Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Spring has Sprung

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Many families are thinking about adding a furry friend to their family and that is great! But before you pick the first cute pair of eyes that say “take me home,” there are a few things you should consider. Picking out a pet for the family is a huge responsibility, and you’re in it for the long term, so there are a few things you should think about. First, especially if you are looking for a dog, is to research the breed you are interested in. Will your family be able to provide the exercise and training needs of this breed? Will your new friend need frequent grooming, and does this fit into your budget? Will you be able to commit the summer to potty training, and frequent visits to the vet? All of these questions should be on your list for determining if it is the right time for a puppy or kitten. Once you have answered these questions and picked out the new family member, the best thing to do is to take him or her right to the vet for their first checkup. You can plan on seeing your vet about every 3 weeks for the first couple of months to help provide the best preventative care and discuss the nutritional and training needs for your new best friend. It is important for your puppy or kitten to begin their vaccinations against devastating diseases such as parvo, distemper and kennel cough for dogs; and calici, herpes, leukemia and rhinotracheitis in cats. Puppies and kittens will also need routine de-wormings, something most young pets will come home with, but these things are easily treated. Also, you’re vet can discuss the best foods and training programs for your pet and your schedule. Around 5-6 months of age, your pet should be spayed or neutered to help control the pet population and ensure long-term health. A new companion is a big decision for your family, but with the right initial steps in healthcare and training, you will be on the right foot for many years of a healthy and happy pet!

Dr Megan Skeffington, DVM
Lead Doctor
Banfield Pet Hospital
220.9071

Muttleycrew, LLC (www.muttleycrew.biz), is based in Clifton Park and serves pets and their owners in an area including Clifton Park and Saratoga Springs. Hiring a professional pet-sitter gives you peace of mind, whether you’re on vacation, business travel or just want daily companionship and exercise for your friend. Call today for your free consultation 331-5744. Muttleycrew is fully bonded and insured. We stay home so you don’t have to!

Feeding Older Cats

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Cats begin to show visible age-related changes at about seven to twelve years of age. There are metabolic, immunologic and body composition changes, too. Some of these are unavoidable. Others can be managed with die.

  1. Start your cat on a senior diet at about seven years of age.
  2. The main objectives in the feeding an older cat should be to maintain health and optimum body weight, slow or prevent the development of chronic disease, and minimize or improve clinical signs of diseases that may already be present.
  3. As a cat ages, health issues may arise, including:
    • - deterioration of skin and coat
    • - loss of muscle mass
    • - more frequent intestinal problems
    • - arthritis
    • - obesity
    • - dental problems
    • - decreased ability to fight off infection
  4. Older cats have been shown to progressively put on body fat in spite of consuming fewer calories. This change in body composition is inevitable and may be aggravated by either reduced energy expenditure or a change in metabolic rate. Either way, it is important to feed a diet with a lower caloric density to avoid weight gain, but with a normal protein level to help maintain muscle mass.
  5. Talk to your veterinarian about increasing your senior cat’s vitamin E intake. Antibody response decreases as cats age. Increasing the intake of vitamin E in cats older than seven years of age can increase their antibody levels back to those seen in younger
  6. Antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene help eliminate free radical particles that can damage body tissues and cause signs of aging. Senior diets for cats should contain higher levels of these antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants can also increase the effectiveness of the immune system in senior cats.
  7. Routine care for geriatric pets should involve a consistent daily routine and periodic veterinary examinations to assess the presence or progress of chronic disease. Stressful situations and abrupt changes in daily routines should be avoided. If a drastic change must be made to an older pet’s routine, try to minimize stress and to realize the change in a gradual manner