Show our Vets some love – PLEASE :-)

Show our Vets some love – PLEASE :-)

Today, we’re going to be talking about an often overlooked aspect of the cat community: the mental health and wellbeing of those wonderful Veterinarians out there that care for our fur babies.

Let me first start off by saying that As a pet owner its so very important to have a good relationship with your vet. As a breeder it is absolutely vital

I have recently been very concerned over the lack of respect that this group of professionals have had, especially around the treatment of some diseases. You should only ever take advice from a vet. If you don’t feel that the advice you are getting is correct, or if you have information that is different to what you are being told then talk with your vet or find a vet that specialises in your area of concern. Not every vet is going to know everything about everything. They are human just like us. And this just demonstrates the importance of a good relationship with your vet.

As a pet owner, having a good relationship with your veterinarian is essential for the health and well-being of your pet. A veterinarian is your pet’s primary healthcare provider and will play a critical role in their ongoing care. Building a strong and trusting relationship with your veterinarian can lead to improved health outcomes for your pet, as well as peace of mind for you as the owner.

One of the key benefits of a good relationship with your veterinarian is that they can provide comprehensive and proactive care for your pet. This includes regular check-ups, preventive care measures such as vaccines and parasite control, and prompt diagnosis and treatment of any health problems that may arise. By working closely with your veterinarian, you can ensure that your pet receives the best possible care and attention, improving their overall quality of life.

Another important aspect of a good relationship with your veterinarian is open and honest communication. As a pet owner, you may have questions or concerns about your pet’s health, behavior, or nutrition. Your veterinarian can provide expert advice and guidance, helping you make informed decisions about your pet’s care. In addition, they can also provide support and reassurance during difficult times, such as when your pet is sick or facing a health crisis.

A good relationship with your veterinarian can also provide peace of mind for you as a pet owner. Knowing that you have a trusted and experienced professional available to provide care for your pet can help you feel confident and secure in your role as a pet owner.

It’s no secret that being a veterinarian is a challenging and demanding job. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and empathy, not just for their patients but also for their owners. But, as with any profession that involves dealing with emotional and physically challenging cases on a daily basis, it can also take a toll on a veterinarian’s mental health.

Veterinarians face a unique set of challenges that can impact their mental health and wellbeing. The job requires a constant balance between their own emotions and the emotional state of their patients and their patients’ owners. Additionally, they must make difficult decisions every day, such as when to euthanize a pet or whether a pet’s suffering is beyond treatment. All of these things can take an emotional toll on a veterinarian.

A common issue is compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is a condition that affects individuals who work in helping professions, such as veterinarians, and is characterized by a gradual loss of empathy, compassion, and sense of personal accomplishment in response to exposure to traumatic events and suffering. It is a result of the cumulative effects of prolonged exposure to traumatic and stressful situations, leading to feelings of burnout, exhaustion, and depression.

For veterinarians, compassion fatigue can have a significant impact on their personal and professional lives. Constant exposure to the suffering of animals, combined with the stress of making life and death decisions, can lead to feelings of overwhelm, hopelessness, and decreased job satisfaction. This can result in decreased job performance, higher rates of absenteeism, and an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

One example of a veterinary scenario where compassion fatigue may arise is in the case of an animal rescue operation. Veterinarians that work in this area or volunteer to help as part of their practice may be required to work long hours in high-stress situations, caring for animals that are injured, sick, or traumatized. This type of work can take a significant emotional toll on a veterinarian, leading to feelings of exhaustion, hopelessness, and a loss of the sense of purpose and fulfillment that initially drew them to the profession.

Compassion fatigue is not limited to veterinarians, however. It can also affect individuals who work in fields such as social work, healthcare, and emergency services. In these professions, individuals may be exposed to traumatic events and suffering on a regular basis, leading to feelings of burnout, depression, and a loss of empathy for those they are trying to help.

