kittens health

Medication is often stigmatized and that really bothers me. I’ve taken meds on and off for years to supplement my focus and combat my anxiety. I’ve adapted because of prescriptions. None of us are weak for this, we’re simply helping our brains get the chemicals they need to function better.

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© Megan Fabbri 2017

other tips for new cat owners / people who may get cats soon:

no, getting a grown cat won’t be boring / less cute! they’ll become just as attached to you as a kitten. get a cat that speaks to you (literally or figuratively, maybe you want a cat that’s chatty). older cats will be so appreciative to have a home. 
people get rid of their cats for all kinds of unfair reasons. just the ones i’ve seen on the craigslist listings in the last 5 minutes: “i am just more of a dog person (7mo old kitten)”, “we hoped she would get over her kittenish behavior, she has not (2yr old cat)”, “i need to get rid of my cat before my baby is born (3yr old cat)”.
you can totally pick up a beautiful, loving, grown up kitty who will be needing some comfort after getting dumped. just look at this girl.

(taken off craigslist) she would be more than happy to live her cat life with you. is she not cute? she is. she is cute. so, ultimately, adopt whatever cat you like, but don’t rule out older cats!

nextly: no no, do NOT declaw your cat. DON’T DO IT. I’M TELLIN YA.
it’s a deeply painful procedure, actually removing the entire first knuckle, not JUST the nail. it causes long-term and potentially permanent pain in the cat, and can lead to nasty infections, behavioral problems, and helplessness if they ever find themselves outside and in need of protection or climbing abilities.
“but i don’t want my cat to scratch me / my kid / my furniture!” okay, i feel you, but there are other, cheaper, less inhumane options. my favorite of which are claw caps.

you gently press on your cat’s foot (to unsheath their claws), and place the soft cap onto their claw using the glue that’s included in any soft paw kit you get. it might take some getting used to on the cat’s part, but it should under no circumstances be painful, and when the kitty’s claws grow, the cap just kinda falls off, and you’ll put another one on.
you can also file or clip their nails down! if you’re too nervous or clumsy to do it, your vet will usually do it for a small fee, or a groomer can take care of it. Personally, I just let my cats’ claws hang out and accept the pokes when they knead on me, since i don’t have any little babies or expensive upholstery in my home. 

No, cats ain’t “low maintenance”. This is a living, social creature, not a chiapet. Especially if you’re raising them from kittenhood, they need a lot of attention and resources. cuddles, playtime, training, health care, feeding, cleaning up their facilities. you get a pet to interact with, not to buy and leave it be! a cat that you don’t socialize is going to be very moody and sad. get a pet if you plan to invest the time and energy they need- if not, maybe we can come back to that cactus idea? 

Cats need meat. I repeat, cats cannot survive without meat. Dogs need meat too- but cats are incapable of creating taurine in their own, and where do you find taurine? meat! hallelujah!! 
Feeding cats a vegan or vegetarian diet is a slow form of starvation and animal abuse. If you’re not comfortable feeding an animal meat, please do not adopt a carnivore. There are plenty of vegetarian mammals that you would be much better suited owning, but do not abuse your cats just because of your own feelings about protein. 
Without enough taurine in a cat’s diet, severe health problems will follow, like blindness, weak and decaying teeth, weak heart, and digestive issues. This is terrible. This objectively sucks. So pretty please give your cat a proper diet!

It’s way way safer to have an indoor cat. I don’t need you to tell me that you want your cat to be with you for many years, ‘cause I already know you do. Outdoor cats are exposed to wild animals, animal abusers, poisonous substances, cars, harsh weather, kidnapping, and diseases. Cats like rolling around in grass and grabbing birds from trees, and that’s great, but having an outdoor cat makes for a steep decrease in their estimated lifespan. The average lifespan of an indoor cat is 16.8 years, whereas outdoor cats average out to a hard-hitting 5.6. Ouch. 
So it’s definitely safer to keep a cat indoors! If you’re adopting a young kitten, it won’t be hard, since they won’t be expecting outdoor time already. If you’re still really into that whole grass idea, you should totally grow some indoor grass for your cat to chill in. 

good.

that’s everything i can think of for the moment, but please don’t be afraid to do your own research on animal care. there are tons of resources out there, and if you have a good vet, they’ll answer any questions you have! 

thank you for readin’ about cat care. as a reward, i’m adding a picture of toby as a baby. enjoy.

