Keeping Indoor Cats Healthy
Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD

VSPN Review by Tracy Darling, RVT, VTS (SAIM) Star
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This DVD may be purchased at Amazon.com.

The reviewer comes from a feline practice background with numerous hours discussing unwanted feline behaviors, and the effects of stress on the health of cats with frustrated owners. This DVD is a good introduction for cat owners and new veterinary professionals to feline behavior and environmental enrichment strategies.

This is a 60 minute DVD in a lecture and video demonstration format detailing the importance of environmental enrichment in the health and well-being of indoor cats (and their owners). The author is a professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has done extensive work on feline urinary tract diseases and the impact of environmental factors on the health and well-being of cats.

The DVD starts off with an introduction to the importance of cats in our society and their impact on human health and well-being. Dr. Buffington gives the audience a good understanding of why some negative feline behaviors (scratching, urine marking, climbing, etc.) are essential for feline emotional health. He also briefly demonstrates how cats can be conditioned to apply these behaviors in an appropriate manner and techniques for effective positive and negative reinforcement in the feline. Tips for litter box, scratching post, and food bowl placement as well as ways to determine litter, toy, and food preferences are also given. He even discusses ways to deter that outdoor cat that can cause trouble for the territorial indoor cat. There is also a brief discussion on the positive impact of environmental enrichment on cats with urinary and gastrointestinal disorders. Recommendations for additional resources are provided (books and websites) to assist cat owners that wish to obtain additional information on multimodal environmental enrichment strategies and understanding domestic feline behavior. He concludes the presentation with a question and answer session with the audience.

Although very brief, this DVD provides essential information on feline behavior and enrichment strategies that every cat owner and veterinary professional should know. I would highly recommend this for any new cat owner, and owners of cats with behavior or stress induced health problems. I also recommend this DVD for any veterinary professional (veterinarian, technician, receptionist, etc.) who regularly discusses feline behavior issues with cat owners.

Publisher: Buffington (2008); 60 Minutes, DVD.


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Date Published: July 6, 2009

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