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Cattery for Cats, Kennels for Dogs!

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017 at 5:19 pm

At Catseye Cattery, our philosophy is simple. We believe that cats should never be boarded in a facility that has dogs too! The two species have totally different needs and cats especially require a calm, peaceful environment to be cared for in!

It really only stand to reason that you should always try to book your cat/s into a cats ONLY facility. Dogs should never be near to the cattery units or indeed simply “walking around” the cattery!

Some of our clients do have dogs, but the vast majority for cat owners would never want their loved-one anywhere near to a dog, and certainly not for a prolonged period such as a holiday!

So, if catteries are new to you, pop round to Catseye Cattery for a cattery tour to fully appreciate our first-class facilities for CATS ONLY!

Filed under: Cat Care, Catseye News — Tags: — Michael

Catseye Cattery Friend and Vet, Martha, Tells us About her Exciting new Adventure!

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2017 at 4:54 pm

The life of a Home Visit Vet

I grew up with an idea of what veterinary work was like based on James Herriot’s books. I had a picture in my mind of sipping tea in lovely family homes while tending to their beloved pets, and making long-lasting relationships with all involved.

Of course, after going through vet school my eyes were opened to modern medicine and the excitement that brings. It is fast paced, dynamic and a real buzz. There is no end to what we can do for our animal friends, both medically and surgically. I began to see myself as someone from ER or Grey’s Anatomy, running around a state-of-the-art hospital yelling ‘STAT’ and being the only doctor in the western hemisphere who could possibly save little Fluffy (possibly while other ridiculously good-looking doctors swoon over me, if the aforementioned TV shows are anything to go by).

Starting practice gave me moments from each of these worlds (minus the swooning). I spent eight very rewarding years working in clinics, with the occasional home visit. Unfortunately, in clinic life home visits usually mean a pet needs to be put to sleep. In addition, to arrange a home visit a vet is required to cover the clinic hours while another goes out to the visit, so running the clinic becomes increasingly difficult if home visits are offered regularly for more routine affairs.

And then came Pawsquad! When I first came into contact with the team they explained the service they had created: each vet gets to run their own mobile clinic in their area. They help you get kitted up and find you willing customers, and days could be spent driving around visiting pets and people in their own homes, getting to spend as long as I liked with each one.

They also explained how, with the help of a great app and several exciting techy solutions, running the service would be very straightforward. Clients contact me via a direct messaging service through the app and store their pet’s details, see my calendar and even book themselves in for appointments with me. For the not-so-techy people I can be reached by e-mail or even the good old-fashioned phone.

At first I was nervous without the security of the clinic walls, wonderful nurses, receptionists and other vets to help in tricky situations. How would I manage on my own?!

Well, I have been up and running for three months now, and I absolutely love it. With the Pawsquad team behind me, any fears I had of going it alone proved very much unfounded; they are with me every step of the way. It really is wonderful to be able to see animals completely relaxed in their own environment; it is also lovely seeing the relief in the owners, having avoided the dreaded car journey with their pet (especially cats!).

I like to enter a house and sit and let the cats come and explore me and my vet bag in their own time. Most cats cannot resist coming to find out what I have in there. When they are comfortable with me being around, I will start to see how they feel about this new stranger conducting a veterinary examination on them. Most are pretty obliging at this point, as long as they can have a good sniff of all the equipment first. This also gives me plenty of time to chat to the owners about all aspects of the animal’s life.

Of course there is a limit to what I can do in the home. Much as I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I can achieve (including taking blood samples from cats on their owner’s knees!), I am not going to start operating on Fluffy on your coffee table! For this I have my lovely partner practice within Edinburgh where I can send patients who need surgery, hospitalisation or diagnostics such as x-rays. Unlike James Herriot, I also have a great emergency hospital which provides out-of-hours care for my patients. I always enjoyed Herriot’s stories of being awakened at 3am to drive out into the freezing Yorkshire Dales to see a cow, but was not overly enthused by this prospect in my own professional life! This service also means that if your pet does need emergency treatment in the night, it will be carried out at a fully equipped hospital, and you can be sure you will have a well-rested vet with you for all other needs.

