Why neutering is the responsible choice for cat owners in Northamptonshire

Cat owners cherish the companionship and love their feline friends bring into their lives. However, with the joy of having a cat comes the responsibility of ensuring their wellbeing and contributing to the welfare of the feline community.

One of the most responsible choices cat owners in Northamptonshire can make is to opt for neutering their cats. In this article, the team at Daventry Vets will explore why and how it benefits both individual cats and the larger feline population.

Contact us to book your cat in for neutering.

Cat neutering – why it’s the responsible choice

1. Preventing unplanned litters & curbing overpopulation

Perhaps the most compelling reason to neuter your cat is to prevent unplanned litters of kittens, not just for your home, but for the wider cat population. Cats are prolific breeders, and one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce hundreds of kittens in just a few years. Overpopulation is a serious issue in the cat world, many rescue centres are full and so by neutering your cat, you are actively contributing to controlling the feline population and reducing the number of homeless kittens in and around Northamptonshire.

2. Promoting health and longevity

According to Vet Sarah Aldridge, cat neutering offers several health benefits. It significantly reduces the risk of uterine infections and certain cancers in females. Neutered cats are also generally healthier and live longer lives.

3. Behavioural improvements

Neutering can lead to positive changes in a cat’s behaviour. Male cats tend to be less aggressive and territorial, while females are less likely to yowl or exhibit restlessness during their heat cycles. Neutered cats often make for more pleasant and well-adjusted pets.

4. Reducing roaming tendencies

Entire male cats have a strong instinct to roam in search of mates. Sarah wants owners to know that this behaviour puts them at risk of accidents, injuries, infection with Feline immunodeficiency virus and encounters with other animals. Neutering can reduce this desire to roam, keeping your cat safer.

5. A more peaceful home

Unspayed female cats can exhibit vocalisations and behaviours that can be disruptive during their heat cycles. Neutering can create a more peaceful and harmonious living environment for both cats and their owners! If you have a multi-cat household, our team can advise you of more ways to keep the peace.

Get in touch for more advice.

6. Responsible Ownership

Being a responsible pet owner means taking steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of your cat, as well as being considerate of the broader feline community. Neutering is a responsible choice that aligns with these principles.

The take-away message from our article is that neutering your cat is about more than controlling the feline population; it’s also about promoting the health, happiness, and longevity of your beloved pet. It’s a choice that reflects your commitment to responsible pet ownership and compassion for the welfare of cats in Northamptonshire and beyond. Thanks for reading!

If you found our article informative, why not share it with your cat-loving friends?

Daventry Vets are working with Cats Protection and are taking part in their neutering scheme to offer low cost neutering to low income households.

Contact us to book your cat in for neutering.

Daventry Vets’ advice to reduce furniture damage from your cat

Cats are beloved members of the family but sometimes their scratching can be quite frustrating. Your cat does not care that your furniture and carpets shouldn’t be clawed at, so the team at Daventry Vets have compiled a list of advice on how to control the furniture scratching whilst also promoting your cat’s wellbeing. Contact us on 01327 877767 for more advice and share your tips on our Facebook page.

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Why do cats scratch?

According to vet Sarah Aldridge, scratching is a perfectly normal and healthy behaviour for cats. It serves several purposes, including:

  • Claw maintenance: to keep nails sharp, cats will scratch their claws to shed the outer layers, keeping them healthy.
  • Territory marking: scratching deposits scent marks from glands on their paws to establish their territory. The outer layers of claws left behind and the scratch marks themselves are also territory markers.
  • Exercise: Scratching exercises the forelimbs and spine.
  • Stress: cats can scratch in more areas when they feel insecure. This can happen in multi cat households or in areas where there are high numbers of cats.

