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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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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So excited to announce that I have just took out first place in the Pet category at the prestigious WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) First Half Awards.

WPPI awards receive hundreds of entries each year, so it was an incredible honour to win first place in the Pet Category.

The inspiration for the quirky cat portrait was inspired by famous authors throughout history. This idea was originally designed for a sphynx named Oodat. You can check out that shoot here https://youtu.be/UOenWikXTvE

 

Authors are known for being cat lovers and cats have inspired and influenced some of our greatest authors like Ernest Hemingway, T.S Eliot and Mark Twain.

The used books by these authors in the award-winning photograph really reflect the nature and adventurous spirit of my Abyssinian cat. Family reunion, because she is the half sister of our other Abyssinians, Derrick Bennett and Leon. Top sawyer by Mark Twain has a main character that seemed to mostly enjoy getting into trouble and finding adventures, very much like the nature of the Abyssinian cat. The sun also rises by Hemingway is to do with her name Artemis. She was the daughter of Zeus who gave her 10 wishes, one was to be the light bringer! Cats are renown to be incredibly smart and in the human world that means research and knowledge, so the library background adds to this symbolism.

The books were all bought on a trip to America in 2019. They were bought specifically for this shoot and I needed the right colour palette as well as well worn books.

I was trying to decide if I should put in the photograph of Oodat or Artemis. I decided on Artemis because I have already won many awards with sphinx cats. So it is with much gratitude to Oodat that I have this prestigious award.

I now plan to do a series of images in this background of a number of different breeds to create a nice collection of them. Not sure what I will do with the collection when I am finished but I am sure I will come up with something.

 

About WPPI

The goal of WPPI’s First Half Online competition is to encourage, educate and motivate wedding and portrait photographers committed to their craft.

https://www.wppiawards.com/

What happens at a cat show and why should I care?

What happens at a cat show and why should I care?

Cat shows are a strange place if you have never been to one before.

The show preparations start during the week before where the cats are often bathed and groomed to look their best. Amazingly these show cats are bought up having baths and get use to the routine. The must have their claws trimmed and be ready to meet with a vet on arrival to the show hall so must be in tip top health.

On the morning of the show exhibitors will arrive with their cats, cages and chairs. The cats are vetted in. This means that a qualified vet or vet nurse will check them over fully to ensure no sign of disease and that vaccinations are up to date. They will be looking for any sign of illness and also will check their claws have been trimmed. The cats then enter the show hall.

Exhibitors will set up their cat cages. These are where the cats will spend the majority of their time during the show. Each cage has a surround that is water proof so they cant mess up each others cages or gain contact to each other. Show cats are very use to spending the day in their cage, again its something that they have done from a young age and they know what to expect. 

 

Cats will sleep up to 16 hours in a day so they are not to fussed about having their own small room for the day. If you visit a cat show in the afternoon be prepared to see many sleeping kittycats. 

 

Once the cages are prepared with their curtains and the cats are in them, they are given food and water and a litter tray. The judging will usually start fairly soon after vetting in closes. There is often 2-3 judges for each ring of cats for each show. That means that a cat might be judged more than once in a day. When a cat is judged, they are taken from the cage and put on the “bench”. This is where the judge will have a good look at the cat from the shape of its skull, body and tail to the texture of its coat. Each cat breed has a standard that they must meet and its that standard that the judges are comparing each cat to.

There is different groups of cats and judges will be qualified to judge particular groups. Some judges are all breed judges and can judge any group. These judges have done thousands of hours of training and practice to get to that point. Groups will vary dependant on the location of the show and the association that that show is under. Each group have a set of breeds that have something in common. Entrants compete for best of their own breed, and for best of group. Then there is the supreme which is the best of the show.

