• Provide plenty of fresh drinking water at all times
  • Keep your pet’s kennel well ventilated and positioned near a well shaded area where your cat can avoid midday sun and heat
  • IF YOU SUSPECT HEAT STRESS OR STROKE (ex; collapse, extremely heavy panting, or excessive drooling) SEEK VETERINARY CARE IMMEDIATELY

Skin and Body:

  • Keep your pet well groomed. Long hair and hair mats can decrease your cats ability to keep cool and contribute to skin disease. So regular brushing and grooming are needed.
  • Vaccinate your cat against infectious diseases. Cats usually have more contact with other cats during warmer months and disease can spread more easily.

Parasite Prevention:

  • Use monthly flea and tick preventives. Cats should take these preventives year round. It is often easier and cheaper to prevent parasites than to treat them when a cat is infected or infested. Take your cat for fecal exams for internal parasites at least yearly.

Toxic Substances:

  • The poisons that kill pests (such as snails, mice, and slugs) are lethal to cats too if consumed. Limit your cats access to places where these poisons are stored in and around your home.
  • Lawn herbicides can also poison pets, so keep your cat out of the yard while spraying herbicides and off the grass for 3 days afterward. Washing your cats paws thoroughly with soap and cool water before coming back in side will help remove herbicidal residue.

Motor Vehicles:

  • The temperature inside your car can EASILY climb to 120degrees when parked in the sun. NEVER leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. Even with the windows open slightly, the temperature still rises.


  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • unintended weight loss
  • change in appetite- increased or decreased
  • change in normal activity level: lethargy, hyperactivity or restlessness
  • limping
  • sudden inability to move back legs
  • crying in pain when touched
  • clumsy or disoriented behavior
  • seizures
  • any loss of consciousness
  • coughing
  • panting
  • any difficulty breathing or labored breathing
  • any blue, purple, or pale hue to the tongue and gums
  • sudden collapse
  • excessive drooling
  • straining in the litter box without producing any urine
  • crying out while urinating
  • change in urination: location, frequency, amount, color, smell
  • bloated abdomen
  • sneezing excessively
  • uncontrolled bleeding
  • nose-bleed or bruising anywhere on body
  • hair loss
  • runny eyes or nose
  • squinting

One of the most common behavioral and health problems cats have is eliminating outside the box. In some cats, this is a sign of a urinary tract problem, such as urinary tract infection, increased urine production (diseases like diabetes, and many others, cause this), urinary pain from crystals/stones, and other primary urinary problems. For defecating outside the box, it may be a sign of bowel discomfort due to constipation or diarrhea. For cats with urine marking, the problem may be a sign of anxiety or stress in the cat, and respond to medication for anxiety. For cats with inappropriate elimination which is neither marking nor medical, improving the nature of the litter box and retraining their habits is key. For some of these cats, anxiety is also a component.  In older cats, especially over the age of 12, arthritis may make travelling to or entering the box uncomfortable, motivating the cat to go in other places.

The first step in evaluating this disorder is to take a detailed history about what the cat is doing, where, and how often, and including any changes in the household (such as changes in family members or pets living at home, changes in where the cat lives, home construction projects, etc.).

Next, a full physical exam and urinalysis is performed to help determine whether there is a medical cause for the signs.  If there is a medical cause, it is critical to treat it.  This may require medication for a short time or for life if the cat has a chronic disease.  In most cases, the cats do best on a canned food which helps them have good nutrition, more water intake, and a healthy weight. Your vet may prescribe a specific canned food if your cat has a urinary tract problem.

If your cat has no urinary infections, crystals or other abnormalities, the most common cause (behavior sometimes in conjunction with anxiety/stress) is likely the culprit. For these cats, behavioral modification using confinement so that they only have one place to eliminate (the litter box) is highly effective in getting the cat to resume consistent litter box use. This may also require making changes to reduce the availability of other places your cat is currently using (picking up throw rugs, putting laundry in closed bins, etc) to help change the cat’s habits.   For some cats, especially those in which we can identify that anxiety is definitely the cause, we may also use a medication to reduce their anxiety, since treating the underlying cause is the best way to solve the problem. However, even if your cat is on antianxiety medication, it will work best in conjunction with the behavior modification plan.

We do not know why some cats become stressed by what may seem like small changes in their household, especially since other people and cats in the house may not show similar signs of stress. However, we do know that cats which show this pattern of inappropriate elimination as a response to anxiety may do so repeatedly.

