Blood glucose readings higher in clinic than home. Familiarity decreases stress.

House call veterinary service or veterinary clinic? Small study supports house call veterinary services as better choice, even when veterinary clinic offers low-stress handling and cat-friendly practice.

Comparison of stress exhibited by cats examined in a clinic versus a home setting

Published in Applied Animal Behavior Science (Journal) 2014

Take home message of the study:

“In the context of this study, where low stress handling techniques were employed throughout both environments, familiarity with the veterinary examiner and procedure were associated with decreased stress experienced by the cat. Higher blood glucose and more hiding behavior in the clinic support the hypothesis that the clinic is more stressful than the home.”

Click to read full study.

Exercise class for cats? How to get your cat moving and grooving!

“Cats like to nap.” Wouldn’t you sleep if there was nothing else to do?  Cats were designed for hunting.  They possess athletic and tracking skills galore.  Those skills are going to waste. It’s sad.

Why not try an experiment? For one month, hire a neighbor or a cat sitter to actively play with your cat for at least half an hour several times a week. If you don’t want to hire someone, then actively play with your cat when you are home.

Don’t know where to start? You can learn from Jackson Galaxy, star of “My Cat from Hell” and author of a book about cat behavior. He offers practical, down-to-earth suggestions based on years of visits to the homes of cats. (Ignore his belief in spirit essences sold by the bottle. We’ve all got our quirks. That’s his quirk).

To buy his book:

Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Cl ean

Toys he suggests using:

Petmate Jackson Galaxy Mojo Maker Air Wand with 1 Toy

Petmate Jackson Galaxy Mojo Maker Air Prey Toy

Petmate Jackson Galaxy Go Fish Cat Toy

To watch his show:

He Hates My Boyfriend

“Can cat hair get into my lungs?”

How would cat fur bypass the body’s protective mechanisms?

Cilia

Mucus

Various tubes of decreasing size

“The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. EPA is concerned about particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects.”

Particulate Matter/Air &Radiation US EPA

Is fur 10 micrometers or less? No. If fur is pulverized into dust, then perhaps it could enter the lungs. Groomers inhale particles, but are the particles small enough and in high enough volume to cause lung problems later in life? That I don’t know. Since high-velocity dryers are currently a standard grooming salon tool, I would guess that more particles are being blown around nowadays. In earlier years, a “stand dryer” or a human-style blow dryer was used to dry pets.

What I do know is that you will not see a furry lung if you autopsy a groomer.

“Since the late 1970’s, we only monitored particulate matter pollution that was 10 microns in diameter or less, called PM 10. A micron (or micrometer) is a millionth of a meter. To give you an idea of how small PM 10 is, the dot above the letter “i” in a typical newspaper measures about 400 microns!”  From Hamilton County Environmental Services website. Good site!

Note: Micron = micrometer = millionth part of a meter.  A meter is 39.37 inches. PM = Particulate Matter.

“PM is the term used for solid or liquid particles emitted to the air. Some particles are large enough to be seen, and others are so small they can only be detected with an electron microscope.”

Relevant article from NAILS Magazine: “If You Can’t See It, You Can’t Inhale It.” Take home message: “Particles that are small enough to remain airborne and possibly be inhaled are not visible to the naked eye. In other words, says Will Forest, associate toxicologist for the Hazard Evaluation System Information Service of the California Department of Health Services, “If you can see it, you can’t inhale it.”

Micrometer

So your long-haired cat needs to be groomed. Here’s what you need to buy.

I groom these two sweet-natured beauties once a month. (Jump to the middle of this post for links to grooming tools.) Even if your long-haired cat is another breed or a mix, you can use similar tools. If you are going to be grooming your cat monthly, it’s worth buying the tools and products. Grooming is a recurring part of the life of a long-haired cat. (If it’s not, it should be, because ungroomed cats lug around a lot of shedded fur and are coated with too much body oil.)

Chirp & Bambi’s owner is a responsible person who makes sure that her cats get the care they need to stay healthy, comfortable and happy. She combs them frequently, so that when I visit, I don’t have to subject them to intense de-matting. Lucky cats!

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Tools and products:
Four Paws Tearless Cat Grooming Shampoo, 12oz

Groomers Goop Creme For Oily Coats

Four Paws Cat Grooming Claw Clipper

Wahl 41870-0423 Bravura Lithium Purple Professional Cord/Cordless Pet Clipper Kit by Wahl Professional Animal

TINY TRIM ball tipped small pet grooming scissor 4.5″ EAR NOSE FACE PAW

Andis Pet 7-1/2-Inch Steel Comb (65730)

Li’l Pals Slicker Purple and Green Brush for Dogs, Extra Small

Safari Cat Shedding Comb, Wood Handle

The Wet Hair Brush, Metallic Purple

Oster Hi-Velocity Adjustable Table and Cage Dryer

The set up for home grooming
The set up for home grooming

My cat is shedding too much. Solutions for shedding.

Some short-haired cats release a large amount of hair in the spring.

I removed this fur using the soft Love Glove.  The cat purred during the grooming. This same cat is brushed four times a week, but look how much fur comes off!  Now she won’t have to cough up hair balls or walk around with a coat that is twice as heavy as it needs to be in the warm weather.

To buy: Four Paws Purple Love Glove Cat Grooming Mitt

After two minutes of brushing with the Love Glove!
After 2 minutes of brushing with the Love Glove!

Loveglove1

Good news for pain relief in cats

Good news for cat owners who are concerned about pain after surgery! Post-op pain not only is painful *duh*, it may slow down recovery time. Anyone who has ever felt sick and hurting after surgery can relate. The right meds can make a difference for animals, human or feline. With more and more cats going to vet clinics *though still far fewer than dogs* post-op  relief is a hot topic.

Newly approved pain drug for cats

September, 2014

Abbott Animal Health announced in July that it has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Simbadol (buprenorphine), an injectable pain control medication for use in controlling post-operative pain in cats. This provides veterinarians with the first FDA-approved, single-dose opioid analgesic for the control of pain in cats recovering from surgery.

The concept of a single dose drug for pain control in postoperative cats is an attractive one, as this minimizes the discomfort and inconvenience associated with management of these patients, who may be stressed and may recover more quickly and favorably when minimally manipulated.

A number of studies suggest that buprenorphine provides good pain relief and that it is safe to use in cats recovering from surgery. The Simbadol approval is great news for those concerned about the care and well being of cats undergoing surgical procedures.

Birman cats live longest. Bengal cats have shortest lives, according to UK study

Study based on reviewing deaths of 4,009 cats from 90 veterinary practices in UK, randomly selected from database of 118,016 cats.

“Of interesting note was the different longevity of purebreds – the longest-lived breeds were the Birman (16.1 years) and Burmese (14.3 years), the shortest-lived breeds were the Bengal (7.3 years) and Abyssinian (10.0 years).”

To learn more about cat breeds, my favorite overview is Dr. Bruce Fogle’s “The New Encyclopedia of the Cat”.

To buy:  The New Encyclopedia of The Cat