Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

How can I tell if my cat has bad teeth?

Saturday, February 08, 2014
Cats are determined to hide any sign of pain or discomfort from us. The observant owner may notice one or more of the following if they are really on the ball:

    • not grooming properly, leaving coat matted, loose or scurfy
    • eating on one side of mouth or tilting the head to one side when chewing
    • resenting stroking around the face/jaw
    • not enjoying handling at all
    • keen hunter not interested in hunting any more
    • keen warrior not interested in fighting any more
    • not wanting to play with tug toys
    • throwing food to back of mouth to chew
    • bringing unchewed, unlubricated food up within 10 minutes of a meal
    • hesitating at food bowl even though clearly hungry
    • not crunching kibble
    • preferring moist to dry food when used to prefer dry to moist and vice versa
    • bad breath
    • eating only a little but going back to the bowl often
    • drooling
    • pawing mouth
    • swollen face
    • bleeding from mouth
    • grinding teeth

Cough or vomit?

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Siamese like Nicholas commmonly suffer from asthmaIt's easy to confuse coughing with retching or vomiting in cats. A coughing cat crouches, sticks her elbows out and opens her mouth to get more air. A vomiting cat sits with the front legs straight, her abdomen contracts and she produces fluid or food.

Many coughing cats have asthma or chronic bronchitis. Like human asthmatics cats with asthma react to something they have inhaled like pollen, cigarette smoke or dust mites. We saw several asthmatic cats during the recent bushfires when the smoke hung low around Canberra.

Cats with bronchitis have long term inflammation of the airways causing thickening of the small airway walls and reduced airflow.

Asthma and bronchitis often overlap in cats. In general, asthmatics have sudden episodes of difficult breathing, wheezing and coughing, while cats with bronchitis have more chronic but less dramatic coughs.

Infections of the bronchi and lungs make asthma and bronchitis suddenly worse.

Other causes of coughing in cats include inhalation of foreign material, such as grass or cigarette smoke, flu virus infections, lungworm, heartworm or lung cancer.

Once we sort out the cause of the cough with X-rays, bronchoscopy or other more specific tests, we target the treatment. For asthma and bronchitis treatment can be lifelong or as necessary.

Allergic dermatitis

Thursday, December 05, 2013
Does your cat scratch or groom more than normal? or are patches of fur missing perhaps with areas of broken, red or raw skin?

If you answer yes to any of these questions your cat may have allergic dermatitis - the feline equivalent of human hayfever.

We will rule out flea allergy dermatitis - very common - and food allergy, which is less likely, before deciding that your cat has allergic dermatitis.

A treatment specific for allergic dermatitis in cats has just been released. Atopica is designed for cats so is easy to administer and in cat-size dosage bottles. It relieves the irritation, allows the skin to heal and the hair to grow back within 6 weeks.

Your cat will soon be back to her/his happy, beautiful self.

Vaccinations and regular check ups

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Because cats are so good at hiding illness and discomfort it is imperative that they have a check-up at least once a year. Cats older than 9 years of age may need a physical twice a year especially if we identify any problems.

During the examination we check their eyes, mouth, teeth, ears, heart, lungs, skin, joints and belly for any abnormalities. Many cats start having dental problems as early as 3 years old. Skin disease, allergies and gut upsets an happen at any age.

We discuss the optimal diet for your particular cat because every cat is an individual.

Behavioural problems like inappropriate urination, yowling or attacking often come up in discussion, too.

If your cat is likely to go into boarding or other stressful situations then we recommend an annual vaccination for enteritis (also known as panleukopenia or parvovirus) and the two flu viruses (calicivirus and herpesvirus). This vaccine is also known as the F3 or 3 in 1 vaccination.

Inside cats who don't go into boarding may need less frequent F3 vaccination.

Cats who go outdoors or who may escape home, particularly if they fight, require an FIV vaccination against feline AIDS every year. It is important that cats receive the FIV vaccine boosters exactly 12 months apart.

We also give or recommend the best worming and flea treatments for your cat during the annual visit

Cat Friendly Clinic

Friday, October 25, 2013
We were thrilled to hear that we have been awarded the Cat Friendly Clinic gold standard!

This is awarded by the International Society of Feline Medicine to veterinary practices that meet very strict criteria. 

We planned Canberra Cat Vet to conform to their standards but still had to do a lot of work to document our efforts.

We had to demonstrate that Canberra Cat Vet:
  • understands the unique needs of cats and has made veterinary visits more cat-friendly
  • understands how to approach and handle cats in a gentle, empathetic and caring manner
  • has good standards of equipement for investigating and treating feline diseases
  • has a high standard of facilities and care for hospitalised cats.

Cat Body Language

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's easy to misinterpret our cats' body language. Watch this great video to find out some of the common signals our cats are giving us.

Feed the cat more meat!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Cats are carnivores and have quite complex dietary needs. Vets are now strongly advising that cats are fed a primarily wet diet. 

