Capitol Illini Newsletter
In the Spring 2014 Issue ...
What is your cat trying to tell you?
Have you ever wondered what your cat is trying to say to you with all of the tail twitching, ear flipping and all those cute little noises they make? Cats try to tell their owners much information with their body posture and meows, if you could just figure it all out!
Tail motion can tell you what kind of mood your feline may be in. Here is a basic guide:
- Raised tail, straight up– excited and confident.
- A raised tail with a bend at the end– friendly and playful.
- Tail held low to the ground– unsure and anxious, could become aggressive.
- Slowly swishing tail– focused and possibly about to pounce.
- Quickly flicking tail– agitation, fear, aggression.
- Puffy ‘bottle brush tail’- frightened and trying to appear bigger to ward off the potential threat.
- Tail tucked under– fear and uncertainty.
- Tails strait up in the air and rapidly shaking– anticipating some- thing good.
A cat’s body posture and facial expression can also give you some cues.
- A cat laying on its side, legs out– more relaxed in the environment.
- A cat sitting with its feet under it– excited or stimulated.
- Ears alert and forward– attentive and interested.
- Ears to the side or back– may indicate nervousness and progress to aggression as the ears become almost laying flat to the head.
Cat noises can be nearly impossible to translate as they have the ability to make over 20 different types of sound. Each cat has their own individual ‘voice’ and different meanings to their meows! Here are a few interesting facts you may not already know:
- Purr – can be contentment; many cats also purr when they are nervous or painful.
- Chirp – generally heard when a cat is very excited or playful.
- Chatter – made when a cat is highly aroused usually at the site of prey and is frus- trated. (think birds through a window).
Cats are often seen as aloof and mysterious but understanding some of their behavior cues may help you demystify your cat! Visit our website, and read our Cat Friendly blog!
Helping Your Dog Weather a Thunderstorm
- Give your dog a safe place and take them there prior to the storm starting. A dimly lit room with no windows is ideal. Give them their favorite bed, toy, and even a few treats. Pettings, massages and calmly spoken words may help. Do this every time so it becomes a habit.
- Do not punish your dog. Dogs can become destructive, vocalize and become inconsolable with anxiety. Try to be patient and consult one of our veterinary professionals if it is not manageable.
- Consider medications from your Veterinarian here at Capitol Illini. There are a few options that will ease your dog’s anxiety with a pill administered just prior to a thunder- storm. There are relatively few side effects and it can improve your dog’s anxiety.
- Adaptil – This is an artificial canine pheromone that calms dogs. It mimics calming smells that occur naturally in dogs. Adaptil comes in a spray, collar and room air diffuser.
- Thundershirt – This is a shirt made for dogs that provides gentle pressure around the back and shoulders. Thundershirts have been shown to give many dogs a calm feeling.
- If your dog’s storm anxiety causes destructive behavior either to the home, itself, or the bond between you and your pet, please call us for a consult. There are also profes- sional veterinary behaviorists and help out there for you and your dog.
New Product: Apoquel
There’s a new veterinary product on the market ap- proved for dogs over one year of age with allergic itch called Apoquel. This oral tablet can decrease the itch caused by environmental allergens with fewer side effects than traditional medications, such as prednisone. Constant itching or licking from allergies can make you and your pet’s lives miserable. With this new option we hope to help you BOTH get through each allergy season.
Top Cat Toxins of 2013
- Lilies and houseplants
- House hold cleaners and insecticides
- Flea and tick products sold over the counter
- Human RX’s for ADD/ADHD , depression and common cold remedies.
- NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Tylenol
- Glow sticks and glow jewelry
- To learn more about toxin ingestion: go to www.aspca.org/poisoncontrol
Staff Corner: Sam
Sam had previously worked for Capitol Illini as a kennel assistant while she was in high school. She is a recent graduate of the Veterinary Technician Institute at Hickey College. Sam has rejoined our Capitol Illini team as a veteri- nary technician. Sam has a dog Luna, whom she adopted from the Vet Tech school, and 2 cats, Peaches and Wilby. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking, cheering for the Cubs and spending time with her family and pets. We are thrilled to have her back on our team as a tech!