Tag Archives: New Orleans

Holiday Cat Safety Tips

Holiday Cat Safety Tips in New Orleans, LA

From decorations to toxic foods, the holiday season can be a dangerous time for a cat, but the team at The Cat Practice in New Orleans is determined to make it safe for your feline friend. Consider the following holiday cat safety tips, and have a very merry Christmas and joy-filled new year with your family!

Christmas Decorations in NOLA

They shine, they sparkle, and they add a nice finishing touch to Christmas trees and gifts, but some of those decorations can be hazardous to your cat. High on the list are tinsel, garland, and ribbons. You’re probably well aware of the curious nature of cats and how easily drawn they are to stringy, sparkly things. Many cats have been known to even eat these things, but this can result in intestinal blockage and land them in the emergency room for pet surgery. We know that’s the last place you want to spend the holidays with your cat, so keep these stringy decorations out of your cat’s reach or simply avoid using them altogether.

Seasonal Plants Could be Dangerous for Cats

Is there mistletoe and holly hanging high above your doorway? If so, make sure it stays up there, out of your cat’s reach. Mistletoe and holly are just a couple of the many plants that are known to be mildly to moderately toxic to cats. If ingested, symptoms can include your cat to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even seizures. Other toxic seasonal plants include poinsettias (mildly toxic) and lilies (moderately to severely toxic). To keep your cat safe, simply keep these poisonous plants out of their reach or buy artificial plants instead.

Christmas and New Years Parties for Cats

Hosting a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party at your place this year? Don’t forget to consider your cat’s safety during the planning. If your cat is the social type, make sure to keep an eye on them around your guests, especially if your cat has claws. Remember to also consider the possibility of any of your guests having allergies. If you decide it’s best—both for your cat and your guests—to not include your furry friend on the party festivities, keep your cat in a separate room where they can relax.

If you have any questions about these cat holiday tips, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment at The Cat Practice, give us a call at 504-525-6369

New Orleans’ 2016 Cat Practice Calendar

Calendar for Cats and Kittens in New Orleans

It’s that time of year again. We all had so much fun with our 2015 “Cat Practice Family” calendar, we’re going to do it again for 2016! If you want your kitty to be a poster pin-up cat, take your best shot and send it to The Cat Practice so we can highlight your feline family member as a monthly model for our 2016 cat calendar. We will pick the best photos submitted to represent each month.

Photo Submission Rules and Instructions:

Kitty photos will be accepted until November 1, 2015. If you would like to submit your cat’s photo for display on our 2016 calendar, please e-mail it (maximum of three pictures per cat) to calendar@catpractice.com. Pictures should be no smaller than 1 megapixel. Please also include the following information with your e-mail submission:

  1. Your name
  2. Your pet’s name
  3. City, state, and country
  4. The following statement MUST be copied and attached to your photo:

I agree that I am an amateur photographer of at least 18 years of age. I hereby grant The Cat Practice, Inc. the non-exclusive royalty/free irrevocable rights, exercisable in its sole discretion, to use, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, adapt, modify, and otherwise use the images (in whole or in part) and to incorporate the image(s) in any and all market and media. I have the exclusive right to grant such rights to The Cat Practice, Inc. I agree to allow use of my cat’s name in publicity or advertising without compensation. I understand and agree that The Cat Practice shall have no obligation to copy, publish, display, or otherwise use the images, nor shall it be obligated to prevent or have any liability for, any unauthorized copying, publishing, displaying, or use of images.

When Will the Calendars Be Available?

The 2016 Cat Practice Calendar will be available for Christmas, just in time for the New Year, and will make great stocking stuffers. So, send your best kitty pics today, and give us a call at
(504) 525-6369 if you have any questions. We can’t wait to see your photos!

Make Sure They Can Get Home: Check Your Pet’s Microchip

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Is your pet’s microchip up-to-date? If your pet were lost, would an animal hospital or shelter be able to contact you once your pet was found?

It’s important to get your pet microchipped; but it’s just as important to make sure that microchip contains the correct information in order for your four-legged friend to get home.

