From a talkative cat to lonely bearded dragons – your pet questions answered
Its mission is to help our pets. . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the chief veterinarian for custom pet food company tails.com, has been answering owners’ questions for ten years. He says, “If your pet is acting weird or is under bad weather, or if you want to know more about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep animals happy and healthy.
Q) MY Birman cat Romeo, who is five years old, is more talkative since our other cat died. Why do you think that is?
Cas Murphy, Bognor Regis
Sean says: Birmans are just talkative cats in general so I suspect it may be boredom or attention seeking on your part now that your other cat is gone as there is one less “being” in the household to interact with.
At first it can definitely be related to grief, but I imagine it’s less about that than wanting a commitment now.
If Romeo really enjoyed having companionship with a cat, you might consider finding another friend for him, but many cats like to be the best cat or the only cat in the house.
New introductions don’t always go as planned, so think carefully.
Q) PLEASE can you advise us on the claw length of our nine year old cat Rafiki.
We’ve been noticing for some time that his are long.
He mainly goes out to do his business in our back garden.
Should we get our claws cut or leave them alone.
Catherine and Albert Greenway, Coventry
Sean says: I’m not a big fan of clipping a cat’s claws unless they’re overgrown or deformed in some way.
Cats’ claws are meant to be long and sharp, and they usually take care of them on their own by scratching at the appropriate surfaces.
Older cats with stiff joints or mobility issues may struggle to maintain this and the claws may thicken and overgrow, in which case they may need regular trimming.
But the problem with clipping cat claws is that they split, shed the outer coat and soon reveal a sharp new claw in its place in no time.
Have your vet check Rafiki out and decide what’s best, if you’re worried.
At nine years old, I imagine he is perfectly fine.
Q) Do bearded dragons feel lonely?
Mine seems pretty happy as it eats and moves around.
I change his environment a lot so he has a lot to do, but sometimes I worry if he needs a friend?
Rory Palmer, Manchester
Sean says: No. Although given the interaction and friendliness of these pet reptiles, it is easy to anthropomorphize them or attribute human feelings or behaviors to them.
In the wild, bearded dragons are pretty much solitary except when breeding.
You can keep them together, but it’s not necessary or even natural.
And sometimes this can lead to issues with bullying, competition for food, places to rest, and even aggression in some cases.
A large and enriched environment, adequate heating and lighting to allow them to regulate their temperature throughout the day, and a varied and balanced diet are more important than another dragon companion.
Q) Jessie, my sister-in-law’s 11-year-old border collie, has been getting aggressive towards white dogs lately.
Previously, she had always been an adorable friendly dog.
I think his eyesight is failing.
Could this be the reason?
Edward Clark, Bristol
Sean says: It’s quite strange, and I don’t see why failing eyesight would only affect his relationship with white dogs.
It may just be a coincidence that she showed aggression towards white dogs.
Or could Jessie have had a frightening or disturbing encounter with one recently and now associates all white dogs with feeling unwell, or even confuses them with this dog in question because of it?
If this becomes a big problem, I would suggest calling in a qualified animal behaviorist.
They can come and observe what she is around other dogs and give practical, specific advice on how to fix this problem before it becomes a bigger problem.
star of the week
KARA the parrot is the star of the café where its owners work – and even tells customers to eat.
The African grey, who turns 12 next month, also enjoys hiking with owners Gordon Stirling, 53, and partner Stuart Lilley, 52, in a special backpack, saying to the sheep: ” Shooo!
Gordon, who runs Laggan Coffee Bothy and Gallery in the Cairngorms National Park, said: ‘All the customers love Kara and she says to them, ‘Come on, eat your lunch’.
“She loves to go for walks and that has led to some fun times over the years.
“One day she shouted to a passing lady, ‘Do you want to come upstairs? Do you want to take a bath?’ because she likes to take a daily shower herself.
WINNER: Pet Vacuum
EVERY pet owner deals with pet hair at home.
So we’ve teamed up with Henry to offer readers the chance to win one of two Henry Pet vacuum cleaners worth £169.99.
Driven by Henry Pet’s powerful airflow, the EcoBrush picks up stubborn hair with ease, making cleanup a breeze.
To enter, send an email titled HENRY to [email protected] co.uk before August 28.
How to Get Great Pet Photos
MOST of us struggle to get the perfect pet portrait and now Paws and Claws reveals how – using your mobile phone.
Internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer Kaylee Greer has revealed her top tips for getting the perfect shot.
Kaylee, who is a featured speaker at the Photography Show and Video Show 2022 next month, said: “It’s possible to get great photos of pets with nothing but your mobile – it just takes patience, a little effort. . . and some bribes!
- Get low. Hold your phone at your pet’s eye level. It has a HUGE impact, changing perspective and visually immersing you in your pet’s world.
- Use corruption! If you polled 100 dogs, cats, and small furry animals on how much they want to be paid for their time spent in front of your camera, 99 of them would answer, “Stinky, yummy, appetizing treats!”
- Make wacky sounds. Try a squeaker or a kazoo and say things like, “Do you want a walk?” to dogs. Stand out when their face lights up.
- Look at the light. If you are indoors during the day, face your pet toward a large window. If you’re outside in the middle of the day, find a tree that casts shade and place your pet there for an evenly lit image.
Kaylee is at the NEC show on September 19 and a reader can win four entry tickets that day worth £107. For a chance to win, send an email titled PHOTO SHOW to [email protected] https://www.photographyshow.com