After-hours/Emergency Phone: 07 889 6738

07 889 6738

Veterinary Clinic Morrinsville

Companion Animal Articles


Athritis

Blood tests 

New Puppy or Kitten

New Pet

Chronic Kidney Disease in cats

Heart disease in dogs

Dental disease

Neuter your cat

Pets on holiday and at Christmas

Parvovirus in dogs

Scooting dogs- Anal glands

Indoor or Outdoors- keeping cats

 


 

Athritis: Old dogs suffer in cold weather

 

Our pets are just like us in that as the cold weather hits, the aches of arthritis gets worse. We can help reduce their suffering with changes in lifestyle and medications to minimize the inflammation.

 

Have you noticed your dog slowing down, unwilling to jump into the car or walk up the stairs? They may become stiff and lame after a good run around. They may chew one area, or rest in an abnormal position. And cold, damp weather tends to make things worse.

 

Arthritis is inflammation of the joint(s). It can have multiple causes, but the common slow onset disease can be from an injury in the joint, poor joint conformation, or from wear and tear.

One common traumatic injury is a torn cruciate ligament (ACL- also common in rugby players!). Surgery to stabilise the joint can improve recovery and in the long term reduce arthritic changes. Joint conformation problems are often breed or growth related such as hip dysplasia in German shepherds and Labradors, which breeders are trying to reduce.

 

Diagnosis of arthritis is based on the history of the event, a physical examination, and usually x-rays or a joint fluid sample. X-rays let us see the changes in the joint and bones. Affected joints have less cartilage and there may be extra bone growing around the joint.

Treatment for arthritis is aimed at trying to reduce pain and slow further damage. Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, low-impact regular exercise, warm and soft bedding, and massage, can minimize the stress put on the joints. The lighter an animal is the less stress that will be placed on their joints, so losing some weight will be beneficial.

We can give you a target weight to aim for, and give you support in monitoring weight loss progress.

Low impact exercise includes lead walking and short swimming sessions during the warmer months. Running and jumping should be limited, and exercise sessions should be kept shorter, such as 30 minutes daily, rather than one 3 hour walk a week. It is important to keep exercising to maintain muscle strength and mobility.

While it is not always easy to tell your dog where to lie down to sleep, having a soft bed that will keep them off the cold ground, and not put pressure on joints is much better than a cold hard surface. There are now pet beds especially for arthritic dogs containing memory foam!

  

At Veterinary Clinic Morrinsville, we have a variety of options to assist your pet. We have chondroitin/glucosamine supplements that are similar to compounds in natural joint fluid muccopolysaccharides and work by increasing the thickness and cushioning of the joint fluid, which often thins out with inflammation.

A course of injections called Synovan (Pentosan polysulfate) can improve cartilage quality and the amount of joint fluid. We often see good improvements in our patients with this.

Anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s) can also be used as pain relief and in reducing inflammation. As with all drugs, they can have side-effects, and a discussion with your vet is the best way to work out what is the safest treatment, which meets your dog’s needs. Modern NSAIDs are relatively safe and very effective.

We often don’t realise how much arthritis is affecting a pet, until we treat it and they start running around like a pup again!

 

There are many things we can do to assist our older dogs to have a good quality of life and still enjoy their walks with you. Think about what you could change at home to control their weight, give them regular gentle exercise and keep them warm. We can help to provide you with treatment options to assist with living as pain-free life as possible. Come into The Veterinary Clinic Morrinsville, to check out our arthritis friendly bedding, and have a chat to see if your dog would benefit from having an arthritis check-up.

 


 

 

What to expect if your pet needs a blood test.

 

There may be a time when you bring your pet into the vets and the vet says they would like to take a blood test. It may be a specific test to confirm a diagnosis or a range of tests to check the health of important organs to see how they might handle anaesthetics or before or during long term drug use.

 

So what exactly does this mean for your pet and what can we tell from a general blood test?

 

On cats and dogs we take usually collect blood from the cephalic vein on the front of the forearm, or the jugular vein in the neck. There is likely to be a small shaved area to help us to see the vein. A nurse is likely to assist in holding your pet. A bruised area may occur, especially if your pet has not remained still during the procedure.  Your pet may have a small amount of discomfort around the area as would be expected with a bruise, for a few days afterwards.

 

So what happens to the blood then? For most tests, the blood sample gets sent away to a veterinary pathology laboratory. The results may be sent back to us the same day or the next few days depending on when the sample is taken and how long the tests chosen take to run. Your vet will then call you with the results and a plan for your pet.

