It’s Sunday! Time to kick back, relax, and talk a little bit about health…which is no small thing.
I don’t know about you but I think I worry about Cino’s health more than I do my own, and when it comes to those annual vet visits, well let’s just say Cino isn’t a happy camper. I have to trick her to get her into her carrier and when I do she is letting me know how she feels about that the whole way to the vet’s office. I know she is stressed out and that in turn makes me stressed out. But I am working on being more calm because I believe she can feel how I am feeling.
Then there’s who you are bringing your pet to. I love Cino’s veterinarian. At this last visit we were talking about how it seems many people don’t like their own people doctor very much. I am one of them but yet I keep going to them. When it comes to Cino I would never just keep going. Who and how Cino is taken care of is no small thing to me.
I automatically chose this place because it is where we took the dog I grew up with his whole life. Even so I still wasn’t sure if this would be the place I would stay at. I didn’t really know anybody there since it had been years between bringing the dog I grew up and adopting my own pet. But it didn’t take me long to feel completely comfortable with the veterinarian. I felt his love and care for Cino was genuine. He is such a personable guy that he makes even me feel a lot more at ease.
Being able to discuss Cino’s health whether it be concerns, test results, or generally, is high on the list for me. I am so grateful to be able to do this at each visit. At Cino’s clinic I don’t feel we are just a number.
Each year I collect a urine sample and bring it in as part of Cino’s annual visit. I have had a number of people, including some at the vet’s office, ask how I collect it. I would like to share that with you as well as a few other care tips. It is far from a regular practice for people to collect urine samples from cats and it is not easy. But it seems extremely important. Cats are known to have kidney failure because they do not drink enough water. A cat’s urine can tell where the concentration level is among other things.
MY CAT CARE TIPS (That I’ve used for Cino)
- Collecting urine from a cat: Purchase very small Ziploc plastic containers. Using clean & sanitized scissors cut them down to where they only have the bottom and a small edge around them left. Wash them in the dishwasher (trying to make them as sterile/clean as possible). When your cat is in the litter box carefully hold one container under her catching urine in the container. Pour the urine into a Ziploc bag and seal. Bring into your veterinarian asap! (Cino is a female so I am not sure if this would work as slick for a male cat).
Note: If you get any litter in the container then you will need to dispose of it and start over.
- Water: Have a bowl of water out for your cat at all times. Be sure to dump it and replace with fresh water throughout the day (Cino likes to drink the cold filtered water from the fridge). Having an electric water fountain is great too. Even with these two water sources, Cino still doesn’t always do a great job at drinking water, so I bring the water to her to her at times. I will bring her water bowl to wherever she is; the climber, the carpet, the hallway, wherever, and I lay it in front of her. She may sit and stare at it for a while but eventually she will get up and drink some.
- Oral Care: Brush your cat’s teeth. This is no easy task but it is very important. I have a hard time using a regular pet toothbrush on Cino so I use a finger brush. I also use an oral care gel a few times a week. Every once and a while I get lucky and Cino sits still enough for me to use my fingernail to try to scrape some tartar off.
- Digestive Health: If your cat has hard stools at times try giving them 100% pure pumpkin from a can. As cats get older they may have hard stools more often. Since Cino is getting older I have made it part of our routine. She gets about a tablespoon of pumpkin a few times a week.
- Hairballs: Comb your cat often. Doing this will help them to collect less in their stomach and therefore not have to go through the vomiting up of hairballs, at least not as much. Cino doesn’t have a lot of trouble with hairballs but I still comb her on a regular basis (maybe that’s why she doesn’t have much trouble).
- Prayer: If you pray about everything else why wouldn’t you pray for your cat? I do everyday!
That’s it! There is so much more to taking good care of a cat but these are things not everyone does or knows about and I thought they might be helpful. I am not a veterinarian nor am I saying these things will work for every cat. I am just simply sharing some things that I have learned over the years through research/educating myself, talking with my veterinarian, and trial & error.
I hope you have found a veterinarian you & your pet are comfortable with. After all, putting your pet’s health in someone else’s hands is no small thing.