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    Waffles and Theo - February 2015
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    How to Determine When To Contact Your Vet

    How do determine when to get in touch with a vet

    At Poynings Cat Boarding Hotel we monitor all our cats on a daily basis. Knowing your cat is the key to everything. It’s noticing the changes from their ‘normal’ to abnormal.

    In your own home, it’s a little easier to spot changes during the winter. When the cat lives outside during the summer, you aren’t going to see faeces or changes in urine because they aren’t using their litter box. The most common indications that something is wrong are changes in eating habits, activity and coat quality.

    WHAT TO LOOK FOR

    Food

    Cats are odd creatures when it comes to food. In the cattery the highlight of any day is food times.  Everyone knows it’s food time because we try to keep the pattern the same for every day.  At home, dining is a much more habitual process, so easy to spot changes. Backgrounds of cats play a part in how they eat. Rescue cats often have ‘food issues’. If there was a level of food scarcity when they were young or they had to fight for it, meal times can be frenetic, there are cats who will gorge, then throw it up making it unpalatable for other animals to scavenge. There are grazers, pickers and night eaters, but essentially a sudden lack of appetite is more noticeable – Sometimes kitty might just be feeling a bit icky, going off a particular brand or they’ve been dining out on raw voles and beetles, but in conjunction with other symptoms, it’s worth checking out.

    Toilet

    The major advantage that we have at the cattery is that we can always see the contents of the litter box. During the summer, you might not see any results for weeks if they prefer to go outside. However, if they are always eating the same food, the same amount at the same time there will be a ‘normal’ consistency, smell and colour so look out for changes. Straining is a bad sign, particularly when trying to urinate.  Diarrhea is a very obvious change from the cat’s ‘normal’ and will result in dehydration if nothing else.

    Grooming

    Cats’ lifestyles range from living under hedges, covered in twigs and goosegrass to soaking up the sunshine from a radiator hammock. Their fur can be long or short, dense or smooth but again you need to spot any changes.  At home you’re looking for a change in grooming, not as much time spent, an unkempt look, greasier pile or matts forming. Amongst other things this could mean a depression, an injury or arthritis … at the other end of the spectrum, there’s over-grooming – When a cat can’t stop licking a particular spot. We see cats who suddenly develop the habit of removing the fur at the base of their tails or turn up with bald bellies.  There’s numerous reasons for these changes from particular mites, to fleas causing skin irritation, or indicating something below the skin is causing your cat concern.  Or it could be a psychological reaction with no physical cause.

    Sociability

    It’s difficult for us to monitor changes in attitude in the cattery because it’s a place of safety, a cave of warmth and comfort. Obviously, if a normally placid cat becomes suddenly angry or starts peeing outside their litter tray, we assume that the cat has been perturbed by some change in his home environment – A new cat in the neighbourhood, a new addition such as a dog or baby in the house, or moving home. If your cat is ‘normally’ sitting on your lap when you sit down or watching you cook or playing with the tap water, that’s his ‘normal’. If you notice him being nervous or huddling in corners, there’s a good chance that there’s an underlying emotional or physical injury.

    Walking Normally

    When we injure a leg or more often a foot, the pain shows on our face with every step … A cat (and probably every other mammal) keeps going until it can no longer walk. A cat’s survival instinct will hide pain without showing any facial expression so look for a change in stride length, or a limping gait. A change in how a cat walks could be the result of an injury or in older cats the onset of arthritis.

    SLOW TO SHOW PROBLEMS

    A lot of symptoms are slow to appear and it’s easy to overlook specific conditions and not notice anything out of the ordinary until the condition has sufficiently progressed. Identifying the problems early will go a long way to find treatments that are more effective.
    Respiratory problems and allergies

    Cats have extremely delicate respiratory systems and will sneeze at environmental changes as often as we have hot dinners. Pollen, dust, any kind of particle and they’re off. However, unusual breathing and feline asthma are the two real symptoms when you need to alert the vet. Noisy breathing, open mouthed breathing or snoring are all worth checking out as abnormal behaviour.

    Teeth and gums

    Dental care is part and parcel of standard veterinary healthcare. All vets should be checking your cats mouth, teeth and gums on every visit. If your cat has bad breath, drops a lot of food while eating or drools when purring you should look at his mouth area. If you’re worried push back your cats cheek and check for redness and inflammation around the gums. Look for missing teeth or grey teeth, maybe there is an abcess or lumps – Cats do have teeth removed quite often, especially when heading for double figures with a lifetime of a soft food diets behind them.

    Urinary & renal issues

    Urinary tract infection affects a small number of cats annually. It increases probability with gender and age, with male cats being most susceptible. The symptoms are varied, but strong smelling urine,  excessive water intake, not enough urine excreted are the easiest to spot – These conditions are easily managed and best caught at the early stages.