2

I haven’t really posted recently because this past week has been an emotional rollercoaster…
My boyfriend and I love our cats with all our hearts, but I’ve been dealing with various health issues for years and in the past few months, it came to the point where I wasn’t sure if I could handle the kitties and if I could provide them with the best possible life while struggling with my own physical health on a daily basis. After much consideration, we decided to look for a new home for Leo and Minnie. As if it was meant to be, we found them an amazing, loving, pet-centred family. They already have a dog and they just lost their cat of 20 years. Yesterday we said goodbye to our furbabies so I’m still an emotional wreck but we know it’s for the best… Leo has a new play partner in their dog, and Minnie has their two story house with a huge window that she can explore to her hearts content. And of course they have each other, because we would never separate them. They immediately bonded with the new family and even though we are sad and miss them deeply, we are so happy for our kitties and their new adventure.

Remember to take your medication today! 🕰 Taking your medication responsibly is the best way to ensure it does its job; helping you function at your happiest and healthiest! Take note of whether you need to take yours at consistent times, with meals, or of any other criteria specific to your meds.

4

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, so let’s talk about how we can end the stigma surrounding mental health 🌱

🗨 TALK🗨

Start a dialogue about your own experiences
💖 Mental Health is still stigmatized and that can make it difficult to talk about openly, but the more we talk, the more we help to normalize the discussion. But it’s not just about helping the world see Mental Health differently, but about your perception too; talking about your problems can help you work through them, and see them in a more realistic light, and it helps the people around you understand your needs.

Challenge incorrect information
💖 If you see someone spreading incorrect information about mental health, be brave and step in. Remind people that mental illnesses are disorders of the brain, and are usually due to chemical imbalances, in the same way that disorders of other organs might be due to a vitamin deficiency, or the body not being able to produce the right amount of hormones.

Ask others about their experiences
💖 Encourage others to talk about their own mental health issues, if they feel comfortable doing so.  

💭 LISTEN💭

Provide a judgement-free environment
💖 Sometimes people just need to vent, rather than have a discussion, and as well-meaning as you might be you need to respect that. Ask if they’d like to discuss their issues or if they’d just like to vent and be given a sympathetic shoulder to lean on. Mental Illness can make us hyper sensitive to perceived criticism, and feel unable to open up. Create a judgement-free environment by giving them your full attention, and by allowing people to talk at their own pace, without interruption.

Ask what they need, don’t assume
💖 What we need and what someone else needs might be two different things, so ask and listen to what someone says when they talk about their needs. It might be tempting to think “they’re just being lazy” or “if I give them a push they’ll get there eventually”, but respecting their wishes is not just about whether or not they know best. Ask them if they need their boundaries pushed, or if today is a good day to try. There will be days where they are more open to pushing their boundaries. If you force them too early you may deter them from trying again, and it may hurt their trust in you.  

💬 CHECK💬

Check in
💖 Now’s a good time to check up on the people around you. Don’t just say hello, ask how they are feeling; specifically how they feel mental-health wise. It becomes a habit to say “I’m fine”, even when you’re not, and mental illness makes it harder to be forthcoming with how we feel. Give them the option to say “well, now that you mention it…” instead of the usual small talk.

Check up
💖 Have you been ignoring your own mental health needs? Procrastinating on getting proper professional help? Now’s a good time to make an appointment with your GP for a check up!

Check yourself
💖 Even the most open-minded of us need to keep our own privilege and bias in-check. If you hear someone talk about an issue or symptom they face that you think might be exaggerated, made-up, or their own fault, consider that your own bias, privilege, or lack of understanding may be clouding your judgement. Everyone’s experiences are different, so try to remember not to compare. Have a judgement-free discussion, give advice or offer alternatives, but in the end: trust THEIR judgement of THEIR situation.