 

Common tests involve checking for concentrations of proteins, enzymes, electrolytes, and cells, and looking under the microscope to see changes in the red blood cells and white blood cells in blood. 

 

While people think that we will be able to tell them that their animal has been poisoned by a particular poison, or has cancer, it is unlikely to be that easy. Cancers may produce generalized changes such as inflammation and damage to the tissue they are situated in, but very few shed into the blood stream. It may come as a surprise that we do not test routinely for specific poisons unless we have one obvious one to test for. There are too many poisons in the world to be test for so many potential ones in a cost effective way. Instead by testing the levels of proteins and enzymes in the blood we measure the health of different organ systems and whether they are working efficiently, which may then give us a clue leading to a specific poison or cause.

 

So what are the common tests we do? There is a ‘sick animal panel’ which will usually be run when an animal is sick enough to be admitted to the clinic hospital. Things it can tell us include: if your pet is anaemic, has an infection, has lost electrolytes due to vomiting or diarrhoea, if the kidneys are not working efficiently or your pet is dehydrated, if the liver has current damage, and checks for pancreatitis indicators in dogs.

 

The main ones tested in a general testing panel looking for clues to what is wrong with your pet, are related to the liver damage and function, kidneys functioning, immune system, muscle damage and anaemia.

 

This then indicates to us what the main organ affected is and the likely cause based on the relative changes in the blood.

 

Through these changes and relative changes it can help narrow our most probable diagnosis down so we may then be able to test for the right poison first time.

Of course, not many diseases are caused by poisons, and hopefully we will have results that allow us to treat for a disease with certainty. It may seem disappointing when the results come back normal- but instead think of the positives- the liver and kidneys etc. are working fine!

 

Other common tests we run include looking for hormones such as for diagnosing hyperthyroidism in cats, or blood clotting factors to diagnose rat bait poisoning in dogs.

 

The blood tests your vet will request will be determined by your pet’s clinical signs. If you have questions regarding what your pet will be tested for, please ask your vet. 

 


 

Caring for your new kitten or puppy

 

As the excitement of a new member of the household takes over, it can be hard to remember everything you will need to think of and do to care for them in the first few weeks.

In the first day, you will need to find suitable food, bowls for food and water and toileting facilities. They will also need a safe place to sleep and play while they are adjusting to their new home. In the first few weeks you will need to treat the newest member of your household for fleas and worms, and get a health check and vaccination. They will also need some toilet train, and establish the rules of your house and some basic commands.

Kittens and puppies should be fed a good quality kitten or puppy food for the first year of life to give their body and bones and joints the best start to life. However, when you first take them home, a sudden change in their food is likely to upset their stomach. Ideally you will have found out what they have been eating and feed this for the first day at your house. Then once you have found the food you plan to feed long term, blend the new food and old food together for a few days to transition them. It will be easier to train them to use toilet areas if bowel motions are normal!

While playing is important and really fun to watch, do watch out for small objects lying around they could swallow but not digest.

Clean water should always be available, as young animals have an increased requirement for water than older animals, especially if they are being fed dry biscuits!

Cats should always have fresh cat litter available- especially while training them as they tend to avoid used litter. Keep it in a small place such as under a table, where they cannot see you, as cats like their privacy too! It may be easier to keep kittens in a small area with the litter tray first so they get used to using it- often they will train themselves. From there, increase the size of the area to a whole room and make sure things are consistent before having access to the whole house.  Kittens and puppies are likely to need to toilet just after eating, after waking up and after playing for a while. If you keep an eye on them, you will start to recognise the change in behaviour when they start looking for a place to go to the toilet- it may be scratching at the ground or sniffing the floor having just dropped their favourite toy.

Pick them up and take them to where you want them to toilet, and praise them when they have finished. Praise works much better than telling them off when they have had an accident and don’t understand what you are growling them about.

It is recommended to keep any new cat indoors for a couple of weeks when you first get them, ideally starting off in a single room, so they start feeling safe there, and understand it is a safe place to come back to when they are let outside.

Vaccinations can be started from 6 weeks of age, with their last booster given over 12 weeks old. Cat flu for cats and parvovirus for dogs are both diseases that are contagious and can be very nasty in young animals, making it the most important time to have their vaccinations up to date.

Intestinal round worms are passed to kittens and puppies in their mum’s milk, making it important to worm them every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old, and then continue 3 monthly.

