Cats have over the years become one of the most popular pets in the UK with over 8 million being owned. The veterinary sector is advancing all of the time increasing its knowledge of our feline friends with new treatments for disease, operating techniques and instrumentation. This along with studies into behaviour and alternative medicine helps us to give your feline the best veterinary care. At the Cat and Rabbit care clinic your cat will be cared for as if they are one of our own.
At the cat and rabbit care clinic we recommend vaccinating against cat flu (feline rhinotracheitis virus and feline calicivirus), feline enteritis, and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). We recommend FeLV testing on older cats which have not been vaccinated before and for kittens with an unknown FeLV parentage. This is a simple procedure requiring a small sample of your cat’s blood this can be taken in the first vaccination consultation.
Kittens will be given two vaccinations, one at 9 weeks and the second at 12 weeks of age. For older cats the vaccinations are given three weeks apart. Booster vaccinations including an annual health check are given yearly thereafter. We will send you a reminder one month in advance giving you flexibility for making your booster appointment.
We recommend neutering of all non breeding cats. We generally recommend neutering both sexes from 5 months of age though earlier neutering can be carried out. Castration helps prevent urine spraying in the home, limit roaming and fighting which can lead to serious viral diseases such as FeLV or FIV. Spaying of females stops unwanted pregnancy and womb infections. The risk of mammary tumours is also greatly reduced after spaying.
New worming treatments are coming onto the veterinary market all of the time and worming can now be given in various forms including tablets, paste and spot on preparations. These give owners the freedom to treat their cat at home without the worry of them not taking their wormer (we have all found the wormer on the floor after kitty has conveniently held it in the mouth until human has turned away).
Roundworm treatment can be given monthly as part of some spot on flea treatments. Tapeworm treatments should be given every three months though more frequent worming for tapeworm can be required in the case of prolific hunters. Please ask one of our friendly staff members for up to date worming advice.
Prevention of fleas
As with the worming treatments there are new flea preparations are coming onto the veterinary market regularly. A complete flea program should include not just your feline friend but the house too. One flea can produce up to 50 eggs a day. Once they have turned into pupae, fleas can lay dormant in the environment for several years until the right conditions to hatch to adult fleas are present. Monthly treatment of your cat eliminates the adult fleas and thus prevents further egg laying. Many products either contain a growth inhibitor or reduce eggs and larvae in the environment as they are shed into the cat’s environment in hair and dander. Regular use of a household flea spray will help to minimise contamination and kill eggs and larvae already in the house. Please discuss your individual requirements with a member of our staff.
Cats can suffer from several severe and painful dental diseases.
The most common of these is periodontal disease caused by calculus (tartar) build up which can lead to gum inflammation (gingivitis) and tooth root abscesses. Approximately 50% of cats suffer from resorptive lesions (cavities in the tooth roots or crowns), which are painful for the cat and can lead to fracture of the tooth crown. Traumatically fractured teeth, especially the tips of the upper canine (fang) teeth are also common. Finally, severe inflammation of the gums which spreads throughout the back of the mouth (caudal stomatitis) is recognised as a cause of severe mouth pain for affected cats. This type of dental disease is often related to infection by the calici flu virus of cats.
Cats are experts at hiding pain, thus, your cat could have one or more of these diseases without you noticing obvious signs. A dental check is an important part of your cats annual health check and allows the veterinary surgeon to recognise early dental diseases.
Dental diagnosis and treatment of dental disease is performed in the clinic under general anaesthetic. Dental x-rays of the mouth give a detailed picture of the tooth roots and surrounding jaw bone and help us to reach an accurate diagnosis.
We stock several tooth pastes and mouth washes. Daily brushing can significantly reduce the need for dental treatment and dental diets can also reduce tartar build up on the teeth.
Placement of a microchip into the loose skin at the back of the neck can be done during a consultation. Each microchip has its own unique number. The numbers are stored on a national database along with details of the cat and its owner. Lost pets are scanned for the presence of a microchip and if present will allow rapid identification including contact details for the owner. Microchips can now also be read by specialist cat flaps preventing unwanted cats from entering your house.