Vaccinations are very important to prevent infectious disease. In kittens we vaccinate at 8 and 11 weeks. Adult cats should be vaccinated annually. We vaccinate against:
These days fleas are a year round problem for animals as most pets live in centrally heated houses, meaning that fleas don't die off during the winter months. Not only do flea numbers increase rapidly in the hot weather but also towards autumn and winter as everyone turns their central heating on.
Many pets are allergic to flea bites and can get very itchy skin rashes from even a single flea bite. Fleas carry tapeworm and are a significant source of tapeworm infection in cats.
Kittens often pick up fleas and worms from their mother and they are at much more risk of getting ill from having them. Kittens should be wormed and flea treated every month until they are 6 months old. Adult cats should be treated every three months after this for tapeworm and monthly for fleas and worms. The flea and worm treatment market can be confusing and a lot of products are very ineffective.
There are many different ways to treat and prevent fleas but they can basically be grouped into 3 main categories.
Spot-on treatments - these kill fleas that jump on to your pet, some will also treat ticks and/or some worms and mites as well. Not all spot on treatments are as effective, and most supermarket bought products are very ineffective. WARNING - Treating cats with permethrin containing flea treatments meant for dogs will likely cause the death of you cat.
Program - This is a 6 monthly injection for cats that will prevent flea eggs from hatching, stopping fleas from establishing in the home.
House sprays - If fleas have set up shop in your house you will need to treat the house with a flea spray. It is best to vacuum the house prior to spraying to cause any flea eggs to hatch. If the flea larvae remain in their eggs they will be immune to the spray. Repeating the treatment of the house in 3 weeks time will also mop up any fleas that survived the initial treatment.
If you have a problem with fleas in the house please call for a chat and some advice.
Why not book in for a free flea/worm check with our nurse, so we can find the treatment that is perfect for your pet. We are happy to advise you which products would be best.
Animals pick up ticks from the long grass and they then feed off your pet. If you find a tick NEVER pull it off as they can leave their head behind resulting in an abscess. Either bring your pet into the
surgery to have the tick taken off or pop in and pick up a tick remover. Some flea treatments are also effective against ticks and there are also tick collars available that are very effective.
Unlike fleas it is often impossible to tell if your pet has worms unless they have a very heavy infestation. Mostly, worms will only pass microscopic eggs in the faeces that are invisible to the human eye.
Not only are worms bad news for your pet but many can spread to humans, especially children. Infection with certain worms in humans can cause permanent damage to eye sight.
Animals can pick up worms from:
Generally we recommend worming every 3 months.
These can be picked up from other animals (particularly foxes) and also from fields during harvest time.
Both mites and lice make your pet very itchy and must be diagnosed (usually by looking under a microscope at a skin scraping) to find the correct treatment.
Some spot on flea and worm treatments can be used to treat mite infections.
Kittens can be microchipped at a second vaccination or when they are under anaesthetic for neutering. Once the chip is implanted it lasts for life. Adult cats can be microchipped conscious. If ever your pet goes missing it can be identified easily even if he/she has lost a collar. Microchipping is a requirement for all travel schemes.
Kittens can be neutered from 5 months old. The advantages of neutering:
Neutering is a routine procedure and cats recover very quickly from the surgery. Unneutered cats are at risk of unwanted pregnancies, increased risk of infectious diseases such as feline leukaemia and FIV, the feline form of AIDs. Males that are not castrated are much more likely to fight, will often stray far from home and will spray very strong smelling urine in the house. Remember that changing home and leaving mum and litter mates cat be a stressful time for a new kitten. You may want to consider getting a feliway plug in diffuser to help your new pet settle well.