• Tips for Getting Your Cat to Stop Biting

    Non-cat families think of claws and scratches when they think of cat aggression, but anyone with a cat will tell you that it’s the teeth that can do the real damage. Cats bite for a variety of reasons, from exploration and play to trying to show you who is boss. In kittens, biting behavior is easy to nip in the bud with training, but in adult cats, putting a stop to bites can be more challenging. If your cat’s behavior is hard to manage, talk to your veterinarian, who can rule out a medical issue and provide advice. These tips will also help.


    Teach Proper Play

    Kittens love to explore their surroundings using their mouths. They will test out everything with their teeth, including your hands and feet. They will also nip while they are playing. Do your best to discourage this instinct by redirecting their attention towards toys and refusing to play in a way that allows biting of your hands and feet. For cats that are particularly aggressive with play biting, give them a time out in a room alone for a few minutes so that they learn that biting doesn’t get them the attention that they want.


    React Like a Cat

    Cats let each other know when biting has gone too far by hissing. You can communicate the same message by hissing yourself. Hiss loudly to interrupt the bite, but use this tool sparingly. If your cat hears it too often, he or she will become immune to it. For kittens, a loud shriek can also stop biting, but don’t do the same with an adult cat, who may become more aggressive in response.


    Avoid Reinforcing the Behavior

    Some cats use biting to ask for food, play, or attention. Don’t give in to what your cat wants after biting. Doing so will tell your cat he or she is the boss and reinforce the behavior. Instead, reward your cat for good behavior, such as rubbing against your legs, so that he or she develops a new way of asking for something.


    The veterinarians at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can help you navigate the complexities of caring for your cat, from spay and neuter services to cat teeth cleaning. To make an appointment at our veterinary clinic in McKinney, please call (972) 239-1309.


  • What to Do When Your Pets Don’t Get Along

    Animal lovers relish the thought of a multi-pet household, but the pets in question don’t always have the same the idea. There are many reasons that pets may not get along when they live side-by-side, but fortunately, pet parents can help their animals get over their sibling rivalry. Getting your veterinarian involved is crucial. At the animal clinic, you can get confirmation that none of your pets are suffering from any underlying medical issues that are impacting their ability to get along. This advice will also help you keep the peace when your pets have a personality conflict.


    Manage the Introduction

    If you’re adding a new pet to your household, ensuring that you introduce your animals to each other the right way is critical. Introducing cats to other animals requires a slow approach, in which they are kept in separate rooms to get used to each other’s scent and then spend gradually increasing amounts of time together, while you are closely supervising. Dogs are more open to introductions but should be watched carefully. If you notice any signs of aggression, separate the animals and wait for a little longer to slowly being the reintroduction process again.


    Reward Friendly Behavior

    When your pets cooperate with each other, reward the behavior with praise and treats. If you see your pets playing together, engage in play with them, and take notice when they are sitting quietly together and praise them. They will begin to recognize that getting along gets them both what they want—attention—and will repeat the behavior to get it again.


    Resist the Urge to Force It

    In some instances, pets just need some time to figure it out. Don’t allow your animals to fight, which can be dangerous for them and to you, but don’t try to force them to interact. As they become more accustomed to each other, the rules of their relationship may naturally fall into place.


    Your veterinarian at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group can also assist with behavioral tips to help you maintain peace in your pet-filled household. We also make it easy to get all of the care your pets need in one place at our pet clinic in McKinney, including preventive care, spay and neuter services, and pet grooming. To find out more about our services or to make an appointment, call (972) 239-1309.

  • Tips for Keeping Your Pet Calm During a Vet Visit

    No matter how much you love your pet’s veterinarian, there’s a good chance that your animal isn’t fond of his or her visits to the pet hospital. Fortunately, if your pet experiences anxiety when it’s time for a vet check-up, there are several things you can do to make appointments more comfortable for him or her, not to mention for yourself and your vet. Try this advice for making your pet’s next animal clinic visit less stressful.

    Consider the Carrier

    Not all pets have to ride to the vet in a carrier, but if yours will be confined to one for his or her vet appointment, re-introduce it well before the big day. Get the carrier out about a week before your appointment, and leave the door open. Put some treats and toys inside, and let your pet get used to going in and out of it. Make it comfortable with a towel or some bedding, and consider using a calming pheromone spray inside it. Once it’s time to put your pet inside for your vet visit, the carrier won’t seem so scary anymore.

    Drop by to Say Hello

    Did you know that you can swing by your vet’s office between appointments? Periodically drop in at the animal clinic with your pet in tow to say hello. A lot of people do this. Give your pet a chance to hop up on the scale, and of course, to get a treat or a good ear scratching from the clinic staff. Your pet will get used to the smells and sounds of the office on these low-key visits, so that his or her own check-ups won’t feel so foreign and scary.