Further, once a cat starts using an inappropriate place to urinate or defecate, it may become habit, or attract other cats to use that place inappropriately also. Therefore, if any of your cats start to have inappropriate elimination, contact your vet promptly so we can start treatment and minimize the risk of ongoing property damage or bad habits developing.

Help Your Cat Like To Use The Box

Cats can be finicky about their litter boxes. Here are some things you can do to help ensure your litter boxes are attractive and not off-putting to your cats. We want to make the boxes some place the cat wants to go, rather than a place the cat avoids.

  1. Plenty of boxes. Have one more box than you have cats: if you have 3 cats, have 4 boxes. Cats often want to go all at the same time, first thing in the morning. If all the boxes are occupied, someone may end up going outside the box.
  2. Clean boxes. Make sure all boxes are cleaned every day. No one wants to use a dirty box.
  3. Consistent litter substrate. Some cats don’t like change. If you’re not sure what litter your cat likes, you can line up a row of boxes with different types of litter and see which one the cat uses. If your cats have been consistently using a specific litter type, don’t change it. Change in litter type (particle size, substance, smell, etc) can make the box unattractive and make a cat stop using the box.
  4. Boxes nearby. If you have multiple levels, have a box on every floor/story of your house. If your house is large, make sure there are boxes at each end of the house so that cats don’t have to travel really far to use one.
  5. Easy to access. Make sure at least some boxes are easy to access. If a box is behind a closed bathroom or bedroom door, the cat can’t get to it. Upstairs, downstairs, over/under baby gates, and otherwise hard to access boxes may deter a cat which is tired, sore, or needs to go urgently. If you have an older cat or a cat recovering from injury, low-sided boxes that are easy to step into, or ramps leading into higher-sided boxes, can make it easier to use the box even with sore legs.  Boxes should be 1.5 times the length of the cat. You can use plastic storage bins or other items that are adequate in size and shape if commercial boxes are too small.
  6. No scary things nearby. If the box is next to the laundry machines, and they are noisily running, it may scare off a cat. High traffic areas, places near dogs, or ones requiring the cat to go past an aggressive cat housemate may all keep the cat from feeling comfortable going to, and sitting in, the box. Try to place the boxes where they are peaceful to enter and use.
  7. Privacy. Try using covered, top-entry, or other box styles (without removing the old style boxes) to see if your cat is more comfortable using a box that gives the cat more privacy.
  8. Humor preferences. If you aren’t sure what your cat likes, offer a litter box buffet – a row of different boxes (covered, open, automatic; clumping, clay, other litter types, etc) so you can find out what your cat prefers to use. Sometimes finding the right combination does the trick.

Litter Box Boot Camp: Behavioral Modification for Inappropriate Elimination

All cats who start using non-litter-box places to eliminate need to be encouraged to use the box as the one, and only, suitable place to go. The best way to do this is to give the cat a very simple, routine life where the only attractive place to eliminate is the litter box.

Create a “studio apartment” for your cat. Start with a large dog crate.  These are typically made of thick wire and have a removable plastic tray in the bottom.  Place in the crate a litter box with litter, a food and water bowl, and an empty plastic cat carrier (the cat’s bed). This gives the cat a place to eat, drink, sleep and eliminate. It’s no-frills but it provides all the cat’s needs.

The cat should stay in this “studio apartment” until he/she has used the litter box consistently with no mistakes for 2 weeks.

Each level or phase will last two or more weeks, until the cat has been successful using the box for 2 weeks. If the cat fails, then go back to level one.

Level One:  Confined to “studio apartment” unless on a leash or in your arms.

Level Two: Confined to “studio apartment” unless within eyesight in same room with you and only out while you are awake/paying attention.

Level Three: Confined to “studio apartment” unless within the same room, or one room away (but still within eyesight) and only out while you are awake/paying attention.

Level Four: Confined to “studio apartment” unless you are at home and only out while you are awake/paying attention.

Level Five: Confined to “studio apartment” while you are at work or asleep. Loose in house when you are home, even if you are not paying direct attention, and while you run short errands (less than a few hours).

Level Six/regular life: Loose in house at all times even when you are not home for more than a few hours/overnight.

This Boot Camp may seem like it’s a lot to do. However, it really takes less effort than you think, especially when you realize you won’t have to spend a significant time every day cleaning the messes your cat was leaving in your house.  Also, Level One is a great time to thoroughly clean places where your cat previously eliminated, and brainstorm ways to keep them from being used again once you reach the next level.