It’s important for veterinary practices to have a culture of openness and support where mental health is concerned. This means creating an environment where veterinarians feel comfortable discussing their feelings and concerns, and where there is no stigma attached to seeking help. It’s also important for practices to provide access to resources such as counseling, support groups, and stress management training. Additionally, it’s crucial for the veterinary community to prioritize self-care, such as taking time for themselves, engaging in physical activity, and seeking out hobbies and interests outside of work.

This gets me to what we can do as pet owners to support their veterinarians and help maintain their mental health and wellbeing.

We can play a big role in supporting our veterinarians by being understanding and patient. Be respectful of your veterinarian’s time and acknowledge the stress and emotions that come with the job. Additionally, pet owners can offer words of appreciation and gratitude to their veterinarians, who do so much to help their furry friends.

It is important to remember that the relationship between a pet owner and their veterinarian is a partnership, and working together is the best way to ensure the health and well-being of your pet. If you are not satisfied with the advice you receive from your veterinarian, it is important to take steps to address your concerns and find a solution that works for you and your pet.

 

If you are not satisfied with the advice you receive from your veterinarian, there are several steps you can take to address your concerns:

  1. Schedule a follow-up appointment: If you have concerns or questions about your pet’s health or treatment plan, schedule a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian. They may be able to provide additional information, clarification, or recommendations that can help address your concerns.
  2. Seek a second opinion: If you are still not satisfied with the advice you have received, you may consider seeking a second opinion from another veterinarian. This can provide you with additional perspective and help ensure that you are making informed decisions about your pet’s care.
  3. Ask for a referral: If your concerns are beyond the scope of your veterinarian’s expertise, they may be able to provide you with a referral to a specialist who can provide more specialized care and advice.
  4. Communicate openly: It is important to communicate openly and honestly with your veterinarian. Be clear about your concerns and ask questions to make sure you understand their recommendations. Good communication can help you and your veterinarian make informed decisions about your pet’s care.
  5. Seek support: If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed about your pet’s care, seek support from friends, family, or a support group. Talking to others who are experiencing similar challenges can provide comfort and a sense of community.

 

 

 

Not everyone is as smart as Charlie the Nepalese Street cat who’s story you can ready here!

Its always a good idea to talk to your vet if the problem not solved. Think of it as a quest! It might take some time and patience, but you will work it out eventually. And if you need some help send me an email at meow@melissaneumann.com.au and I will see what I can suggest.

Charlie the nepalese street cat who can use a human litter box!

I do my best thinking inside the box!

The perfect card for the perfect perfectionist. Check it out at the Cat Mumma Shop!

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When its good its really really good, but when its bad…….

When its good its really really good, but when its bad…….

When its good its really really good, but when its bad…….

When cat people come together, and volunteer their time, for the betterment of their community or club, a remarkable force is unleashed. The collective power of united cat fanatics goes beyond what individuals could achieve alone, creating a positive and transformative impact on the community they serve. I’ve recently been curious as to what makes this community so sensation. I believe there are several key aspects that highlight the extraordinary power of the volunteer efforts that make the cat community just exceptional.

Lets first talk about the strong network and support system: When cat people are unite as volunteers, they create a web of connections that fosters collaboration, idea-sharing, and empathy. This network becomes the foundation for driving change and addressing community challenges effectively. I have seen this many times when there have been cats that need rehoming, or cats that are missing. Everyone rallies around and shares with their networks to solve problems. I’ve also seen this with finding sponsorship for cat shows, and for supporting cat owners when they are having a hard time physically or mentally.

There are so many different people involved in the cat world, and I think the diverse perspectives are a rich treasure that is often overlooked. With different ages, cultures, and so on being attracted to the cat world for many different reasons, it brings diverse perspectives to the table, reflecting their varied life experiences, backgrounds, and interests. This diversity enriches the decision-making process and leads to more holistic and inclusive solutions for community issues. Now in saying that, there is a large number of ladies in the cat fancy, however, they are all very different and there is definitely an abundance of knowledge shared. The crazy cat lady stereotype is something that we need to change. Why is this a stereotype, and how can we be more inclusive to everyone.

