Caring for your cat
If you’re looking for a cat vet in Teddington, look no further than Alpha Vets.
Thanks to our wide range of services and experienced team, your cat will receive the best veterinary care in our modern and welcoming clinic. Whether they require preventative healthcare or procedure, you can trust your cat will be well looked after at Alpha Vets
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Our team of cat vets have put together some information on feline healthcare and what they want all owners to know. Contact us today at Alpha Vets if you have any questions about your own cat’s care.
We have our Healthy Pet Club which is a great way of ensuring your cat receives the best preventative healthcare. You also benefit from great savings on essential annual vaccinations, life-saving parasite prevention and many other benefits and discounts! Learn more about our Healthy Pet Club.
Also, don’t forget to collect your Alpha Card – our free loyalty card which gives you 1% back on everything you spend with us! The Alpha Card lets you collect points that can be redeemed against our services. We even give you 500 points (=£5) to get you started! Remember, it’s completely free to join, so ask at reception for more details when you arrive – learn more.
To ensure your cat receives essential preventative healthcare regularly, why not enrol them in our Healthy Pet Club? We have designed our Healthy Pet Club to put yours and your pet’s interests first – by spreading out the cost of their routine healthcare and receiving discounts throughout the year when your cat visits Alpha Vets.
Learn more about exactly what is on offer by visiting our dedicate page on our Healthy Pet Club.
Vaccinations help to protect your cat from life-threatening diseases that are prevalent in the UK. Alpha Vets recommends starting your kitten’s vaccines at 9 weeks old, with their second vaccination given 3-4 weeks later. Following this, your cat will need annual boosters to keep their immunity levels raised.
If you are unsure of your cat’s vaccine status, we can start vaccination courses for older cats as well. Contact our team to get them booked in. Learn more about vaccinations here.
The type of vaccine that Alpha Vets uses is a 4-in-1 that protects against the following diseases:
- Herpes & Calicivirus (Cat flu) – this causes a runny nose and eyes, aches in muscles and joints, dribbling, sneezing, fever, mouth ulcers, sore throat and loss of voice.
- Panleukopenia – this will cause severe immune system, nervous system and gastrointestinal disease and is highly contagious.
- FeLV (feline leaukaemia virus) – a potentially fatal virus that can cause lymphoma (a type of cancer) and other problems.
Alpha Vets can also offer your cats the following vaccinations, which are not part of our routine vaccine course:
- Chlamydia vaccine: this can cause conjunctivitis and respiratory disease.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis: this can cause vomiting, fever, blood poisoning and fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Chat to one of our vets about this vaccine at your cat’s appointment.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: transferred amongst cats through saliva. Symptoms include gum inflammation, weight loss, poor appetite, fever, conjunctivitis, vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Rabies vaccine: there are no cases of rabies present in the UK, however if you plan on travelling abroad with your cat, this is a vaccine they will need. Learn more about pet travel and the other necessary requirements your cat will need.
Health checks are important to keep your feline in tip-top condition. Learn more about why Alpha Vets recommend 6 monthly check-ups for cats below and read about our consultations here.
Our experienced cat vet will perform a full physical examination during your kitten’s first ever health check with us. This includes the ears, mouth, teeth, eyes, nose, skin and then also listening to their heart and lungs with a stethoscope for any abnormalities. The vet will also examine their joints and have a good feel of their abdomen.
This first examination is important as it allows the team to create a baseline for your cat and provide you, the owner, with essential information to help care for your new kitten. This can include parasite prevention, nutrition, behaviour and much more.
A 6 month health check is the perfect time to discuss any concerns you may have about your cat and for the vet to examine them for any underlying health conditions that could be developing. These check-ups are included as part of our Healthy Pet Club.
At 7 years old, your cat will be classed as a senior. Regular health checks at this point will help to ensure they are in the best condition to continue life as normal. Attention will be paid in particular to the diseases that tend to develop with old age, such as heart disease, dental disease, arthritis, Hyperthyroidism, renal/kidney disease and high blood pressure.
To provide your senior cat with the best veterinary care, Alpha Vets recommends performing an annual blood and urine test which we can screen for abnormalities.
To collect a fresh sample of urine from your cat it is easiest to use a type of cat litter that does not absorb moisture. This will allow the urine to pool in the litter tray for you to then collect in a sample pot.
Contact our team or book a consultation online for your cat.
Microchipping is soon set to become a legal requirement for all cats in the UK. The main reason to microchip your cat is if your cat goes missing, it gives them the best chance of being reunited with you. As well as complying with your cat’s insurance policy and allowing them to travel to countries in the EU.
A microchip can be implanted at any routine consultation with little discomfort for your pet. Book a microchipping appointment with our team and learn more about microchipping here.
Alpha Vets recommends a balanced diet of wet and dry cat food. It is worth investing money into a reputable brand of ‘complete’ cat food as this will have been specially formulated to provide them with all the vitamins, minerals and protein they need to stay healthy. You will also be able to get food for each life stage to help them avoid any deficiencies as their nutritional needs change.
Cats are carnivores and must eat meat to remain healthy. Only use a homemade diet with your cat if a veterinary surgeon has recommended it, otherwise you are putting them at risk of serious diseases developing, such as kidney failure and blindness.
