Links & References
We’ve sourced the following links and website references to give you the most useful and accessible information on caring for your cat.
There are lots of environments which can make our feline friends stressed. International Cat Care have useful features on cat stress and anxiety and related negative behaviours, including scratching furniture, soiling indoors, overgrooming, aggression and spraying.
Ceva, the makers of Feliway (synthetic pheromone sprays and plug-ins to help reduce pet stress) have created a fun quiz ‘How happy is your cat?’ and give suggestions for improving your cat’s wellbeing dependant on your responses.
If you’re looking for extra support with your pet’s behaviour, do come and talk to us at one of our free 1 to 1 behaviour clinics.
Compassion Understood specialises in delivering free online bereavement advice and support for pet owners at their pet’s end of life. The website provides valuable information around the human and pet bond, planning for goodbye, saying goodbye and pet loss support.
Thought-provoking sections help owners to prepare for a pet’s passing in advance to alleviate the stress of decision-making in the moment. You can also find out about what you can expect to happen during a euthanasia appointment prior to your visit.
For people visiting the site post loss, the sections on grief and coping with grief are particularly useful. There are also links to further bereavement services for additional support.
The Pet Bereavement Support Service is available 365 days a year to help people who are struggling to cope with the loss of a pet. Trained volunteers are at the end of a phone line, ready to help. All calls are confidential and free from a landline.
The Samaritans are available 24/7 for anyone going through a difficult time or who is struggling with a worry or an emotional issue, no matter how big or small. You do not have to be suicidal to access the service. Call 116 123 anytime from any phone. All calls are free and confidential. If you would prefer to speak to someone in person, you can locate your local branch via their website.
British Veterinary Nursing Association
The aim of the British Veterinary Nursing Association is to promote animal health and welfare through the ongoing development of professional excellence in veterinary nursing. This website is also a good source of information for those researching a career as a veterinary nurse.
Created by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, watch Veterinary Nurses – True Professionals to find out more about what being a qualified veterinary nurse (RVN) means and about the vital role RVNs play in practice.
Cat carriers and travelling with your feline friend
Cat carriers can have bad associations for cats if solely used for situations that make them anxious. Click here for advice on choosing the right carrier, training your cat to use the carrier and for ways you can minimise feline stress when travelling in the car, including to and from the vets.
Cats and general care information
International Cat Care is a charity dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of cats through improved feline knowledge, to help us all care better for our cats. This is the best cat website we know for information on cat diseases, cat behaviour and general cat care, whether you need advice on getting a cat, general feline welfare, understanding your cat, cat health, cats and family life, pregnancy and cats, handling cats, different cat breeds or feline end of life and pet bereavement. Check out their advice on general everyday care for your cat.
The Help and Advice section on the Cats Protection website is another great resource for answers to cat queries. The UK’s largest feline welfare charity has produced an extensive series of online guides on everything from how to look after a kitten to what to do if you’ve lost a cat. The website also gives information about what the Cat Protection does and how you can support the charity, or adopt a cat.
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy offers information, advice and expertise to help cat lovers breed their cats as well as own or choose the right cat for their circumstances and lifestyle.
Cat Friendly Clinics
The Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation scheme is run by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), which is the veterinary division of International Cat Care. Practices that have applied for and have been awarded Cat Friendly Clinic status have achieved the minimum standards of accreditation as set by ISFM, have teams who are trained to handle cats with gentleness and respect and are focused on minimising feline stress on visits to the vets. Accredited clinics are awarded bronze, silver or gold status in recognition that cat friendly clinics will vary considerably in their equipment, services, structure and team size.
Dental disease is very common in cats and can lead to considerable distress and pain. The most common problems cats suffer from are gingivitis, periodontal disease and resorptive lesions.
The British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA) has useful FAQs and information for pet owners on dental disease and dental issues.
Regular dental checks at the vets are important. Preventative care, such as tooth brushing can also help. See International Cat Care’s video How to brush your cat’s teeth for guidance or speak to one of our team.
A healthy and balanced diet can also help limit the chances of dental issues. Book into one of our free 1 to 1 dental check clinics for advice.
Feeding cats a nutritionally balanced diet and keeping your feline friend trim is important for their health. Extra weight can exacerbate joint conditions such as arthritis and can trigger health issues such as heart disease and diabetes and ultimately shorten your pet’s life. It can also affect their wellbeing as it curbs their ability to play, be active and get the most out of life.
