Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Online Resources: Part 2 - Behavior / Environment

This time I'm posting links to some good information on feline behavior, environment, and the veterinary encounter.

Cornell Feline Health Center - lots of good information, some on behavior (scattered around) - 3 behavior brochures here - - scroll down to the bottom here for some CatWatch articles on behavior.

Ohio State Univ. Indoor Cat Initiative - REALLY great resource on keeping cats indoors and the behavioral issues invloved.

Humane Society of the U.S. - Keeping Your Cat Happy Indoors - another very helpful and informative site.

Feline Advisory Bureau - The Cat Friendly Home

Feline Advisory Bureau - Bringing Your Cat to the Vet

Dumb Friends' League "Play With Your Cat"

And here are some tips on taking your cat to the veterinarian (compliments of Hill's Pet Nutrition):

The cat carrier:
Always transport the cat in a carrier or other safe container.
• Train cats to view the carrier as a safe haven and “home away from home.” Keep the carrier out in the home. Put treats, favorite toys, or blankets inside to entice the cat into the carrier.
• Carriers with both top and front openings are recommended. Top-loading carriers allow for stress-free placement and removal of the cat and enable them to be examined while remaining in the bottom half of the carrier.
• Bring the cat’s favorite treats, toys, and blanket. If the cat likes to be groomed, bring its favorite grooming equipment.
• If the cat has previously had negative experiences at a veterinary hospital, the veterinarian may prescribe a short-duration antianxiety medication that should be given approximately one hour prior to the visit.

The car ride:
• Take the cat for regular rides in the carrier, starting with very short ones, to places other than the veterinary hospital.
• Because cats may get carsick, do not feed the cat for at least an hour prior to travel.

At the hospital:
• Reward desired behaviors, even small ones, with treats, verbal praise, and other things the cat likes (e.g., brushing, massaging, playing).
• Remain calm and speak in a soft voice to help the cat remain calm. If a situation is upsetting for the pet owner, the cat may do better if that person leaves the room.
• Always allow a trained veterinary team member to handle the cat. Even the sweetest and most laid-back cat can become aroused and fearful in a strange environment. Anxiety may cause the cat to act out of character and bite or scratch.
• Discuss techniques that might make future visits more relaxing for the pet owner and the cat.