreased mobility, fatigue, and chronic pain — all concerns that affect your cat’s quality of life.   While aging joints may just be a part of the process, CBD may help alleviate some of the symptoms.   CBD is well-known for its inflammation-fighting prowess that is common in joint issues.  

CBD For Stress and Anxiety

  Whether your cat is scared of vet visits or when the whole family is over during the holidays encroaching their space, cats can experience stress and anxiety just like humans.   Common stressors include changes in their environment, conflict with other pets, and any health issues. While stress and anxiety may not seem like a big issue on any given day, if it becomes chronic, your sometimes-grumpy-cat can decline in many ways such as poor eating and grooming habits and behavioral problems.   CBD helps mitigate their stress response by balancing cortisol and working on brain receptors that aid in mood regulation.  

Increasing Your Cat’s Appetite

  While many cats have a robust appetite, there are those who struggle with eating due to dental issues, health concerns, and mood disorders. If you’re looking to help stimulate your cat’s appetite, CBD may help.   Vets associate poor eating habits with just not feeling well, so it’s vital to always get to the root issue and take your cat into the vet for proper diagnostics. Once you and your vet have established a plan of action, giving your cat CBD can help facilitate healing and stimulate their appetite.  

CBD And Seizures

  Like humans, cats can also suffer from seizures. Seizures occur when there are electrochemical imbalances in the brain related to a brain injury or other brain conditions.     While more research needs to be done on how CBD affects our pets who have seizures, many pet owners have found success with CBD in treating the frequency and severity of seizures.   Because CBD adapts with your cat’s health, it can be used with a myriad of conditions including arthritis and joint pain (inflammation), mood disorders such as stress and anxiety, appetite stimulation, and seizures.   CBD is natural and the perfect way to combat specific health issues in your cat in addition to providing them with daily support to improve their quality of life!   At The Vet Set, we recommend Canna-Pet for the leading CBD product for your cat. Canna-Pet can provide you with quick facts, breed guidelines, ailment guides, dosing information, and product information.  

For more information about our feline veterinarian services — from immunizations and pet acupuncture to dietary advice — connect with us today at our Carrol Gardens location.

 

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