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Category: Pet care

Owning a pet is highly rewarding and the benefits of the companionship offered by a small pet in the home should not be underestimated. However along with the fun of owning the pet comes a lot of responsibility. Before acquiring a pet it is important to think carefully about the type of pet that will meet your needs and fit in with your lifestyle.

There are a whole raft of routine healthcare that is important for any pet. Cats should be treated regularly for fleas and worms – preferably with products from your veterinary surgery. Although it is now possible to buy similar products elsewhere, the products from your vet will be specially formulated for pets and your vet can provide the best advice for your individual animal. In addition dogs and cats need vaccinations on a regular basis (at least once a year) to protect them against some of the serious diseases they can be exposed to outside of the home.

It would be rare for even the best cared for pet to go through the whole of its life without any health problems. To protect against unforeseen bills it might be worth considering health care insurance for your pet.

X-rays and ultrasound

Veterinary medicine has made many advances in the last 10 years and many local veterinary practices will now be able to perform x-rays and ultrasound examinations. Why does my vet need to do tests? Your vet can get a lot of information about what

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

Vaccination protocols and safety

For a long time all new puppies and kittens were given a standard vaccination that protected them from a number of infectious diseases. Recently a number of new vaccines have been developed and pet owners and vets have begun to question the

Vaccinating your cat

There are a number of highly infectious and potentially fatal diseases which can affect your cat. However, for many of these conditions there is a simple protection in the form of vaccinations. Ensuring that your cat completes an initial course

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

Tick control

Ticks are common parasites affecting dogs and cats in many areas of the world. They require blood to complete their development, and acquire this through biting their preferred animal host. They have well developed mouth parts that allow strong attachment to the skin

Stress in cats

A number of factors can cause cats stress. Such factors include moving house, a new member of the family (for example a new baby or a new animal joining the household) or something of shorter duration such as a visit

Senior pet 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

Scratching in the house

Claw scratching is a normal feline behaviour. However, the occurrence of this behaviour indoors can be very unpleasant for the owner as it can cause expensive damage. Scratching indoors may indicate that the cat does not feel completely secure in

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 another factsheet), which is often available in veterinary practices

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

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

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

Obesity

Cats are generally able to regulate the amount of food they eat but there is a trend for modern cats, like modern man, to eat better food and take less exercise than their predecessors. Just as in people there is

All about fleas

Fleas are the most common parasite in dogs and every dog 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.

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 ome cats

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

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

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

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

Introducing your new baby to your cat

Bringing a new born baby into the home can be a stressful and exciting time for parents. Spare a thought for your cat for whom it will seem that their whole life has been turned upside down. Not only will

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

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

Indoor cats

Cats are increasingly being kept indoors for many reasons, for example, owners may want to protect their cats from road traffic accidents, sustaining injuries from fights with neighbouring cats, and theft. Alternatively, some owners may wish to prevent their cats

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

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

Flea control

Fleas are the most common parasite in household pets and every cat and dog 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

Feeding your kitten

The adage 'You are what you eat' applies to cats as well as people - however more is not necessarily better. Over-feeding and over-supplementation with unnecessary nutrients and minerals can have serious consequences. If you are getting your first kitten make sure you ask

Feeding your cat

The modern domestic 'moggie' is descended from wild cats that hunted for their living in the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East. Although most pet cats are now fed entirely on tinned or packaged food, their nutritional

Ear cleaning

Ear disease is quite common in cats and you should make ear examination part of a weekly health check for your pet. If your cat's ears look red or sore on the inside, if there is a smell coming from the

Choosing a cattery

Ideally, it would be less traumatic for our pets to have 'cat sitters'; enabling them to remain in their home environment when we go away or are on holiday and have to leave them in the care of another. The

Cat flaps

Fed up with playing doorman to your cat, without a tip? A cat flap could be the solution, allowing your cat free or restricted access to the outside world Where can I put a cat flap? A cat flap can

Cat bite abscesses

If you notice small lumps or swellings when stroking or brushing your cat do not be unduly alarmed. There are many possible causes: growths, cancers, infections, allergic reactions to flea bites or foreign bodies such as thorns or airgun pellets. Occasionally your cat

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

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

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

Basic training for cats

Thousands of cats end up being relinquished by their owners every year, often due to behaviours owners that consider problematic: such as scratching the furniture, jumping into places that owners would prefer them not to (eg the baby's cot) and scratching

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

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

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