From the considerations to take into account when adopting a cat to details of watching his weight and behaviour, the Essential Guides series tells you everything you need to know about responsible cat ownership.
The full range of leaflets is available to download below.
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- Getting a cat - Cats are among the most popular pets in the UK and rightly so! They make a wonderful addition to any household, but if you are thinking about taking one home, please consider these things first.
- Welcome home - It’s time to help your cat or kitten settle into his new home! Following the advice here will help to ensure he soon becomes used to his new surrounding.
- Caring for your cat - Cats can be independent souls and are great pets for people with busy lifestyles, but they still need to be looked after. Keep your cat happy and healthy by following this advice.
- Feeding - Pop into your local pet shop or supermarket and you will be faced with a whole aisle full of cat food. So, how do you know which one to feed to your cat?
- Neutering - Cats Protection believes that having your cat neutered is an essential part of responsible cat ownership.
- Feline behaviour - There are some things your cat will do which are just instinctive. Before taking on a cat you should be sure that you are happy to live with these behavioural habits.
- Cats and children - Growing up with a pet can be an extremely rewarding experience for any youngster. We all remember our first pet and teaching your children to respect, love and help care for a cat will help them to become responsible and caring adults.
- Cats and allergies - Things that cause allergic reactions are called triggers or allergens. Almost anything can be an allergen including pollen, dust mites, detergents, tobacco smoke, insect stings, pets, feathers and perfume.
- Moving house - Moving house can be a big deal for cats – much of their feeling of security and ability to relax comes from being surrounded by the familiar sights, sounds and scents of their own territory.
- Cats and the law - Much of the law in relation to animals has now been consolidated in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and in the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. This leaflet also refers to other legislation which remains relevant.
- Ferals - True feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned domestic cats. They live wild in towns, cities or rural areas and may have little or no contact with humans. As a result, they are often scared of people and will avoid them.
From dealing with fleas to caring for deaf and blind cats, the Veterinary Guides series answers all the important questions regarding the wellbeing of your feline companion.
Written by Cats Protection's team of vets, this set of guides provides the information that will help put your mind at ease.
The full range of leaflets is available to download below.
You will need Adobe Reader in order to view these PDFs.
- Heart murmur - The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body,
providing it with oxygen and nutrients. The normal pumping and shutting
of valves in the heart causes the ‘lub-dub’ heart sounds that a vet
listens for with a stethoscope.
- Feline Lower Urinay Tract Disease
(FLUTD) - FLUTD describes a collection of common conditions that affect
the bladder and/or urethra. It includes the condition more commonly
known as cystitis and does not usually involve the kidneys.
Immondeficiency Virus (FIV) - FIV is a virus in cats
that is similar to the human virus, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
However, FIV does not infect humans and HIV does not infect cats.
cats - Deaf cats compensate for their lack of
hearing by using their other senses more, so much so that it may be hard
to tell whether or not they are deaf. There are varying degrees of
deafness and different causes which may or may not be treatable.
Leukaemina Virus (FeLV) - FeLV is a virus that causes
a fatal disease in cats by affecting the immune system. It can cause
vulnerability to other infections, anaemia or tumours. It does not
- Spraying and scratching - Spraying urine and scratching are normal behaviours and can
be performed by any cat. However, the occurrence of these behaviours
indoors can be very unpleasant for you.
- Ringworm - Ringworm is the
common name given to an infection of the surface of the skin, hair or
nails with a type of fungus called a dermatophyte; it is not caused by a
- Feline gingivitis and stomatitis - Gingivitis and stomatitis are very common in cats, as are other
problems of the teeth, mouth and gums.
- Blind cats - Depending on the
cause, blindness can be partial or complete and can be reversible or
permanent. If your cat is blind he will adapt very well to the loss of
sight and can live a perfectly happy, healthy life.
- Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) and Feline Infectious Peritontius (FIP) - FCoV is a common and contagious virus, passed in the faeces of cats. It is more commonly found in multi-cat households and does not affect other animals or people.
- Shy and timid cats - While most cats settle into new
homes quickly, some cats remain fearful despite a gentle welcome and
time to get used to their new surroundings.
- Respitory disease and
feline asthma - Disease affecting the
upper respiratory tract in cats is commonly known as ‘cat flu’ and can
be due to a number of infectious agents. Asthma, however, is a disease
that affects the lower respiratory tract or small airways within the
- When to let go - The average life expectancy of a cat is
around 14 years. However, many cats live well beyond this. As a pet
owner it is important that you are able to assess your cat’s quality of
life in order to prevent possible suffering as your cat gets older.
Mellitus - Diabetes mellitus affects the control of blood sugar levels
and usually occurs in middle-aged and older cats, particularly those
that are overweight. There may be some genetic predisposition to the
- Arthritis - The term ‘arthritis’ means inflammation of the joint; many animals suffer from it and cats are no exception.
- In cats, high blood pressure (known as
hypertension) usually occurs as a result of another underlying disease,
such as kidney disease, heart disease or hyperthyroidism. It can also
occur as the primary problem.
- Hyperthyroidism - The thyroid is made
up of two glands located on either side of the windpipe at the base of
your cat’s neck. These glands produce thyroxine, a hormone which helps
to regulate his metabolic rate.
- Kidney or renal failure - The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products
out of the blood to form urine. Disease of the kidneys is one of the
most common problems affecting middle-aged and older cats.
Parovirus (FPV) - Feline parvovirus is a virus that can
cause severe disease in cats – particularly kittens. It can be fatal.
As well as feline parvovirus (FPV), the disease is also known as feline
infectious enteritis (FIE) and feline panleucopenia.
- Fleas and other
parasites - A parasite is an organism that lives and
feeds on another to the detriment of the host. Both outdoor and indoor
cats are at risk from infection.