0208 943 2303   info@alpha-vets.co.uk
24h Emergency Service 0208 783 2850


How to care for your cat

At our veterinary surgery, we’re delighted to treat and care for cats. From cat vet consultations, to cat vaccination boosters, our fully trained vets provide a range of services for this household favourite. At our cat clinic we can offer nutritional advice, health checks for cats and kittens, dental services and much more.


We have different fee schedules and booking availabilities depending on your pet and its situation.

Please call our regular telephone number:  0208 943 2303 (Teddington); 01372 460107 (Claygate) during office hours and speak to one of our receptionists who will help book you for the correct consultation appointment.


Please remember to inform our receptionists how many pets you will be bringing. Each pet will need to be scheduled individually for a consultation to allow the vet time to properly examine each pet and discuss its problems.


Please note that our staff who answer the ‘Emergency Call’ number outside of office hours, are unable to book regular day time consultations.


Here is a guideline to the different types of consultations we normally provide:

  • Regular Consultation: This is our standard 15 minute consultation with the vet for an animal with a new health problem, a problem that has recurred from some time ago, or a recheck of an ongoing problem.
  • Second Opinion Consultation:  If your pet has been to see another vet for this problem (within the last year) and you would like our opinion on the problem, then we need to read the previous medical record, blood results and x-rays etc. We can then learn what medicines have been used and what the original vet found on examination. We need to do this in order to properly understand your pets, condition and provide you with a good second opinion. As this takes time to arrange the consultation must generally be booked at least one day in advance. This is a more complex and time consuming procedure, we normally schedule for you to spend 30 minutes with the veterinarian and we charge a higher fee.
  • Walk in Consultation:  If you come in without an appointment booked we will try our best to fit you in however, you may have to wait for an hour or even longer if the vets are busy. Of course if your pet’s life is in danger we will assess their condition and may admit them into the hospital while we make a vet available. The Walk in Consultation is generally scheduled for 15 minutes with the veterinarian but is charged at a higher fee than the Regular Consultation.
  • We strongly advise our clients to try and make an appointment as we are often fully booked or very busy. We do not want your pet to become stressed if they have to wait a long time.
  • Referral Consultation: This is when another vet has asked you to come and consult with us as they feel we have more expertise with cats or with your cat’s specific problem. In these cases the other veterinarian will directly fax us a ‘Referral Letter’ and your cat’s medical records. Afterwards we will also inform your original vet of the outcome of the case. This also requires the extended 30 minute consultation.

Once you have made the appointment please make sure that you, or whoever is bringing in the pet, has all the information as follows:

  1. How long your pet has been sick for and what symptoms is it showing
  2. What food your pet is fed on, including any snacks and supplements
  3. Any medicines that may have been given to your pet (please bring in the packets or containers)
  4. What is the origin of your pet and what animals has it been in contact with
  5. What are the urine & faeces (poop) normally like, and what are they presently like
  6. That the owner or a decision maker will be available on the telephone if they cannot come in

Please note that to sign a consent form (for example for an operation or if your pet needs to be admitted into hospital) legally it must be someone over the age of 18 years old to sign.

We require payment for the services provided immediately after a consultation. If your pet does unfortunately need to be admitted to hospital or for surgery you will be required to pay a deposit. To try and make it more convenient for you we accept payments by cash, cheque, debit and credit cards.


We have CAT-FRIENDLY facilities at Alpha Vets Teddington, with areas where nervous cats can shelter in their carriers away from noisy doggies! Please do ask our staff if you feel you would like to use them.


We have our HEALTHY PET CLUB which is a great way of ensuring the best preventative healthcare for your cat, giving you great savings on essential annual vaccinations, life-saving parasite prevention and many other benefits and discounts!


Also, don’t forget to collect your  ALPHA CARD – our free loyalty card which gives you 1% back on everything you spend with us! You collect points on your card which you can redeem against any of our services or products! The card is free to all clients, and we even give you 500 points (=£5) to get you started! Ask at reception for more details when you come in.


Our Core Vaccine for cats is a 4 in 1 vaccine against 2 cat flu viruses (Herpes and Calicivirus), Panleukopenia virus (which causes severe, and often fatal gastroenteritis) and FeLV (see below).