So I am spending my days mostly on people’s floors being climbed on by their curious cats and waggy dogs, and finding it fascinating, rewarding and very touching. It is always lovely to see how animals are often at the absolute centre of people’s lives; they certainly always have been for me!

Check-Out Martha’s site at Pawsquad Vets

Filed under: Cat Care, Our Cattery Vet — Tags: — Michael

Summertime Cat Care from Expert Vet Mike Hall

This entry was posted on Monday, July 4th, 2016 at 6:08 pm

“Summertime, and the living is easy…” apparently, although as I write this I can hear the rain hitting the windows. We all love the Summer – warmer weather, the chance to be outdoors, longer evenings, a chance for holidays and time away from work….

Summer is also usually a good season for our pet cats – whether it’s indoor cats following the sun’s rays around inside the home, or outdoor cats on the prowl in the garden or thick undergrowth. Most cats will tend to be a bit more active during the Summer months – we see this when many cats tip the scales at lower body weight than during the Winter months.

But the Summer months can also pose some problems to cats that all cat owners should consider.

Fleas: Most cat owners are now aware that fleas can be an all year round parasite challenge – but that challenge is at its greatest during the Summer months. Higher numbers of cats spending time outdoors in better weather, plus the abundance of wildlife that can carry fleas mean that your outdoor puss is more likely to come into contact with this pesky parasite. Also, the flea lifecycle speeds up in response to warmth and humidity, so this accelerates the growth in flea numbers. One flea on your cat can lay >200 eggs. These drop off, develop and hatch in amongst carpets and furnishings, and then emerge as new adult fleas to jump back onto your cat – or even yourself. In this way a very small flea challenge can lead to an indoor infestation! It’s essential to use an effective flea treatment – so that rules out flea powders – and your vet can provide the one best suited to your cat and you.

Ticks: are becoming much more prevalent in central Scotland than they ever were, and that’s due to change in climate – it’s warmer and more humid than ever before. Ticks lie in wait on grass or bracken or heather and hop onto unsuspecting passers by. They are predominantly a parasite of sheep, deer or cattle but will happily attach onto and feed from cats, dogs, rabbits, people(!) – they are fairly undiscerning! Once attached they feed by sucking blood from their host, but they can also pass on disease. The best known is Lyme’s Disease, which can make people, dogs and cats very unwell and is difficult both to diagnose and to treat. Prevention is better than cure, so if you live – or are visiting – a “tick area” then you should treat your cat with a preventative. These come in form of sprays, collars or tablets and again your vety will advise you what will suit your cat best.

Bee and Wasp stings: May cats find the buzzing insects just too tempting and may get more than they bargained for. Cats do get stung and react in different ways – some will develop a tender swelling at the site, others can even develop a fullblown anaphylactic shock, so it’s important to be aware. If you suspect your cat has been stung adopt the maxim – if in doubt – check it out and have your vet examine and treat accordingly. If you witness the stinging episode you can employ some home first aid – the antidote to a wasp sting is vinegar, and to a bee sting is bicarbonate of soda (but nowadays how many folk have this among their baking ingredients??).

Sunburn: I saw another puss yesterday with damage to the margins of its ears – this was due to sunburn.  The ear edges were red, crusty and tender. We normally associate this with white cats but this poor guy – called Lucky(!) – was ginger and white, but half of his ear areas were white, and these had become damaged by the sun. So if your cat has white ears, it is wise to apply some high factor sunblock before they go outdoors each day during the Summer.

Fights: better night time weather increases the numbers of cats outdoors which in turn increases the risk of cat fights, so check your cat over daily when they return from their outdoor adventures.

Barbeques:- one of my own favourite bits about Summer. There can often be scraps left after or around a Barbie, and we have seen some cats presented because they have eaten bones – spare ribs can stick in the throat, or chicken bones can get stuck in the mouth! Take care to keep all BBQ foods out of reach of your cats.

Overheating: This is a much more common problem with dogs, but any cat in a car on a hot day is at risk of overheating – with potentially fatal consequences! If the temperature outside a car reaches 20 degrees then that inside the car can easily reach 40 degrees when the engine and air con is switched off. So take care, and don’t leave them there!!

