Being a registered vet nurse over the last two decades, i’ve naturally acquired my own pack of pets! Some say it’s an occupational hazard, I call it an absolute dream! Most have been strays from various vet clinics I’ve worked in or rescues found in our village in Greece since we moved here. Thankfully, my husband has got used to this now and accepted that we’re going to be pet parents for life!
As you can imagine with three dogs, three cats and two budgies, there’s been plenty of ruh-ohs and CATastrophes along the way! That’s why you need many different supplies to keep pets healthy and happy at home, just in case! During my free video consultations, I regularly recommend items that I wholeheartedly believe every pawrent should have in their cupboards. I always makes sure I have some of these at home for a rainy day and I also use a range of other products. Whilst some stuff Is simply for vanity purposes only, there’s lots of essential items out there that can improve your pet’s wellbeing. Keep reading to see the preventative health and pet care essentials that I personally keep for my cats and why.
Pheromones for cats (Feliway)
At first, I was really sceptical about the use of pheromones for cats. Although I’d done the training with the organisations that offer them, I didn’t truly believe that they could really work. I thought that they were a nice idea, but truthfully, I never really endorsed them or even used them myself. But, the beauty of my job now is that I can catch-up with pet parents to see if my recommendations have made any difference.
Having a multi-cat household myself, including Prince, our beautiful blind cat, I was faced with a sudden peeing issue. One of the cats was urinating in random places (on my bed, on the other pets beds, on my work chair). It turned out to be Prince, who on the whole comes across as a super chilled cat. He has his little daily routine which involves spending most of his day sleeping on the terrace or in his bed near me whilst I work.
So, I gave a Feliway diffuser a go and I slowly noticed that the puddles of pee had vanished! And the random little bickers Prince had with Duncan (our other ginger cat) had completely stopped too! Now all three of the cats live in perfect harmony and I have no behaviour issues whatsoever!
We’ve even had to close the bathroom window at night to stop sneaky strays coming in overnight searching for food whilst we sleep! It’s a running joke in our home that they can sense the Feliway plug-in and are drawn to it! I now swear by Feliway and I always have one plugged in! When it runs out, I really notice the little changes in the dynamics of our fur family again.
Now speaking of our feline friends, this is something else they love. We know it’s not a supplement, however most cats go coo coo for these little treats.
Yes, you guessed it we’re talking about Dreamies! And whilst they aren’t particularly healthy, most cats can’t resist the temptation of them!
Now I have no idea what they put in these treats to make cats go wild. They added catnip into one of the ranges to give it that little extra kick and addictive quality. Luckily, you can use this to your advantage!
Get one of the Dreamies tubs or packs and teach your cats the sound of shaking packaging. Then wait and watch as they come running from wherever they are in the house for precious Dreamies. Once they get used to the sound, you can use it when they go outdoors too.
Our clowder comes running back from wherever they are if they can hear the Dreamies tub rattle! They are amazing for calling roaming cats back to the house, even with our blind boy Prince.
Just remember, not to overfeed and any treats, including Dreamies should be given moderation!
As I mentioned earlier, there’s been a lot of rescue pets in my home. Whether we’ve adopted them or fostered them. So, I’ve had a lot of experience with anxiety and calming supplements. There are so many on the market in various different forms. Like plug in diffusers, sprays, ambient diffusers, such as Feliway that I mentioned earlier, which work on the natural pheromone basis to promote calm.
There are also ones such as Pet Remedy which is again natural, and uses Valerian and other essential oils to create a sense of calm. It does this by mimicking GABA (gamma amino butryic acid) which in plain English is a natural calming agent present in mammals. So if you find the Feliway isn’t quite hitting the spot for your cats there are always many others to try which work in slightly different ways but in theory have a similar effect.
Also, take a look at oral calming supplements.
In my experience I would look for one that has a combination of L-Tryptophan and L-Theanine as the main ingredients, and some also have GABA in too. These work well for calming for a variety of stressful situations. Whether that be building work taking place at home or strangers popping by, vet visits or new experiences. If we can help reduce stress and calm anxiety then we’re all winning!
Now these are an absolute must for any pet owner. I recommend pet parents to keep them in stock for any unfortunate diarrhoea moments. Especially if you have a kitten or a hunting cat that eat all sorts!
Keeping some form of pro/prebiotic at home can honestly make a world of difference. At the first sign of any squidgy poos you can ransack your probiotic supplies and start them on it straight away. They really can help with getting some great gut flora back into that digestive tract and help calm down the irritation and diarrhoea.
If you notice your pet has diarrhoea it’s always great to seek veterinary advice, whether that’s during an online video consult like we do at Buddy, or with your local vet practice.
I’ve done so many consultations where pets have eaten something they shouldn’t have and I jump for joy when I discover clients have probiotics from a previous vet visit or previous bout of diarrhoea. It takes so much stress away. There’s no worrying about your dog, panicking wondering where you can get probiotics from at the weekend, or waiting for an online delivery. That’s why you should always keep some in stock! If you want to know which probiotics would work best for your pet, get in touch via our website or live chat. I’d be happy to talk you through it. There are many different forms available so it all depends on what would be more suited to you and your buddy!
This is quite a vague description, isn’t it?
However, stay with me, there are a few products I’d keep to hand for your cat’s skin.
I always recommend that you have a good quality pet shampoo at all times. However, I know. I have cats. Shampooing and bathing a cat? May not be the smartest idea. There’s a great range of shampoos called Douxo for various different skin needs or general use, and the beauty of them is the fragrance they have. They smell like holidays!
Douxo do a range of as well as shampoos which are so easy to use for cats, without the stress of trying to bath and still having the same effect as the shampoos.
From a first aid point of view, make sure you keep some kind of topical gel or cream to hand in case of small sores or wounds. These are perfect for those veterinary video consultations where you’re asked if you have anything at home and it makes life so much easier. I still swear by Sudocrem when used carefully and in tiny amounts.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinary professional to help you decide which supplements are suitable for your cat. Buddycare have free online vet nurse consultations and live chat to support your pet parenting journey and answer any questions.