Why Isn’t My Cat Using the Litter Box?

By Cats No Comments

Talk to your vet to determine if the issue is medical, behavioral, or environmental

Read Time: 6 minutes

There are a number of different reasons why a cat might not use the litter box. Some of these are behavioral while others might be health-related. You’ll want to rule out health problems first before turning to the other possibilities.

Medical Conditions

There are various medical conditions that could cause your cat to avoid using the litter box. These include:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Constipation
  • Kidney stone
  • Bladder stone
  • Diabetes
  • Cystitis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis

Take Your Cat to the Vet

an orange cat sitting on an exam table being examined by a veterinarian

If you notice that your cat isn’t using the litter box, the first thing you should do is take your cat to the vet. The vet can determine whether a medical condition is afflicting your pet or if the cause is something else. After you first notice that your cat isn’t using the litter box, keep an eye out for other symptoms. For example, if your cat isn’t relieving itself anywhere, then it may be constipated. If there’s bloody urine, it could a urinary tract infection.

Book an Appointment Right Away

You’ll want to have as much information as possible to give your vet, but don’t wait to make an appointment. Your vet has many tools at their disposal to diagnose your pet even if you don’t have time to observe for other symptoms. There’s bloodwork, fecal examination, urinalysis, or event ultrasounds and x-rays that a vet can use to determine what might be ailing your cat.

Behavioral Issues

It’s important to eliminate possible medical issues first. If your vet has thoroughly checked over your cat and found that there’s no underlying medical condition causing them to not use the litter box, then it’s time to look for behavioral or environmental problems. You’ll have to pay close attention to your cat’s overall behavior and where they’re spraying in order to discover whether there’s an environmental stressor affecting their behavior.


a cat in a carrier that is afraid to come out because it’s in a new environment

One possible cause of inappropriate elimination is stress. If your cat is stressed, they might:

  • Spray items new to the home that bring in new scents
  • Spray vertical or upright surfaces
  • Spray windows
  • Spray doors
  • Spray hallways
  • Spray stairways
  • Defecating in the litterbox but spraying outside of it
  • Spraying in the litter box sometimes but not always

Stress Caused by an Internal Issue

If your cat is spraying in hallways, stairways, and near interior doorways, then the cause of the stress may be inside the home. It could be something like remodeling, rearranging, a new baby, a new pet, or something else that has changed within the house.

Stress Cause by an External Issue

If your cat is spraying near windows and exterior doorways, then they may be detecting a threat outside of the home. Your cat could be sensing something outside that is causing them stress.

How to Treat Your Cat’s Stress

a pet owner giving a cat a head massage to relax

If you believe that your cat is stressed or suffering from anxiety, then you should speak to your vet. There may be anti-anxiety medication that you can give to your cat to help. Your vet may also be able to help you to determine the cause of the stress and to recommend techniques you can use to calm your cat. Cats often don’t like change, so it’s also possible that your cat will stop spraying on their own after they adjust to that change.

Environmental Issues

a cat sitting in a litter box that’s on top of grey carpet

Cats can be picky about their litter boxes. If the environment isn’t to their liking, whether it’s the location, the type of litter, the number of litter boxes, or something else, then they might eliminate somewhere else.

Not Enough Litter Boxes

If you have more than one cat, it’s important to have enough litter boxes. You should have a number of litter boxes equal to one more than the number of cats you have. If you have three cats, then you’ll need four litter boxes. You’ll also need to make sure that the litter boxes aren’t placed close to one another. Ideally, they should be on separate floors when possible.

Litter Box Location

The litter box should be in as quiet and private a place as possible. They should also be located as far away from your cat’s food dish as you can manage. Additionally, the box shouldn’t be located somewhere dark or tight, like a closet. If the litter box isn’t in a location that your cat likes, then they may eliminate elsewhere. It’s also important to not move the litter box unless you have to because cats are creatures of habit.

Block off the Litter Box

If you have small children, you may want to block off access to the litter box in such a way that your cat can still reach it but that your children can’t. Unwanted intruders like children or other pets could disturb your cat’s sense of privacy and security with that litter box location, which could drive them to avoid using it.


a pet owner cleaning a litter box by scooping it out

It’s vital to keep the litter box and the area around it clean. Cats tend to be fastidious about cleanliness and if they think their litter box isn’t clean enough, they won’t use it. How often you need to clean the litter box depends on the cat. Some cats require the litter box to be cleaned after every use while others are willing to use it a few times before you have to clean it.

Type of Litter

The type of litter also matters. Different litters have different textures and smells and if your doesn’t like it, they won’t use it. If you’ve recently changed the type of litter you buy for your cat, then that could be the cause of the inappropriate elimination. Try an unscented brand or a different material. Many cats prefer a sandier type of litter.

Type of Litter Box

a grey tabby cat next to a litter box with a cover that’s located in a laundry room

Some cats don’t like a hood on their litter box, preferring it to be open. Others prefer the litter box to have a top. It’s also possible that your cat could be too big for the litter box. Older cats might have difficulty climbing into a litter box with sides that are too tall.

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What Should You Bring to a First Vet Visit

What Should You Bring to a First Vet Visit?

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

Bring all documentation and medical records you have

Read Time: 4 minutes

Whether you’re bringing a new furry family member to your established vet or taking your pet to a new vet, there are certain things that you should bring with you to the first visit. These include documents like medical records and your own identification but also any information you have about your pet that could help your vet.

Your Pet’s Veterinary Records

a veterinarian writing on a pet’s medical records in front of a white dog sitting on its owner’s lap

If you’re switching to a new veterinarian for any reason, the most important thing to bring with you to the first visit is whatever medical records you have for your pet. The more detailed these records are, the better. Call your previous veterinarian to obtain them if necessary. If you can’t get the records, then anything you have is better than nothing at all.

Your Own Identification

If this is your first time with this particular vet, you’ll also need your own identification, like your driver’s license. Your vet will need to verify your identity and set up your profile with that vet’s office.

Your Pet’s Medications

a cat on a white counter next to different types of pet medication

If you have been giving your pet any medications, you should bring the medications themselves and also a list of how frequently and how much of each medication you give your pet. This is so your new vet can evaluate what you’re giving to your pet and whether the medication is expired or needs a dosage adjustment. Keep in mind that this includes vitamins, flea treatments, and other normal medications, not just prescriptions for an illness or health condition.