Wandering: Cats are naturally curious and are at risk of wandering, or of being shut in neighbours’ garages or sheds. Your best chance of having him/her returned safely is to make sure they have a Microchip identity – and that your address details are up to date!

Many of these topics can be dealt with by a visit to your vet, when a health check and all parasite risks can be covered. Then we can all enjoy the long, hot Summer!

Mike Hall is Vet and Partner at BRAID VETS EDINBURGH

Filed under: Cat Care, Our Cattery Vet — Tags: — Michael

Preparing your Diabetic Cat for a Stay at Catseye Cattery

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 16th, 2016 at 3:27 pm

We are very experienced in looking after diabetic cats at Catseye Cattery. We owned a cat ourselves who was diabetic and on daily insulin injections so we know all about the care and attention required and also understand the anxieties that can exist when handing over the care of your cat to someone else!

Even a normally very stable diabetic cat may become quickly unstable as a result of stress. We make every effort to help your cat settle in as quickly as possible into the cattery, but we will have to pay extra care and attention to ensure that he/ she is eating well and is happy.

Most diabetic cats that stay with us are happy, comfortable and have no problems at all while they are with us. We have put together a few hints and tips for your information before you bring your cat to stay with us.

  1. Even if your cat has very stable diabetes at home we recommend that you visit the vet to have a check-up within a few days of boarding for reassurance that everything is well.
  2. Make sure that you bring sufficient supplies of syringes and insulin with you. We will need enough syringes for the number of days boarding. Check the expiry date and the opening date of your insulin. It is a good idea to write the opening date on the box as it should ideally not be kept open for longer than 4 weeks. Insulin should always be kept in the fridge. Syringes should be single use only to prevent any risk of infection. We have sharps containers so no need to bring one with you.
  3. Make sure that you give us clear instructions about number of units to give, frequency and time of each dose. Let us know what your cat’s normal routine is, the time that the last insulin injection was given and how much your cat has eaten that day. As it is important to give insulin at specific times we keep a special Diabetes Management Chart to ensure that all information is carefully recorded and your cat is visited and checked frequently.
  4. Please do let us know if there is any important medical information or past history of any other conditions. It is most helpful if we have this information so that we are well informed if any medical problem arises while you are away. Make sure we have full contact details of your vet and also be aware of their emergency out of hours cover and costs.
  5. Finally please make sure that we have full details of your vet surgery and contact details for you while you are away.

With all of that in place you will be able to go away, relax and enjoy your holiday. We are more than happy to keep in touch with you by telephone, e-mail or text so that you have the reassurance that all is well.

Filed under: Cat Care, Catseye News — Tags: — Michael

Cattery, pet-sitter or friend…the choice is yours!

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2016 at 12:33 pm

We all love our cats to bits and strive to make sure that they are happy, settled, well cared for and wanting for nothing while we are away! Often people worry that the ultimate best choice is to keep their cat at home in their own environment and that this is the most important decision above all else.

There are a number of things to think about and several options available:

Neighbour/ Friend

There is often an obliging neighbour or friend who offers to ‘feed the cat’ while you are away. There is usually no additional cost involved and the cat can stay at home which initially sounds like an attractive option!

Many cats, however, enjoy human contact and company – albeit on their own terms. They can become lonely if left alone in the house with only a brief visit from a stranger once or twice a day, especially if it is for more than just a couple of days.

If your cat goes missing or doesn’t turn up at tea time, this can cause a great deal of anxiety to the person responsible for your cat’s care. If your cat develops any kind of medical problem this could be overlooked if a person is just popping in for a few minutes every day. Sometimes people are fine dealing with the cat’s food but not so keen on handling litter trays. Trying to give medication to a cat when you are either inexperienced or unfamiliar to the cat can be a complete non starter!

“Pet Sitter”

Some people employ the services of a “pet sitter” ( a term that can be misleading ) – many of these will visit once or twice a day to check on the cat and to feed it and deal with litter trays. Service varies with regards to how much human contact time the cat will have in this arrangement. Although your cat/s are staying in their own home, it’s likely that they will be left alone and without human contact for up to 23 hours per day. If the cat has a cat flap and can come and go independently then sitter may never have much opportunity to spend time with the cat or to really check how he is doing.