How to reduce furniture and carpet damage from cat scratching

  1. Provide scratching posts and pads strategically near furniture that your cat has targeted before. If they are made from materials such as cardboard, sisal and carpet, it will really help to satisfy your cat’s scratching needs.
  2. Make sure scratching posts are high enough for your cat at full stretch.
  3. The team at Daventry Vets recommend using either double-sided tape or sticky pads on furniture that your cat scratches to act as a deterrent as cats don’t like sticky surfaces (make sure it is non toxic)
  4. Use catnip on scratching posts and pads to make them attractive to your cat, some scratching posts already have catnip impregnated into them.
  5. Cats often scratch to mark their territory so offering them more space can help. Provide them vertical spaces like shelves and cat trees and offer them praise and treats when they use them correctly. This positive reinforcement will help to prolong the life of your furniture!
  6. Use Feliway diffusers to decrease stress.
  7. Play with toys near scratching posts to encourage your cat to use them.
  8. Clipping cats claws can be part of the solution but should only be used for totally indoor cats as indoor-outdoor cats may need to use their claws to climb a fence to escape or for defence if attacked.

Changing any cat’s behaviour takes time so patience and consistency is key to success.

By providing your cat with suitable scratching alternatives, you can protect your furniture whilst ensuring your cat leads a happy and healthy life.

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Antifreeze pet poisoning risks in Northamptonshire

Antifreeze is something that most pet owners living in Northamptonshire will have around their house once it comes to winter. However, even the smallest amount can be highly dangerous for your cat and dog. The primary danger comes from ethylene glycol which is toxic to all animals

If you even suspect your pet could have ingested antifreeze then contact Daventry Vets immediately on 01327 877767.

Call us in an emergency

Why cats like to lick antifreeze

The reason antifreeze is so appealing to cats and dogs is the sugary taste. They tend to try and lick it off the driveway and cats will lick it off their paws and fur if they’ve walked through it. Once ingested, ethylene glycol is rapidly absorbed into their bloodstream. Your pet metabolises the ethylene glycol producing a number of TOXIC metabolites severe damage to the kidney. Acute kidney failure in cats and dogs due to antifreeze poisoning, can be fatal, cats have a higher mortality rate than dogs – prompt treatment is needed to provide your pet with a chance of recovery.

Call our team immediately on 01327 877767.

Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning in cats

All of the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours of ingestion. Symptoms to look for include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Signs of kidney failure including increased thirst and urination
  • rapid breathing.

If your cat is admitted to Daventry Vets with suspected antifreeze poisoning, treatments can include induced vomiting( only within the first hour of ingestion) , administering intravenous fluids to support the kidneys.

Protect your cat

To protect your cats and dogs, be diligent about keeping antifreeze containers securely closed and stored out of reach. Clean up any spills immediately, and consider using antifreeze products that contain propylene glycol, which is less toxic but still not entirely safe if ingested in large quantities. Contact Daventry Vets immediately if you are concerned about your pet or if you know they have been exposed to antifreeze.

See our emergency contact information

Valuable advice for cat adoption in 2024 from Daventry Vets

Adopting a cat from a rescue centre can be a wholesome way to introduce a new feline friend to your family. To help this process run smoothly, the team at Daventry Vets have put together advice on what you should be asking rescue centres during the adoption process.

Please remember, adopting a cat is a big responsibility that should not be taken on lightly. Daventry Vets urges owners to do plenty of research on cat care before making any big decisions.

The team at Daventry Vets are happy to answer any questions you may have about caring for a cat, just contact our team on 01327 877767.

What should I ask the rescue centre when adopting a cat?

Before heading to a rescue/rehoming centre, it’s important you sit down and gather some ideas as to what type of cat would be most suitable for your family. Research different breeds and their typical characteristics, as well as if there are any that are predisposed to certain medical conditions. Daventry Vets also recommends discussing your needs with the rescue centre staff. They know each of the cats in their care and want to ensure that they go to the correct home. Opening the discussion will help both you and the centre to match the perfect cat to your family.

1. Background information

Daventry Vets recommends asking what is known about the cat’s history and how they ended up at the rescue centre. This will give you valuable insight into their past experiences and whether they could have any behavioural or medical issues. It could also identify whether the cat is used to other cats, pets, or children.

