Tag Archives: vet Brandon FL

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.


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.


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!


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!

Simple Ways to Fight Fleas and Ticks

You may have heard quite a bit about ticks in the news lately. In recent years, there has been a huge spike in tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Ticks can even cause people to become allergic to meat! Fleas are also a nuisance and a health hazard. These parasites can carry diseases that affect both people and pets, so protecting your pet from them is very important. A Valrico, FL vet offers advice on fighting fleas and ticks in this article.

Parasite Control

The best way to keep fleas and ticks away is to simply keep up with your pet’s parasite control regime. You can choose from a variety of products, including sprays, topical drops, shampoos, and collars. Just be sure to follow the package directions carefully. Ask your vet for advice.


Your vacuum cleaner is a great weapon in the war against fleas and ticks. Do your pet’s favorite hangout spots and high-traffic areas daily, and vacuum more thoroughly once a week. When you finish, immediately empty the canister into a plastic bag. Then, seal the bag and dispose of it outdoors. You’ll also need to vacuum your upholstery and vehicles.


Fleas love to lurk in tall grasses. Keeping your lawn neatly mowed will help control infestations. Be sure to remove debris, such as fallen branches and dead plants. These things make very inviting tick habitats. If you have hedges, trim them back so they aren’t touching the walls of your house. This can give fleas and ticks a bridge into your home! Also, don’t put birdfeeders too close to the house. Wild birds often carry ticks or fleas. If you have a garden and/or fruit trees, pick up fallen produce regularly. It can attract rats, opossums, and other animals, which may be carrying fleas.


Keeping your house clean will help keep unwanted visitors out. Piles of clothes make inviting nests, so keep laundry off the floor. Cleaning your windowsills and baseboards regularly will also help. If you’re fighting an infestation, wash or iron your pet’s bedding weekly. You can also sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth on your doorjambs and windowsills. It’s safe for people and pets, but deadly to insects.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Please contact us, your Valrico, FL pet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!