Preventive Care & Wellness

  • Appropriate play and exercise are something every cat needs. Cats that have ample opportunities for exercise and play are amazing pets. Learning a cat’s preferences for play requires some observation and attention, but ultimately contributes immensely to the entire family’s quality of life.

  • The leading causes of aggressive behavior among household cats are territorial aggression, fear-based aggression, and incompatible personalities. There may be more than one type of aggression occurring simultaneously. This explains the common forms of inter-cat aggression and how they may be prevented.

  • Cats that exhibit repetitive behaviors that are difficult to interrupt may be diagnosed with a compulsive disorder. Many of these behaviors have a physical basis and a thorough medical examination is always important. Anxiety and frustration can also contribute to the development of compulsive disorders. Treatment includes addressing underlying medical components and reducing stressors in the physical and social environment.

  • Spraying is the deposition of small amounts of urine on vertical surfaces. In most cases, the spraying cat will back into the area, the tail may quiver, and with little or no crouching, will urinate.

  • Many cats are active through the night. Often, they have slept all day and are not tired at night. Enrichment that includes social play and interactive toys can solve the problem. A medical and behavioral workup should be done if your cat has only recently begun to be active at night, as there may be an underlying illness.

  • Scratching is normal feline behavior. Cats use their claws to mark territory, climb to safety, hunt prey, and stretch their bodies, among other important routine behaviors. Cats that live primarily or exclusively indoors are still inclined to claw prominent objects and do not discriminate based on an object’s personal value, which may be undesirable to their owners. Providing multiple appropriate scratching surfaces that suit your cat's preferences and using positive reinforcement when your cat scratches these provided surfaces can be helpful. If you notice changes in your cat’s pattern of scratching, check with your veterinarian. Your cat may be experiencing pain or another health condition. Next, a behavioral consultation may be needed to identify the underlying behavioral condition and to find an appropriate treatment.

  • Cats vocalize to communicate. Vocalizing can be problematic when it interferes with people’s sleep. Often, the behavior develops due to unintentional reinforcement. Since vocalization can also reflect underlying illness, particularly if it is a new behavior, both a medical exam and a behavioral work-up are needed. Providing adequate social and environmental enrichment while discontinuing reinforcement can resolve the problem.

  • The American Association of Feline Practitioners is committed to advocating for excellence in healthcare for cats. The AAFP launched the Cat Friendly Practice program in 2012. They provide a specific pathway through which a veterinarian and veterinary healthcare team can objectively demonstrate their commitment to tailor their practice to the special needs of cats, as well as enhance the quality of care that cats receive in their practice. In order to earn the Cat Friendly Practice designation, a veterinary practice must demonstrate that they have taken specific steps to understand cats’ unique needs and have implemented feline-friendly standards of care. A Cat Friendly Practice is committed to making your cat’s healthcare delivery more pleasant for both you and your cat.

  • A cat-only veterinary practice is typically designed and built with cat comfort in mind. Feline Practices are especially interested in delivering medical care to cats in ways that help the cat (and her human family members) experience as little stress as possible. Cats need to see their veterinarians for preventive care. It is recommended that cats be seen by their veterinarian twice per. You can make regular veterinary assessment as easy as possible for your cat by seeking out a cat only veterinary practice.

  • Treats are a great way to bond with your cat but can be a major contributor to obesity. Treats should be no more than 5-10% of your cat’s caloric intake as they add calories, and in greater quantities, can create a nutritional imbalance. Excellent treats that are low calorie and satisfying are vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower as well as air-popped popcorn. Many homemade treat recipes can be found on the internet but be sure that these are not too high in calories or contain inappropriate ingredients for your individual cat. Check the recipe with your veterinarian before having your cat taste test them!