Abbeywood Cat Hospital Newsletter

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The veterinarians and staff at Abbeywood Cat Hospital are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter of pet-related articles and news stories.

This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine. Get started by browsing the Current Newsletter Topics links that pertain to each article.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Pet Statistics and Growing Trends

Pet Statistics and Growing Trends

The pet business continues to boom with an overall focus of health across the board. Here are the hottest things happening right now and what we can expect in the future.

Natural Pet Products

Natural pet products continue to grow in popularity. That’s because most pet owners understand the high levels of toxicity in synthetic products plus there’s more of a concern for the environment.

The biggest natural pet products right now are:

  • Holistic foods
  • Cat litter
  • Holistic grooming products
  • All-natural flea and tick products
  • Natural fiber toys

Specialty Pet Services

Pet services continue to grow with the increase in popularity. These aren’t always conveniences, but some things that are needed for the pet to maintain a happy life. The most common right now are:

  • Dog training
  • Pet sitting
  • Holistic and upscale spa services like massage and Reiki
  • Pet photography
  • Pet behavioral consulting
  • Self-serve dog washes
  • Yoga
  • Pet communicators

Other Popular Trends

As pet owners continue to increase their spending, luxuries seem to be topping many of the lists for trending products and services. Some other popular trends occurring now include:

Mobile pet grooming – special vehicles arrive at your home to perform grooming services.

Pet-friendly travel – hospitality and vacation locations are catering to pet owners and their furry friends.

Travel apps – apps that help to connect consumers with places to take their dogs and cats.

Pet health insurance – while they’ve been around for some time, popularity is getting larger recently.

What to Look for in the Future

As we move forward, you are going to see some more trends emerging. Pet parents are expected to see continued increases in the industry and spend more money shortly. Online shopping sites, like Amazon, have been selling record amounts of pet products and those numbers will continue to increase. Look for more innovative services, concepts and products to emerge over the next year.

A History of Your Pet's Nature - Animal Origins

A History of Your Pet’s Nature – Animal Origins

Animals have always been relevant to humans, even before they became pets. They were counted on to provide food, transportation and clothing. Even though these purposes still exist today, the role of most animals has changed. Let’s look at how this relationship has evolved.

Prehistoric Times

The relationship between animals and man was mainly a hunter and prey combination. People only viewed animals for their clothing and food.

The first animal to be seen outside of these purposes was the wolf. Humans found that the young cubs would listen to humans when trained. They were used for herding, guarding and hunting. Ancient Civilizations

As humans shifted from being hunters to farmers, working dogs were valued more. This is also the time when cats started to play a role in the equation. They were used to protect the grain stores, barns and houses from mice. Pet ownership was common among the noble and ruling classes. Murals depict the wealthy with animals. Slowly, these animals became companions instead of workers.

The Middle Ages

During these years, lap dogs became popular among noble women. The male nobles spent more of their attention on the useful animals like falcons and hunting hounds.

At the time, the Christian church didn’t believe in keeping pets. They thought that they were to be used for food to feed the poor. It’s possible that this stemmed from the fear of pagan worship and the use of animals. This continued until animals started to be seen as good fortune.

Pet Keeping

Keeping pets wasn’t accepted on a larger scale in Europe until the late 1600s. It almost a hundred years later before the middle class started having pets.

Today, pets have multiple roles in society. They are companions, helpers and an indication of status. They also aid people in activities they can’t do for themselves, such as seeing-eye dogs. Whatever your purpose for having a pet, it’s important that you value the bond and relationship that has taken so many years to cultivate.

Advice for Locating a Lost Pet

Advice for Locating a Lost Pet

You’ve just gotten home from running some errands and your pet is gone. Now, what are you supposed to do? Follow our simple tips and hopefully, you’ll find your loved animal soon.

Don't Wait

It’s important to start your search immediately. Make lots of noise – yell for your animal. Stop everyone you see and ask right away if they’ve seen your pet. Most of the time your pet is nearby, so they might hear you and come running back.

Consider a Reward

Consider creating a flyer with all of your pet’s information on it. Distribute them to libraries, vets, police departments and neighbors. If you are offering a reward, leave out something about your pet’s traits that they will need to identify. Also, avoid scams by staying clear of anyone asking you to wire them money.

Search Often

Go through your neighborhood multiple times each day. Talk to everyone you see along the way. You’ll also want to contact the shelters each day. Look in hiding places in the neighborhood.

