The Yearly Visit to the Vet

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Yup, it’s that time of year again when Kirby gets his regular checkup, his shots, etc. I used to dread this  because he was hard to catch and very noisy when he was in the exam room. Started following some of the advice I had read and written about in previous blogs which seemed to help. Brought out the carrier where he can go in anytime he wants (and come out), put treats and play toys in the carrier, and threw in something with my scent on it. That seemed to help a lot. Still doesn’t like to ride in the car. :>) Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.

In the beginning, I would be met with a face like this when I’d bring out the carrier:

Cat Selfies

(Especially the last one in the first row and the first one in the second row)

Getting him into the carrier would be something like this.

Say Uncle

While in the carrier, his attitude was probably:

Keep Calm and Hate Everyone

Thank goodness Mom got smarter and started considering how Kirby felt and how scary a trip to the vet can be. This part is much better now. Of course, once we are at the vets and he comes out of the carrier:

Murder Button

Dr. Molly has a way of keeping him calm if I leave the room. Don’t hear the screaching and the squalling anymore like I used to. Exam goes well and it’s time to go home. What a difference! Quiet and sleeping.

If You're Sleepy Raise Your Paws

But if the truth be known, he may be having these thoughts.

The Vet

Vet Did to the Dog

Once we’re home, the trip is just a thing of the past.

Successfully Wasted

These links will take you to my previous blogs about preparing your cat for a more relaxed way of going to and seeing the vet. Wish I had known this when my boys were kittens. Sure would have made it a lot easier.

http://sammythesupercat.blogspot.com/2014/04/omg-im-going-to-vet.html

http://sammythesupercat.blogspot.com/2015/04/no-no-not-vet.html

If you have any suggestions that have worked well with your cats, please share them with us.

 

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

 

Helping Your Cat Overcome Fear of Unexpected Noises

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Last Saturday was the Fourth of July. Of course, that means fireworks. Hope my blog about ways of handling that with your cat(s) was helpful. However, there are other noises that can frighten cats as well. My younger cat, Sammy, was a feral cat for the first five months of his life. Since I moved back home four years ago into a quieter, more relaxing atmosphere, he has become more comfortable and doesn’t scare quite as easily. Saw an article about this and wanted to pass on the information.

Feral Cats

It’s natural for our cats to react to unexpected noises. They have extremely quick reflexes and their senses are highly developed. Those who have an excessive fear can develop aggressive or skittish behavior and have trouble interacting with other pets and people. They  have trouble adjusting to their surroundings which can affect their quality of life. One of the factors that can cause this behavior is abuse. Cats that have had abusive backgrounds often display fear of noises. Abused cats should be given time to learn how to trust, and they should be in a quiet and calm environment.

Red Dot

 There are steps that you can take to help your cat to feel more secure in its environment. It takes time, but eventually your cat will be able to overcome these fears. Providing a safe hideaway in your home where the cat will not be disturbed can help them feel more secure. Whether this is something you provide, like a box or kitty condo, or whether this is a place the cat chose, make sure that you and your family leave the cat alone when it is in this area.

ATT00024

If your household changes or is very busy, this can be very scary for cats who haven’t experienced this before. Let your kitty stay in a quiet room until it begins to get used to its surroundings. Keeping a radio on a low level in the room can help the cat to become accustomed to noises.

Fishing

If you can control the noise that causes your cat to be fearful, it can really help the process. Be mindful of what those noises are (vacuum, doorbell) and make sure your cat feels secure. Some noises, of course, you can’t control, like thunder. But, as I said last week, you can purchase CDs on the Internet to help your cat get desensitized to these noises. You could even record it yourself while the thunder is rolling.

Noisy Vacuum

Play the noise at a very low volume for about 15 seconds. Play with your cat in a positive and relaxing way.  Stop the attention as soon as the noise stops. Wait a few minutes and repeat this. End the session and wait for at least a couple of hours before doing it again. When there is no visible sign of fear or distress, you can increase the volume slightly to make sure your cat gets used to the sound.  Slowly wean your kitty off of these distractions and continue to praise your cat when it does not over-react to noises. If you can’t get your cat to relax, just give them some time. When things calm down, they will come out and be fine.

I have a very loud sneeze which I’ve had to learn to tone down. This is what frightened Sammy the most. It was something I could control, thank goodness. He’ll ignore the firecrackers, but not my sneeze. Go figure!! What noises makes your cat uncomfortable?

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

 

 

 

Have a Slap-Happy Fourth of July

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Today is Independence Day, more commonly known as the 4th of July. Time for picnics, for families/friends  to spend time with each other, and for fireworks. Personally, I don’t like the fireworks part unless it’s a professional display run by the Fire Department or other professionals. Have been around too many people who don’t use any common sense with them. Have some suggestions about keeping your kitty safe and as comfortable as can be in spite of the loud noises. If the sound of fireworks is loud to us, imagine how uncomfortable that is for your pet since their hearing is so much more sensitive than ours.

When Life Goes Bad, Hide in a Box

Even if your cat is an indoor cat, it’s a good idea that they wear a collar with an identification tag that includes your name and telephone number. Even better is a microchip. Be sure to register the microchip or it won’t be of any help. Terrified animals may end up miles from home. 

Smelling the Flowers Along the Way

Keep your cat inside with you during the evening or leave them at home if you’re going to a neighborhood party. Those who are terrified of all the ruckus can be left in a room with no windows and a locked door. This should help to tone down the noise and also prevent escape if they panic. Taking your cat to a neighbor’s picnic can lead to all kind of things happening depending on the level of noise, number of people, food or alcohol being served. They’re much safer at home.

Salad

Block outside sights and sounds by lowering the blinds and turning on the television. Play soothing music in the background to counteract the noise of the fireworks.

I Got the Fly

Keep sparklers, candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

 Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Last, but not least, if your pet seems fearful or anxious, spend some time with them. Loving them can help. Distracting them sometimes works, but not always. Remember not to yell at them. They are already afraid; they need some quiet loving time.

You Moved Again

You can also try desensitizing your cat to loud sounds, such as fireworks and thunder. There are a number of places on the Internet where you can find recordings of these sounds that you can play for your cat to slowly accustom them to the sound. I have to laugh every time I think of the last fireworks show here in town. We are only about three blocks from the fairgrounds where they’re being shot off. Fireworks are blasting away with booms shaking the house. My mother is the one who wants to crawl under the bed; Sammy and Kirby were eating away like nothing was happening! Guess eating was more important than being afraid. :>)  That will probably be the case again this year! What stories do you have to tell about your 4th of July experiences with your pet(s)?

 

 

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667