VIDEO BLOG Part 4 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 4: Stress Free Visits to the Vets


A trip to the vets is often the most stressful parts of a cat’s life.  But it doesn’t need to be.

Kitten to Cat is a cat only veterinary clinic that was specially designed to reduce stress for cats.  Less stressed patients mean problems are detected earlier, your kitty recovers better from operations and it is just a more enjoyable experience for everyone.  To make the environment as cat friendly as possible we use longer consult times to give your kitty time to adjust and leave her carrier on her own terms, feline pheromones, larger cages with shelves and places to hide and other techniques developed by our cat loving staff.  Of course the main stress factor at vets is the sight and smell of dogs, and at Kitten to Cat this is not an issue.

If you can’t make it to a cat only vets then there are still plenty of things to reduce your kitty’s stress levels.  These include:

  • Leave the carrier down in the room overnight, or ideally permanently so it is a familiar piece of furniture from the home and not mistaken for a scary torture box that comes out once a year.
  • Use a top loader cat carrier.  At the start of the consult place the carrier on the floor and see if your cat comes out on her own.  If not then open the top of the carrier to make extraction easier.
  • Use Feliway(TM) spray in the carrier and in your car 15 mins before leaving.
  • Ask your vets about cat only appointment times, and if they don’t do these then at least get the first appointment time so there is less chance of them running late and your kitty being stuck in the waiting room with barking dogs.

I hope you enjoyed these videos.  Feel free to call or email us if you ever have any questions about your cat’s health or reducing stress.

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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.

Deadly flu also a concern for kittens and cats

With Winter upon us and Swine Flu at pandemic levels, guarding against the flu has become a national obsession.  But did you know that cats are also at risk?

The American Veterinary Medicine Association has updated its advice on the H1N1 virus  citing to two recent cases of cats contracting the deadly Swine Flu.  A few isolated incidents over the pond may seem hardly a cause for concern for UK cat lovers (for the time being ….) however, a more common flu strain called Calicivirus should definitely be.

Swine flu is no joke

Swine flu is no joke

Feline Calicivirus is a virus that infects domestic cats, causing a range of flu like symptoms.  It can occur through direct contact with an infected cat or through a contaminated environment.  The virus can survive for up to a week on infected objects such as floors, bedding, food, water bowls, litter trays and people’s hands/clothing.  Just like flu in humans, common signs include fever, ulcers in the mouth, sneezing and mild conjunctivitis and infected cats may be depressed, lethargic and may be unwilling to eat.

Treatment usually involves supporting the cat while her immune system fights off the virus, using antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and fluids if she is dehydrated and unable to eat. 

The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to arm your cat against Calicivirus, the most important being vaccination.  Kittens should be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age and followed up with an annual booster.  This is especially important if your cat goes outdoors.  Most catteries will only accept boarders who are vaccinated – and if they do accept unvaccinated cats then this should raise alarm bells.

Most vets offer vaccinations for calcivirus bundled with protection from some other nasties.  Some will offer direct debit schemes – typically for under £10 a month – which cover all vaccinations and other important preventative health procedures whilst others require you pay for the vaccination as you use them but in either case the procedure is not usually covered by insurance.  Regardless, as anyone who has had to endure the stress and expense of having their cat on fluids with suspected calicivirus will attest, this is money well spent.

As well as keeping up to date with vaccinations you should also ensure your cat’s environment minimises stress and food and water bowls are kept indoors to reduce the risk of infection.

If you have any specific questions about calcivirus you would like answered on this blog please contact us.

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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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