I have often said that people who love and understand cats are good people. Now I am not saying that there are some in the cat world that are in it for their ego or to make a buck, but the majority often possess strong empathetic qualities and a deep sense of compassion. These qualities enable them to connect with the needs of their community members, understand their struggles, and respond with genuine care and support. There is nothing sexier than a man with his cat in my opinion. If your partner in life can have a success relationship with a cat, where they put the needs of the cat above their own, then you know you are on a winner.

The cat community often includes successful people who can tackle problems with a solution-oriented mindset. As volunteers, they take initiative, identify issues, and work collaboratively to implement practical and sustainable solutions. Today’s workplace has taught many how to work together collaboratively for the common good of all. This often also includes the nurturing and mentoring of others. They empower others by providing guidance, education, and mentorship, thereby fostering a new generation to get interested.

I’m always amazed at how the cat community can mobilise when there is a job to be done. Whether it’s through fundraising, organizing events, or leveraging personal and professional networks, they can rally support for critical projects.

 

But………

There has been less and less people wanting to stay connected to the cat show world. And I’m sure this is nothing new. But the cat show world is getting smaller and smaller. The cat show world is just one small part of the cat community in general, but it is a part that seems to be getting smaller and smaller every day. And I think I know why.

Almost any cat community I talk with have expressed a serious divide within their community. Some are inspired by the success of others and work together to uplift each other, while others resort to destructive tactics. The first group is made up of those who genuinely draw inspiration from the success stories of their fellow cat people. They understand the power of unity and cooperation, striving to build a strong community of empowered individuals. They are not looking for recognition, but looking to make a difference. Then there are some that choose to resort to sabotage, using tools such as rumors, lies, and innuendo. This group often are not the empathetic cat owners that I spoke of earlier, but have their egos so wrapped up in their importance in the cat world that they become intimidating and alienate potential newcomers. They have an elitist mentality about them.

Why is an elitest mentality a bad thing? An elitist attitude creates a sense of exclusivity, making certain members feel unwelcome or inferior. This can lead to the formation of cliques within the club, resulting in division and a lack of camaraderie among members. A clique is much different to a group of friends. True friendships are built on trust, empathy, and genuine care for one another. Friends support each other through both good and challenging times and foster a sense of belonging. Being part of a clique can provide a sense of belonging and validation within a specific group. They will often recruit new members to the cliques to strengthen their numbers. A larger powerbase allows rumours and the like to be spread and believed. It can also lead to the exclusion of others and potentially create a negative or competitive environment. An elitist attitude fosters an environment of superiority and condescension. Such an atmosphere impacts the overall morale, making it less enjoyable for everyone. It can erode this passion by shifting the focus from enjoyment and learning to competition and comparison.

Newcomers or less experienced in the cat world may feel intimidated and discouraged from participating or sharing their interests. This can stifle the growth of clubs and the cat world in general and limit the influx of fresh ideas and perspectives.

People who perceive the cat world as elitist may become disengaged and less likely to actively participate in activities, events or contribute to discussions. As a result, there is a loss of vibrancy and enthusiasm that come with active involvement.

People who feel judged or belittled for their abilities may be reluctant to explore and develop their skills further. This limitation hinders the personal growth and potential of individuals to explore where they might want to volunteer within the cat world.

This elitist attitude may discourage hobbyists from different backgrounds, age groups, or skill levels from joining in. This lack of diversity can narrow the perspective and limit its potential for innovation.

No wonder there is a decreased in cat club Growth. This kind of environment can deter potential new members from joining, leading to stagnation in the club’s growth and potentially causing its eventual decline. There have been many cat clubs close over the last decade because of lack of interested people who what to continue the club. Some of these clubs were also closed because they were run by a small group or clique that would not give up their ownership of the club, but would prefer to close it instead. It is a real pitty when this happens because there is often a large amount of history involved in a club. A plan for the future and ensuring there is a succession plan is vital to keep any club going.

So what can we do about this?

Quite honestly, there is little we can do about those who are in this small group of disrupters. And I must add that this is often a small core group of people. They will do and say whatever they want to. We can hold them accountable when the opportunity arises and try to help them understand what they are doing with posts like this one. It’s quite possible they don’t even know they are elitist or be able to understand the concept.

