Taking care of Your
Some cat owners might wonder when their pets need a visit to the vet. After all, many of
them only go when it’s an emergency – but that’s not enough. In fact, once a year, every
year, your cat(s) should see a vet for a full checkup and all the necessary shots and
vaccinations for his or her age and your geographical environment. If your cat is sick,
injured or behaving strangely (uncharacteristically lethargic, struggling to breathe, not
eating or drinking water, etc.) then make an appointment with your vet immediately.
FLEAS & TICKS
It is important to frequently inspect your cat for ticks and fleas, especially
from early spring. If you notice a problem, there are various tick and flea
control products available. Opinions on which ones to use vary according
to beliefs, needs and affordability. One of the very effective, yet costly,
options is a topical solution that keeps cats tick and flea-free for up to
three months. For maximum efficiency, it’s important that the cat receives
the right dose, based on his or her weight. Catteries often require cats to
be on a specific tick and flea control product before entry is allowed.
At first, kittens get natural immunity benefits from their mother’s milk, but
vaccinations will need to be given for when this wears off. Taking care of
your kitten’s health is very important, especially in the early days (typically
8 – 9 and 11 – 12 weeks of age) when life-threatening diseases are lurking.
MEDICINES AND POISONS
Cats should not eat or have access to any of the following:
Xylitol | Alcohol | Onions & Garlic | Coffee, Tea & Other Caffeine | Grapes & Raisins | Milk &
Other Dairy Products | Chocolate | Fat Trimmings & Bones (Raw or Cooked) | Raw Meat &
Fish | Too Many Cat Snacks | Sugary Foods & Drinks | Yeast Dough | Human Medicine |
Baking Ingredients & Spices | Candy & Gum | Dog Food | Liver | Tuna Only or in excess
Many humans, whether pet owners or not, even make use of deworming medication as
a precaution. Be sure to deworm kittens as often as necessary (usually against
roundworm every two weeks from 6 – 16 weeks old). The age and weight of the kitten
will determine which product you should use. Deworm adult cats regularly, even when
they are feeding kittens. Most cats should be treated about four times each year, but
check with your vet to confirm (your cat’s behaviour, e.g. whether it hunts, plays a role).
Tapeworms, caught from fleas, look like grains of rice and can be seen in excrement. Another
reason why buying a quality flea and tick control product is so important.
SPAYING AND NEUTERING
Besides the fact that there are already so many unwanted kittens, and eventually unwanted cats,
there are certain health and lifestyle reasons why spaying and neutering cats are often the best
decision. Recovery is almost always rapid.
• Every three weeks females come “on heat”
• Females “on heat” are restless, often miaow loudly and appear to be in pain
• Recurrent heats can cause distress, while drugs to suppress it can have side effects
• Spaying prevents womb infections later in life and reduces the risk of breast cancer
• The procedure can be safely performed around 5 – 6 months of age (or earlier/later)
• There’s no need or benefit for a cat to have a litter before being spayed
• Unneutered male cats are more likely to spray in the house and display aggressive behaviour
• Male cats should be neutered at 5 – 6 months to reduce the risk of contracting a cat version
of incurable AIDS (contracted during fights)