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My Pet World: Antisocial cat could be tough to place in new home

April 05, 2011|By Steve Dale

TORONTO — More than 3,500 veterinary professionals attended the combined conferences of the American Animal Hospital Assn. and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Assn. from March 24 to 27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

AAHA certifies veterinary hospitals that attain standards for excellence in veterinary care. The AAHA logo appears at accredited hospitals, indicating those facilities and their personnel have withstood assessment by AAHA reviewers. AAHA also provides general pet care information, and offers medical care guidelines on various topics (including vaccines and Life Stage Guidelines for Cats), available at http://www.healthypet.org.

I sniffed out experts at the event to answer some of your questions.

Question: My friend took in an antisocial cat, giving this declawed and formerly abused animal a good home. Now, my friend has cancer and not much time to live. He can't find a home for this cat. I don't believe the cat could survive outdoors. Any advice? —T.G., Cyberspace

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Answer: "I am so sorry for this situation," begins Dr. Michael Moyer, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, and AAHA president.

"No question, if you know this cat, it would be in the pet's best interest if there's some way you could keep it," he adds. "However, I suspect you wouldn't be writing this letter if that were possible. Perhaps there's a friend who could take the cat. With all the sociable cats available for adoption — except for maybe a shelter that specializes in special needs cats — it will be challenging to find a shelter to accept this cat. It's certainly not in the cat's best interest to be just let outside."

Moyer continues: "Perhaps, if you think about it and do some research, you can find some support in your community, such as a pet food bank, so you could keep this cat to honor your friend. That would be the best thing."

Q: We rescued a 5-year-old golden retriever. The vet we saw for this dog has different recommendations from those of the vet we've seen for eight years for our Scottish Terrier. The new vet advises against using a heartworm product, but does want us to come in every six months for a bordetella (kennel cough) booster shot. I don't know why, since we don't board our dogs. We love our animals and want to do what's best for them. What do you do when veterinarians offer different opinions? Tell me what shots are required and I'll certainly comply. — M.J.D., Las Vegas

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