Further down the line, usually around 6 months of age, we recommend neutering your new pet.

Please come in and have a chat with our friendly staff, to make sure you are doing the best for your new kitten or puppy, and remember we have puppy classes to help you socialise and find some basic commands to start on the right track to a successful lifetime relationship.

Also remember to visit us at Vet Clinic Morrinsville, if you are looking for a kitten as we often have kittens looking for their forever homes. Our kittens have all had a health check and have been wormed and treated for fleas. 


Chronic Kidney disease is common in cats

 

Over half of all cats will develop kidney disease during their lifetime. Typically it is seen as a slow onset of a pet losing weight, drinking more and becoming a picky eater. The age of onset of clinical disease is very variable, typically from 7 to 16 years plus. Cats younger than this are more likely to have acute kidney failure, often due to licking a toxin, such as antifreeze.

The function of kidneys is to excrete waste and maintain fluid and electrolyte balance. The kidneys also make and regulate some of the body’s hormones.

Kidney disease is due to nephrons (filtering kidney cells) dying slowly over the lifetime of a cat. When about two thirds of the nephrons have died, the cat will be unable to concentrate its urine. When three quarters of nephrons have died, the body cannot compensate and kidney failure symptoms become apparent.

Signs of chronic kidney failure include weight loss, drinking and urinating a lot more than usual, poor body condition and anaemia. When kidney damage is severe, owners often notice a lack of appetite, and bad breath. During kidney failure, the cat cannot concentrate its urine at all, and the cat develops high blood urea and creatinine levels, like in dehydration. Because the urine being produced is the same concentration as the cat’s blood, it cannot drink enough to flush the toxins out of the body. The urea builds up in the blood, causing ulcers in the mouth and stomach, which makes the cat feel sick and not want to eat.

After an examination of your pet, your vet will want to take blood and urine samples to test. Kidney disease can now be detected earlier, with a new blood test called “SDMA”. This is read together with other changes in the blood and urine concentration to determine how well the kidneys are functioning. With early diagnosis we can plan to slow down the kidney disease and delay signs of illness developing.

While we cannot reverse the chronic kidney damage, there are many things that can help improve a cat’s quality of life. Maintaining hydration is important, so we need to always have fresh clean water available. Later in disease the cat may need intravenous fluids to temporarily reverse the build-up of toxins. This can give the cat a reprieve from its symptoms for a while. Other medications can help with appetite, anaemia, and blood pressure.

As we all know, diet plays a big part in our health, and cats with kidney disease are no different. One study showed cats with kidney disease which were fed a special kidney diet, lived twice as long and had only half of the signs of sickness, compared to cats fed normal cat food.  

There are many other causes of increased drinking in cats and dogs, so if you have any questions phone us at Vet Clinic Morrinsville. Early help can slow symptoms of disease and prolong your pets’ well-being.


 

Has Your Pet Got Heart Disease?

Heart disease is common in pets. It is estimated to affect more than 1 in 10 dogs over 7 years old. Unlike heart disease in people, it is likely to have a slow onset, rather than appear as a heart attack. This is because heart disease in pets is more often caused by leaky heart valves.  

Signs of heart disease are often vague and have a gradual onset. Dogs can seem tired, lose their appetite, cough at night, and do not cope with running around for long.

Cats tend to sleep a lot even when fit and healthy, so it can be very difficult to see any signs of heart disease!  Coughing is an important sign in cats.

Diagnosis of heart disease involves a physical examination and possibly a blood test, chest x-rays, ultrasound and/or an electrocardio- gram.

A new blood test is now available at Veterinary Clinic Morrinsville, called the Cardiopet pro-BNP. It is very useful for diagnosing early heart disease even before there are major clinical signs. It can also help monitor disease progress and treatment response.

There are different heart medications available to help diseased hearts pump blood around the body. These treatments can slow development of heart disease, and increase your pet’s quality of life.

If your dog or cat is coughing or more tired than usual, a visit to your vet can improve your pet’s quality of life. So give us a call to make an appointment.

 


Keeping your best friend’s teeth clean, and their breath fresh.

Over half the cats and dogs coming to visit us at Vet Clinic Morrinsville will be suffering from dental disease, from mild gum inflammation (gingivitis) to severe tartar and gum recession requiring teeth to be extracted.

This dental disease also leads to bad breath “halitosis”, but is not the only cause of bad breath. Diet, respiratory, kidney or gastrointestinal disease can all cause bad breath.

