Spring flowers are pretty, and you may be tempted to bring them into your home, but be aware of the potential toxicity to your cat. We found a great article on DVM360 website about toxin plants, including pictures and how the plant is toxic.
Recently, we saw Emma for a wellness exam, and when we saw her teeth, we knew her owner was doing an amazing job brushing her teeth and wanted to share her story, as well as her tips for brushing your own cat’s teeth at home. Here's what her owner had to say about teeth brushing:
"I got Emma and her sister Annie when they were only 2 months old. When I had them chcked out at The Cat Practice, I was told that brushing their teeth on a regular basis was essential to their health.
I started our with the finger brush at that young age. I now use the toothbrush and brush every other day. Brushing certainly isn't her faorite activity, but she is now used to the routine. I sit her on my lap and gently brush making sure I reach all the way to the back teeth. She is rewarded with a cat treat after brushing.
I'm lucky that she is such a mild mannered cat. My suggestion for an older or fiesty cat would be to start by massaging their gums and working your way up to the brushing. I think any cat will get used to the brushing if its done by someone they trust. The health benefits are well worth the effort!"
As you can see from this photos, there is no gingivitis present, and very minimal tartar on even the very back upper premolars, which are difficult to reach.
To Emma's (and Annie's) mom, keep up the great work, and thanks for letting us feature Emma in our newsletter this month!
For more information about how to get your cat used to having his/her teeth brushed, please see our Guide to Home Dental Care!
Be sure kittens are indeed abandoned before you disturb a nest… just because the momcat isn’t there now, doesn’t mean she’s not around.
If the kittens are clean, plump, and sleeping quietly in a heap, odds are they’ve got an attentive mom and should be left alone. Abandoned kittens will be dirty and the nest will be soiled, and they will cry continuously because they are hungry. Visit our guide to caring for orphaned kittens:
Ideally, kittens should not be taken away from the mother until 5-6 weeks of age, but if they are born to a feral mother, they should be taken away, if possible, closer to 4 weeks. At this age, its easier to tame them, and they should have already received antibodies from the mothers milk by that time. As they get older, it becomes increasingly harder to socialize and tame them, and kittens over 8 weeks old who haven't had any human contact will probably takes months to tame, if it can be done at all.
The kittens will need a foster home to socialize and care for them until they are social enough to be adopted and found a good home. If you are unable to socialize and care for the kittens youself, you can call your veterinarian who will have phone numbers to shelters and rescues in the area, who will hopefully have contact information for someone who can temporarily foster them. It is ideal to foster them yourself, because keep in mind that most shelters and foster homes fill up in the spring due to the high volume of kittens coming in. Vet clinics are usually unable to foster feral kittens due to the lack of time home environment and quality time that these kittens need to develop good social skills. If unsocialized/feral kittens are taken to a shelter, they will most likely be euthanized. However, good homes can usually be found for well-sociaized kittens.