Worm infestation is very common in cats and kittens and can cause distress and ill health. Pets can become infected at any time, especially those who spend a considerable amount of time outdoors and are ‘hunters’.
Therefore, routine treatment is strongly recommended for the two main types of worms, namely roundworms and tapeworms. Johnson’s have a range of products including a flavoured Kitten Easy Worm Syrup and Easy Wormer Granules for treatment of roundworms in kittens and cats and Twin-Wormer for Cats to deal with both roundworms and tapeworms in cats over six-months of age.
To prevent a major flea infestation, a regular effective flea control programme is necessary, treating pets, and most important, also treating pet bedding and household furnishings where pets lie. Regular vacuuming is also recommended. Wash and change pet bedding regularly.
Johnson’s insecticidal range, fully licenced by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, includes:
(a) For Animal treatment - Johnson’s new Veterinary Strength 4Fleas Tablets are easy to give in a small portion of tasty food. One small tablet starts killing fleas within 15 minutes and kills all fleas on pets in 24 hours. 4Fleas Cat Collars kill fleas before they hatch and give protection for up to 12 months. 4Fleas Shampoo and 4Fleas Powder, Flea Aerosols and Pump Sprays are also part of Johnson’s popular range.
(b) For Household treatment - 95% of the flea life cycle takes place in home surroundings. Products containing an I.G.R. (insect growth regulator) such as 4Fleas Household Spray and 4Fleas Room Fogger, are most effective in breaking the flea life cycle and preventing reinfestation from flea eggs which will be found in carpets, rugs, furnishing, pet bedding etc.
A range of ‘Nature Guard’ safe, natural flea repellents are also available, e.g. Herbal Flea Collars, Herbal Flea Drops, Cat Flea Repellent Shampoo, Natural House Flea Spray and Powder. These are suitable for owners who prefer not to use insecticidal products on their pets.
Johnson’s full range is available for general sale from Pet Stores, Pet Superstores, Garden Centres, etc.
Safe4cats - The Disinfectant Solution
BREEDERS have been protecting their cats with Safe4cats for the last 14 years. Safe4 is the safe alternative to the more harsh and potentially hazardous disinfectants that grace the shelves of our supermarkets.
Breeders were quick to realise the benefits of using a disinfectant that is not only highly effective against harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi but also friendly to you, your cat and the environment.
Safe4 does not contain harmful Phenols or Aldehydes and is non-toxic, non-staining, non-tainting, non-corrosive and a non-irritant at all working dilutions. Safe4 is also biodegradable making it safe for the environment.
Safe4 is effective against Feline Panleucopenia (FP), Felina Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), FeLV Infection, Ringworm, Cat Flu and Feline Chlamydia Psittaci Infection. It is also effective against Hepatitis B, Salmonella spp and Candida albicans making Safe4 ideal to be used as general household disinfectant.
Safe4 can be purchased either as a 5 litre undiluted disinfectant or as 500ml “ready to use” trigger sprays. The trigger sprays are ideal for disinfecting hard surfaces like worktops and sinks. Five litre containers come with a dilution guide. Feeding bowls, containers and grooming tools can be left to soak to help reduce the opportunity for cross infection and bedding can also be left to soak pre wash.
Safe4 disinfectant was specifically formulated for use by veterinary surgeons and professionals involved with the caring and the breeding of animals. Surprisingly, Safe4 is also very competitively priced, and you will not be “paying the earth” for a safer alternative.
The Safe4 team are also caring and would welcome your calls on 0845 006 2020 (lo-call) or you can find more information and prices at the safe4cats.com website.
Bayer: Protecting Against Parasites
Even the best groomed and cared for cats are at risk of developing a worm infection. However, ‘protecting against parasites’ experts Bayer have come to the rescue with a remarkably easy-to-use and effective new spot-on wormer.
The new spot-on solution, available from your vet, is effective against both round and tapeworms, and now provides a much more relaxed method of worming for any cat. The solution is simply squeezed from the pipette onto the nape of the cat’s neck, making it extremely easy to apply.