Your Pet’s Food and Treats

a woman holding a bowl of dog food about to set it down on the kitchen floor for her golden retriever

Nutrition plays a major role in your pet’s health. For this reason, your new vet will need to know exactly what and how much you’re feeding your pet. You don’t have to actually bring in the food, but take photos of the bag or write down what it is you buy.

Your Pet’s Favorite Treats or Food

Many pets are nervous at the vet. For this reason, go ahead and bring something that will help your pet to feel more comfortable. This could be your dog or cat’s favorite treat or a toy that will help them to relax and feel less nervous. If you don’t feed your pet prior to the appointment, your vet can feed them during the visit, which can help to calm your pet down and make the visit better.

Stool and Urine Samples

Vets test stool samples for parasites and will need one from within 24 hours of your first visit. If you are concerned about your pet having a urinary issue, you can also bring a urine sample for testing.

A List of Your Questions

If you have any concerns about your pet’s health or any questions for your new vet, write them down and bring that list with you to the appointment. Your vet will be happy to answer any questions you might have and the list can help make sure that you don’t forget anything.

Ask Your Vet What You Should Bring

While the above items are commonly helpful to bring to your first visit, every vet is different. It’s a good idea to call your vet ahead of time and ask what they’d like you to bring with you. That way, you’ll be absolutely certain that you’ve got everything you need.

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Pros and Cons of GPS Tracking Your Pet

Pros and Cons of GPS Tracking Your Pet

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

A GPS tracker can tell you exactly where your pet is at all times

Read Time: 3 minutes

A beloved pet escaping or getting lost can be one of a pet owner’s worst nightmares. GPS tracking may be an option for you if you want to know where your furry family member is at all times. But before you invest your money in buying a GPS tracker, you should know both the benefits and the drawbacks of the technology and its use in finding lost pets.

The Pros of GPS Tracking a Pet

Pet owners looking for the peace of mind that comes from knowing where their pet is at any given moment may find GPS tracking to be a relief.

Peace of Mind

One of the most important benefits to a pet owner is the peace of mind a GPS tracker gives them. They can log onto an app or a website at any time and check that their pet is exactly where they should be. If for any reason your pet isn’t where you expect, the GPS tracker will let you know their exact location so they’re easy to track down.

Push Notifications Can Alert of an Escape

Many GPS trackers can send alerts via push notification on a mobile device to pet owners if their pet has escaped. The tracker can be set up to trigger an alert whenever a pet leaves the house, yard, or another designated area. This can help pet owners to more quickly find lost pets because they know the instant the pet has gone, reducing the risk of injuries or illness.

Pets Can Safely Explore Outdoors

a child with a dog running down a path in a rural field

If you’d prefer that your dog or cat have the ability to safely explore outdoors, a GPS tracker can help you to not worry while they do. This is useful for pet owners with outdoor cats and large backyards. You don’t have to worry if you lose sight of your pet because you’ll always know exactly where they are.

You Can Better Understand Your Pet

Tracking a pet with GPS can help pet owners better understand what their pet does all day. They’ll know their favorite spots and where they like to explore. This can also help you to understand how active your pet is whenever you’re not there so you know if they need more physical activity and exercise when you are.

Different Features to Choose from

Another advantage of GPS is that there are a lot of different brands out there, which means that you’ve got the freedom to shop around and choose one that fits both your budget and your needs in terms of features. Plus, there are a variety of ranges to choose from, for example, either a range of 25 miles or an unlimited range.

Usable on Multiple Pets

a dog and a cat playing together outside

With many GPS tracking systems, you can monitor multiple pets on the same system. Each would need their own tracker, but they could be registered on the same system and could be watched from the same app.

Find a Lost Pet Faster

a couple hanging up lost pet signs

It’s important for pets to be microchipped and for their collars to have the owner’s contact information. However, with both of those options, you may have to just wait for someone to find your pet and call you. With a GPS tracker, you’ll have a location and can head right there so you don’t have to wait and worry.

Set up Boundaries

You can use a GPS tracker like an invisible fence as well as a tracker. Pet owners can program in boundaries and if the pet reaches those, it can vibrate, beep, or use LED lights to warn the pet that they’re approaching the boundary.

The Cons of GPS Tracking a Pet

Despite the numerous advantages of GPS tracking for pets, there are some disadvantages that pet owners should be aware of before investing in the technology.

GPS Trackers Can Be Expensive

A GPS tracker definitely isn’t within every pet owner’s budget. It can cost more than $100 for the tracking technology alone if you want a tracker with an unlimited range. On top of that, many trackers also have a subscription cost, which could also be up to $100 annually.

Difficulties with the Signal

GPS signals aren’t perfectly clear everywhere. This means that, depending on where you live, there might not be a strong enough signal for you to effectively track your pet using GPS.

Low Battery

GPS trackers are powered by batteries, which only last for so long. You’ll have to keep track of the battery’s strength constantly so that the one time you let the battery get low isn’t the time your pet gets lost.

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What to Do When You Find a Lost Cat

By Cats No Comments

Help reunite a lost kitty with their family

Read Time: 5 minutes

Capture and Contain the Cat

If you’re able to do so safely, try to capture and contain the cat. If it’s a domestic cat that got out, it may be easier to capture than if it’s a stray. For a stray cat, you may need to contact the police or animal control.

Approach Cautiously

No matter how the cat is behaving, it’s important to approach it with caution. You never know when a sudden movement of yours could spook the cat or make it feel threatened. From a distance, it can be difficult to tell if it’s a feral cat, a stray, someone’s house cat that escaped, or an outdoor pet. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Speak Gently and Bribe with Food

Speaking in a friendly, gentle voice can help put the cat at ease. If the cat is hiding in a small space and is difficult to reach, you can try using food to coax it out into the open.

Confine in a Cat Carrier

If you are able to successfully capture the cat on your own, place it in a cat carrier or some other sort of secure container that has air holes. If the cat is stray or feral, it may dislike being confined, so it’s important that the container is secure or it may escape.

Woman making a phone call on iPhone

Call Animal Control

If the cat is behaving aggressively, call the authorities. Animal control can more safely catch a cat that is aggressive or running away. The more information you can provide about its exact location or its appearance, the easier it will be for the authorities to capture and contain the cat.

It’s important to not risk your own safety in order to catch the cat.

Take the Cat to a Vet

Once you have captured the cat, take it to a vet for a check-up. The vet can tell you if there are any health issues that need to be addressed.

