Don’t settle for pet theories, get pet answers! Veterinary surgeon Holly Norman answers your animal health questions.
Q: I’ve got two cats and they used to share a litter tray, but now I’ve found one of them going to the toilet behind the sofa! What do I do??
A: Oh dear! Well, there could be a few things going on here. Firstly, it would be worth a check-up with your vet to make sure there isn’t a health issue that could be causing this, such as a urinary infection. If it’s all clear, this might be behavioural and your vet should have plenty of advice on this too! As a rule, we advise one litter tray per cat, and then one more, so ideally you’d have three litter trays around the house in separate places. Using a cat pheromone plug-in can help with any stress they may be experiencing and there are supplements that can be mixed in the food. Hopefully, you’ll be sorted soon and have no more surprises behind the sofa!
Q: I’m picking up my rescue dog next week and I don’t know where she should go in the car! Is she OK in the boot?
A: How exciting! I bet you can’t wait! There is often a lot of confusion about dogs travelling in the car as there are so many options. The Highway Code states that dogs and other animals should be suitably restrained so they can’t distract you when you are driving and can’t injure you or themselves if you have an accident or need to stop quickly. This can be using harnesses, crates or a dog guard. Ideally, I would travel dogs on the back seat or in the boot as they are much safer here in case of an accident. If they absolutely have to travel on the front seat, I would use a suitable harness, push the seat back as far as it will go and disable the passenger airbag. Some dogs much prefer to be inside a travel crate, which can be attached to the back seats. There are also dog ‘seatbelts’ which click into the seatbelt and attach to the harness (I wouldn’t attach these to a collar in case of an accident). And finally, some people will travel their dogs in the boot, which is absolutely fine but I would recommend fitting a dog guard so they can’t jump into the back of the car whilst you are driving!
Q: We’ve found a pigeon in our garden and it looks like it has a ring around its leg. Does that mean it belongs to someone?
A: It may well be a racing pigeon having a bit of a rest! If the bird looks otherwise well and happy, I’d offer it some fresh water and bird food (not bread) and leave it be; it’ll probably head home by itself. If it appears injured, I’d take it to your local vet practice and they’ll be able to use the code on the ring to trace the owner.
Dr Holly Norman BSc(Hons)
Veterinary surgeon and Practice Partner at:
● Peterborough Vets4Pets 231-233 St Paul’s Road Peterborough PE1 3RL
Tel: 01733 890777
● Bretton Vets4Pets Inside Pets at Home Unit 2 The Bretton Centre Peterborough PE3 8DN
Tel: 01733 261094