• Call our surgery021 489 3033

We are open and COVID-19 SECURE. Click here to find out more

Cat Advice

  • Dental Care
  • Looking after your new kitten
  • Neutering Your Cat

Dental Care

How to look after your pets teeth

Dental disease can be a relatively silent but debilitating condition. At the Animal Care Hospital we regularly perform dentals on all ages and sizes of pets using only the highest quality of medicines and equipment. This is imperative for your pet’s safety and to achieve a top quality and longer lasting result.

How do you know if your pet has dental disease?

You may notice one or more of the following:

1. Smell from the breath.
2. Drooling.
3. Inactivity/less inclined to play, lethargy.
4. Personality or temperament change, less social (i.e. aggression/depression).
5. Pets can be ‘head shy’ not as keen for rubs on the head or touching of the mouth.
6. Changes in eating habits i.e. eating less/not eating hard food in preference of soft food
7. dropping food out of the mouth/wincing in pain during eating.

On examination during consultation we look out for:

1. Tartar build- up.
2. Reddening of gums (gingivitis).
3. Evidence of fractured/broken teeth.
4. Dental decay (caries).
5. Evidence of teeth abscesses.

On noticing any of these we will offer a dental operation for your pet under general
anaesthesia.

General Anaesthetic

This is the safest currently available (‘The Gold Standard’). This standard is well above
the’average’ anaesthetic.

  • Our anaesthetic drugs, anaesthetic machines, and anaesthetic equipment are maintained to the highest standard, and serviced regularly.
  • Your pet’s anaesthetic is constantly monitored by our trained and experienced, qualified veterinary nurses.
  •  Your pet will have an intravenous (into the vein) catheter in place throughout theprocedure should any emergency medications/fluids need to be given. (Even though complications with our anaesthetics here are extremely rare).
  • Anaesthesia is maintained by anaesthetic gas and 100% oxygen via an endotracheal tube (tube down throat). This is the safest form of anaesthesia,and significantly safer than relying on the (cheaper) alternative of using injectable anaesthetics alone.
  • Every care is given to avoid any discomfort for your pet; pain relief is given before, during and after the procedure. 

The dental procedure

We use the same equipment as a human dentist

  • Our new ultrasonic de-scaler/polisher dental system efficiently and gently returns your pet’s teeth to like they were as a puppy!
  • Just as you experience at your dentist the teeth are thoroughly scaled then polished. Results with our machine show that the tartar does not build up again as quickly as it does with other less modern systems.
  • Polishing after scaling is an essential part of the dental procedure and while it adds extra time to the procedure it will greatly benefit the health of the teeth and extend the intervals between dentals considerably.
  • Polishing is ALWAYS performed on dentals done at the Animal Care Hospital
  • Our dental drill is precise and sharp. Not every practice is equipped with a dental drill and without a drill it is necessary to divide multi-rooted teeth for extraction with a tradesman’s hacksaw. We are delighted to have our dental specialised mini-drill!

How to keep your pets teeth shiny, healthy and clean

Chewing

By chewing something hard, i.e. toys, a good marrowbone (must not be breakable), biscuits and being fed on a complete dry diet (hills science plan/TD diet-700 gm sample included with your dental,- free). This action cleans the teeth and keeps them strong and healthy.

Brushing

If your pet will cooperate, this is the best way to keep the teeth clean. Brushing your pet’s teeth doesn’t take much time and is fairly easy. It is a lot easier to start at a young age. There are specifically formulated animal toothbrushes and toothbrushes available at the surgery. It is not recommended to use human toothpaste, as they are too minty and frothy and contain high levels of fluoride. Ask one of our nurses for a demonstration.

Regular Check-ups

Ask your vet to check your pets teeth.

Remember (as with our own teeth) by doing a scaling and polishing on time you will save your pets teeth, prevent significant complications and have a healthier (& “sweeter smelling”) pet.

Remember if you book the procedure when recommended you will save yourself some money too.

If you require any advice about pet dental care, please get in touch by phone 021 489 3033 or email contact@animalcarehospital.ie.

Looking after your new kitten

How to look after your new kitten

1. Worming

a. Most kittens carry roundworms. The eggs of these worms are not visible. They can be eliminated using a complete worm tablet recommended by your vet.

b. We recommend worming every 2 weeks until 3 months old. Followed by monthly worming until 6 months. At 6 months the dosing frequency may change depending on your cat’s lifestyle.

c. We can best advise you what the recommended dosing guidelines for your cat are.

