Category: cat

Samples – how they help your vet

Laboratory tests are used by vets to help them diagnose disease in sick pets. Increasingly they are also used as part of a routine health check to detect hidden disease before the development of obvious symptoms. This allows your cat to be treated earlier and more effectively. Tests may be used to show whether a cat is... Read more »

Permanent identification of your pet

Stray dogs and cats are a big problem in many countries. In the UK alone it is estimated that more than £250 million a year is spent by local authorities, police forces and animal welfare charities rounding up and looking after stray cats and dogs. It is much harder to calculate the emotional cost to... Read more »

Managing pain in pets

Long term (chronic) pain is as debilitating in animals as it is in people. Constant pain significantly reduces pleasure in life and can lead to sleeplessness and a poor appetite. Simple measures to control even mild pain can result in a happier healthier cat. What conditions are painful? Animals, like people, are prone to many... Read more »

Living with a deaf cat

Deafness is quite common in cats, particularly in older cats and cats with a white hair coat and blue eyes. Although deafness may cause a cat some problems most deaf cats can be helped to live a happy life. Why are some cats deaf? Deafness is quite common in cats. Around three in every four... Read more »

Living with a blind cat

Just like people cats normally use their vision for getting around, as well as hunting and interaction with other cats. However, a cat with poor vision or even total blindness can lead a comfortable and fulfilled life. How can I tell if my cat cannot see well? If a cat loses its sight slowly, behaviour... Read more »

Insect stings

On a warm summer afternoon when your cat is playing in the garden they are at risk from inadvertently disturbing the local wildlife. Wasps and bees are the most common cause of insect stings in UK pets. However ants may also bite (or "sting") pets. Bees and their cousins, bumblebees, wasps, hornets and ants, do not... Read more »

Injection techniques

Administration of medicine by injection is often referred to as giving by the parenteral route (this means that the treatment does not enter the body via the gut). Effective administration of medicine is a key part of most veterinary treatments and many medications are most effective when given by injection. Administration of medicine by injection is essential... Read more »

Health insurance for your cat

In recent years huge advances have been made in veterinary medicine. Vets can now do things to improve the health and welfare of cats that would have been unimaginable or impractical only a few years ago. Not surprisingly, these advanced surgical and medical treatments are often expensive so that a vet's bill for intricate surgery or a prolonged... Read more »

Giving your cat medicines

For most veterinary treatments it is important that medicines are given correctly. In the hospital, trained staff give medicines and it is important to ensure that you are able to continue to give the medicines once your cat has been sent home. If you have any doubts about how to give the medicine your pet... Read more »

Caring for your pet before and after surgery

Most pets will have an operation at some stage in their life, eg for neutering (spaying or castration) or to treat a disease. Nowadays most operations in dogs and cats are fairly safe but the success of treatment and recovery depends to some extent on the quality of care that the owner gives before and after the operation.... Read more »

Caring for the amputee cat

There are a number of reasons which may necessitate the removal of an animal's leg. The two most common of these are severe trauma, for example after a road traffic accident, or as management of a leg cancer. As a general rule, cats cope far better with amputation than people imagine they will. Humans of course... Read more »

Caring for a kitten

Cats are now our most popular domestic pet. Some people acquire a cat almost by accident but if you make a conscious decision to get one you should think carefully about what sort of cat you want - short or long haired, pedigree or ordinary 'moggie', etc. Although obtaining a kitten may be a particularly... Read more »

All about worms

It can be alarming to discover that your cat has worms but it should not come as a surprise. All pets are affected at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming treatment. Except in rare cases, worms are unlikely to cause serious harm. Getting rid of... Read more »

All about neutering

It is a sad truth that the number of kittens born every year is far greater than the number of good homes that can be found for them. As a result, thousands of healthy animals are destroyed and many more unwanted cats are left to fend for themselves. Having your cat neutered will not only help to... Read more »

All about fleas

Fleas are the most common parasite in cats - and every cat is likely to be infected at some stage in its life. However, with the advent of modern products it is possible to prevent fleas from becoming a problem in your household. Working closely with your vet, who will you give you advice on... Read more »

Cancer in your cat – possible options

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. The speed with which a cancer spreads and the severity of the disease it causes depends on the type of tissue cell affected. As many as one in five cats are likely to develop one of the many different forms of cancer at some stage of their... Read more »

Vestibular syndrome

Vestibular syndrome refers to a group of diseases that affect the balance system also known as the vestibular system. Common signs of vestibular syndrome include loss of balance, falling, rolling over, abnormal flickering of the eyes and general wobbliness. The signs of vestibular disease often come on very suddenly and if your pet develops these... Read more »