In addition to the exciting new spot-on treatment, Bayer also produces the market leading Drontal worming tablets. Drontal is one of the only wormers available which kills every type of intestinal worm normally found in British cats and has been the overwhelming choice of vets for many years now. A single dose of Drontal every three months is all it takes to protect cats and safeguard the family.
Did you know?
Cats can contract worms by hunting, grooming and picking up roundworm eggs from contaminated soil. Unfortunately, owners are unable to prevent this, but they can protect their pets against the effects of infection, by killing worms before they can cause serious damage to the animal’s health.
Left untreated, worms have the potential to cause real health problems for a cat – vomiting, diarrhoea, pneumonia, weight loss and anaemia to name a few. The adverse impact of worms is generally greatest in kittens, but there is also the worrying risk of cross contamination. Many people do not realise that some parasitic worms can cause disease in humans – for example, Human Toxocariasis can, in extreme cases, cause blindness.
This said, there are often no obvious signs that a pet has worms, and owners tend to assume that they are fit and healthy. However, a suitable and regular worming regime for pets is essential to avoid a worm infection that has the potential to lead to serious health risks for both pet and owner.
For more information, consult your vet, visit www. stopwormsdead.co.uk or click onto Bayer’s new ‘protecting against parasites’ website www.LucyandBanjo.co.uk
The Natural Approach
AT The Natural Approach, you can expect to find quality products, backed by sound, no-nonsense advice. The proprietor, Hilda Ross Rodger, M.A., lectured in equine studies to degree level, before developing her interest in the ‘natural’ approach to well-being for people, pets and horses.
As well as running an Independent Consultancy for the horse or rider in crisis, and offering a broad range of equine products, she provides a canine and feline selection too.
She is happy to speak to people at length about their cat or dog and takes the trouble to find out the background details, which will help her to give the best possible advice. Free information sheets are available covering many of the challenges to well-being which our pets face these days.
But be warned! There are no ‘quick fixes’ or ‘miracle cures’ here... only practical advice and really good products.
The range includes: The Missing Link and Pet Plus Cat nutritional supplements, Polypad Pet Beds, Meditrina Homeopathic Remedies, Indian herbal supplements from Global Herbs, Magnetic products, Ekoneem and other soothing creams and shampoos and some lovely books for the thinking cat owner. A mail order service is available.
So why not visit the website at www.thenaturalapproach.co.uk or ring for further information 01577 830649.
Professional natural medicines for cats
NOWADAYS many people use natural products for themselves and want the same for their cats, but knowing what to use can be difficult. Dorwest Herbs, established in 1948, manufactures the largest range of licensed herbal medicines for dogs and cats, and complementary ranges of dietary supplements and homoeopathic remedies.
Using only the highest quality herbs, their core range of veterinary medicines conform to pharmaceutical standards on safety, have proven efficacy and are subject to strict quality control standards throughout production.
The first priority for good health is a healthy natural diet but when health problems do occur, herbal medicines, supplements and homoeopathic remedies are now widely used to treat them. These products are beneficial to cats as an aid to treating, maintaining and improving general health and condition.
Their most popular medicine is Garlic and Fenugreek tablets, used for treating minor infections such as cystitis and skin conditions, but also increases resistance to infections by strengthening the immune system when given on a regular daily basis. Mixed vegetable tablets are also popular with cat owners to help maintain bladder and kidney function as well as being effective in the treatment of arthritis and skin conditions.
Scullcap and Valerian tablets are widely used by cat owners, breeders and veterinary practices to calm anxious, excitable and nervous cats and so are ideal for those who are apprehensive about travelling, visiting the vet or frightened by loud noises. They are also useful to control territorial spraying problems in males and females, where two tablets given daily helps to moderate this behaviour. These tablets are also used, under veterinary supervision, in the treatment of feline epilepsy.
Several liquid supplements have been introduced for ease of administration to cats. Evening primrose oil for skin and coat condition and to maintain a good hormonal balance; Wheatgerm oil provides vitamin E, essential for skin, coat and nervous system; Valerian compound is useful to quickly calm and relax nervous or hyperactive cats safely and effectively.
