886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

How to Choose the Best Toys for Your Cat This Holiday Season

It that gift-buying time of year again. If you share your home with one or more cats, you may be wondering what would make a good holiday gift. After all, cats require toys to keep their minds sharp, their weight down, and boredom at bay. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic, we urge you to consider safety before anything else. Many cat toys have small parts that can present a choking hazard. Specific things to look for include buttons, strings, sewn-on eyes, feathers, toyss with unsecured batteries, and small toys that your cat could try to swallow.


Toys that you choose for your cat should be large enough to fit into her mouth but nothing that she could swallow. You have probably also noticed that your cat can feel just as entertained by batting around common household items. However, you shouldn’t allow her access to pipe cleaners, small caps, hair ties, rubber bands, sewing supplies, buttons, flowers and plants, or batteries.


The Best Types of Toys for Cats
Today’s domesticated feline may not resemble his ancestors who had to hunt for their prey, but he still carries this instinct with him. You can help foster it by purchasing cat toys that allow him to chase and stalk. Fishing pole types of toys that you wave in front of your cat are ideal for this purpose as is a laser pointer. Cats tend to show more interest in toys that continually move rather than ones that you throw for them to chase on their own. If you buy toy mice, consider tying a string to one and pulling it across the floor for your cat to chase.
A treat dispenser is another good idea, especially if you have a cat who loves treats but hates exercise. By placing the treats inside of the toy, it forces your cat to chase it before it releases the treats for her to eat. Additionally, consider toys that your cat can use alone when you’re gone at work during the day. These could include small balls, toy mice, and food puzzles.
Check Your Cat’s Toys Often for Safety
You will need to keep some toys out of your cat’s reach while you’re not home, such as fishing pole toys. These are great fun for the two of you to play together, but your cat could swallow strings, feathers, or other embellishments when no one is home to supervise. You should also hide battery-operated toys or anything with small parts when your cat is home alone. Lastly, we encourage you to go through your cat’s toys regularly and throw away any broken items. 
Order Fun and Safe Cat Toys from Our Online Store
Skip the crowds this holiday season and order cat toys directly from our online store. We guarantee the safety and quality, and you enjoy fast home delivery and stress-free shopping. 
The staff at both of our clinics wish you the happiest of holidays!

Photo  credit: 2002lubava1981 / Getty Images


How to Help When Your Pet Gets Anxious Before Vet Visits

You’re pressed for time already getting your dog or cat prepared for a visit to Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic. However, she is feeling stressed and doesn’t care about your schedule. Before you can reach for the cat carrier or dog leash, she’s under the bed and won’t come out. You panic as you wonder if you should reschedule or keep trying to pull an anxious pet behaving entirely out of character out from under the bed. 
Does this scene sound familiar? If so, you’re far from alone. Many pet owners avoid the vet entirely because of it, even when their pet needs urgent care. Your dog or cat intuitively senses something different is about to take place and wants no part of it. While frustrating, you can do several things to help your pet feel more comfortable about coming to see us.
How to Reduce Veterinary Anxiety for Dogs
Here are some tips to help your dog feel less reluctant about getting into the car for a veterinary visit:
  • Buy a small can of pheromone spray and spray your dog’s normal spot in the car with it. You can also spray it on his crate, leash, and harness the day before the appointment and again several hours before it. Pheromone creates a calming aroma and draws your dog towards the items containing it. 
  • Make sure that you restrain your dog in the car so she feels more secure.
  • Play calming music in the car, offer lots of praise, and keep your tone of voice calm and patient.
Easing Feline Stress Before Arriving at the Clinic
Cats are naturally suspicious of going for a ride in the car and tend to dislike the experience. These things can help:
  • Bring her carrier out two days before the appointment and place it in a spot she can easily access. Consider spraying it with pheromone also. This attracts her to it and gives her the chance to mark it with her scent and walk in and out of it. Placing a treat inside can also send the message that her carrier is nothing to fear and reduces her stress.
  • Have another person on hand the day of your cat’s appointment in case you still can’t get him in the carrier willingly. Using a carrier with a removable top is easier that trying to push him in through the front opening.
  • Spray pheromone in the car to help calm your cat during your drive to the clinic. As with dogs, remain calm and praise any amount of cooperation.
Don’t Let Your Pet Pick Up on Your Anxiety
If you have the expectation that preparing your pet for his appointment will be stressful, he will sense your stress and possibly act out because of it. That’s why staying calm yourself is so important. We’re also happy to offer additional suggestions in person if your pet continues to struggle with anxiety.
Photo Credit: Image Source / Getty Images