“Felines are people too”
For the first time in 18 years, my family is hearing the pitter patter of tiny kitten feet in our home.
Those feet are the delicate base of a white and orange tabby boy that my 12- year- old daughter named Augustus, “Gus” for short. Of course this was followed by a number of nicknames like “Gusty”, “Fussy Gussy” and “Puddle Gus”. The last references his origin. One stormy afternoon a good Samaritan found him in a puddle in obvious distress where his mother had probably spooked while moving him and dropped him. This Good Samaritan brought him to our clinic, wet and bedraggled, cold and hungry. The rest is easy to imagine.
Watching him develop has given me a renewed appreciation for the species and bandaged a break in my heart after the death of a most beloved dog. He nurses his “binky”, dashes towards danger, pounces with passion, tucks in for the hunt and manages to get our three-legged adult rescue cat to mother him, bathe him and play with him.
Loving him has caused me to reflect on the unique medical and psychological needs of cats. It has also caused me to worry about the medical care that many cats don’t get, but certainly deserve.
“Cats are not small dogs.”
Not so well-known facts:
- Cats have very specific micronutrient dietary requirements that protect their retinas and hearts.
- Eighty percent of all cats have arthritis by the age of ten, primarily due to obesity.
- Many cats become type 2 diabetics due to genetics and too many carbs in their diet.
- The two leading causes of geriatric illness in cats are kidney failure and thyroid disease and can be detected on routine blood tests.
- Like humans, cats have cavities and often have dental disease that results in tooth loss at an early age.
- Indoor cats get fleas.
- Cats can get heartworms. There is as much mortality associated with trying to treat heartworms in cats as there is with the disease itself. Preventions are available and also kill and prevent fleas.
- Cats have indoor enrichment needs like high perches, sunning areas, toys and human interaction.
- Cats like litter boxes that are large and clean in which there is 3 inches of high-carbon litter. If they don’t like their litter, they poop on the floor.
“Pawsitively purrfect” answers:
Getting the cat to the vet is a lot easier at West Ashley. From hideaway beds to calming pheromones, perches, toys, treats, antianxiety medications, dedicated exam rooms, and stress free holds, the staff at the clinic puts our feline patients at ease.
Appropriate pain control for and after procedures is second nature to WAVC. Everybody wins, especially the cat.
Geriatric wellness panels are very economical. West Ashley employ stress-free holds for blood draws and, from laps to naps, lets the patient pick the pose
Dietary recommendations are a breeze and obesity prevention is a must at WAVC. Special diets are available, and there is FAT CAT (oops, let’s just say big-boned) information for home maintenance.
Purevax is the only brand of vaccine that is given to cats at WAVC. These vaccines are recommended due their purity and low reactivity. Vaccine protocols are tailored to lifestyle, and some vaccines are only given every 3 years.