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    Dr. Jason Nicholas (Dr. J)

    dr jason nicholas
    As President and Chief Medical Officer of Preventive Vet, Dr. J is a man on a mission. He’s a dog-and-cat lover, husband, father of two and former ER and general practice veterinarian obsessed with keeping your pets safe, healthy and out of harm’s way. Just like Preventive Vet, the pet-expert collective he founded in 2011, Dr. J strives for a world where all pet owners are empowered to keep their pets happy, healthy and free from preventable suffering.
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    Recent Posts

    Where to Put Your Cat After Surgery and How to Care for Them


    Depending on the procedure, it can be quite trying to have a cat go through surgery. Often, the “trying” part doesn’t end once your cat has left the hospital, as their post-operative recovery period at home can often be equally difficult. This article will help to make it easier… on you both.
     

    Whether your cat’s just been spayed/neutered, had a cat bite abscess, had a broken bone surgically repaired, or had abdominal surgery of their digestive tract or urinary bladder, it’s important that they’re given the time, space, and environment to rest and heal.

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    Topics: Pet Proofing, Surgery, Recommended cat litter

    Finding a Boarding Facility or Pet Sitter for Cats: Where to Start and What to Ask


    Because of the reputation cats have as "loners" and "self-sufficient" pets, many people assume that all will be OK if they fill a bowl full of food and leave their cats home alone for a few days when they head out of town. Unfortunately, that's rarely the case.

    This is in large part because most cats actually aren't "loners" and "self-sufficient." And it's also because a lot can go wrong (and has gone wrong!) with unsupervised cats in as few as 24–48 hours, including:

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    Topics: Travel, Vaccination, pet sitter

    Feeders for Multi-Cat Households and Tips for Feeding Multiple Cats


    If you have more than one cat, feedings can get rather interesting. You might even say it feels like… herding cats (*ba dum tsss*).

    Some cats need to eat more, some less. Some might have a special diet. Some might be grazers, while others like to hoover their food up all at once. Regardless of your particular combination of kitty eating needs or styles, it’s important to know how to approach meal time with multiple cats so that every cat gets enough to eat, but not too much; and eats what they’re supposed to eat, but not what they’re not. If you’ve ever had to juggle different types of foods or quantities of food for multiple cats, you’ve probably felt the stress that comes with it.

    Good news though! You’re not alone, and the trials and tribulations we here at Preventive Vet, as well as other cat owners, have endured means that we’ve got some good tips and even different feeding and “feeder” options that can help you de-complicate your multi-kitty meal time. Won’t that be nice!

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    Topics: Cat Aggression, Feeding Bowls, Cat food

    Fatty Liver Disease in Cats — What It Is and How to Protect Your Cat


    Hepatic lipidosis, a.k.a. “fatty liver disease,” is a serious and debilitating condition in cats. It’s caused by an overabundance of fat being moved to and deposited within a cat’s liver, which will happen when their body is otherwise “starved” for energy.

    Read on to learn more about what hepatic lipidosis is, the signs to watch for, and how you can prevent your cat from suffering from fatty liver disease.

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    Topics: Diabetes in Cats, Pancreatitis, Obesity, Loss of appetite, Liver Failure

    How to Walk Your Cat on a Leash... Safely

     
    If you are going to walk your cat, don’t go about it like this writer from the New York Post. 

    “I procured a cat leash and harness… from a friend, who had attempted, unsuccessfully, to walk her own cats. Hoping to have a better go of it, I strapped my 7-year-old tabby, Jameson, in and headed out on a recent sunny Saturday.”

    As you might imagine, she soon realized that walking a cat is not exactly like walking a dog! First of all, cats don't always take to leashes and walks as readily as dogs (at least not initially). Second, being cats, they're not exacly, shall we say, "naturally inclined" to being led around by a leash. Third, many of the places you’d likely take your dog typically aren’t as well-suited for a cat (but fear not, there are often plenty of great alternatives!).