There are pet sitters who come and stay in the house for the entire duration of your holiday to care for the cat. Obviously this means that the cat has company and can stay at home but this arrangement is usually very costly. It also means that you could have a stranger staying in your house.

Cattery

Standards of accommodation and care in catteries can vary enormously. It is always best to look at a few catteries before booking your cat in to stay to make sure you know exactly what accommodation and service is on offer and you can ask any questions that you may have.

At Catseye Cattery we offer the very best individual care for your cat. We keep a close eye on whether your cat is settling or whether there are any signs of stress or anxiety. We monitor whether the cat is feeding well and using the litter tray regularly and appropriately. We make sure the cats get their regular preferred food and encourage customers to bring with them familiar rugs etc from home. If your cat is on medication we are happy to administer this as required. There is always someone around in the cattery and each individual cat is visited regularly. Some cats, especially kittens and young cats, need extra attention to ensure they are stimulated and have toys etc to keep them amused. Older cats may not require so much stimulation but we make sure that they are comfortable and warm and have everything they need. When cats return to stay with us on a regular basis we get to know the customers and the cats as individuals and they learn to trust us and become much more relaxed in our care. Our pens are spacious and the peaceful countryside offers an idyllic setting with plenty of countryside interest to watch.

We are always on hand to pick up on any signs of illness or problems, and always spend extra time if needed either helping an anxious cat settle and trust us, or grooming a cat who enjoys it.  We can be in regular contact with owners to give updates on progress and give reassurance that their cat is settled and content. We can send e-mails and photos and we also have a webcam facility which can provide additional reassurance to an anxious owner.

We have many customers who have previously never used a cattery, even some with quite elderly cats. It is so rewarding watching both customer and cat relax and become confident in us and the care we provide. Many customers tell us that it is so reassuring knowing that their cat will be safe and comfortable with us while they are away so that they can enjoy their holiday without any worries!

Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: — Michael

How do you deal with a fussy cat?

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 at 2:19 pm

If a dog is being fussy about its food then determination on your part will usually solve the problem as the dog will eat when it is hungry.

Cats, however, require a totally different approach. So how do you deal with a fussy cat?

Cats will often refuse food because the texture is not what they are used to, i.e. if they were only fed dry food as a kitten they may refuse any other types of food as an adult.

Cats don’t just go by the smell of the food, texture is very important too. Studies have shown that cats usually eat their prey head first and that this is dictated by the direction of the fur growing on the prey. They appear to dislike foods which are sticky or greasy and prefer their food at body temperature (like live prey!). If moist food is not used in one serving and then kept in the fridge it should be allowed to reach room temperature before being offered. Adding warm water to dry or moist food can encourage an anorexic cat to eat as it strengthens the smell.

The first few months of a cat’s life are when it learns what is safe to eat. This is why, if you have a young kitten, it is a good idea to introduce as many different textures of food as possible. However, you should be aware that chopping and changing the diet can result in digestive problems (most commonly loose or strong smelling stools). It is a much better idea to offer your kitten small pieces of meat or fish, about the size of your thumb nail, as a treat. This is also an ideal time to occasionally offer dry food soaked in a little warm water to break up the monotony of meal times.

But be warned … if you are not careful you can actually train your cat to be fussy. Constantly changing the actual brand of food teaches it to expect a new food every few days. They learn that if they eat the new food for a couple of days and then stop eating it you will inevitably offer something else!

