Small Animals


A typical cat likes to eat, sleep, play, sleep, sleep, sleep - right?                      Cats are the masters of disguise - it is easy for them to hide the fact that they might be feeling unwell. Here are some signs of disease:

Changes in appetite  - really hungry but losing weight, refusing food, only wants soft food/liquids

Changes in drinking  - increased thirst is common

Changes in bodyweight - loss of weight despite good appetite, "big tummy"                                                                                        

Changes in toileting - increased drinking with increased urination                                         - frequent attempts to urinate small amounts

Changes in behaviour - vocalisation - crying - esp when toileting or   when being picked up or petted - urine spraying  -  overgrooming with hair loss

              The main take home message here is : "CHANGE"


Whist the vet can tell you what may be clinically wrong with your pet  - the pet owner is the best judge of the animals normal behaviour and quality of life at home. It is important for pet owners to recognise abnormal or changed pet behaviour.  

                       Dr Joan Deetman - Senior Veterinary Surgeon



Cat Toileting  - Does Your Cat have a Proper Toilet?

Cats are great companions - proven by the fact that in Australia 29 % of households own a cat. As part of our responsible pet ownership, there is now more awareness of the need to keep cats inside for the following reasons:

To reduce:

  • predation of wildlife
  • nuisance behaviour & fighting of roaming cats
  • unwanted matings
  • risk of road accidents
  • snake bites in summer
  • transmission of infectious disease between cats

Whilst we all intend to confine cats for the right reasons - the cats welfare may be compromised if appropriate steps are not taken to ensure their health and welfare continues to be maintained in that confined environment.

Studies have shown, especially in multi-cat households, that the following problems can arise from confinement:

  • Increased incidence of urinary tract problems mainly due to:

- not enough litter trays being provided - there should be one for each cat

- infrequent cleaning of litter trays

- use of crystal type litter - use soil or granular litter

  • The RSPCA has identified that cats are often rehomed due to the cat toileting in the house without using the litter tray.
  • Behavioural problems can arise from not enough environmental enrichment.
  • Significant health issues can arise from cats not receiving enough direct sunlight.
  • Vegetarian diets are strictly not allowed for cats - being obligate carnivores cats must receive an appropriate diet to prevent significant health issues.

Ref: AVA Media statement 17/5/18

Did you know that 65 % of Australian families own a pet? 

33% of those pets are dogs and 28% are cats


© Joan Deetman 2018