They Do What they Want, But Do Cats Want to Swim?

You may think, “When cat’s swim!” could very well be the equivalent of “When pigs fly!” 

While it is true that some cats detest water, you may be surprised that some don’t. 

Amazingly, certain breeds are not only open to the idea of exploring water but welcome opportunities to play and even swim in it. Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, Turkish Vans, Manx, and Abyssian can easily take to the water, given the chance and a proper introduction.

Just Keep Swimming?

You may be surprised to learn that cats can swim incredibly well. In addition to some breeds actually enjoying the water, all cats naturally move in ways that resemble basic survival swimming. 

But How Do I Teach a Cat to Swim?

Many cat owners have found success by positively introducing their cat to water at an early age. The more they get used to water, the better. Kittens are more apt to acclimate to water if it’s part of their overall socialization process. But, if you approach the introduction with patience and a gentle hand, a cat of any age can learn that water is a-okay. 

Keep the splashing to a minimum and never never force cats to enter the water. Likewise, be sure the water is a comfortable temperature. 

Swimming itself presents certain challenges, some of which you may not have anticipated. For example, be sure that your cat knows how to safely exit the water. Ramps or a feline-friendly ledge can work wonders, but make sure your cat understands that.

Our Amazing, Astounding Cats

If you have questions about teaching cats to swim, overall feline behavior, cat wellness, our veterinarians and staff are always here for you!

Curb Destructive Cat Scratching Before It Gets Out Of Hand

Oddly, cats like to sleep inside cardboard boxes instead of fluffy, soft beds. They like to meow for food despite their bowls not being empty. And, undeterred by well-placed scratching posts throughout the house, they like to scratch up the furniture or curtain panels.

What’s an owner supposed to do? Well, for starters, it’s important to recognize that cats aren’t doing any of this to be irritating. With patience, guidance and positive reinforcement, you can stop destructive cat scratching in its tracks.

Feline Nature

Cat scratching provides an excellent back stretch, and it feels good in the arms and toes, too. Speaking of their toes, scratching helps to remove the dead outer sheath of the claws. Perhaps more importantly, however, is that cats leave their scent on the scratching location, which also visually communicates “I was here”.

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To Understand Feline Body Language, Look No Further Than a Cat’s Tail

The magic of cat communication may be lost on people that live exclusively among dogs. Instead of actively vying for their owner’s attention with barks or whines, a cat may simply stare. Likewise, they may not wag their rears for a treat, or lick your face with abandon, but a closely bonded cat will likely greet their person with a long, meaningful blink. 

Incredibly subtle at times, feline body language has a lot to say and it does so by way of their long, fluffy, expressive tail.

The Whole Picture

Of course, cats are known for meowing at their owners to convey their interest in food, snuggling, playtime or outside access. But perhaps more important is the fact that they use feline body language signals to get what they want, or show how they’re feeling.

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When It Comes to Cat Care, Should You Be Worried About Parasites? 

Owners of indoor cats come in all shapes and sizes, but they have at least one thing in common. The majority of these dedicated pet owners fall for the misconception that, because their cat doesn’t go outside, parasites aren’t a real threat. 

Sure, with fewer chances of exposure to bugs, indoor cats are at less risk for potential diseases spread by parasites. But, sadly, cats aren’t immune to parasites, no matter their lifestyle. When it comes to cat care best practices, creating a buffer between all pet cats and the world of creepy crawlies is the answer. 

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The Ins and Outs of Puppy and Kitten Vaccines

Gray kitten in carrier

Our fur babies are important to us and, if you have a new puppy or kitten, we bet you are reveling in the joy and fun of it all. Of course you want to give your new pet a great start in life, and you and your veterinary healthcare team can make sure that happens. 

Puppy and kitten vaccines is the place to start. Androscoggin Animal Hospital shares some of the ins and outs of vaccines, why they are important, and a bit about how they work. 

Why a Series of Vaccines?

Vaccines are important at any age. Adult pets need to be protected from infectious disease just as puppies and kittens do. With adults, we vaccinate much less often, and we carefully balance what vaccines are needed based on age, breed, and how and where an adult pet is active

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Meeting Your Cat’s Needs Can Reduce Destructive Feline Behaviors

Some cat owners hit the lottery with their cats. They are peaceful, loving, and agreeable when it comes to demanding the perfect balance of food and attention. Other cat owners wonder what they’re doing wrong when they see messes outside the litter box, shredded toilet paper, and couch cushions with claw marks all over them. The differences between certain feline behaviors can hinge on ensuring that all of their environmental needs are met.

Expressing Themselves

Contrary to popular belief, cats are incredibly social animals. Although they may prefer living with littermates, most cats are capable of coexisting with other pets and enjoy the company of their human family members.

Cats are also quite territorial, which can cause problems in some homes. With their highly developed senses of hearing and smell, cats can anticipate threats, and will fight tooth and claw to defend their territories. While it can sometimes be difficult to determine signs of stress or pain in cats, they do employ obvious responses to territorial threats, like hissing, yowling, puffing up, and tail thrashing.

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Winter Pet Safety Hazards: Keeping Your Pet Safe

Winter pet safety is important for cat health and dog health

Even the most conscientious pet owners sometimes make mistakes or overlook situations that might pose a risk to their pet’s safety. In the wintertime, these are mostly outdoor hazards which require awareness, preparation, and knowledge.

As the winter winds and snows comes whistling down, Androscoggin Animal Hospital provides you the resources you need for winter pet safety. If you have any concerns or questions about these tips, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your pet’s health and safety is our number one priority!

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Why Preventive Care for Cats is Important

Preventive care for cats promotes cat health and a happy catWe love the fun, unique personalities of cats. But behind their mysterious behaviors lies a very important secret: it can sometimes be hard to tell whether your cat is well or not.

We’ve all heard the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this is never more true than with the health of our pets. Cats need preventive care, and avoiding illness is always easier on you and your beloved feline (not to mention your wallet). So, let’s take a look at why preventive care for cats is so important!

Survival Strategy

The reason it can be difficult to tell when your cat is sick has to do with their survival strategy. In the wild, cats who are perceived as weak can become a target for predators. In order to survive, they’ve developed a deep natural instinct to hide signs of pain or discomfort.

This, of course, means you may not know your cat is sick until an illness has become advanced. This leads us to the importance of preventive care for cats. Continue…

Fork in the Road: How Is a Cat Friendly Veterinarian Better than the Rest?

cat friendly veterinarianA great deal goes into choosing the right veterinarian for your pet. Sometimes, close proximity plays a part in the decision. Other times, the recommendation of a close friend or colleague informs the best possible choice.

Because we understand and value this important decision, Androscoggin Animal Hospital went through the training, education, and evaluation necessary to earn the title of Fear Free Certified Professional. We maintain the distinction of a Cat Friendly Practice, and we’re thrilled we can pass the best possible care onto your cat. So, what are the benefits of having a cat friendly veterinarian?

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Using String, Ribbon, and Tinsel? Not for Holiday Cat Safety!

Cats can be pretty awesome during the holidays. Sure, they probably won’t wear the matching ugly Christmas sweater you knitted for them, but they might allow you to wrap presents while napping on top of the festive paper or attacking your scissors – if you’re lucky. Indeed, many cats like the lights, sparkles, and revelry as much as we do, but that doesn’t mean holiday cat safety can be set aside due to joyful pouncing.

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