Talk to our Expert - Your questions answered by our Vet, Serena Holmes
How often do I treat my cat for fleas?
Spot-ons are the most commonly used product, a liquid that should be applied to the skin on the back of the neck, usually monthly. The product then spreads to all parts of the skin and is absorbed by the flea through skin contact or blood feeding causing it to die. As well as causing constant itching in cats and humans, fleas commonly cause skin allergies in adults and anaemia in young kittens.
It is important to select a flea product from your vet. Also, selecting the product based on your pets current weight, parting the fur to apply it on the skin on the back of the neck only, and not disturbing the area until dry all ensure safety and effectiveness.
How often should cats have a routine vet check?
Once your cat is neutered, chipped and vaccinated, and assuming all seems OK, it’s a good idea to get your cat checked once a year regardless of whether your vaccine schedule is every one or three years. Areas owners can’t get to, such as the whole mouth, back of the throat, and abdomen, can be checked and felt, in addition to subtle weight loss noted and the heart and lungs checked. Usually if a problem is picked up before being noticed by the owner it has more chance of responding to treatment.
Do cats need deworming?
Simply, yes, Cats that go outdoors, indoor cats and kittens all get worms. Adults get Roundworms from eating prey like mice and birds, and kittens from the mothers milk. Adults also get Tapeworm from prey and both adults and kittens by swallowing fleas when grooming. Unless a cat has a huge number of worms, they are not usually seen in faeces. In contrast to flea products, worming products only work when given, they do not continue to kill worms. However, regular worming makes sure your cat doesn’t get enough worms to affect their health-a cause of diarrhoea, weight loss and blood loss. Ideally kittens from 2 to 6 months should be wormed monthly, and cats over 6 months every 3-4 months. Just like flea products, ask your vet which wormers on the market are effective, and again make surethe one you choose is appropriate for your cats weight. Most kill both roundworm and tapeworm, and are in tablet form, however if tableting is too stressful for you or your cat, a spot-on equivalent is available.
My Tomcat keeps spraying around the house.
It is normal for cats to spray outside to mark their territory. However when this happens inside it becomes a problem. The amount of spraying is usually governed by male hormones, and indoor spraying is decreased by 90% by neutering your Tom, an operation that takes a few minutes, and also decreases the likelihood of roaming, catfights, bites and contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). If spraying persists it may be a sign of stress, which cats are usually good at hiding, and a cause, particularly one in the environment your cat has daily access to (whether a change in the home/ garden or new people/cats) should be thought about in order to find a solution. Talking to a vet or behaviourist or asking us for advice can help with this. There is also some useful advice here: Behavioural