    Fat Cats

    By the time your cat gets to middle age, he’ll have started to take it easy and slip into blissful inactivity after every meal. If your cat puts on a significant amount of weight, he will do it slowly. If he does, then it’s a lot more difficult for him to lose it. Regular check ups at the vets will tell you during their well-being check up or annual booster examination whether they are overweight or not.

    Arthritis

    As in humans, arthritis can’t be cured, only alleviated. Inflamed joints causes the cat pain, so they move less or their gait changes. Handling them helps with diagnosis: they can nip if you touch, stroke or brush a tender area and they can be wary when being picked up or cuddled. At home look for slow cautious movements and some stiffness when moving or walking.

    WHEN TO GET IMMEDIATE HELP

    Severe bleeding, particularly from anywhere on the head, or from the backside

    Shallow breathing or rapid breathing

    Collapse or unconsciousness

    Fits or convulsions

    Obvious wounds, a bone protruding through the skin are caused by accidents

    Shock – panting, shivering, vomiting, body cool to the touch, and the lips, gums and tongue may appear very pale and cold

    At Poynings Cattery near Brighton all our staff are experienced and dedicated and will take the time to get to know your cat and ensure their health is their number one priority. Should a cat be showing unusual signs or symptoms we will contact their owner immediately and if necessary the vet. You can rest assured that when you leave your cat with us we will treat them as we would our own.

    Call us now on 01273 857 539 to find out more about how we care for your cat during their holiday with us at Poynings Cat Bording Hotel near Brighton

    Not just for your holidays – Cattery Brighton

    At Poynings Cat Boarding Hotel near Brighton we not only provide care and accommodation for cats whilst their owners are on holiday.

    We have provided care for cats whose owners are moving house, getting married, throwing a big party and many more reasons. Whatever the reason you need your feline friend cared for – why not give us a ring. We encourage people to visit our cattery in Brighton before booking to see our fantastic full height cat chalets set in beautiful surroundings.

    With over 20 years experience of running our cattery you can rest assured that your cat will be treated as one of the family. We provide scratch posts, toys and all cats have access to outdoors through an outdoor passage for security.

    Why not take a look at our review page and see what some of our lovely customers have to say about us or give us a ring on 01273 857539

    How A Cats Behaviour Can Change With Age

    cattery brighton

    As cats get older, not only does their appearance alter, but their behaviour can change as well. Here are some signs to look for as he ages.

    Just like humans, cats change as they get older. That’s why it’s so important to really get to know your cat and look for changes in his personality and habits. In this way, you can alert your vet and have your cat examined promptly. It’s also a good idea to have your senior cat examined at least once a year to keep track of his health.

    Below are a few of the ways that a cat’s behavior will change as he gets older. Just remember that not all cats will exhibit all of the following changes. Every cat is an individual and you and your vet know your cat best.

    Changes in Vocalizations and Behavior

    Feline cognitive dysfunction may cause your senior cat to become more vocal, meowing more throughout the day and/or night. He may also begin pacing a lot and may show signs of confusion or disorientation, so routine and schedules are the key to helping your cat feel comfortable.

    More than normal meowing could also indicate that your cat is losing his hearing or that he’s in pain. If your cat has taken to meowing more than he used to, it’s a good idea to have him examined by a veterinarian in order to rule out medical conditions, anxiety, or other causes that can be controlled or resolved with the proper treatment.

    Becoming More Active at Night

    While it’s common for cats to have nocturnal habits that can be somewhat annoying to their owners, if your cat has become more active than usual at night in his old age, it could be a sign of restlessness that results from geriatric anxiety. This anxiety can result from feeling separated from you while you sleep or from feeling frightened and concerned about making his way around the house in the dark.

    Your cat may also be more active at night because he needs to go to the litter box more often, but the loss of his senses could make it harder for him to get to where he needs to go. Again, if your older cat is active at night, particularly if he meows a lot, this could be a sign of vision or hearing loss, which could also affect how deeply he’s able to sleep. After ruling out medical problems with your vet, it may be enough to simply leave some night lights on to ease his anxiety and help him find his way.

    Not Using the Litter Box

    A senior cat may end up eliminating outside of his litter box, but he’s not doing it to be disobedient, so don’t punish him. This behaviour could be the result of decreased mobility, feeling the urge to go to the bathroom more frequently, losing control over the bladder or bowels, a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or kidney disease, among other causes.

    In the event that your cat starts going to the bathroom outside of his litter box, it’s time to bring him to the vet to determine what’s causing the behaviour and to get him the right treatment.

    It’s also recommended that you switch litter boxes, if necessary, to ensure your cat can comfortably walk into and out of it. You may also want to add an extra litter box or two around the house so that your cat can go when he feels the need without having to walk very far.