Each cat is also hoping to win their challenge point. These are certificates received that go toward their titles. Titles are what you will see pedigree and show cats listed as. So for instance, our neutered (desexed) Abyssinian is Double Grand Champion Vivace Derrick Bennett. So that means he has won at least 18 challenge points at shows to get to that level. Vivace is his breeders prefix. That is the cattery that breed him and Derrick Bennet is his name. His Brother is Bronze Double Grand Champion Vivace El Leon deOro  and is our stud boy. He is a bit higher up the titles than his brother. Derrick Bennett has retired from showing on a regular basis and only comes out every now and then for a bit of fun. They compete for their challenge points. If there is a cat of the same level champion then a judge will have to decide which cat gets their challenge point.

Once the judge has had a good look at all of one particular breed they will decide on the best of breed award. Once they have done the entire group (known as a ring), they will then do their group awards. Depending on the size of the show will depend how many cats they put in their top group awards. Often, they will have a top 10. So, they will pick out their top 10 exhibits in that ring and announce them in order from 10 to their top pick at number 1.

At the end of the day the judging is tallied up and the supreme cats are announced.

It is a great way for breeders to socialise and learn from each other. The can share to the public information about cat breeds, good cat ownership and cat regulations. For many it is all about the love for your breed and a good day out. And everyone gets to take home the best cat of the day, their own. What happens at a cat show and why should I care? It is a great way for breeders to socialise and learn from each other. The can share to the public information about cat breeds, good cat ownership and cat regulations. For many it is all about the love for your breed and a good day out. And everyone gets to take home the best cat of the day, their own.

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How to find a reputable cat breeder

How to find a reputable cat breeder

So you have decided to add a cat to your family. Congratulations. That is awesome. Now you need to work out what kind of cat is going to be right for you.

Pedigree cats come in all shapes and sizes and finding the right one for you can be a lot of fun. Start by checking out some online resources like this site and see what cats catch your eye. What ones do you like the look of? Then read about their personality traits. Do they fit into what you want in a cat?

Then visit a local cat show and work out the right breed for you. Often you will find great breeders here that can give you some idea of who is the best breeders are for a particular breed. Recommendations is a great place to start.

See if the local cat associations have a cattery licence or accreditation program. This is a program that means their cattery has been checked out and has had to jump through some hoops. Doesn’t mean that other breeders are not as good as them, but it does demonstrate a dedication to doing the right thing for their cats.

Showing cats is a great way to ensure that your breeder is reputable. It means that their cats are on show regularly and you can talk with them in a public space without having to commit to buying from them. One sign of a good breeder is to get into a discussion of how he or she works to improve upon the breed, rather than the bragging just of the wins. Find out what they love about the breed. You will see it from talking with them if they are in it for the love or the money. Of course the wins shows that the breeder understands what makes a great example of their breed.

What to look out for as the red flags:

  • Sells several different breeds of cats.
  • No grand champions in the breeding stock.
  • Sells undesexed kittens.
  • Low prices for pedigree kittens.
  • Sells without a contract.
  • Advertises cross breeds (there is no such thing in cat pedigrees)

Not all breeders will invite you to their cattery, but most are happy to show off their facilities. They should have a good website with images of their housing of their stud cats and their cat containment areas. The cattery, water, bedding and litter trays should be reasonably clean. The cats should be in good heath with no watering eyes or sneezing.

And finally, remember that breeders will be interviewing you to see if you are a good fit for their precious babies. This is and should be normal. The best will have a waiting list so be prepared to have to wait for the right furr baby for you. Just because you can afford a pedigree kitten doesn’t mean that you are the right person for that breed so expect lots of questions back from your potential breeder.

 

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Pedigree vs Rescue. What kind of cat is right for me?

Pedigree vs Rescue. What kind of cat is right for me?

With all the cats that need a rescue home, why do we still have pedigree cats? There is so much shame put on people who choose to have a pedigree cat and its just silly. The anthem of “adopt don’t shop” is becoming a catch phrase that I just don’t agree with.

