Tag Archives: cat-safe plants

Tips for Making a Purrfect Catio

Cats are very curious and playful, and often love to explore. These little furballs are very small, though, and can easily find themselves in danger outdoors. That’s why we always recommend keeping kitties inside. However, you can still let your cute pet enjoy the stimulation and entertainment of the Great Outdoors, by bringing the outdoors in to her. Here, a Brandon, FL vet offers some tips on making a great catio.

Picking A Place

A screened in porch or patio is a great spot for Fluffy’s room, but they aren’t the only options. A spare bedroom will do nicely. A sunny corner will also work. Or, if you have a yard, you can also build your furball her own enclosure.

Plants

Kitties are very curious, and love to sniff at and nibble on plants. Fluffy is also rather fond of hiding behind green leaves and pretending to be a vicious predator. Set out some pet-safe plants for your kitty. This will also make your place look nice! Some good options are Rubber tree plants, Boston ferns, Ponytail palms, Areca palms, Money trees, Spider plants, and African violets. You can also plant herbs in small pots. Catnip is, of course, the obvious choice, but you can also plant rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage. Check the ASPCA site here for more good options.

Furniture

A catio can make a great coffee spot or reading nook, so you definitely want to put a few pieces of furniture out for yourself. However, your feline friend will also appreciate having a few things of her own. Cat towers are a wonderful option, as they offer kitties napping spots, jungle gyms, and manicure stations, and also give them a good vantage point. Fluffy may also enjoy having pet tents or tipis to explore. Comfy beds are another must. If you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your budget, go the DIY route. You’ll find some amazing ideas online!

Entertainment

Our feline buddies certainly do love to lounge around. However, Fluffy does still need entertainment options for when she is awake. Set out lots of toys for your kitty. If possible, consider putting a bird feeder up in your yard, so your furry little voyeur can relax and watch neighborhood wildlife.

Does your cat need an exam, vaccinations, or spay/neuter surgery? Contact us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, today!

Cat Care for Apartment Dwellers

Cats are often the number one choice of pet for people who live in apartments. One reason for this is simply that most apartment complexes and landlords accept cats, while many don’t allow dogs. Fluffy also doesn’t need much room. However, if you and your feline pal live in an apartment, you’ll want to take some steps to make your home safe, fun, and comfy for your kitty. A Brandon, FL vet offers tips on how to do that below.

Entertainment

While it’s probably safe to say that cats enjoy doing as little as possible, they do still need entertainment. Offer your furball lots of toys, and take time to play with her regularly.

Plants

Give Fluffy a taste of nature by setting out some pet-safe plants. Kitties love to hide behind green leaves and watch their humans! You can find a list of safe options online here.

Vertical Space

If you don’t have a lot of room, get Fluffy some vertical space. This can be a cat tower, kitty shelves, or even a catwalk. You can also put a scratching post on your wall: just attach a piece of carpet to a smooth board, and then hang the board on the wall.

Veterinary Care

Even if Fluffy lives indoors—which is much safer for her—she’ll still need regular veterinary care. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule.

Kittyproofing

Cats are very playful and mischievous, and don’t necessarily know what is and isn’t safe for them. Actually, some kitties seem to be most interested in the things they shouldn’t be playing with! Make your home safe by removing anything that may be a hazard to your furry pal. This includes toxic plants; plastic bags and ties; chemicals; medication; and anything small or sharp.

Catio

Do you have a screened porch or patio? Make it a catio! Just add some pet furniture, toys, and a few pet-safe plants.

Windows

Most cats love looking out windows. If you have blinds, don’t be surprised if Fluffy makes herself a little door. This can actually be a bit dangerous, so you may want to get different window coverings, like drapes. If you have a screen, make sure it locks, so your furball can’t accidentally fall out.

Please contact us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

Holiday Hazards for Cats

With the holidays approaching, many kitties are partaking in seasonal kitty traditions, like helping their humans with wrapping gifts, or bringing down Christmas trees. Fluffy is certainly an adorable part of the family, and is great for snuggling with on those Florida ‘winter’ nights. However, this can be a dangerous time of year for her. Here, a Brandon, FL vet lists some holiday dangers for people owned by cats to be aware of.

Plants

Kitties often like to nibble on green leaves, or peek out from behind them. However, many popular holiday plants are toxic to Fluffy. Lilies, for example, are very poisonous to cats. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and pine needles are also unsafe.

The Tree

It could probably be argued that cats are as dangerous to trees as trees are to cats. Fluffy may very well see your Christmas tree as a cat tower hung with fun toys! However, your furball could get entangled, or cut herself on sharp ornaments or bulbs. If you get a real tree, the water itself is also a concern, as it could contain residue from sap and/or chemicals, such as fertilizer. Opt for an artificial tree, which will be harder for your feline buddy to climb.

