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Do I Really Need To Get My Indoor Cat A Rabies Vaccine?

So we all know that you can’t get a dog license without having an up to date rabies vaccine certificate but cats don’t need to be licensed so do you really need to bother getting a vaccine? Let’s find out!

Edit: It is the law in Massachusetts to get your cat vaccinated for rabies however we want to educate people about why it’s important.

Most of us over a certain age were traumatized by Ol’ Yeller enough that we know the basics of rabies: foaming at the mouth, random attacking, growling and snarling, eventual death. But does anybody even get rabies any more? The good news is not often. While over 40,000 people in the US are treated for exposure to rabies each year there are only 1-3 human cases of confirmed and fatal rabies each year in the US. Pet-wise, only about 10% of rabies cases reported each year occur in pets. As long as you and your cat don’t live anywhere near the other 90% of animals that make up the rest of the rabies cases you should be OK. What are those animals, you ask?

Raccoons

Skunks

Bats

and Foxes

So basically, if you live in New England or, you know, the world, you’d better keep reading.

I have an Indoor cat, that’s no problem for me!

This argument reminds me of the time my then-9 year old son was climbing up on a retaining wall. He was about 5 feet up walking along the edge when I said, “You’re gonna fall.”

“No I’m not!” he replied

Then he fell.

The point being that anyone who’s had indoor cats will tell you that it’s unrealistic to think they will never, ever escape. They’re cats. They’re going to decide to escape some day just to prove you’re not the boss of them. Then they’re going to sit down and take a bath 5 feet from you until you go to pick them up and then they will flounce away just out of your reach to sit down and bathe again. This is what they do.

OK fine. So my cat may escape someday. What’s the worst that could happen?

That’s a fair question. Here’s a possible scenario. Fluffy escapes one day. She’s gone for a bit and when she finally comes home she has a wound. You don’t know where it came from or how she got it but it’s kind of deep (maybe a bite? A scratch?) and you just don’t know so you need to get it checked out. You take Fluffy to the vet. Here’s where things get interesting.

If Fluffy has an up to date rabies vaccine the vet will treat the wound, give her a booster shot just to be safe, and send you both home. Maybe $100-ish? Maybe less? Depends on your vet but not the end of the world. You continue on with your lives.

If Fluffy doesn’t have an up to date vaccine the vet is required by law to put her in quarantine until it can be determined whether she’s carrying rabies. Rabies tends to incubate for awhile and if you can’t prove where the wound came from there is a possibility, no matter how remote, that she could have the disease it and transmit it for weeks before showing symptoms. What that means for Fluffy is a lengthy quarantine period with the vet (state rules for how long vary, some are 6 months) that you get to pay for. Now you’re talking about thousands of dollars. Oh, and if Fluffy scratched you or broke your or a family member’s skin in any way while you were checking her wound, bundling her into the carrier, etc… You get to join those 40,000 people who have to undergo preventative treatment. It’s series of shots. Not one. A series.

So trust us when we say that $25 for a rabies vaccine for your cat at our clinic on March 17th is really something you should do.

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Spring Photos With Smalls Help Our Littles Get Adopted

You don’t have to adopt one to help them get more visibility and help them practice socializing with people!

You don’t have to have a small animal as a pet to participate in our Spring Photos With Smalls, just a fondness for them.  When you arrive you’ll be able to pick who from among our photoshoot “stars” you want to take your photo with.  Then you’ll be able to pet and socialize with your new friend while our professional photographer takes a great keepsake spring photo.  The digital copy is professionally edited and emailed right to you to print and send out as often as you like.

Not only do these photos help us raise some “lettuce” for our small animals at the shelter but they also help raise awareness for the small animals we have here available for adoption.  Someone may see your photo and say, “Hey, I’ve been looking for a guinea pig just like that!”

It also helps our littles, who spend much of their day in spacious but quiet cages, socialize with humans and get even more used to being handled.  Then, when a potential adopter comes to the shelter they will meet a friendly, snuggly bunny who’s used to people instead of a shy one who might not present as well.

So think about stopping by for a Spring Photo With Smalls on March 23rd, we’re “hopping” you will!

 

 

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How Much Sleep Does Your Cat Really Need?

 A guest post by Adam Kyle 

patchesIt’s always tempting to measure your pet’s internal clock by comparing it with your own. After all, many of us come to think of our pets as “furry people.” In reality, they’re biologically much different from us, with an entirely different set of internal requirements needed for functioning at their best.

And as any cat owner can tell you, a feline will often have a very different sense of when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be wide awake. That said, it’s important to understand the difference between a well-rested cat up and about and an anxious, unhealthy animal that’s not getting the right amount of sleep.

So exactly how much sleep does a cat actually need each night to be at his or her best?

Cats Sleep Longer Than You Might Expect

On average, cats can sleep between 12 and 14 hours each day. By comparison, the average adult human needs seven to nine hours of nightly rest. So why do cats, who are much smaller than the average person, need nearly twice as much sleep?

Theories range, but many believe it’s because of their hunter-related instincts. House cats among the most successful hunters out of all predatory species. To catch prey, they need to be alert, agile, and very fast. By sleeping for so long, they allow their bodies to become especially energized. Can they help it if all that energy gets released at 3 o’clock in the morning?

Why They Love Cardboard Boxes So Much

While your cat might doze away on your mattress, studies have shown they seem to have a quirky preference for resting in cardboard boxes. Scientists believe they find these boxes to be comfortable and provide a sense of security. In one study, a researcher found that newly arrived cats to a shelter who had a box to sneak away to weren’t as stressed out as the cats who lacked one.

So the next time you see your cat sleeping in an old shoe box instead of the expensive cat bed you purchased, just go with it.

If Your Cat Is Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little

Even though it might be normal for your cat to sleep about half the day, it might be a sign of a serious health problem. It’s true that obese cats tend to sleep longer than healthier felines. It’s also possible that severe stress might be to blame for your cat not getting the right amount of sleep. Talk to a veterinarian if you suspect that a serious health issue is to blame for your cat’s sleep troubles.

Cats are amazing animals, and it only makes sense that we’re curious about their sleep behaviors. They can keep us up at night, quite literally, thinking about it. As long as your cat gets the right food and a sizeable amount of exercise daily, you have no reason to be alarmed if your feline friend hasn’t budged from their cat bed for more than half a day.  Instead, feel free to be amazed, and maybe a little bit jealous.

is a sleep expert at MattressReviews.net. A workaholic by nature, it wasn’t until his late twenties that he realized the importance of sleep for his health. At that point, he focused on learning everything he could about sleep. Now, Adam specializes in how his environment and his physical well-being affect his sleep. A San Francisco native, he finds the sounds of the city soothing and struggles to get to sleep in quieter environments.