I do agree that there are cat farms out there that are just producing animals for profit and I don’t believe that pet shops should be selling cats and kittens. Not that long ago I saw a birmilla x ragdoll for sale in a pet shop. I’m sorry but you cant have a crossbreed cat breeds for starters. More often than not these “pedigree” cats sold in pet shops are sold under false pretences and don’t come with pedigree papers and sometimes are not desexed.

But before we get on to the pedigree discussion lets talk a bit about rescues. If you want a cat then it’s a great thing to rescue a cat or kitten. If you are going to go down this path consider rescuing an older cat as these guys have a much harder time of finding their forever home. But find the right pet for you. For instance, if you have a loud household with little kids then don’t adopt a scaredy cat that has been through a hard time and needs lots of quite space to get to know you and your family. Or if you are an older person, don’t get an overly overt kitten that will need lots of attention and cleaning up after.

While we are on the subject of rescues, a big shout out to all those amazing individuals that spend their nights and weekends transporting and collecting cats from all sorts of dire conditions and coordinate foster families, and so on. Your efforts are truly commendable. The enegry that you put into saving the lives of these unwanted furr people is just heroic in my book.

Getting a rescue is a wonderfully generous thing to do. You are giving a cat that didn’t have a home a place to be loved and safe and that is awesome. The down side is that you never know what kind of personality a rescue might be. Nor do you know what kind of life they had before coming into your care. But why are there so many rescues? Its because humans who have a cat but cannot afford to get it desexed (or cant be bothered or think its a mean thing to do to a cat) allow their cat to roam and breed. And I say this without judgement. We have a cat that got out of the house at 4 months of age and got “serviced” by the local Tom. We still have her and 2 of her kittens as part of our family and found homes for her other 3 kittens before getting her desexed. She is now over 10yrs old and back then you could not have a kitten desexed before 6 months old. It happens. Cats are breeding machines. But all the more reason to ensure they are contained and desexed as soon as possible.

So lets talk about Breeders. When looking at pedigree pets its important that you decide on the breed and do your homework. We breed Abyssinian and Somali cats. My pet peeve is when someone says that breeders should stop breeding because the shelters and rescues are full. Cat breeders spend hours ensuring bloodlines and linage. They look for cats to breed that stick to a standard and have the right personality traits. They spend weekends showing their cats and competing for the best of breed awards. Only the best specimens of the breed are kept for breeding purposes. They spend on genetic testing and medical testing to ensure no genetic abnormalities or ongoing medical issues are in their lines. Before a litter is conceived thousands of dollars has been spent on ensuring the king and queen are top cats. Breeders are like midwives at the birth of a litter ensuring that each kitten is healthy, feeding and thriving. Breeders will have you sign a contract and all will include a clause that if for any reason the family can no longer keep the cat, it can be returned to the breeder for rehoming. By the time you purchase a kitten from a breeder, the price will never come close to the amount of time, hours and money invested into the kitten. Breeders are breeders because they want to ensure the integrity of their breed and continue to keep the breed strong and healthy. Even if every single one of them stopped breeding, there would still be a problem with dumped kittens. Many breeders donate their time and money to helping the rescue of those that need it. They often foster rescues and have rescues as part of the family. Like all things in life, some breeders are better than others and there is an entire blog post here that you can find out more about what to look for in a responsible breeder.

So why should you buy a pedigree over a rescue? Probably the most obvious is that you will know what you are getting. Different breeds will suit different people and different situations. Just like if you are looking for a pedigree dog, with cats, you are looking at not just what the cat looks like but the personality traits that will suit your lifestyle. With pedigrees you will also know what medical issues you might have to look out for as well.

And I hate to say it, but if you are going to spend a few thousand dollars on a pedigree cat, your going to look after it a little better than if a friend gives you a kitten that cost you $0. Its awful that we have to put a price on a life to make it valuable and ensure that it is looked after well but I think that will need its own blog post.

Tell me what you think about this topic! Do you agree with me or do you have a different take on things? Comment below and let me know.

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