Signs of oral disease include

- acting hungry but only eating a small amount before stopping eating,

                -pawing at the mouth,

                -drooling,

                -teeth chattering

     In the wild, the natural diet of dogs has a plaque-retarding effect. However, in modern dog breeds, we have bred different shaped heads and therefore different bite-patterns, which often could not eat a wild type diet. Most dogs develop plaque due to the different bite-shapes, and most dog food does not slow down plaque formation.

Plaque is a collection of bacteria and food particles, which then mineralize to form tartar. Because of the high numbers of bacteria present, the gums react with inflammation. This inflammation causes pain, gums to recede, teeth to fall out, and it can cause bacteria to get into the blood supply and cause infection elsewhere- often on heart valves and causing heart murmurs.

Prevention includes food options and brushing teeth. Treatment is a scale and polish, or tooth extractions under general anaesthetics.

The safest food options to reduce tarter are special dental biscuits that are designed to scrape the teeth when crunched rather than just shattering. They are a complete diet and available from us at  Vet Clinic Morrinsville.

 Chewing bones will help reduce tartar, but we often see bones fragments that have caused an obstruction in the gut or have caused constipation, so they have draw-backs too. If you are feeding bones, the safest ones are large so they cannot be chewed into fragments easily, and raw- beef cannon bones from your butcher are ideal. Cooked bones easily shatter into sharp pieces that can puncture the gut.  Please be aware that bone marrow contains a high level of fat, and therefore the amount of other food fed may need to be reduced to prevent your dog becoming overweight.

Teeth brushing is an effective method of stopping tarter build up, and can be done on cats or dogs. For good results it must be done at least every 2nd day as plaque older than this mineralizes into tartar which cannot be removed by brushing. You may use a children’s toothbrush or a finger brush if you are cleaning your pets teeth. Do not use human toothpaste, as you do not want your pet to choke on the foam accidently! Remember like most things, the experience needs to be pleasurable for you both to be happy to repeat it- when starting out, try something nice tasting on the toothbrush like gravy, you can always graduate to pet toothpaste later.

Dentals are routine procedures, but may need to be repeated if the tartar is building up quickly. Usually the teeth will be assessed while the animal is asleep as to how much gum and tooth disease is present, and whether any teeth need to be removed or if a scale and polish is enough to give the mouth an opportunity to heal. Anaesthetic risks are minimal but still present, so if we can reduce the number needed over the lifetime of our pets by preventative actions, let’s do it!

If you have any questions, ask your vet at Veterinary Clinic Morrinsville. The best action to care for your pet’s teeth will  be to bring them in and get a dental and wellness check-up, and make a plan to keep your pets mouth and teeth healthy!!!


 
 
Kitten season is coming up fast, and last season’s kittens will be old enough to go on the prowl  too. If you haven’t neutered them yet, tom cats will be learning to spray, roam and fight, and females will be getting psyched up for their first litter.
 
 
While it can be nice to think about having cuddly kittens in the house , cleaning up after them and trying to find homes for them can be difficult , when there are so many other people who fail to neuter their cats and are also giving away kittens. The kitten season starts before Christmas, and peaks  during the post-Christmas holiday season, before the second litters are being born and are ready for homes from  February to April. Many rescue facilities dealing with dumped kittens have problems rehoming kittens after Christmas, when people are on holiday and not wanting kittens during the peak of the season.
 
 
Every year there are a lot more kittens born than people who are wanting to adopt a cat- leaving a lot of organisations that are trying to help with dumped and stray cats a lot of work and expense.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION against too many cats and strays in our neighbourhoods and desex your cats before they have their first litter.
 

 


 

Organising your Pets Holiday

 

You have been organising your summer holidays, but have you thought about your pet’s?
You may have booked your pet into a pet lodge, or are taking them with you to the beach, but either way a little preparation can help you both enjoy your holiday.

     Vaccinations for must be up to date to go to dogs and cats to go boarding.  But vaccinations are also important to protect your pet at any holiday spots where they are likely to meet other pets.

Keep flea and worm treatments up to date. No-one wants to wake up on Christmas morning to flea bites-either you or your pets! Most cat or dog flea products will last a month, so mark it on the calendar when they are due and keep the next dose handy.

Ticks may be present on grasses in sand dunes or reserves. Some flea products won’t treat ticks, so check before you go. Ticks that have fed will look like large ripe grapes!

