Care & Wellness

  • Many dogs experience fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) when faced with a visit to the veterinary clinic. FAS can be a problem at many points leading up to and during the veterinary visit. Your veterinarian can guide you in conditioning the dog to better enjoy time in the car, helping the dog not to associate car rides with “bad” things.

  • Kittens are typically weaned off of their mother’s milk at about 8 weeks of age and become reliant on pet owners for their nutrition. The goal of feeding growing kittens is to lay the foundation for a healthy adulthood.

  • Over 50% of cats in North America are either overweight or obese, so paying attention to the balance between activity and calorie intake is important

  • The population of mature and senior cats is increasing. In fact, 35-40% of cats in North America are at least 7 years of age, and it’s not uncommon for cats to live well into their twenties. Better nutrition, safer lifestyles, and improvements to preventive healthcare have contributed to this trend.

  • Newborn kittens are relatively immature at birth compared to many other mammals. The period of time they spend being nursed by their mother (queen) helps the newborn kitten transition from in utero nutrition to solid food. If the queen is incapable of raising her kittens herself, the kittens are considered orphans and some important needs must be met in order to ensure their survival.

  • Advances in veterinary awareness and diagnostics not only means cats are now living longer and with a better quality of life than ever before, but it also means the likelihood of diagnosing cancer during a cat’s life has increased.

  • The various stages of reproduction – heat (estrus), pregnancy, lactation, and weaning – provide unique stresses to the body. Each provides specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize both queen and kitten health.

  • Feeding cats doesn’t have to be mysterious. By recognizing a few key concepts and attributes of cats we can create a very reasonable feeding plan for them.

  • Cats are considered to be adults by the time they are 1 year old. It is not uncommon for them to live up to 20 years or longer. Once they reach 7 or 8 years of age, however, cats are considered to be “senior citizens,” and age-related diseases and metabolic changes begin to emerge.

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is one of the most important viruses infecting cats. FeLV tends to become a persistent infection and depresses the immune system of cats. FeLV is an important cause of anemia in cats and can cause cancers of several types. For further details on this important disease, see our handout "Feline Leukemia Virus Disease Complex".