As responsible pet parents we want to keep our cats healthy and happy, and our vet plays an important role in this. Here are a few ways that your vet can help prevent illnesses. (Note: With restricted access to vet clinics some of the procedures below may be postponed. Check with your vet and arrange an appointment as soon as possible.)
Three very serious diseases in cats – Cat Flu, Feline Enteritis and Feline Leukaemia, can be prevented with vaccinations. Kittens are particularly susceptible to these diseases so keep them indoors and away from other cats until they have completed their vaccines.
Cats need regular treatment to prevent worms, fleas, ticks, mites and lice. You can order appropriate medications by phone and collect them from your vet clinic, or, if necessary, have them delivered to your home.
Neutering your cat is strongly advised between 4-6 months old. This is because female cats can come into season and be sexually active from 4 months, depending on the time of year they were born. Keep your cat indoors this spring and summer (a time of year when cats tend to come into heat) until your vet can accommodate neutering.
Advantages of neutering cats:
- Prevents unwanted litters of kittens
- Longer life expectancy
- No risk of womb infections
- Less risk of mammary gland tumours
- Limits the spread of infections such as Feline AIDS, Feline Leukaemia, Cat Flu, and parasites
- Reduces incidence of straying, road traffic accidents and other injuries common in un-neutered males
Learn more about the advantages of neutering.
Your vet will give you advice on the best food for your cat.
Young, growing kittens will need a higher energy food but once they are neutered and reach adulthood they need to go on a maintenance diet that will not lead to excessive weight gain. This is particularly important if they spend a lot of time indoors.
Obesity leads to many serious illnesses in cats, such as Diabetes, Liver conditions, Joint problems, Heart conditions etc. You can help prevent obesity by controlling the amount of food your cat eats and keeping them active.
Vets can also provide you with Prescription diets and nutritional supplements to help prevent issues with Kidney and Bladder Disease, Liver Conditions, Arthritis, Allergies, etc.
General Health and Dental Check-ups
An annual health check is recommended for young cats for a full physical exam, vaccination booster, etc. Your vet will let you know of any early signs of disease and may recommend further tests. Your cat’s teeth will also be checked as they may need to be descaled and polished, or some may need to be removed.
As your cat ages, they will need to be seen more often and may be screened for diseases of thyroid, kidney, heart, liver, cancer etc.
Any issues related to stress or abnormal behaviour can also be discussed at these visits and behaviour modification plans and aids to relieve stress can be put in place.
Early detection allows for earlier and more successful treatment, so make sure to seek these regular check-ups with your vet.
This guidance is for general information purposes only.