Cats

Vaccinations, Microchipping, Flea & Worm Treatments, Worming Programme, Desexing, Feeding, Dental care, Toilet training, Weight loss, Anaesthetics, Insurance

Vaccinations

It is important to vaccinate kittens and cats to protect them from various infectious diseases. A kitten can be vaccinated at 6 weeks where they receive 2 vaccinations 3 to 4 weeks apart, then annually.This vaccine covers the main infectious feline diseases: Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Calicivirus and Feline Rhinotracheitis.

We strongly recommend that kittens and cats are vaccinated for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). If you are unsure whether your cat has been vaccinated or exposed to FIV we can run a simple snap test to determine their immunity status.

It is important to understand that cat vaccines, like human vaccines, will not give you 100% protection against a disease but will reduce the severity of the disease.

Microchipping

The microchip is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades, it is a small glass bead that contains a unique number for your cat.

For a small fee, we can upload your details onto the New Zealand Companion Animal Register database. This assists the cat being reunited with their owner should they become separated, anywhere in NZ by easily and painlessly scanning the microchip and checking the register.

Currently there are no laws in NZ stating that cats must be microchipped, however we highly recommend microchipping your cat as it can ensure a reunion should your cat go missing.

Flea & Worm Treatments

There are a lot of flea and worm treatments available on the market, so which one should you use? You need to ensure that you use an ‘all wormer’ that covers round, hook and tape worms.

It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions for dose and frequency as flea and worm products are age and weight specific.

Kittens generally need to be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly until 6 months old, then every 3 months for their adult life.

It is important to treat all areas of the flea’s life cycle therefore Murrays Veterinary Clinic recommends that you use reputable products, it is essential that flea treatments are applied routinely to help prevent future infestations.

Getting a cat to swallow a worming tablet can be challenging, please ask our vet nurses about the selection of spot-on treatments suitable for flea and worm treatments.

Worming Programme

Take the hassle out of trying to remember when to worm and flea your pet, join our free Murrays Veterinary Clinic, VetServe membership worming programme and receive all your worming and flea treatment in the mail.

De-sexing

De-sexing your cat is an important part of being a responsible cat owner. It assists in reducing unwanted/ stray cat populations, reduces spread of disease and benefits the health and life expectancy of your cat. We recommend de-sexing about 5-6 months of age and/or at least 1.5kg in weight. Although this sounds young, females can become pregnant at 5 months of age!

Nutrition

Choosing the right food for your new companion can be confusing–do I feed wet or dry or both? There are so many brands! We recommend premium brands that meet AAFCO standards, this ensures that it is a complete and balanced diet.This means that everything your cat requires is in the food so they don’t require anything extra, except continued access to fresh water.

Murrays Veterinary Clinic recommends and sells Black Hawk (blackhawkpetcare.com/nz) and Royal Canin (royalcanin.co.nz) premium diets for kittens and cats.

Consider your cats age when choosing a food this to ensures that you are providing a diet tailored to their particular life stage. Kittens –up to 12 months; adults –12 months up to 7 years and senior – over 7 years.

If you are interested in changing your cats diet, please contact the clinic and talk with one of our vet nurses who can advise what is best for your cat.

Dental Care

Dental hygiene is an important part of your cat’s health. Despite the importance of good dental-care, it is often over looked.
Serious illness can occur when oral bacteria enters the blood stream, damaging the kidneys, heart and liver.
What are the signs and symptoms of dental disease? They may include:

  • Bad breath – one of the first signs of dental disease
  • A yellowish-brown crust of plaque on the teeth near the gum line
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Pain or bleeding when your pet ears or when the mouth gums are touched
  • Decreased appetite or difficulty eating
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Rubbing mouth on floor or with paw

We encourage pet owners to have regular dental check-ups every 6months minimum to ensure the health of their pet’s teeth and gums.
Bring your pet into the clinic for a FREE dental check with our Veterinary Nurses, they can advise on how to brush your pet’s teeth as well as helping you to select the most effective dental products for your pet’s needs. Alternatively, phone the clinic to book an appointment with one of our Vets.

Toilet training

Toilet training can often be seen as a difficult and changeling task, but if you follow a few easy steps it can be achieved relatively easily:

  • Don’t allow your kitten free access around the house. It is best to keep them in a small area for example a large cage or laundry, where they feel comfortable and having the odd accident is ok
  • Ensure that they have access to a litter tray, away from distractions. Some cats like their privacy so a covered tray may be suitable.
  • Ensure there is enough litter within the tray so the kitten can scratch and cover their waste. You may have to trial different litter types, granules vs sand
  • The litter tray needs to be large enough to contain the kitten lengthwise plus extra room.
  • Following a meal encourage them to use the litter tray by gently placing them on the tray, as this is most likely to go to the toilet. Do the same after they have woken from a sleep.
  • Allow time for them to do their own thing, you can’t rush them
  • Each time they use the little tray, praise them. As this is the behaviour you are wanting to encourage.
  • It is important to keep the litter tray clean. Cats are naturally clean animals and will be hesitant to use a dirty litter tray.
  • Once you are comfortable with how the training is going, slowly introduce them to the whole house and fully integrate them in family life.

Weight Loss

If you find that your cat is becoming a bit podgy it is important to act fast, as cats can be tricky to get weight off!

Obesity in cats can predispose diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hepatic lipidosis and arthritis.

Murrays Veterinary Clinic has a weight loss programme, that is FREE to join, to help your cat lose weight. Contact our vet nursing team who are happy to assist and advise you on your cat’s dietary and exercise needs.

Anaesthesia

When your cat needs to have surgery, it can often be stressful and create uncertainty for you. When booking your cat in for a surgery our vet nurses will talk with you the process regarding preparation for the surgery and anaesthesia.

On the morning of your pet’s surgery our admitting nurse will go talk through the surgical procedure with you, so you know what will happen, the expected time of surgery and provide you the opportunity to ask questions.

It is important to remember there are always risks associated with any anaesthetic or surgical procedure. A careful clinical examination of your pet will be done prior to administering any anaesthetic, should the Veterinarian have any concerns or questions they will contact you to discuss these prior to proceeding with the surgery or anaesthetic. We recommend a pre-anaesthetic blood tests to ascertain organ function prior to the procedure.

Insurance

As you never know when a vet emergency may occur, insurance can assist you during this stressful time, ensuring that your focus is on your pet rather than worrying about how you are going to meet your vet bill.

There are many different pet insurance companies, we recommend you contact the company of your choice to discuss your individual needs. Some pet insurance companies in New Zealand are:

www.petplan.net.nz
www.southerncrosspet.co.nz
www.canstar.co.nz/pet-insurance
www.petnsur.co.nz