How does a microchip work?
The microchip, which is about the size of a grain of rice, is injected by a veterinarian or veterinary technician just beneath your pet’s skin in the area between the shoulder blades. This is usually done without anesthesia, and the experience can be compared to getting a vaccination.

Each microchip has a unique registration number that is entered into a database or registry, and is associated with your name and contact information. If your lost dog or cat is found by an animal hospital, shelter or humane society, they will use a microchip scanner to read the number and contact the registry to get your information.

Make sure you can be found, too
While it may be comforting to know the microchip won’t get lost or damaged, and that it will probably last the pet’s lifetime, the microchip is useless if you’re not updating your contact information with the registry. If your pet has been microchipped, keep the documentation paperwork so you can find the contact information for the registry. If you don’t have the documentation paperwork, contact the veterinarian or shelter where the chip was implanted.

Keep in mind there are more than a dozen companies that maintain databases of chip ID numbers in the U.S. By using AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup at petmicrochiplookup.org, you can locate the registry for your chip by entering the microchip ID number. If you don’t have your pet’s microchip ID number, have a veterinarian scan it and give it to you.

Only about 17% of lost dogs and 2% of lost cats ever find their way back to their owners. Prevent the heartache and ensure your pet has an up-to-date microchip.

 

Originally published by Healthy Pet.

Is Your Cat Missing the Litter Box?

You have a problem. Your cat is thinking outside the box, and not in a good way. You may be wondering what you did to inspire so much “creative expression.” Is your cat punishing you? Is Fluffy just “bad”? No, and no. House soiling and missing the litter box is a sign that your cat needs some help.

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According to the Winn Feline Foundation, house soiling is the number one complaint among cat owners. The good news is that it is very treatable.

An accredited veterinarian can help you determine if the problem is medical or related to social or environmental stressors. In addition to a complete physical exam, the doctor will ask you specific “where and when” questions.

Health factors
Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, a specialist in feline urinary disorders at The Ohio State University, and founder of the Indoor Cat Initiative says that many veterinarians recommend a urine test for every cat with a house soiling problem. The urinalysis will determine if blood, bacteria, or urinary crystals are present — signs that your cat might have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
FLUTD is very common and can cause painful urination. Cats that begin to associate the litter box with pain will avoid it. Other medical possibilities include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis and muscle or nerve disorders that might prevent your cat from getting to the litter box in time.

Environmental factors
If there is no medical cause, the next step is to look at environmental factors. Start with the litter box. Your cat might be avoiding the litter box because it is not cleaned well enough, you’ve changed the type of litter you use, or there is only one box for multiple cats.
Another possibility is that your cat is “marking” — spraying urine, typically on vertical objects such as walls and furniture, or in “socially significant” areas near doors or windows. Both male and female cats mark. The most common offenders are cats that have not been spayed or neutered.
Buffington says that stress can cause elimination problems too. For example, subtle aggression or harassment by other house cats or neighborhood cats may be an issue.

Indoor Cat Initiative
Even unremarkable changes in your home can make your cat anxious or fearful. Look around. Did anything change right before your cat started having problems? Did you get a new pet? A new couch? Maybe you just moved the old couch to a different part of the room, or had a dinner party. Cats are sensitive creatures and changes that seem small to you can throw your cat off his game. Check with your veterinarian about finding solutions that work for both you and your cat.

Source: http://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/cat_care/behavior/missing_the_litter_box.aspx 

Caring for pets during emergencies

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Nothing says it better than the horror story from Hurricane Floyd: A man was leaving his flooded home when he noticed a neighbor’s dogs swimming in circles around the yard. Wondering why the dogs didn’t simply swim to safety, the man swam over to investigate. To his horror, he found that the dogs had been left chained to a stake in the yard and were swimming frantically just to stay alive. He was able to rescue the dogs, but stories such as this pointedly demonstrate the need for to you to have a good action plan in place in case a natural disaster strikes your home. In this case, the dogs’ owner most likely had been told to leave everything behind and flee as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, his dogs nearly lost their lives as a result.

In the event of an emergency, your life and your family’s lives are the first you should be concerned with. You should only look to save your animals once you are sure you and your family will be safe. But once you are safe, you most likely will want to ensure the safety of your pets. Are you prepared?