2. Assessments for health and wellbeing

One of the benefits of rehoming a cat from a rescue centre is the fact they will have a full assessment done prior to any adoption process. This assessment will cover things like their behaviour and any potential or underlying health conditions that may need treating. This information will help you and your family make an informed decision when choosing your new cat.

3. Medical conditions and preventative care

Daventry Vets wants to urge new cat owners to research the benefits of vaccinations and neutering. Most rescue centres will have policies in place to protect the animals, which typically include having them neutered and vaccinated prior to rehoming. However, by understanding why this happens, it shows that you understand the practical side of pet ownership.

4. Training

Make sure you ask the rescue centre about your chosen cat’s training. Whether they are house trained and are happy being groomed and petted will make a big difference to the start of your journey together.

5. Special considerations for your chosen cat

Does your chosen feline require a certain type of living environment? Do they seem frightened of loud noises? Are they purely a house cat or do they need to roam?

Understanding what the cat needs before you go through the adoption process will help you to understand if your feline friend is the right fit for your home and family.

6. Preparing for your new cat’s arrival

Make sure you get everything ready before you bring your new cat home.

  • Food, keep this the same as the rescue centre initially. Unless your cat requires a specific diet due to a medical condition it’s ok to change it gradually .
  • Litter tray and litter, try to get the same type as the rescue centre, even if your new cat is going to go out it’s best to keep them in for a few weeks.
  • Pheromones, Feliway make pheromone products that can help your cat settle into your home.
  • International cat care have some great tips too.

When it comes to rehoming cats, our knowledgeable team of cat vets are happy to advise you about how to care for your cat once you get them home, as well as what veterinary care they will need at this stage of their life. Contact us on 01327 877767 and don’t forget to register your new cat in the New Year with Daventry Vets – we can’t wait to meet them!

A guide from Vet Sarah Aldridge on your cat’s happiness this winter

Keeping our feline friends happy this winter can seem a little tricky. Our experienced cat loving vet Sarah Aldridge and the team at Daventry Veterinary Clinic have pulled together the best advice on all the things your cat needs to be happy in the colder months – keep reading below.

Sarah also has a bonus ‘Festive Happy Cat Guide’ for you to download! As well as winter weather related issues that can affect your cat’s mood, Christmas can be a time of hazards and stress for them too. Take a look at Daventry Vets’ guide on:

How to keep your cat happy and safe at Christmas time

Top tips for keeping your cat happy this winter

Vet Sarah Aldridge wants owners to know that their cat’s behaviour may be affected once the weather starts to get colder. This often comes hand-in-hand with changes in routine which can leave your cat feeling a little down in the dumps. The 3 main aspects to provide are warmth, stimulation, and comfort. Sarah has collated their advice below – contact us on 01327 877767 if you would like to discuss your cat’s health and behaviour with us.

Ask us advice or book an appointment for your cat.

Providing warmth

Indoor temperature

Keep your house at a comfortable temperature and use a safe method of heating if leaving your cat unattended. Open fires and gas fires can be very dangerous for pets home alone.

Sunlight exposure

Letting in sunlight through the windows will improve your cat’s mood! Sarah often hears stories of how the windowsills or sunny spots on sofas and duvets of your home are your cat’s favourite napping spots!

Avoid cold draughts

If your cat has a resting spot, make sure they’re away from draughty areas. If there is a cold draught, try investing in a draught excluder or seal for your door/window to keep the heat in.

Providing stimulation

Indoor playtime

Invest in some toys for your cat that mimic prey movement to keep their brain active. Sarah emphasises the importance of making sure you put aside time to play with your cat this winter.

Engage their senses

Puzzle toys, scratching posts, and interactive feeders will help to keep your cat entertained.

