Cat Health News: New Owner Care Guidelines and Flea Control

Find out what cat owners must do to care for cats, per recently updated guidelines, and how new flea control can protect your pet from parasites.

By Elaine Wexler-Mitchell

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Exotic Cat Breed Cat Health
Find practical tips for pet owners for taking care of cats.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the International Society of Feline Medicine recently released Feline-Friendly Nursing Care Guidelines. Nursing care involves keeping cats clean, warm, comfortable and supported nutritionally, and ensuring that cats feel safe and secure during their recoveries in the hospital and at home. Cats are incredibly sensitive to their surroundings, so it is important that caretakers be perceptive to their cat’s physical and psychological needs.  

You play an important role in nursing care as an extension of the medical team at home. Veterinary staff members are responsible for making sure that you are equipped with knowledge of the disease condition, purpose of medications, how to administer medications and how to minimize your cat’s stress levels.

When performing treatments at home, use a small, quiet and familiar space to give your cat a sense of security and give you the chance to monitor him. Cats are creatures of habit, so it is important to maintain a predictable routine rather than surprise your cat with medications at different times of the day. Remain calm during treatments; a sick cat needs extra confidence and reassurance. Provide positive reinforcement for accepting medication or treatment with treats, verbal praise, and brushing or petting. Unless specifically directed by your veterinarian, avoid hiding medication in food because this can create food aversion.

A coordinated effort between you and the veterinary team will achieve the best outcomes for sick cats. You should always feel comfortable communicating with the veterinary team, seeking guidance or asking questions as they arise, and attending follow-up appointments to ensure a successful recovery.

Get online access to "Nursing Care for Your Cat: Practical Tips for Pet Owners.” >>

A New Option in Flea Control
Elanco Animal Health’s flea control product, Comfortis, is FDA-approved and was recently labeled for use in cats. This chewable tablet is administered orally with food once a month for flea control. The drug’s active ingredient, spinosad, rapidly takes action and kills adult fleas before they can start laying eggs. Flea death begins within 30 minutes of administration and is complete within four hours. Cats tolerate the drug very well. Rare side effects include vomiting, lethargy and loss of appetite.

An effective, long-acting, oral flea-control product provides a unique solution for cats who do not tolerate topical flea control. Some cats are sensitive to topical products and have local skin irritation or hair loss at the application site. Some cats react adversely because of their sensitive sense of smell and the strong odor they perceive when topical products are applied. Other cats seem to have an initial contact reaction or a twitch where the product was applied.

Another challenge with topical flea-control products can be the residue left on the hair and skin, which can become an issue when pets within a household groom each other or when family members pet the cats shortly after product application. Even though topical products are safe, they can cause stomach upset or drooling if a pet or child ingests them orally. You wouldn’t want a child touching the topical product residue without washing hands afterward.

Every flea control product has advantages and disadvantages, so having another safe and effective option gives cats an edge in the battle against fleas.
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Cat Health News: New Owner Care Guidelines and Flea Control

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Reader Comments

Cindi    Norwood, OH

7/20/2013 7:44:11 AM

We don't worry about the flea stuff--our two cats are strictly indoors--but have friends that have in/outdoor cats, and I've passed this along. Last year we got the girls a cat window patio from these folks LINK and Maggie and Skittles both spend hours sitting in it enjoying the smells sounds and sights from their view overlooking the back yard (and the bird and squirrel feeders (lol)

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