Feline fun and info at Cleveland Cat Health Fair in Middleburg Heights

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio - Della Jacobs and Phil Franz sat in the front row of the Cleveland Cat Health Fair proudly showing pictures of Mike and Ike, two of their three cats.

They felt, even with all their years of pet experience, going to the health fair was going to be a learning experience.

"We've got one with a little problem with so I thought I could find out," Jacobs said.

Hosted by the Big Creek Pet Hospital, the cat health fair offered stations ranging from grooming and nutrition to behavior issues and flea prevention.

Dr. Deborah Fegan, thrilled at the turnout for the event at the Middleburg Heights Community Center, hoped the event would correct some misconceptions about feline health and behavior.

"There's a lot of disinformation out there about what you do with cats and how you keep them healthy, how you enjoy them," said Fegan, owner of Big Creek Pet Hospital.

She said a cat in its outdoor setting may hunt and hide, and be visually stimulated. An indoor cat, bored and not stimulated, can have health and behavior issues.

"I hope we get lots of people that'll learn lots about enriching their cat's life and keeping from seeing me," she said.

Among misconceptions surrounding cat health is the belief indoor cats are immune from fleas, worms and other cat maladies.

"When I ask clinics of all the flea cases they see in cats, over 50 percent of the cases they tell me are in supposedly indoor only cats," said Mike Grace, a sales representative for Zoetis, a company making a leading flea-control product.

Grace said fleas can be transmitted by humans.

"Fleas will jump on you if there's nothing else to eat," he said.

Fegan said indoor cats can become ill through airborne diseases as well.

Three veterinarians gave brief talks and took questions.

Among the refreshments served was a dessert called "dirt" made from chocolate and vanilla cake, and laced with Tootsie Rolls to simulate a litter box served with a litter scoop.

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