HE is on a mission to help our pets . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm tails.com, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years. He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”
Q) MY GRANDDAUGHTER is heavily pregnant and has three cats – two females and one male who are all neutered.
The 11-year-old male pees everywhere.
He will sit on my grand- daughter’s husband’s lap and just do it.
The cat was peeing on the floor and she lifted him up thinking he would stop but he just carried on as if he couldn’t control himself.
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The vet has done tests and they have come back negative.
My grand- daughter does not want to have him put down but knows not what to do.
The vet said it could be behavioural because of the pregnancy but he was doing it before.
We wondered if it is incontinence because of his age? Any advice would be appreciated.
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Ann Girdlestone, Bedford
A) This is a really tricky one, as cats and urination issues can happen for a multitude of reasons.
Often we never know for sure why it is happening, but it’s a matter of trial and error to find something that snaps them out of it.
I’m glad you have been to your vet already as I always advise finding out if it’s a medical problem first.
Urinary crystals or stones irritating the bladder, infections or incontinence are all potential suspicions at first.
Then we go to trickier issues of cat psychology and behaviour.
It’s not so much a science as a dark art, sometimes, with cats.
One important detail missing is what the cats’ available toileting facilities are.
The recommended advice is to have one cat litter tray per cat, plus one extra.
So in this household they would need four litter trays, in various locations scattered throughout the house, preferably tucked away from view of other cats.
Stressful interactions around resources like places to sit, places to wee and interactions with humans can occur, even between groups of cats who seem to be friends.
This is my advice for the time being, and prevent him from sitting on your granddaughter’s husband’s lap until he “resets” his favourite place to pee.
It’s not incontinence, as it’s done deliberately in one specific context.
Got a question for Sean?
SEND your queries to [email protected]
Q) MY HAMSTER Roger is really timid around my children.
My six and eight-year-olds are gentle but you can tell that he’s scared at times, when he’s being handled.
We always do supervise.
But what’s the best protocol for getting his confidence up?
We always give him lots of tasty treats.
Emma Jones, Cardiff
A) Sounds like you’re doing the right things but I’m guessing maybe you haven’t taken volume — and little kids’ voices — into account.
Hamsters are sensitive to noise and are probably not a great pet for such young kiddos when they’re excited.
Guinea pigs would be my choice of small furry pet for that age group as they are a bit more robust, and out during the day.
Hamsters are nocturnal.
As you have Roger, respect his activity pattern and encourage quiet interactions, with plenty of treats.
Q) MY CAT Pickles has started drinking substantially more.
He’s also eating more dry food, and seems OK, but is it worth getting him checked over?
Pete Norris, Burnley, Lancs
A) It’s always worth checking over increased thirst in cats and dogs.
Age also is an important factor, which you don’t mention for Pickles.
In older cats I would be concerned about kidney disease and an over-active thyroid, especially with an increased appetite for the latter.
Diabetes can also be a cause and can occur any time in a cat’s life, but mainly happens from middle age onwards.
I would expect some weight changes over time here, too.
In any case, book a check-up with your vet.
Star of the week
RAFFI has been reunited with his stunned family after being missing for six years, leading the RSPCA to call for people to ensure their pets are microchipped.
The black-and-white puss vanished from his home in Old Trafford just before Christmas 2016.
Owner Mustafa Javed and his family searched for months and had a Facebook campaign.
Last month, the charity rescued Raffi and, because he was chipped, he could be reunited with his family.
Mr Javed said: “We wish Raffi could talk and tell us his story.”
The RSPCA said the case shows the importance of microchipping pets.
WIN: Dryrobe Dog
DRYROBE, the leading manufacturer of outdoor changing robes, has launched the Dryrobe Dog for pooches, and other associated pup accessories.
We are offering one reader a bundle including a Dryrobe Advance (for humans!), plus dog robe, change mat and microfibre towel, worth £250.
Send an email headed DRYROBE to [email protected] by March 19.
See dryrobe.com. T&Cs apply.
Barks and laughs as Crufts retuns
WITH Crufts returning in four days time, the show has revealed some of its top facts and funny moments from its 132 years.
It began in 1891, with 2,437 entries and 36 breeds.
This year will be its biggest, with more than 24,000 dogs taking part.
Statistically, cocker spaniels are the biggest winners, having won seven Best in Shows.
Welsh terriers, standard poodles and Irish setters have four wins each.
Some of the show’s funniest moments have come in the Rescue Dog Agility class, which began in 2000 and gives dogs from rescue and rehoming centres their moment.
A spokesman from the Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, said: “Two dogs spring to mind as some of our funniest.
“The first was Kratu, a rescue dog from Romania who in 2020 had various high jinks around the agility course, hid in a tunnel and even stole one of the poles.
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“And Olly the terrier, in 2018, sped crazily round the course, but not in the right order – before happily plodding out of the arena with his tail wagging.”
This year there will be two dogs – a Komondor and a Swedish lapphund – who will be the only ones of their breeds to enter.
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