Animal Health

Note that if your companion is ill, the best thing you can do is take her to a vet. A professional exam is the only way to diagnose your companion effectively.

We've found some great sources of information about animal health - and some terrible ones! Here we've listed links to recommended information and organisations. Click on a heading to see details.

Feline Behaviour

An excellent leaflet from The Blue Cross UK - also available to download as a PDF.


The optimum time to socialise kittens is usually between 3 and 7 weeks of age. Without positive human contact and experiences within this critical time kittens can grow up unfriendly and fearful. Problem behaviours can result not only from lack of early socialisation, but also traumatic experiences. Find out how to deal with many problem behaviours at the following link.


Excellent information on socialising a feral cat from Stray Pet Advocacy.


Feline Diseases

Amputee cats usually cope very well with their disability. This article has some great information.

Amputation in Cats from International Cat Care

Fading kitten syndrome is a set of symptoms that are associated with a failure to thrive in neonatal kittens. Fading kitten syndrome is not a single disease. It can have many underlying causes, many of which lead to rapidly declining health, or even death, without immediate intervention. Caregivers can help kittens with fading kitten syndrome by monitoring for its signs and acting quickly when treatment is necessary.

From - a complete pet health guide to treatment of diabetes mellitus in cats.

Take a deep breath, and relax; we're here to help you. Cat diabetes is a treatable, manageable condition. You can maintain your sanity and your cat's health, all on a reasonable budget.

“FIV” stands for “feline immunodeficiency virus” just as “HIV” stands for “human immunodeficiency virus.” In fact, these two viruses are closely related and much of the general information that has become common knowledge for HIV also holds true for FIV. FIV is a virus that causes AIDS in cats; however, there is a long asymptomatic period before AIDS occurs.

Isolation of an FIV+ cat is not necessary in a stable household, unless the FIV+ cat is likely to fight with the other residents.

Infection with coronavirus is actually very common in cats, but most of the time it does not cause any problems, other than perhaps mild self-limiting diarrhoea. Uncommonly, the virus mutates (changes) to a strain of coronavirus which has the potential to cause disease. This mutated strain is the cause of FIP.

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is an incurable viral infection that eventually produces fatal illness in infected cats. There is no risk to humans.

Diagnosis is by blood test but it is not straightforward. Testing of cats can be carried out at any age from birth.

Most veterinary practices can offer a simple “in-house” test but the results are not fully reliable. The most common problem is a healthy cat testing positive on an “in-house” test. Many recently exposed cats will test positive, but will subsequently clear the infection successfully, so a second test at least 12 weeks after the first is recommended. 

Beware of vets recommending killing an FeLV positive cat. Infected cats can have a good quality of life. Although many cats succumb within 3 yr of diagnosis, others remain clinically healthy for multiple years.

Feline infectious enteritis (FIE) is a disease caused by infection with feline parvovirus (FPV), also known as feline panleukopenia virus or feline distemper.

Feline parvovirus infection is probably the greatest major disease threat to any rescue facility.

A good source of info on Feline Pneumonitis (Chlamydia), Rhinotracheitis (Herpesvirus), Calicivirus, and a few others causes symptoms similar to those of a head cold. 

From Mar Vista Animal Medical Centre

Ringworm or dermatophytosis is an infection caused by a particular type of fungus that has the ability to grow on the skin and use the superficial layers of the skin, hair or nails as a source of nutrition. No worms are involved, despite the name.

Excellent information on ringworm from International Cat Care

A great source of info on the relationship between white cats, eye colour and deafness. Messybeast is a great source of feline info generally.


Feline Health

Great information all round, including terrific Cat Carer Guides and TNR information and support. UK based.

Cat Carer Guides

Excellent resource for information for vets and pet guardians on health, surgery, medications and vaccines.

Pet Web Libraries home page

The Ralph Site has great information on dealing with the death of our companions, not least of which, dealing with making decisions that we never want to have to make. But we do have to, eventually. And we need to do what's best for them, not necessarily what's best for us. This site has had me in bits several times, but it's so worth a look.

Veterinary Links

ISFM is the veterinary division of the charity International Cat Care. Helping cats worldwide by providing a feline focus for the veterinary profession.


The IVNA is a voluntary organisation and acts as the voice of its members in protecting and promoting the Veterinary Nursing profession within Ireland.

Their Main Webpage

The Veterinary Council of Ireland is the Statutory Body established under the Veterinary Practice Act 2005. The Veterinary Practice Act 2005 was passed in July 2005. The Veterinary Practice (Amendment) Act was passed in July 2012.

The principal function of the Council is to regulate and manage the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the State in the public interest.

Veterinary Ireland is the representative body for veterinary surgeons in Ireland. Its role is to represent veterinary surgeons in Ireland and to facilitate the veterinary profession in its commitment to improving the health and welfare of animals under its care, to protecting public health and to serving the changing needs of its clients and the community through effective and innovative leadership.

Veterinary Ireland Journal is a monthly publication that covers all aspects of veterinary science – with a special emphasis on the Irish veterinary profession. The Veterinary Ireland Journal carries veterinary news, focus articles, nursing features, business pieces, research findings, continuing education, clinical reports, and continuing education articles for large and small animal practitioners.