VIDEO BLOG Part 3 of 4: Feline Wellness from Kitten to Cat

Denise Morris, Head Nurse at Kitten to Cat gave an informative and entertaining talk recently at the London Pet Show in Kensington.  For those who missed it here are some clips from the talk.  Sorry about the amateur camera work! In case you can’t see the video the key points are summarised below.

Part 3: The Golden Oldie: Senior & Geriatric Cats


This talk covers common health and behavioural issues seen in cats over 7 years of age.

At this stage you should be seeing the vets 4 times per year.  This is because, like in adults, health can deteriorate very quickly and the early onset of problems is often not perceptible to the untrained eye.  Even some diseases such as kidney disease do not show any “clinical signs” until very late in its development and by the time you notice any outward changes over 75% of the kidney function will have been irreparably lost.  Kidney disease can be detected through a simple unobtrusive urine test, followed by a blood test if the test gives the vets cause for concern.  If you only see your vet once a year then ask for a geriatric profile to screen for these kinds of common conditions.

A common mistake to make with older cats is to put down changes in behaviour as the natural result of aging. These include:

  • Drinking more than usual.  Often a sign of kidney disease or hyperthyroidism.
  • Deteriorating coat condition
  • Poor teeth
  • Not jumping as high as he used to
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Wandering aimlessly in the night randomly meowing – often a sign of feline dementia which can be managed successfully.

Often this is a sign of a medical problem and almost always it can be treated or at least managed through supplements, diet change, pain relief etc to give your older gentleman a better quality of life that he deserves after bringing you so many years of happiness.  Even some feline cancers are routinely treated often with successful outcomes, so don’t just put these changes down to “getting old” and if you see any changes at all in your older cat take him to the vets immediately.

In our next and final video blog Denise will share some tips on making your cat’s visit to the vets less stressful.

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VIDEO BLOG Part 2 of 4: Feline Wellness from Kitten to Cat

Denise Morris, Head Nurse at Kitten to Cat gave an informative and entertaining talk recently at the London Pet Show in Kensington.  For those who missed it here are some clips from the talk.  Sorry about the amateur camera work! In case you can’t see the video the key points are summarised below.

Part 2: The Feisty Feline – Caring for Your Adult Cat


An adult cat is 3-6 years.  That’s 28-40 in human terms.

A lot of your cat’s adult life is spent sleeping!!

At this stage you should be visiting your vets twice a year for vaccinations, flea and wormers and a general health check.  This is generally a time of good health so your cat’s weight should be stable.  It’s very important to be on the look-out for any change in weight as this is really significant and often a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Diet, obesity and dental care are all important health issues during this stage.   Obesity in particular is common and leads to the same problems as in humans and predisposes your adult cat to diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.

Also be on the look-out for problems urinating. For little boys in particular Cystitis can be a fast moving and deadly problem.

Behavioural issues to consider:

  • Have one more litter tray than you do cats.
  • In multi-cat households separate the litter trays.
  • Separate the food and water bowls.
  • Be on the look-out for subtle signs of bullying such as going to the toilet outside the litter tray, or if one cat walks out of the room when another walks in.

Failure to address these behavioural issues can cause stress related disorders such as idiopathic cystitis and small changes in your home environment can make a huge difference.

In our next video blog Denise will talk about the “Golden Oldie” or geriatric cat.

Posted in Behaviour / Training, Cat Care, Cat Health, Food / nutrition, Uncategorized, Vaccination. Tags: , . Comments Off on VIDEO BLOG Part 2 of 4: Feline Wellness from Kitten to Cat »

VIDEO BLOG Part 1 of 4: Feline Wellness from Kitten to Cat

Denise Morris, Head Nurse at Kitten to Cat gave an informative and entertaining talk recently at the London Pet Show in Kensington.  For those who missed it here are some clips from the talk.  Sorry about the amateur camera work! In case you can’t see the video the key points are summarised below.

Part 1: The Cute Kitten – Caring for Your Young Kitten


A “kitten” is under 6 months (or 10 in human years).  A “junior cat” is 7m-2yrs (or 12-24 human years)

This is a fun and exciting time but the things you need to remember to ensure your kitten has the best possible stress free life are:

  • Vaccinations
  • Parasite control
  • Neutering & Micro-chipping.  At Kitten to Cat we recommend these be done at the same time. Micro-chipping, whilst very important if your adventurous kitty every strays too far from home, involves an intrusive body piercing as the chip is implanted under the skin so we always like to do this while your kitty is already under anaesthetic for neutering.
  • Diet
  • Grooming and claw clipping.  At Kitten to Cat we recommend starting from a young age to get your kitty used to having her claws clipped so this is not a problem later in life.
  • Insurance.

Common medical problems we see at this stage:

  • Congenital Defects
  • Infectious Diseases (although routine vaccinations cover most of the common nasties)
  • Parasitic infections
  • Accident/Injury

Behavioural issues to be aware of at this stage:

  • Scent marking and scratching.  These are natural instincts.  We should not try to prevent them from doing this as this can lead to stress related problems, but rather guide them to do it somewhere other than your new leather sofa.  A large suitable scratching post next to where she sleeps should do the trick.
  • Neutering is very important as it reduces the urge to scratch and scent.
  • Aggression.  Do not play games with your hand and feet.  Avoid hand glove toys as this encourages your kitty to attack your hands.  Use toys that are as natural as possible.

Our next blog post “Feisty Feline” will deal with adult cats aged 3-6 years.

Cat Behaviour Mornings in Surrey

I’ve just found out about two cat behaviour lectures coming up in Woking, Surrey on 20 Feb and 10 April with Amber Batson.

Details of the behaviour lectures can be found here.

We’ve run cat behaviour evenings in the past and had to turn people away because they were so popular. I don’t know Ms Batson personally but I’m sure the lectures will be of interest to cat lovers.

As with humans, stress is the underlying cause of many medical ailments but soiling, scratching and other “human” problems (I say “human” problems because they are not a problem for cats – but rather a natural response to being placed in an unnatural environment) can often be explained by stress. Usually such stress is a result of innocent actions by humans who don’t understand makes their cats tick. For instance, did you know…

  • In the wild cats hunt up to 20 times a day, so it is important to provide mental stimulus with the right kind of toys. Toys such as laser pointers that don’t provide closure emulating a “kill” can cause stress.
  • Cats are territorial and need their own place in the house, and need elevated positions that they can jump up on to watch out for predators to feel safe.
  • Cats never eat and toilet in the same place in the wild. They also feel vulnerable to predators when they are toileting so should have a choice of litter trays placed away from food.
  • The knowledge that another cat comes into the backyard can be a source of stress for indoor cats, even if they don’t come into direct contact.

Although I don’t personally know Ms Batson I’m sure the lectures will be of interest to cat owners.

Posted in Behaviour / Training, Cat Health. Tags: . Comments Off on Cat Behaviour Mornings in Surrey »

Meeeeoooow!!!

This is the first post on our new blog. The plan is for vets and nurses at Kitten to Cat to write occasionally on the following topics:

  • Cat Health – The serious business of educating cat owners and pet professionals about things like cat behaviour, breeding, kitten care, nutrition, senior cats etc.
  • Kitten to Cat – Stories about life at London’s only cat vets.
  • Meow mix – Like a fur ball on your nice leather sofa, we will take all the feline fluff from the Internet and regurgitate it here for (admittedly mostly our own) amusement.
  • Reviews – Our take on various cat products, services and local businesses of interest to cat lovers.

Hopefully you’ll find some of it interesting.  Please be generous with your comments, questions and suggestions for improvement.

Purrrs from Kitten to Cat

catlyingdown

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