Eliminate attractive places to go: Pick up bathmats and throw rugs. Place clean and dirty laundry in closed closets, baskets with lids, or other inaccessible areas. Use of scatmats and other deterrents can also help keep cats off of places they used to go.

Husbandry and Management for Inappropriate Elimination

In addition to the already discussed changes in the litter boxes themselves, there are household or environmental management changes that can help reduce the cat’s anxiety and significantly improve behavior.

Visit the Indoor Cat Initiative for helpful tips on making your indoor cat’s life as enriched as possible.

Some helpful things you can do include:

– Place Feliway diffusers in all rooms (see package for details). If unable to put them in all spaces, put them in places where the cat eliminates to help reduce the cat’s stress in these areas.

– Offer high perches such as cat trees, empty shelves, etc. for your cat to enjoy

– Ensure each of your cats have one-on-one play and quality time with you; even 10 minutes twice a day can really help relax your cat and help your cat feel less stress.

– Give your cat a room of his/her own – an entire room, a closet, bathroom, or large crate – where  your pet can retreat when desiring alone time.

– Have night lights where cats sleep in multi-cat households so no one gets startled by other cats moving around in the dark.

– Try to keep to a similar daily routine in which events, such as meals, happen at consistent times.

– Try to avoid having heavily scented items near the cat’s favorite hangouts, litter box, and food.  Heavy scents in these areas may deter the cat from using them or make the cat uncomfortable when she/he does use them.


Hyperthyroidism is a generalized, high metabolic state caused by oversecretion of thyroid hormones by the thyroid glands. It is a common disease in adult cats. The thyroid glands are a pair of small, soft glands that lie deep in the tissues on the underside of the neck. In a cat, each normal thyroid gland is about the size of a cooked rice grain. In most cases of hyperthyroidism, the condition is caused by overfunctioning benign tumors (nodules) in the thyroid glands. Malignant thyroid tumors are rare, causing only 1–2% of cases of hyperthyroidism in cats. Hyperthyroidism is rare in dogs and is usually caused by thyroid tumors or oversupplementation with thyroid hormones used for treating low thyroid levels.


Since thyroid hormone is a major controller of the body’s metabolic rate, a common symptom of hyperthyroid cats is that they typically lose weight despite having an increased— sometimes ravenous—appetite. Vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, due to the overeating and the changes in metabolism of the intestine. Some cats drink more water and urinate larger volumes than normal, but many other diseases may cause this symptom, too. Hyperactivity is a common sign, and other behavioral changes may occur, such as aggressiveness. Hyperthyroid cats often give the impression of being surprisingly active and energetic for their age, and unfortunately this effect of excess thyroid hormone is outweighed by its negative impact on the heart, the muscles, and the skin, all of which are overburdened by hyperthyroidism. It is important to realize that although the increased energy level of a hyperthyroid cat is appealing, the negative effects that come with it are harmful, and treating hyperthyroidism often causes a cat to “slow down,” showing a decrease in energy level that is more appropriate and is compatible with more normal, long-lasting function of the heart, muscles, skin, and other organs. During an examination, your veterinarian may detect a rapid heart rate or a heart murmur when listening to the chest with a stethoscope because the increased metabolic rate present in hyperthyroidism affects the heart. Your veterinarian may also be able to feel the enlarged thyroid gland simply by palpation (feeling the lower neck with the fingertips).


Most cases of hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed by routine testing for thyroid hormone (T4), which is a simple blood test that specifically measures the circulating level of thyroid hormone. Rarely, some cats suspected of having hyperthyroidism will have normal or equivocal (“grey-zone”) T4 levels on blood testing, and additional tests may be recommended to determine whether or not hyperthyroidism is truly present. Chest x-rays or ultrasound examinations may be recommended to evaluate the heart effects of hyperthyroidism


Untreated hyperthyroidism gradually produces increasingly serious symptoms, with severely affected cats becoming emaciated, ravenously hungry, and hyperactive, extremely irritable, or aggressive. Cats that are successfully treated by any of the three methods described below can return to normal, and the long-term outlook for a normal lifespan is good.


Hyperthyroidism can be managed one of three ways: with daily antithyroid medication, with surgical removal of the thyroid gland, or with radioactive iodine treatment. From a medical standpoint, the best of the three is radioactive iodine treatment, but it may not be easily accessible or available.