Stroke (cerebrovascular accident)

Until recently, it was thought that strokes were very rare in domestic pets. In the last few years, with the advance and increased availability of more specialist tests, strokes are being recognised more often in pets. The thought of your pet suffering a stroke may be frightening - but you should not be alarmed as... Read more »

Pyruvate kinase deficiency

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is an inherited disease that was first documented in Abyssinian, Somali and some domestic short-hair cats in the early 1990s. What is pyruvate kinase deficiency? Pyruvate kinase (PK) is an enzyme found in red blood cells. If this enzyme is lacking, the lifespan of the red blood cells is reduced and this... Read more »

Paroxystic events

A paroxysm is a sudden uncontrollable attack and in people is often applied to events like a fit of giggles. In animals a paroxystic attack is more serious and describes a disorder that starts suddenly but also resolves quickly. A one-off event like this may be nothing to worry about but if the experience is... Read more »

Travelling: leaving your pet behind

International travel is becoming increasingly common for pets and the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which even allows limited movement of pets through Europe and the UK, is now fully operational. However, many pet owners still prefer to leave their pets behind when they go away. Will my cat be happy being left behind? Cats are... Read more »

Travelling with your cat

Travelling can be a stressful experience for human beings and it is probably equally so for cats, although for different reasons. While your cat is not going to be worried about arriving at its destination on time it will have been plucked from its familiar territory, put in to a container and subjected to an... Read more »

Taking your pet abroad

The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) allows for limited movement of pets between the UK and some European countries under controlled conditions. What do I need to take my pet abroad? If you wish to take your pet abroad with you and bring it home again you must ensure that you follow all the rules. The current requirements of the Pet... Read more »

Pet passports

Pet passports are part of the European Union (EU) Regulation on the movement of pet animals. Certain non-EU listed countries may also issue a passport. Cats travelling on Pet Passports must be treated against tapeworms before entering the UK from most countries. The treatment will be recorded in the passport. What regulations affect pet travel? There is... Read more »

Worms – A Wriggly Problem

It can be alarming to discover that your cat has worms but it should not come as a surprise. All pets are affected at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming treatment. Except in rare cases, worms are unlikely to cause serious harm. Getting rid... Read more »

Worm Control

All pets will be affected by worms at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming treatment. Getting rid of worms is relatively simple and inexpensive so regular treatment is strongly recommended, particularly as some types of worm can be passed onto humans. What sort of... Read more »

Vaccination Protocols And Safety

For a long time all new kittens and puppies were given a standard vaccination, which protected them from a number of infectious diseases. Recently a number of new vaccines have been developed and pet owners and veterinarians have begun to question the value of routine annual vaccination for adult pets. This has led to development of... Read more »

Vaccinating Your Cat

There are a number of highly infectious and potentially fatal diseases which can affect your cat. There is no treatment for many of these diseases and young kittens who catch them often die. However, for many of these conditions there is a simple protection in the form of vaccination. Ensuring that your cat completes an initial course... Read more »

Toxoplasmosis And Risks To Pregnant Women

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease which can affect cats and all other warm blooded animals, including humans. In both cats and humans its effects are usually mild and the parasite is easily kept under control by the body's natural defences. However there are exceptions: In pregnant women, the parasite may cause severe damage to the... Read more »

Tick Removal

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that can affect your cat, especially if it goes out in the countryside or grassy areas during the Spring and Autumn months. What is a tick? Ticks are blood-sucking parasites. Most live in damp areas on plants and climb onto animals from time to time to feed. Your dog can pick them up on their coat... Read more »

Tick Control

Ticks are common external parasites (ectoparasites) affecting cats in many areas of the world. Environments suitable for tick development include forest, grass and moorland vegetation, close to wild mammals or birds on which they can feed during their immature stages. Cats most commonly become infested with ticks when they are walking or hunting in these areas. Some specialised... Read more »

Senior Cat Care

A kitten is endearing to everyone but kittens grow up all too fast. By a year of age cats of all breeds will be mature. Although individual cats age at different rates, most 10 year old cats can be considered to be in old age. How do I keep my cat healthy? Just like older... Read more »

Saying Goodbye – Options For Euthanasia

Some of our beloved pets are living longer and longer lives. This is due in large part to the amazing care we provide for them. As our time with them grows, so does our bond and devotion. As they approach the end of life, it can be a very challenging time filled with questions and concerns.... Read more »