Current recommendations with the modern vaccine we use are:

  • 1st vaccination at 8 weeks of age, or older.
    2nd vaccination  3-4 weeks after the first.
  • Then next vaccination is repeated at around one year after the last kitten vaccine.
    A pregnant cat should not receive this vaccine.
  • Thereafter, vaccination is repeated annually.


Chlamydia vaccine:

Chlamydia, now known as Chlamydophila, causes conjunctivitis and respiratory disease in shelters or catteries, and rarely affects individual indoor cats. In addition, the vaccine is known to frequently cause vaccination reactions such as pain and lethargy. Therefore, we do not recommend the Chlamydophila vaccine.


FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis):

We do not recommend the FIP vaccine because it has not shown to be effective in preventing FIP disease.


FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus):

This is a potentially fatal virus, causing lymphoma (a type of cancer) and other problems. FeLV vaccination is part of our standard protocol for all cats.


FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus):

Although commercially available, we do not recommend this vaccine as it has not been shown to be effective.


Rabies vaccine: 

At present, Rabies vaccination for cats is not compulsory in the UK. Currently, there is no rabies present in the UK and therefore we generally do not recommend vaccinating your cat against it.

In order to travel with your cat to Europe, you will need it to be vaccinated against rabies and micro-chipped, we can easily do this in a consultation, and we can then provide you with your Pet Passport.

If you will be traveling with your cat in the future you may want to consider microchipping your cat while it is being neutered, as your cat is required to have a microchip and a rabies vaccination for the Pet Travel Scheme (‘Pet Passport’). Once you have your ID chip and rabies vaccination, we can issue your passport. You can then leave the UK straight away but cannot return for the first 21 days (three weeks) following the rabies vaccination. Once that period is elapsed, you may travel to and from European countries provided the rabies vaccination is in date (boosters are required strictly every three years) and stamped in the passport, and your cat has a worming tablet given by and signed and stamped for by an official veterinary surgeon no less than 24 hours and no more than five (5) days before you return to UK customs. It’s a very simple and efficient system.

Health Checks

When you bring your new kitten in for a check-up, we can ensure that your kitten is in good health, and talk to you about how to keep it healthy and happy.

During each examination, we will examine your kitten/cat from head to tail. First we would weigh your cat, assess the Body Condition Score, and compare this weight to the previous weights., Then we would check the ears, nose, eyes, mouth, teeth and skin. Proceeding down the body, we would listen to the chest for abnormal heart and lung sounds, and then palpate the abdomen for lumps and bumps. We also check the lymph nodes and around the bottom, measure the body temperature and spend time on other specific areas such as joints.

This consultation is especially important for first time cat owners to learn about normal cat behaviour, correct diets, preventative care such as deworming, flea control, home dental care, and some of the common cat diseases.

Although adult vaccination booster is every 3 years, we recommend an annual health check for all pets.

Regular Health Checks

We recommend six-monthly health checks for all pets: six months is quite a long time in the lives of our pets, and is the equivalent of us only going to the doctor every two or three years, so it is important that we see your pet more often than at the annual vaccination! Part of our Healthy Pet Club is a free six-monthly check-up with one of our excellent Registered Veterinary Nurses.

Older Cat Health Checks

Cats older than 7 years of age are considered to be elderly.

During the annual examination, we would pay more attention to diseases of old age, such as heart disease, dental disease, arthritis, Hyperthyroidism (high level of Thyroid hormone), Hypertension (high blood pressure), and renal/ kidney disease.

We recommend annual blood and urine tests for older pets.

Please try to bring in a urine sample at the health check.

The easiest way to do this is by using a special type of cat litter that does not absorb urine. We sell Catrine Pearl cat litter for this purpose,

Wash & dry the tray well, put a thin layer of the Pearl cat litter in.

Make sure no other cats can use that tray (for example, put the cat and tray in a bedroom, or toilet with the door shut, and wait!)

Nutritional Advice

We recommend a balanced commercial diet consisting of both dry food and canned food from one of the major reputable companies.