Kittens should be fed at least 4 meals a day with constant access available to fresh water from a clean bowl.
Adult & Senior cats
Many adult cats need 2 meals a day but take note of your cat’s preferences as some tend to enjoy grazing on food, rather than sticking to 2 meal times. This only works if you are in a single cat household. Ensure their diet is 50/50 wet to dry and they have 24-hour access to clean drinking water.
If your senior cat is not drinking enough water, a top tip is to invest in a water fountain as the running water encourages them to drink more. Particularly helpful in cats with bladder conditions. You could also try adding a little bit of water into their food bowl.
Monitoring your cat for signs of obesity is also important, as this can lead to a whole load of complicated health conditions. Chat to our team of experienced vet nurses about weight monitoring and how to keep your cat at a healthy weight.
Alpha Vets recommends the following worming programme for your cat, with either Milbemax or Drontal products:
- Every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age until they reach 3 months old
- Once monthly from the ages of 3-6 months
- Every 3 months from 6 months of age onwards
Flea control is another essential to invest in, with brands Advocate and Program being the most effective to use. Advocate is a spot-on treatment applied monthly to your cat’s neck. Program is a 6 monthly injection, given to stop fleas eggs from hatching. They can be used separately or in conjunction, depending on your cat’s flea burden and your home infestation. If your house is infested, we can supply environmental products that you can spray in your home. Make sure you ask your vet for advice during your cat’s 6 month check-up.
Please note: cat’s usually keep themselves in pristine condition, but if you notice any matted or dirty fur, please book a consultation. The inability to groom themselves is an early sign of an underlying health condition – we do not recommend owners try to bathe them unless they have become soaked with a toxic substance. Contact our team immediately if this is the case.
Neutering your cat provides many health and behavioural benefits, as well as preventing unwanted pregnancies. Learn more about neutering here.
Female cats can be neutered from 6 months old, with the procedure reducing the risk of mammary cancer and uterine infections. It will also stop them coming into season and will prevent any associated behaviours.
The main benefit to neutering male cats is stop them roaming and fighting when outside. It also reduces the risk of them spraying (territorial urine spraying) around your home.
We always aim to improve the anaesthetic safety and welfare for all our patients by doing a pre-anaesthetic blood test. We use state-of-the-art anaesthetic drugs and have a full suite of electronic monitoring systems. We provide your cat with painkillers before and after surgery and give them intravenous fluids to stop them becoming dehydrated. After the surgery, cats are usually back to their old selves within a day or two.
Cats are independent animals and when neutered, they will only like socialising with other cats of the same household. They tend to be most comfortable in a routine.
- Scratching: your cat will love to scratch anything and everything, so make sure you provide them with scratching posts and cat trees. You will have less furniture damage this way!
- Purring: this is the throaty noise that cats make when they are happy.
- Toilet times: in a multiple cat household, ensure you have enough litter trays. We recommend one per cat, plus an extra one in the house – this will help to keep your house clean and your cat’s stress levels low. Cat rivalry can happen if there are not enough toilet spaces so having the correct amount and keeping them clean is essential in keeping your cats happy. Discuss toilet training with your vet at your kitten’s appointments.
- Play dates: cats are extremely territorial and will not like to share their space or leave their space to go on ‘play dates’.
- Introducing new cats becomes more difficult as they get older. If you plan to have a multi-cat household, try to introduce them as kittens so they can bond.
- Ensure there are separate food and watering areas for each cat in your house – this decreases territorial behaviour and reduces the risk of fighting.
- Cats love high places to hide. They need a safe hiding place (for example, on top of cupboards and wardrobes) or a hide box to help them feel safe, reduce stress and allow them to watch the world below. This is particularly important in a household with multiple cats.
- Catnip and cat grass are some of the most irresistible scents for cats – these are useful for reducing stress in a multi-cat household and encouraging your cat to play with scratch posts.
Looking after your cat’s teeth starts at home. By using dental care dry food and a daily brushing routine at home, it will help to prevent dental disease developing. Starting this routine when they are a kitten using positive reinforcement helps it to become a daily habit.
At your routine health checks, your vet will advise whether your cat would benefit from a professional scale and polish under general anaesthesia. Read more about Alpha Vets’ dental services here.
Many common household plants and chemicals are toxic to cats. Lillies, for example, are extremely toxic, as are common human medications – especially paracetamol. Cleaning substances and car antifreeze can prove to be dangerous to your cats so keep this locked away from prying paws.
It is also worth thinking about small objects, such as needles, threads, string etc. These can cause your cat lots of pain when ingested, with lots of damage to their gastrointestinal tract and may require emergency veterinary attention. Go round your home and ‘cat proof’ it the way you would ‘baby proof’ it.
If you are concerned your cat may have ingested a toxic substance, contact us immediately.
Monitoring your cat for any changes in their body condition will help to identify any underlying health problems they may be experiencing early.
Book a consultation with one of our vets who can help you to identify what a healthy body condition score is and what to look out for in your cat. They will also be able to advise on diet and exercise to encourage weight loss or weight gain.
If you are a cat owner in Teddington and would like to register your pet with our experienced team of vets, contact us today or register your cat online using the button below.
Register your cat with Alpha Vets
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