Broomhill Veterinary Practice

13 Crookes Road Sheffield S10 5BA
Tel: 0114 2683239

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Cats & You

This article is designed to remind you of the information you need with a new kitten and adult cat. If you have any questions about what is in this article or anything we may have missed then please ask a member of staff who will be more than happy to help.

Vaccinations

We vaccinate cats against four viruses:

Panleucopaenia virus (feline enteritis)

This is a highly contagious disease and can be lethal. It survives pretty much anywhere (gardens, bedding, shoes) at least for a year.

Feline herpesvirus 1 (cat flu)

This virus produce flu-like symptoms and can cause serious respiratory disease and death.

Feline calicivirus

A major cause of respiratory infections in cats and very contagious. The vaccine will not always prevent the infection but will substantially alleviate the symptoms.

Feline leukaemia virus

This virus is easily transmitted between cats (eg through saliva) and gives a range of symptoms. It is usually lethal unless the cat's immune system defeats the virus.

Schedule of vaccination:

Kittens

They need a course of two injections. The first one at the age of 9 weeks, the second one at the age of 12 weeks. If your cat has lapsed its boosters it will need this two-injection course again to generate the necessary immunity.

Adult cats

They need annual booster injections. Your cat will also receive a general health and weight check, and you will have an opportunity to discuss health issues with the vet.

If your cat is travelling outside the UK he/she will need to be vaccinated against rabies, a viral disease causing acute swelling in the brain. The British Isles (the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland) have been rabies free since the disease was eradicated in 1922 but rabies is still present in many other countries across the world. The disease is always fatal.

Fleas

Flea treatment for cats usually comes in a liquid spot-on preparation. Beware of some products which are organo-phosphate based as fleas may have developed resistance to these. Never use flea products which are intended for dogs on cats. These can be lethal for your cat.

If you have a kitten it is important to weigh it to avoid over-dosing before you subject it to a flea treatment. Make an appointment at the practice and we will weigh your pet for free.

Most flea treatments are used once a month. Part the hair at the back of your cat's neck where he/she cannot lick it off, and squeeze the liquid spot-on treatment onto the skin. You will notice that the hair on the area may look coated afterwards. This is normal. Avoid touching the area until dry. If you would like our member of staff to apply a flea treatment for your cat ring the practice, and arrange a free appointment.

Worming

Protecting your cat against worms is an important part of good pet care. Worms infestations affect your pet's condition and wellbeing as well as having health implications for you and your family. The types of worms that affect cats are Roundworms, Tapeworms and Hookworms. These are intestinal parasites which can be found in any cat although infection is easily treated.

Roundworms

These are the most common worms in cats, and can be passed by faeces from other cats, rodents and from the mother during pregnancy. Roundworms can also be passed to children which can result in ‘Toxocariasis’ where migrating larvae can cause permanent eye damage and even blindness.

Roundworm infestation can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, anaemia, a pot-bellied appearance and poor condition. In adult cats worms are usually acquired through hunting resulting in few clinical symptoms.

Tapeworm

Long flat segmented worms, eggs of which are passed in the faeces and can be seen as small whitish segments similar to a grain of rice. There are two types of common feline tapeworm, one of which is passed on by rodents (hunting cats are at risk), the other is passed on by fleas – so if your cat has fleas assume it has worms too! These can be passed to children, although it is uncommon.

Hookworms

Although these are uncommon in the United Kingdom in cats, cats that travel to parts of Europe can be at risk. Ask the vet for more details.

Treatment regime

Kittens should be wormed every two weeks from about 6 weeks of age to 12 weeks of age. From 12 weeks until 6 months of age the kitten should be wormed once a month.

Adult cats should be wormed at least once every three months. If you cat is at a high risk (e.g. hunters) or you have young children in the house, worming can be done as frequently as once a month.

Microchipping

What is involved? 

The microchip is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades using a specially designed needle. Most cats will tolerate this as they would any other injection. Occasionally kittens may experience mild discomfort but this is short lived.

What are the benefits? 

If your cat goes missing or is injured and taken to a Veterinary Practice or rescue centre, it will take minutes to locate their information and contact you. - Your pet only needs to be identichipped once and their details will remain on the database for their life. Specially designed cat flaps can be programmed with your pets ID number to ensure only your cats can enter your home.

Microchipping is one of the only forms of permanent identification, which is required by the Pet Travel Scheme and the BVA (British Veterinary Association) for hip and elbow scoring.

Pet Passport

Our veterinary surgeon is registered and qualified to issue Pet Passports according to the Pet Travel Scheme of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She will give you information on current dangers to your pet's health abroad, and will offer the best prevention treatments for your animal. All cats and dogs moving between the European Union and the United Kingdom must comply with the current travel regulations. Different rules may apply to countries outside the European Union.

We can assist you in organising export papers for your pet.

Neutering

Unneutered female cats can become aggressive and territorial. Female cats are induced ovulators. this means that there will be no ovulation if not mated, resulting in a hormonal imbalance and development of womb cancer at a later age. Even cats that are not at risk of being mated will be better off being spayed.

There is a common misconception that a cat needs to have a littler first before spaying, because it is supposed to improve their temperament. There is however no real proof of this and we would advise neutering in cats would be best done at about 6 months of age, before the animal reaches sexual maturity. This will prevent unwanted behaviour becoming and it reduces the risk of developing mammary cancers.

If you would like to discuss neutering of your pet, please book an appointment at our surgery.