HE is on a mission to help our pets . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm tails.com, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years. He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”
Q) I’M thinking of getting another hamster to join my family’s Syrian one, Hannibal.
But is it a good idea? Should they be kept separate? Or can they be together for company like rabbits?
Maya Jones, Newport
Sean says: I’m glad you asked, Maya, because with Syrian hamsters, at least, we were about to have a Silence of the Hamsters blood bath. Syrian or golden hamsters are solitary, only coming together briefly to mate.
Housing them together usually results in one killing and eating the other. If you get another hamster, you need another enclosure.
Some dwarf hamsters, like Russian, Chinese or Roborovski, and Winter Whites, are more social and can be kept together in same-sex pairs if bought together as littermates — or even if unrelated but co-housed from a young age.
Got a question for Sean?
SEND your queries to email@example.com.
Q) I HAVE a six-year-old cat, Henry, who belonged to a neighbour until about two years ago when he moved in with me.
He vomits quite often, no matter what food he has — and I buy the best I can. I have taken him to my vet twice and they say he is perfectly healthy and must just be a sickly cat, which I didn’t really agree with.
They gave him FortiFlora Feline Probiotic. He has been on it for nearly three weeks and it doesn’t seem to help.
Liz Manuel, Renfrews
Sean says: You don’t say if Henry is long or short-haired — but have you considered hairballs? They can affect cats of both coat types but are more common in long-haired cats as they swallow a lot of fur when grooming.
You could try a hairball product from your vet’s for a few weeks and see if it reduces the vomiting. After that, you could discuss a diet trial to see if maybe there’s an intolerance.
But your vet could be right, some cats just vomit regularly and there is nothing we can find to explain it.
Q) OUR King Charles, Oscar, is eight years old and he pees over everything.
Is there anything we can do to stop this, please?
John Graham, Bridgend
Sean says: Neuter him? Scent- marking for territorial reasons is largely driven by hormones in male entire dogs. Neutering can help.
If he’s already neutered then this is a behavioural issue and there is no quick fix.
Context and a learned element may play a part, as does scent. If where he’s marking isn’t completely cleaned every time there’s a slip-up, that’s a driver for Oscar to go in the same place over and over.
Getting a qualified behaviourist to observe exactly what’s going on, and why, is highly recommended.
Q) AT age 72, I am downsizing from a large house and garden on a quiet road to a retirement apartment.
Although my flat is at the rear of a building, there is a busy road at the front. I have a ten-year-old neutered cat, Toby, who I adopted three years ago. He’s a Mummy’s boy and does go out but not for long and not far.
I fear he will have to become an indoor cat after I move. I will worry about him getting on the road, plus I doubt other residents will like him messing the communal garden.
Might he accept indoor living? Am I being cruel? Any advice please?
Pat Heron, Surrey
Sean says: Yes, he will accept indoor living just fine, and you are making the right decision for Toby.
We’re seeing a trend toward more indoor cats. In the US it’s almost becoming frowned upon to let your cat free to roam outdoors.
With all the accidents, disease risks, fighting and other potential harm for cats, not to mention the harm our high density of pet cats does to our wildlife, I can see merit in keeping them indoors. But ensure opportunity to exercise and play.
Star of the week
KOLUCHKA the one-eyed cat is an unofficial pub landlady after turning up on the doorstep of The Chequers in Farningham, Kent, 14 years ago.
After being taken in by real landlady Viktoria Sukovata, she is now a fixture in the pub and loved by all the regulars.
She is even giving comfort to Viktoria’s parents, brother, sister-in-law and their three children who have been forced to flee their home in Kyiv, Ukraine, and are now living with her.
Viktoria said: “Koluchka is bringing so much love and affection to my family at this time.
“Plus she is lucky. Four years ago she had a bad car accident, losing an eye and dislocating her jaw, yet bounced back. I am so proud of her.”
WIN: £50 B&M vouchers
TO celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, we’ve joined forces with B&M to offer five Paws & Claws readers a £50 voucher to spend in the store.
For pups, pawsome summer products include splash pools, cooling mats and snacks, while for cats there are purr-fect toys and treats.
To enter, send an email headed B&M to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 19.
See bmstores.co.uk. T&Cs apply.
W-oof! £30,000 on dog care
A THIRD of dog and cat owners admit they underestimated the cost of pet ownership, a Paws and Claws survey has revealed.
With a lifetime cost of keeping a dog estimated at between £25,000 and £30,000, and cats averaging £12,000, 15 per cent of owners also say it’s added to their worries amid the current cost of living crisis.
Our survey, conducted by Seresto Flea And Tick Control collars, reported up to 1.3 million of the 9.6m dog owners and 10.7m cat owners have considered giving them up within the last two years due to the impact on their life and finances, plus animal behaviour problems and time pressures.
Presenter and mum-of-two Andrea McLean, 52, who owns rescue dog Teddy, said: “I’m considering creating an online community for busy pet owners to encourage them to think differently.
“If they can be more prepared before embarking on a wonderful journey with their animals, we can have healthier, happier pets and less stressed, anxious owners.
“Having had dogs before I’m aware they need a lot of maintenance, vet visits, grooming, walking, training and, often way down the list for most people, they need to be kept free of fleas and other parasites.”
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