Just For Cats
Portsmouth Veterinary Clinic is pleased to bring you Just for Cats! Everything you need to know about your furry feline friends.
Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines
The AAFP and ISFM have published a new article containing guidelines for the environmental needs of cats. To read the article, please click here.
Getting your Cat to Visit Us
It is so important for you to bring your cat to see us on a regular basis. You can be a part of the good visit your cat has while he or she is here.
- Your cat carrier. The best type of carrier is the inexpensive hard-sided carriers that open from the top and from the front. An easily opened top allows a cat which is fearful, anxious or in pain to stay in the bottom half of the carrier for exams. We often do cat exams inside a well-designed carrier! Please avoid a carrier that requires a cat to be pulled from the carrier or dumped out for an exam. It should be easy for you to carry and should be seat belted into the car to keep your cat safe.
- Help your cat become comfortable with the carrier. You can help your cat become comfortable with his or her carrier by placing it in a room where your cat spends a lot of time, placing familiar soft bedding inside, placing treats, catnip or toys inside the carrier. It may take days or weeks for your cat to trust the carrier. Reward your cat’s desired behaviors.
- Covering the carrier. Some cats like to see out, while others are less anxious when the carrier is covered with a blanket or towel to prevent your cat from seeing something unfamiliar.
- Emergencies. If your cat needs to see us before he or she is familiar with the carrier, put the carrier in a small room with few hiding places. Bring the cat into the room and close the door, moving slowly and calmly. Do not chase the cat to get it into the carrier; encourage the cat with treats or toys to walk into the carrier. If your cat will not walk into the carrier, open the top of the carrier, pick up your cat and gently lower him or her into the carrier.
- Back home. When you come home, if your cat appears calm and peaceful, let the returning cat out of the carrier. If you have multiple cats, wait until all cats appear calm and peaceful before letting the cat out of the carrier.
How do cats learn?
We don’t have to tell a cat owner that cats are not small dogs! Cats learn when you give positive rewards to encourage positive behavior. For example, if your cat is sitting calmly in or near her carrier, give her a treat. A treat is what is highly desirable to your cat, which may be in the form of food, play or affection. Be persistent and reward each and every time you see the good behavior. Remember that cats do not learn from punishment or force. If you do not see the positive behavior or you are feeling anxious, angry or frustrated, avoid teaching your cat at that moment and pick up the training session at another time.
Cats can be trained to do many things, from performing tricks to not scratching in inappropriate locations. Training your cat can be a great way to keep your cat’s mind active and to keep your cat out of mischief! For more information about keeping your cat healthy and happy, please visit the Cornell University Feline Health Center website.