Quick Tips for Tick & Flea Protection
How to choose the right Tick & Flea protection for your pet is one of the most common questions we get. With lots of different products on the market it can be very confusing so we've pulled together a quick tips sheet to help you get started. Our team is always ready to help answer any questions you have though so please feel free to ask at your next consultation or give us a call - getting your pets treatment right, especially with ticks can save their lives
Vaccinations provide protection from preventable and life-threatening diseases. Cats are vaccinated against are Panleukopaenia virus, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Feline calicivirus (Cat Flu), commonly known as an F3 . This vaccination trio is known as the F3. You can also have your cat vaccinated for Feline Leukaemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).
Flea and Tick Protection
Paralysis ticks are very common on the Northern Beaches and pose a huge health risk to your cat. Kittens should be on tick protection from 8 weeks of age. But before putting your kitten/cat on any tick & flea medications it is essential to weigh them to pick the right dosage. We recommend using kitchen scales at home or calling us to find out their recorded weight. Below is a short summary of the products we frequently recommend for fleas, ticks and worming protection in cats.
Your kittens worming schedule should have already begun with their breeder or rescue organisation at 2 weeks of age. They are then wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly till they are 6 months old. From 6 months they should be wormed every 3 months for life.
The intestinal worms being treated for are: roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. As well as causing discomfort to your kitten, these worms can be passed out through their faeces and transferred to yourself or your children, so keeping on top of their worming schedule is essential.
Microchipping & Council Registration
Microchips are compulsory in NSW & with Northern Beaches Council. They provide permanent identification for your cat and ensure if they are lost and brought into the vet or picked up by council ranger they can find their way home safely.
It is really important that you keep your pets microchip details updated and current. Ensuring, if you change phone numbers, home addresses or transfer ownership, that this is reflected on the pets microchip. It is also compulsory to register your pet with the Northern Beaches council. Registration is significantly cheaper if your pet is desexed.
Both, updating your pets details & registration can be done online at https://www.petregistry.nsw.gov.au/.
Desexing is usually performed between 4 - 6 months of age. It is best to discuss desexing your pet at your vet appointments to decide when is right for you and your cat.
We recommend desexing at Belrose Vet because it reduces many health risks throughout your pets life such as, pyometra (infection of the uterus), testicular cancer, anal masses and unwanted litters. It can also reduce mate seeking behaviours that could result in escaping, cat fight injuries & car accidents.
Desexing is performed under a general anaesthetic and your pet is only required to stay for the day. After returning home that night they will need to be rested for a few days, and slowly ease back into their normal routine.
Surgery bookings can be made in person or via phone booking. Please call or pop by to discuss booking in your pet and we can explain the procedure and after care instructions.
Starting a good dental care routine from an early age with your cat is a great way to reduce their chances of needing professional dental work. Daily brushing of your cats teeth using a pet specific toothbrush & paste is the most proven way to maintain their oral health. During your vet consultation we can show you how to brush your cats teeth and pick out the right toothpaste for you, they commonly come flavoured in chicken or beef!
We do recognise daily brushing is tough in cats and if they don't begin early enough you may ot be able to get them used to it. If so, we recommend a dental diet after they have finished their kitten food.
Unfortunately sometimes dental disease will still occur with age. Tartar build up and loose teeth will become very painful for your pet & needs to be treated. Luckily we can help with our dental x-ray technology and in-house dental equipment. A dental procedure o your pet does require a general anaesthetic but similar to desexing only requires a day visit.
Diet & Exercise
Kittens are in a very important growth phase during their first year of life. It is essential during this phase they are being fed kitten specific food to aid proper growth. We recommend high quality dry food. Supermarket brands often are low quality and are not recommended. Often breeder will encourage raw feeding or home cooked diets. These diets involve a lot of research & preparation to ensure you are including everything your kitten needs and often result in an unbalanced product. If you are considering these diets it is essential you discuss them with your vet first and ensure you are meeting your kittens requirements. It is essential to always have fresh water available.
It is also important not to overfeed your cat throughout it's life. Overweight cats can face a multitude of health problems throughout their life, including early onset diabetes or renal issues. Regularly checking their weight on scales at home and at their yearly checks is recommended.
This leads to exercise! Exercise helps prevent obesity and the associated health risks with it. You can walk your cat on a cat lead just as with dogs, although early training and always using a safe and secure area would be required. Therefore we encourage at home enrichment and play to keep your cat mentally and physically stimulated. Some great toys & ideas include,
Scratching posts and climbing towers - these often come combined and can be inexpensive from Target & Kmart.
Scratch Mats - a welcome mat from Bunnings can work too.
Tunnels to run through - smaller/cat specific is better, although old kids tunnels can work too.
Ping-pong balls to bat with their paws & chase.
Scatter high value treats around the house and encourage a hunt.
Catnip toys or toys on a string to dangle and encourage chasing. Easily found online or at Petbarn/PetStock.
If possible creating a "climbing track" with shelves around the house, check out Pinterest for some amazing ideas.