This means good quality canned or pouch foods coupled with meats like chicken, rabbit, roo, beef or lamb. I like to feed the meat as stir fry strips or chunks so that my cats chew on them and clean their teeth.

To protect their kidney and bladder health cats must consume water in their food as well as drinking it. 

Cats on wet foods have a much higher intake of fluids than cats on dry foods.

A good quality commercial food is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. In the wild cats consume very little carbohydrate ie wheat, maize and a lot of animal, not plant, protein.

In our busy lives we are forced to feed our cats some dry food for convenience sake but wet foods should provide the bulk of their intake.

Flea Allergy

Friday, September 27, 2013
Kaiser has been out enjoying the warmer weather - and so have the fleas!

Poor Kaiser has been grooming more than usual and has lost some of his beautiful coat especially over the rump. Normally cats are only mildly irritated by fleas but Kaiser is allergic to flea saliva. Just one flea bite causes intense and long lasting itchiness.

To make Kaiser more comfortable we must try to eliminate all fleas from him and his environment.

Capstar or Comfortis kill the fleas and paralyse flea mouthparts preventing deposition of saliva.

Every month his owners will give him Advantage, Revolution, or Comfortis to keep flea numbers as low as possible.

Because fleas spend most of their life cycle off the cat as larvae and pupae in bedding, carpet, dirt and leaves they will have to wash his bedding in hot water and dry it in the sun. They should also vacuum carpets and furniture often. they may decide to call a professional to fumigate the house.

Kaiser has had an injection of cortisone to block the allergic reaction and give relief from the intense itching.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


house call sun kitten play stiff teeth urinating outside litter holidays runny nose rough play blue tapeworm hyperactive unwell cat containment hypertension snakebite birthday lick skin cancer runny eyes examination poisoning FORLS yowling bed meows a lot blood pressure cat history cystitis petting cat hungry snakes moving food puzzles fever poison sore poisonous plants open night corneal ulcer hunters groom comfortis bump activity paralysis drinking a lot straining free spey weight urination ulcerated nose New Year's Eve poisons cat worms blood test toxins best veterinarian plaque paralysis tick on heat poisonous fluid pills pain weight control dental cat enclosure cough pet meat blood thirsty skinny hiding virus tradesmen vomiting goodbye slow desex cat behaviour home visit behaviour change kitten deaths painful kitten constipation anaemia lame photo competition tartar abscess,cat fight vocal annual check microchip heavy breathing blockage bad breath senses indoor cats wet litter grass holes in teeth sensitive worms cage stress old cat chlamydia spraying cranky urinating feline herpesvirus holes strange behaviour diarrhoea kidneys cat friendly allergy, overweight decision to euthanase appointment noisy breathing cat fight calicivirus snuffles kibble heart disease cognitive dysfunction breathing difficult wobbles depomedrol best vet restless hairball massage diuretics computer vaccine kidney disease dental check urine spraying insulin kidney flea treatment sore ears christmas body language feline AIDS feliway euthanasia worming foreign body physical activity mental health of cats radioactive iodine hard faeces visit mince love feline enteritis information night liver head tumour sensitive stomach award blindness antiviral pet scratching post weight loss fireworks holiday intestine panleukopaenia revolution enemies enclosure scratching snot lump gifts rash litter herpesvirus cat pill pheromone collapse litter box tablet desexing adipokines wool inflammatory bowel disease introductions string exercise hypertrophic cardiomyopathy outdoor cat off food hunched over unsociable hole abscess eye heaing enteritis permethrin panadeine behaviour paralysed castration anxiety nose scabs diabetes kittens pain killer renal disease sore eyes flu biopsy old new year furballs rub check-up high blood pressure vomit paracetamol learning mouth breathing urine hyperthyroidism health check tooth panamax changed gasping joints twitching stare into space competition home cancer ribbon mass bladder scratch catoberfest dry food arthritis face rub marking itchy introducing aspirin sick cat enclosures pet insurance AIDS lily hospital thyroid new cat panleukopenia vaccination open day advantage fear aerokat antibiotics attack rolls sudden blindness sneeze crytococcosus African wild cat fat cta fight pica checkup vet visit polish obese panadol whiskers dymadon appetite dementia roundworm hunter grooming seizures Canberra asthma FIV allergy bladder stones train aggressive diet training blind sense of smell sick cat plants breeder lilly fight introduce headache spray dental treatment carrier thiamine deficiency mycoplasma jumping change snake cryptococcosis prednisolone lilies pred furball eye infection ACT eyes snake bite xylitol return home echocardiography touch rigid head hearing best cat clinic not eating blood in urine hunting opening hours flea prevention senior ulcer ulcers eye ulcer fits cat flu socialisation new kitten cat vet lymphoma scale bite pain relief skin fleas brown snake dilated pupils best clinic when to go to vet Canberra Cat Vet obesity salivation client night odour Hill's Metabolic sucking wool fabric in season urinating on curtains or carpet pancreatitis toxic aggression cortisone blocked cat snuffle conflict tick introduction signs of pain nails vision drinking more IBD prey


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions