MeOW We’re late, we’re late fur a very impurrtant date!!! Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. And welcome to all our new followers. We say you’re only a visitor once. After that, you’re family. We open this post each week to give you Trainin’ Tips and answer all your questions. So, ifin there’s anythin’ you’ve been wonderin’ ‘bout, just ask. Your questions can be ‘bout health, behavior, Trainin’, or anythin’ else you wanna ask. Nopawdy knows everythin’. And ifin we don’t have an answer, we’ll find one fur ya’. You can ask via the comments below or by sendin’ us a private email via our Contact Page. Purr requests, we’re no longer statin’ who asked the question. But, there is no dumb question, everypawdy needs help sometime. You can ketch up on all the posts in this series by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu bar. So, let’s get the business outta the way and get this pawrty started.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
So, we’re going to tackle a couple of questions today because they kind of go hand in hand. Here’s the questions: What age should kitty be spayed or neutered?, And: My kitty hates going out in the car/My kitty gets really stressed when he/she has to go to the VET, what can I do to make it easier on him/her?
Regardless of kitty’s age or background, they can be Trained. A really skittish kitty may always be a little fearful, but even they can learn to be calmer and less stressed. And, in the end, that’s all we can ask of them. We gave you Training Tips and Tricks on Harness and Leash Training here. There are numerous reasons to Train kitty to be comfortable with going out/riding in the car. We’ll be covering more of this in a future post. Anyways, we live in something called Tornado Alley; meaning a tornado could appear and wipe out everything in it’s path. Many of you live in areas that could flood or have the ground beneath you quake and open up. Regardless of weather, there are many natural disasters that could occur making it necessary for kitty to have to leave the home and ride in a car. So, Harness and Leash Training are always a good idea. You should always secure kitty inside their carrier with any provided tethers, or by clasping the leash to a zipper, handle or carrier grate. This step will ensure that kitty doesn’t escape even if they manage to get their carrier open. The last thing you need is a scared kitty running loose in an unfamiliar place possibly surrounded by unfamiliar people/other anipals.
We highly recommend keeping kitty familiar with going out throughout their lives. We also recommend taking kitty to places other than the VET. Think about it, if the only place you ever went when you went for a ride in the car was to some place you didn’t like, how eager would you be to continue to go? So often kitties only go out when they need to visit the VET. Even the calmest of kitties will eventually get a little stressed out by these outings. Our prayer would be that no kitty ever got sick or needed regular doctor’s visits, but the reality is that as kitty ages VET visits become more frequent. And, since we can’t all live in areas that have VETs that make house calls, a kitty that’s comfortable going out makes those visits much less stressful for all involved.
Remember, kitty also feeds off your emotions. More than a few times we’ve heard, “My cat seems to know I need to take them to the VET.” The answer is, of course we know. We’ve already felt your stress about having to corral us into our carrier and make the drive while listening to us sing the song of our people. Take control of your own emotions and start sending “positive vibes” instead of nervousness or stress. No matter how small your home may be, we recommend leaving kitty’s carrier/stroller out at all times. The more comfortable kitty is with their carrier/stroller, the less stressed they’ll be when you close them up in it. You should make closing kitty in their carrier a game you play off and on throughout their lives. Once kitty is in their carrier, calmly close it up for just a few minutes at a time. Once kitty is comfortable with this, start taking kitty out to the car and drive around the block and back home again. You can eventually make these trips longer and longer. And remember, all trips in the car shouldn’t end up at the VETs. We often go through the drive thru at the bank, just to say hey to the tellers in the windows. We’ve also gone with mommy to buy gas. We stay in the car while she pumps the gas and then we either go inside with her to pay or go thru the drive thru window. Again, we’ll cover more of this in a later post.
Ifin I’s stay here long enuff, maybe I’s can go fur a stroll later.
Now to the question of when kitty should be altered. In recent years all surgical procedures have advanced and become safer. Lots of VETs perform what is called a Gonodectomy (removal of the ovaries or testes) on very young kittens, beginning around 6 weeks of age. Most require the kitten to weigh at least 2 pounds. This procedure is more common in rescue and shelter kittens in an attempt to make sure adopted kitties actually get the surgery and can’t reproduce. While we totally understand the need for this, mommy is personally against this procedure on such a young and small animal. That being said, we also don’t believe kitty/doggy should be allowed to mature and “go thru a heat cycle” before being altered. We certainly don’t believe kitty should have to experience the birthing process. It is not necessary and increases the risk of mammary cancer, cervical cancer and other medical issues. We tend to favor the spay/neuter surgery occur when kitty/doggy is about 5 to 6 months of age. By this time the male testes have fully dropped, the female ovaries have fully formed and there’s less chance of “missing/leaving” behind an ovary or testicle. Altho’ rare, this has and does happen.
Raena’s spay day at 5 1/2 months old.
We were also asked if we believed that a female kitty in heat was in some form of pain and should be given pain meds. Our answer to this is absolutely not. But, that being our opinion, we researched said topic and could find nothing to substantiate that kitty is in actual pain. The yowling and contorting of her body is not due to pain, but her desire to mate. She doesn’t need pain meds, she needs to be altered as does the spraying male tom that’s yowling, fighting and stinking up the house/yard/neighborhood. It is our opinion that we often over medicate these days whether it be human or animal. That being said, kitty should be altered before she has to go into heat. Again, it’s much healthier to spay kitty before a heat cycle. However, don’t let that stop you from adopting a mature kitty who hasn’t been spayed. It’s never too late. And it’s never too late to start Training your kitty. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. To revisit Training kitty to go out, you should take kitty out at least once a week throughout their life. This will help insure that VET visits go smoothly and kitty isn’t bouncing off the walls when you take them in the car.
Dezi in stroller in the car.
Don’t furget, you can ketch up or refresh your memory on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu bar. And keep the questions coming, we luv writing these posts and hope you find them helpful. Meet us back here each Furiday fur topics to help make your relationship with the anipals in your life better. We’re also joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Friday.
Till the next time……………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses