How Long Has it Been Since Kitty Visited the Vet?

Okay, kitties and humans, this is serious business. We know the vet is probably not either one of your favorite places to go. So why are we talking about Take Your Cat to the Vet Day today?

The truth is that cats don’t get the kind of veterinary care that dogs do. Vets report seeing five dogs for every cat who comes through their door for care, even though there are 85.8 million pet cats and only 77.8 million pet dogs.

Cats see 5 Dogs for Every 1 Cat - #TakeYourCatToTheVetDay

Cats overall aren’t getting seen by vets as often as they should, especially older cats who are more likely to be hiding chronic illnesses. A recent survey found that the older cats are, the less likely they are to go to the vet unless they show signs of illness. This is an alarming trend, since cats are really good at hiding illness in its early stages. Less frequent vet visits as a cat reaches an age where ailments are actually more likely mean those issues will go undiscovered and untreated longer.

You may not notice that your cat doesn’t jump up onto your counters as frequently, or maybe she has stopped entirely. You might even be glad she stopped. But what if the reason she stopped is that she has painful arthritis? Vets can help diagnose ailments during a wellness visit that are easy for even sharp-eyed humans to miss, so an annual exam is an important part of your cat’s preventative care.

Making Carriers Less Frightening

Does your carrier only show up from storage when it’s time to go to the vet? Of course kitty gets suspicious and hides under the sofa when she catches sight of it! She has already learned that thing is a sure signal that she is headed to the vet.

gray cat in green and gray carrier. photo credit: depositphotos/eAlisa

A lot of people avoid taking their cats to the vet because it’s hard to even get kitty into her carrier, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A carrier that only shows up when it’s time to go to the vet is frightening, but a carrier that is part of the usual living room landscape and serves as a place to nap on a regular basis isn’t scary at all. Any carrier can tuck under an end table and have a cozy blanket to make an everyday retreat for a cat so that it’s a familiar place when it’s time to go to the vet or anywhere else.

Cat Friendly Vets

Just thinking about going to the vet is stressful, isn’t it? Would it be less stressful if you thought your vet was a “cat person”? It turns out among surveyed vets, 48% prefer dogs and only 17% prefer cats. Many vets said that dogs were easier to work with during exams, and that they found cats more challenging to diagnose than dogs. If you have noticed your vet obviously prefers dogs, there really are vets out there who are more cat oriented, and not just at cat-only practices!

orange cat with stethescope. photo credit: depositphotos/photo-deti

More veterinarians are realizing they need to meet the needs of their cat clients and are becoming cat friendly. Cat friendly practices understand cat behavior and have more cat-friendly handling guidelines. The American Association of Feline Practitioners certifies cat-friendly practices, and their web site can help you can find one near you if you decide your vet has “gone to the dogs.”

Whether your vet is officially a feline friendly practitioner or just a great veterinarian, let Take Your Cat To the Vet day be a great reminder that it’s time to think about a wellness exam, especially if your cat is a senior.

References and further reading

Banfield 2016 State of Pet Health Report
American Pet Products Association 2015-2016 National Pet Owners Survey
Royal Canin Survey of Dog and Cat Owners
Bayer Veterinary Usage Study III: Feline Findings

Photo credits


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World Photography Day

Today is a very important day to share with you, because without photography, we wouldn’t be able to share our adventures with you. So happy World Photography Day!

orange tabby cat with camera

We know that sometimes the camera catches us doing something a little bit goofy.

Pierre: I’m not goofy. I’m concentrating very hard.

gray tabby cat looks upside down at green worm toy

And sometimes is even catches us when we are thinking naughty thoughts.

Newton: That’s a naughty hand. I’m innocent!

orange tabby cat prepares to defend his tummy from human finger

Other times, our photos just show off how glamorous we are.

Ashton: How glamorous I am. You can’t call that orange ball of fur kicking the human glamorous, can you?

one-eyed brown tabby cat

We encourage all of you humans reading, even if you think you aren’t a good photographer, to pick up your camera or even your smartphone and take some photos of your cat. What better day to capture a memory of your kitty than on World Photo Day?