Contact the Owner

It’s essential to try to contact the owner, if there is one, as soon as possible. A family may be missing a vital furry family member. If you’re able to reunite them, you’d be doing a good deed that will make the family and cat very happy.

Check for ID Tags

First, check around the cat’s neck for a collar. If it’s a pet, especially an outdoor pet, there may be an ID tag with an owner’s contact information. If there is an ID tag, you can contact the owner immediately to return the pet. If you’re unable to reach the owner, even with their contact information, you can try calling back a few hours later and either hold on to the cat until then or take it to a shelter.

Cat being microchipped

Scan for a Microchip

If there is no ID tag, the next step is to get the cat scanned for a microchip. An animal shelter should be able to do the scan for you. You can either take the cat there yourself or call animal control or the police.

File a Found Report

If you’re not immediately able to get a hold of the owner of the cat, it’s important to file a report with the local animal shelter to inform them that you’ve found the cat. The owner may be contacting local shelters in an effort to find their pet. Especially if you’ve decided to hold onto the cat until you can get a hold of the owners, it’s important to leave a found report with your contact information so the owner can find you.

You can also make a listing on Facebook announcing that you’ve found the cat. There are specific pages dedicated to lost pets. If there’s one for your area, you can make an announcement online with a picture of the cat.

Take the Cat to an Animal Shelter

If you can’t get a hold of the owner or there is no ID tag on the cat, you should take the cat to the local animal shelter. The shelter can take care of the cat as well as scan for a microchip. Some animal shelters cannot take the cat to keep, however. Ask about this over the phone before you bring them in. The owner may stop by the shelter to look for their pet in the hopes that someone stopped by to trop it off or to file a found report.

Indoor cat looking at camera

What If the Cat Has No ID Tags?

If the cat has no ID tags, finding the owner is more difficult. If the cat’s behavior suggests that it is a pet, it’s important to make the effort to try to find the owner.

Take the Cat to an Animal Shelter

If you take the cat to an animal shelter, they should be able to scan for a microchip. If the cat has no microchip, the shelter may still have received a report from the owner about a missing cat and may be able to help find the owner. If no owner can be found, a shelter can look after the cat until they can get it adopted.

Post a Picture in the Shelter’s Database

Filing a report with the shelter and posting a picture of the found cat will help the owner find their cat. This will increase the chances that the cat is reunited with its rightful owner and family.

Post Fliers

You can also post fliers around your neighborhood and where you found the cat with pictures and your contact information. Also, try posting a found cat announcement online. You never know who may know the owner.

Look for Lost Cat Fliers

Check around your neighborhood, especially where you found the cat, for fliers. The owner may have posted fliers with a picture and their own contact information (and possibly a reward!).

Check Online

Look online to see if anyone has posted a notice that they’ve lost their cat. Social media platforms like Facebook may have pages where people can post lost or found reports. Craigslist can also be a good resource. The Internet has made it a lot easier to reunite lost pets with their owners and many strangers online may be willing to help.

How Can I Tell if the Cat Is Just an Outdoor Cat?

Some cats are outdoor cats. Their owners purposely let them roam and they return home regularly for food and to sleep. But how can you tell if the cat you found is an outdoor cat, if it’s a stray or feral, or if it’s an indoor cat that’s gotten out?

Look for ID Tags

First, check for ID tags. If the cat has identification, that rules out stray or feral.

Check the Cat’s Appearance

Look at the cat’s appearance. Any outdoor cat that regularly returns home would be clean and well-groomed. Feral cats are actually the same way – they know how to fend for and groom themselves and will look nicer. An indoor cat that has escaped may be thinner than normal or may look scruffy. Indoor cats aren’t used to hunting or otherwise fending for themselves.

Look for Nervous Behaviors

Is the cat skittish and nervous? If it’s an indoor cat that got out, it may be scared and anxious. Feral cats tend to be nervous around people and may run or be aggressive. Outdoor cats are often very friendly and may come up to you for petting. A stray cat could be either friendly or standoffish, depending on the cat’s personality.

All cats do tend to be wary of people, so you should observe the cat over time to see how it behaves. Owned cats do tend to be more trusting of people. Indoor cats that get outside may follow you anxiously or meow at you as if they need something from you.

Call the Owner

If you find a cat with an ID tag and you’re unsure if it’s supposed to be outside or not, call the owner. They can verify for you whether their cat is meant to be outside. If it’s an outdoor cat, then no harm was done and you’ll know for the future that that particular cat is supposed to be there. If it’s an indoor cat, then you’ve just helped reunited it with the owner.

Ask Around

The people who live in that area may know more about the cats that are there. Neighbors may recognize the cat and be able to tell you if it’s supposed to be outside or not, or if it’s stray.

What If There Is No Owner?

There may be no owner. The cat may have been abandoned or it may be a stray. If you have done your due diligence in trying to locate the owner and were unsuccessful, you have two options: keep the cat yourself or rehome the cat.

Keep the Cat

If you cannot find the owner and have forged a connection with the cat you found, you may decide to keep the cat. You’ll want to make sure that you can provide a good home for it and take care of it properly, though.

Take the Cat to a Vet

If you’re keeping the cat, the first step is to take it to the vet. You can establish a relationship with a vet early in your pet ownership and make sure that the cat is healthy. You can also get the cat spayed or neutered as well as get any shots or medication it might need.

Buy Food and Supplies

Next, stop by a pet store for food and supplies. If you’re a first-time cat owner, you’ll need a bed, food, toys, litter, a litter box, and treats. The employees can help you find what you need. Even if you already have cats or other pets, you may want to have some supplies specifically for the new cat.

Learn to Care for the Cat

If you’re new to owning a cat, it’s essential to do your research. Look online, ask your vet or the pet store employees for advice.

Find the Cat a Home

If you’re unable to take in the cat yourself, you’ll need to find it a new home.

Take the Cat to a Shelter

One option is to take the cat to a shelter. They may have more resources to care for the cat and to find it a new home. However, shelters can be over-crowded and some are unfortunately forced to put down animals that they are unable to rehome.

Rehome the Cat

Alternatively, you can try to find a new home for the cat yourself. Post fliers and ask around. You can also post online to find a new home for the cat.

What Shots Does My Pet Need

What Shots Does My Pet Need?

