Cats

Cats are known to be specific about who they like to live with. Cats do not do well in aggressive, loud and extremely noisy environments. They sleep up to 20 hours in the day and believe you are there to serve them. However, they are known to be extremely helpful in stress and anxiety reduction. Cats make excellent companions for the elderly and young and with anyone suffering from mental illnesses. Having a cat resting on your chest for an hour or more every day and or stroking a cat often reduces high blood pressure which reduces your chances of heart attacks.


General Care

Breed

Choose your breed according to your long-term needs. Cats can live up to 25 years but generally on average up to the ages of 13-17 years. Cats are fairly independent and do not require walks unless cooped up indoors in a flat or townhouse complex. Be aware of other cats in your area and if in a complex make sure you know the rules about ownership! If you have other cats make sure you INTRODUCTION OF A NEW CAT correctly to ensure less stress on all and prevent fights. Ensure you have adequate funds or insurance for emergency and general veterinary care.

Oriental breeds like the Siamese, Bengal. Bengalese, Ragdoll are more vocal and can act like dogs in that they will come running when called. Our cat walks with us on our daily dog walk in the suburb-ie running from tree to tree. However some domestic type cats display the same behaviour.

KITTENS: Where you are getting a kitten please ensure you have:

  • Right food
  • Cat litter box
  • Cat litter
  • Allow to sleep
  • Scratch pad

Make sure you understand the responsibilities of owning a pet.

  1. Food

It is important that your cat receives the right food from the outset. My view is the best food is (a) what you can afford but also what fits into the (b) age of your cat and any special needs your cat may have like Chronic Diseases (link to Diseases below). Read the content make up of feed content on bags, cheaper feeds in retail food stores generally have higher fat content and afval, which leads to a higher phosphorous content which leads to obesity, diabetes and kidney disaese.

Like us humans’ factors like genetics, sleep, good diet and happy home increase a cats life span. A bad diet reduces their life and increases chances of ill health. Refer to Puppy Food, Adult Food and Senior Food for age appropriate information. Check information on weight care, where your cat is obese.

  1. Veterinary care

Vaccinations, sterilisations and emergency care are some of the general visits you will have to make. Ensure you have planned finances for this and find a veterinarian in your area that you can trust. Remember your animal is in your care and you must ask all the relevant questions and be comfortable with your veterinarian.

  1. Sterilisation

Neutering your male dog and sterilising your female dog is in our opinion a non-negotiable. Considering the large number of abandoned animals in the country, indiscriminate breeding and the lack of proper care for nursing female dogs, we advise that this must be done at the earliest at 6 months of age of your puppies’ life. The benefits are reduced chances of cancer in female dogs and an overall improvement of your dog’s length of life.

No accidents can happen, ie your dog impregnating a bitch on heat or your bitch being impregnated which you had not planned for, which leads to all other problems. Female dogs DO NOT require a first litter at all to be a better dog!

Sterilisations also prevent your male dog getting into an accident where a bitch is in heat by trying to get to her under any circumstances, ie strangulation over fence, dog fight or a vehicular accident.

Where you are a recognised and accredited breeder, you will have all the preventative aides in place and be breeding ethically we hope.

  1. Introduction of a new cat:

Where you are getting a rescue cat:

  • Get as much history as you can
  • Leave the cat in one room in the house with everything it may need for up to 3 weeks including:
    • Cat litter box with litter
    • Water
    • Food
    • A pleasant place to sleep
    • Access to a view outside is very important
  • Interact daily with the cat carefully and gently
    • The cat will let you know by its body language if it wants attention
    • Do not force the cat to interact if not ready
  • After 2-3 weeks allow the cat to explore your house BUT remember:
    • To keep doors and windows closed
  • After 4-5 weeks allow the cat access to the garden
  • Remember your existing cats where there before
    • There is no human ranking-we are not all equal
    • You must treat your first cats with more attention and NOT allow fighting

Kitten Food:

Most brands have both dry and wet kitten food. This is generally for the first 12 months of your kitten’s life and it is essential that the right feed is given. Make sure you feed a veterinarian approved kitten food as most retail feed is high in fat and phosphorous loads leading to Obesity, Diabetes and Kidney Disease.

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PLEASE NOTE: it is dangerous to the health of your senior cat to eat kitten food. Senior cats cannot process the high fat and protein content. For key warning factors read Cancer, Obesity, Diabetes and Kidney Disease.

Cat Adult Food:

Adult food should be introduced at the latest at about 14 months of age. Your choice of brand depends on affordability and any key health issues your cat may have. Where the cat is healthy, we recommend you stay with the brand that you had your cat on as a kitten. There are a variety of choices and all cat owners should find a suitable food of choice.

Variations of choice (tuna, ostrich, chicken, salmon ) and the amount of food that you feed depend on the weight of the cat and any specialised health issues your cat may have. Where there is a pre-existing health issue; we recommend the advice on feed of your preferred veterinarian.

Usually your cat dog will stay on adult food until the age of 7 years unless there is a critical reason otherwise, mostly health related or weight care.

Cat Senior Food:

Senior food should be introduced at about the age of 8-9 years. Senior food contains less protein and fat overall as the liver and kidney functions have slowed down and the large amounts of protein required for activity has also slowed down. Instead larger amounts of muscle and joint supplements are introduced into their diet.

Droplink 2 – CAT Health/Behavioural issues:

1.Obesity

Obesity is a common disease in cats. All approved cat food *SABS approved; carries recommended quantities that should be fed to your cat. This is based on age and weight. Quantity cups are available at our store and most good pet stores and veterinarians. The quantity will be described on the packaging and assumes no other food. Therefore, you need to include all the treats and wet food that you may feed your cat.