Over-feeding
As with dogs, one of the main reasons a cat becomes fussy is because it is being overfed. Inadvertently we can compare a cat’s portion size with our own and decide that they must need more. Remember, your cat’s stomach is much smaller than yours and it should only be offered what it needs – just like us, some cats like to eat what they want and not what they need.
It a cat is not hungry it may wait to see if the owner will bring something else to eat – especially if it knows that ‘something’ will be particularly tasty. With dogs, this problem is easily solved as a dog will give in and eat when they realise nothing else is going to be offered. A cat’s natural independence means that if you don’t provide what they want they will probably just find somebody else who will! The idea of playing the waiting game with a cat can raise concerns that if a cat does not eat for a day or two it may result in a condition called fatty liver disease. This is only an issue if the cat loses weight rapidly.
Another unintentional method of over-feeding is ‘free feeding’, which involves leaving the food down all day. This can encourage the cat to eat for the sake of it or through boredom rather than hunger. Set meals are better if your cat is fussy as when meal time comes round the cat won’t have spent all day picking at the food and will therefore be hungry.
If you are constantly offering more food than your cat needs it will feel full and start to refuse food at meal times. Try and offer enough so the cat consumes the whole amount in one go but would eat a little more if offered.
Some cats are just plain greedy! If you have a greedy cat it is better to weigh their daily allowance at the start of the day and split this into small frequent meals. That way the cat is receiving food regularly but you can control the amount. Feeding balls and other food toys can also make meal times last a little longer.
Peace and Cleanliness
You would not be impressed if you were expected to eat your meals in the bathroom or in the middle of a busy pavement, so don’t expect your cat to either.
Cats should always be fed in a quiet area well away from its litter tray or any strong smelling objects, i.e. air fresheners. The food and water bowls should be cleaned daily and placed apart so food can’t fall into the water.
Stress can adversely affect your cat’s appetite. If you have recently moved home, had a baby or brought another pet into the house, all of these factors may upset your cat and reduce his/her appetite. More sensitive souls can even be upset by something as simple as moving furniture around or decorating a room. In stressful situations most cats prefer foods they are familiar with and regularly eat. Cats are naturally very suspicious of anything new so they can appear fussy when they are actually scared or suspicious. The level of this behaviour is also strongly influenced by their experiences as a kitten.
Feeling the Heat
The appetites of many cats (and dogs) will reduce in hot weather. Quite simply, if they are moving around less then they may have a lower energy requirement. Simply reduce the amount of food you offer when it’s hot and the problem should not arise.
Senior Kitizens
As we get older our appetite and tastes change and the same can happen to older cats.
If an older cat suddenly goes off its food, they should be seen by a veterinary surgeon so they can be checked for an underlying condition. Even in younger cats, a tooth or gum problem (amongst other conditions) may stop your cat from eating so the faster it is dealt with the better.

Author Ref:   Burns Pet Foods

Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: — Michael

Cattery Vaccination Requirements Explained.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 at 5:24 pm

Vets recommend that all cats, both indoor and outdoor, should have the routine vaccinations against the following diseases depending on your individual circumstances.

EXCERPT from Cat Protection League website

What vaccines does my cat need?
Cats Protection, as a member of The Cat Group, recommends vaccines for the following feline diseases:

Feline infectious enteritis (FIE) - a vaccination must

Feline infectious enteritis (a severe and often fatal gut infection) is caused by the feline parvovirus (or feline panleukopenia virus). Vaccination against FIE has been very successful. Unvaccinated cats are at great risk because the virus is widespread in the environment.

Cat ‘flu - a vaccination must

Two types of cat ‘flu are vaccinated against feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are very common and vaccination will protect your cat against prolonged illness, but because there are many different strains of cat ‘flu the vaccine will not totally eradicate the threat.

EXCERPT from International Cat Care

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) - a vaccination must for outdoor cats

FeLV is a lifelong infection and unfortunately most cats will die within three years of diagnosis, usually from a subsequent disease like leukaemia, lymphoma (tumours) or progressive anaemia. It is not an airborne disease and can only be passed on via direct contact between cats (usually by saliva or bites). Because of the serious nature of the disease, CP recommends FeLV vaccination.

Feline chlamydophilosis - depends on your circumstances

This bacterium, which causes conjunctivitis in cats, can’t survive in the atmosphere and is thus spread by direct contact between cats (affecting multi-cat households and kittens predominantly). Your vet will discuss your situation and advise as to whether this vaccine is necessary.