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

Talk to your vet to ensure your pet gets all the vaccinations they need

Read Time: 5 minutes
Vaccinations are a major part of keeping your pet healthy and safe. Shots can help to prevent many diseases that could be harmful or even deadly to your pet. But what shots does your pet need to get and when?

Puppies and kittens can get different diseases and therefore have different vaccination schedules. These vaccinations also differ from what shots a dog or cat needs as an adult.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

a puppy on an exam table in front of a vet in a lab coat holding vaccine bottles

The following shots are those that puppies will need in the first 16 months of their lives. Puppies should receive their first vaccinations as early as 6 weeks old. Some vaccines may be considered optional because whether they’re needed may depend on your and your puppy’s lifestyles. Ask your vet if they recommend any of the optional vaccines.

6 to 8 Weeks Old

Required vaccinations include:

  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus

Optional vaccinations include:

  • Bordetella

10 to 12 Weeks Old

Require vaccinations include:

  • DHPP, which includes:
    • Distemper
    • Hepatitis
    • Parainfluenza
    • Parvovirus

Optional vaccinations include:

  • Influenza
  • Leptospirosis
  • Bordetella
  • Lyme disease

16 to 18 Weeks Old

Require vaccinations include:

  • DHPP
  • Rabies

Optional vaccinations include:

  • Influenza
  • Bordetella
  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis

12 to 16 Months Old

Require vaccinations include:

  • DHPP
  • Rabies

Optional vaccinations include:

  • Coronavirus
  • Bordetella
  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis

What Vaccines Do Adult Dogs Need?

a Corgi dog about to receive a vaccine at the vet

Some of these vaccines need to be administered on a regular basis into adulthood. DHPP and rabies are required but the other vaccines are optional depending on your pet’s lifestyle. Make sure to speak with your vet regarding which vaccinations your dog needs to be safe and healthy.

  • DHPP – every 1 to 2 years
  • Rabies – every 1 to 3 years
  • Influenza – every 1 to 2 years
  • Bordetella – every 1 to 2 years
  • Coronavirus – every 1 to 2 years
  • Leptospirosis – every 1 to 2 years
  • Lyme disease – every 1 to 2 years

Kitten Vaccination Schedule

Kitten at vet clinic

Just like with puppies, there are vaccines that are required, sometimes by law, for kittens to get at certain times. Others are optional or recommended based on your cat’s lifestyle. Speak with your vet regarding what of the optional vaccinations you should get for your kitten.

6 to 8 Weeks Old

Require vaccinations include:

  • FVRCP, which includes:
    • Viral rhinotracheitis
    • Calicivirus
    • Panleukopenia

Optional vaccinations include:

  • FeLV (feline leukemia)

10 to 12 Weeks Old

Require vaccinations include:


Optional vaccinations include:

  • FeLV

14 to 16 Weeks Old

Require vaccinations include:

  • Rabies

Optional vaccinations include:

  • FeLV

1 Year Old

Require vaccinations include:

  • Rabies

Optional vaccinations include:

  • FeLV

What Vaccines Do Adult Cats Need?

a cat receiving a vaccination at the vet

Adult cats should continue to receive the following vaccines:

  • Rabies – every 1 to 3 years
  • Panleukopenia – every 1 to 3 years
  • Herpesvirus – every 1 to 3 years
  • Calicivirus – every 1 to 3 years
  • Bordetella – every year

How Much Do Vaccines Cost?

How much pet vaccines cost depends on the vaccine and your location but typically range between $25 and $100. There may be discounts available at animal shelters if you adopt your pet there.

Why Are Pet Vaccines Necessary

It’s vital for your pet’s health to stay up-to-date on all vaccines required or recommended by your vet. The diseases they protect your pets from could be harmful or even fatal. In some cases, like with the rabies vaccine, it’s required by law because the disease is dangerous and deadly to both animals and humans.

Are Pet Vaccinations Required by Law?

Not all vaccinations are legally required. The rabies vaccine, for example, is required by law. Others may be optional depending on your pet’s lifestyle and therefore wouldn’t be a legal obligation.

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Tiny puppy being held

How Much to Feed a Kitten or Puppy

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

Help your pet grow with the right amount of food

Read Time: 6 minutes
What you feed your puppy matters. If you feed him or her right during puppyhood, you’re setting your dog up for a life that’s both healthy and long. But it’s not just a matter of choosing the right foods. It’s also a matter of how much you should feed your puppy.

Knowing exactly how much depends on a lot of factors, including your puppy’s age and what breed it is. Larger breeds are going to need a lot more food than smaller ones.

Are you feeding a puppy or a kitten? Select the option below to jump to that section.


Feeding a Puppy

Puppies need special puppy food. Puppies are growing rapidly and need special nutrition that adult dogs don’t. But how much puppy food should you give your dog and when should you switch to adult food?

How Much to Feed a Puppy

How much you should feed your puppy depends on its age and its breed. Most feeding guides will measure how much you should feed your puppy based on how much it will weigh when it becomes an adult. For example, a puppy that will be 3-12 pounds when it reaches adulthood should be fed ½ to 1 cups of food when it’s 1½ to 3 months old.

Below are general recommendations for how much a puppy should eat based on its adult weight. However, you should still consult the instructions on the package before feeding your puppy. Different food, especially that specifically aimed at large or small breeds, may have different recommendations.

1 1/2 to 3 Months

Adult weight Cups
3 to 12 pounds 1/2 to 1
13 to 20 pounds 1/2 to 1 1/4
21 to 50 pounds 1/2 to 1 1/2
51 to 75 pounds 5/8 2 1/3
75 to 100 pounds 1 to 2 2/3
100+ pounds 2 2/3 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

4 to 5 Months

Adult weight Cups
3 to 12 pounds 2/3 to 1 1/3
13 to 20 pounds 1 1/8 to 2
21 to 50 pounds 1 1/2 to 2 3/4
51 to 75 pounds 1 1/2 to 4
75 to 100 pounds 2 7/8 to 3 3/4
100+ pounds 3 3/4 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

6 to 8 Months

Adult weight Cups
3 to 12 pounds 1/2 to 1 1/2
13 to 20 pounds 3/4 to 1 1/3
21 to 50 pounds 1 1/8 to 2 1/3
51 to 75 pounds 1 1/2 to 3 3/4
75 to 100 pounds 2 7/8 to 6 1/3
100+ pounds 6 1/3 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

9 to 11 Months

Adult weight Cups
3 to 12 pounds Same as for an adult
13 to 20 pounds 1 to 1 1/2
21 to 50 pounds 2 to 3
51 to 75 pounds 2 1/2 to 4 3/4
75 to 100 pounds 3 7/8 to 7
100+ pounds 7 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

1 to 2 Years

Adult weight Cups
3 to 12 pounds Same as for an adult
13 to 20 pounds Same as for an adult
21 to 50 pounds 2 to 4 1/4
51 to 75 pounds 2 5/8 to 6 1/4
75 to 100 pounds 5 5/8 to 11
100+ pounds 11 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

When to Feed a Puppy

When to feed your puppy depends on your schedule. If you divide the total amount of food your puppy should be eating each day into regular meals, then you can make up a meal schedule. It’s important to be consistent, so many dog owners feed their pets when they themselves eat – at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

To decrease the risk of accidents, make sure to feed your puppy earlier in the evenings so it has time to digest.

