Monday, October 13, 2014

Annual vet visit #2

Surprisingly, both boys were actually quite easy to get into the travel crates. In the car on the way over, they (mostly Elbie) sang the song of their people.

To give Elbie some time to settle down, Monkey went first. He didn't want to get out (like last year), but was very well-behaved when being checked over. He weighed 5.7 kg (+0.5 kg from last year's checkup). I asked the vet for suggestions, and she said he could be given diet food or senior cat food (also less calorific), but we'd need to keep an eye on Elbie's weight at the same time, so that he doesn't go ultra-slim.

She also said that the problem with restricting foods for cats is that if they're hungry and feel they're not getting enough food, they'll make sure to get it in other ways. Either by going to other houses and demand a feed or by hunting - and the Monkey does like to hunt. So it's tricky business. On the other hand, she wasn't concerned for him right now, but more as a precaution for the future, so that he doesn't develop diabetes. On the other hand, considering they're both on a grain free, low-carb diet, that should be a good way to lowering the risk anyway, which is why I'm a bit hesitant to go out and buy random diet or senior food - most foods out there are quite bad ingredient-wise ... including the premium brands. Daisy had a much easier time with hairballs after switching from Hill's Senior Anti-hairball food to Applaws, which doesn't make any particular claims about reducing hairballs or anything like that. But I digress. Fortunately, there's not a lot they can catch from eating butterflies, though, so that's good!

I held him close as I was talking to the vet, and he seemed to like that. When he got a bit too close to Elbie's travel cage, Elbie swiped at him and hissed. He got his booster shot, a worming tablet, and had already been checked over, so he went back into his travel cage with what seemed like relief.

Elbie was not a happy bunny. He growled, but managed to be quiet long enough for the vet to listen to his heart and lungs. He weighed 4.5 kg (I think, which is +0.7 kg), but the vet agreed with me that it was because he's filled out from a lanky teenager into an adult cat's body, and it's fine. I mentioned the over-grooming, and suggested I use Feliway to see if that helps, which I had recently thought of doing. I got a couple of diffusers and used when they first moved in, so just need to find them and get some refills. I could also give him a capsule of something which is a serotonin precursor, essentially giving him happy pills I guess, but I'm a bit hesitant. Will see how he does with Feliway first.

Stress and anxiety can lead to urinary tract problems, which is worse in male cats than females apparently. I've not noticed him having any toilet issues, which is good, but preventative measures are better than emergency treatments after the fact. Maybe I'll try the Bach Rescue Remedy again as well. It could be something like him being unsettled by us putting up a Christmas tree, which is why it seems to recur in the weeks before Christmas. An eye is kept on him, at any rate.

He also got his booster and a worming pill and then jumped on the floor rather than back in his travel cage, so I had to pick him up and help him inside. While he still sang the song of his people in the car on the way back, it wasn't nearly as much as on the way there.

But yeah, basically, they are both perfectly healthy three-year-old cats and fingers crossed they won't have to see the vet until this time again next year. :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Annual vet visit booked!

The boys are now booked in for their annual vet appointment.

I'll definitely discuss Monkey's weight with them, because while the vet last year wasn't concerned, I'm sure he's put more weight on since then, so now I'M concerned. I wake up most mornings with him happily asleep on my hip, which I love and adore, but he's heavy enough to give me a back ache. While I can't turn around in bed without going "oww" is unfortunate, I'm more concerned about him. He weighs a ton, seriously, and I want a vet's take on it.

As for Elbie, he might weigh slightly more than last year, but that's only because he's filled out into a proper adult cat size now, so his weight is of no concern. I will discuss his tendency to over-groom, though. He never does it to the point where the skin goes raw and bleeds, it's just that he licks away the hair, and it seems to be a cyclical thing. In the autumn, his belly will get a full coating of hair and then around Christmas, it starts to go again.

At any rate, I want to make sure there's nothing physically wrong with either of them.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Well, they did share over half their lives with her

Maybe I've been thinking about it wrong. While they all tolerated each other and occasionally managed a curious sniff (soon interrupted by batting of paws on both sides), I never really saw them as friends.

Daisy and Monkey seemed to have a kind of timeshare going on with sleeping spots and lap time, and Daisy and Elbie would occasionally be found asleep on the bed at the same time (not cuddled up, though, and generally when Elbie woke up and noticed she was there, he would leave). Occasionally they'd let us cuddle two at the same time.

But when you think about the age when we got the boys (1.5 years) and the age they are now (3 years & ~4 months), they've shared a bit over half their lives with her, and there's a big possibility that they are actually grieving too, in their own ways. Extra cuddles are already given.



Monday, October 06, 2014

Magic Blanket trumps outside

You know the weather's rubbish when it's morning and Elbie chooses the bed instead of staying outside, even when the back door's open. (Well, it's closed now, because cold.) On the plus side, because of the weather, the Magic Blanket is out, and he really likes it.