Cornell Cat Care Videos Save Clueless Owners
Cornell University's Feline Health Center provides pet owners with detailed, informative online videos on animal care. (Pet Pulse Photo Courtesy of the Cornell Feline Health Center)
NEW YORK -- Standing by its mission of improving "the health and well being of cats everywhere," the Cornell University's Feline Health Center and Partners in Animal Health continues to produce online videos for cat owners.
Tasks like brushing a cat's teeth or giving it liquid medicine can be challenging for some pet owners to master. And a quick tutorial at a veterinary office won't always leave owners confident in trimming their fidgety cat's nails.
Thanks to the center, owners don't have to worry about getting it right the first time around -- they can always look back to the free, informative online videos.
"We wanted to provide a place where pet owners could go and get trusted information to help coach them through some of the issues they will likely face with a dog or a cat," Dr. Jodi Korich, producer of the films, said.
The videos, which focus on dogs, cats and livestock, have been circulating the Web for around three years. Since then, the site -- partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/pets -- has received around six million page views, with an average of 12,000 new viewers a month.
The several-minute long videos include tutorials on how to brush a cat's teeth, trim its nails, give it a pill or capsule, administer liquid medicine and take its temperature. The videos also include a pet owner's guide to dealing with cancer in a pet.
One of the most popular videos is "How to Give your Cat a Pill or Capsule," Korich said.
Each video is simplistic, yet detailed in its approach, outlining concrete steps and required tools.
Korich, a veterinarian, says that when people learn care techniques in an exam room, they don't always fully retain and apply the information to their own practices.
"It can be challenging to learn these procedures after watching someone else do it only one time in an exam room," she said. "If your cat or dog is diagnosed with diabetes, it can be hard to learn how to give an insulin injection."
"With these videos you can sit at home and watch them as many times as it needs. You can pause it or rewind. There isn't that much information out there on the Web to coach people through this sort of thing."
The videos, many of which are free of charge, also walk viewers through potential mishaps along the way, focusing on what to do if you trim your cat's nails and it starts to bleed, or if the cat loses patience while you are trying to take its temperature.
The seven-minute video on how to brush a cat's teeth outlines a multiple-week long schedule, in which the cat becomes accustomed to the taste of the tooth paste, and then of the sensation of having a brush in its mouth.
Breaking down and simplifying the procedure can have lasting effects for cats and owners alike, Korich says.
"Brushing a cat's teeth can make a major difference in its longevity and health," she said. "When the bacteria in an animal's mouth gets out of control it can leak into its circulatory system and settle into its heart valves and kidney."
The Cornell Feline Health Center and Partners in Animal Health hope to continue to produce films that are increasingly accessible to viewers. Korich says they have also teamed up with different veterinarians that refer patients -- or their owners -- to the Web site.
By getting the word out, Korich hopes to counteract all the misleading and unofficial veterinary information floating around on the Web.
"There were doctors concerned that people were going to the Web and getting information that wasn't entirely accurate," she said. "We are creating a place where they can get accurate information, a place they can trust. And we are making it free, available to millions of pet owners everywhere."
To learn more about the Cornell Feline Health Center, visit vet.cornell.edu/FHC/.
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