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Cats + Care & Wellness

  • Feeding raw food to cats is potentially dangerous to both your cat and to you, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA. With nearly 25% of the raw food samples testing positive for harmful bacteria, the health risks for cats who eat the raw food, as well as for the cat owners who handle the food while preparing it, are real. It is reasonable to conclude that a commercially prepared, conventional, complete and life-stage balanced ration is a better choice.

  • Bandages and splints protect an injured or wounded area of the body. It is important to closely monitor your cat's bandage or splint to ensure it does not slip or become wet or soiled and to ensure there is no discharge or foul odors indicating infection. This handout explains optimal bandage and splint care for your cat at home as well as possible complications that will require veterinary attention.

  • There is a wide range of non-pharmaceutical products designed to improve a pet's behavior. There is little oversight for many of these products which means that any given product may not work for your pet. Ask your veterinarian before using any over-the-counter product for your pet. The label “natural” does not guarantee a product is safe to use in dogs and cats.

  • Several products are available to help with behavior management in cats. Various products promote play and exercise, provide cognitive stimulation, allow safe outdoor exploration, and assist with anxiety or undesirable behavior (as part of your veterinarian's treatment program for these problems).

  • When the digestive tract is upset, vomiting and diarrhea may result. Since the causes of these symptoms are varied, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. Often, a bland diet is recommended to rest the digestive tract and to decrease vomiting and diarrhea. Bland diets consist of a single easily digestible protein source and a simple carbohydrate. Pet owners may prepare bland diets at home or choose one of the many commercially available diets.

  • Body condition scoring is an effective objective method of determining if a pet is at a healthy weight. There are 2 scoring systems: one out of 5 and the other out of 9. This handout outlines how to body condition score pets and recommends tracking body condition score to keep pets at a healthy weight, an important factor in pets living longer with less health complications.

  • Breeding, pregnancy, and birthing in cats may seem simple, but can have complications. Cats can have multiple litters in a year. It is important to know when your cat may be expecting to give birth so that you can be available to provide assistance if necessary. It is important to know what signs indicate that your cat may be experiencing difficulties delivering the kittens and know when veterinary attention is needed.

  • Transitioning to a new home is a big step for even the most playful and outgoing kitten. Prior to bringing your kitten home, make sure you have all the items your kitten will need. Slowly introduce your kitten to your home, family members, and other cats or dogs in the home. Begin training your kitten as soon as your she is comfortable with all the members of your household.

  • More than half of all cats over the age of three have periodontal disease. Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation. In order to be successful at brushing your cat’s teeth, you must make it a positive experience for both of you. Do not use human toothpaste or baking soda. A list of dental products and diets that have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Counsel can be found at vohc.org.

  • Pet owners may not realize that caffeine can be harmful to their pets. They also may not know that many foods and drinks in their cupboards contain caffeine. This particular chemical can be toxic for both cats and dogs.

Merivale Papanui Veterinary Clinic
375 Papanui Road 
Merivale, Christchurch 8052 

Phone: 03 3529279
Email: [email protected]



For all emergencies when we are not open please contact the 'After Hours Veterinary Clinic' on 033661052, cnr of Antigua and Disraeli streets, Christchurch.



Clinic Hours

Monday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Thursday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Friday 8:00am – 7:00pm
Saturday 8:00am – 12:30pm
Sunday Closed