What we can do is become proactive. This will require a concerted effort from everyone. What is needed is a fostering of a welcoming environment: We need to encourage inclusivity and open-mindedness, making it clear that all levels of skill and experience are valued. We need to look after the older members of our community and make sure they feel appreciated and heard. We need to embrace and appreciate the diverse backgrounds, interests, and perspectives of everyone who wants to be involved. We need to be tolerant to those that are not necessary out cup of tea. We need to encourage an environment of growth and learning. We need to lead by example by being humble and showing respect for everyone. There needs to be a strong emphasis put on the importance of unity, mutual support, and empowerment among the cat community to drive positive change and dismantle harmful behaviours that can lead to a lack of appreciation for collaborative efforts and a focus on individual achievements. This disregards the collective contributions that make the cat world thrive.

There are some in the cat world that work tirelessly and do not expect anything from anyone. Those that selflessly give up their time and energy and share their experience while remaining down to earth and approachable. I’ve been there in the photography world and I know that the reason I volunteer is because it brings a profound sense of satisfaction and purpose. While making a difference you get to connect with people, build skills, engage with all sorts of people, and sometimes even inspire others to join in the fun. These hard working people are often the target of character assignation. Often fuelled by their own insecurity and inferiority complex the elitist demean those working hard in perceived positions of power to alleviate their own feelings of inadequacy and boosts their own self esteem. Sometimes it’s targeting those people to gain recognition and attention to themselves, and sometimes its all about the conformation bias. So thank you to all of those unsung heroes out there that are selflessly giving back, creating a positive ripple effect, fostering empathy, community, personal growth, and a sense of purpose that extends far beyond the act of volunteering itself. I for one am grateful for all the hard work you put in and appreciate you.

I started out talking about how I’m often in awe at how wonderful the cat world is and how incredible it can be. Perhaps we need to make this job of bringing the cat world into one of more collaboration and less elitism a job with a high priority. Lets not encourage and allow the rumors, lies, and innuendo, and encourage open conversation, tolerance and respect of one another.

At the end of the day, my goal is to make the world a better place for all cats. A healthy happy cat world is part of doing just that. As John Lennon sang “You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one”

 

Listen to the blog here! - Coming soon

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How to find a lost cat!

How to find a lost cat!

What if you find a cat?

We always want to help cats that come into our lives but if you find a cat in your yard and you don’t know if it has an owner, consider using a paper collar to send a message to the owners. Download this template if you need one. Or if you can catch or trap it, then get it scanned for a microchip and contact the owners. It might be a stray that is looking for home, it might be a semi owned or unowned cat and if that is the case you need to decide if you will take the cat on as your own, or if you can rehome it. You can see if your local area has a trap neuter release program if the cat is not neutered. All cats deserve a special place to call home. If everyone helped just one cat out there on the streets, we could make a big difference in controlling the population and make the world a better place for them all.

Don’t give up.

If you have moved to a new house, or if your inside cat has escaped, it is probably still very close to the exit point. Do not be fooled by its silence and reluctance to respond to you. Your cat might be able to hear you, but probably will not respond if it is scared. They are surprisingly silent when out in the unknown. Do not give up on your cat. It takes an average of 2-4 weeks to find them, and it all depends on your persistence. Your cat is waiting for you to find it.

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Thinking Inside The Box!

Thinking Inside The Box!

Making the world a better place for all cats starts with the litter box and finding the magic combination is something all of us cat mummas out there strive to do. It is one of the topics that I find myself talking about the most, and interestingly enough I have become quite the expert on cat toilet habits.

Some cats are chilled and cool and just use the litter tray because that’s what their mum taught them to do and its an inbuilt instinct. However, cats come in all different personality types, and just like there are finicky eaters, there are also cats that can be particular about their toilet habits.

It’s a matter of problem solving!

As a cat owner, we are often detectives and problem solvers. The issues around cat waste elimination is one of the regularly occurring things we need to solve. Just when everything is working as it should, someone might just decide they don’t like it like that anymore and change their habits. If this occurs the first thing you need to do is look for any differences in environment. From a new visitor to a thunder storm can upset the toilet balance.

