Cat Advice Library 

As with everything in life, you can find lots of excellent advice about cat care online, but it can be difficult to know what is correct when many legitimate-sounding websites and social media posts actually contain inaccurate and misleading information.

We thoroughly recommend the CatCareforLife and iCatCare websites - these are fantastic resources with reliable, up-to-date information on many aspects of cat care. We have also provided some useful information and signposting below, and will continue to add to it. If there is anything else you would like to know about your cat, just ask.

Becoming a cat owner

I'm thinking about getting a cat...

You're about to make a great decision - cats make absolutely wonderful companions. Once you're a cat person, you'll never go back.

That being said, you need to have sufficient time and resources to be able to properly care for your new friend. This page from iCatCare is a great source of information for new and prospective cat owners.

Finding a cat or kitten

Don't forget to arrange pet insurance for your cat. Check out the following links for information on...

What about flea treatment, worming and vaccinations?
Our Healthy Cat Plan works alongside your pet insurance to provide all of your cat's routine health checks and preventative care in a simple, affordable monthly payment.

What is the difference between pet insurance and healthcare plans?

Pet insurance is like your car or home insurance - it provides cover for unexpected bills when your cat gets an illness or injury.

It can be a bit of a minefield, with thousands of different policies available. It's important to do your homework and read the small print carefully to make sure that you have the cover you need.

Check out the following links for information on...

Healthcare plans spread the cost of routine care such as vaccinations, flea and worming across a monthly payment. They are designed to save you money and help you ensure that your cat gets all of the routine care they need. Essentially it covers a lot of the important routine treatment that your pet insurance doesn't pay for (as pet insurance is for illness and injury).

Our Healthy Cat Plan is a little different to other practices' health plans, and is tailored specifically to cats' needs. As well as including all of the vaccinations, flea and worming treatment that your cat needs, we also include all of the recommended CatCareforLife screening checks to make sure we detect common old age issues such as kidney disease and high blood pressure early, so that we can treat them promptly and give your cat a longer and more comfortable life.

What should I consider when choosing pet insurance?

The following information has been provided by Petplan. We can introduce your kitten to Petplan at their first or second vaccination appointments with a free 4 week policy.

People tend to think it's only older pets that get ill and therefore younger pets don't need pet insurance but we know from the patients we see each day that that is not the case.

In fact, the younger your pet is when you insure them the better as it means you are less likely to have any existing conditions, which may not be covered by the policy and you can then receive more help covering the cost of any future treatment your pet needs.

It is important to note that not all pet insurance is the same. There are many different types of policy available and the level of cover provided can vary considerably. The four main types of policy are as follows:

As you can see from the information above, the type of policy you choose can have implications for the veterinary care of your pet and the costs you will face so it's important to choose the right cover.

Sometimes, the cheapest insurance can cost you more in the long run. When shopping around for a policy, we suggest that you ask the following questions to allow you to compare the overall value you are getting, not just the price:

Unlike other forms of insurance it is not easy to switch pet insurance in the future as any pre-existing conditions your pet has are likely to be excluded so it's important to do your research and choose the right cover from the start.

More information about pet insurance claims at Manchester Cat Clinic

Do I need to treat my cat for fleas, ticks and worms?

We protect cats against parasites using a risk-based approach, but yes, generally we recommend that you do flea and worm your cat regularly. See our page on parasite prevention for more information.

Over the counter flea and worm products that can be found in pet shops, supermarkets and online subscriptions are often less effective than prescription strength products that vets can prescribe. We are able to offer a new product which is a single spot on applied only every 3 months and treats all fleas, ticks and worms - if you are interested, book and appointment and ask for it to be applied or prescribed.

Can you recommend a local cat sitter?

Here are a couple of local cat sitters who we have met and recommend:

How old is my cat in human years?

Which cat breed is the best?

All of them. Every single cat is the best cat in the world. We are cat experts so we can assure you that this is definitely true.