    Changes in Personality

    A cat that typically craved attention when he was young may become more distant in his old age, or a cat that was aloof before may now be quite clingy. Other personality changes include irritability, crankiness, apathy, and aggression. Bear in mind that some of these changes could be caused by pain, soreness, weakness, or diminished senses.

    Make sure to include your cat as much as possible by keeping him near the family. Have him sit next to you or on your lap while watching television, as an example. It’s also a good idea to approach your cat gently so you don’t startle him and cause him to lash out at you.

    Again, to rest assured that these changes are nothing more than the result of aging, have your kitty examined by a vet to rule out medical problems.

    Always Provide Plenty of Love

    Your senior cat may be a little different than he was when he was younger, but he still loves you unconditionally, so take care of him, make sure he’s seen by a veterinarian, and give him highly nutritious food to help keep his body as strong as possible.

    We love cats of all ages at Poynings cattery and will cater to all their needs. To find out more call us on 01273 857 539

    Summer is on its way….

    Now the clocks have changed summer is officially on its way – well so they keep telling us!!

    When you are booking your holiday to the sun, don’t forget about your feline friends and book them in for a holiday of their own at our Cat Boarding Hotel in Brighton.

    We are family run and have been established for more than 24 years. We pride ourselves on offering a warm, clean, comfortable and friendly service for your cat – a home away from home!

    You can be sure that your cat is in very good hands with us, and will have as good a holiday as you will!

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    Some of our happy customers enjoying the British sunshine at our Cat Boarding Hotel. We are 10 minutes away from Brighton and en route to Gatwick Airport. Places are booking fast for the summer holidays – ring us on 01273 857539 to book.

    Some of our lovely customers

    At The Poynings Cat Boarding Hotel, we love to hear from our satisfied customers.

    A few days ago we received this lovely card for Waffles and Theo who recently came to the Poynings Cat Boarding Hotel while their owners went on holiday.

    Why not have a look at our testimonials to see what other people think of us, or give us a ring on 01273 857539 to talk about your cat boarding needs.

    Is Your Cat a Picky Eater?

    Check out this article published in the mail online today. It may give you an incite into why your cat is such a fussy eater! Many of us think that our cats being fussy eaters is just one of those things. According to this study it could actually be caused by their bitter taste receptors and the ‘man made’ food and medicines we provide them. Have a read here: www.dailymail.co.uk

    Cat Carriers

     

    When bringing your cat to Poynings Cat Boarding Hotel, they will need to be brought in a secure cat carrier. This is to ensure their safety and security during this transition process. The RSPCA have written a guide on how to introduce and familiarise your cat to a new cat carrier. To see more follow this link http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/cats/environment.

    We personally find that cardboard carriers are not very strong and recommend a more stable plastic variety. It is important to ensure that your cat is happy in their carrier and feels safe, using the tips provided by the RSPCA can help you with this.

    At Poynings Cat Boarding Hotel we can lend you a carrier to transport your cat and are always happy to discuss ways in which to ease the journey for your cat. Why not give us a ring on 01273 857539 to discuss your cat boarding needs.

    110312-F-NW653-166 cat in cage.jpg
    110312-F-NW653-166 cat in cage” by U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse – This Image was released by the United States Air Force with the ID 110312-F-NW653-166
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    . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

     

    The UK’s favourite cat names

    Cats protection did a UK wide survey to find out the most popular cats names. Did your cat make the top 5? At our cat boarding hotel in Poynings, Brighton we certainly see a variety of cats with a huge range of names and nicknames. Check out the top 5 unusual names – our favourite is Captain Horatio Frankenstein!

    Infographic credit http://www.cats.org.uk.

    Top cat names infographic

    Cats protection e-learning course

    Why not head over to http://learnonline.cats.org.uk/ufo and check out the Cats Protections new online E-learning course – Understanding Feline Origins. A great way to learn more about your cat and their ancestry, what makes them who they are today and how we can help maintain their healthy, happy lives for years to come. All our staff at our Brighton cattery ensure cats (and their owners) receive the highest levels of care tailored to meet every individual cats needs.

    Writing table with cat and mouse.jpeg
    Writing table with cat and mouse” by SuperikonoskopOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

     

     

     

    What does your cat really think of you?

    Check out the article below in National Geographic magazine. A fascinating insight into the way cats view their human friends by Christine Dell’Amore in an interview with John Bradshaw author of the book Cat Sense and cat behaviour expert at the university of Bristol.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140127-cats-pets-animals-nation-dogs-people-science/

    We certainly see a great variety of cats with different behaviours at our cat boarding hotel near Brighton – why not give us a ring om 01273 857539 to arrange an appointment to see for yourself!

     

    Spielendes Kätzchen.JPG
    Spielendes Kätzchen” by LoliloliOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.