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From a cat with wind to vegan pet diets — your pet queries answered

HE is on a mission to help our pets  . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.

Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm tails.com, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years.

Today Sean helps a pet owner with a windy cat
Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, promises he can ‘help keep pets happy and healthy’

He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask.

“I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”

Q) MY cat has got a wind problem. At first I blamed my husband, and then the dog.

But Boots is the culprit. Nothing in his diet has changed. What can I do, other than open the window 24/7?

Jules Grey, Plymouth

Sean says: If cat poop is anything to go by, then I pity you having to deal with cat flatulence (catulence?).

Has Boots been wormed recently? Parasitic infection can cause a change in gut microflora, causing inflammation and digestive issues.

I’d recommend getting him wormed, maybe switching to a diet designed for him with digestive support (Republic Of Cats may be an option), and if there’s no change, take him and a poop sample to your vet.

Q) OUR family wants to aid the planet so we’re thinking of giving our dogs Alfie and Bella and cat Rufus vegan food.

Is this is a good idea and which brand would you recommend?

Shirley Powell, Newport

Sean says: If it’s the planet you’re concerned about, switching to vegan pet diets isn’t necessarily the solution.

Pet food largely contains the nutritious parts of farm animals that we tend not to eat.



It’s a sustainable, “nose to tail” use of great food that would otherwise go into landfill.

Finally, while it’s possible to feed dogs plant-based diets, they do want meat as omnivores.

Cats are strict carnivores, needing certain nutrients from animal protein.

My advice is if you want a vegan pet, get a rabbit, not a cat.

Feed Rufus, Alfie and Bella a complete meat and plant diet using all of the animal, not just chicken breasts.

Q) I HAVE rescued a five-year-old gelding called Major.

He is very sweet-natured, but he was previously neglected.

Are there any supplements you can recommend to quickly improve his condition?

Jill Green, Callington, Cornwall

Sean says: I’d need to know if Major is under or overweight, his coat condition, any underlying health conditions and so on, plus it is helpful to know what he was previously used to in his diet, to avoid upsetting his digestive system.

Giving him more access to good-quality grazing at grass and hay are all that is needed.

But if you are working him, he may need added concentrate and vitamins to provide more energy and redress the balance if he was malnourished before.

I’d get advice from your vet specific to Major’s situation.

Q) WE are moving soon with our eight-year-old neutered cat Ted.

My mum is coming to live with us with her four-year-old spayed female cat Elsie.

Both have been sterilised.

How do we introduce them to their new home and garden?

Katie England, Crawley, West Sussex

Sean says: This could be tricky or it could be absolutely fine.

Tails.com provides tailor-made nutritional food for pets

Cats are quite unpredictable how they will react to new housemates, but being fairly antisocial as a species, they can be a challenge to integrate with new adult cats.

The key is to allow a very slow introduction and make sure each cat has access to its own food and water, litter trays, resting places and so on.

Keeping one upstairs and one downstairs or in different rooms for the first week or two can also help.

And then try supervised introductions with a plan in place to separate them if needed.

Star of the week

AVA the cat is the inspiration for a new kitty cafe which will help find homes for abandoned pets.

The ten-year-old was feral when she was rescued by Rick Marsh, 32, and partner Katie Buchanan, 28, but is now the perfect pet.

Guide dog Marine is the star of the week by transforming the life of his partner

Her transformation inspired them to open Cafe Meow in Blackpool, working with three local rescue groups – Tender Paws, Cats In Care and Easterleigh – to resettle other unwanted moggies.

Rick said: “Ava has shown us that even the most feral or unlikely-to-change cat can always do so if they are just given a chance.

“She’s our kitty idol.”

TAKE STING OUT OF FIREWORKS NIGHT

TWO thirds of owners say their pet gets distressed during fireworks season, the RSPCA says.

As Bonfire Night approaches, the charity is running its Bang Out Of Order Campaign to call for tighter restrictions.

The RSPCA is advising owners on what they can do so pets don’t get distressed on Bonfire Night

And along with Cats Protection and puppy training app Zigzag, the RSPCA is advising owners on what they can do to help their pets.

For pups, the charity recommends creating a doggy den in a quiet area of the house, and closing windows and curtains.

Other measures you can start now include:

1. Walking dogs in daylight to get them used to the new routine for when you want to avoid night-time fireworks.

2. Ask your vet about using a calming collar or diffuser.

3. If you plan to bring horses inside, get them used to the new, temporary routine.

4. Outside rabbits, guinea pigs and small furries should have extra bedding to burrow into. Cover their housing with a blanket.

Cats Protection says to keep all cat flaps, windows and doors closed so feline friends don’t get out, provide a cardboard box lined with blankets and keep a radio or TV on.

For more information, see rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/fireworks.

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