Routine Health Care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your pet happy in order to maintain its health. Most owners know their pet very well and can quickly spot if it is feeling under the weather. What are the... Read more »

Pet Insurance For Your Cat

In recent years huge advances have been made in veterinary medicine. Vets can now do things to improve the health and welfare of cats that would have been unimaginable or impractical only a few years ago. Not surprisingly, these advanced surgical and medical treatments are often expensive so that a vet's bill for intricate surgery... Read more »

Operations: Caring For Your Cat Before And After Surgery

Most pets will have an operation at some stage in their life, e.g. for neutering (speying or castration) or to treat a disease. Nowadays most operations in cats are fairly safe but the success of treatment and recovery depends to some extent on the quality of care that the owner gives before and after the... Read more »

Obesity

Cats are generally able to regulate the amount of food they eat but there is a trend for modern cats, like modern humans, to eat better food and take less exercise than their predecessors. Just as in people there is a risk that your cat may become overweight. Obesity is an excessive accumulation of fat... Read more »

Neutering Your Cat

It is a sad truth that the number of kittens born every year is far greater than the number of good homes that can be found for them. As a result, thousands of healthy animals are destroyed and many unwanted cats are left to fend for themselves. Having your cat neutered will not only help... Read more »

Multi-Cat Households

The number of cats in the U.K. is currently on the increase and so is the number of cats per household. Cats had previously been thought to be solitary animals but, more recently, it has become accepted that some cats can live happily with others. Whether cats will share a household depends on the temperament... Read more »

Microchipping Your Cat

Stray cats and dogs are a big problem in many countries. In the UK alone it is estimated that more than £250 million a year is spent by local authorities, police forces and animal welfare charities rounding up and looking after stray dogs and cats. It is much harder to calculate the emotional cost to both... Read more »

X-Rays And Ultrasound

Veterinary medicine has made many advances in the last 10 years and many local veterinary practices are now able to perform x-ray and ultrasound examinations. Why does my vet need to do tests? Your vet can get a lot of information about what might be wrong with your cat from talking to you and examining your pet. Sometimes your vet... Read more »

Scanning – The Inside Picture

The term 'scan' is often used to describe the method of obtaining an image of the inside of the body. This may be done with ultrasound (details of which can be found in a separate factsheet), which is often available in veterinary practices and may be performed at your vet's surgery. Recently, more specialised scans... Read more »

Luxating Patella

Owners of some dogs may notice that they often 'hop' on one of their back legs carrying the other. This strange behaviour may be caused by an unstable kneecap or 'patella'. Although most common in small breeds of dog any breed of dog can be affected. Most dogs show clinical signs of lameness less than... Read more »

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. The Kennel Club introduced the elbow dysplasia scoring scheme to identify affected dogs at an early stage so... Read more »

BVA/KC Elbow Dysplasia Scoring Scheme

Elbow dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. The Kennel Club (KC) introduced the elbow dysplasia scoring scheme to identify affected dogs at an early stage so that they could... Read more »

Back Problems (Cauda Equina Diseases)

Back problems in dogs are not uncommon. Many breeds are affected by disk disease but diseases of the spinal cord itself are also a problem. These diseases are painful and affect a dogs mobility. Medical management may help some dogs, but in severe cases surgery may be needed. What is the cauda equina? The cauda... Read more »

Moving House With Your Cat

Moving to a new home can be stressful for both you and your pets. Cats are highly territorial animals and are often as closely attached to their surroundings as they are to their owners. So not surprisingly many cats try to return to their old haunts after their owners change address if it is nearby.... Read more »

‘Walking Dandruff’ (Cheyletiellosis)

Cheyletiella infection is a form of mange that is also known as rabbit mites and walking dandruff. This is an itchy skin condition caused by small parasites living on the skin surface. The mites can be found on many animals including dogs, cats and rabbits and can be transmitted from pets to people. Early recognition... Read more »

Over Grooming (Feline Psychogenic Alopecia)

In the hurly-burly of our modern lives we ask a lot of pets. Fortunately most cats adapt well to all the changes and excitement around them, managing to fit into our hectic schedules and, in doing so, enrich our lives. Unhappily, there are some cats for whom the stress of modern living is just too... Read more »

Malassezia

If your cat has a greasy hair coat or recurrent ear problems they may be suffering from Malassezia. This fungal/yeast infection of the skin can be mild or extensive and may indicate that there is an underlying health problem. If your cat has any skin lesions you should make an appointment to see your vet... Read more »