Vaccination and protection from disease of cats in a cattery is very important. Anywhere where numbers of cats are kept closely together gives potential for diseases to spread. The cat viruses are very adept at this

For all cats, including those entering a cattery, it is essential that they have received vaccines for the ‘core’ infectious agents — these are:

Vaccines are available against other infectious diseases including Bordetella bronchiseptica, Chlamydophila felis and feline leukaemia virus. However, vaccination against these agents in the well-constructed and well-run cattery situation is not required, as construction and routine hygiene precautions should be adequate to prevent exposure of cats to these agents in this environment.

CATTERY SITUATION

As boarding a cat in a cattery represents a relatively high risk and therefore a special condition, it is prudent to seek a booster vaccine within the previous 12 months for FHV and FCV in this circumstance, and maximum protection may be afforded by giving a booster vaccine in the one to two months prior to entry into a boarding cattery.

If a cat has had a primary vaccination course (minimum of two injections) followed by a first booster within 12 months, it only needs a single booster injection (irrespective of the length of time since the last injection) 2 weeks before it goes into the cattery.

NB: Some vets do insist on restarting the primary two dose schedule if the vaccinations have lapsed for over a year. It is difficult to determine how necessary this is over a single booster, so customers are advised to follow their own vet’s advice.

A veterinary vaccination record where the cat is clearly identified (preferably by microchip) should be used to ensure relevant (FPV, FHV and FCV) vaccinations have been administered.

Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: — Michael

Looking After your Senior Cat By Vet Martha Murphy

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Considerations in Older Cats By Vet Martha Murphy of  The Veterinary Cat Clinic, Edinburgh

Considerations in Older Cats
Intro
It may seem far in the future when we get a new kitten, but the time soon comes around where we start to notice that our cats seem to have aged a little, and are not the spritely little things that they once were. Although the kitten phase is great fun, the more mature years can also be very rewarding. By this time, a strong bond has usually developed between the cat and its owners, and they are just as much part of the family as their human counterparts.
Fortunately, there is now a lot more known about the problems that our ’senior kitizens’ face, and consequently a lot we can do to help them live in comfort and contentment in their golden years.

Mobility
This is hugely important. Arthritis is a very common problem in older cats, and often goes unnoticed. Some studies have shown that the start of arthritic changes is seen in significant numbers of cats as young as 6 years old.
So why doesn’t it always get spotted? Unfortunately for us loving owners and vets, cats have a tendency to try to hide pain, as it is in their nature to not appear to be weak or compromised.
As they get older, and their joints get a little stiffer and aches and pains start to develop, cats will gradually stop various activities that no longer feel manageable to them. Many owners on first questioning of their cat’s mobility and comfort levels will say it is excellent. It is only on further questioning – does (s)he still jump up onto all the places (s)he used to? Does (s)he still climb trees? Does (s)he play as much? – that a different picture is revealed. These changes can appear very subtly at first, especially if you are around the cat every day.
There are a lot of ways to help cats who aren’t as agile as they used to be, starting with small changes around the house. This can include
- steps or an improvised version for them to reach all the higher places where they enjoy spending time. Cats get a great deal of security from being up high;
- raising food and water bowls to standing height so they no longer have to crouch to eat, which puts pressure on their elbows. This can easily be done by placing the bowl on top of an old ice-cream tub or the like;
- providing heated bedding especially in the winter. Cats, like humans, are often worse affected in the damp, colder months.

Another thing we can do is give them supplements or medications to help keep the joints supple, and free from aches and pains. There is now a wide variety of these, many of which are in easy to administer formats. If you think your cat may benefit from something like this, it is a great idea to get them checked with your vet. Remember, they may not be showing signs that you might identify as signs of pain; but if you think carefully and compare their activities now to those of a few years ago, you might realise that there has been a change.
One of the great bugbear sentences uttered to vets is, “Oh he’s not in any pain; he’s just stiff”, stated as a little old cat hobbles across the consultation table. It always makes me wonder what the owner thinks is making him stiff, if not aching joints and sore muscles!