The major companies such as Hills and Royal Canin have different diets specially formulated for your cats’ stage in life.

We recommend at least one meal of tinned food every day to make sure they take in enough water.   Ideally we recommend you feed your cat 50% dry food and 50% wet food. As most tinned cat food is not ‘balanced’ we recommend that you vary the flavour and brand of tinned food to help prevent any deficiencies from occurring.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must eat meat They cannot be vegetarian, however plain meat or fish and rice are NOT complete in nutrition and can lead to serious diseases developing. These range from blindness to kidney failure.

We do not recommend feeding home-made diets to your cat unless it has a specific medical issue and our veterinary surgeon has recommended a specific diet.

Young kittens should have at least 4 meals a day and most adult cats should have 2 meals per day. Some cats are grazers and enjoy eating small amounts all day instead of two distinct meals.

A single cat in a household could be fed ‘free access’ to eat dry food when it wishes, with a single meal of tinned food, but many indoor cats will become overweight on a ‘free access’ schedule.

Fat cats should be fed a restricted amount of an appropriate food recommended by our veterinary surgeons or nurses two times a day.

Fresh water must be provided at all times. If the water is in a bowl, the bowl must be cleaned and refilled at least once per day.

A good way of provided ’fresh’ water to your cat is with a ‘pet water fountain’. We will often recommend that owners provide a water fountain to their older cats or cats that have ‘bladder’ problems to encourage them to drink more.

Neutering (De-Sexing) Surgeries

We recommend you neuter your pet cats for health and behavioural reasons.

Many entire (not neutered) female cats will develop mammary cancers and uterine infections (pyometra) when they are older.  Neutering your female cat will reduce her risk of mammary (breast) cancer by up to 90 %, and earlier (at six months) is better compared to later in life. De-sexing also prevents sleepless nights when your female cats start meowing and screaming when they are in season.

Although prostate diseases are not common in male cats, we recommend neutering to avoid behavioural problems such as territorial urine spraying on walls and furniture. Adult tom cat urine really smells very strongly!   These tom cats will also be driven to find a female and are more likely to explore large territories, get into fights, and are also more likely to be hit by cars etc.

Most importantly, neutering reduces the number of unwanted kittens and cats.

Both male and female cats can be neutered around six months of age.

We always aim to improve the anaesthetic safety and welfare for all our patients by doing a pre-anaesthetic blood test, using state of the art anaesthetic drugs, having a full suite of electronic monitoring systems, painkillers before and after surgery and intravenous fluids. Usually our patients are back to their normal selves within one or two days of surgery.


Re-uniting you with a lost pet, pet insurance purposes and European travel are the main reasons for micro-chipping cats and this can be done on request at our clinic.

We can implant a microchip easily in a conscious animal, but if you do need a microchip we would suggest implanting the chip whilst your cat is under anaesthesia for the neutering surgery.

So, just before de-sexing your cat it may be worth considering whether you will be insuring your cat, or possibly travelling with it to another country in the future. If there is the possibility then it is very easy for us, and much more comfortable for your cat, to micro-chip during the de-sexing surgery.

Preventative Care

De-worming or Intestinal de-wormer: 

Milbemax and Drontal Cat are safer,more effective and complete de-wormers than many available on the market.

We recommend de-worming kittens every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age until 3 months old, then monthly until 6 months old, then every 3 months.


Flea control:

The most effective and safest products are Advocate and Program. Advocate kills adult fleas and is applied monthly. Program does not kill adult fleas, but prevents the eggs that the flea lays in your house from hatching! It is an injection given every six months. Both strategies are effective and either can be used together if there is a very heavy flea challenge.

Older products such as flea baths, flea powder and flea collars are ineffective or dangerous, and should not be used.

If your house does become infested with flea eggs and pupae, you may need to spray it with an environmental product such as Indorex, RIP or Staykil. These are powerful chemicals and must NEVER be sprayed onto cats or any other pets. They are toxic to fish and other water creatures so great care must be exercised in their use. We can give you further advice on this in your consultation.


