Cats make good companions with most enjoying (demanding?) high levels of attention. It is very relaxing to see the response to some serious stroking. Some cats stay in as house cats, though most are allowed out, where they do become instinctive hunters, catching small vermin mainly, but occasionally small rabbits and birds. Wear a bell to make it harder!

Pedigree kittens may cost as much as a pedigree dog (£300-500+) but many moggies are available from rescue societies in your area. Be responsible and have a pet cat neutered at 6 months of age, before any seasons start. Cats Protection is very active in our area (Foundry Lane) and rehomes around 500 cats every year!

When a cat is first acquired, it is best initially to continue with the food it has become accustomed to until you decide which diet to choose. Always avoid sudden or frequent changes of diet as this can result in diarrhoea. Kittens can have dry kitten available at all times, with 2 small kitten meat meals daily, though these are not essential. Eating little and often is fine for cats, but not for dogs

At your cat's first health check, Parkside will be able to advise you about a suitable diet. (First checks for new kittens are FREE!) A new food can be gradually introduced once the kitten has settled in for at least a week, then after a further 7-10 days you will have replaced the original diet for the new one. Come along as soon you have your new kitten. It is possible to feed a home-produced diet, but it can be difficult to ensure that it is well balanced. Mostly, prepared pet foods are used and these can provide the important aspects of a balanced diet i.e. nutrition, palatability, digestibility, suitable energy density, safety and convenience. There is a huge variety in the texture, cost and nutritional value of different foods available and it is advisable to discuss this with us. Always use a kitten food for a young growing cat. We recommend Hills Vet Essentials range of complete cat foods as it has many positive attributes for your cat's health and works out very economically per meal. Read more about the benefits HERE.

Always use separate feeding equipment for your cat and ensure that clean, fresh water is always available. It is commonly assumed that cats need a variety in their diet. This is not the case and often leads to upsets. A cat will eat the same food happily day after day for many years. Cats like a wide/shallow bowl so that their whiskers do not touch the side of the bowl when eating or drinking.

To some extent, the choice of presentation of the food e.g. dry, canned or semi-moist is down to personal preference. If your cat only eats some of the food at the first visit, it may be more hygienic to feed a dry food. Cats have a higher protein requirement than many other mammals and several other special nutrient requirements. Therefore, it is not suitable to feed them dog diets. Most cats are normal adults and the majority of foods are supplied for this life stage. However, there are several circumstances when adult foods are not suitable:
Kittens have very different nutritional requirements to adult cats and different diets are available for their needs.
Older cats have requirements that are different again and appropriate preparations are available. Some brands provide diets for all life stages and it is easy to change to the relevant product of the same brand as your cat ages.
Pregnancy and lactation also bring changing dietary needs and food for these circumstances can be discussed with Parkside Veterinary Group.

Obesity can be a problem among the cat population and special diets are available to help control this.
'Prescription Diets' are occasionally recommended. These are used to help treat certain conditions, but are only available on veterinary advice. They often help in cases of heart disease, kidney problems, bladder stones, etc.

More info can be seen at

Cats protection - great for finding new pets
International cat care  - (was FAB) - top tips for all things CAT
Read about feline diseases::HERE on the ICC web site
 

 

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 SEXING KITTENS

Click here to see a guide

 

A great guide to buying a kitten can be found HERE

 

 

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KITTEN CARE

 

Come to Parkside with your new kitten for a free first check as soon as you have the kitten. This ensures all is well with the new family member. Be prepared to return a kitten to the breeder if we find a serious defect - especially if you paid £300-400 for the privelage. You can have 4 weeks free pet insurance, guidance on kitten care and advice on deworming, flea prevention and lots more. Pick up your free Kitten pack too.

We recommend the Parkside VIP pet health plan for cats, to allow you spread over 12 months, the cost of vaccinations, flea prevention and worming. Your cat will receive 2 Vet examinations per year, extra special offers for VIP cats as well as 10% OFF neutering, dentals, acupuncture and half-price microchipping. Pick up a brochure, with costs at any surgery.

Deworm kittens every 2 weeks untill 12 weeks of age - use something from us - it will be cheaper than pet shops and much more effective.

Vaccinate at 9 and 12 weeks - see vaccinations  for details. If older, you still need 3 weeks between vaccinations, then annual boosters are essential to maintain protection.

Vet Check at 6 months to ensure devlopment is normal. 

Deworm again at 6 months - use a product from us, which covers all tapeworms and roundworms in one effective tablet. Now available is a new spot-on wormer, made by Bayer. This kills all the different types of worms in one dose. Three sizes, according to the size of cat. The liquid is simply applied to the base of the neck, in front of the shoulders, where the cat cannot lick. Sounds like we may avoid a lot of blood-letting!! This can be used instead of tablets, though it does cost more. Do this 3 times per year. Read more HERE. A newer preparation will kill fleas and ticks as wellas worm your cat. We can advise.

Arrange neutering around 6 months too. Usually arranged at the 6-month check.

De-worm, preferably every 4 months, but 6 months minimum. Hunting cats will pick up tapeworms and should always be de-wormed every 3 months. Indoor cats need less vaccine and we still like you to worm them yearly. They should not pick up worms in a house but we do see it occasionally.

At 10-12 months make a free nurse's appointment for a health check. Pick up wormers at same time.

Vet check at 15 months and first Vaccination Booster.

Then yearly checks and vaccinations, with regular deworming.

We can carry out advanced fracture repairs in cats (see 
orthopaedics) as well as advanced ultrasound for investigating heart problems, pregnancies and for abdominal scanning, where we can look in great detail at the gut, liver, kidneys and so on..

Read about cat diseases ::HERE on the ICC website