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Some Independent Advice on Flea Treatment

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 9th, 2014 at 10:38 am

Some great advice on Fleas from  Your Cat Magazine

Fleas don’t have much regard for the time of year if the conditions are right for them to breed, and with most homes being centrally heated, providing a nice warm place for bugs to thrive, pet owners can’t afford to let their guard down. That’s why it’s important to protect your cat from these unpleasant parasites and the health problems they could cause.

“Cats are good at hiding signs of pain, but flea problems can lead to large sores if the animal is allergic to their bites,” explains Caroline Allen, director of Canonbury Veterinary Practice and PetVet.

Constant itching could also lead to hair loss, infection and discomfort. “Cats can’t tell us how they’re feeling but it’s very common to pick up undetected problems when we examine them,” Caroline adds.

PROTECT YOUR PET

A monthly flea treatment for cats  is vital to protect your pet from suffering in the first place. Make a note each time you treat your cat and don’t let time lapse between treatments. Ideally, cats should be treated once every five weeks. However, there are occasions when it pays to be extra vigilant in the fight against fleas.

ON HOLIDAY

If you are taking your cat on holiday, be sure to apply a flea treatment before you go. Your cat is unlikely to be able to resist exploring his new surroundings and you can’t be sure of what he may encounter. By applying a flea treatment before you go, this could lessen the chances of needing to visit a vet while you’re away.

WARMER MONTHS

When the weather starts warming up and there is dampness in the air, this is an ideal time for fleas to breed. While you may not be able to prevent your cat from bringing unwanted visitors in from the garden, you can reduce the risk of both your pet and your home suffering from a flea infestation by vacuuming regularly. This will help to eliminate any eggs that may have dropped off your cat.

BEFORE BOARDING

If you have organised to leave your cat in a cattery while you go away, you will most likely be asked to treat your cat against fleas before dropping him off. This should be done two to three days before boarding. Although cats don’t tend to interact with other cats during their stay, give your cat a thorough groom once you collect him to ensure he isn’t bringing home any unpleasant guests.

There really is no wrong time to make sure your cat is covered for fleas. If an infestation is not treated, it could result in serious health problems for your cat, such as worms which can occur from ingesting flea eggs. “Worms are very common in young cats and dogs,” says Caroline. “They can cause intestinal disease and even obstruction in young animals and there is also a risk to human health from the larvae.”

Filed under: Cat Care, Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

How to Keep Cats Safe this Christmas

This entry was posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Keeping cats safe at Christmas

Cat enjoying Christmas

Christmas trees
The only 100% safe way to keep your cat away from your Christmas tree is to put the tree in a room the cat can’t reach. Unfortunately, this is often not practical. So the next best solution is to make the tree as safe as possible. Real Christmas trees are more dangerous to cats than fake plastic ones. Pine needles can puncture internal organs if eaten and are also toxic to cats. If you do have a real tree, make sure the drink stand has plenty of water to prevent the tree drying out and losing needles. Make sure that your cat isn’t able to get to this water and drink it as it could lead to poisoning. Ensure the tree has a good solid base so it won’t easily be knocked over by your cat and try not to have the tree near furniture that cats could use to jump onto the tree.

Artificial snow
Artificial snow is toxic to cats, so is best not purchased.

Candles
Candles are especially popular over the Christmas holiday period, be careful to make sure your cat can’t get close to lit candles.

Ornaments and tinsel
Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias are all popular plants to have in the home at Christmas. These plants, however, are toxic to cats so should be placed where your cat can’t get to them.

Taken from Your Cat Magazine with their kind permission    http://www.yourcat.co.uk

Filed under: Cat Care, Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

How to choose a Healthy Kitten

This entry was posted on Friday, August 10th, 2012 at 1:35 pm

How do I choose a healthy kitten?

kitten looking cute

It’s always worth spending time carefully checking your prospective pet, to ensure that they get off to the best possible start in life.

Here’s what to look for:

Eyes should be clear and bright. No discharge and no sign of the third eyelid.

Nose should be slightly damp but no discharge.

Teeth should be straight and meet top and bottom.

Ears should be clean and free from discharge.

Coat glossy with no signs of dandruff or flea dirts.

Bottom should be clean with no signs of diarrhoea.

Tummy should be slightly rounded, not bloated or hard.

The kitten should be alert and friendly, happy to be handled.

If he is a pedigree, ask about any breed-related problems.

A caring, knowledgeable breeder will not allow a kitten to go to his new home until he has had his vaccinations. This will be at around 12 to 13 weeks.

Article taken from http://www.yourcat.co.uk with their kind permission.