International Cat Care estimate as many as 52% of cats in the UK are overweight or obese. Click to read their feature Obesity in Cats.
Royal Canin offers useful advice on nourishing your cat effectively at every life stage. Topics include ensuring your kitten gets a healthy start in life, healthy habits to promote healthy weight, why it’s necessary to change your cat’s diet depending on their life stage. For the latter, see Royal Canin’s Guide to Changing Your Cat’s Food for support.
Take advantage of our free 1 to 1 weight management clinics to help you assess your cat’s body condition. If your cat is not at optimum body condition, we’ll devise a tailor-made safe and effective weight loss programme and support you and your pet on their journey to ideal body condition and better wellbeing. Be aware that if you need to change your cat’s food it’s best to get advice to prevent any upset tummies.
Handling your cat and positive interaction
Positive, cat-friendly interactions are really important for nurturing cat confidence and wellbeing and for helping to strengthen the bond between owner and cat. Click on the following links for supportive videos from educational charity International Cat Care on: approaching a cat, how to touch and stroke a cat, what to avoid when handling a cat and handling a cat for grooming.
Not all insurance is the same and with advancements in veterinary medicine it’s important to choose the right policy so that you can get the right treatment for your pet without having to worry about cost.
The policy you choose can have veterinary implications for treatment for your pet. When shopping around for a policy we recommend you consider the following:
- Look for a lifetime policy. This means that if your pet develops a new ongoing condition they will be covered for life rather than treatment being capped by a monetary or time limit
- Does the policy cover congenital, hereditary, dental and behavioural conditions?
- If you claim, will your premium increase?
- Beware of being guided solely on price. Cheapest doesn’t mean the best. Be sure to read the small print to make sure you’re happy with the cover you choose
Try before you buy…
Take advantage of Petplan’s 4 week trial. Activate 4 weeks’ free insurance for your pet and receive help covering unexpected veterinary fees up to £2,000. Call us on 01922 411755 for more information for your free veterinary cover. There is no obligation to buy a policy.
Terms, conditions and excesses apply and may be varied on renewal. No cover is provided for pre-existing conditions. Petplan is a trading name of Pet Plan Limited and Allianz Insurance plc.
The first 6 months of a kitten’s life are really informative and help to shape behaviours, responses and general wellbeing in adult life. This Life Stage Guide to Caring for Your New Kitten, will help you to understand and meet the needs of your new feline family member to give them the best start in their new forever home.
If your cat is not microchipped, it can be difficult to trace a lost pet. See below for information on microchipping. We recommend contacting local rescue centres and veterinary practices in case your pet has been found and brought in. The website www.petslocated.com is specifically dedicated to reuniting lost pets with owners.
If your pet is microchipped, make sure you keep your contact details current. Click to update your microchip contact details https://www.petlog.org.uk
If your cat has been prescribed pills and you’d like best advice on how to administer them, watch our video How to give a cat a pill below. International Cat Care produce a helpful leaflet on ‘Giving skin, ear or eye drops/ ointment’ to your cat.
Whilst it is now compulsory for all dogs over the age of 8 weeks old to be microchipped in England, this is not yet the case for cats. However, we strongly recommend microchipping your feline friend so that should the worst happen and your cat goes missing, there is a much greater chance of you being reunited.
Find out how fleas and ticks can cause health issues for your cat, and why you should also be protecting your cat against worms.
Pet Travel Scheme
The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pets to travel from the UK to certain countries and back without undergoing quarantine as long as you comply with regulations. With the Brexit transition period having ended on 31st December 2020, see New Rules on pet travel from January 2021 and ask us in practice for guidance to ensure you are compliant.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons and registered veterinary nurses in the UK and ensure that standards within the veterinary profession are maintained, safeguarding the health and welfare of animals and the interests of the public. This website is useful if you are considering a career in veterinary medicine
Looking after any animal is a huge commitment and takes time, money and patience. The RSPCA offers expert pet care tips and advice online . There’s also advice on what to do if you are worried about an animal.
As our feline friends get older we need to be aware of their changing needs to help them maintain a good quality of life. Click here for special considerations to take into account.
There are lots of things you can to make your cat’s toilet facilities feline friendly! Check out International Cat Care’s toileting tips. You’ll also find links to problem solving if your cat is soiling where they shouldn’t.
Should you need a pet taxi, Animals at Home offer a pet ambulance service to help you transport your cat to and from the vets.
Visit the RSPCA’s website for advice on garden wildlife and what to do if you find a wild animal in distress.