Growing up, and as an adult, I’ve always lived with a cat or two. (Sometimes four.) Most were healthy and lived well into their teens. Unfortunately, a few had chronic illnesses that necessitated more frequent trips to the veterinarian. And to be honest, for many of those visits (especially of the emergency variety), I never stopped to think about the people working in the office — those who greeted us at the front desk, the ones working behind the scenes, or that nice young woman who gently handled my nervous pet at the beginning of each exam.
It seemed that the veterinarian was the star of the show, and not much was known (by me, at least) about the rest of the cast, capable and efficient as they were. I’m guessing that a fair number of Catnip readers can relate to this, as well. That’s why I’m especially happy about our detailed article in this month’s issue about veterinary technicians (we usually know them as ‘vet techs’) and the very important role they play on your cat’s healthcare team. There’s a place for veterinary assistants and veterinary technologists too, and we try to explain their responsibilities and what it takes for them to be qualified.
Because you’re such an important part of your cat’s health and happiness, it is also helpful to know that stress can be an important trigger for illness or just a lower quality of life. One of the health conditions that can be improved by less stress and greater environmental enrichment is Feline Idiopathic Cystitis, which we discuss this month. While there is a nutritional component to its treatment, experts are finding that the improvement of external household circumstances can be an integral part of managing this serious health condition.
And when anxiety can’t be managed within reason — much less understood — there’s an opportunity to soothe your cat with the use of the more modern anti-anxiety medications that are available through consultation with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.
Obviously, none of us want a sick cat or an unhappy cat. But we’re lucky to be living in an age where there’s more and more information and help at our fingertips. We’re proud to be a resource for our readers and their beloved cats. Happy February!