If your cat is on a weight loss management program remember to diligently stick to the quantities prescribed and NOTE:-It takes up to 3 months for any real effects to become noticeable. Don’t give up!

  1. There are a variety of weight management feeds from most brands to assist with weight loss
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It is important that you feed the appropriate AGE RELATED CAT FOOD. Senior cats cannot process kitten food and SHOULD NEVER be given this. Feeding kitten food to a Senior cat causes Diabetes, Cancer or Kidney Disease.

Obesity can lead to Kidney disease and Diabetes

2.Diabetes: Obesity can lead to diabetes and will destroy your cat’s kidney functions which leads to uncontrolled urination, diarrhoea, pain and joint pain. Look at Kidney Disease for the consequences.

3. Cancer, either throat or mouth:

Cats need to be checked often on the smell of their breath, bad breath can be a sign of tartar build up on teeth, broken & diseased teeth and bleeding or receding gums. Also check for ulcers. It is advised that cats go at least every second year for a dental clean and check up to your preferred vet from the age of 5 years. Bacteria grow in the gums and teeth and if not removed; fester and create a higher bacteria load that travels to the throat and onto the kidneys and liver causing painful and long-term damage. In addition, if a cat has a lesion from a fight – this highly toxic bacteria if not treated with the gum disease will create an ideal space for cancer to flourish. All of the above are also signs of progressing kidney disease.

4.Leukemia: Feline AIDS or leukemia is transmitted from cat to cat by bite and therefore through the blood. It is a virus and symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Poor coat and condition
  • Anaemia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lack of appetite

Treatment includes anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing medication as well as immediate treatment for any secondary infections. There is no cure and all that can be done is to keep the cat on the best health diet and supplements. Infected cats will die younger than their healthy counterparts.

5.Snuffles: also known as Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease is most common in kittens, senior cats and cats that have an immune system that is suppressed for instance by cancer therapy. If left untreated snuffles can lead to pneumonia, blindness or chronic breathing difficulties. Symptoms include:

  • Gagging
  • Drooling
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Weeping eyes and discharge
  • Lethargy/Depression
  • Dry coat
  • Lack of appetite

Snuffles is transmitted through a virus and is taken up by cats that are in overcrowded areas or stressed, ie catteries. In addition, transmitted through sneezing, grooming or sharing food through cat bowls with infected cats. Cats can become carriers and may never show symptoms but can be lifelong carriers.

It is essential you vaccinate your cat from 4 weeks of age and keep up vaccinations. Do not frequent catteries that are unhygienic, overcrowded and where your cat will generally be in contact with a multitude of other cats.

6.Rabies: is contracted by an infected animal’s saliva entering an open wound usually through a fight or attack. The rabies virus attacks the brain and damages the brain beyond repair. Death is extremely painful. There is NO treatment for rabies and any vet and SPCA will have your cat destroyed immediately. Symptoms include mostly neurological indications:

  • High agitation
  • Paralysis
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Blindness
  • Salivation
  • Difficulty swallowing

Vaccination on this mandatory when your kitten is young.

7.Kidney disease: is a progressive disease and is caused where older cats kidneys fail due to age and the protein in their diet is not reduced .Other factors influencing kidney failure are:

  • Kidney stones
  • Decreased blood flow to the kidneys
  • Dental issues, bad breath
  • Outdoor cats due to exposure to toxins
  • Ingested toxins

Symptoms can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Increased sleeping
  • Increased drinking
  • Diarrhoea
  • Frequent urination or none or blood in the urine
  • Vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Mouth ulcers

There is no cure for kidney disease and palliative care is done usually.

PLEASE NOTE: that any of the advice does not replace your veterinarian advice but is placed for informative purposes.

8.Tick and flea treatments

It is vital in our climate that during the summer months, your cat is treated for ticks and fleas. We have a large range of tick and flea bite medication. You should be starting with this treatment not later than September and ending at about the end of March.

9. Behaviour

Over anxiety and nervousness, car sickness. See our Supplements/medication for product information.

PET SHOP

Food

  1. IAMS

Accessories:

  1. Harnesses:

We carry a range of Rogz cat harnesses and leads. We recommend using a harness where you are I a complex or where your cat has undergone surgery of any type.

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  1. Beds:

There are a variety of beds to choose from ,our advice is to check whether your cat likes to hide or needs a bed as most cats do prefer the couch, bed or soft spot in the garden.

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  1. Drinking and food bowls: all cats require food and dog bowls; we have a wide variety.
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  2. Microchip: We recommend that all cats be microchipped by your preferred veterinarian in the event they do not return home.
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CAT Toys:

We carry a wide variety of cat toys including, balls, flashing lights, plush toys, squeaky & crinkly toys and of course, cat scratch pads.

Come instore to have a look.

CAT Treats:

  1. Catnip
  2. catnip spray
  3. Nibbles and treats

Supplements:

  1. Joint and arthritic inflammation care
  2. Ear and Eye care
  3. Probiotic
  4. Skin inflammation and allergies

Medication:

  1. Tick & Flea medication: Frontline
  2. Tick & Flea medication: Bravecto
  3. Tick & Flea medication: Simparica
  4. Anxiety medication- CALMEZE
  5. Dental toothpaste and gel
  6. Heptonic

Cat care

  1. Tick and flea shampoo and normal shampoo*
  2. Footsak-is a pheromonal spray that discourages cats/dogs to urinate in that area.
  3. Urinary powder
  4. Odour Eliminator against cat urination
  5. Dogrocks
  6. Doggy bags and poop scooper
  7. Cat brushes
  8. Cat nail clippers

*We do NOT recommend washing your cat more than 4 times a year.