• Cat & Kitten Vaccinations
  • Cat Blood Pressure & Kidney Monitering
  • Cat friendly vet clinic
  • Home Visits for Cats
  • Medical Investigations & Pet Care
  • Neutering Cats
  • Nurse Clinics for Cats
  • Surgery for Cats

Cat & Kitten Vaccinations

Vaccinating your kitten and adult cat is vital to prevent harmful and life-threatening diseases

Kittens have antibodies from their mother’s milk in their system for the first 10-12 weeks of age, giving them vital protection from bugs. After these disappear, your kitten will have to make its own antibodies in response to disease.

Sometimes this defence is not enough and the disease can be fatal or cause lifelong infection, such as with Feline Parvovirus (also called infectious enteritis or panleukopenia virus – FPV) and Cat Flu (Herpes and Calicivirus).  We vaccinate cats against these potentially fatal and widespread diseases with “core” vaccines which every cat should have at least every 3 years regardless of their lifestyle.

Feline Leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a non-core vaccine but advised for all outdoor cats. Also potentially fatal, it damages the immune system and is easily spread by mutual grooming or cat bites.

Cat & Kitten Vaccinations at Pilgrims Veterinary Practice

In recent years there has been increasing concern over the disadvantages of vaccination. Adverse reactions, though rare, can occur and must be reported through the government’s regulatory authority, while injection site sarcomas or tissue cancers have been increasingly diagnosed and reported, thought to be caused by the carrier molecules (adjuvant) in the vaccines.

At Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest, we use a non-adjuvanted vaccine brand (Purevax), as advised by the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association), which drastically reduces the chance of injection reactions. It also has the longest duration of immunity for the core diseases out of all vaccine brands, which means that after your kitten has had its primary course and 1 year booster, if in an indoor-only low risk environment, we will only need to repeat booster vaccines every 3 years. If going into a cattery or meeting other cats outdoors, an annual cat booster vaccine is still recommended given the risk/benefit involved.

Recommended kitten vaccinations:

The exact recommended vaccine schedule will vary according to the individual, however most kittens will fit with the following:

  • 1st Vaccine at 8 weeks
  • 2nd Vaccine at 12 weeks (in high risk situations such as multi-cat households or breeding colonies, a 3rd vaccine at 16 weeks is advised)
  • 1st Annual Booster at 1 year

Subsequent boosters are usually annually, but may vary according to lifestyle. Our friendly and experienced team can help you decide which timetable of vaccinations will be suited to your cat.

New kitten? Read our essential kitten advice

All-round preventative care for your cat

As well as annual vaccinations, your cat’s preventative healthcare routine should include all-year-round parasite protection, microchipping and regular health checks with a vet. You can get all of this when you sign up for our Cat Wellness Plan – find out more.


Cat Blood Pressure & Kidney Monitering

Did you know that cats can suffer with high blood pressure and kidney disease?

At Pilgrims Veterinary Practice in the New Forest, we’re invested in the health and wellbeing of our feline friends. Using our in-house diagnostic facilities and laboratory, we are able to run periodic tests that will help us monitor your cat’s blood pressure and kidneys for signs of any problems or disease.

High blood pressure in cats

Just as people commonly suffer with high blood pressure, so do cats. Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, can cause small bleeds on the brain or in the eye, and can damage the kidneys.

Studies show that 1 in 20 healthy older cats can suffer silently from high blood pressure, which can be easily managed with medication. It is recommended that all cats over the age of 7 years have their blood pressure checked at least every year to prevent serious illness.

Visit the icatcare website for information about the effects of high blood pressure in cats.

Kidney disease in cats

Kidney disease in elderly cats is also very common and usually caused by an accelerated ageing process. Early detection is key to help slow the progression of kidney disease in cats, which can cause these symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Poor appetite
  • Bad breath
  • A sore mouth
  • Vomiting and weakness
  • Twitchiness or even fits when the disease progresses

It’s important to note that the above symptoms can also occur with other health conditions. If you are concerned about your cat’s health at all, book a consultation with one of our friendly team.

Increased drinking may be the first symptom of cat kidney disease you notice, however, changes in urine concentration and blood tests will show up the disease before any obvious signs occur. We recommend testing the urine concentration annually in elderly cats. Samples can be collected by you at home, or by us in a consultation.

Cat friendly vet clinic

Your cat will be in excellent hands at pilgrims vets in the New Forest.

We understand that our feline friends have very different needs to dogs. Car journeys are not a regular part of their life and different sights, sounds, smells and handling can add up, making even a routine vet visit a stressful experience.

At Pilgrims Veterinary Practice in the New Forest we endeavour to make our service as cat friendly as possible:

  • Affordable home visits for routine checks
  • 15 minute consultations allow us to spend time putting your cat as ease
  • Separate cat ward for hospitalised patients

Our team understands how tricky a trip to the vets with cats can be.

