Whats the topic for today?
Keeping cats out of trouble whilst you are away on holiday
What sort of trouble do you mean?
I'm talking about the sort of trouble cats get into when they fight
Cats fight a lot don’t they. Why do cats fight?
Cats are very territorial and fight to defend their own patch. Owners help to defend their own cats territory simply by being around and scaring other cats away.
So when the owner is away other cats are more likely to come onto their property?
Yes that’s right and those cats are more likely to attack any cat on the property in an attempt to claim that property as part of their own territory.
So what can people do to avoid their cat being attacked?
Most cat fights seem to occur at night when cats are actively prowling around so it is advisable to keep your cat inside at night.
What about when people go away for a few days?
This is a situation where we see a lot of cat fights. Owners often leave enough food and water for their cats for a few days and leave them to look after themselves. The sad fact is though that they may come home and find their cat badly beaten up or even worse may have run away from home due to another cat taking over the territory.
So what can people do?
Ideally book your cat into a local boarding cattery. That is the best way to know they will be safe. Alternatively you can have someone live in your house whilst you are away. It is not sufficient to have someone pop in just once a day to make sure things are ok as that is not going to stop cats coming onto the property causing trouble.
What sort of injuries do cats get from fighting?
Cats teeth and claws carry a lot of bacteria and so bites and scratches often become infected and turn into abscesses.
Are abscesses serious?
They can lead to septicaemia and organ damage if left untreated. Also if a cat bites down to the bone then it is possible that the bone itself can become infected and in the worst cases that could mean amputation of a leg.
What other injuries can fighting cause?
Cats often scratch each other in the eyes
Can that cause permanent damage?
Yes it can cause blindness or even loss of the eye. Even minor eye injuries are very painful and can be expensive to treat.
Are there any diseases that can be spread by fighting?
Yes. Lots of viruses can be spread by direct contact with other cats but one of the most deadly ones is the feline aids virus. This virus is specifically transmitted by cat bites.
Is there any treatment for feline AIDS?
No but there is a vaccine available that helps prevent the infection. It is not 100% effective but it is the only protection we have.
Is there anything that can be done to prevent cat fights?
Neutering of cats, especially Toms, does help reduce fighting. If there is a problem cat in the neighbourhood causing lots of fights it often turns out to be a non-castrated Tom cat.
Tom cats can be a nuisance cant they?
It is socially irresponsible to own an uncastrated male cat and let it roam around the neighbourhood causing trouble. So if anyone is listening who owns one please book it in for castration now.