Flea Prevention

Please note: we are not vets and any information given is through online research or our own experiences. If you have any queries about flea prevention and treatment it is always best to speak to your vet

Here at Feline Friends Cat Hotel, like any cattery, insist that cats must be up to date with their deflea treatment. We have found that a lot of people have questions about this, such as what to use and how to administer, so we thought it would be a good blog topic.

Fleas are not nice, they not only irritate your cat’s skin but they can also cause severe illnesses, such as Flea Bite Dermatitis (when your cat is allergic to flea bites) and anaemia. Fleas tend to thrive in our climate so it is important that we do everything we can to prevent cats getting fleas. There are multiple options for this such as tablets or spot on treatments. We will link a couple of more in depth flea information sites for anyone who is interested below but for now here are our FAQ’s about flea treatments.

How often does my cat need defleaing?

Generally speaking, cats need defleaing every 3-4 weeks, however this depends on which treatment you use and it is always best to check the label or ask your vet.

What can I use?

We would recommend a spot on solution called Advantage for Cats. There are also other brands of spot on which are available over in Spain, such as Broadline and also Frontline. In our opinion, Frontline does not always work. We have noticed this on some of the stray cats who we deflea. We believe that this is due to the ingredients seemingly being weaker than other brands, such as Broadline and Advantage.

Another option is tablets, you can buy a tablet called “Capster” online, and this kills fleas. HOWEVER, this is a treatment, not prevention, and only lasts for one day so it would need to be used in conjunction with another preventative treatment. Another tablet which is great, especially if your cat (like mine) disagrees with having spot on is Comfortis, this comes in a “meat” flavoured treat and this lasts a month. I believe that this needs to be given before or with food, so it is easier for your cat’s stomach.

Some other options which are NOT recommended are flea collars and flea sprays. Flea collars generally only repel fleas, and only around the neck. For example, if a flea finds its way to your cat’s back, it can still feed and lay eggs around there as the repellent does not reach that far. Think about if you wear a mosquito repellent bracelet, a lot of people still get bitten around the ankles, plus it does not kill the mosquito! We also do not recommend the spray as it is harder to apply and we have found most cats do not like the spray noise! We also feel that there is more chance of a cat licking the spray off, as you are supposed to spray it all over the cat’s body, whereas the spot on is between the shoulders, where the cat can’t reach.

Where can I buy flea treatment? 

You can buy flea treatment from the vet, they can recommend the best type suited for your cat and advise how to apply. You can also buy Advantage online. As we have mentioned on Facebook, we use www.vetuk.co.uk who ship to Spain for a small charge and it really does work out cheaper than the vets.

Does a vet need to administer the flea treatment?

No, you can administer the treatment yourself at home. Here is a link which shows how to correctly administer spot on treatments https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd-Z0XnvZVk

If you are not comfortable, or are unable, to deflea your cat at home and it is coming in to the cattery, please let us know and we will be happy to administer the spot on for you. If you send your own flea product in, we do not charge for this. However, if you would like us to use our product (Advantage) we will charge 7€ for this to cover the price of the flea treatment.

My cat has fleas, what do I do? 

If you notice that your cat has fleas, and it has not been deflead recently, the best thing to do is to deflea your cat with either the spot on or the tablet. The treatment starts killing fleas within around half an hour. It is important to wash all bedding and hoover/mop all surfaces, as most adult fleas live in the environment and eggs can drop into the environment off your cat.

If your cat has been deflead recently, it is important to check with your vet what can be used, as defleaing more than every 3 weeks can be toxic to your cat. The vet will most likely recommend using a tablet in conjunction with the spot on. It may also be helpful to use a flea comb to comb out adult fleas, an interesting tip is to put some fairy liquid (or any washing up liquid) on a piece of kitchen roll as this makes the fleas unable to move. This is helpful as if you comb a flea out of your cat’s coat, it will not jump into the environment!

How do the spot on treatments work?

