Thursday, 25 September 2014

‘How do I eradicate my cat’s ear mites?’ and other veterinary FAQs

This week saw the third instalment of our recent live Q&A sessions on our Facebook page, as Cats Protection vet Vanessa Howie gave veterinary advice and feline healthcare tips.

Here are a few questions Vanessa was asked:

Question: I have recently got a kitten and he has got itchy ears. I think he might have mites. I have booked him into the vet on 1 October but is there anything I can do to help him until then? He is scratching quite a lot.

Answer: Your vet will be able to prescribe a treatment for you that will kill the ear mites. There is a spot-on flea treatment available from the vet that kills ear mites and often ear drops are needed as well to help clear the brown gunk out of the ears and soothe the inflammation. It's always best that your vet looks down your kitten's ears before using any drops, to avoid making things worse. If possible I'd bring your appointment forward with your vet, to try and make your kitten comfortable as soon as possible.

White kitten on bed
Photo by 50066720@N03 via flickr / Creative Commons
Question: How can I keep my cat's teeth healthy?

Answer: There are a number of things you can do to help keep your cat's teeth healthy. Brushing teeth daily with a toothpaste specifically designed for cats, will help to reduce the build of plaque and tartar and help to keep the gums healthy. There are a variety of toothbrushes to choose from; from finger brushes (microfiber cloths for your finger) to full length pet toothbrushes. There are specific dental diets available from your vets to help clean teeth, along with solutions and natural supplements to add to your cat's food and water which may help prevent dental disease. I'd recommend speaking to your vet for more information and you may find our Teeth and oral health leaflet useful.

Cat yawning showing teeth
Photo by pmarkham via flickr / Creative Commons
Question: What can you do when two cats don't get on? I've got Feliway, they all have enough litter trays (one for each, plus a spare), separate food bowls at opposite ends of the room and yet one always attacks the other. He doesn't let her upstairs either. Any advice would be great!

Answer: Sorry to hear that your two cats aren't getting on that well. Unfortunately cats are naturally solitary animals and sometimes this means that sharing the same space may become difficult if they are not in the same social group. It's important to make sure you have enough resources in terms of food and water bowls, litter trays and sleeping areas for both cats and allow them to both have their own safe part of the house. Our leaflet Cats living together may give you some helpful tips on making life a little easier living together, along with our free e-learning Understanding Feline Origins course

Three cats sitting in a row
Photo by dorinser via flickr / Creative Commons

Thank you to all of our Facebook supporters who took part in the Q&A with Vanessa. The next live Q&A is on 17 October with our Behaviour Manager. 

If you have a cat care question, you can find lots of information and advice on our website at: www.cats.org.uk/cat-care 

If you have any concerns for your cat's health, please do consult your vet.

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