Here is a quick guide on cats and how to look after them. If you have any concerns about the health of your cat, please call us.
What causes cats to gain weight?
Weight gain is the result of an increase in body fat. Eating too much usually causes this, especially when combined with lack of exercise. But there can be other contributing factors such as:
- age: older pets are usually less active so require less calories
- breed: some breeds are more prone to weight gain.
- medical problems: occasionally weight gain is associated with a medical disorder that may require specific treatment.
How can I tell if my cat is overweight?
- the ribs can not be easily felt when stroking your hands along their rib cage
- you need to loosen their collar if they wear one.
- heavier breathing pattern
How can I help my cat to lose weight?
Weight problems are very common and these can be successfully managed through changes in diet and lifestyle. Cats need exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Encourage your cat to follow you in the house, particularly up and down stairs. Use toys to encourage your cat to play or hide food to mimic him or her hunting. Shining a torch with a sharp beam on walls for your cat to chase works very well.
St Helens Vets will tailor a programme specifically for the needs of your cat, call for an appointment for us to do this. Ask us about the St Helens Vets Pet Health Club to help you save money and spread the cost.
Cat vaccinations protect against these diseases:
- Feline Panleucopenia
- Feline Calicivirus
- Feline Rhinotracheitis virus
- Feline Chlamydia
- Feline Leukemia virus
Contact St Helens Vets for an appointment for a health check for your cat.
Watch for signs of difficulty in chewing, or in eating hard food. Bad breath is not normal in pets, and the number one reason is dental disease. Pets don’t tend to get dental cavities, they suffer mainly from periodontal disease, plaque and calculus. The bacteria associated with dental disease can also cause other serious health problems as they can gain entrance to the blood system and travel to other organs, most notably the liver, kidney and heart valves.
Regular checks at St Helens Vets can help monitor this. Diet plays an important factor in keeping teeth and gums healthy. Animals fed on mainly soft, moist, processed food are most at risk. Signs of dental disease in your pet can include:
- Bad breath
- Bleeding and inflamed gums
- Build-up of yellow or brown tartar on the teeth
- Difficulty chewing food
- Loss of interest in food
- Pawing at the mouth or drooling
- Tooth loss
- Subdued behaviour
- Not wanting to be touched on the head
It is best not to try and clean your pet’s ears other than around the entrance to the ear. If a foreign body has made its way into the ear canal do not try to get it out yourself as this may cause damage and push it further in.
Call St Helens Vets for an appointment to have your pet’s ears checked.
Book an appointment at St Helens Vets for our Veterinary Nurse to help you with this.
Contact St Helens Vets so we can advise you on spaying or neutering.
Contact St Helens Vets to book an appointment for a senior pet health check.
Winter – This is the time when many of us start to feel aches and pains and our pets are the same. Look out for any difficulties getting up after rest, these are signs that your cat may have some joint stiffness, often made worse by cold or damp weather. Cats need to be able to keep dry and conserve body heat outside in the cold and wet and will need shelter and drinking water. Watch out for antifreeze (as used in cars) as some people use it in their garden ponds. It is very tasty but very poisonous to animals.
Call St Helens Vets immediately if your cat needs medical attention.