Dental Care
Many cats as they get older will develop varying degrees of dental disease. They are less handy with the Colgate than humans, so after ten years or so of not brushing and flossing this is not surprising. Dental problems vary from a mild build-up of plaque to large cavity-like lesions, eroded roots, infections and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). This can be easily rectified with some dental treatment from your vet, which although usually involves a general anaesthetic and a morning at the clinic, can make a huge difference to their quality of life, and prevent further diseases from occurring. There is a link between dental disease and kidney disease in cats, due to the introduction of oral bacteria into the bloodstream, which can then ’seed’ on the kidneys (or other organs) causing kidney and bladder infections.
A level of prevention can be provided by feeding one of the specialist dental diets, it does not have to be fed as the sole food, but even adding a little of it to your cat’s regular diet can help.

Common illnesses
The most common presenting complaints of older cats are: changes in weight, appetite and thirst. Of course, many different diseases can affect these things but our top three in senior cats are:
- Kidney disease
- Diabetes
- Hyperthyroidism.
These illnesses can present in a variety of ways, but invariably affect the appetite, thirst or weight of the cat. They are all manageable and best caught early. They can usually be diagnosed with an examination and a simple blood test. So if you have noticed any changes in these aspects of your cat, a check-up is recommended.
Unfortunately, as animals get older, when signs of illness occur, cancer is something that moves up in the list of likely possibilities. It is a word that often brings with it a lot of fear and upset, but as with human medicine, there have been great advances in cancer treatment in animals too. As with other medical issues, the chances of successful treatment are better when it is caught in the early stages.

Euthanasia
A sad topic, but an important one for older cats. It can often make the process easier when the day comes if some consideration has been given to the matter prior to the event; of course this is not always possible in acute situations, but is something that can be thoughtfully planned for older cats with long-term illnesses.
Many vets will come to your house for this, so you don’t have to face other people at the clinic, and your cat can be relaxed as possible in its own environment. They will usually require some notice to arrange this as cover must be ensured for the clinic as well.
There is also the consideration of what your wishes are for the cat after (s)he has passed away. Some people have a favourite spot in the garden where they wish to bury them, while for others this is undesirable or unfeasible. In this case, your vet will be happy to assist with arrangements. Pets are normally sent to a specialised pet crematorium. There are options to have the ashes returned to you, although this does incur a greater cost.
It can be very stressful, especially if the euthanasia was unexpected, to try to make all of these decisions on the day, so it is a good idea to think it over at a non-emotional time, and have an idea of what you would like to happen.

Conclusion
As cats get older, their needs change, and it becomes even more important to monitor their health. Six-monthly or annual veterinary check-ups are a great way to pick up on subtle changes in weight, early signs of disease, and also to discuss prevention.
With the right care, you can keep your feline friends around for many years, and keep them feeling as good as they possibly can at each stage of life, so you can enjoy those years to the fullest together

About the Author.

Martha graduated in 2008 from Edinburgh Vet School. She initially worked in a busy small animal practice in Yorkshire before gaining a variety of experience working as a locum in practices around the UK. She joined The Cat Clinic team in 2010, initially working part-time while she completed the University of Sydney’s post graduate distance learning course in feline medicine before becoming a full time member of the team. Martha has been a cat owner since she was born, and dreamed of being a feline vet since she was a toddler. She is intrigued by all things cat, & is self-confessed “cat crazy”! She currently has an adopted rescue cat named “Alfie” who was born deaf, which gives him some curious personality quirks such as staring very intently at people, and chasing the noisy hoover!

Filed under: Cat Care, Our Cattery Vet — Tags: — Michael

Choosing a Cattery

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 4:52 pm

It's nice and private with the door closed

When you are a cat lover, one of the most important considerations when you plan a holiday is to ensure that your cat will be well cared for while you are away. Some people never go away simply because they cannot find a place that they trust enough to give their cat the care and attention they need and deserve.

A cat never likes to be removed from its own environment and will always suffer a degree of stress with the upheaval and change of routine. There is, however, a lot that can be done to minimise the stress and anxiety for both cat and owner!

If you find a good cattery and book well in advance, you will be able to enjoy your holiday safe in the knowledge that your cat is being well cared for and means you don’t have to feel guilty at leaving him / her behind!

Standards of catteries vary enormously – there are some extremely good catteries but unfortunately there are also some that provide poor quality of service and accommodation. The best thing is to do your own research and investigate what is on offer locally and decide which cattery can offer the standard of care that your cat deserves.