Regular grooming

Making time to groom your cat over winter can help them feel pampered and act as a distraction to spending more time indoors. It also allows you to remove excess fur and debris to prevent matting and keep them happy. If you’ve never groomed your cat before start a bit at a time and with their head and back. Some cats don’t like you to groom underneath. We love Zoom Grooms as they massage your cat too. PDSA shop cat zoom groom

Provide climbing spaces

Cats often defy gravity when it comes to climbing, so indoors it shouldn’t be any different! Sarah recommends installing high-up shelves near windows so they can watch the world go by from above!

Toy rotation

Rotating their toys will help to prevent boredom this winter.

Providing comfort

Cosy sleeping spots

In your cat’s usual sleeping spot, when temperatures drop think about adding in a soft blanket or a covered bed, although if your cat is anything like Sarah’s cat Rhubarb they will be creating “duvet caves” . This will keep them toasty and happy.

Maintain litter box hygiene

You may need to increase your litter box cleaning routine if your cat is spending more time indoors. Make it clean and comfortable for them to help keep them healthy. Cats often use their litter trays more in winter if they don’t like going out in the rain or frozen/snow covered ground means they cannot dig and cover up after toileting.

Along with the above, Vet Sarah Aldridge recommends ensuring your feline friend always has access to fresh water and monitoring their food intake over winter – you can ask our team about seasonal changes to nutrition needs for cats.

Plus, regular vet check-ups throughout the year will help to make sure they are not developing any underlying health conditions that could be more prevalent in the colder months. To book a winter health check with Daventry Vets, contact us on 01327 877767 or book online.

Share these top tips with other cat owners in Northamptonshire and don’t forget to download our Festive Happy Cat Guide too!

Keep Your Cat Happy Over Christmas

Vet Sarah Aldridge discusses pros and cons of wet/dry cat food

Ensuring your cat has the correct diet is an essential part of keeping them happy and healthy. There are many factors involved when it comes to choosing the correct diet, such as age, lifestyle, their health status and also their individual preferences. One of the most frequently asked questions our Vet Sarah Aldridge receives relating to cat nutrition is whether cats should eat wet or dry food. To help you decide what’s best for your pet, Sarah has put together the following advice.

Contact us for more advice

Advantages of wet food

  • Wet cat food can help keep your cat hydrated as it has a high moisture content. Sarah advises that cats fed wet food tend to have a higher total water intake.
  • It generally is easier to chew and digest – making wet food a good option for young and senior cats, or those suffering from dental issues.
  • Picky eaters tend to prefer wet food due to its strong smell and flavour.
  • Wet food can be warmed to encourage cats to eat when they are unwell.

Wet food – things to consider

  • Your cat could need a higher amount of food to meet their calorific needs if they are on a wet food diet.
  • Wet food has a shorter lifespan and needs to be discarded only a few hours after being served.
  • Wet food tends to be more expensive and needs to be refrigerated.

Advantages of dry food

  • Storing and serving dry food is often easier as it does not need refrigerating and can be left out without spoiling.
  • Dry food tends to be more calorie dense so your cat may require a smaller portion to meet their nutritional needs. Sarah recommends that you weigh out your cat’s food portions daily to ensure they are getting the right amount for their needs.
  • You can purchase brands of food that are designed to help clean your cat’s teeth as they feed – reducing plaque and tartar build-up. Make sure you buy one with the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) seal of approval.

Dry food – things to consider

  • If you plan on feeding your cat a dry food diet, make sure they have several bowls to drink from in different places in the house. There are numerous types of drinking fountains available too, some cats prefer theses as they like to drink from running water.
  • If you are transferring your cat from wet to dry food, do it gradually over a couple of weeks to allow them to adjust their water intake.

 

Can you feed wet and dry food?

Many owners choose to feed wet and dry food to provide their cat with benefits from both types of diet.

Vet Sarah at Daventry Vets recommends you chat to our experienced nursing team who will be able to advise on your cat’s ideal diet depending on their specific needs. Contact us today on 01327 877767 to book a nurse consultation or for more advice about feeding your cat.

Contact us for more advice

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