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    Cute is Costly – Meet Buxton

    Cats, News and Comment,

    From my previous blogs you may have realised that I seem to have been cat-less for a while. Well… I have news! I am back to being a cat mum again. In fact Buxton has been here for a few months but he’s been very shy so I didn’t want to announce his arrival until he was showing signs of feeling fully settled. 


    Pet welfare on our screens

    Cats, Dogs, News and Comment,

    We are used to seeing pet welfare on the numerous animal rescue and veterinary shows we have in the UK, and I always hope that these can demonstrate good welfare that people can emulate with their own pets.

    Yet pets crop up in many TV shows and as they are part of a general storyline it appears to me that the welfare aspect of what is portrayed is sometimes not considered.


    More than a manicure

    Cats, News and Comment,

    There was some great news from the US last month – New York is going to become the first state to ban the de-clawing of cats – check the news here.

    De-clawing is illegal in the UK – yet I have still had requests for the surgery. Working in London there are many US citizens here and it is not uncommon to get a request for a cat to be de-clawed. This is usually in response to a cat causing damage to furniture by clawing it and supports the news articles’ statement that de-clawing is a ‘convenience’ surgery for the owner with no benefit to the cat.


    Hot Cats!

    Cats, News and Comment,

    Summer looks like it has finally arrived and for many cat owners, this can be good news! But there are also some new problems that might crop up during the warmer months. Much of the information about the hot weather is focused on dogs, as they are more likely to be under our control for exercise or travel so it’s us owners who need the education! However, although cats are more free range than dogs they may still need a little extra help this summer.


    Here for a good time, not a long time

    blog, Cats, Dogs,

    It’s with a heavy heart I share with you that my beloved Hollie has passed away. She was only 11½ years old and while she was very unwell there’s a bit of me that feels robbed of sharing a longer life with her. I especially feel this as I rescued her five and a half years ago when she was 6 and I felt I needed to give her at least the same amount of time with me as she had spent in her previous life.

    This all feels even worse as she took matters into her own hands at the end and passed away on her own terms. I had planned for euthanasia but not in enough time for her, so I’m even more distraught. Euthanasia is such a hard decision to make and we focus so much on the future it can sometimes be hard to be in the present, and in particular our pets’ present.


    What do our pets know?

    Focussing on how, when and why we euthanize pets brought back a conversation that pretty much sums up my attitude towards the pressure we put ourselves under to prolong our pets’ lives as much as possible.

    Our elderly cat LB was very arthritic and needed to start some painkillers. These were known to be a factor in kidney disease, so my vet and I had a discussion about starting them as LB was 17 years old and had very early renal disease signs. From an owner point of view that was scary because if I chose to start her on medication was I hastening her towards her grave? If I didn’t medicate her though, she was living in pain daily.

    Unlike us our pets aren’t planning for a long-term future. She wasn’t struggling in her litter tray thinking that if she rested more and didn’t start painkillers she’d see her grandchildren grow up. Our pets live in the present much more than we do. I respected that and I started her on painkillers and in my vets words “she’s here for a good time, not a long time”.


    They don’t always follow the plan

    LB didn’t agree with that and refused to succumb to any renal issues and lived another 5 years on the painkillers, and in the end it was the arthritis that became too much, rather than the renal issues. She had lived a pain free and happy existence and I was so happy with the choices we made.

    Hollie also didn’t follow my plan (I see a theme from my pets). I had decided that there wouldn’t be any further diagnostics, she was doing OK in hospital and so I’d take her home for a night then euthanize her at home the next day. The vets agreed with this plan and so we were all set for the next day. Only Hollie didn’t know this and decided it was time to go. She always was an independent and stubborn dog and stayed true to this until the end and I have to accept that.

    She was here and had a fabulous time with me so I can’t be sad over this extra 6 months I hoped to give her for my own well-being rather than hers. Enjoy your wings my little angel, you are much missed.


    The perfect London cat?


    Living in London can put different strains on owning a pet. The stress of living in close proximity with a lot of other people affects us and our pets. In vet practice we see many cats in particular having issues with stress due to sharing their outside space with other cats. (more…)

    Hot cats in heat


    The weather predictions on our summer heatwave lasting until October seem to have been true (at least where I live in London!) as I’m still in sandals and I have no idea where I have stored my winter coat. (more…)

    Cat feeding – can you handle the responsibility?


    If you’ve failed to notice, it’s summer! It’s been will may still be properly hot, there are (sometimes) beautiful blue skies and ironically it’s this time of year when we often leave our lovely country and go on holiday abroad! (more…)

    Giving a cat a tablet – without losing your hand!


    I’ve got skills, they’re multiplying…

    Occasionally my vet nurse skills come in handy but sometimes they are of no help to me at all. One of these situations is when giving my own pets tablets. Yes, at work I give tablets to even the most ferocious of cats, but at home I’m making up ham cheese and tablet swirls to get Tillie to eat her medication. In fact recently Hollie has grown wise to the tablets in her sliced ham and I’m reduced to buying pate just for her!   (more…)

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