That being said, there is evidence that moggies / cross breeds / domestic short/long hair cats (ie. not pure breeds) live longer and develop less medical conditions. More information here:

Coming to the vets

What is a Cat Friendly Clinic?

How do I train my cat to use a cat carrier?

See the following Youtube playlist on cat carrier training:

How can I minimise stress when bringing my cat to the vets?

How can I minimise stress when bringing my cat home from the vets?

Do you have any advice about specific health conditions?

Click here for a series of factsheets about different diseases.

There is also lots of useful information on the iCatCare website.

If you have questions about your cat's condition, please book an appointment for a consultation with one of our experienced vets.

Routine care

What is my cat's body condition score?

Should I get my cat or kitten neutered?

Unless you are a cat breeder, yes! It is recommended that all kittens are neutered at 4 months of age. Male cat neutering is called castration (removal of the testicles) and female cat neutering is called a spay (removal of the ovaries).

If your cat is already older than this, they can be safely neutered too, but your queen is currently at risk of unwanted pregnancy and your tom is at risk of abscesses from fighting, catching FIV, developing a strong odour and urine spraying. There is no benefit to letting your female cat have a litter of kittens before spaying her.

If your queen has had kittens recently, we will wait until her milk has dried up and her hormones have settled down before spaying her. We will also try to avoid spaying her while she is in heat, as this could make the surgery a little more difficult.

For more information on the benefits of neutering and what the procedure entails, see the iCatCare website.

The Cat Population Control Group also gives plenty of evidence to back up the safety and importance of neutering 4 month old kittens.

How can I keep my older cat as happy and healthy as possible?

At Manchester Cat Clinic, we take a proactive approach to screening for health conditions in older cats. Whether you choose to treat them or not, we want you to have all the information you need to make the best decisions for your Senior Kitizen. More information about some of the common old-age conditions in older cats can be found here.

Our #1 priority is your cat's quality of life. Of course we want them to live for a long time, but the most important thing is that they are as happy and comfortable as possible. The ultimate goal for cat-only clinics like us is to give your cat as little stress as possible when they visit the vet. If they can cope with regular vet care, we'll detect health problems sooner and help them to live their best life.

We have specifically designed our Healthy Cat Plan to follow International Cat Care's CatCareforLife guidelines so that as your cat grows older, you know that you aren't missing any important screening. Not a member of the plan? You can still get some important screening done while your cat is in for their Annual Health Visit (booster).

Can you recommend a local cat groomer?

We recently asked our Facebook and Instagram followers for recommendations for local groomers. They overwhelmingly recommended:

We have also been approached by other lovely local groomers:


How do I give tablets to my cat?

How do I use topical (eye, ear or skin) drops on my cat?

How do I teach my asthmatic cat learn to use an inhaler?

For details instructions and videos on inhaler training, visit the following website:


What should I feed my kitten?

The below information is borrowed from our friends at Specific - more information here.

Kittens are highly active and grow fast, creating a high demand for proteins and calories.   However they also have small stomachs so foods for kittens need to be concentrated, with small amounts delivering a lot of nutrition. This is why special kitten foods should be given.

When should I feed kitten food?

Kitten foods should be fed from weaning up to neutering or, if not neutered, then up 8 to 12 months, with bigger cats reaching maturity later.

Why does neutering make a difference?

Neutering significantly reduces the energy needs for cats so, once neutered, a kitten food will be giving them more calories than they need, risking weight gain. 

Tips for feeding kittens

What should I feed my older cat?

The below information is borrowed from our friends at Specific - more information here.

Cats over the age of 8 should ideally be fed on a senior cat food. As cats age they have a reduced ability to smell and taste food, they are less able to digest fats and proteins; heart kidney and liver work less efficiently and joints stiffen.

Diets for senior cats are designed to provide nutrients that allow for these changes and will...

How do change my cat's food?

Videos on handling your cat at home

The following Youtube videos from iCatCare offer excellent advice on helping your cat accept having this eyes, paws, coat, mouth and ears checked.