Feline health

Please note:
If you have any concerns about your cat’s health or behavior please contact your vet as soon as possible.
What diet should I feed a cat?
Cats are carnivores (meat-eating animals) and should not be fed a vegetarian diet. Also avoid feeding a cat dog food as it doesn't contain the correct nutrients for felines. Nowadays, commercial cat foods are specially designed to meet a cat's dietary needs and provide all the nutrients they need. Kittens, pregnant and lactating queens have specific nutritional requirements.

How can I keep my cat's teeth clean and healthy?
Many adult cats suffer from heavy build-up of plaque or calculus on their teeth which causes them great discomfort when eating and will eventually lead to a refusal to eat and/or teeth loss.
Plaque and calculus can be removed by a veterinary surgeon while the cat is under a general anaesthetic. You can also buy food which loosens plaque and calculus while eating and teeth cleaning products are available. Many cats do not like having their teeth brushed; however, if brushing is started when they are young kittens tolerance levels increase.

Can FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) be passed from cats to humans?
No. This virus cannot be passed from cat to human. It is transmitted between cats via bodily fluids, most commonly by saliva through bites and in some cases from mother to kittens. Affected cats have an ineffective immune system and are vulnerable to subsequent infections (eg chest infections). However, some cats infected with the virus may live a full, healthy life. Cats with FIV shoud be kept indoors to reduce the spread of the disease to other cats. Currently there is no vaccine available against FIV in the UK.

What should I do if my cat is hit by a car?
Only move your cat if it is absolutely necessary as movement could cause further damage. If you have to move him because he is in a dangerous place or your vet advises you to do so, follow this technique. Place a board, tray or coat behind the cat, gently slip both hands; palms facing upwards, under his shoulders and hindquarters and slide him onto the board (take care not to disturb his position in case of injury).

What should I do if I discover an injured cat and I am not the owner?
If the cat is moveable, take him to a vetand inform the veterinary staff that you are not the owner. If the cat has no identification, spread the word in your neighbourhood that you have discovered an injured cat and taken him to the vet. Putting up some posters may help to inform the owners of their cat's whereabouts also contact cats Protection as the cat may have been reported to us as missing.

Can cats get sunburn?
Cats, like humans, can burn in strong sunshine, with white and pale-coloured felines being the most a risk. If you have a pale-coloured cat, make sure that he has sun block on his ears and nose, the two areas most likely to burn. Use a waterproof, non-toxic sunscreen which your cat can’t lick off and reapply the cream throughout the day. Ask your vet for a suitable sun cream to use. Try to keep your cat indoors between 10am and 3pm this is when the sun is hottest. Always provide a shady retreat for hot cats.