When it comes to personal hygiene, cats are the epitome of
cleanliness. They are naturally equipped with everything they need
to clean themselves.
But no matter what age, there are still plenty of things you can do
to help them maintain optimum health.
Vaccinations are such an important part of
maintaining a healthy, disease free lifestyle for your pet. Often
the infections that animals contract can be easily avoided by
following the standard vaccination programme co-ordinated by your
Vaccinations are a necessity when it comes to pet health as they
stimulate and promote immunity, enabling your pet to fight off
infections. As a pet owner you will need to visit your veterinarian
with your pet for a series of general vaccinations over a specified
period of time. Primary vaccinations for kittens will generally be
at 6, 12 and 16 weeks. Boosters are also required in the later
stages of life to ensure levels of resistance to infection are
When your animal has been vaccinated by a
veterinarian you will be issued with a vaccination certificate.
This will show what vaccinations have been administered and when
the next one is due. It is very straight forward and easy to
understand so always remember vaccination means eradication.
A coat brush a day keeps the tangles away.
It's essential to start grooming your kitten as soon as you can -
especially if he or she has long hair. Short haired cats can groom
themselves, but may need a little extra help during moulting season
(spring into summer).
Regular grooming helps your cat's skin stay
healthy and keeps their coat shiny. Grooming also gives you the
opportunity to check for signs that he or she might be unwell. (If
you find anything unusual, visit your vet immediately). Start
grooming very gently and little by little they'll learn to love the
sensation of the brush in their fur.
If your cat decides not to cooperate during
grooming, let him or her relax by playing and sniffing the brush or
comb first. Begin grooming very gently from the head and work your
OPTIMUM® Dry products can help keep
your cat's skin and coat looking beautiful and in peak
As well as keeping your cat looking good,
regular grooming is important in reducing furballs. Furballs occur
when your cat ingests loose hair while grooming itself and the hair
compacts with undigested food, causing an obstruction in the
stomach or digestive tract.
To help reduce the formation of furballs, you
should regularly brush your cat thoroughly, removing any loose hair
and disposing of it. This is important for both short and
long-haired cats. As well as keeping your cat happier and
healthier, brushing will also mean less vacuuming!
Older cats are also more at risk as their
digestive system is slower and they are more likely to get
blockages. Although furballs are an issue for all cats, long haired
breeds have more problems, especially during spring and autumn,
when they shed more hair.
If you find it distressing to hear your cat
coughing up a furball, then imagine what it's like for your cat.
This is why regular grooming is important: it reduces furballs and
it means less vacuuming for you. When cats groom themselves, they
ingest loose hair, which compacts, causing an obstruction in the
stomach or digestive tract. Also, cats with tangled fur or fleas
lick more, thus consuming more furball-inducing loose hair.
OPTIMUM® Furball Formula
can help with furball management, click here for more
Flea control is
very important when it comes to our furry friends. Both cats and
dogs can experience the annoyance and discomfort of these tiny
Firstly, preventions are available at most Supermarkets and vet
provides a range of products suitable for the prevention and
treatment of fleas (for more information visit www.exelpet.com.au. And
secondly, once you've got them, you need to tackle them in two
- Fleas must be controlled on your pet
- Fleas must be controlled in your pets environment
Killing just the adult fleas and not the eggs
will not do the trick as they will grow and you will still have an
annoying flea problem! Visit your local veterinarian or www.exelpet.com.au for more
information on how to go about controlling fleas in your home and
on your pet.
The first time your cat's claws need
clipping, take him or her to the vet and ask them to show you how
it's done. Then when you're confident to do it yourself, spend time
playing with your cat's paws so they get used to the feel of your
Clip claws about once a month (or on vet's
advice) using proper cat claw clippers (available at good pet
stores). A scratching post will help keep their claws in good
repair and minimise the risk of them becoming torn or ragged.
Like humans, maintaining good oral hygiene
for cats is an important factor of good health.
OPTIMUM® Oral Care has
been designed to help reduce the build up of plaque and tartar,
promoting healthy teeth and gums. The mechanical action of chewing
the specifically designed kibble, in combination with the active
ingredient (sodium tripolyphosphate) promotes good oral
Sodium tripolyphosphate is a mineral based
ingredient that binds the calcium present in saliva and reduces the
formation of tartar on the tooth surface. The calcium is then
carried to the stomach for digestion.
to read more about
As your cat ages, the likelihood of dental
problems increases and so good dental health is imperative in
keeping your cat happy and healthy. Tartar build-up, gingivitis and
periodontal disease can hinder eating and cause pain and bad breath
in older cats.
If your cat has dental problems, it may lose
its appetite and so you should be alert to any changes in its
eating habits. If your aging cat will accept it, regular brushing
of its teeth is recommended and all older cats should have routine
Microchipping is becoming more and more
popular as a permanent and effective way of identifying domestic
cats. In the painless procedure, your vet implants a tiny
microchip, the size of a grain of rice, under your cat's skin. The
microchip holds unique information about your cat and, should it go
missing, the chip can be used to trace your cat back to a central
So effective is this method of identification
that in some Australian states it is compulsory.
Check with your vet or local council about your obligations as a
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD) is
a really serious disease that affects cats. FLUTD attacks the lower
urinary system and bladder, causing extreme pain and discomfort.
There are 3 different forms of FLUTD:
- Cystitis: Irritation of the bladder
- Urinary stones/crystals
- Urethral obstruction (obstruction of the urethra)
FLUTD affects male cats more so than female
cats as their urethra is smaller (a urethra is the tube that
carries urine out of the body). Symptoms that you will notice when
your cats has FLUTD include straining to urinate, blood in the
urine, increased frequency of urination, cries from you puss in the
litter box and urinating in random places around your home.
It is an extremely painful ordeal for them to go through. It is
classed as a medical emergency and must be treated immediately.
Quite often cats will come in to the clinic for treatment, and
after returning home will be back in the clinic within days.
Sometimes, (and it is quite common for this to happen) the cats
urethra will become blocked again.
Your cat may need to be on a prescription
diet for the rest of its life. These special diets try to combat
any infection from returning. Your vet will more than likely tell
you about these diets and give you all relevant instructions for a
case like this.
Dry cat range helps to protect your cat from
As we all know, nutrition is a very important
factor when it comes to keeping your puss healthy. Their complex
bodies require certain things to be able to perform general
everyday tasks. Just like us, cats need plenty of food and water,
but it's what is in their food that counts. The most part of a cats
diet is protein. Protein supplies them with amino acids. Amino
acids are needed in order for the body to manufacture antibodies,
enzymes, tissues and a proper PH balance. Protein is found in foods
such as meat and fish so it is ideal to give your cat meals that
contain ingredients such as these. Fat is also required in your
cats diet as it gives them an energy source for all that climbing
and running around they do!
Along with fat and protein, minerals and
vitamins also play a big part in their diet. Minerals and vitamins
go hand in hand with having a healthy body so make sure that you
pick out a good quality cat food that has all of the nutrients your
cat requires. It's also a great idea to feed dry food as it keeps
their teeth healthy and hopefully gets rid of any built up tartar!
If you have any concerns or questions regarding nutritional
requirements for cats, make an appointment with your vet to obtain
a greater insight on this topic.
To find out more about the importance of
protein in your cat's diet, click here.