The cat's out of the bag!
One of the reasons we love cats is their elusive nature and independence. However, I can’t imagine a cat owner who hasn’t wondered what their cat gets up to when they aren’t around or hasn’t been curious about their whereabouts during a prolonged outside expedition! No wonder the BBC recognised that we’d be hooked by their documentary ‘the secret lives of cats’, exploring a research project undertaken in a Surrey village which tracked the movements of its cats and used ‘cat cams’ to view the world from the feline perspective. The hype surrounding the show was well deserved and the programme made it abundantly clear how individual our cats are as well as some interesting insights into modern cat behaviour. I found it fascinating that cats are becoming more social, to fit in with us and are working out strategies to share territories in small areas as we live closer together.
Many opportunistic cats were helping themselves to neighbouring cats’ supper when no one was looking. It was suggested that this happens a lot more than we realise and I couldn’t help mouthing ‘install a microchip catflap’ at the television throughout this footage! I wouldn’t underestimate how upsetting it is for your cat to see or smell a strange cat in his or her home. At the clinic we recommend and supply the Sureflap© cat flaps which are extremely robust and reliable and will prevent unwanted visitors straight away.
In another attempt to find out more about the nations cats, we took part in VetWatch day, which aimed to identify all the veterinary visits made by cats on a particular day. The results make interesting reading, and certainly mirror what we see here at the clinic. The most common non-routine reason that cats were presented to the vet was to treat injuries caused by other cats. Inter-cat aggression is complex and difficult to resolve. For most cats, used to outdoor access, restricting them to an indoor only environment is not really an acceptable option. We know that neutering our cats is a very important way of reducing inter-cat conflict and that entire male are at much greater risk of infectious diseases and fighting injuries. Reducing inter-cat conflict for most pet cats is much less straightforward. I suggest that recurrent fighters try to identify the owners of the cats that theirs is arguing with and try to stagger the times they allow their cats access to the outdoors. This means that both cats have access to their perceived territory without coming into contact with their competing puss. Again, a microchip cat flap with a curfew function can be invaluable for this type of problem.
Cases of dental disease and obesity were also very common; as regulars of our blog will know, we are passionate about helping to treat and prevent these conditions and are always available to give help and advice to you.
If you are considering buying a microchip cat flap, June happens to be national microchipping month. To celebrate this, we are offering microchipping for only £15. This includes insertion of a microchip and registration for you and your cat with the national database. We believe that microchipping your cat is a safe and effective way to permanently identify your cat. It makes reuniting you with your cat quick and reliable should he or she become lost, stolen or brought into a vet after injury. It is also worth remembering that you need to make sure your details are up to date, if you move house or change telephone number.