Steve and Nancy Raskin hadn't lived in their Parkton home very long when a big gray cat started dropping by the yard for visits. Noticing he was well-groomed, the Raskins nicknamed him Gray Boy and let him be. But when a scraggly orange cat followed Gray Boy's lead and began appearing in the yard, his appearance as an obvious stray compelled the couple to try to take him in.
Orange Boy, as they named him, quickly started accepting belly rubs along with his food, and eventually he let the Raskins scoop him up and take him to the vet, who declared him basically healthy but skinny and in need of grooming. He got his shots, was neutered and went home as a pet.
"The first night after the visit to the vet, Orange Boy made himself right at home, sitting on the sofa to watch some TV," says Steve Raskin. "His health improved quickly, and he put on several pounds over the next few weeks." Before long, Orange Boy adopted Steve's home office, where he perches on the back of the desk chair (to the inconvenience, but amusement, of his owners). He also loves flopping down at their feet for chin rubs and love, and they say he's smart and friendly.
"We're very glad he adopted us," says Steve.
To have your pet -- including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like -- considered for Collared, email information to email@example.com.
--Kim Fernandez, for The Baltimore Sun
(Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun photo /September 9, 2014)
I learned the hard way that I should care for/brush my cat's teeth when my rescued cat needed to be sedated and have her teeth cleaned (which was very expensive) because the tartar was so bad. She is not a good patient. What should I do for her teeth and how often?
Answer: Dental disease is very common, with the majority of cats being affected by age 3. It causes significant discomfort, difficulty eating and ultimately results in the loss of teeth. Tooth brushing is considered the best method of home dental care and ideally is performed daily. Supplies to have on hand include toothpaste formulated for cats and a pet tooth brush - -these come in various designs. Remember that cats are very inquisitive creatures and enjoy exploring their environment at their own pace. The first step of acclimating your cat to tooth-brushing is getting your cat accustomed to you touching his or her face, lips, gums and teeth. Slowly begin introducing toothpaste, which comes in a variety of tempting flavors. Next, allow your cat to investigate the toothbrush with the paste applied to it. When your cat is comfortable with the supplies involved, begin by brushing along the gum line, focusing on the outer surfaces of the teeth. Keep the experience positive for your cat, and be sure to offer a reward!
As pet caregivers, we have the opportunity each day to positively affect our cats’ dental health, and the rewards are substantial in terms of your cat's overall well-being and health. There are numerous alternative methods of caring for your cat's teeth if your cat is resistant to tooth brushing. Your veterinary office can advise you on options such as diets designed to clean the teeth, oral hygiene chews, rinses or gels, and water additives. It is important that your veterinarian assesses your cat's teeth every six months to monitor for changes. Keep in mind that professional cleaning and treatment is an important and often necessary step that aids in the efforts you are making to keep your cat's smile beautiful!
This week’s expert is Katie John, veterinary technician at the Cat Hospital at Towson. Submit your questions to Sun.Unleashed@gmail.com.
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