Here are our top tips on how to get your cat into a basket and other ways you can help:

  • Get your cat accustomed to their carrier – keep it out as part of the furniture and regularly feed your cat inside.
  • Use a top opening carrier for easy handling in and out. Cover the top with a blanket to help hide strange sight, sounds and smells.
  • Handle the carrier gently, secure it well within your car and drive carefully.
  • Use a pheromone spray or keep a piece of clothing which smells familiar inside the carrier.
  • Let us know you are here, and then wait in your car until your appointment time, or move to a corner of the waiting room with your cat carrier off the floor, away from our canine visitors.

6 Reasons to bring your cat to Pilgrims Vets

  1. Important annual feline vaccinations and a health check with the vet
  2. Parasite control for cats is vital to keep fleas, worms & ticks away
  3. Talk to our team about a Wellness Plan for your cat
  4. Want to take your cat abroad? They will need a Pet Passport
  5. We provide cat blood pressure and kidney monitoring for senior cats to help with early detection of any problems or diseases
  6. For free advice on many aspects of Cat Care, including Weight & Diet, Dental Care and Feline Diabetes, book your cat into one of our Nurse Clinics

Home Visits for Cats

Home visits ensure your cat always has access to expert veterinary care.

We understand that taking a trip to the vets with your cat isn’t always easy and in some situations, it’s just better for your cat not to go through the stress of getting in the cat basket, let alone the car:

  • Cat blood pressure checks can sometimes be better performed at home in a relaxed environment, helping to reduce false results.
  • If you have difficulty driving.
  • If your cat has mobility issues and getting them into a basket will cause them distress or pain.
  • If your cat is particularly nervous about car journeys or visiting the vet.
  • If the time has come to say goodbye, we would far rather you and your cat were comfortable in your home.
  • The ideal place to treat your cat will always be at one of our veterinary practices in the New Forest where we have state-of-the-art diagnostic aids and facilities, however, we understand that sometimes for the benefit of your cat’s wellbeing, a home visit may be more appropriate.

Home visits for your cat

We can offer home visits between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday for your cat, costing £30 on top of the normal consultation and treatment fees.

Simply contact our team who will be happy to arrange a home visit for your cat. Please be aware that we may not be able to come out to you immediately, however, we will endeavour to provide you with a time later that day.

We prefer not to carry out home visits at night – in the emergency setting it is always preferable to come to the practice where we have the equipment & facilities we need to provide the best emergency cat care.

Medical Investigations & Pet Care

Pet illnesses and injuries can require medical investigations to obtain the correct diagnosis.

However well we know our pets, they cannot tell us what’s wrong, which is why we often rely on a range of technologies to help guide us to a diagnosis and treatment plan.

At Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest, our clinical vet facilities include a suite of in-house diagnostic imaging, monitoring and lab equipment. We also work with Idexx, our external laboratory, who arrange daily sample collections for a comprehensive range of specialist tissue and blood tests, with fast-turnaround results coming straight to the case vet’s mobile phone.

Experienced team & excellent facilities
Our vet and nursing team are experienced in advanced medical procedures such as transfusion of blood products, chest drains and feeding tubes for when your pet is more critically unwell.

The facilities at our Fordingbridge vet practice include a fully equipped, sterile operating theatre and excellent Inpatient hospitalisation facilities.

Ordering Pet Medication

Non urgent medications when not in stock can be ordered for next day collection.

Neutering Cats

Cat Neutering is key in preventing unwanted pregnancies & reducing strays.

At Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest we recommend that your male or female kitten is neutered at 4 months of age and not let outdoors until this is done. This is before they reach sexual maturity and so there is no risk of unwanted pregnancies occurring.

Cat reproductive facts:

  • Some kittens are capable of reproducing soon after 4 months of age and especially during the breeding season.
  • Female cats will come into season every 2-3 weeks if not pregnant, making them capable of having up to three litters every year. That could be around 18 kittens in one year!
  • There is no negative effect to neutering before sexual maturity is reached and certainly the myth that cats should be allowed to have one litter before neutering is completely unfounded.

Cat neutering explained
For both sexes, the procedure is very quick. Castrating male cats involves removing both testicles and this part of the procedure takes less than 5 minutes. When spaying female cats, both ovaries are removed and often the uterus too – this takes around 15 minutes.

  • Neutering male and female cats requires a short general anaesthetic given as a muscle injection, which makes them sleepy within 5 minutes.
  • They are generally fully awake after 1 hour and although quiet for a few hours following, they are usually back to their lively selves by the following day.
  • It is advised to keep them restricted to one room of the house for approximately 7-10 days and not let them outdoors until the wounds have healed.
  • You will be given a post-op appointment with one of our nurses who will check your cat’s wound and general recovery.

