Pets Q&A PDSA: Was it right to give my cat some Christmas dinner?

Dear PDSA Vet: I gave my cats a little turkey for Christmas as a treat, but now they are really pissed off with their food. We have tried a lot of different bags and brands but they still eat hard. what should I do? norma

Talk to your vet first, as there may be a health issue. Unlike dogs, cats can get sick if they don’t eat, so it’s important to make sure nothing is wrong. Keep offering good quality whole cat food, but if he hasn’t eaten it yet, take it and try again later; Don’t leave food outside. Try offering something they really like at the same time, to get them used to eating their diet again, then slowly reduce the amount of food served. Food containers should be well away from water bowls and litter trays, and apart from each other so that they can eat on their own if they want to.

Dear PDSA Vet: My kids got craft kits for Christmas, and unfortunately someone decided to test their safety scissors on our cat – by giving him a mustache cut out on one side! I told them, but would Rascal be alright? Adam

Whiskers are special bristles that are a very important part of a cat’s senses.

They are very stiff compared to other hairs, and are connected to some of the cat’s nerves and muscles, which send information directly to the sensory system to help cats respond to any changes in their surroundings, and intelligently judge distance and distance. Fortunately, cats’ whiskers are constantly growing, shedding, and being replaced which means cats’ whiskers will grow back. Since this can take some time, Rascal may feel more vulnerable and not want to go outside until he grows back, so have plenty of toys and litter trays inside.

Dear PDSA Vet: I have a five-year-old King Charles Spaniel named Pinks. I heard that Spaniels can sometimes have trouble crushing their brains because they were bred to have such small heads. How can I tell if Binks are affected by this? Smell

Dear Jade, the condition is called a Chiari-like malformation that leads to syringomyelia, which is especially common in the Binks breed. This means that the skull is too small for the brain to be crushed, blocking the flow of fluid around the brain and spinal cord, causing the growth of fluid-filled cavities, which leads to chronic pain. Signs usually appear before the age of 6 years. Symptoms include “phantom” scratching in the neck, where no contact occurs, “away” from touch near the head, neck or shoulder area, rubbing of the face or unwillingness to exercise as well as nervous signs. Talk to your vet for further advice if your Binks are showing any of these signs.

Dear PDSA Vet: I purchased two rabbits earlier this year, they are kept in a cage and run outside. I heard they should be brought indoors for the winter, but my friend says they are fine outdoors. Which is correct? Caroline

Dear Caroline, you are both right! With proper housing, rabbits can stay outside during the winter, but it is important to protect them from the weather because they can get really cold. Consider bringing them indoors or moving their cage to a draft-free shed or car-free garage, away from fumes. Add extra bedding so they can snuggle up at night and provide plenty of hay, as eating helps keep them warm and aids digestion. If you can’t move the cage, cover it with an old rug or a thick blanket (make sure it’s well ventilated), to help insulate and maintain warmth. Make sure the water is clean and not freezing several times a day.

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