If your pet is going to be travelling in the car for a while, consider whether they are happy travellers. Think about getting them used to going in the car before the big drive. If they get car sick or a very stressed, talk to your vet as there are a range of medications that could help. It is a legal requirement that your dog is restrained while travelling in your car- this is to protect front seat passengers in case of sudden stops.

Overheating in cars can kill pets quickly. Consider them when you stop on your journey, and give them some fresh air and a toilet stop too. Don’t leave your pets unattended in your car. At 26 C a car will heat up to 37 C in 10 minutes and 43 C after 30 minutes!

If your dog is going to be boarding at a pet lodge, a visit prior to your holiday is likely to help your dog feel more relaxed about visiting the facilities. This is especially important for nervous dogs. This will help you relax, knowing your dog is enjoying themselves as much as you are.

If you are taking your pets on holiday with them, think about how others could identify them if they got lost. A microchip is a great way to permanently identify your pet, as it can’t be removed. Identification tags on collars can also be used, but don’t expect your cat to leave a collar on for a week if it is not used to wearing one!

While ensuring your pet gets plenty of water to drink so they do not overheat, ensure it is fresh, clean water. There may be algal blooms in ponds over the summer. This water can be extremely toxic if drunk, or even after skin contact, so take care to control your dog around these.

 

Christmas with your pets

      

Do not keep chocolate under the Christmas tree! A keen dog nose will sniff it out however well it is wrapped! Chocolate is poisonous to dogs as it is a heart stimulant! We have also had instances where chocolate has been found in presents hidden in bedrooms and car boots, so please take care. They can be very good only leaving wrappers as evidence (like children).  Ring us quickly if your dog has eaten chocolate.

Other foods that can cause poisonings in dogs are all those yummy barbequed onions and grapes and raisins. Feeding the fat from your ham or turkey can cause stomach upsets, or at worst pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).  It is easiest to keep your pet on their normal diet, with only small amounts of pet treats.

We wish you and your pets a fantastic holiday. If you have any concerns about getting ready for your pet’s time away, ring us at the Vet Clinic Morrinsville.

 

What is ‘Parvo’ in dogs, why do we vaccinate for it?

The excitement of a new little furry friend is fun for everyone, cute snuggles, games and toys but the flip side of the coin is when things go bad.

Parvo which is short for Parvovirus, is a disease that can be deadly to dogs, especially puppies.

Luckily we hardly see any cases because of responsible dog owners vaccinating their puppies but the onset can be sudden so it’s good to know the details.

The first signs of a problem may be your dog is depressed, vomiting, or has diarrhoea. Death may occur in as little as 2 days. Dogs can contract parvovirus after either meeting a dog sick with it, or investigating a patch of grass or garden a sick dog has toileted in- even if it was years before! Parvovirus survives a long time in the environment.

‘Parvo’ is caused by Canine Parvovirus type 2, which mutated about 35 years ago to become a deadly disease to dogs all over the world.

There is luckily more immunity in the dog population now due to vaccinations and the disease having been present for a while, so the sick dogs we see have a better chance to survive it than they used to.

Parvovirus causes a severe gut infection which attacks the gut lining, causing the lining to strip off, and a bloody, watery diarrhoea to develop. They suffer from dehydration and a lot of bacteria ‘leaking’ into the bloodstream because of the gut lining not being intact causing septicaemia ( blood poisoning). This can overwhelm the body and be the cause of death.

We cannot kill the virus, so when we see sick dogs, we treat with fluids and antibiotics to give the body the best chance of beating the virus.

If the dog is vaccinated, its immune system has a head-start in having already developed the right antibodies to fight parvo with. Antibodies are proteins the body makes that fit like a key onto a piece of the foreign molecule.

When we vaccinate 6 week old puppies, we are trying to protect them against parvo. Puppies need at least 2 vaccinations when young, with the last vaccination being at over 12 weeks old. Followed by a booster at a year old, and onto their adult vaccination program, Dogs that are exposed to parvo after they have been fully vaccinated are unlikely to get the disease.

Make sure your dog is up to date with its vaccinations, and get any new members to the family vaccinated ASAP. Come in to your friendly vet clinic with any questions you may have.


 

Scooting… an unpleasant problem in dogs and cats.

Unfortunately many pet owners will know what I mean- a dog or cat sliding their back end along the ground to itch it. There are two main causes of scooting- Intestinal worms or anal gland problems. While worms are easy to fix with a worm tablet, anal gland issues are more complex.

