Posts Tagged ‘cat’

Snipping that wanderlust in the bud…

Also known as neutering your male cat! As well as helping to reduce the stray cat population, there are a number of ways the procedure can help keep him healthier and happier. In this blog we’ll cover the benefits of having a cat castrated (the male version of neutering).

What is neutering?

Neutering is a term used to describe any surgical procedure that irreversibly removes both the fertility and production of sex hormones. In this case a cat that is castrated will have both testicles removed, which are also the main place for testosterone production, the male sex hormone.

How will it benefit my cat?

Cats that have been castrated tend to:

  • Wander less, in search of a female mate – which can also reduce the chance of them being run over in a car accident.
  • Spray less (or not at all) – the territorial marking with urine.
  • Fight less with other cats.
  • Be much more sociable – reducing the risk of abandonment or rehoming.

How long does the procedure take?

The operation itself is very quick, and the recovery time is rapid too. The majority of male cats don’t even realise what’s happened! Our surgeries will cover the pre- and postoperative instructions with you, when you speak to them.

If you would like to book an appointment to have your cat neutered, please call your local surgery, they will also be able to answer any further questions. The details of your local surgery can be found by clicking here.

My cat is missing, what should I do?

Cats are creatures who enjoy being outdoors. They are frequently found hidden away or underneath objects – bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that so many cats go missing! Do not panic, here are the best ways to cope and maximise your chances of getting your cat back home safely.

Firstly, make sure that cat is actually missing and isn’t hiding or sleeping somewhere unusual in your property. Place your cat’s favourite treats in the house and monitor the water and feed levels – if they are decreasing and there are no other animals in the house, the chances are, your cat is not lost! Your cat may just be making appearances at different times in the day. If you decide your cat is missing, it is best to react quickly. The longer they are gone, the further they can travel and there’s more potential for dangerous situations to present themselves.

When looking for your cat, ensure you say their name in a soothing yet loud, clear voice. Only call when you are in a place you will return to. You do not want the cat to follow your voice when you are walking around and reach your calling point when you have already left. It may therefore be best to only call when you are very close to, or heading back towards, home.

The best ways to find your cat is to alert other people, 15 pairs of eyes are always going to be better than one pair! Ask your neighbours and people in your village/local area to have a look, especially in any open outdoor spaces, for example garages, greenhouses and garden sheds. You can make people aware of your missing cat by posting on social media and best of all, by making posters. Try to find local groups on Facebook, talk to us, and try to contact your village hall/church/community centre to see if they can do an announcement or put up a poster in their facilities. You could ask for it to be posted in the local newspaper too. You should check social media for groups or pages which are specific to your area or to found pets – people will often advertise if they think they have found a lost cat!

Stick up posters in your local area, which clearly display your cat’s image to help people know what to look for. You should note any specific features the cat has and the their temperament. Additionally, you must provide a contact number. Ideally, these posters should be put in a waterproof case (a plastic wallet or lamination) to protect it from the weather. This will maximise the amount of time they are legible and therefore useful.

Ensure your house is cat friendly so that if the cat tries to return on their own, they can gain access – a cat flap is ideal. You should leave your cat’s favourite toy or favourite treats near your door, your cat may be returning to another house where they’re receiving more fuss and attention! You could leave blankets in a box or their bed outside the door which may invite the cat in, however if you do, be sure to check the box regularly as you may trap animals which will need releasing. Blankets will need replacing regularly too especially in harsh weather conditions.

You should have your cat microchipped. If they are chipped – contact the microchip company and alert them that your cat is missing. This means that anyone who finds that cat can have it scanned and your cat will be returned to you as they find your contact details. Microchips are better than collars as collars can fall off especially if the cat has been climbing through bushes or any other obstacle course they can find… Although we would recommend using both if possible! Ensure your contact details are up to date and if you rescue or rehome a cat, ensure the details are changed to your own.

Notices and posters can also be put up in any local vets or rescue centres. Ensure the local vets and rescue centres are aware of your missing cat because they can contact you if someone informs them or brings them in or if the public provide them with any information regarding the situation.

Last of all, stay positive! Do not lose hope. Animals like exploring and your cat may just be on a little adventure!

Pet Insurance

People tend to think it’s only older pets that get ill and therefore younger pets don’t need pet insurance but we know from the patients we see each day that that is not the case.

In fact, the younger your pet is when you insure them the better as it means you are less likely to have any existing conditions, which may not be covered by the policy and you can then receive more help covering the cost of any future treatment your pet needs.

It is important to note that not all pet insurance is the same. There are many different types of policy available and the level of cover provided can vary considerably.

The four main types of policy are as follows:

  • Accident : provides cover for accidents only and no cover for illness
  • Time-Limited: provides cover for a set amount of time (usually 12 months) and after this period the condition is excluded
  • Maximum Benefit : provides cover up to a maximum amount of money per condition and once this limit is reached the condition is excluded
  • Lifetime: provides a set amount of money each year which is refreshed each time you renew your policy allowing you to continue to claim for ongoing conditions

As you can see from the information above, the type of policy you choose can have implications for the veterinary care of your pet and the costs you will face so it’s important to choose the right cover. Sometimes, the cheapest insurance can cost you more in the long run.

When shopping around for a policy, we suggest that you ask the following questions to allow you to compare the overall value you are getting, not just the price:

  1. Does this policy cover congenital, hereditary, hip-related, dental and behavioral conditions?
  2. Is there a time or monetary limit on how long this policy will cover ongoing conditions for?
  3. If I claim, will my premium increase?

Unlike other forms of insurance it is not easy to switch pet insurance in the future as any pre-existing conditions your pet has are likely to be excluded so it’s important to do your research and choose the right cover from the start.