Pets Q&A

Q My budgie has a red lump under his wing. What is this and what shall I do?

A There are various possible causes of a lump like this, including warty growths, an abscess, a "xanthoma" (a fatty mass with thickened skin) or a tumour. To find out which it is, your vet will need to examine your budgie and may suggest taking a biopsy. Some types of lump can be safely left alone, whereas for others it may be best to remove it.

Ideally, you should visit a vet with experience of birds. Your local veterinary practice should be able to tell you where the nearest vet with such experience is located.

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Q My cat has started to scratch my furniture rather than use his scratching post. He's always used the post before. How do I get him to stop?

A Scratching is normal behaviour for cats, used for keeping claws in good condition and scent-marking. However, it isn't acceptable for furniture to be used.

Cover the furniture with polythene sheeting, or don't let your cat in to the room. Provide a few scratching posts, and place them near to your cat's sleeping area. Ensure they are tall and stable enough to allow your cat to stretch to full height. Provide one that is horizontal as well as vertical ones.

Praise your cat when he uses the scratching posts. Once he's in the habit of using a post again, you can uncover your furniture.