Make Sure You Use Collar Tags

You can’t do this once your pet is lost, but it’s a good precautionary measure. Put your cell phone number on the tag.


These are just the size of a grain of rice and placed under the pet’s skin. It transmits your phone number through radio frequency waves. Your vet can implant the chip speedily. Then, when your pet is found, a veterinarian and shelter can scan and attempt to contact you.

There is a small issue with microchips. They run on three varying frequencies and there are two communication protocols sold. Sometimes, a chip is missed, so you don’t want to rely on this as your only way to find your animal.

Whatever you do, don’t panic. The majority of pets are found within 48 hours. Be diligent and don’t give up searching until you find your furry friend.

Fun in the Fall – Activities in Autumn With Your Pet

Fun in the Fall – Activities in Autumn With Your Pet

As the leaves begin to change colors and the weather turns cooler, there are lots of activities to enjoy with your pet. Don’t go alone – bring your best friend with you.

Go to an Apple Orchard

Apples are ready to be picked, so you’ll find an abundance of apple orchards to visit. Most of them allow dogs and it’s a great way to enjoy the weather together. Apples are a great treat for you to share with your pet as they clean your dog’s teeth and make their breath fresh. Just be careful with the core and seeds because they are a choking concern and toxic.

Go Trick-Or-Treating

Halloween isn’t just for kids – your pet looks adorable dressed up. Head out with the kids and your pets to do some trick-or-treating. Carry some extra treats with you for other animals along the way.

Pumpkin Picking

Just like apple orchards, most pumpkin patches don’t mind dogs. Who knows – your dog might just have an eye for the best pumpkin in the patch. When you are ready to sit down to some homemade pumpkin pie, don’t forget your dog. They can have a small amount of pumpkin puree in their food. It’s great for their digestive system and offers lots of fiber.


With football season getting into full swing, you are sure to be invited to a tailgating party. Of course, your pet will be the hit of the get-together, so be sure to bring them along. Don’t forget their favorite toys and food as well.

Take a Hike

Exercise is great for you and your dog, so why not do it together? While your dog won’t see all the colors, they will recognize the different smells and activity. Look for some local events that you and your dog can walk in together as well.

Final Thoughts

Whatever you do this fall, make sure you include your pets. They deserve to enjoy the magic of the season change with you. Get outside and enjoy the fresh, crisp weather while you can.

All About Your Cat's Teeth

During its lifetime, a cat has two sets of teeth, a deciduous set and a permanent set. Kittens have 26 deciduous teeth (molars are absent); adult cats have a total of 30 teeth.

Deciduous or "milk teeth", begin to appear when the kitten is about 4 weeks of age. At 6 weeks of age, all 26 deciduous teeth are present. From 11 to 30 weeks of age, kittens lose their deciduous teeth. During this time they may eat less due to sore gums.

When the deciduous teeth fall out, they are replaced by 30 permanent teeth. The permanent teeth should be in place by about 6 months of age.

A cat’s teeth are well-suited to rip and cut. Twelve tiny teeth (incisors) in the front of the mouth - six in the upper jaw, six in the lower jaw - do some scraping. They are flanked by two upper and lower canines, sometimes described as "fangs," designed to hold prey and to tear flesh. Ten sharp premolars and four molars act together to cut food.

A cat occasionally retains a deciduous tooth after the permanent tooth appears. This deciduous tooth should be removed as soon as possible to avoid displacing the permanent tooth.

Extra teeth are occasionally found in cats. They should be removed by a veterinarian if they cause crowding or injury to soft tissue or other teeth.

Cat Behavior and What It Means

Domestic cats are descendants of the African wildcat, and many of the characteristic behaviors of these ancestors are still exhibited by cats today. An understanding of the origin and purpose of such behaviors can help cat owners appreciate their feline companions more fully and lead to an enhanced human-animal relationship.

Social Behavior

Once thought to be a social animals, it is now recognized that domestic cats can form complex social groupings. Studies have repeatedly shown that they form territories or ranges in which they live and defend these from intruders. In stable situations, cat territories can overlap without overt antagonistic interactions.


The cat has three primary methods of communication: vocal, visual and olfactory. Vocal communication involves a variety of sounds that convey different messages. Visual communication involves the body posture and facial expressions. For example, the position of the ears, hair and tail can offer important information about the emotional state of the cat. Olfactory communication plays a very important role in communication. The deposition of scents via facial marking, anal secretions and urine marking is an important communication tool for the feline.

