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Grandview Animal Hospital & Animal Rehabilitation Center

Happy at Home

Things are changing for indoor cats! Cat owners love the flexibility of having a self-sufficient and independent pet but are starting to recognize that what makes an environment suitable for us isn’t necessarily ideal for their cats. Veterinary medicine is evolving to meet the unique needs of cats and as a result we are working more and more with owners to do the same at home. We know that cats can manifest environmental and emotional stress as common, chronic medical conditions. We know that managing this stress can have positive effects on these illnesses and that means happier, healthier cats.

Environmental enrichment - this idea of modifying a cat’s environment to meet the basic needs of indoor cats has now become the norm. Resources for owners looking for ways to encourage perching, climbing, hunting, climbing and hiding are readily available. These core needs are no longer considered a luxury for cats and we are recognizing that cats thrive when these needs are met. Chronic gastrointestinal, skin and urinary tract disease are treated with a component of environmental stress management.
Cat in litterbox at home Litter box issues are the number one reason for relinquishing a cat. Addressing and recognizing urinary tract disease, litter box preferences and aversions when they start are critical parts of the success or failure of treatment. The reasons a cat might choose to use or not use a particular litter box can boggle the mind and often seems like a problem too difficult to solve. We advocate a multi-modal approach and talk through the medical and behavioral aspects of this common concern of cat owners.
We recommend our feline friends have safe, supervised access to the outdoors. The addition of an outdoor enclosure or “catio” can be life changing for a cat and provide a level of enrichment difficult to accomplish indoors. Multi-cat households and active families with active cats can provide opportunity for perching and play while allowing their cat to move freely between inside and out.

A cat has not evolved to eat an unlimited amount of kibble no matter how popular and common this practice has become. Acquiring a meal in the wild involves multiple attempts and multiple failures, expending calories in the process. Working hard to catch and ingest a very small low calorie, high protein, low carbohydrate meal is not similar to ad lib feeding of a grain based diet. Food puzzles offering small, frequent meals can mimic the hunt for active and eager cats. Meeting a cats need to find their own food is a part of environmental enrichment many owners are beginning to embrace.

Pheromones are readily used to ease stress and help cats transition to new situations. This technology has been used across many applications and owners typically appreciate the ease of use and affordability. Thinking ahead and preparing for new or confusing situations with pheromone use is a proactive way to negotiate stress.


Have Questions?

We are happy to answer your questions or provide additional information.

Give us a call at 816-761-5071 or contact us online.

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Office Hours

Monday - Friday:  8am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday:  CLOSED