Kitten to Cat Spring Newsletter

Welcome to our Spring 2012 newsletter.  In this edition:

  • We welcome new staff member Eva
  • Luxury Boarding Reopened!
  • Back by popular demand: a behavior talk by renowned feline behavioural expert Francesca Riccomini
  • Acupuncture at Kitten to Cat
  • A happy ending for Max, the gorgeous Maine Coon

Click here for a PDF copy of the newsletter


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.

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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.

UK Referendum Explained for Cats

Finally!!! an explanation of the proposed voting changes that makes sense.  Very funny.

Posted in Meow Mix, Uncategorized. Comments Off on UK Referendum Explained for Cats »

Penguin’s Story

Penguin

Penguin!

Author: Denise Morris, Veterinary Nurse and Practice Manager at Kitten to Cat Veterinary Clinic

Whether it is reuniting lost cats with their owners or finding a new home for stray kittens and cats there is no better feeling than the joy it brings with each success story. It all started with our infamous little Betsy almost three years ago as we opened. The cat who was microchipped but we could not trace her owners, despite all the investigative efforts. Since then there have been two litters of little fur babies and a few more stories but Penguins story is a little more complicated than the rest……….

A little black and white bundle of fur was brought into us through a close friend of the surgery. She had been hanging around the basement of a local hospital and one member of staff in particular was rather worried about the little one and how she was living. One of the ladies friends happened to be one of our regular visitors to the clinic and suggested that we could check her for a microchip, and so her story began.

Her first check over revealed that we had a little girl with no microchip. Unfortunately she was underweight and her body condition made it difficult to try and give her an approximate age. This wasn’t the only unusual thing about our little furry friend. She also appeared to have a problem with her hind legs in that they were not completely separated (see diagram below). This physical abnormality meant that her ability to walk, run and jump was slightly impaired and that is how she came by her name!

It was thought that Penguin’s abnormality could be congenital or happened as a result of an early injury. She had the best little nature in the world and was completely ravenous when first arriving with us. We administered worm and flea treatment and made the decision to wait and see if anyone came forward as her owner. Seven days passed and nobody had enquired after her.

The problem with her hind legs meant that her muscles were not being used and therefore not developing well. As time went on she put on weight and the decision was made to take her to surgery giving her full use of those legs. As we had no idea how old she was or what had happened to her in the past we took a sample of blood to check the function of her liver and kidneys before going ahead with the surgery. She was the most cooperative little patient and never complained at anything. These tests revealed that her little kidneys were not functioning as good as they should be at this point and further investigation was required.

For the surgery we put a little intravenous catheter in and placed her on intravenous fluids to help support her kidneys through the general anaesthetic. When anaesthetised all her fur around the surgical area had to be removed. This revealed a large area of scar tissue which lead us to believe that this physical abnormality was as the result of burns. We were all devastated to discover that little penguin had gone through so much. It was amazing that she had recovered from such horrific injuries with such a beautiful personality. This fact also complicated the surgery somewhat in that making an incision to release the tension left a large open wound that could not be closed with skin available in that area. Nikki had to surgically excise a flap of skin from her chest, twist it round and stitch it in between her legs as a graft (as shown in the photo below).

Before the surgery started Penguin unable to extend hind legs down due to tension

Before the surgery started Penguin unable to extend hind legs down due to tension

3 hours later – Penguin gets full extension of back legs and wound shows the extent of the area of skin taken from the chest area

3 hours later – Penguin gets full extension of back legs and wound shows the extent of the area of skin taken from the chest area

First night after the surgery Penguin came home with me for the weekend so we could keep a really close eye on her. She was confined to a small kennel to prevent much movement. Recovery from this procedure was extensive. There is always a risk with skin graft that the graft will not take to the tissue below and may die off. She had two drains placed in the wound to prevent any fluid build up and these required cleaning twice daily. As with before the procedure she was the perfect patient, allowing us to clean those wound without any fuss and never complaining at all. The first time we had her out walking following the procedure she just stretched and stretched out each back leg as she walked, it was amazing to watch!

1st night after surgery

1st night after surgery

Penguin walking with free legs!!!

Penguin walking with free legs!!!

Full recovery from this procedure took 4 months. The wounds healed beautifully in almost every part of the surgical site, although there were a couple of areas that the little one managed to reach (even with an elizabethian collar on!). Unfortunately as she licked at these areas she made them very red and painful so we had to construct a larger collar and keep that on until these areas healed one hundred percent.

Penguin is now living at home with me, possibly temporarily, possibly permanently depending on how relationships form between my own two furry friends. Penguin meets Bumble and Yuki to follow………..

Penguin Happy in Her New Home

Penguin Happy in Her New Home

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