What are anal glands? They are two sacs that sit to either side of the anus, and they produce and contain a really bad-smelling substance.  Dogs use this smell to identify each other- their own ‘scent’ (which is why dogs want to sniff each other’s back ends).  Cats have them too, but are generally more discreet about things than dogs, and are more likely to be suffering from worms than anal gland problems.

These glands usually empty themselves as dogs toilet, but in some dogs a number of things can happen to stop them working well, and they can get blocked or infected.

Problems can occur if the opening is too narrow, or folds of skin overlie the openings. Anal gland   problems are a lot more common in small breed than large breed dogs. Too much fat can put pressure on the conformation and “bury” the openings, preventing them working properly.

Food and skin allergies can also affect the anal glands, making them itchy as well as the skin.

Poor stool consistency- too small, soft, or not enough can stop proper emptying of the anal glands.

If you notice your dog or cat scooting, the thing to do is to get it examined by your vet and the anal glands ‘expressed’. We will be able to tell you whether the anal glands are the problem and if there is something else predisposing your dogs to getting problems.

For chronic anal gland sufferers, there is a new product on the market, which can optimise stool consistency to help emptying and reduce inflammation associated with allergies. This product has good testimonials, most of the vets saying that use of the product has reduced the frequency and severity of anal gland emptying for their regular customers.

If you have a pet that is scooting, the first port of call is with the friendly staff at the Vet Clinic Morrinsville, who can help answer any further questions you have.


 

The indoor only cat- Pros and Cons

 

Here in New Zealand, we are used to cats being outside and roaming around the neighbourhood. However in many countries, cats are kept indoors, or in large cages outside, to protect the cats from the outside world and the outside world from the cats.

For outdoor cats, positives aspects are the freedom to explore and kill prey, fulfilling natural tendencies but the negatives are generally shorter lives due to injuries and diseases picked up while roaming, and their impact on other cats and wildlife.

The advantages of keeping cats indoors include greater safety from less fighting or getting run over, and protection of wildlife. The negatives are increased time required of owners to play with them each day and to clean litter-boxes.

Outdoor cats roam a lot and they have contact with other cats, which often results in fighting.

A recent study in Auckland showed on average 10 cats visited each property daily.

An American study tracked cats for 2 years and found one feral cat roamed a territory covering 540 hectares!

Pet cats have smaller territories, but still on average roamed over 2 hectares. In Morrinsville this means one cat could travel over 20 to 30 properties. In New Zealand, we own an average of 1.8 cats per household, so each cat could meet 36 to 54 other pet cats, plus strays and feral cats.

It is little wonder that cat fights and bites are the most common reasons for a visit to the vet. The resulting infections can make cats very sick and often result in abscesses. Fights can also spread diseases such as FIV (a cat version of AIDs).

While they are roaming, cats may kill pests such as mice or rabbits, but they also catch many birds and lizards. A study in Dunedin showed 42% of domestic cats’prey were native animals. Only 23% of kills were mice and 11% were lizards.

The largest bird I have heard of a cat bringing home was a Pukeko!

Studies indicate cats only show us a fifth of what they kill. In the Dunedin study cats owners saw on average 13 kills annually. This suggests that the Dunedin cats could kill between 50 and 65 times a year. In contrast, a wild cat will kill between 5 to 30 times per day.

Indoor cats can be prone to developing different diseases. These mostly occur in less active indoor cats, and are also seen in inactive outdoor cats as well. They tend to be related to overeating and not drinking enough. Diseases include obesity, cystitis, blocked bladders and diabetes. Despite this indoor cat generally live longer, as a lot of outdoor cats die in their first years of life, mostly from being run over or attacked by dogs. Indoor cats may live longer, with fewer fights and injuries, but they need careful dietary management and entertainment. Feel free to pop in to the clinic if you need some dietary advice

An indoor cat will require a greater input from those people sharing the household. This is in the form of playing with your cat, having toys (balls and mice) they can play with while you are away and other more interactive toys. These can include toys on strings, laser lights, etc. that help you interact with them. This playing can help release pent up energy that can otherwise cause the cat to become frustrated and angry.  Litter trays need to be kept clean and in a private area such as in a box or under furniture, as cats like to be clean and private.  Other things to think about are a windowsill in the sun where your cat can get their vitamin D dose and be entertained by the world outside. At Vet Clinic Morrinsville we have a great range of interactive toys to entertain both cats and owners.

It is our choice where our cats live locally, but in some parts of New Zealand, there are bylaws in place to keep cats away from wildlife.