Vaccinations
One of the most important things you can do to give your cat a long and healthy life is to ensure that he/she is vaccinated against common and serious feline infectious diseases. We therefore recommend that you vaccinate against cat flu and feline leukaemia. The primary vaccination course consists of two injections 3-4 weeks apart and can be given from 9 weeks of age. Annual boosters are required to keep your pet's immunity up to date. Cats travelling abroad must also be vaccinated against Rabies.

Microchipping
Microchipping your cat is an easy way to ensure that you can be reunited with your pet should it go missing or stray beyond its home territory. Microchips are very small (the size of a grain of rice) and are injected under the loose skin between your cat's shoulder blades. The procedure is quick and very safe, and most cats do not feel anything. In our experience, some cats frequently lose their collars; we therefore strongly recommend microchipping, so that we can get in touch with you - especially if they have been wandering or lost or, worst case scenario, have been involved in an accident.

Flea, worms and ticks
Fleas feed on your cat's blood and can transmit or carry several diseases that cause a lot of discomfort and more serious health problems for your pet. One female flea will lay up to 50 eggs per day which can turn into adult fleas within 12 days or may stay hiding in carpets and furniture for over 6 months until the environmental conditions are right for them to hatch. In severe cases, pets develop flea allergic dermatitis, an extreme sensitivity to flea saliva, which may lead to excessive itching, hair loss and lesions. We therefore strongly recommend you treat all pets in your household with flea treatments all year round. Consult your vet or nurse for the best product for your pet's needs.

Ticks will attach themselves to your pet and feast on its blood. Ticks are a common occurrence on Anglesey and should be removed as soon as possible - the longer they stay on your pet, the greater the chance for diseases to spread. To remove ticks safely, we recommend you use a tick remover (we like and stock the O'Tom tick remover), wrap the tick in tissue and flush it down the toilet. Do not pull the tick off or attempt to burn or damage the tick - you will almost certainly leave parts of the tick behind which can lead to further problems. There are many good treatments around that will kill ticks after they have attached to the pet. Consult your vet or nurse for the best product for your pet's needs.

And remember, it is perfectly normal to see live fleas or ticks on a pet immediately after a treatment is applied. Many believe that this means the product is not working, but the fleas or ticks have to fully absorb the product before they will be affected, which may take from a few hours to a couple of days.

It is important to treat for worms regularly. Adult cats need worming every 3 months, kittens more regularly. If your cat is an avid hunter, we recommend monthly worming. As fleas can carry tapeworm eggs, it is important always to treat your pet for fleas also. We strongly recommend the use of multi-wormers that cover your pet for all types of worms. Roundworms that are commonly found in kittens can also affect children, so be sure to keep your worming regime up to date. Consult your vet or nurse for the best product for your pet's needs.

Neutering
We recommend that cats are neutered at or after 6 months of age. Spayed female cats are more relaxed and less vocal. Removing the uterus and ovaries also minimizes the risk of cancers of the reproductive organs later in life. Neutered males are less likely to roam, 'spray' or urine-mark their territory. As un-neutered males are more likely to get involved in fights, they are more likely to get bitten and contract feline AIDS - a serious viral disease with long-term health implications.

A spay is a major surgical procedure that is performed under general anaesthesia. Complications are rare and queens normally recover completely within 2 weeks.
A castration is minor surgical procedure that is also performed under general anaesthesia. Cats normally recover within 7-10 days.

Insurance
With one in three pets requiring medical treatment each year, we recommend that owners take out pet insurance. Broadly speaking, there are three types of insurances (lifetime cover; maximum benefit; time-limited), and it is important that owners are aware of each policy's pros and cons before making a decision. Lifetime insurances are, for example, great for chronic or long-term conditions as they will pay a set amount of veterinary fees for each condition each year. However, they are more expensive. In contrast, time-limited policies are good for accidents and short-term illnesses, but any medical condition will be excluded from the policy after 12 months. For an impartial overview of policy types and providers, click here.

Behavioural training
Training your kitten or cat is important. We have collated advice from leading behavioural specialists on our website. Advice leaflets cover topics such as handling exercises, introducing your cat to its new home, aggressive cats, car travel, litterbox training, urine marking, and many more. Advice leaflets can be accessed here.

Travelling with your cat
Owners who wish to travel abroad with their cat must comply with the rules of the government's pet travel scheme. As a minimum, your cat must have had its annual booster vaccination, a rabies vaccination, and microchip recorded in a pet passport before travel. It will require tapeworm treatment before returning to the UK. However, requirements will vary according to your chosen destination. Please be aware that rules change regularly and it can take considerable time to complete all the necessary paperwork. We therefore recommend that clients get in touch with DEFRA directly to ensure that they have all the necessary information and are aware of all rules and regulations that must be met prior and during travel. Different rules apply if you wish to sell or re-home your pet.

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