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Cats

Top tips on caring for your cat

Our cats are important to us and we want to do the very best to keep them happy and healthy. As well as the pleasure of having a feline friend in your life, cat ownership brings responsibilities and if you are thinking of buying a new cat, you should weigh up the time and commitment involved.

Cats, like other pets, are protected under the law within the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which means that anyone caring for a cat (even temporarily) has a duty to care for him or her properly.

The Act covers the 5 welfare needs of our animals:

  1. The need for a suitable environment.
  2. The need for a suitable diet.
  3. The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns.
  4. The need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals.
  5. The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
  • Insurance
  • Dental Care
  • Fleas
  • Worms

Insurance

One in three pets will require veterinary treatment each year. The treatment may be a one-off problem such as a road traffic accident or it may be an going problem such as diabetes which can result in costs which are not planned for. When looking to take out your pet insurance, please make sure that whoever you take your insurance policy out with that it is a ‘Cover For Life’ policy and not just a ’12 month policy’.

Should you have taken out ‘cover for life’ then any treatment for any condition the animal had received in the previous 12 months would still be covered for the following years to come. Yes, you pay more each month for this ‘cover for life’ policy but the peace of mind it gives knowing you are insured for your pet’s lifetime is worth it. If you are at all unsure please phone our Insurance Manager, Lisa and she will gladly advise you.

Dental Care

Periodontal or gum disease caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar, has become the number-one health problem for cats. With your help, your cat can have healthy teeth and gums throughout their lives.

How to keep your cat’s teeth healthy:

To keep your cat’s teeth healthy, you simply need to provide them with a few things:

  • A nutritious diet
  • Chew treats
  • Regular brushing at home
  • Twice yearly dental checkups

The best food for your cat’s teeth

Feeding your cat a dry food rather than a canned one will, through its mild abrasive action on the teeth, help remove the bacterial plaque that can harden into tartar. Dry food also provides adequate chewing exercise and gum stimulation. We may recommend the use of a dental diet, which is a specially formulated dry biscuit designed to reduce plaque and tartar build-up, especially if your cat is prone to dental problems.

Cats also need to have their teeth brushed in order to eliminate the dental plaque. Please make an appointment with one of our nurses who will go through this with you or give you advice on other means of cleaning your cat’s teeth if brushing is not an option.

Fleas

Fleas are a common problem and may be difficult to spot. Fleas can cause irritation and produce extensive itching, red lesions, and hair loss to those with a flea allergy. Fleas can also transmit several diseases and parasites, such as tapeworm and will bite humans. Due to the life-cycle of the flea (5% on the animal, 95% in the carpets/flooring), it is very important to treat the home environment as well.

If one flea finds your cat an attractive food source, you can be sure that other fleas will, too, laying 30-50 eggs per day.

Does my cat have fleas? 

When grooming, cats often ingest (eat) any fleas that they discover, which can make it difficult to find adult fleas in the hair coat.

The best way to find the presence of fleas is to comb the cat meticulously with a fine-toothed ‘flea comb’. If you do this over a large piece of damp white paper, any fleas or ‘flea dirts’ (flea excrement consisting of digested blood) will be deposited onto the surface. If there is any debris (for example small black specs), they will slowly dissolve leaving red-brown blood marks. This demonstrates the presence of fleas even if adults cannot be found.

How to get rid of fleas?

You can prevent flea infestations by a licensed spot-on applied to the back of the neck. Getting rid of an established infestation can take some weeks. One of our nurses or vets will discuss your individual needs.

Using spot-on preparations:

Part the hair down to the skin at the back of the neck. Apply the product onto the skin. Some preparations recommend that the product is applied at two different locations on the back of the neck, with half the tube dispensed at each

Warning! Never use dog flea preparations on cats – some may contain concentrated permethrin which can be fatal to cats.

Worms

Most infected cats do not show signs of having worms; however heavy burdens of worms can cause weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea, irritation around the anus and failure to thrive. Importantly, whilst worms can sometimes not cause problems for the cat itself, some worms can also be passed on to humans and on rare occasions can be a cause of serious human disease.

As part of our Pet Health Club, you'll receive regular worm treatment for your cat against roundworms and tapeworms.

How can I treat worms?

You can prevent worms very easily with a spot-on or tablets. One of our nurses or vets will discuss your individual needs.

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