Pilgrims Veterinary Practice do a lot of work locally with the Cats Protection charity, whose volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year rescuing, caring for and rehoming unwanted litters of kittens, often with treatable diseases.

We therefore know there is a real cat population issue in the Dorset and New Forest area. Please do not contribute to this by forgetting to neuter your kitten before letting them outdoors!

Benefits to neutering your cat

Besides preventing unwanted pregnancies, below are some of the other benefits of cat neutering:

  • Preventing associated sexual behaviour in males (Toms) – aggression; smell and marking of territory often indoors by spraying urine; increased fighting causes injury but also spreads fatal diseases such as FeLV and feline aids (FIV).
  • Preventing associated sexual behaviour in females – when in season, females will “call”. This is noisy and attracts Tom cats to your area with the associated problems (see above).
  • Un-spayed female cats are susceptible to mammary cancer and infections of the uterus

At Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest, we pride ourselves on offering a Cat Friendly Service with extra provisions put in place for the comfort and wellbeing of your cat, including a Separate Cat Ward for hospitalised patients.

Nurse Clinics for Cats

Book one of our helpful nurse clinics to learn more about caring for your cat.

Cats can be complex creatures, and experts at hiding when they are feeling unwell. Our experienced qualified veterinary nurses are always on hand to give you free advice and help with any issue, or you can book your pet in for one of our specialised nurse cat clinics:

  • Cat Weight Clinic – advice on exercise and feeding management, plus, track changes in body condition to achieve and maintain a healthy weight for your cat.
  • Dental Care Cat Clinic – advice on dental care options and training in why and how to brush your cat’s teeth.
  • Senior Cat Health Clinic – our older pets need a bit of extra care, this clinic gives advice on how you can make changes in routine, diet and exercise to better manage your cat’s ageing process.
  • Feline Diabetes Clinic – there is a lot of new information to take in when your cat is diagnosed with diabetes. These cat clinics give you time to take on board all that information, learn about insulin and practice injection techniques.
  • Parasite Clinic for Cats – the options for controlling all the worms, fleas and ticks can be overwhelming. What to treat, when and which products to use will change according to the lifestyle of your cat and your priorities.

Our nurses also provide the following charged services:

  • Cat claw clipping
  • Anal gland emptying
  • Dressing changes
  • Blood sampling

Surgery for Cats

Cat surgery is performed by highly experienced vets at our state-of-the-art facilities

We understand how worrying it can be when your beloved cat requires surgery. Our experienced team at Pilgrims Vets in the New Forest holds a wealth of knowledge when it comes to cat surgery and your feline friend couldn’t be in better hands.

Soft tissue cat surgery includes neutering and lump removals, and more complex procedures like intestinal resection, diaphragmatic rupture repair or thyroid gland removal.

Cat orthopaedic surgery includes basic fracture repair, lateral suture cruciate repair and salvage procedures such as femoral head and neck excision. We also have a visiting orthopaedic surgeon for more complex orthopaedic procedures.

State-of-the-art facilities techniques

Our state-of-the-art facilities include sterile operating theatres, in-house laboratories and diagnostic tools that help us provide your cat with the best possible care. We use modern anaesthetic techniques tailored to the health status of your cat to minimise negative circulatory effects and maximise pain control and recovery.  We also have a separate cat ward for less stress and more comfort.

Pet Insurance can help with the cost of surgery for cats
It’s always better to be prepared for the unforeseen when it comes to cat surgery costs. Many Pet Insurance policies cover a range of non-routine and emergency operations.

On the day of your cat’s operation:

  • You must ensure they have no breakfast (feed as normal the day before)
  • You’ll attend an admit appointment, usually with the nurse if you’ve recently seen a vet, where your cat will be checked over and any last minute questions or concerns can be raised. Cost, possible complications and pre-anaesthetic blood testing will be discussed before the consent form is filled out.
  • Once admitted, your cat will receive a pre-medication which helps keep them calm before surgery, aids in a smooth anaesthetic induction and gives the body pain relief.
  • Your cat will then have a cannula placed in their leg vein to give the anaesthetic and this stays in place until full recovery so that we can provide fluid blood pressure support or in the event of an emergency, we can give medication intravenously.
  • Your cat will usually be maintained under general anaesthesia via a tube placed down the airway delivering 100% oxygen and anaesthetic gas.
  • The area for surgery is widely clipped of hair and the skin prepared in a sterile manner before your cat is moved into our theatre.
  • In recovery, your cat will be monitored until they have a normal body temperature and we will phone to let you know how they are and how the procedure went. They’re usually fed within a couple of hours as this aids recovery.
  • If your cat is not staying overnight, they can go home between 3pm and 6pm depending on their recovery. The nurse will explain all post operative care to you, including feeding, rest, how to monitor the wound and when we need to see your cat again.
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