What to Feed a Puppy

Feeding your puppy the right food is just as important as how much you feed it. Special puppy food will provide your puppy with all of the right nutrients it needs to grow healthily. Be sure to check if there’s a specific type of food for the size or breed of your dog.

Dry or Wet Food

So long as your puppy is getting all of the nutrients it needs, it doesn’t matter whether you feed it wet or dry food. Your dog may prefer one over the other, so you can buy food according to your puppy’s preferences. You can also mix wet with dry food.

It’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian to make sure that, especially if you’re mixing wet and dry food together, you’re not feeding your puppy too many calories.

Puppy Treats

It’s hard to resist feeding a puppy treats all the time just for being adorable. But it’s important to not feed a puppy too many treats. Treats are an excellent reward, so you’ll definitely want to have some on hand for training. But keep in mind that the proper ratio of dog food to treats should be 90/10. 90 percent of your puppy’s daily calories should be in its regular dog food. Treats should only make up 10% of your puppy’s diet.

So, try to resist that cute puppy dog face unless you’re rewarding your puppy for a job well done in training!

When to Switch to Adult Dog Food

Smaller breeds can switch to adult food a bit earlier than large breeds, which may take longer to grow into adulthood. Usually, switching to adult dog food happens at about two years old, but because it depends on the breed and your puppy’s size, talk to your veterinarian about the best time to make the switch.

Small kitten sleeping

Feeding a Kitten

When you adopt a kitten from a shelter or a breeder, it’s most likely already old enough that you can start the kitten on regular kitten food immediately. But sometimes that’s not the case. If you’ve adopted a very young kitten that is without a mother, you’ll need to bottle-feed the kitten.

How Much Should I Feed a Kitten?

How much and what you should feed a kitten depends on its age and weight. It’s important to feed the kitten the right food so it can grow into a healthy adult. You want to feed the kitten enough so that it’s getting the nutrients it needs, but you also don’t want to feed it too much, which could cause too much weight gain.

Bottle-Feeding a Kitten

Kittens that are less than eight weeks old will need to be bottle-fed. If you’ve rescued a very young kitten, you’ll need to learn this essential skill until the kitten is old enough for solid food.


You’ll need a special bottle from a pet supply store for a kitten. You may have to cut a hold in the bottle’s nipple yourself – make sure it’s just big enough that formula can drip through it. It shouldn’t be flowing out of the bottle.

What to Formula Feed a Kitten

Kittens can’t just drink the milk from your fridge. You’ll need a special kitten formula from a pet supply store. Any other milk could be dangerous for the kitten, even fatal. Kitten formula will have all of the nutrients the kitten needs. Make sure to follow all instructions on the package of kitten formula so you prepare it correctly.

How to Feed a Kitten Formula

First, make sure the kitten is ready to eat by putting a drop of formula on its tongue. If it swallows, then that’s a good sign that it’s ready to eat. If a kitten doesn’t have a stable temperature or isn’t able to swallow, you shouldn’t proceed with feeding it.

To properly bottle-feed a kitten, lay it down on its stomach, never on its back. Make sure to support its head with your non-dominant hand (your dominant hand will be needed to hold the bottle). Be very gentle when you place the bottle into the kitten’s mouth – it should roll its tongue into the shape of a U and then start to swallow, but be patient if your kitten doesn’t get the hang of things right away!

If your kitten is extremely young and the bottle seems too big, you can try using a syringe for feeding at first.

How Much Formula to Feed a Kitten

It’s important to feed your kitten the right amount of its size and weight. The younger the kitten, the smaller and more frequent the feedings.

Kitten’s age and weight Formula (in ml)
0 to 1 week (50 to 150 grams) 2 to 6 ml every 2 hours
1 to 2 weeks (150 to 250 grams) 6 to 10 ml every 2 to 3 hours
2 to 3 weeks (250 to 350 grams) 10 to 14 ml every 3 to 4 hours
3 to 4 weeks (350 to 450 grams) 14 to 18 ml every 4 to 5 hours
4 to 5 weeks (450 to 550 grams) 18 to 22 ml every 5 to 6 hours
5 to 8 weeks (550 to 850 grams) Weaning (every 6 hours)

Kitten Food

Once a kitten is 5 to 8 weeks old, you should be weaning it off of formula and bottle feeding. Five weeks is when the kitten’s premolars come in, which indicates that they’re ready for more solid food. Gradually wean until the kitten is eating entirely solid food.

What to Feed a Kitten

It’s recommended that you feed your kitten specially formulated kitten food until it’s a year old. Kitten food will have all of the extra protein and other vitamins that growing kittens need. Be careful in buying food that says that it is appropriate for both adult cats and kittens. Cats and kittens have very different nutritional needs, so it’s likely that it won’t have enough of what your kitten needs (or too much of what an adult cat needs).

Wet vs. Dry Food

Kittens should be eating a higher proportion of wet food. Their teeth aren’t very strong yet, so they often can’t eat dry food like an adult cat can. You can feed your kitten a mix of the two, but a kitten will require more wet food at first in order to get all of the nutrients that it needs.

Kitten Treats

It’s totally fine to feed your kitten treats, especially if they’re being used to reward the kitten for doing something well, like using the litter box. It’s important, however, to make sure that treats don’t exceed more than 10% of your kitten’s daily caloric intake.

