Providing top class veterinary care for our feline patients, in a caring, sensitive manner is our aim. We are accredited as a “Cat Friendly Clinic” at the Silver level, demonstrating our commitment to looking after our cat patients to the highest standard. Feline medicine and surgery have undergone such advances in recent years, as to make their care almost unrecognisable to vets not up to date with modern thinking.
He/she is not alone! Over half of all cat owners believe that a vet visit stresses their cat. We do everything possible to make all our interventions a stress-free as possible. There are some things owners can do to help.Bringing your cat to the clinic
Getting your cat used to the carrier
The goal is to teach your cat to associate the carrier with positive experiences so that they enter it voluntarily. • Place the carrier in a place at home where your cat likes to spend time. • Put familiar bedding or clothes with your scent in the carrier to make your cat feel secure. • Rewards such as a tasty treat, a game or a cuddle (you know what makes your cat tick!) should be given whenever you see your cat sitting calmly in or near the carrier. • Be patient. It may take weeks before your cat trusts the carrier.
Helping an unwilling cat into the carrier
If your cat needs to go to the vet right away, and is not yet accustomed to the carrier, the following may help: • Put the carrier in a small room with few hiding places. Bring your cat into the room and shut the door. Move slowly and calmly and encourage your cat to enter the carrier with some treats. Try not to chase your cat. • If your cat will not walk into the carrier and it has a top opening lid, gently cradle your cat and lower him or her into the carrier. Another option is to take off the top half of the carrier, so that you can lower the cat into the bottom half, and then calmly replace the top. If your carrier only opens at the front, try ‘reversing’ your cat, tail end first, through the door. (if you haven’t yet purchased a carrier, we stringly recommend a top opener!) • Using familiar bedding and spraying synthetic feline facial pheromone (Feliway©) into the carrier, 30 minutes before transport may help to calm your cat. Feliway© can be obtained over the counter from the clinic.
What about medicating your cat?
We often need to prescribe medication for your cat, from preventive flea and worm treatments to painkillers or topical ointments. These will only be prescribed if essential to help your cat recover from an illness, or prevent them getting parasites etc. We will also sometimes need to prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a very serious worldwide health issue for people, and animals alike. We will only prescribe antibiotics when your vet feels they are appropriate and is it essential for you to complete the course and administer the drugs as prescribed. These principles will help safeguard our antibiotics for as long as possible.
But how do you give your cat medication? Many cats are very difficult to tablet and medicate. Thankfully many drug companies are taking this seriously now so there are often different options for your cat. Palatable tablets are usually taken easily in food, or some medications come as a liquid or topical preparation. Ask us is you are having difficulties, we can often come up with a workable solution to save your fingers, and reduce stress for your cat!Giving tablets to your cat Giving skin, ear or eye drops / ointment
Feeding your cat
Sometimes we will suggest a different food for your cat. This isn’t always easy. Some diets are vital for extending the life expectancy of your cat when they are ill, e.g. special kidney diets. These come as many different textures and formulations so please don’t give up to easily with a new food. It can take many weeks of perseverance, offering small amounts of a new food every day, before your cat will readily accept a change.Changing your cat’s food
Going homeTaking your cat home
Call us so we can advise and help you get all the preparations just right! [telnumlink]028 9127 1364[/telnumlink]
Part of the Cat Friendly Clinic programme is that every accredited practice is a member of International Cat Care. We all keep up to date on the advances in diagnosis and therapeutics which are transforming the lives of those entrusted to our care. No longer is kidney failure a death sentence. No longer do we need to wonder how to treat an overactive thyroid effectively. Cancer treatments can save lives, and provide many months or years of comfortable good quality life, to cases which even a few years ago had only euthanasia as a realistic option.
We have small diameter endoscopes, both rigid and flexible, to facilitate imaging even up a cat’s nose, or down their narrow airways! We have a high quality colour Doppler ultrasound which we can use to characterise heart problems in cats – again something almost of science fiction ten short years ago!
At Cedarmount, we are very experienced dealing with the tricky feline case. Cats can be very challenging – they can present as simply dull, off form and off their food, signs which can reflect merely a mild insignificant ailment, or a life-threatening disease. The challenge is to recognise the difference, and diagnose the disease rapidly and accurately.
As cats get older, many will develop hypertension, due to thyroid, renal or other issues. In many cases the vet will suspect this because during their annual check up at booster vaccination time, a gallop rhythm will be detected. Correctly managed, hypertension is not a problem – left untreated it accelerates kidney failure, and causes blindness and seizures.
In NI, as we are seeing progressively warmer winters, fleas have become a year round problem. If your cat gets outside, he/she will catch fleas, and bring them home to live! The only effective way to stop it is to use preventative flea treatments available from the practice. We strongly advise against flea collars, or any permethrin-based flea product (these latter are toxic and can be fatal) – many of the pet shop/supermarket products contain these dangerous compounds – ask us for safe, effective alternatives.
Every year we see cats poisoned by pet-shop flea products incorrectly administered – not all poisoned cats survive. We sell products containing fipronil that work even though they are never absorbed into the skin/bloodstream – thus being exceptionally safe for use in cats.
Cedarmount Vets support the new Catwyse initiative, which aims to help cat owners educate themselves about cats behaviour and their unique needs….why not click this link and check it out for yourself?
Please contact us for advice.