Health Care - Keeping A Cat

CHOOSING A VET
Before your cat ill, you should find a veterinarian in your locality who will give your newly arrived feline a thorough check, provide all the necessary vaccinations, and tell you about any preventive medicine or special care that your cat may require. He should also provide a twenty-four hour service that can deal with genuine emergencies.

Some veterinarians specialize in cat diseases or in problems of a particular part of the body

Obviously it is best to find a veterinary practice that works extensively with small animals. Other owners of cats, breeders, and humane society clinics in your vicinity will point you in the right direction. It is almost always possible to visit your cat doctor’s surgery by prior arrangement in order to see all the facilities available.

A veterinarian undergoes many years of training in animal medicine and surgery, including the particular problems of Felidae, so that if trouble strikes, or if you have questions about breeding, nutrition, or any other aspect of management, be guided by him or her. Don’t try to lecture the vet after having read this book or spoken to the dogmatic breeding who supplied your cat. The veterinarian is in the best position to provide you with unbiased advice.

If you are not satisfied with the veterinary care of your cat, you are always free to obtain a second opinion – something which all veterinarians are ethically bound to agree to.

COMMON AILMENTS
Cats may have nine lives but they are, like humans and other creatures, occasionally out of sorts and sometimes downright ill. The study of feline diseases and their treatment by medicine and surgery are important areas of veterinary science, and much research is currently being done – recently a virus (FIV) has been identified as producing a feline immune deficiency syndrome, which is similar in some respects to the Aids virus affecting humans but not transmittable to humans (read more)

OLD AGE
Inevitably, time catches up with cats. Should your pet survive beyond seventeen years, it is doing very well indeed. Very few reach one score, although the longest record at present stands at thirty-four years achieved by a tabby queen from Devon. Certainly cats tend to live longer than dogs – the oldest recorded dog reached twenty-seven years and the majority do not pass sixteen years (read more)

NURSING CARE
Whether your pet’s aliment is mild or serious, you will normally have to be prepared to do some nursing. There are some essential nursing techniques to be learned (read more)

FIRST AID
Cats do occasionally appear to have nine lives. Their bodies are so elastic and wiry that they often survive being run over by a cars, airgun pellets, stones, falling masonry, or drunkards’ boots, trapped in doors, falling from great heights, or savaged by dogs, Puss sometimes seems to need every life it can lay claim to. These serious crises produce skeletal and soft-tissue damage, which the vet will have to treat in the operating room. It is important to know how to give useful first-aid emergency treatment until the animal can be taken to the vet (read more)

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