PDSA Weekly Cat Q&A
We've signed up to receive copies of the Q&A session of the PDSA vet on a weekly basis now. I'll post cat relevant ones here. 🙂
Dear PDSA Vet, my vet has just told me that my cat has got roundworm eggs in his stools. He always uses his litter tray, but I am still concerned that my two small children might catch them. Can this happen? Shanti
Dear Shanti, Roundworms can be harmful to humans and particularly children, as well as pets. There is also another parasite possible in cat faeces called Toxoplasma, which has the potential to cause problems in humans. The most effective way to prevent roundworm infection is to use a safe and effective preventive worming treatment regularly as recommended by your vet. Aside from regular worming, hygiene is key. Adults who have contact with the cat litter tray should wash their hands afterwards and children should be kept away from litter trays and areas where cats toilet in the garden. As there are additional risks of Toxoplasma during pregnancy, pregnant women are also advised to wear gloves and an apron when dealing with their cat’s litter tray.
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Here is the latest cat themed Q&A!
Dear PDSA Vet, My cat, Ryker, came in this morning limping and after checking him I found that the middle pad on his foot has a small scrape on it. It seems a bit swollen and smells a bit. Should I keep him indoors at night, even though he doesn’t like this? Rebecca
Dear Rebecca, You need to take Ryker to be checked by your vet, as the wound will need to be thoroughly cleaned and checked. The smell may also indicate that it is infected, so he may need to be prescribed antibiotics. In some cases, a cat will need to be sedated or anaesthetised for the wound to be properly cleaned. The vet will probably recommend that you keep Ryker indoors until he has healed. If he isn’t neutered already I would strongly recommend you ask your vet about this. This can reduce a male cat’s desire to roam and fight, as well as preventing unwanted litters.
Just adding the latest PDSA Q&A:
Dear PDSA Vet, Socks, our long-haired tabby, has a seriously bad temper. He’s bitten and scratched my two young girls completely unprovoked, and even though they don’t go near him now he will run over to try and bite them. We can’t re-home him as nobody wants him. What should we do? Lauren
Dear Lauren, Illness or pain can be a cause of aggression in cats, so I would recommend you get Socks checked out by your vet, as there could be a long-term issue you are unaware of. If he has no underlying medical problems, then the problem could be due to what behaviourists refer to as ‘petting and biting syndrome’, when cats will initiate contact with people, but then will suddenly bite. Cats displaying this are often described as friendly but unpredictable, and there is a sudden change from accepting attention to reacting in a hostile way once they reach their tolerance threshold. Treatment involves raising this threshold, which your vet or a pet behaviourist will be able to advise how to do safely. Additionally, if your children do get injured by your cat it’s important to take them to see their doctor, as bacteria from cat bites can frequently cause serious infection.