ABC-Animal - Adoption Chronicle

Cats and Their Family Doctor ! 

Cat looking at us

You share your life with your cat! You tell your family and friends what an important member of your family he is, that he talks to you, understands you, makes you laugh, loves to play with you…in other words, you appreciate his presence and you are happy together!

Your veterinarian is your cat’s “family doctor”. The veterinarian and his or her team, which specializes in animal health, therefore become an important resource for you. Be part of the team throughout your animal’s life. These advisors share in your happiness and accompany you through hard times.

You’d like to adopt a kitten or an adult cat? Here are a few basic guidelines.

* Start training your cat right away, because like children, animals cannot educate themselves. Let him know what is allowed and not allowed, and above all, be consistent – if something is not allowed one day, it is never allowed. You’ll be happier with the results! Give your cat positive reinforcement, reward good attitudes with a caress, a kind word or a treat. If he does something wrong, use a firm voice to let him know but refrain from yelling, which does no good at all.

* Plan on taking your cat to the vet every year for a physical exam, vaccinations, a stool exam and deworming.

* Find out how to train your cat, clip his nails, clean his ears, take care of his teeth and brush them, what kind of food to give him, when to have him neutered and much more.

* Have him vaccinated to maintain effective immunity against the main infectious diseases. Your veterinarian will suggest a vaccination protocol adapted to your pet’s needs (customized vaccination).

* Discuss the surgeries or procedures required for your cat’s well-being – sterilization (hystero-ovariectomy, castration), monthly nail trimming or permanent declawing.

* Socialize your cat starting at a young age. Frequently introduce him to people and different animals (dogs, cats, others).

* Very early on, get your cat used to the transport cage and the car. And who knows, maybe one day he will be happy to go to the vet’s with you!

* Offer him a comfortable and stimulating environment – thick cushions adapted to his needs, lots of hiding places (cats love hiding in the tiniest spaces), toys he adores, food and water in different places.
As the cat ages, adapt this environment to his physical abilities by adding stairs, access ramps, mini stools…

* Like you, your animal ages. Around the age of 7, ask the vet to do more extensive annual exams – blood and urine tests are recommended along with a blood pressure reading.

Such are the general guidelines for feline life!
Independent, nocturnal and home-loving cats need stimulation to stay in good physical and mental health. To keep your cat healthy, provide him with the best living conditions and the best care.
Your cat will say “Thank you!”

Dominique Giroux, D.V.M.
Sainte-Foy Feline Vet Clinic
Québec, Canada