  • During methimazole treatment, if you notice any of the side effects listed in the treatment section. SIGNS TO WATCH FOR Indications of uncontrolled hyperthyroidism: • Excessive appetite with weight loss. • Vomiting of food or diarrhea. • Hyperactivity or inactivity. • Drinking excessive amounts of water or urinating larger volumes than normal.


  • Cats on methimazole therapy need examination (for the veterinarian to listen to the heart with the stethoscope and check your cat’s weight) and laboratory testing (blood samples) every few weeks during the first few months to monitor for side effects, and periodically thereafter based on symptoms


  1. Canned cat food is an excellent way to encourage water consumption, because it is high in moisture content. Most cats like the taste. It can be warmed in the microwave to enhance the smell for a fussy eater. Try to feed some canned food every day. You can also add water to the canned or dry food.
  2. Provide fresh water daily. Cats are very sensitive to temperature and taste of water.
  3. Make sure the water bowl is filled to the brim all the time. Cats have sensitive whiskers that may not like touching the side of a partially full bowl.
  4. If your cat prefers to drink from a dripping tap, make sure it can always get to the tap/sink. Water fountains may be liked by these cats.
  5. Keep the water bowl clean. Fungal growths can begin at the bottom of the bowl quickly (within a day or two). Stainless steel, glass and ceramics are easier to keep clean than plastic bowls. Some cats prefer clear glass bowls or coffee cups. Experiment with different styles of water dishes.
  6. You can add a drop or two of tuna juice or broth (beef or chicken) in the water. Some cats like broth ice cubes.
  7. Some cats do not like tap water. You can try:
    • Bottled water (non-carbonated, unflavored, no extra minerals)
    • Brita water
    • Distilled water


Most cats do a great job of keeping their own ears clean. Their grooming habits are so meticulous that they will even clean behind and in the inner flap of the ears. However, cats will sometimes need help cleaning their ears. It’s also a good idea to frequently check your cat’s ears to look for problems lurking inside the ears that could become more serious.

  • Inspect your cat’s ears.Note that you will only be able to see the outer aspects of the ear; you won’t be able to see inside the ear canal or eardrum since these turn in horizontally where the ear meets the head Grooming is the easiest and least traumatic during moments when your cat is looking for attention or feeling sleepy. A cat who is in an energetic or playful mood is more likely to struggle and scratch during grooming.
  • Grip the top of the ear.Gently turn the ear flap inside out until you can clearly see the interior. Look into the cat’s ear canal as much as you can. Do this for each ear. Make sure to check the ears in an area with plenty of light, such as near a window or under a bright light in your home.
  • Determine whether you need to clean the ear.You can tell if a cat’s ear is clean because it will be pale pink in color, have minimal earwax and dirt and no debris or odor. If the cat has clean ears, this is a good indication that your cat is capable of self-cleaning its own ears. Note that there is no need for you to clean the ears if they appear to be clean.
  • Take your cat to the vet if you spot any abnormalities.It is normal for cats to have earwax and dirt on, in and near their ears. Any other discharge in and around the ears, however, is abnormal.[4] Take your cat to the vet right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:
  • Green or yellow pus or red, dark red or black discharge from the ears. These could be indicative of a bacterial or fungal infection, or a mite infestation.
  • Unusual odors coming from the ears. Redness or swelling in and around the ears.
  • Balance issues or a constant head tilt.If you see nothing more than some dirt or mild waxy buildup, you can clean the cat’s ears at home.
  • Make sure your cat is relaxed. Some cats do not like having their ears cleaned and can put up a struggle. Bring your cat to a quiet room where there are no other pets. Your may need to have a second person readily available who can help you hold the cat while you clean the ears.
  • The person holding the cat should use minimal restraint. A grip that is too firm will cause the cat to become less cooperative and more likely to claw to escape.
  • If the cat won’t cooperate, you can also try to “burrito” the cat by wrapping her body (including all limbs) securely in a thick towel.
  • If the cat becomes too agitated during any part of the cleaning process, stop. You don’t want her to claw or bite you.
  • Obtain a liquid ear cleaner.A good ear cleaner is mildly astringent and quick drying. You can purchase an ear cleaner at the veterinarian’s office Water should not be used as an ear cleaner because it can sit in the ear and allow yeast to grow.
  • Bring the ear cleaner to room temperature before use.Bringing the ear cleaner to room temperature will make the experience more comfortable for your cat. Most humans wouldn’t like cold ear drops going in their ears. The same is true for cats
  • Place a few drops of ear cleaner into the cat’s ears.Use the proper dosage as recommended on the label instructions. Do this one ear at a time. Massage the base of the ear for 20 to 45 seconds to “work in” the cleaner.
    • Use a firm but gentle pressure while rubbing the ear base. Do not rub vigorously as this can damage the eardrum. One helpful rule of thumb is that you want to lift away dirt and wax, rather than rub it in.
    • Administer the full dosage as indicated by your vet or the instructions that accompany the cleaner. Failure to do so may prevent the cat’s ear(s) from healing properly.
  • Leave the cat alone for a minute or two.Allow the cat to shake her head to further dislodge any wax or dirt buildup
  • Moisten gauze pad and gently swab the cat’s ears.Make sure to not push the cotton ball or gauze too deep into the horizontal part of the ear canal; this could compact, rather than remove, buildup.
  • Do not use a Q-Tip
  • Do not clean too deep into the cat’s ear canal. Doing so can damage the tissue that lines the ear canal and can even rupture your cat’s eardrum. If the eardrum is ruptured, the cat may show signs of pain (pawing at the ear, meowing, etc.), lose her sense of balance or sit with her head tilted to the side. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat immediately to the vet’s office for examination
  • Follow the cleaning with praise, cuddles, and a treat.This will help calm your cat and make her more inclined to cooperate with you the next time she sees you get out the ear drops.