The spot on treatments, if used correctly, work by absorbing into your cat’s oil glands and distributing around your cat’s skin. The active ingredients kill fleas by affecting the nervous system of the flea.

 

Here are some links for those interested in the flea life cycle:

International Cat Care on general flea information and the life cycle

https://icatcare.org/advice/flea-control-cats

Pet MD flea life cycle information

http://www.petmd.com/dog/parasites/evr_multi_understanding_the_flea_life_cycle

Information about the tablet “Comfortis”

http://www.comfortis.com/about-comfortis/

 

Any questions? E-mail us – felinefriends73@gmail.com

Grooming – Brushing your cat

Grooming your cat is important for a number of reasons. Grooming enables you to check your cat over for health conditions or lumps and bumps, it also enables you to (obviously) keep your cat’s coat looking its best and it also helps prevent knots and hairballs. Grooming your cat has also been shown to create a close bond with your cat (providing they enjoy it!!). When people hear the term “grooming”, many people just associate that with brushing their cat, however it also includes other things such as trimming their nails and also checking their eyes, ears, nose and mouth.

As some of you will be aware from our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/felinefriendscathotel) I recently brushed my cats.They do not appreciate being brushed, but they do tolerate it with some persuasion. I have a tool which is similar to the well known “furminator” however, mine is double sided. One side has long “teeth” which swivel. This is important as if they are static, they can get stuck in knots and hurt your cat’s skin. The other side looks like a nit comb! This side is supposed to help shedding by taking away some of the undercoat, without hurting your cat. This side is the side I use with my cats (and dog).

Here are some pictures of the fur I got from them the other day. Tabitha is a short haired cat and Crystal is semi-longhair.

As you can see, there is a lot of hair there!

It is pretty easy to brush your cat if they enjoy it, however it is significantly more difficult if they do not! The best way to get your cat used to being brushed is to start slowly, little and often, and build up. Give your cat a treat when grooming and they should start to associate being brushed as a good thing!

A few tips –

  • do not brush the face!
  • be careful with the belly as most cats do not like their bellies being touched
  • if your cat has knots, try to free them with your fingers first or a brush. If you must use scissors, be VERY careful so you don’t cut the skin
  • if your cat does not like being brushed and is long haired, you can take them to the groomers to be shaved if this is more helpful for you both
  • I personally would not advise baths unless necessary (or a show cat) as this can remove oils from the skin

The choice of brush is important as cats have sensitive skin, so some brushes in pet shops may not be best for your cat. Think about if you were brushing your skin, which brush feels nicer, a soft bristle brush or a hard metal brush?

As I previously stated, my favourite brush is the de-shedding comb. This is not painful to the cats and removes a lot of hair, which is great for summer time! Mine was from Amazon, but there are similar ones out there and to be honest, I rarely use the longer side. I will post a picture below:

Next week, we will talk about clipping your cat’s nails, checking their eyes, ears, nose and mouth! If you have any questions, please contact us. Finally, if you wish for your cat to be groomed when they are in the cattery, please provide their own brush.

What happens when I bring my cat to you?

I thought this would be a nice blog post following on from the “Settling In” post previously. As you probably know if you are on the website, we are open for drops offs and collections between 9am-12pm and 4.30pm – 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-12pm Sunday. I will now explain what happens when you bring your cat in to us.

Before your cat is brought in, their room will be thoroughly disinfected after the last cat’s departure. Once dry, we then prepare the room for your cat’s arrival, this includes putting their bed and comfy blanket in the bed area, putting their curtain up for warmth and comfort during the night, a litter tray and their water (on the day they arrive). We will also write their names on the board outside their room. although we generally remember the cat’s name and not yours!

When you arrive with your cat, you will need to press the buzzer so we can let you in through the gate. We will be waiting at the bottom of the garden, which is where the cattery is located. We will ask to check the cat’s vaccination certificate and ask when they were last de-flead. We will show you to where your cat is staying so you can let them out of their carrier, as this normally helps them feel settled more. If you would rather us do this, please let us know, as obviously some people do not like to leave their cats. You can then leave any toys or blankets with them if required.