Filed under: Cat Care, Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — andy

How to Groom your Cat!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 at 12:16 pm

How do I groom my cat properly?

Grooming a cat

About Alison Rogers

Alison Rogers is an ward winning professional pet groomer who runs her own salon in West Yorkshire. She holds demonstrations and teaches grooming as a profession and is Head Stylist at the The Pet Spa in Harrods.

Grooming your cat is not just about making him look nice, it can also help to stimulate circulation and remove knots, dead hair, dirt and loose hairs, so helping to minimize unpleasant hair balls.
It also gives you the chance to check for parasites as well as develop a strong bond with your cat. For cats with a semi-longhair or long and thick coat regular grooming is essential to prevent knots from forming

Start by assessing your cat’s coat.He may appear to be in good condition, but running your fingers through the fur may tell another tale. Matts are usually found on the shoulders, hips, underbelly, back of the legs and underarms.

Place your cat on your lap or on a table covered with a blanket or towel so he has something to grip. Cats need to be handled firmly and confidently. Give him lots of reassurance and enlist the help of a second person if necessary. If you need to restrain your cat, grip the scruff of his neck and lift him up, supporting his rear end with your other hand. ‘Scruffing’ invokes a natural relax reflex in the cat.

Work through the entire coat, starting with a section on the back, using a slicker brush. Follow the lie of the coat down to the tail, breaking apart small matts with your fingers. It is important to tease any knots out gently so the cat hardly feels it. For bigger matts a dematter tool can be used, holding the skin quite taught so as not to pull the skin. Using a sewing motion work through the knot, teasing it out.

It is best to use a comb for removing dead hair and debris, as brushes tend to skim over the top of the coat rather than penetrate down to the skin. This will make your cat’s coat much shinier and help to prevent dandruff. Use a wide toothed comb for the undercoat and a fine toothed comb to check all the matts are out. Continue combing until the entire coat is separated.

Work around the cat, turning him over or standing him up, combing through the shorter fur, working quickly and firmly over the sensitive tummy and inner hind leg areas.

Leave the tail until last, then holding the base, comb a little bit at a time. Next brush from the root outwards on either side, using a bristle brush or softer brush, depending on the fineness of the hair.

If the matts are large he may need to be clipped by a professional. Quiet, modern clippers mean that for all but the worst of matted coats, this can be done without anaesthetic as a two or even three person job! The clippers will shave the hair close to the skin, taking out the matt with it. Carried out by a professional groomer or veterinary staff, it should be pain-free.

Shopping list

  • A moultmaster tool which will gently remove loose/dead hair.
  • A matt breaker with curved blades. (Be careful how you use this.)
  • A curved slicker brush which has a wide plate with wire bristles and will remove loose hair.
  • A moulting comb. Long prongs penetrate deep into the undercoat lifting loose hair, while the shorter teeth collect the released hair.
  • A combination comb, which has wide teeth one side and narrow teeth the other.
  • Pet wipes (or cotton wool dipped in warm water) to clean weepy eyes.

Article taken from Your Cat Magazine with their kind permission. http://www.yourcat.co.uk

Filed under: Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

Caring for an Older Cat

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012 at 11:39 am

Caring for an older cat

caring for an older catFeeding

Once a cat gets beyond around eight years, it is advisable to feed a diet designed with the needs of an elderly cat in mind. The nutritional requirements of a cat changes at he gets older. Greater care has to be taken to restrict levels of good quality protein, but cats require a higher calorie content to prevent them becoming too thin.
Higher levels of antioxidants help to slow down some of the ageing changes within the body and certain nutrients, such as some of the B vitamins, should be boosted as elderly cats often lose them as kidneys become less efficient. Your vet can advise you on the optimum diet.

Dental Care

Tooth or gum problems become common as a cat gets older, so they may not be able to chew harder foods which is why senior dry foods often have smaller, softer pellets.
It is almost inevitable that as a cat reaches old age, his oral health will deteriorate to the point where intervention is required. Giving an anaesthetic to an elderly cat concerns many owners, but with modern anaesthetics age itself is no barrier. Dental care under anaesthetic is now commonly carried out on older cats once they have been checked out for any underlying disease.

Lifestyle changes

There are many little steps that can be taken to make life easier for a senior feline. As they become less able to defend their outdoor territory from other cats, provision of an indoor litter tray can make a great difference.Many cats also enjoy the roughage they obtain from eating grass, so growing some indoors can provide this for them. Older cats love their creature comforts, and will spend a lot of time sleeping in a warm and comfy spot. Beds that can be hung off radiators are often popular, and if they are used to using a particular sleeping area such as a sofa, they may appreciate some sort of step to enable them to climb up easily.