Consider your location

First things first. You can only be prepared with a plan of action if you know what you’re planning for, so take some time to think about the area you live in. Some areas are naturally prone to certain disasters California’s earthquakes, for example. Find out what types of disasters have previously struck your area hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, blizzards, etc. Contacting your local emergency management office or Red Cross will help you to identify what could affect your particular neighborhood. You should also plan for non-natural disasters fires, gas leaks, chemical spills, etc. If, for example, there’s a big chemical processing plant in your area, then you need to be aware of the possible dangers so that you can react if need be. No matter where you live, you’ve got your own special brand of disaster just around the corner, and it may strike at any time.

If You Leave, They Leave

In the event that you have to leave your home, take your pets with you. If it isn’t safe for you to be there, it isn’t safe for them either. Too often people rationalize that their pets’ instincts will kick in, and they’ll be okay. Even if your cat, who has spent the last six years of his life hunting only the fake mice you pull around on a string for him, does have the instincts to survive, it doesn’t mean that the conditions are survivable. No drinkable water for you means no drinkable water for him too. Of course, you have to have somewhere to take your four-legged friends–Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets. Make a list of all the places with in a 100-mile radius of your home where you might be able to take your pet if the need arises, include boarding facilities, veterinarians with boarding capabilities, hotels that will accept pets (ask if they’ll allow pets during a disaster situation), and animal shelters. (Use animal shelters only as a last resort, as they will be overburdened with other animals whose owners did not plan for them). Also, you need to gather your critters inside the house as soon as you are aware that you may have to leave, so that you can easily get them when it’s time to go. Then, when you do leave, make sure you have your little friends under firm control–even the best behaved dog can become scared during an emergency, making his behavior less than predictable.

Be prepared

Like a Boy Scout, you should always be prepared. This means having a disaster kit in your home as well as a smaller version in the trunk of your car if your pet routinely rides with you. Make sure that your pet’s kit is contained in something that is easy to pick up quickly and take out the door with you. You should replace this food and water every six months and rethink your pet’s needs for the kit once a year to make sure that the supplies meet your current needs the same collar that fits your new kitten is not likely to fit him a year later.

The kit should include a week’s supply of food and water in nonbreakable, airtight containers to ensure safety and freshness. If you pack canned food you’ll want to make sure you have a hand-held can opener too. And don’t forget a plastic dish that can double as a food and water dish. An extra collar and leash are also important things to have in your kit. You should also have a portable kennel for each of your critters handy. The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that the official Red Cross policy is that there are no animals allowed in emergency shelters, but they have been known to make exceptions if the animal is securely confined. Pets such as birds will obviously have to have a carrier of some sort as they cannot be leashed. You will want to make certain that you have a well-stocked first-aid kit for your pet that includes tweezers, gauze bandages, first aid cream, antiseptic spray, and hydrogen peroxide. Ask your veterinarian about storing any medications that your pet may need to take regularly.

All the right papers

Many people have their home telephone numbers on their pets’ ID tags. You may want to have an extra set of tags made that list the number of a friend or family member outside the area so that if your phone lines are down, or you’ve been evacuated, your pets can still make it back to you. Another option is to simply include an out-of-area number on your pets’ everyday tag, which can be useful if you’re away on vacation too. And many people don’t have tags for their cats at all, even though they should. According to the 1996 National Council on Pet Population Study, out of one million dogs and 580,000 cats that were taken in as strays, only 17 percent of the dogs and two percent of the cats made it back to their owners. The American Humane Association strongly believes that tags are your pets’ ticket home. You may also want to consider having your pet microchipped or tattooed. And finally, don’t forget the paperwork. Have a copy of your pet’s recent vaccination records in your kit–some boarding facilities may require them before they will take your pet in. A recent picture of your pet may also come in handy if you should become separated and need to make “Lost” posters. Hopefully you won’t ever have to put them up, and hopefully you’ll never have to use your disaster plan. But if you do ever need it, you’ll be very thankful that you were prepared; it could make a trying time a bit easier for you and your faithful companion.

Source: http://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/general_health_care/caring_for_pets_during_emergencies.aspx