Although your cat probably thinks it should be every month, September is officially Happy Cat Month. The love and care you provide your cat makes a big difference in his longevity and overall well-being. Cats are wonderful companions who really ask for so little in exchange for the purrs, snuggles, and unconditional love. In honor of this special month, here are some things you can do to give your cat the happy life he deserves:

• Provide several places to sleep and hide throughout your home. Cats need a place to retreat when they feel fearful in addition to wanting privacy from time to time.
• Get your cat microchipped and provide her with a collar and identification tag. This greatly increases the chances of a happy reunion should she ever become separated from you.
• Feed your cat nutritious food, limit treats, and make him work for his food sometimes. Place it inside of a toy or in different places around the house to satisfy his natural hunting instinct. This also gives him much-needed exercise.
• Make sure your cat has plenty of toys and spend a few minutes each day playing with her. Cats are just as entertained batting at a piece of string as they are with an expensive toy from the pet store. Playing with your cat encourages exercise, mental stimulation, and the human-feline bond.
• Place scratching posts in a few different areas of your home to give your cat the chance to sharpen his claws as well as release the natural need to scratch. This saves your furniture too.

Regular Veterinary Care is the Most Important of All
A 2013 study by the American Association of Feline Practitioners indicates that more than half of all cats don't see the veterinarian regularly. Although more than 80 percent visit the vet during their first year of life, cat owners seem to only bring them in when they are sick or injured after that. At Battletown Animal Clinic, we encourage all cat owners to schedule a physical exam at least once a year. This is important for early diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of feline diseases as well as to track your cat's growth. Dr. Henke looks forward to seeing you and your cat soon.

Q: Is your pet at risk for any of the following:

A) Fleas
B) Ticks
C) Worms
D) All of the above
A: All of the above (and they ALL can be tough to spot!)

You can’t see your pet’s heart. Is it healthy, or not?

Let’s take a listen! Make an appointment for your pet’s yearly checkup today!

You can tell a lot about your pet by looking at them. But one thing you can’t see is their heart. Is it healthy, or not? A pet may have heart disease and even the most observant owners may not realize it.

Heart disease affects pets of all ages. For example, certain breeds of dogs and cats are at a higher risk of heart disease at a young age. In contrast, some pets develop heart disease later in life, concurrent with another illness. And then there are those pets who randomly develop heart disease at any age without any noticeable signs to the owner.

What’s the best way to prevent bone, muscle and joint disease in your pet?

A yearly checkup! Make an appointment for your pet today!

Musculoskeletal disease (disease that affects your pet’s bones, muscles and joints) can affect pets of all ages. They can have aches and pains just like we do. But, because of their survival instincts, they try to hide it. And in the early stages of this disease, it’s hard to spot because your pet may look and act absolutely fine “on the outside.”

But what your pet looks like “in the inside” may be very different. Arthritis, toxins, hormonal abnormalities, infections, blood and blood vessel disorders or inappropriate nutrition can all affect the way your pet walks, plays and moves.

Did you know some of your pet’s behaviors may be related to a hidden illness…and you may not even realize it?

Schedule your pet’s yearly exam today to discuss your pet’s behavior. Let’s check to make sure your pet is healthy!

Nipping. Scratching. Litter box issues. Leash pulling. Meowing at night. Urinating on the floor. Chewing shoes.

Are these behaviors just part of being a “normal” dog or cat, or not?

Actually, some common behavior issues are due to underlying medical problems. And these illnesses are tough to recognize even for the most observant owners.