How Much to Feed a Kitten

The amount of food that should be given to a kitten each meal depends on the type of food. Check the packaging for instructions on daily or meal portions. Be careful not to overfeed your kitten – it’s much easier to prevent obesity in the first place than it is to put your cat on a diet later on.
When to Feed a Kitten
Kittens are snackers. They like to eat at least up to four times a day. They also need a lot of calories because they’re growing rapidly – doubling or even tripling in weight. They also have up to triple the energy levels of an adult cat.

If you’re feeding a kitten only wet food, then it’ll need to eat four times a day. If you’re mixing wet food with some dry food, then twice daily may be sufficient. Another option is to free-feed your kitten until it’s between four and six months old, at which point you can switch to scheduled mealtimes.

When to Switch to Adult Cat Food

Unless your kitten is of a larger breed, like a Maine Coon, which reaches maturity at around eighteen months, kittens can generally switch to adult cat food at around a year old. If you’re unsure, consult with your vet to make sure you’re feeding your cat the right food.

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Why You Should Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

Read Time: 4 minutes

Unless you’re a licensed animal breeder, it’s important to make sure that your pets are spayed or neutered. This is in part so that you don’t contribute to the already too-large population of animals in shelters but also for health and behavior reasons. For most pet owners, veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering due to the many benefits that come from the procedure.

What Is the Difference Between Spaying and Neutering?

Spaying and neutering are commonly mixed up. They both prevent a pet from having offspring, but each procedure removes a different type of reproductive organ, depending on whether the pet is male or female.

What Is Spaying?

a close-up of a spay scar on a dog’s shaved belly

Spaying is the process of removing a female animal’s reproductive organs, including the ovaries and the uterus.

What Is Neutering

Neutering is the process of removing a male animal’s testicles.

What Are the Benefits of Spaying or Neutering a Pet?

While the most obvious benefit of spaying or neutering your pet cat or dog is that they won’t be able to have kittens or puppies, there are other benefits as well.


Reduced Risk of Cancer

There are certain cancers that can occur in the reproductive organs of animals if they aren’t spayed or neutered. These include testicular cancer in male animals and, in female animals, ovarian and uterine cancers. The organs in question are removed during the spaying or neutering process and therefore cannot develop cancer.


Improved Behavior

two dogs aggressively barking at each other

Some pets may exhibit undesirable behaviors when they haven’t been spayed or neutered. Male pets in particular that haven’t been neutered may be more aggressive and may bite. Spaying and neutering can help to improve these behaviors.


Lower Risk of Injuries

Pets that have access to the outdoors that haven’t been spayed or neutered may wander far from the home. This could result in injuries caused by a car accident or fights with other animals. Pets that have been spayed or neutered won’t feel such an urge to wander and therefore will stay closer to home.


Healthier, Longer-Lived Pets

a yellow lab puppy outside in the grass

Because of the reduced risk of cancer and injuries, pets that have been spayed or neutered are often able to live longer, healthier lives than those that have not. If your pets aren’t wandering as much, then they’re also less likely to contract other diseases that could spread from animal to animal.


No Marking or Spraying

Marking or spraying is the practice of marking territory or pets introducing themselves to other animals. Outside, this may be perfectly fine. It can be a method of greeting other animals. However, when it’s done inside the house to mark territory, then it can be problematic for pet owners. Spaying or neutering can help to reduce or even eliminate spraying or marking, although it’s not guaranteed.


No Heat Cycles

When a female animal is in heat, then other animals may be attracted to her. Spaying your pet can help to reduce this unwanted attention and stop male animals from bothering her or impregnating her.


Helps Reduce Animal Overpopulation

two volunteers at an animal shelter with a pug dog

There are millions of animals living in shelters across the United States. In some cases, shelters have no choice but to euthanize animals that are sick, older, or otherwise less likely to be adopted in order to make room for more. Some areas have a problem with stray animals. By spaying or neutering your pets, you’re ensuring that you and your pets are not contributing to the overpopulation problem.

Are There Risks Involved with Spaying or Neutering?

Both spaying and neutering are very common procedures. In fact, they’re among the most common procedures that veterinarians perform. This means that there’s a very low risk of anything going wrong. However, both are still surgeries, which are never risk-free. Complications are unlikely, though.

When Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pet?

It’s best to spay or neuter your pet at a young age. Which age is recommended depends on the type of pet you have. In cats, it’s best to neuter or spay before the age of five months. In dogs, between six and nine months is typically recommended. However, you should speak with your veterinarian so you can schedule the appointment for the best possible time.

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Pros and Cons of Adopting a Rescue

Pros and Cons of Adopting a Rescue

By Cats, Dogs, Uncategorized No Comments

Having a pet can be a very rewarding experience. Where you adopt your new pet from, however, can really matter. Some people feel better adopting from a breeder while others swear by adopting only rescue pets. So long as where you adopt from is ethical, there’s no one right answer. Before you decide, you should learn the pros and cons of adopting a rescue.

Why Should You Adopt From a Shelter?

volunteers working at an animal shelter holding a pug dog

There are millions of animals that are taken into shelters each year. Some of these animals may be at risk of never being adopted or even being put down. Adopting a rescue could help save an animal’s life while simultaneously freeing up space at the shelter for another animal that needs it. But that doesn’t mean that adopting a rescue is for everyone.

You Could Save an Animal’s Life

One of the biggest benefits of adopting a rescue is that you could be saving the animal’s life. While no shelter wants to euthanize animals, they often have no choice due to the sheer number of animals that they care for. Any animal adopted from a shelter not only saves that animal in particular but also frees up more space in the shelter to help additional animals.

Your Rescue May Already Be Trained

a woman training a corgi dog to do a trick

One of the hardest parts about owning a puppy or a kitten is having to train them. With a rescue, however, this is often already done by the previous owner or by the shelter itself. Having a new pet that is already housebroken can make the transition a lot easier for everyone.

You Could Save Money

No matter what, adopting a pet will cost money. You’ll have to pay for food, toys, visits to the vet, and more. But you can save money by adopting a rescue. There are fees involved with adopting from a shelter, but they’re typically much less than buying from a breeder. Plus, many shelters will have discount days or days on which the fees are waived in order to encourage more adoptions.

A Rescue May Have Fewer Health Problems

Some purebred dogs come with health issues that are specific to that breed. For example, some larger breeds of dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia and some breeds with flatter faces suffer from breathing problems. Rescue dogs tend to be mixed breeds. An advantage of this is that they’re much less likely to have any health conditions associated with a breed, even if that breed is included in the mix.

