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Help! I found a stray kitten

Almost everyday we get phone calls from people who have found themselves in possession of a little stray kitten – or sometimes even a litter of stray kittens!

Unfortunately due to the number of stray cat colonies around Sydney there is always an abundance of homeless kittens. Despite the good intentions of the community to Trap-N-Release (TNR), this problem will not disappear anytime soon.

As such, we have made a guide to ensure the best outcome for the kittens.

Stray kitten(s) with a mother

McShooty and Stevie were our ex-adoption kittens. They were strays who had a feral mother who is part of a community TnR & feeding program.

If you have encountered stray kittens that are still being attended to by their mother please make sure NOT to separate them! You should contact any reputable rescue group to organise a TNR. This allows the mother cat and her kittens to be taken off the streets for appropriate treatment. For the mother cat that usually means being desexed to prevent future stray litters. Depending on the nature of the cat and her kittens it is most likely the rescue group will attempt to re-home them however if the mother is extremely aggressive and hence unable to rehome then she will most likely be released back to where she is found once she is desexed and treated for any existing medical conditions.

Stray kitten(s) without any signs of a mother

Kittens that are alone are not necessarily without their mother- sometimes they can appear to be abandoned but in reality their mother is out gathering food or in the process of relocating her litter. To avoid making the mistake of separating a kitten from their mum, try to stick around (out of sight to avoid frightening them) and observe for a while to see if the mother does return.

If this is a case of no mother cat being present then you should aim to safely trap the stray kittens and bring them to their nearest vet*, the vet protocol from here on is to scan the kittens in case they have any microchips (if they are chipped then they would most likely have a home and are probably lost).

If the kittens are not microchipped and are clearly not a missing pet then it is up to the vet on what needs to be done next.

A litter of 3 ex-adoption kittens (Chandler, Ross and Joey) we had taken on from another clinic to rehome.

Vet clinics are not rescue groups, hence are not always able to hold-onto and rehome stray animals- this is because most smaller clinics only have the capacity and resources for hospital patients. Sometimes however, and this is the case for our clinic- the vet will have the availability to rehome the stray kittens in which case they will take them off your hands and handle all treatment and later adoption.

If the vet advises you that they are unable to keep the kittens you’re next best options are to either:

a) contact reputable rescue groups (there is a list of them and their contact details at the end of this post).

b) foster the kittens yourself and handle the rehoming (if you do decide to foster/keep the kittens you can read our Kitten Care handout for information on owning and caring for kittens) – if you do end up fostering the kittens you can talk to our staff about receiving discount rescue rates for all their treatment (that is only if you are not intending to keep them as your own pet and are definitely adopting them out)

c) contact other nearby vets- just because one vet does not have the space, that does not mean other clinics do not. We have previously taken on stray litters from other clinics who were unable to.

List of Cat Rescue Groups in Sydney:

The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

Petting a dog or cat is not only about caring for them or feeding them. You can fall in love with them and treat them exactly like one of your family members. However, you also need to invest some time in thinking about their health concerns and benefits they are likely to get from your care. That’s where the importance of spaying and neutering your pet comes into play.

Spaying and neutering pets not only helps with population control, but it can further restrict general disorders and behavioural problems. You can get this procedure done at Summer Hill Village Vet at an affordable rate with minimum maintenance.

Spaying is a surgical procedure of removing the ovaries of your female pet that requires minimal hospitalization and unlimited health benefits. On the other hand, neutering is the process of removing the testicles of a male dog or cat which will benefit their health and potentially improve their behaviour. Read on to know more about the importance of spaying and neutering your cat or dog at Summer Hill Village Vet.

Medical benefits of Spaying and Neutering

  • Longer and Healthier life of your female pet: Spaying prevents uterine diseases and breast cancer, which is lethal in approximately 90 percent of cats and 50 percent of dogs. You can get the best protection from these diseases by spaying your pet before her first heat. You can get this done from Summer Hill Village Vet to minimise the hospitalisation.
  • It helps your male dog stay close to you: Neutering your male dog will prevent him from going outside and finding his mate. This poses a threat to his life from traffic and other dangers. Therefore, it is recommended to neuter your male dog as soon as possible to make him stay close to you and remain safe and not running away or causing trouble.
  • Your male dog will behave in a better way: Your unneutered pet is more likely to roam around the house and cause issues. Neutering your male dog will help him calm down and stay in one place. He will not feel like loitering. After your male dog has been neutered, you will observe that he is less likely to mount on unidentified objects which will lower the risk of infection.

 So if you are someone who treats their pets as a family, you need to take care of all these health issues as well.

Embarrassing Bodies- The Pet Edition, Free Health Checks!

Cats and dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes what’s normal for one pet may be abnormal for another depending on things like breed, age, lifestyle and etc. For example- the skin and coat needs of a Sphynx cat to that of a Ragdoll’s will vary immensely!

Pets come in all different shapes, sizes and hair styles! As such their health needs are very individualistic.

Pets come in all different shapes, sizes and hair styles! As such their health needs are very individualistic.

In order to help you as a pet owner decide what is best for your cat or dog, the team at Summer Hill Village Vet have developed a complimentary 5-point Health Check that covers the basic individual care needs for your pet. These 5-point Health Checks are part of our Embarrassing Bodies- The Pet Edition and will run until the end of November 2018.