2. Vaccinations

a. Kittens should not be allowed access to public places until they are fully vaccinated. This involves a series of injections beginning from 9 weeks of age and finishing at 12 weeks.

b. They are vaccinated for Cat Flu, Enteritis and Leukemia, potentially fatal diseases that are prevented by vaccination.

c. Cat vaccinations need to be topped up annually with a booster to maintain immunity
levels.

3. Feeding

a. It is important to get this correct from the outset. Firstly, cats once weaned are better off without milk.

b. There are some very good dry food diets on the market. These are easy to feed and are less expensive than tinned food. They are also much better for maintaining good dental health. Your kitten will love these foods provided they are introduced from an early age.

c. We recommend Hills VetEssentials for your kitten/cat.

4. Neutering

a. It is standard practice to have all cats, females and males, neutered at 6 months of age. There is no merit in letting your cat have kittens – unless you want the kittens.

b. Male cats are 50% responsible for kitten numbers so they should also be neutered! In addition neutering tom cats greatly reduces their wandering, fighting, and spraying (foul smelling urine) around their territory – your house!

c. These operations involve the cat staying with us for the day only.

5. Microchipping

a. We strongly advise that all kittens are microchipped as this is the only permanent method of identifying your pet and linking the animal back to you should they get lost or stolen.

b. A microchip is a tiny computer chip (about the size of a grain of rice) which has a unique identification number programmed into it. The microchip is simply injected under the skin of your pet usually in the ‘scruff’ or skin at the back of the neck

c. The unique number is registered with a database that holds information such as your contact phone number and address along with your pet’s name, breed and age.

d. It is also a very good idea for your kitten to have a quick release cat collar with a tag stating that your pet is microchipped.

6. Pet Insurance

a. We strongly advise that you insure your kitten.

b. Huge advances have been made in veterinary medicine and surgery over the last number of years. While this leads to the successful treatment of previously problematic conditions, and in general an increase in the quality of care your pet receives, costs have also risen. Knowing that your pet is insured can give you the peace of mind that you are providing your pet with the best possible care without the financial burden.

c. There are many different insurance providers out there so it is important to take your time to choose the best one for you and to understand the policy.

d. All kittens can avail of 6 weeks free insurance at their 1st check up with no obligation to continue the policy.

If you need any advice, please get in touch by phone 021 489 3033 or email contact@animalcarehospital.ie.

Neutering Your Cat

Female cat (Spaying)

Unless you are going to use your female cat for pedigree breeding we strongly advise to have her neutered.
This will stop any unwanted pregnancies.

  • Cats are capable of breeding up to 4 times per year and start reproducing from 5 months old. With up to eight kittens per litter it means that there are huge numbers of kittens looking for homes.
  • Therefore to avoid such problems occurring, it is advisable to spay (neuter) your female cat at 5 months of age.
  • It is a short operation, the cat usually stays with us for the day only and the stitches are removed 10 days later.
  • It will not alter your cat in anyway, except to eliminate unwanted kittens and reduce the likelihood of your cat contracting infections from any male cat.
  • This operation can be performed at any age, but if done at 5 months unwanted pregnancies and the associated risks will not occur.

Male Cat Castration

Unless you are going to use your tomcat for pedigree breeding we strongly advice to have him neutered.

There are good reasons for this:

  • Unwanted pregnancies – a male cat can “father” over 100 kittens a year. Not many will find a good home.
  • Wandering – male cats will wander far from home in search of a “partner”, therefore increasing the risk of road accidents and the loss of your pet. Your tomcat may go for days on end. Living it rough and often not eating very well.
  • Cat fights – usually at night, leading to abscesses and infection. A lot of cat viruses are spread through cat bites, some of these viruses are life threatening.
  • Spraying – tomcats will mark their territory by spraying a very foul smelling urine around it. This smell is extremely difficult to eliminate. If they are neutered early in life this rarely happens!

There is no negative aspect of getting your male cat neutered.

If you have any questions about getting your cat neutered, please get in touch by phone 021 489 3033 or email contact@animalcarehospital.ie.

Return to pet advice