Rescue Animals Are Appreciative

a ginger cat laying on their owner’s lap, purring while being petted

Some rescue animals have had bad experiences in their pasts. Even if they haven’t, a shelter isn’t the most loving environment. This isn’t the fault of the people who work there, who often love animals, but simply because there are so many animals in shelters that workers have to focus on their basic needs first. They do their best to love every animal, but it’s not the same as having a family. This means that rescue animals are often more appreciative of having an owner or a family.

You Can Reduce Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are breeders that don’t treat their animals very well, often keeping them in overcrowded, unsanitary cages. These puppy mills will continue to exist so long as they’re making a profit, so if you adopt a rescue, you’ll be putting your money towards a better cause.

Why Shouldn’t You Adopt a Rescue?

Adopting a rescue from a shelter isn’t for everyone. It’s important to be aware of the possible downsides before you begin the adoption process.

Shelter Dogs Are Usually Mixed-Breeds

If you’re into dog shows or dog breeding, then a shelter dog most likely isn’t for you. Most shelter dogs are mixed breeds and won’t be suitable for that purpose. It’s possible you won’t know the breed at all. However, mixed breeds are great options for pet owners who just want to add a dog to their family.

Shelter Animals May Not Be Ideal for FIrst-Time Pet Owners

First-time pet owners may not want to adopt a dog or cat from a shelter because their health and behavioral histories may be unknown. Some shelter animals may have problems that first-time owners may have difficulty dealing with. Experienced pet owners may have an easier time helping shelter animals.

It Can Be Difficult to Find a Puppy or a Kitten

four kittens, two orange and two black, playing in a garden

Those wanting to adopt a puppy or a kitten may have difficulty adopting one from a shelter. Shelter animals are often adult animals and while puppies and kittens can be found there, it’s not common. Adopting an adult animal does usually mean that they’ve already been housebroken and trained so you won’t have to do that yourself.

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If your pet is exhibiting concerning symptoms or experiencing a medical emergency, please call our clinic at (407) 352-2579. We’ll help you through it.

Keep your pet safe and comfortable in the air

What You Need to Know About Flying With Your Pet

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

While traveling can be fun, it can also be stressful. There’s a lot to organize and arrange before you go, even for something relaxing like a vacation. Traveling with a pet can be even more stressful, for both you and your pet, especially when you’re flying. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to research everything you can ahead of time so you can rest assured that you’ve got everything taken care of.


Decide Whether or Not to Fly with Your Pet

First, you need to decide if flying with your pet is truly the right choice. Typically, it’s not recommended to fly with a pet unless it’s necessary. Flying can be stressful for pets, and in many cases, it’s not worth the hassle to bring them along, especially when the trip is short. If you’re going to be gone for two weeks or more, or if the move is permanent, then you’ll want to bring your pet with you on the flight. If the trip is for only a few days, however, consider boarding your pet instead.


Make Sure Your Pet Meets the Airline’s Requirements

Some airlines may restrict which pets can fly with them. The airline will make its decision based on the following criteria:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Breed
  • Health

The airline may decide not to allow your pet to board the plane at all. If your pet is older and in poor health, the airline may not feel that it is safe for your pet to fly with you. Plus, there are laws regulating pets on aircraft. For example, your pet must be at least eight weeks old and weaned for at least five days before being allowed to fly. Some airlines ban certain breeds, such as snub-nosed breeds, because they have breathing issues that can be worsened on planes.

Cargo Hold vs. Airplane Cabin

a man carrying a suitcase in one hand and a dog in a carrier in the other at the airportIf your pet is qualified to fly with you, then you’ll need to determine whether or not your pet can fly with you in the cabin or whether they’ll need to fly in the cargo hold. Typically, a pet’s size is the most important factor. Pets that are small enough to fit inside approved carriers that can fit underneath the seat in front of you on the plane are allowed inside the cabin. Pets that are too large to fit in those carriers will have to fly in the cargo hold, which is more stressful.

Cargo Hold

Some dogs are too large to fly even in the cargo hold, so check with your airline ahead of time to make sure that your dog meets their size requirements. Additionally, some pet owners choose not to fly their pet at all if they have to go into the cargo hold. This is because it can be stressful for the pet.

Airplane Cabin

If your pet is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you, you can bring them into the cabin with you. Your pet’s carrier will count as your carry-on luggage, however, so you may need to check a bag when you wouldn’t normally have to.


Register Your Pet with the Airline

It’s a good idea to register your pet with the airline as soon as you know you’re flying with them. This is because some airlines have limits on the number of pets that can be in the cabin at once. If this is the case, it’s typically first-come-first-served. This means that the sooner you let the airline know that you’re flying with a pet, the more likely you are to be able to bring your pet.

Plus, letting the airline know ahead of time that you’re flying with a pet is a courtesy so that it’s easier for them to make arrangements. For example, if someone is flying who has extreme pet allergies, it’s easier for the airline to accommodate everyone if they’re aware ahead of time.


Understand Airline Fees

Airlines usually charge pet fees. This can be up to around $200 for pets traveling in the cargo hold and up to $75 for pets traveling in the cabin. However, this may differ depending on the airline, so you should research this before you book your flights. It may also depend on the size of your pet. If you have a very large dog, for example, the costs may be even more.


Choose the Right Carrier

a dog in an airport terminal standing next to a soft pet carrierIf your pet is small enough to fit under the seat in the cabin, you’ll need to keep them in a carrier. Your best bet is to purchase a pet carrier directly from the airline you’re flying with. That way, you’ll know that it meets their requirements. If you’d prefer to use your own, airlines typically have size limitations. The carrier must also be a soft one, not a hard plastic one.

Your pet must also be able to comfortably stand up and turn around within the carrier.

Cargo Hold Crates

If your pet is flying in the cargo hold, then you’ll need a hard crate. Pet owners are legally required to line the floor of the crate with an absorbent material, such as a towel or shredded paper. Check your airline’s requirements on the size and other possible requirements of a crate for a pet traveling in the cargo hold.


Take Your Pet to the Vet

Whether a vet visit is required depends on the airline. Many require a signed certificate from a vet issued within ten days of your flight showing that your pet is healthy enough to travel. You may want to book your pet’s vet appointment ahead of time so that you know you’ll be on the vet’s schedule.

