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Preventative Health Care

Many people believe that cats can look after themselves, as long as you feed them, but they need just as much care as any other pet. Cats demand less attention than dogs and value their privacy. However this means their owners are often not aware of problems until they become quite serious. For this reason you should take notice of any changes in behaviour and check your cat regularly. Your veterinarian is the best person to contact if you are in any doubt. A simple phone call can often decide whether or not your cat needs attention.

Your veterinarian will also advise you on preventative health care, vaccinations and neutering.

Do not apply to rabbits.


There are many serious, often fatal, diseases affecting cats that can be prevented by vaccination. Younger animals are especially susceptible to these diseases.

Kittens should be vaccinated from around 8 weeks of age. Ask your veterinarian.


Internal parasites (worms) can seriously affect the health of cats, especially the young. Some worms are also a health risk to humans.

De-worming should start in young cats from 6 weeks of age onwards. Adult cats should be de-wormed about every 3 months.

Ask your veterinarian to recommend a de-worming programme.


Unless you plan to breed your cat they should be neutered as young as possible. Unwanted cats are a huge problem in New Zealand and wild and stray cats are a threat to our wildlife.

It is not true that there is any benefit to a female cat to have at least one litter, and males do not enjoy a better lifestyle if they are left un-neutered. Also, there are a number of diseases that are prevented, or made less likely, by neutering.

Consult your veterinarian about the best time to have your cat neutered.


Short haired cats usually groom themselves but it is a good idea to check them once a week or so. If grooming behaviour is absent then there is probably something wrong.

Long haired cats on the other hand often require daily grooming to avoid matting of the coat and prevent the formation of the fur balls in the stomach.


There are a number of commercially available foods for cats. A balanced diet is important, especially in young growing animals. Your veterinarian will advise you on the feeding of your cat.


Fleas are the most common cause of skin problems in cats and can transmit a number of diseases. Flea numbers can build up very quickly so prevention is far better than trying to eradicate a problem once it has become established.

Nothing else works like FRONTLINE®

  • Breaks the flea life cycle
  • Effective against both fleas and ticks
  • Rapid and long lasting
  • Water resistant
  • FRONTLINE Spray can be used on kittens as young as 3 days of age

Oral Hygiene

Tooth and gum problems can often result in serious consequences; lost teeth, damaged gums and jaws, blood poisoning and pain and suffering for the cat.

Gingivitis (gum disease) begins with a build up of plaque and tartar. If this progresses the end result can be tooth root and jaw infection. Two types of bacteria (aerobic and anaerobic) can be involved and a combination of two antibacterial drugs which covers both bacterial types is the most effective treatment. Sometimes surgery may be required.

You can help reduce the build up of plaque and tartar by providing uncooked chicken wings or necks for your cat to chew on. Your veterinarian can advise you on the best protocol as well as other options to help maintain oral hygiene such as specials foods, toothpastes and rinses.

Regular check ups by your veterinarian are recommended and descaling (removal of tartar) may be required from time to time. These visits will help ensure any problems are picked up before they become serious and require extensive and expensive procedures.