Healthy felines from kitten to cat, with Monument Vets.
Gleaning great satisfaction from developing long-lasting relationships with pets and their owners, we aim to equip owners with the knowledge and tools to meet the ever-changing health needs of cats as they age.
The best start for kittens
To grow a kitten into a healthy cat, vaccinating them against preventable diseases from the get-go, is by far the best way. Kittens require a primary course of two vaccinations 3 weeks apart which can be started from 9 weeks of age to instigate immunity; annual boosters are required thereafter to ensure their continued safety. Thorough health examinations take place at these vaccination appointments which also serve as an opportunity for owners to quiz our vets and nurses on all aspects of kitten care.
Fleas and worms can cause havoc with the health of a kitten and worms especially, are extremely common in young animals. From the time of vaccination, monthly treatments are recommended until they are six months of age.
Careful, considered socialisation will help your kitten grow into a well adjusted, relaxed and happy cat. Gradual and positively reinforced exposure to noisy household appliances, visitors, grooming and teeth cleaning at a young age should mean that a cat accepts and even enjoys these things in the future. We are poised to advise kitten owners on how to go about this, just ask during vaccinations appointments and free nurse kitten checks. For information on how Monument Vets can help you give your kitten the best start in life, how you can benefit from exclusive discounts and how to access free kitten nurse clinics, see our Pet Health Club page.
Microchips are not yet a legal requirement for cats however we would encourage all owners to have their cat implanted with one. When a cat strays or becomes injured outside of the home, finding the owner, and fast, can make all the difference. A simple procedure, we can carry this out any time, the sooner the better!
Cats, so often being free to roam, can easily contract preventable diseases which cause a lifetime of suffering and can even prove fatal. The creation of vaccines against some of the worst of these diseases has provided a leap forward for feline health and welfare in recent decades. We encourage all cat owners to continue the fight against these diseases by vaccinating. A primary course of two injections, three weeks apart is necessary to ensure adequate immunity and annual vaccinations are required thereafter.
A cat is never too old to begin vaccinations. Core vaccinations for cats
- Feline influenza (cat flu)
- Infectious enteritis
Non-core vaccinations for cats travelling abroad:
- Feline Leukaemia
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to fleas and worm burdens due to the irritation and suffering they can cause. The regular use of prescription treatments is by far the best way to achieve this and since we stock tablets, spot-ons, even long-lasting injectable flea treatments, treating even the most objectionable of cats is made easy.
Fleas cause relentless itching, transmit tapeworm and are responsible for flea allergic dermatitis. Cats and especially kittens with a severe burden can even become anaemic. Continuous year-round flea prevention is recommended. Signs that a pet has fleas:
- Sores and red bumps to the skin
- Adult fleas moving within the fur
- Brown/red ‘flea dirt’ within the fur
Worms typically reside within a cat’s intestines and can make them very unwell. A number of worm species affects cats, the usual suspects being tapeworm and roundworm. Kittens less than six months of age should be treated monthly for worms and adults, at least every three months. Signs of a worm burden include:
- Weight loss despite increase in appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Lethargy and depression
- A ‘pot-bellied’ appearance (especially in kittens)
For all that your cat needs in preventative health care and at a discounted rate, see our Pet Health Club page for more information.
Neutering cats is recommended for a plethora of reasons, promoting feline health and welfare and preventing unwanted litters. The procedure, usually carried out at four months of age, involves removing the uterus and ovaries in females and the testicles in males. The following reasons support the decision to neuter however we will always respond to your questions and concerns and help you decide if neutering is right for your cat.
- Remove the risk of unwanted litters, extremely common in unneutered queens (and associated homing issues)
- Prevent straying in search of a mate and potential associated injury
- Remove the risk of potentially fatal uterine infection (pyometra)
- Remove the risk of uterine and ovarian cancers
- Reduce the fighting instinct and the likelihood of contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
- Reduce roaming in search of a mate and potential associated injury
- Reduce urine spraying and aggression associated with testosterone
Getting nutrition right isn’t always easy but can pay dividends in health for a cat. A complete, balanced and quality diet that targets a cat’s life-stage is a great place to start. Our vets and nurses are happy to advise on the diet best suited to your cat, just ask our friendly team.
Cats are instinctively stoical creatures and as they age it’s up to us as veterinary professionals and owners to identify deteriorations in health. There is much that can be done for age-related issues such as poor dental health, reduced mobility and kidney disease, and we are firm believers that none of these should be considered a negligible part of aging.
Is your elderly cat displaying any of the following?
- A change to eating or drinking habits
- Loss of weight/body condition
- Reduced activity levels, jumping less
- Lethargy or increased periods of sleeping
- Stiffness upon rising