Tree barks powder is just one of the powdered herbal supplements available. Mixed with the daily feed, it controls constant diarrhoea and soothes delicate digestive systems. If a change in feeding regime is required, it helps ensure it is more easily tolerated and tummy upsets avoided.
Fragaria 3C, from the homoeopathic range, is useful in maintaining good dental hygiene. Give daily for one month to cats with tartar encrusted teeth to aid its removal and then once weekly to prevent further tartar formation.
Dorwest’s brochure containing full product information is available by mail or at www.dorwest.com where a secure on-line ordering section is available.
Invigor Plus: Invaluable appetite and kidney tonic
AYURVEDA is the oldest systematic approach to health, first described in Sanskrit literature around 5,000 years ago. The word is derived from the Sanskrit, meaning the knowledge of science of life.
The primary aim of Ayurveda is to ensure a healthy and long life by supporting positive health; and this is dependent upon maintaining a balanced metabolism. This holistic approach to health aims to rebalance the whole animal, enabling its own defence mechanisms to promote overall health.
Invigor Plus is an invaluable appetite and kidney tonic, classically formulated on Indian Ayurvedic principles to help normal kidney and bladder function and maintain appetite. It is an ideal nutritional support for cats with kidney problems and may also be used in dogs.
Invigor Plus contains kidney herbs within a syrup formula that helps the natural processes of detoxification, kidney function and supports appetite to help the natural recovery of the kidneys and appetite. It is available in 100ml packs of palatable syrup, costing £10.24, which will last a cat around seven weeks.
Chris Liggett, Animal Alternatives managing director says: “Invigor Plus is just one of a range of products based on well established herbs and herbal combinations or nutritional supplements. We draw on the most appropriate medicinal disciplines that we can find and span both western and Indian Ayurvedic herbal formulations”.
Phone now on 0845 062 6462 for your free colour catalogue and price list, or write to Animal Alternatives Ltd, PO Box 289, Richmond Surrey TW10 7XH. Or you can visit our website at www.animal- alternatives.co.uk
FLEAS: Treatment & Prevention
How to banish fleas!
In previous articles (OUR CATS 2004) we looked at the intricacies of the flea life-cycle and the fact that at any one time 95% of fleas (the immature life stages) are in the environment around your cat and not actually living directly on your cat. Understanding the flea life cycle can help you combat a flea infestation; the knowledge to treat both adult fleas on your cat as well as the immature stages in the environment is critical.
Treating flea problems can be a daunting event. If you start to shop around for a flea product you will soon notice that a vast array of sprays, shampoos, collars, spot ons, powders and environmental products exist. So how do you choose?
Broadly speaking products fall into 2 categories; treatment for the adult fleas and treatment for the environmental stages.
Here we will talk only about those products that contain active ingredients to break the flea life-cycle, but beware, there are products out there that do not affect any part of the flea life cycle and are intended only as a repellent. Generally these products are not effective in a treatment situation when you are seeing fleas and need to eradicate them.
Now we know we need to treat both the adult fleas on the cat and the life stages in the environment, how can we do this?
Treatments for Adult Fleas on your Cat
• Short-acting adulticide products – (Adulticide: kills adult fleas). These are available as shampoos, sprays, powders and tablets, generally they are applied directly to your cat and are effective at killing the adult fleas already present. However, due to their limited activity and duration of only a day or 2, your cat is left open to re-infestation from newly hatching fleas jumping onto your cat from the environment after this period.
• Residual-acting adulticide products. Again applied directly to your cat this type of product is available as spot ons, sprays and collars (your vet will recommend the best for your own cat). These products kill the adult fleas on your pet and also have a lasting effect. They are effective at killing newly hatched fleas, once they have jumped onto your cat from the environment, for the duration of their residual activity which may be a month or more.
• Manual techniques e.g. flea combing, shampooing with non-adulticidal shampoos. These techniques are used to physically remove the flea burden from your cat. In a similar way to the short-acting adulticides they are effective at removing fleas present at that time but they have no long-term action and often are dependent on how vigilantly they are carried out for their overall effectiveness.
