socialization

Raising Kittens to Be Happy and Healthy

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Guest post by Elizabeth Colleran, DVM

Six weeks ago, a young female cat was dropped at the backdoor of our veterinary clinic. It happens, though not often. One of the assistants picked up the box she came in and put her in our isolation ward. We are always cautious about strays; two people are always required to be present if we are going to handle them.

She was alone for a bit while the assistant awaited the arrival of another staff member. When she arrived, they opened the box containing the stranger, who was in the process of delivering kittens. In time, six of them.Continue Reading

Guidelines for Responsible Cat Care

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The American Veterinary Medical Association recently issued a set of Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership, stating that “owning a pet is a privilege and should result in a mutually beneficial relationship. However, the benefits of pet ownership come with obligations.” I think the AVMA is a bit behind the times with still using the term “owner” when it comes to pets. Most of us consider our cats part of the family, which is why I prefer the term “guardian” or even “pet parent.” But they do raise some interesting points in their guidelines. I won’t list all of them – you can read them for yourself if you’re interested – but I thought I’d highlight the ones I consider most important, especially for cats.

Commit to the relationship for the life of the cat

This one should be obvious, but sadly, it’s not. Cats are creatures of routine, and any change is traumatic for them. If circumstances don’t allow you to commit for the life of the pet, you may want to consider fostering instead.Continue Reading