    These differences don’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t try taking your cat for leash walks. After all, many cats can really enjoy and benefit from them! But they do mean that you really do first need to train and prepare your cat — and yourself — for these new outdoor adventures! 

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Clicker Training, Capturing Behavior, Outdoor cats

    Litter Box 101: How to Choose the Best Litter Boxes for Your Cats and Why You Need To


    When you first get a cat, your next stop is usually the pet store for kitty supplies. A litter box is always at the top of that list, but few people give much thought to the box itself. 

    Looking at them, you might think that any one box is about the same as any other. However not all litter boxes are created equal; more to the point, not all litter boxes are created equal for all cats.

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    Litter Box 101: How to Set Up Your Cat’s Litter Boxes to Prevent Potty Accidents


    In “Litter Box 101: How to Choose the Best Litter Boxes for Your Cats and Why You Need To,” I gave some pointers for choosing the best litter boxes for your cats, but now I’m going to show you how best to set up and maintain your cat’s boxes. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to avoid all sorts of common litter box problems (like wayward peeing and pooping outside the box), and you’ll also be prepared to identify painful or potentially life-threatening conditions.

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    Topics: Litterbox accidents, Going outside the litterbox, Cat litterbox, Cat Litter

    Litter Box 101: What Type of Litter is Best for Your Cat


    It seems like a new cat litter comes out every day. And while it’s good to have some choice in the type of litter you get for your cat, too much choice can easily feel overwhelming. And though every household is different and every cat can have their own needs and preferences, there are some general “rules of thumb” when it comes to the best litters for cats.

    This article will help you cut through all the fancy packaging and marketing to find the right litter for your cat. Doing so won’t just make them happier; finding the right litter can also make it more likely that your cat will reliably use their litter boxes, which should also make you happier!

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    Kitten Shots — What Vaccines Your New Cat Needs and When


    Whether your cat will be indoors-only, venture outside from time to time, or live outside exclusively, one of the best (and easiest) ways to protect their health is to vaccinate early — and appropriately — against preventable infectious diseases. Vaccines are a simple, inexpensive, and effective way to keep your kitten from becoming seriously ill now or even later in life. And, when it comes to rabies, having your cat vaccinated is also a simple and effective way to protect yourself and others in your home, since rabies can affect people, too.

    There’s a lot to know, do, and keep track of when you get a new cat, so here’s an overview of the shots your cat is likely to need during their first several months of life and beyond. Take a look at the information below, but you should still talk to your vet to make sure your cat is getting just the right vaccinations they need  based on their individual lifestyle, health, and overall situation  and that they’re getting them at the right times.

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    Topics: Cat Health, Kittens, Vaccines, Vaccination, Rabies

    The Best Cat Food Bowls and Interactive Feeders to Delight Your Kitty


    Feeding cats is easy, right? Just grab a cat bowl, pour in some kibble, refill as bowl gets low, and you're done. Right? Well, umm... not really.

    Not only aren't all "cat bowls" created equally, but all cats aren't created equally either. Two things are (almost) universal though. The first is that "free feeding" cats in the manner described above is a pretty sure recipe for obesity, "scarf-and-barf," urinary obstruction, and a host of other problems for your cat. And second is that most cats are natural-born hunters, and they LOVE to work for and play with their food! And you can use that to your (and their) advantage to help provide environmental enrichment and prevent a whole lot of problems.

    As a general rule, meal feeding is a far better way to feed your cat and it's also a good idea to have a good portion of their calories come from a high-quality, high-protein/low-carb wet food diet. But those are topics for another time. This article will help you figure out what to feed (and water) your cat from; i.e., the types of bowls (or even non-bowls) that will be best for your cat, regardless of what you're feeding them, or how often you're doing so. And there's also an easy bonus trick for how to quickly, inexpensively, and effectively disinfect your cat's bowls included at the end.

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    Topics: Cat Behavior, Food, Water Bowls, Water, Cat food

    Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

    Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

    Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.