And to all of you cats who are reluctant subjects when the camera comes out yet again, humor your humans today. It’s World Photography Day, so you can play along for just one day and not turn away as soon as you see their finger start to click the shutter. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, at least don’t try to eat the camera.

orange tabby cat chews camera

Need some inspiration? Check out our Cat Photography Tips Part 1 and Part 2.

Happy World Photography Day!

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The Cat Days of Summer

You may have heard about the so-called dog days of summer. Merrriam-Webster defines the dog days as:

  1. the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere
  2. a period of stagnation or inactivity

There aren’t any dogs around here, so we sure have cat days. They look like this.

one-eyed brown tabby cat sprawls on sofa

When it comes to inactivity, that’s what we cats do best.

gray tabby cat snoozes on sofa

Newton: I’ll be with you in a few minutes. Or a few hours. Or maybe in autumn.

Sleepy orange tabby cat with splayed paw

How are you spending the cat days of summer?





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Check Your Cat’s ID: Check the Chip Day

Every August 15 is National Check the Chip Day. This is a great reminder to all of us that getting your cat microchipped isn’t the only step in the process in giving her a much better chance of getting home.

check the chip day

Cats have a 20 times higher chance of being returned to their owners after entering an animal shelter if they are microchipped, but just having the microchip isn’t enough. That chip must be readable and the information must be up to date so the call about your kitty can find you. That’s what Check the Chip Day reminds you about.

First Step: Get Chipped

If your kitty isn’t already microchipped, don’t worry, it’s a simple procedure that can be done at your veterinarian’s office. Reduced-cost and sometimes even free microchips are often available at events in your community.

animal implant microchip. photo credit: depositphotos/vetkit

Microchips are a little larger than a grain of rice, and they are implanted under the skin with a large-gauge needle, like getting a vaccination.

Second Step: Get Registered and Keep Contact Information Current

Register your microchip, and keep it up to date if your contact information changes. Sometimes the veterinarian or organization who chips your cat will register your cat for you, but it’s best to follow up and make sure the paperwork got to the chip registry if you aren’t handling it yourself. If you move to a new address or get a new phone number, don’t just tell your friends. Tell the microchip registry, too.

gray kitten and laptop. photo credit: depositphotos/fotoluxstudio

This is important because one of the leading causes of microchipped pets not being able to get home is not being able to find the current contact information for the pet’s home. If you get a microchip implanted in your kitty and then move across the country, your old vet who implanted it may lose touch with you. If your microchip isn’t registered, the last person the microchip company knew had the chip was your old vet, and a call from an animal shelter trying to get your cat home can’t find you. So keep your contact information up to date with the chip registry to be found when your cat needs you most.

Third Step: Check The Chip

Check the chip! Microchips are implanted between the shoulder blades. When Ashton was a bony, little kitten, you could feel the chip, about the size of a big grain of rice, if you scritched her shoulders just right, just past the end of her neck at her shoulders.

feline microchip x-ray

In rare cases, a microchip can migrate. Pierre’s chip has migrated about two inches so you can feel it when you rub his shoulder blade. This is unusual enough that when our vet felt it, he called in some vet techs to feel Pierre’s chip so that they would recognize a migrated chip if they felt one.

checking for implanted microchip on cat. Photo credit: depositphotos/ivonnewierink

In rare cases, a microchip can migrate. this doesn’t hurt your cat or dog, but it does mean that if someone passes a microchip scanner over your pet’s shoulders, it may not be be energized by the scanner’s electromagnetic field. This can lead to the microchip not being detected. To be sure this hasn’t happened, ask your veterinarian to scan for your cat’s chip as a part of their routine veterinary exam.

References and further reading:

OSU Research News, Microchips Result in High Rate of Return of Shelter Animals to Owners
AVMA, Microchipping of Animals

Photo Credits:

Wikimedia Commons/Joel Mills

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