“Best care for our best Friends “

CVC Team

Giving your cat a pill can be a challenge even for the most experienced veterinarian! The easiest way to give your cat a pill is to hide the pill in food. This usually works best if the pill is hidden in a small amount of tuna, salmon, yogurt or cream cheese. To ensure that your cat swallows the pill, it is better to place it in a small amount of food that the cat is certain to eat rather than a large portion that the cat may not complete. Some cats may spit out the pill, so it is important to observe your cat both during and shortly after eating a medicated bowl of food.

Follow these steps when administering a pill to your cat:

“It may be simpler for you to wrap the cat securely in a blanket or towel with only the head exposed.”

  • Prepare a safe place to handle your cat. Have the pill ready and in a place where it will be easily accessible.
  • If you are administering the medication on your own, you may find it easiest to place your cat in your lap. It may be simpler for you to wrap the cat securely in a blanket or towel with only the head exposed.
  • Lubricate or “grease” the pill with a very small amount of margarine or butter so it doesn’t stick in your cat’s mouth or throat and will be easier to swallow. This is very helpful with the administration of capsules.
  • Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger. (Use your dominant hand – for example, if you are right-handed, use your right hand).
  • Gently grasp your cat’s head from above with your other hand, by placing your thumb on one side of the upper jaw and your fingers on the other. Tilt the cat’s head back over its shoulder so that its nose points to the ceiling. The jaw should drop open slightly.
  • With your pilling hand, use your little finger and ring finger to open the cat’s mouth further by gently putting pressure on the lower lip and front teeth.
  • Quickly place the pill as far back over the tongue as possible. Try to place it on the back one-third of the tongue to stimulate an automatic swallowing reflex.
  • Close the cat’s mouth and hold it closed while you return the head to a normal position.
  • Gently rub the cat’s nose or throat, or blow lightly on the nose. This should stimulate swallowing. Usually, the cat will lick its nose with its tongue if it has swallowed the pill. In some cases, it may help the cat swallow the pill better if you follow the pill with a little tuna juice, flavored broth, or water squirted into the mouth with a syringe.
  • If you have trouble with this method of opening the mouth, try placing the cat on an elevated table. Holding the cat by the scruff of the neck, lift it so that the front paws come off the table. The mouth will drop open. Quickly place the pill as far back on the tongue as possible, as in the previous method.
  • If you continue to experience difficulty, you may want to purchase a “pet piller” device.

“It may be possible to have the medication compounded into a flavored formulation.”

About CVC

Chappelle Veterinary Clinic is a full service Veterinary Clinic which offers a wide range of veterinary care for cats and dogs, including routine exams, vaccinations, preventative care, diagnostics, surgery, spay and neuter, wellness services, dental cleaning, emergency and more.

Working Hours

Monday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Wednesday 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Thursday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday Closed

Contact us

14128 28 Avenue SWEdmonton, AB T6W 3Y9

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