Feline Basic Health

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:

The need for a suitable environment.
The need for a suitable diet.
The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns.
The need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals.
The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

We all love our cats and want to do the very best to keep them happy and healthy. Preventative care is very important. We offer a healthy pet club. As part of this club or cat will receive four checks per year, vaccinations, flea and worm treatment plus 10% off a number of other services and products. The cost of the club is paid by direct debt which means you can pay each month, spreading the cost. Please talk to any member of our staff who will be able to discuss the plans with you.

As well as vaccination we also need to be looking at parasite control for your cat and it is so confusing with a lot of products on the market!  we invite you to make an appointment with one of our qualified nurses who can explain how you can treat your cat.

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 Healthy Pet Club you will receive regular worm treatment for your cat.

Roundworms (Toxocara cati & Toxascaris leonina) Eggs from these worms are found in the faeces, can remain in the environment for several years and these eggs can infect other cats.

Tapeworms. These are generally long flat worms composed of many segments which look like grains of rice and can sometimes be seen in faeces. Tapeworms are transmitted to cats by fleas and when they eat small rodents.

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.

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.

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