What do these 5-Point Health Checks include?

Embarrassing Bodies: Pet Edition Promo Poster

Book your cat or dog in for their FREE 5-Point Health Check before the end of November 2018.

Our 5-Point Health Checks aim to cover the following areas of your pet’s health with one of our trained vet nurses:

  1. Body Condition Scoring What may be healthy weight for a greyhound would be unhealthy for a german shepherd! Our trained nurses will score your cat or dog’s body condition (based on weight and appearance), then compare it to their breed and lifestyle recommendations. The nurses will work with you to develop a plan for how to get your pet into their healthy weight range (whether it’s through diet changes or new exercise routines).
  2. Dental Health One of our nurses will give your cat or dog a dental grading from 0 to 5 (0- being perfect teeth and 5 being the opposite…). They will also give you advice on how to manage your pet’s dental health from recommending treats such as Greenies Dental Treats or teaching you home care tips.
  3. Skin and Coat Needs Certain breeds may require a more intensive grooming routine than others. This depends on more than hair length. Skin allergies can come into play when deciding what products to bathe them in and how often they should be bathed.
  4. Vaccination Needs Your pet’s lifestyle determines what sort of vaccinations they need. Our nurses can help you decide if your cat or dog is getting the protection they need by discussing with you their routine (i.e. outdoor vs. indoor, do they visit beaches or bush a lot? do they come in contact with other animals?).
  5. Parasite Protection (fleas + ticks and intestinal worms)We can all agree that  fleas, ticks and worms are all nasty and best to be avoided all together! Similar to vaccination needs, the type of parasite prevention product you use on your cat and dog is largely based on lifestyle. However, other things to consider include whether your pet is easy to give oral medication to and also how good you are as an owner at remembering to give them their treatment on time (monthly options vs. 3 monthly options).

How do I book my cat or dog in for this?

Simply call our clinic (02 9797 2555) before the end of November 2018 and let us know that you would like to book your pet in for a Free-5-Point-Health-Chek 🙂

ADVOCATE 25% Off Parasite Protection!

From September the 3rd 2018, we are offering 25% off ALL Advocate 6-pack products purchased from our clinic. So now is a better time than any to brush up on your pet’s flea, tick and worm protection.

Prevention is always better (and cheaper!) than treatment especially when it comes to parasites. Take for example a simple flea infestation- fleas can easily transmit worms to your pet which can then snowball into a range of serious health issues. As an inner-west veterinary clinic we find that a lot of pet owners have the common misconception that they don’t need to worry about parasite control because of the urban environment. Your dog or cat can easily get fleas whilst they are out on walks, visiting the park or from coming into contact with other animals.

How do I know which product is best for my pet?

With the massive range of parasite prevention products available, it can be hard to decide which product is
appropriate for your furry friend. The type of parasite protection your pet needs depends on a lot of factors- living conditions, holiday trips, contact with other animals, method of dispensing (oral vs topical) and etc. Our vets are more than happy to have a chat with you and help you find out what kind of coverage best suits your pet’s lifestyle.

If you’d like to do a little research first here are some helpful handouts

How will my pet and I benefit from the 25% off Advocate promo?

The promotion we are running is only for the Advocate Topical parasite treatment when purchased in a 6-pack. The tables below show the range of parasites covered by Advocate Spot-On in cats and dogs. After discussing your pet’s situation with your vet you can decide based on the below charts whether Advocate is the best choice for your cat or dog.

Advocate Topical Dog coverage chart

Advocate Topical Cat coverage chart

 

 

The Brief Guide to Pet Care

Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, goldfish; we love our pets. But every now and then we need a refresher on how to take care of them. As vets, it’s our job to make sure your four-legged, furry and feathered friends are healthy, but there are a few extra things at home you can do.

 

Birds

These little guys should be as free as, well, a bird. They aren’t made for being in cages all day so make sure you give them time to exercise. Birds aren’t solitary creatures either, they quite like the company of their own kind as well as humans. Give them a bird bath or mist them over with a spray bottle as this helps them preen.

Ask us about the best type of feed for your bird; they can’t survive on seeds alone. Bird cages must be cleaned daily, especially the newspaper that collects the droppings. This is important to the pet’s overall health.

Cats

These guys love high-rise views so expect them to jump up on the couches and window ledges, and to sit at the top of the stairs. They also love grooming themselves so it’s wise to invest in a sturdy brush. Give them a comb a couple of times a week to keep their coat shiny and get rid of excess hair. This equals fewer furballs for you to vacuum up later.

Health-wise cats need a lot of protein in their diets that comes from meat and meaty bones. Pet mince never fails, but don’t rely on giving your cat dry food. They need a balanced diet. Change out their water every day. If you’ve adopted a kitten, they require a special formula several times a day to stay healthy.

Dogs

You see the dogs walking around in puffer jackets that are probably nicer than the average human’s? Sometimes they do need the extra help to stay warm due to their small size, lack of body fat and thin fur. It’s not unreasonable to get some extra blankets and other winter warmers come the cooler months.

A dog’s skin is just as vulnerable as a human’s, and they get dry skin, dandruff, and other irritations that can turn to something more. Book an appointment with the vet if they don’t stop scratching and nibbling or if they start to smell.

 

Learn more here;

Are you ready to adopt a pet? Advice from your future vet

Pet Adoption Guide: where to start