Print Required Documentations

You’ll also most likely need to prove that your pet has had all of their required vaccinations. Different airlines may have different requirements for what documentation they want to see. You can keep digital records of these documents, but it’s still a good idea to bring paper copies with you just in case.


Look up Local Pet Regulations

If you’re flying internationally, your destination country may have regulations pertaining to incoming pets. For example, some countries have quarantine periods for any pets flying in. This is another reason why many choose not to bring their pets along for shorter trips. Sometimes, the quarantine period can be longer than the trip itself! Additionally, other countries may have documentation requirements beyond what the airline asks for.


Prep Your Pet for Flight

Flying is stressful for a pet. You should crate train them so that they’re comfortable sitting in a crate for long periods. For many pets, a crate or carrier can be a safe zone that will help them to be less stressed during the flight, especially if they’ve been trained in it ahead of time.

Don’t Tranquilize Your Pet

Whatever you do, however, don’t tranquilize your pet. While this may calm your pet, it can be dangerous for them in-flight. Vets don’t recommend tranquilization for this reason. Plus, the airline won’t let your pet on the flight if they’ve been tranquilized.

Be Careful About Medicating Your Pet

If you’d like to give your pet some anti-anxiety medication or Benadryl for the flight, talk to your vet first. Your vet can advise you on what, if anything, you should give to your pet.


Arrive Early to the Airport

You’ll need as much extra time as possible at the airport. Make sure to arrive even earlier than you would normally.

Minimize Food and Drink

Be careful about how much food and drink you give your pet. There are limited options for where they can relieve themselves. There won’t be anywhere to do that in-flight, but airports typically have animal relief areas that your pet can use. Your pet can go without food for any length of flight, but for a flight longer than four hours, you’ll need to give them some water. A water dish will need to be secured firmly in the crate if your pet is flying in the cargo hold.

Pick up Cargo Hold Pets Immediately

If your pet has to travel in the cargo hold, make sure to pick them up after your flight as quickly as you possibly can. Your pet’s already been waiting for a long time in the cargo hold without you. They’ll be anxious to see you as soon as possible.

What to Do If Your Pet Eats Something Poisonous

By Cats, Dogs No Comments

A constant worry for pet owners is the possibility of their pets eating something that they shouldn’t. There are many foods that humans can consume that are dangerous for pets, such as chocolate for dogs. But on top of that, there are chemicals and other substances that pets can get into that could also be poisonous.

Ideally, pet owners can monitor everything their pet eats, but that’s not always possible. There are times when pets have to be left alone. Pet owners also can’t control what a pet may find outside. Therefore, it’s essential that pet owners know what to do if their pet eats something poisonous.

Symptoms of Toxicity

symptoms of poisoning in pets
If you think your pet has ingested something poisonous, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Sluggishness
  • Drinking more
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme excitability
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of coordination
  • Shaking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures

Not all pets will react the same way to a toxic substance. Some may not show any symptoms at all right away. Larger pets that have ingested only a small amount of a poisonous substance may also take longer to react. It’s important to also keep an eye out for signs that your pet has gotten into something they shouldn’t, such as an empty candy wrapper that none of the humans in the household have eaten.

What to Do If Your Pet Has Ingested Something Poisonous

1. Remove Your Pet from the Vicinity

Once you know that your pet has eaten something toxic, the first step is to remove your pet from the area with the toxic substance. Move your pet somewhere safe where they can’t ingest any more.

2. Call Your Vet

Once your pet is safe and is away from the temptation of eating or drinking any more, it’s time to call the vet. This should be done as quickly as possible. Don’t wait to call your vet until you’re certain your pet is experiencing the symptoms of toxicity. The second you suspect that they’ve ingested something toxic, call your vet’s emergency line. If your own vet doesn’t have 24-hour services, find the closest one that has emergency services after hours or call the ASPCA’s hotline at 1-888-426-4435.

3. Do Not Induce Vomiting

Some pet owners may think they’re helping by trying to induce vomiting. However, many toxic substances might be caustic and could hurt your pet even more on the way back up. Only induce vomiting if your vet has told you to.

4. Don’t Let Your Pet Groom

Some toxic substances can be absorbed via the skin. If you think your pet might have gotten some of a toxic substance on their fur, make sure they don’t groom themselves. You should only bathe your pet if your vet recommends it, though. Sometimes, a bath can cause a chemical to absorb further into the skin.

5. Treat Your Pet

Follow your vet’s instructions for how to treat the toxicity. How to treat it depends on what your pet has ingested. Most likely, the vet will recommend that you bring your pet in for an emergency visit. The vet can then treat your pet with IV fluids, activated charcoal, induced vomiting, or other treatment steps that will help save your pet.

Human Food That Is Poisonous to Dogs

what human foods are poisonous to dogs graphic

The following are some human foods that are dangerous for dogs:

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Caffeine
  • Coffee
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Coconut
  • Coconut oil
  • Citrus
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Scallions
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Xylitol sweetener
  • Raw meat or eggs
  • Raw bones
  • Salt or salty foods
  • Yeast dough

Human Food That Is Poisonous to Cats

what humans foods are poisonous to cats graphic

The list of human foods that are dangerous for cats is very similar to that of foods that are dangerous for dogs. You shouldn’t feed your cat the following:

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Citrus
  • Yeast dough
  • Coconut
  • Coconut water
  • Dairy
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Raw eggs
  • Undercooked meat
  • Raw meat
  • Nuts
  • Raw fish
  • Salt
  • Xylitol
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Scallions

What to Do If Your Pet Eats a Non-Food Item

If your pet eats something that isn’t food, such as a sock or a piece of a toy, this can be dangerous. You should call your vet and take your pet in for an emergency appointment as quickly as possible. The item your pet has eaten could obstruct their airways or damage their internal organs if it’s not removed.

Some pets regularly eat non-food items, such as soap, dirt, or poop. This condition is called Pica and is the compulsive eating of substances that aren’t food. If you notice that your pet is doing this, contact your vet. While it may not be an emergency like the eating of a toy, it’s important to treat the condition and learn how to train your pet. Sometimes, pets who eat non-food items like dirt or soap are doing so because they are deficient in a specific nutrient.

Worried About Your Pet? Contact Us.

If you’re concerned about your pet for any reason, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Phillip’s Animal Hospital. Our phone number is (407) 352-2579 and we have extended hours: 8 am to 11 pm Monday through Friday, 9 am to 7 pm Saturday, and 9 am to 5 pm Sunday.

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