Litter plays a big part.

There are a number or reasons that cats might decide not to use a litter tray. From a litter perspective, they might not like the texture, the clumping when they dig, or perhaps the smell. They might not like how it feels on their paws, to hard or to soft or there isn’t enough litter in the tray or there is to much. If they are an outdoorsy kind of creature, then using some soil in the litter to lure them in can work wonders, you slowly reduce the amount of soil while increasing the litter and keep it something that is very natural to touch and smell.

You can also test different litter side by side to see which your cat prefers. This takes a little time, effort and investment, but your cat is worth it. Once you find what they like to use, don’t make to many changes. Cats like consistency.

To find out more than you ever really wanted to know about litter, check out this YouTube video.

 

What about the tray?

You have to also consider the tray itself. Perhaps its to big, or to small, or to high and they have trouble getting access to it. Or they like to perch on the edge of the tray and the rim isn’t wide enough to do so! (one of my cats personal favourites). Or perhaps it has a hood and they don’t like that. Or perhaps it doesn’t have a hood, and they would prefer that it did. As cats get older they often have isues getting in and out of the box, so keep that in mind for our elderly crew.

We need to get our detective hat on and see if we can work out what their preference is.

Location location location!

Just like in real estate, location is very important. Is it out in the open, or is it to hard to get to? Is it in a noisy area or in a quite one. does she like to have privacy or are they an exhibitionist. They will look for a space that is easy to escape if there are others in the house. You don’t want to get caught with your pants down so to speak!

So many reasons!

Or is the box not clean enough? Cats have good hygiene and prefer a clean box. Do they have to share it with others? The rule for multicat homes is one tray per cat plus a spare. I have a cat that needs 2 just for him as he likes to poop in one and wee in the other!!

Or were they startled by the tray make weird noises when they were done and then the poop magically disappears (I’ve hear this one with the automatically cleaning trays)? if the cat is startled mid-way through, a cat might be hesitant to go back again. It might take some retraining on your part. You could try moving the tray to a different location, add additional options around the house so they can find the location that they like the best. Don’t put a cat into the litter box, even if you are just trying to show them it is safe. This may backfire and make her dislike her box even more. And don’t put their food near their tray. Leave some toys or play near her box. Make the areas that you don’t want them to eliminate less desirable if possible. Look for a well ventilated area that no one can sneak up on them in. And if you have a long haired cat, sometimes a little trim around the back end will also help. Fur that gets caught on the poop on the way out can be painful and can be a reason a cat dislikes the litter tray.

Kittens learn many things from their mum and siblings. By observation and scent, a kitten will follow mums example and learn how to use this odd shaped box. Cats in the wild try to not pollute the environment randomly but keep their waste under control so predators wont find them. Although this is a natural instinct, there is evidence that cats learn the litter box skills from their mum much quicker and better than if they leave her side to young.  

 

Not everyone is as smart as Charlie the Nepalese Street cat who’s story you can ready here!

Its always a good idea to talk to your vet if the problem not solved. Think of it as a quest! It might take some time and patience, but you will work it out eventually. And if you need some help send me an email at meow@melissaneumann.com.au and I will see what I can suggest.

Charlie the nepalese street cat who can use a human litter box!

I do my best thinking inside the box!

The perfect card for the perfect perfectionist. Check it out at the Cat Mumma Shop!

Other blogs you might like

2020’s Top 35 Cat Show Photographs.

2020’s Top 35 Cat Show Photographs.

It’s the end of another show year and this year has been quite an exceptional one. Covid created havoc. Cat shows, and in fact life in general got cancelled and we all were stressed out to the max.

Luckily for us in South Australia, some cat shows went ahead. Not how they usually were run but we still got to hang out, talk cats, and keep the show bench warm. We missed many who normally show that were unable to this year but I am so grateful to those that were able to come out and show off their incredible cats.

I narrowed down 364 of my favourite photographs into just 35. Here they are, I hope you will enjoy them as much as I loved taking them.

 

 

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