    Ask Your Vet

    For some pets, getting over anxiety about vet visits isn’t a simple process. If your pet won’t adjust to pet clinic appointments, ask your vet about sedative medications that could help. With these meds, your pet will feel relaxed during appointments, so the whole process is faster and more comfortable.


    The friendly team at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group always works to make pets and their parents feel welcome and at ease at our animal clinic in Dallas. Make an appointment at one of our AAHA-accredited animal hospitals by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas, or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.


  • Could Your Cat Have a Toothache?

    Cats are notorious for hiding their pain, so how do you know if your feline could be suffering from a toothache? Well, turns out, there are a few signs that might clue you into a problem, so keep an eye out for the symptoms in this video to help determine if you should call the veterinarian.

    Cats aren’t likely to stop eating just because they have a toothache, but you may notice that they seem to be swallowing pieces of food whole rather than chewing them. Cats with toothaches may also sleep more. They may also tend to chew food on just one side of their mouths. If you notice a change in your cat’s behavior, your veterinarian can help you get to the bottom of the cause.

    Chastain Veterinary Medical Group offers pet dental services in the greater north Dallas area to help your pet’s teeth and gums stay healthy and pain-free. To make an appointment at our McKinney/Frisco animal hospital, please call (972) 529-5033, or to make an appointment at our north Dallas animal hospital, please call (972) 239-1309.

  • Reasons Why Cats Urinate Outside the Litter Box

    Cats are usually very particular about using their littler boxes, so if your cat suddenly starts urinating somewhere else, then you’re probably wondering why this sudden, drastic change has occurred. Although any cat can have an accident now and again, any cat who suddenly stops using his or her litter box should be examined by the veterinarian to determine if there is a medical cause. Here are some of the reasons cats may begin to urinate outside of the litter box.

    Medical Problems
    Sometimes, when cats begin to urinate outside of their litter boxes, it is because they are having medical issues. Kidney problems, diabetes, and urinary tract infections can all make it difficult for your cat to control his or her urine. In other cases, an underlying medical issue, such as arthritis, may be making it painful for your cat to use the litter box. Your veterinarian can determine if medical problems could be contributing to your cat’s new reluctance to use his or her litter box and recommend a treatment plan to resolve the issue.

    Problems with the Litter Box
    Sometimes, your cat will take a disliking to something about the litter box itself, or the cat litter inside, and refuse to use it. If you have fallen behind on cleaning out the box, then your cat may decide to find somewhere cleaner to urinate. If the litter box is in a location that your cat doesn’t like, such as in a part of your home that is too isolated, then your cat may refuse to use it. Sharing the litter box with a new cat or a change in cat litter brands could also impact how your cat uses the box. In general, we recommend one litterbox, per cat, per floor of house (if they have access to the upstairs).

    Cats are relieved by their own scent, so if your cat is anxious or stressed, he or she may begin to urinate in other places as a self-soothing technique. Moving to a new place, seeing an outdoor cat lingering in the yard, or having pain from a medical issue can all cause stress that leads your cat to urinate around the house.

    Let the veterinarians in north Dallas or McKinney at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group help you get to the bottom of your cat’s litter box problems. Our animal clinic offers comprehensive vet services, including pet dental care and emergency care. To make an appointment at our McKinney/Frisco animal hospital, please call (972) 529-5033, or to make an appointment at our north Dallas animal hospital, please call (972) 239-1309.

  • Is Your Cat Drinking Enough Water?

    Just like you, your cat needs to stay hydrated to stay healthy. If he or she passes on water, for whatever reason, this can lead to dehydration and he or she can face a range of health issues. If you’re concerned about your cat’s water intake, talk to your veterinarian to see if your cat’s drinking habits are normal.

    One easy way to discover your cat might not be drinking enough water is to pay close attention to his or her habits. If you notice that you seem to be refilling the water bowl less and less, talk to your veterinarian to see if an underlying issue could be to blame. If your cat is panting frequently, he or she may not be getting enough water to adequately manage his or her body temperature. Inelastic skin and dull, thinning hair are also signs of dehydration.

    Regular checkups at Chastain Veterinary Medical Group will help your feline companion stay healthy for life. We offer pet dental cleanings, spay and neutering services, and all of the care your cat needs at every age. To make an appointment at our McKinney/Frisco animal hospital, please call (972) 529-5033, or to make an appointment at our north Dallas animal hospital, please call (972) 239-1309.

  • Ways That Your Cat Can Get Infected with Worms

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    Cats are vulnerable to a number of different kinds of worms, some of which can be transmitted to humans. Because cats may not show any symptoms of worms until they experience serious health problems, seeing your veterinarian regularly for kitty checkups that include worm screenings is important.