Grooming and claws

Difficulty in grooming may be indicative of an underlying problem such as dental disease or neck pain, but sometimes it is due to senility. In hot weather, a soiled and matted coat can lead to fly strike: an infestation with maggots that can be life-threatening. Elderly cats that have coped with their own coat care throughout their lives may start to need regular grooming. Claws should also be checked regularly too, because if a cat stops using a scratching post to pull off the dead outer claw they can grow around and into the pad, causing a lot of pain.
This can be sign of several common diseases that may develop in older cats, such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism and kidney disease, so an increase in thirst is a really important sign to look out for. With an indoor cat it is usually pretty easy to spot changes in water intake. Whether the cat lives predominately indoors or not, it is often changes in drinking pattern that are most noticeable — such as seeing a cat drinking more frequently, or from water sources that he did not previously use.

Weight loss

This is another key sign that can be difficult to spot when the cat is being seen every day. Longhaired cats may also lose a significant amount of body weight without anyone noticing. Many owners instinctively think of worms as the most likely cause, but in my experience this is very rare in older cats — there are many more significant problems, such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes or cancer, which can be the cause. Weighing a cat regularly throughout his life and keeping a record of how he changes can be a simple method of picking up problems early on.

Changes in appetite

Cats tend to absorb their food less effectively as they age, so an increase in appetite without any gain in weight can be fairly normal. However, either a marked increase or decrease in food intake can be a warning sign. The problems that can cause weight loss may also cause the appetite to increase as the cat’s body tries to compensate, but a wide range of problems may cause a cat to go off his food. This should be obvious in homes where there is just one cat, but in multi-cat households it is vital to observe individuals at feeding time so you notice any changes in food intake.

Lumps and bumps

The chances of most types of cancer developing in cats increases with age, although not all tumours are cancerous — and even those that are can often be treated successfully. Get into the habit of checking your cat regularly for any abnormal swellings, and if you notice any, get them checked out promptly.

Bad breath

Some degree of tartar and calculus accumulation on the teeth of an elderly cat is inevitable, but dental disease is a common cause of bad breath. Sometimes it can be due to a more serious oral problem, such as a tumour within the oral cavity, or it can be symptomatic of more generalized ill health such as kidney or liver disease. Regular senior pet health checks will include a check of dental health, but veterinary attention should be sought if a cat suddenly develops bad breath.

Changes in behaviour

Caring owners will often take their cat to the vet just because “something does not quite seem right” — and quite often on examination a problem is found. One example is in the case of mobility, since cats with arthritis often do not show obvious lameness but become less active and stop doing things they used to do, such as jumping up onto furniture.

Article take from Your Cat magazine with their kind permission. http://www.yourcat.co.uk

Filed under: Cat Care, Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

“Help, my cat is a fussy eater!”

This entry was posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012 at 10:10 am

Cat foodSome cats are arch manipulators and use every trick in the book to persuade you to give them only the type of food they enjoy. If your cat is hungry enough, chances are he will eat his least favourite food! However, in normal circumstances, there are some issues you can look at.

Fussy Cat checklist

  • Is the food the right temperature? Cold food just doesn’t smell right. Room temperature or slightly warmer is better.
  • You can’t reprimand a cat for refusing canned food that’s been down for a few hours. If the surface of the food looks dried throw it away, scour the bowl, rinse thoroughly and try again.
  • If your cat licks just the jelly, but leaves the chunks, try mashing the whole lot together.
  • Offer just a small portion. Some cats are put off by a big bowl full.
  • It might be a good idea to try and raise the bowl off the floor, as some cats, such as older ones, with creaky joints, can’t crouch in comfort.

Top fussy eater tips

  • Mix the favourite food in with other food.
  • Be sparing with treats such as fish and liver – otherwise you will have a spoilt cat who demands them all the time!
  • Introduce a kitten to a wide range of flavours and tastes.
  • Buy a mixure of flavours and swap them around so that your cat doesn’t have a chance to get fixated on just one!

( article taken from the Feb issue of “Your Cat Magazine” with their kind permission http://www.yourcat.co.uk/ )

Filed under: Cat Care, Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

Millionaire Moggy!!

This entry was posted on Friday, January 13th, 2012 at 10:57 am

The Italian moggy who is said to have become the worlds richest cat after inheriting ten million Euros ( that’s about £8.5m ) from his property magnate owner!!

( article taken from the Feb issue of “Your Cat Magazine” with their kind permission http://www.yourcat.co.uk/ )

Filed under: Your Cat Magazine — Tags: — Michael

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