Once your cat is settled in their room, we will ask you about their food preferences (wet, dry or both) and when they get fed. We normally leave dry food down all day and then feed cats wet food as directed by you. Obviously, if your cat only eats wet food, we will not put any dry down! After asking about your cat’s diet, we will then take their food through to them. Please make sure if your cat is on a special diet, or only eats a specific brand/flavour, that you bring this in with you, we supply Lucy or Friskies dry food and Felix or Lucy tinned wet food only! 

Please feel free to tell us anything about your cat, such as what they like and what they don’t like. We will also ask if they have any health issues we should be aware of.

Once you leave, we treat each cat individually, as some do not like to be fussed straight away and others do (see our previous blog post!). Whilst they are here we clean the cat rooms every day and make sure they have fresh food and water available and offer plenty of strokes, fuss and hugs as required!

 

Settling in

A lot of people feel nervous about leaving their cat in a cattery, especially if it is the first time they have been left. A question we get asked a lot is “how quickly do they settle?”. I therefore thought this would be a good blog post!

A lot of articles on the internet say that cats do not settle in to new places quickly, they do not like the different smells and they especially do not like to be surrounded by other cats they do not know, in fact a lot of articles recommend not getting another cat if you already have one due to how much it can stress a cat out!

However, in my experience, I find that most cats settle in really well. Generally it takes about one to two days for the cat to be fully trusting and want to come out on the corridor or even to see us but after this they are normally perfectly fine. In fact, most cats enjoy going up and seeing their neighbours. Obviously some cats are different and they do take longer to settle down but on the other hand some cats come in and are settled straight away!

There are some recommendations to help your cat settle in better in a cattery;

  • Bring something which smells of home e.g. a blanket or bed
  • Some cats settle with the feliway spray
  • Let us know about your cat’s personality – they are all different!
  • If you know your cat definitely hates other cats, let us know and we can try and put them in an end run or away from others

Travelling with your cat by air

I thought I would write a blog about travelling with your cats as when I moved across to Spain I found very little information about the procedures and what to expect. Like most cat parents, they are my babies so I was very anxious about what would happen!

I brought my two cats, Crystal and Tabitha, over to Spain on the aeroplane. They flew on the same flight as me with Monarch (who were excellent). I had to book the cat’s flights through a freight company who worked on behalf on Monarch and they sent me all the information. My flight was at 3pm and we had to take the cats to the freight terminal at Manchester airport for 12pm. I arrived and was greeted by a nice woman who told me to procedure and what they needed to do.

Firstly, she checked their passports and took photocopies and then gave lots of paperwork back! She then told us that they would need to be x-rayed by security. We were able to go with them to be x-rayed and saw them go through the machine. When this was complete we were then told that everything was done and we could go and check ourselves in.

It was a long wait until we were able to board (well it seemed it anyway!) and when we boarded the air hostess told us that they were fine and that the pilot and crew had been to see them and even knew their names! After another few long and tearful hours we landed.

Upon arrival we were told that we needed to go to collect them from the cargo area. I didn’t know where this was and couldn’t really find any information about it on the internet. Luckily the people in the airport were helpful and told us directions. We collected our rental car and drove around to the airport cargo area, which was easy to find and well signposted. As soon as I walked in to the collection area the man asked me if I were collecting cats and he just had to check the paperwork, I had to pay 80€ and then he gave them to me in their crate.

All in all it was very well planned and there was no need to worry so much as they are fine. In my next blog I will talk about how they have settled in and travel by road. I hope this was helpful to people thinking of taking their cats (or other pets) on a plane.

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to our new website and our new blog. We will try and update on a regular period with information about cats staying with us, cat health in general and general day to day happenings down here at Feline Friends!