Brushing and Bathing: 

Bathing cats is only for the most daring cat owners with the best protective gear! With a few exceptions, cats hate bathing and chronic stress may even lead to disease such as cystitis. The only real indications for bathing a cat is faecal or urinary soiling, or if they’ve become saturated with dangerous substances, such as motor oil or creosote. Please ask us for advice!

Cats normally groom themselves and keep themselves in a meticulously clean condition. Brushing your long-haired cats daily should be sufficient, although short-haired cats often enjoy grooming too and it is a good way of bonding with your pet.

If your cat does appear dirty or matted please bring it for a vet check as often cats with medical problems do not groom themselves properly.



Many plants are toxic for pets but lilies are particularly toxic for cats. Please check out the safety of a plant before bringing them into your home.

Cats also metabolise drugs differently to human and dogs and should not be given any human medications without veterinary advice.  Drugs such as panadol and acetaminophen again are particularly toxic.

Automotive antifreeze is very dangerous to cats.


Dangerous objects for your cats:

String, sewing threads & needles, and pills/tablets are the most dangerous objects for your cats to swallow. Strings and fabrics can cause gut obstruction and a lot of damage to the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, these objects are not visible on X-rays, making the diagnosis difficult.  If you have cats we would advise you to ‘cat (child!)-proof’ your home!


Toxoplasma and pregnancy:

This is preventative care for female owners!

There is a common misconception that you shouldn’t keep a cat if you are pregnant. Fortunately this is incorrect.

It is quite possible to be pregnant and give birth to healthy children and keep cats. Many of our staff kept their cats whilst pregnant.

All that is required to prevent the possible transmission of toxoplasma from an infected cat to a pregnant owner is common sense and hygiene.

If you are worried or would like further information please talk to our vets and your medical practitioner for details.

Dental Services

Like human, cats only have one set of permanent teeth throughout their life. Home dental care is important to keep your cats’ teeth clean and is best achieved by finger brushing daily.

Dental care dry food such as Hills t/d and Royal Canin Dental dry food are more effective than treats, but finger brushing is still the most effective.

If your cat has tartar and dental disease, we can help by cleaning its teeth under a general anaesthetic. Afterward, home dental care can be started again.

Home dental care is very important after dental surgeries, otherwise plaque and tartar will recur within a few months.

It is best to start training your cat when they are just a kitten as they do not understand what we are doing. Gentle handling, lots of praise and a delicious snack afterwards should help!


We have a cat only ward where we have a quiet, secluded environment with pheromonal calming aids for cats, which need hospitalisation.

Our cat ward is at the opposite end of the hospital to the dog ward, so our cat patients do not have to smell or see any dogs, and the noise is significantly reduced. We understand that a stress-free environment is important for recovery.

In the cat ward, we take special care to provide a diet, litter tray and bedding as similar to the home environment as possible. We provide extra touches such as covered cages, Feliway pheromone diffuser, catnip spray and toys.

In addition, all of the vets take special care to check our cat patients prior to canine patients in the mornings to avoid upsetting the cats with the smells of dogs.


“We don’t own cats, cats own us.”

“Dogs worship their owners, and humans worship cats.”


These sayings precisely describe the human- cat relationship! Cats are not small dogs. They are loners, not pack animals like dogs. Cats are usually independent. Apart from mating and the rearing of offspring, and cats of the same household, most cats do not like to socialise with other cats. There are some cats that are social butterflies with human and cats alike. But, in general, cats are creatures of habit that want tomorrow to be the same as today.

Often vets receive calls from new cat owners worried about their cat making a strange noise this noise is often just the cat purring. Purring is one of the most endearing features of cats and is the vibrating, throaty noises cats make when they’re happy. Some cats purr when they see their owners, some cats purr as loud as mini engines, some cats salivate as they purr on their owners’ laps.

The provision of different scratching posts will also help encourage your cat to scratch in an acceptable area instead of your favourite furniture. De-clawing is unethical and is quite rightly illegal in this country. You can clip your cat’s claws, and we can do this for you, but sometimes you have to simply accept some scratching damage – that’s what cats do!

Having enough toilets for indoor cats is important to keep your house clean and keep your cats’ stress levels low.