Sexual Behavior

Female cats are seasonally polyestrus, with peaks in the Northern Hemisphere occurring from January to March and again from May to June. If they are not bred, estrus will last about 10 days and the female will cycle every three weeks for several months. During estrus, the female will engage in increased activity, vocalizations and marking with urine and other glandular secretions. Crouching with rear end elevated and rolling are common body postures that a female may exhibit during estrus.

Eating Behavior

In the wild, the cat developed as a solitary hunter that targeted various small prey. This led to an eating pattern of multiple small meals with considerable variety in the diet. Many domesticated cats continue this pattern and exhibit a preference for a variety of foods.

Bathroom Behavior

Kittens start to eliminate independently at about 4 weeks of age. They instinctively prefer to eliminate in fine particulate material with good drainage. Most cats will investigate a potential spot, dig a hole and pass urine or feces in the squatting position. Cats usually will then cover the elimination.

Sleeping Patterns

Although cats have traditionally been described as nocturnal creatures, they are actually crepuscular by nature, which means that they are more active in the twilight and evening hours. The average adult cat spends 10 hours per day sleeping and an additional five hours resting.

Places to Take Your Pet

Places to Take Your Pet

If you want to spend more time with your pet, there are plenty of ways to increase your fun together. Try out some of these ideas and see how much enjoyment it brings both of you.


Dogs love to get away. Plan a backpacking trip and take your four-legged friend out on the trails. Before leaving, make sure your dog is in good physical health and can handle the exercise. You’ll also want to know basic first aid practices and have lots of water on hand.

Day Trips

Most dogs enjoy a ride in a vehicle. Take your pet with you when you visit family and friends. As a special treat, stop by the pet store and do some shopping with them by your side. Surprisingly, most dogs enjoy browsing the aisles of the pet store.

Dog Parks

Dogs love to roam free and most cities provide spaces for them to do that. It’s also a great time to allow your pet to become social with some new friends. If you have a smaller dog, just be sure to supervise them around the larger animals. They could get easily injured even when there are no ill intentions.


Disc dogs are the term given to dogs that love Frisbee. If you’ve already tried out the ball with success, then it’s time to give this flying disc a shot. This sport requires jumping, so have your dog checked by the vet first to ensure they are in great health.

Word of Warning

Whenever you consider taking your dog to participate in strenuous activities, you need to think about their health. If your dog isn’t used to exercising regularly, a full checkup is in order first. Contact your veterinarian first to get blood work, x-rays and shots. Then, increase their activity level slowly. Together, you can have of fun – just do it safely.

5 Common Litter Box Mistakes to Avoid

If your cat is like most, he or she probably possesses rigid standards when it comes to its private bathroom quarters. Cleaning needs to be routine, the location needs to be ‘purr-fect,’ and the litter better be up to par. To ensure your cat utilizes its litter box regularly and properly, avoid these five common mistakes:

1. The Wrong Box – Most cats prefer more space rather than barely enough. Your cat should be able to stand and sit to do his or her business without being crowded or hanging over any edges. Sidewalls should be of a height your cat can manage stepping over and a hooded litter box can create a dark, odor-trapped environment your cat may not enjoy.

2. The Wrong Spot – Most cats don’t require a litter box overlooking a stream or active backyard birdfeeder, but the location of their bathroom does matter. The spot should be quiet, private, uninterrupted and not too far away from their regular hangout if there is only one in your large home.

3. The Wrong Litter – Your cat probably won’t hassle you to buy the brand it saw on a television commercial, but they often have preferences when it comes to heavily perfumed litters or those with different textures. Their sensitive noses may be driven away by scents designed to suit human tastes rather than their own.

4. Too Dirty – Felines are cleanly creatures and don’t enjoy reusing dirty litter. Boxes should be scooped at least once daily and cleaned thoroughly at least once a week.

5. Too Few – If you have multiple cats, you should maintain a litter box for each – and maybe even one extra. Some cats will agree to sharing, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Some cats even require two boxes, one for each separate duty.

Becoming familiar with your cat’s or cats’ unique litter box preferences will make for a more adjusted, happy and healthy pet. Should your cat ever begin to start urinating or defecating outside of its litter box for unknown reasons, it could be the result of a behavior or health concern. A consultation with your veterinarian will help quickly rule out one or the other.