A cat or kitten makes a very worthwhile pet, providing that
he is properly cared for. If you have taken, or are about to take a stray or rescued feline into your home, then you are actively
helping such organisation as cats protection in their work. there are many more such cats than there are homes available.
Before you take on the responsibility of owning a cat or kitten PLEASE THINK CAREFULLY
ABOUT WHAT IT WILL INVOLVE.
The cost of feeding and veterinary treatment (including the cost of vaccinations
Making time to play, grooming and companionship.
Being prepared to accept that he may catch birds and other pray.
Ensuring adequate arrangements for when you are away from home.
Making sure your cat or kitten will not become a nuisance to neighbours.
Kittens are old enough to leave their mother at eight weeks.
A pretty, lively kitten can be an attractive proposition. Remember, however, that he or she will become a cat after six months,
perhaps for the next 14 years or more. A kitten should be your for LIFE!
One female cat can, in five years, be responsible for 20,000
descendants and many of these must inevitably become homeless, with a life that offers only misery,hunger and disease.
Both male and female cats can be neutered from six months old (your vet can guid
you ) Although general anaesthesia is required for male and female cats to be neutered this normally only necessitates a day's
stay at the vet surgery.
Females normally have stitches that would either need to be removed about ten
Neutering promotes a more satisfactory and enjoyable pet. A neutered male should
refrain from spraying about the house and leaving an unpleasant smell. He should also be disinclined to wander or fight. On
humane grounds, a female cat should not be allowed to have a litter before been neutered.A cat only recognises a kitten when
it squeals at her the first time she gives birth. The first experience provides the memory so therefore it would seem kinder
to spay before the first pregnancy. Neutering also decreases the risk of acquiring FeLV (FELINE LEUKAEMIA VIRUS) and FIV(FELINE
Both these diseases can be transmitted at the time of mating. FIV is also commonly
seen in males that fight a lot. Making them less territorial will therefore decrease the risk of disease.
Cats can be protected against some of the most serious feline
diseases by vaccination, which can start from nine weeks or as soon as an older cat has settled in his or her new home.
The routine vaccinations protect against feline infectious enteritis, cat flu
and feline leukaemia and there is now a combined vaccine where all three can be given at once. Two doses are given three weeks
apart and a yearly booster is essential. Feline infections enteritis is a very serious and frequently fatal disease causing
a variety of symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhoea and sometimes sudden death. The vaccine gives very good protection.
Cat flu is a common type of viral respiratory disease. It may make the cat quite
ill but is rarely fatel unless he is very young or old or suffering with another disease that affects the immune system. The
vaccine protects against the most common strains of the viruses that cause cat flu, the feline herpes virus and the feline
The vaccines are not 100 per cent effective as there are many different strains
of flu but they are still worthwhile.
Feline leukaemia is the most common infectious cause of death in young cats and
causes problems such as suppression of the immune system and tumours. Vaccination gives a good degree of peotection.
There is also a vaccine against the micro-oorganism chlamydia which causes respiratory
symptoms and persistent conjunctivitis. It is not given routinely but may be used in households or catteries where chlamydia
is a problem.
Your vet will advise you on the best regime for your cat and will give you a certificate
when the course is completed. Keep it in a safe place as all good catteries insist on proof of full vaccination.
Many adult cats suffer from heavy build-up of plaque on their
teeth which causes them great discomfort when eating and will eventually lead to a refusal to eat or loss of teeth.
Plaque can be removed by a vet while the cat is under a general anaesthetic. The
formation of plaque is best prevented by brushing their teeth daily with a cat toothbrush. DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE AS
IT CONTAINS DETERGENTS THAT ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR YOUR CAT TO SWALLOW.
Ask your vet for advice about the best availble products. The use of dry diets
or special cat chews can also decrease tartar build up.Cat that hunt and eat their pray will often keep their teeth clean
In road accidents, if you have to move a cat from a dangerous
road, lay a coat or blanket down, insert both hands under the cat and slide him onto the coat; pick up the edges of the coat
and lower him into a large cardboard box or other suitable container and seek veterinary advice.
With scalds and burns due to fire, hot fat, boiling water and acid, use plenty
of running cold water. This will reduce pain and shock, but do not expect co-operation from your cat! If concerned about minor
burns and scalds and, in more serious cases, SEEK VETERINARY ADVICE AT ONCE.