    In kittens, worms are typically transmitted from an infected mother to the young kitten, through milk. The most common way adult cats are infected is through eating feces of infected cats, or by eating something contaminated with the feces of other cats. In some cases, eating rodents or birds can also cause an infection. Cats who have fleas may also be more vulnerable to worms, particularly tape worms. Because worms can cause serious health problems when left untreated, it’s important for your cat to receive regular preventive care at the veterinary hospital.

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, we offer complete wellness care for all stage of your cat’s life. Make an appointment at our either of our AAHA-certified pet hospitals today by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

  • Why Carrying Extra Pounds Is Dangerous for Your Pet

    Just as with people, our pet population is facing an obesity crisis. Being overweight can have serious consequences for your pet, so it’s important to consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your animal needs to lose weight. He or she can help you create a plan for helping your pet reach a healthy weight.

    obesity in dogs dallas

    Watch this video to learn about some of the impacts of extra pounds on your pet. Joint disease, heart disease, respiratory problems, and diabetes are just a few of the issues that can plague overweight pets.

    At Chastain Veterinary Medical Group, our AAHA-certified veterinary clinics offer care for all aspects of your pet’s well-being, from spay and neuter services to nutritional management. Make an appointment at our pet hospital today by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

  • Answering Common Questions About Meowing in Cats

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    If your cat is a talker, then chances are that you’ve spent a lot of time wondering what he or she is trying to say. As you may have learned through observing your cat, not all meows are the same, and cats use different kinds of meowing to communicate different messages. Your veterinarian can help you decode your cat’s chatter. The answers to these questions will also help you clear up some of the mysteries of meowing.

    How can I figure out what my cat is trying to say?
    You can often understand your cat’s message by observing when he or she meows. If your cat meows when you come home or enter a room, he or she is likely just greeting you. Meows around mealtimes or when you’re eating are probably requests for food or treats. If your cat seems to meow often while roaming around the house, he or she may be lonely and asking for attention. Outdoor cats may meow at the door to be let in or out. Pay attention to the pattern of your cat’s meows, and the message may become clear.

    Its also worth remembering that left to their own devices cats don’t meow to each other very often. Meows are most often used to communicate with humans.

    Should I ever worry about my cat’s meowing?
    If your previously quiet cat has suddenly become vocal or if your cat simply won’t stop meowing, he or she could benefit from a checkup with the veterinarian to see if a medical condition is causing any discomfort. As long as your cat is in good health, meowing isn’t usually cause for concern. Some cats are simply more vocal than others because of their personalities or their breeds. Siamese cats, for instance, are likely to be extremely vocal.

    Can I discourage my cat from meowing?
    If your cat’s meowing is excessive, there are things you can do to discourage it. If your cat meows for food or treats, don’t reward his or her vocalizing by giving in. If your cat is seeking attention, have a pet sitter come by when you’re at work. The less you reward his or her demands, the less likely he or she will be to keep meowing.

    For spay and neutering, cat teeth cleaning, and all of the other vet care your cat needs, choose Chastain Veterinary Medical Group. Make an appointment at our pet hospital today by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in north Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in McKinney.

  • Could Your Cat Be Experiencing from Stress?

    cat care dallas Just like you may suffer from stress from a big work project or trouble in your personal life, your cat can also feel the effects of being stressed. Stress in cats can lead to serious health problems and can interfere with his or her quality of life. If you suspect your cat is suffering from stress, be sure to see your veterinarian as soon as possible to find a solution. Here is what you need to know.

    What are some of the potential causes of stress in cats?
    Cats can become stressed because of both emotional and physical factors. Change is a major cause of stress in cats. Moving to a new home, bringing a new human family member or pet into the house, or a change in your daily routine can all trigger anxiety in a cat. Cats may also become stressed because of situational events, such as loud music during a party or seeing another cat walk through his or her yard. The death or absence of a family member, physical health problems, and jealousy of other people or pets can also act as common stressors.

    How will I know if my cat is stressed?
    Often, behavioral changes will indicate that your cat is stressed. But you may have to pay close attention because cats often try to hide signs of health problems for a long time. Cats may begin to urinate outside of their litter boxes and groom themselves excessively. They may also have changes in their appetites, sleep more than usual, and attempt to isolate themselves. A previously quiet cat may become vocal, and a cat that previously got along well with other animals may turn aggressive. These behavioral changes should all be discussed with your veterinarian, since they can indicate that your cat is in distress.

    How is stress in cats treated?
    In some cases, simply removing the stressor can be the solution, but that is not always possible. If your veterinarian discovers that an underlying physical health issue is causing stress, treating that condition can resolve your cat’s anxiety. There are also certain stress relieving medications that are available. Your vet will work with you to pinpoint the cause of your cat’s stress and develop a treatment plan.

    If you have an anxious kitty on your hands, Chastain Veterinary Medical Group is here to help with comprehensive veterinary services, including behavioral counseling. Make an appointment at our pet hospital in McKinney by calling (972) 529-5033 or call (972) 239-1309 for Our Dallas facility.

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