Treatments for the Immature Flea Stages in your Home
When treating the immature stages of the flea life-cycle that occur in your home and your cat’s surrounding environment there are two main approaches; you can either treat the animal to treat the environment or you can treat the environment directly.
Treating the animal to treat the environment. Two different types of product are used on pets to treat the immature stages in the environment.
1. Products that affect the development of the life stages. These products are available as injections, oral paste and spot ons for cats. By contacting the flea on the pet these products prevent the development of the environmental stages and therefore prevent the contamination of your home.
2. Products that kill immature life stages of the flea via contact with the hair and skin debris from your cat or from contact with the flea faeces from the adult flea once they have dropped into the environment. These products are all spot on preparations.
• Treating the environment directly. Similar to the treatments for adult fleas, there are a number of sprays and powders available to treat the environment directly.
Many of the available products have similar active ingredients however, you need to be careful as the concentration of these products varies and so does their effectiveness. Treating the environment directly requires commitment to the task. To be effective it is necessary to move furniture and to treat underneath areas such as the TV cabinet.
This is required because the larval stage of the flea, in the depths of your carpet, will move away from light and will actively burrow under the edges of furniture and under rugs.
So you’ve treated your cat and the environment, will that be enough?
In the majority of cases you will have done enough by treating both the cat and the environment to control the fleas. However, on occasion the environmental burden may continue to present a problem in the short term. There are no products available that can kill the pupal stage of the flea life cycle. As a consequence if these have built up in the environment they can take more effort to eradicate. With pet and environmental treatments in place, no more pupae will develop but the initial task is to encourage those already present to hatch. This will increase the number of newly hatched fleas which jump onto your cat but with a long acting adulticidal product protecting your cat they will be quickly killed.
• How to stimulate pupae to hatch. Warmth, vibration and carbon dioxide are the stimuli required for the resting pupae to hatch. Naturally provided as your cat roams the house, these stimuli can also be artificially provided in the home environment. Vibration is provided by vacuuming and carbon dioxide as you breathe out and for warmth, simply switch on the central heating,. The more you encourage the pupae to hatch the quicker you resolve an environmental problem. Left alone, this ‘Pupal Window’ is a common reason why effective products are thought to fail.
So you’ve treated your cat and the environment, what else can you do?
There are several other things that you can do that may help combat infestations and can also help treat and prevent fleas in your home.
• Washing your pet’s bedding, blanket and other washable items, frequently and in the hottest water possible for the particular item. This helps remove as well as kill some of the life stages. Always check the label to make sure that washing in hot water isn’t a problem!
• Vacuuming removes some of the life stages in the environment and provides the vibration required by pupae to hatch.
For the best advice on treatment and prevention of fleas for your own cat ask your veterinary surgeon. They have effective products to offer for both your pet and their environment and are able to advise you on the best preventative methods for your specific situation.
Causes of treatment failure
If you are having problems treating the fleas on your cat or in your home, your vet is the best person to review the cause of the problem, the treatment used, the dosage of treatment and to ensure you are using it correctly.
• Other causes – On occasion other causes of dermatitis (itching, hairloss etc.) may exist along side flea infestation, including other parasites. It is therefore important for your vet to confirm the diagnosis and provide you with the correct treatment.
• Mistakes in the programme - Re-occurring problems may occur if you cannot, for some reason, maintain the treatment or preventative requirements to keep your pet flea free.
It can be confusing as to the dosage interval of some products and the scope of what they will treat.
Your vet is in the best position to give you advice.
• The pupal window - When treating the environment, reinfestation by newly-emerged fleas hatching from the pupal stage may occur, even when treatment is conducted appropriately.
These fleas can bite you and your animals. They come from pupae already present in the environment so pay particular attention to your cats sleeping areas when treating your home.
Your vet will be able to answer any questions you may have and provide you with further information on the best preventative and ongoing treatment methods.
Look out for future issues for information and next month, tips on how to cope with cats with Flea Allergy Dermatitis.