Cats are Magic (written Jan 2015)


I know this may sound a bit insane but I do think cats are the Masters of the Universe. Think about it, they do not have to do a lot, but are looked after hand on paw. There is a saying 'Dogs have masters, cats have servants' and I totally agree with this statement. 

During my years in the consulting room I have been amazed at what some owners will do for their cats; I have clients that will get up in the middle of the night to fed them after having been rudely woken by a demanding cat, cats that will only use a door to get in/out rather than the cat flap that the owner has put in at great expense, owners that grow fresh grass for the cats to chew on. Some owners do all this and are rewarded by scratching and biting, but still carry on.

Whilst dogs have to please the hand that feed them, cats are generally sitting around laughing at our attempts to please them. I am sure they get together at night and gossip about what they have managed to get their owners to do for them. I would recommend everybody to look up Simon’s Cat online, this is a very insightful little cartoon series about cats and what they get us to do.

However all this said, I am utterly amazed about cats ability to survive trauma and illness that other species just would not recover from. Their ability to land on their feet from high rise falls are also well documented. It is interesting that many cultures look at cats as having multiple lives. I think this must have developed as a reflection of what cats survived compared to other species. We think cats have been domesticated for 9000 years, in ancient Egypt they were regarded as sacred animals.

Most cats in the wild live solitary lives with the exception of lions. The domestic cat is often having to live in multi cat households which they find stressful. This stress can manifest itself in clinical disease, the most common being stress related cystitis. We now treat a lot of cats for stress which many owners finds hard to accept, since cats appear to be very chilled out creatures. Their manifestation of the stress can be very subtle like an irritated move of the tail.

Going to the vet is also very stressful, not only to get a cat into the basket but having to go in the car, then a waiting room full of dogs, finished up with being pulled out of the basket by the vet, prodded and poked, blood samples taken, then medicated and home. At Viking Vets we have added a Cat Wing to our practice. Not only is this a cat only entrance, reception and cattery, but we also have a feline friendly vet and nurse looking after it. We are due to open this mid to end of February 2015 and should have got our Gold standard feline friendly practice from the ISFM. We are trying to make sure we look after these Masters of the Universe to the standard they deserve.

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