Hello Kate, I'm a fellow expert on this site, except in the Poultry Farming area! Just wanted to ask you a couple of questions about my cat and my other half's kittens.
I am a bit of a worrier when it comes to my boy Oliver as I've had him a long time, nearly ten years now, after we got him at a year old from a rescue centre. He's been hit by a car once, so is blind in one eye and has a bit of a 'dodgy' hip as it was dislocated and wouldn't stay in the socket. He also disappeared for a week a few years ago and when he came back his hip had 'deteriorated' and he wasn't walking properly. He's in fine health now however, very chirpy, regularly catching rabbits with a sleek coat and bright eyes. I was just wondering about check ups at the vet due to his age. As he's around eleven years old now I was wondering what you thought about taking him to the vets once or twice a year to make everything is normal, as he has quite a sensitive stomach in terms of what food we can give him etc. He is also ALWAYS asking for food- every time you go in the kitchen- is this normal behaviour or does he need supplements to keep him full?
Also do you have any experience of introducing kittens to dogs? If you do I will ask a follow up, but will be sending a question to a dog expert as well anyway.
Thanks very much for your time, take care!
I too have a rescue cat who I have had for over 11 years now, she is about 15. So I know how you are feeling and how worrying it can be, especially as our little cat has had many health issues throughout her life.
Generally speaking cats do not really require regular check-ups as a trip to the vets can be more disturbing to them and can possible do more harm than good if they don't actually need to go.
My general rule is, as long as your cat is still eating normally, using the litter normally and is not displaying any signs of ill health or pain then I would not visit the vets unless necessary.
As for the food issue. well some cats can be just greedy and seems to want food all the time, this we just have to monitor ourselves to stop them over eating. However there are some health conditions that can cause a cat to feel constantly hungry and demand food. one of which is a thyroid issue but often rapid loss of weight is associated even though they eat and eat.
if I were you and if the food issue is relatively new I would take him to the vets for a check-up. Thyroid or heart conditions can start to occur after the age of 10 so there is no harm in having him checked for anything like this if the food issue is new, it may be an indication. My own cat went through a similar thing when she was around 13 and it was found that she had a thyroid condition. However it was treated and now she is absolutely fine again.
As for the introducing cats and dogs, I have written a page on my website cover pet introductions (the process is the same for cats or dogs) here is the page /introducing-cats.html
best wishes Kate