Make an appointment to go and view the cattery. If any cattery owner refuses to show you around the premises, look elsewhere.

Many cats are not used to dogs, and the sound of barking can cause enormous stress to them. Try to choose a cattery that is not located next to a boarding kennels.

Check to see that the cattery is clean and tidy. If high standards of cleanliness are evident, these high standards are likely to be reflected in the general care and running of the cattery.

Did you receive a warm welcome from the proprietor? Did they seem well informed about cat care and running a cattery? Did you feel confident that they understood your cat’s needs?

All catteries should be licensed by the local authority, so do ask to see the cattery licence if it is not clearly displayed.

Creating extra space into the next chalet next door

The Feline Advisory Bureau is a regulatory body, which inspects catteries and recommends standards on construction, management and day to day care. The FAB recommended list of high quality catteries is not exhaustive however, and there are many catteries which offer exceptional care and hygienic accommodation who are not listed by FAB.

Ask the proprietor about their policy on the care of an animal that becomes sick and about their quarantine arrangements (some catteries have separate isolation pens to keep sick animals away from the other cats who are boarding).

Ask to see the food preparation area and the place where cleaning and litter trays, bedding etc takes place. Ask about the disinfection procedures and about their infection control policy.

The accommodation for each cat should have a separate enclosed and heated sleeping area with access to an outside run.

The pen should be warm and dry, secure, and big enough to accommodate food, water, bedding, scratch posts, toys, litter trays and enough room to run around (take a look around our cattery). There should be an option to provide extra space so that cats from a multi cat household can comfortably board together.

The pen should be heated in winter and well ventilated in summer, with plenty of shade from direct sunlight.

Cats should have a choice of sleeping areas, with a high shelf and somewhere to hide.

Each pen should lead onto a secure outer enclosed safety corridor. This corridor should be securely locked at all times to provide additional security.

The chalets provide a lovely little suntrap

Each unit should have either a minimum 60cm gap OR a full height sneeze barrier between each pen to prevent the spread of airborne diseases.

Any cattery with a good view is a bonus as cats are great spectators and love to watch the wildlife world go by!

There should be no strong odours of urine or faeces, nor should there be a strong smell of cleaning products.

Take note of other cats in residence – if they look content, alert and interested then that is a sure sign that all is well. Food bowls that look empty or a significant amount of food eaten also implies that the residents are settled and happy. Fresh water should be available to cats at all times.

A good proprietor will ask a multitude of questions about your cats – name, age, eating likes and dislikes, personality traits, special likes and dislikes. If they ask about breed and whether long or short hair that is a good indication that they understand the need for daily grooming. A good cattery will encourage you to bring in bedding, scratch posts, toys and other things from home that will be familiar to your cat and help him/ her to settle quickly.

A good cattery will insist on seeing an up-to-date vaccination certificate, and information about recent flea and worming treatment. They will ask about medical history and it is important to disclose any problems so that the proprietor is aware of any special requirements your cat may have, for example, older cats may find it difficult to jump onto high shelves.

Not all catteries are prepared to accept animals on regular medication for a stable medical condition. You may need to look around a few catteries before you find somewhere that is prepared to administer tablets, injections or other medication.

Once you have checked out a cattery and found all the above points fulfilled – then you have found a great cattery! It is likely that they will be booked up well in advance particularly in peak holiday seasons, so book a long time in advance as you book your holidays so that you will have peace of mind and have confidence that your cat will be happy and well cared for while you are away. It is often a good idea to try out a cattery for a long weekend initially so that you can see that both you and your cat are pleased with the care and service you have received.

Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: — andy

Catseye Cattery cat food Menu

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 at 11:31 am

To ensure that our guests are always happy and relaxed, we feed them their favourite cats foods that they would have at home!

Having the correct cat food is essential to a contented cat staying with us at the cattery!

This means that we carry a wide selection of wet & dry cat foods, and a few treats too!! Please tell us what your cat/s prefer to eat and we’ll ensure that we have this in stock ( excludes special prescription diets ).

Filed under: Cat Care — Tags: — Michael
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Catseye Cattery , 19 Boggs Holdings, Pencaitland, East Lothian, EH34 5BE
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