Ideally, we should provide 1 tray for each cat plus one extra. That means two cats need theww litter trays, three cats need four litter trays, so that one litter tray is almost always clean. This is not always easy to achieve but for several cats we would always like there to be at least two trays.

Cats do bully each other in subtle ways and take control over a litter tray!

Keep litter trays clean by scooping out faeces and urine daily. The whole litter tray should be washed weekly. Once your cats are used to a type of litter material, do not change it abruptly.

For very clean and fastidious cats, you may want to consider lining the litter trays with newspaper and putting in only small amounts of litter materials each day AND completely empty and change the litter tray material daily.

Kittens can even be trained to use a human toilet around 8 to 12 weeks of age, please discuss this with your vet and do extensive research before starting!

Urine Off, an enzymatic cleanser, can be used to neutralize urine smells in areas where your cat may have had an accident!

DO NOT take your cats out to play dates, pet shop tours or invite other cats to come into your house to play. Most cats do not enjoy entertaining strange cats in their territories i.e. their homes!

Cats are not very social with strange cats when adult. Many cats (older than a year) will not readily accept another strange cat. It is much easier to introduce young kittens to each other, than introducing older cats into a household of adult cats.

In the wild, cats have very large territories. Confining many cats together in small spaces will often lead to stress and fighting. Assess your cats’ personalities before taking new cats home!

In multi-cat households, provision of several litter trays, water and food containers in different areas of the house will help to reduce tension and stress.

Provision of hiding places help to reduce stress in a multi-cat household. These hiding places should be secure, quiet and preferably high, so that cats can watch out of a window. The entrance of these hiding places should not face the same room or direction, so that the cats do not have to glare at each other all day long.

Reducing stress is important because chronic stress will lead to many diseases including cystitis and skin diseases.

If you have a multi-cat household it may also be worth considering running a ‘Feliway’ diffuser in order to help decrease stress in your cats.

Weight Monitoring

Many of the pets we see become overweight as they mature. They have an easy and comfortable life with food available every day and often not enough exercise.

If you feel that your little darling is overweight (or if the vet tells you this!) you are welcome to make an appointment for a ‘Weight Consultation’ with one of our veterinarians.

According to International Body Condition Score the ideal body condition of domesticated dogs or cats is when the animal has a good layer of muscle covering the ribs and back bone, so that the ribs, and the tips of the hips and back bones are palpable but not visible, and with a waist between the ribs and the hips.

All indoor cats should have a small amount of fat in the tummy area between the hind legs. Obesity can lead to many diseases in cats, especially diabetes. If you are worried about your fat cats, come in and talk to us and we will help you. It is very important to diet your fat cat very slowly and gradually.

The vet may also discuss this and recommend a weight loss diet during a health check or consultation and give you advice on the right combination of foodstuff for weight loss for your pet as well as how to encourage exercise.

The vet will set a target weight & a time span to lose this weight over.

Losing weight too fast is not healthy, and as these animals are much smaller than us, we may plan for them to lose a few grams per week.

Once the diet plan has been set we will then be happy to make free “weight monitoring” checks for you to follow up, usually every month or two months, and these will be with one of our British Vet nurses or our Australian trained Vet Assistants.

It can be very rewarding to see a little chubby pussycat regaining a slim healthy shape and becoming more active and flexible!

Enrichment Toys

Cats love playing. They especially enjoy toys with moving parts and an unpredictable course of movement. Check out the safety of toys such as strings and small parts before purchase.

Cats also love high places to hide in and to watch the world below. A safe hiding place, such as on top of cupboards and wardrobes, or a box, does help to reduce stress in cats, especially in multi-cat households.

Scratching posts:

Cats need to scratch to sharpen their claws. Some like vertical posts and some like horizontal boards. Cats have preference for different textures. Try different ones and see which one your cats prefer.


Catnips and cat grass are some of the most irresistible scents for cats. Spraying these scents on items such as scratching posts will often entice them to use these areas. This is also useful to reduce stress in multi- cat households

Learn more about your pet

You can download our PDF documents for more information.

Cushings Syndrome

Guinea Pig – Feeding


Cat – Moving House

Exotic – Critical Care

Cat & Dog – Bereavement

Remember, you can contact us anytime!