Quick and Easy Ways to Know That Your Cat is Fine Everyday

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms

Noticing subtle changes in normal routines may alert you to an issue that you can address with your veterinarian before it turns into a problem. Here are a few of them:

1. Eating
Know the actual amount of food eaten by your cat in a 24-hour period. Watching your cat go to the food bowl and eat a bite or two is not sufficient. Once you know the typical amounts consumed in your household, you don’t have to be obsessive, just observant.

2. Drinking
Know where and from what type of container your cat likes to drink (bowl, fountain, glass on the nightstand, bathroom faucet). It is not as easy to measure exact water consumption as it is with food consumption, but you can watch for significant changes in drinking behaviour.

3. Urinating
Know how often and how much urine your cat produces daily. Clumping litter makes it very easy to know the number and size of urination. Be sure to attend to the litter box(es) at least once daily. The idea is to understand what standard looks like so that you will notice any change.

4. Defecating
Know how often and how much your cat defecates every day. No matter what type of litter you are using, bowel movements should be scooped at least daily. Notice colour shape and consistency – it only takes a moment as you transfer it to a trash bag or the toilet to flush.

5. Temperament
An individual’s basic approach to life remains pretty consistent, and it is essential to know whether your cat prefers to “run first ask questions later,” “boldly go where angels fear to tread,” “go along to get along” or “take charge.” Providing a sanctuary for the cautious cat and a “cat proof” environment for the adventurous troublemaker will help both you and your cat.

6. Sleeping & Napping
Know where each of your cats spends his or her time. Most cats nap where the sun or the action is – at a window, on your desk, in the TV room, etc. They sleep where it is safe, warm, and quiet (often in a bedroom). An average indoor adult cat will sleep 14-16 hours a day and will have 3-4 favourite napping spots.

7. Action & Interaction
Know your cat’s typical daily activity – greeting you at the door, waking you in the morning, following you to the bathroom, playing with toys, playing with housemates, grooming, watching the outdoor activity from a window, dashing about in a brief wild romp, etc. Any change to their usual routine warrants investigation or discussion with your veterinarian.

From the American Association of Feline Practitioners

Written by Chris MacDonald, DVM



The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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