Charlie ShortTail
Lovecats a world of cats and all things feline. Featuring Charlie ShortTail a ginger and white tomcat with a rather cute and very short tail.
ginger cat at the vets

First aid for cats and kittens

Charlie ShortTail

Simple first aid for cats and advice on looking after your cat or kitten

First aid kit for cats and kittens

If your cat is injured, then it is best to seek medical attention from your vet.

Phone your vet for immediate advice on whether to take your cat to the vet or treat at home.

Many pet insurers have a free helpline for advice which may also helpful.

Keep your pet warm and in a safe place.

If your pet is unwell always seek advice from your vet as soon as possible.

 What to keep at home – first aid for cats


Minor injuries in cats

A clean blanket

If you need to give first aid to your cat it can be easier to wrap your cat in a blanket, as no matter how docile and friendly, if hurt the cat may be scared and so be unwilling to cooperate.

Minor cuts and abrasions

Minor cuts and abrasions should be cleaned as soon as possible to avoid the risk of infection.

For small cuts, stings and general care you can help your cat by knowing some simple and safe remedies.

Cleaning cuts – saline solution

Use a simple saline (salt solution) – 1 teaspoon of salt to 500ml of water. Cooled boiled water is ideal. This saline solution is as good as any antiseptic cream or lotion.

This solution can also be used to clean your cat’s ears, though you should never poke or push

near the ear canal.

If you use cotton wool dampen it first otherwise it will stick to the wound.

 Re-hydration fluid for a cat

Re-hydration fluid for a cat who has been ill can be made from one litre of warm water mixed with 1 teaspoon of table salt and 1 tablespoon of glucose powder (available from your pharmacist).


Tweezers- to remove foreign bodies. These should have rounded points so avoid injuring your cat. Do not attempt to remove ticks with tweezers.

 Surgical spirit

Surgical spirit can be used to remove ticks.

Ticks can look like swollen grains of rice and may be difficult to spot in long fur.

The most common tick to affect cats is the sheep tick. Ticks carry harmful bacteria and a range of diseases. Ticks may be caught from other cats and dogs or from vegetation which is infested with ticks.

Ticks attach themselves by their mouthparts to feed on your cat and so care must be taken to ensure the mouthparts are completely removed otherwise infection can occur.

Never pull a tick out.

Apply surgical spirit to the tick itself by painting it on with a small brush (a child’s paintbrush works well). This should kill the tick and it should fall off within 24 hours. You can alternately take your cat to the vet where the tick can be removed using specialist forceps. If there are many ticks, then you should seek medical care from your vet.

Some flea treatments give protection against ticks. Ask your vet to recommend a reputable product to use on your cat.

tick that attached and feeds off a cat



Fleas bite your cat to feed on the blood. They secrete saliva to stop the blood clotting.

A nasty flea infestation can cause anaemia, especially in small kittens. Some cats are also allergies to the saliva from the fleas, this is called ‘flea allergic dermatitis’. Regular treatment with a recommended product (ask your vet) can prevent fleas.

Wash your cats bedding on a hot wash. You may also need to treat your carpet or home with a flea spray.

Fleas can become immune to some flea treatments so always check your cat for the evidence of fleas or flea dirt.


Eye injuries

Eye injuries – never try to treat an eye injury yourself always seek help from your vet.

Dirty areas around the eye can be cleaned with saline solution or cooled, boiled water.

Fur balls

Your cats self-grooming can cause an accumulation of fur in a packed ball shape to form in the stomach; the cat may cough or vomit it up. Sometimes fur balls can cause a mild blockage in the cat’s intestine. If your cat has a long coat or has been moulting a lot a teaspoon of liquid paraffin may help to prevent blockages. Always seek advice from your vet.

friendly personality Maine Coon cat

Cats with long coats should be rushed daily to help prevent a build of loose fur and also to stop matting of the fur.


This may be due to a change in diet or bacterial infection. Occasional vomiting is normal, however if it is recurring you should seek medical assistance. Diabetes, liver problems, high worm infestations and blockages are some causes of vomiting.

It may just be down to your cat hunting or savaging food. Ensure your cat has clean water to drink and introduce a light diet as your pet improves.

Small portions of boiled chicken or scrambled egg may be given. If you are worried about your pet or your cat is not drinking do speak to your vet.

It is vital that your cat does not get dehydrated.

Sometimes your cat may eat grass to help an upset stomach and to induce vomiting.

Broken teeth

Broken teeth must always be treated by your vet.

cats mouth open to show the teeth
Open wide!

Cat bites

If your cat has had a fight with another cat and has been bitten these bites often get infected.

two cats jumping and playing together
Just playing…

Clean the area with saline solution. You may need to snip away some fur (remember to dip your scissors, cotton wool in water first to stop them sticking to the fur), after cleaning apply some antiseptic cream to the wound. If it shows signs of infection speak to your vet.