Decorations

Many seasonal decorations can be hazardous to kitties! Ribbons, tinsel, and ornament hooks are a few things to be concerned with here. Strands of lights are also dangerous, as are edible decorations, such as popcorn strands. Pick up strands of tinsel and ornament hooks off the floor, and keep other hazardous decorations out of paw’s reach.

Food

Those mouth-watering holiday foods are a big part of holiday traditions. Many people like to offer their furry friends special treats at this time of year. This is fine, but you do need to be careful with what you offer your feline friend. Never give Fluffy anything that contains garlic, onion, scallions, or chives. Nuts, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, pitted fruits, and sugary foods are also on the no-no list, as are meat on the bone; grapes, currants, and raisins; and raw meat, dough, or yeast.

Flames

Candles and fireplaces offer that special, cozy glow, but they definitely aren’t pet-safe. If you burn candles or use potpourri burners, keep them in high spots Fluffy can’t reach.

Season’s Greetings from all of us here at Animal Medical Center. Please call us, your Brandon, FL vet clinic, anytime!

Tips for Creating a Catio

Do you keep your feline friend indoors? If so, that’s great! Fluffy may think she’s invincible, but she’s actually pretty small, and is very vulnerable in the great outdoors. Cars, weather, other kitties, gators, and heat can all endanger outdoor cats. However, there’s no reason your pet can’t enjoy a taste of nature. Read on as a local Valrico, FL vet offers tips on setting up a catio.

Picking The Spot

A screened in porch or patio is a purrfect spot for a catio. If you don’t want to let the A/C out, put a cat door in for your pet. You can also use a spare bedroom or even just a quiet corner.

Plants

Our feline pals love to nibble on and hide behind green plants. Set out some pet-safe plants for your furball. Some good options are Boston ferns, Money tree plants, Spider plants, Rubber trees, and African violets. Certain palms, such as Areca palms and Ponytail palms, are also fine, as are some succulents. You can also grow fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage, and parsley. Catnip is, of course, a must. Plant small containers of it for your kitty. If you really want to spoil your four-legged companion, plant a living mat of cat grass in a storage tote, and give Fluffy her own little lawn. You can find a full list of both toxic and nontoxic plants online at the ASPCA website here.

Purrniture

A catio is a great spot for a cat tower! If possible, position it so that it faces a yard or field, and then set a birdfeeder in Fluffy’s line of sight. Your feline buddy will also appreciate cat walks, kitty condos, and, of course, cardboard boxes. Set out some things for yourself as well. This may very well end up being your favorite coffee spot or reading nook!

Toys

Playing isn’t just fun for Fluffy: it’s also very good for her, both physically and mentally. Offer your feline companion lots of fun toys to smack around. Catnip mice and small balls will always be popular with our furry pals, but you can also get your frisky pet more modern toys, like catnip bubbles, robotic mice, automated laser pointers, or remote-controlled “swimming” fish.

Please reach out to us, your local Valrico, FL vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Keeping An Indoor Cat Entertained

Do you keep your cat indoors? If so, that’s great! Fluffy is both happier and healthier staying inside, where she’s protected from weather, cars, gators, and other hazards. However, indoor cats do need entertainment and stimulation to stay happy. Believe it or not, kitties can get bored! A Valrico, FL vet discusses keeping your furball amused in this article.

Toys

Playing benefits cats in several ways. First and foremost, pouncing on that catnip mouse or chasing that laser pointer around is great for Fluffy physically. Even a few minutes of play can keep your frisky pet strong and healthy! Offer your furry friend lots of fun toys, and play with her regularly.

Catio

If you have an enclosed porch or patio, or even a sunroom, consider making it into a catio. Set out some pet-safe plants for your feline pal to nibble on and hide behind. This will give Fluffy a taste of nature, and offer her some mental stimulation. You can find a complete list of nontoxic plants listed online at the ASPCA website.

Purrniture

Cats love to explore small spaces. Get Fluffy some pieces of kitty furniture to lounge around on. Cat towers are great, because they provide kitties with napping spots, lookout points, nail care stations, and jungle gyms, all in one. Your feline buddy will also approve of pet tents or tipis. Of course, your pet may be thrilled with a cardboard box or two.

Vertical Space

Kitties don’t have much of a view from ground level, so they have to climb to high vantage points to properly survey their kingdom and humans. Give Fluffy some vertical space. Cat towers, as mentioned above, are great. You can also give your furry pal some wall-mounted furniture, or even a catwalk.

Stimulation

Make sure that Fluffy has at least one comfy spot before a window with a good view. If possible, put a birdfeeder up in your feline friend’s line of sight. Kitties love spying on local wildlife! It’s also good to keep a radio or TV on for your pet when she is home alone. The music and voices will help keep her from feeling lonely. You can even offer your furball DVDs made just for cats!

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Valrico, FL pet clinic, for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re always here to help!