Your cat may need an anti-biotic as cat bites can sometimes be serious  – remember always check and get advice fr0m your vet.


And finally:

Ensure your cat is regularly wormed and treated for fleas.

Keep up vaccinations and have your cat neutered; these cats are less antisocial and also suffer from less disease than full ‘toms’ and ‘queens’.

Charlie says “If your pet is unwell always seek advice from your vet as soon as possible.”









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ginger cat grooming itself

All you need to know about cat fleas and how to get rid of them

Charlie ShortTail

Cats and Fleas

You can prevent fleas becoming a problem by regularly treating both your cat and your home.

Basic facts about cat fleas:


Fleas have four life stages: egg, lava, pupa and finally biting adult.

Fleas feed on the blood of their host – cats, dog, humans, birds and reptiles.

About 95 per cent of flea eggs and larvae live in the environment; your home – on beds, rugs, carpets and sofas – not on your cat.

The female flea can lay 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.

A flea can live more than 100 days without a blood meal.

Female cat fleas can lay 20 to 50 eggs per day, which hatch in 2 to 5 days.

A flea can live up to one year.

Female cat fleas can lay 20 to 50 eggs per day.

The female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily.

A flea can jump up to 8 inches high, or approximately 150 times its own height.

Under ideal conditions, a cat flea can complete its entire lifecycle in just two weeks.

Cat Fleas and your home

Cat fleas like warm and humid environments, so your nice, warm home is ideal.

Adult fleas spend their entire lives on your cat; eating, living, and mating before the female produces eggs.

The eggs fall off into the environment, where they hatch into larvae.

Has my cat got fleas?

Cat fleas love the warm, moist, safe home that is provided in a cats soft, furry coat.

The main way to tell if fleas are making a meal out of your cat is to take note of whether they are scratching or biting their skin and fur.

If you think that your cat has fleas, check the skin around the base of its tail or under the legs for tiny, moving black dots.

Using a flea comb is the easiest way to check for fleas – comb the fur and wipe the comb on a damp piece of kitchen towel; any reddish marks are from the flea dirt.

Preventing Cat Fleas and Treating Your Home

Stop cat fleas from taking over your home or pet by not giving them a chance in the first place.

In your home and garden you can help prevent a cat flea infestation by regularly cleaning out the areas where your pet rests.

Wash all pet bedding on a hot wash.

Vacuum regularly.

Treat your cat each month with a product recommended by your vet.

Flea Bite Hypersensitivity in Cats

Flea allergy dermatitis

Some cats may develop an allergy to flea saliva, which causes severe irritation and itchiness.

Fleas regurgitate digestive juices onto the skin of a bite site while they suck blood from their host, and sometimes cats can have serious allergies to this juice.

This allergy is called fleabite allergic dermatitis and can be developed over the course of a cats lifetime.

Cats that are allergic to flea bites (flea allergy dermatitis) can show excessive grooming and scratching from even just a single bite.

Flea bite hypersensitivity or flea allergic dermatitis causes severe itching.

This condition is called pruritis.

As only one or two flea bites a week can cause pruritis, symptoms will often persist even after some form of flea treatment has been applied to your cat.

Most cat owners will first notice frequent and severe itching and scratching, hair loss, and scabs on their cat’s skin.

Fleas or flea dirt may not be easily visible.

Only a few fleas can cause problems to sensitive cats.

Only ever use products made for cats –dog flea treatment can be highly toxic to cats.

Flea anaemia

Tiny ginger kitten

Fleas feed on blood, so young kittens, frail or older animals can become weak and even die as a result of blood loss. This is called flea anaemia.

Lethargy, disinterest in food, pale gums and low weight are some of the symptoms.

Flea larvae can become infected with tapeworm eggs. If your cat has fleas you should also make sure he/she is treated for worms.

A bad flea infestation can cause a lot of distress but is easily treated:

homeless cat with fleas

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Test your cat

Charlie ShortTail

How clever is your cat?


Charlie says never underestimate your cat.

Charlie can run faster than Usain Bolt!

Charlie says: ” Try this quick test with your cat”.

  1. Place a piece of wool or string on your cat’s back.

Cat moves fur – 1 mark

Cat removes string by many method – 2 marks

    2. Place a feather 2-4″ in front of your cat (4-8cm).

Cat touches feather with nose or paw, chews feather – 1 mark

Picks it up with paws – 2 marks

   3. On the floor move a pencil slowly towards your cat.

Cat touches pencil with paws – 1 mark

Cat touches the pencil with same paw more than once – 2 marks

  4. Stroke your cat around the mouth.

Cat closes eyes or shakes head – 1 mark

Cat licks the mouth  -2 marks

5. Touch your cat gently on her/ his back

Cat shakes or ripples the fur – 1 mark

Cat licks the spot touched – 2 marks

cats paw hi five
hi five!

The scores:

very clever = 8-10

quite clever 6-7

average 4-5

lazy 0-3

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