Kiwis are world class pet owners- 64% of our households have animals. The only country that (only just) beats us is the USA at 65%. Canterbury holds the NZ record for pet ownership and more so in rural than urban areas so we have a lot of animals in our part of the world! Cats are our most popular pet in 44% of households and average about 250 cats/square km in urban areas- this is a lower density than in most urban areas worldwide.
We also love our environment and have a unique range of fauna including some very special birds that don’t all have the ability to fly. So how can we compromise and enjoy our pet cats, without allowing them to have too much of an impact on our birdlife? Also how can we keep them safe from the poisons and traps that are frequently laid for pest control?
The only guaranteed method of having cats without them being able to hunt or come to any harm themselves at all is to keep them exclusively indoors. Of course this can lead to an increase in other predators like rats and mice which would normally be reduced in numbers by cats. Rodents are also more easily caught by cats than birds because cats, just like pigs, can’t fly. If you decide not to allow your cats outside it is vital to allow them enough socialisation and stimulation as required under the Animal Welfare Act. So they need tunnels ideally with access to an enclosed outdoor exercise area, plenty of toys and climbing towers, companions and also regular playtime with the humans. It’s important to also give them a safe place to hide so they can get away from it all. If you start doing this when still a kitten it is much easier than trying to get an older cat to adjust to confinement.
Perhaps a more realistic goal is to keep cats in at night which is when most of their hunting occurs. Some states in Australia require this. What you are effectively doing is turning a naturally nocturnal animal into a diurnal one like us. Cats cope perfectly well with this adjustment in fact the majority of pet cats are probably diurnal anyway because of their close association with humans. Use brightly coloured collars (scrunchies/kiwi cat collars) and/or bells to make hunting harder. Rodents are also less likely than birds to see colour so the coloured collars really make a lot of sense. Studies show most cats bring home about 30% of what they catch, and often will have individual preferences for the species they hunt. Remember they can also be opportunistic hunters, so if they see a potential prey they may chase it even if that was not their original intention. For this reason just providing an indoor litter tray will reduce their hunting opportunities.
Of course desexing your cat keeps their numbers down and is always the responsible thing to do unless you are a breeder. I’d also really recommend microchipping them, although this is not compulsory as in dogs it makes identification of lost cats so much easier, and allows them to be quickly reunited with their owner.
Finally I’d like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year. Thanks heaps for your support during this rather strange year and here’s hoping 2021 is better in all respects.
As well as an online store with an extensive range we've also created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.
Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online.
Our new vet, Dr India Martin has started and we offer an extra afternoon consulting in Diamond Harbour. We have beautiful cat greeting cards available to help fund our kitten rehoming and stray cat desexing work. Thanks to Cat Rescue Christchurch who also generously pay for many of our surgeries on strays! You can hire stock signs for your car or to put on the road, as well as orange flashing beacons and hi-viz vests from us to comply with the new regulations when moving stock. We've put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think! Also have you noticed our freshly painted roof?
We have a large of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery has proved very popular, and we've had many repeat customers. Masterpet has taken over the cattery's food sponsorship with BlackHawk cat and kitten food, we'd also like to thank Hills Pet Nutrition for their food sponsorship over the cattery's first 5 years.
We have an in house blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.
We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about very competitively priced BlackHawk farm dog food specially designed at Massey for NZ working dogs, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.
We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen, Hills Science Diet and BlackHawk dog and cat food in stock. We can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Animal health information - Archives
Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.
A different perspective, Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust
Becoming a vet, Becoming a veterinary technologist, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn, Barley grass
Calici vaccination update- rabbits, Canine cough
Dental care, De sexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette, Distemper
External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice
First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms
Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke
Internal parasites, Is it too late to spay or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet, I don't vaccinate my animals, Insights from a vet nursing student
Kitten rehoming, Kennel cough
Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Mycoplasma bovis , Microchipping,
Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist
Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards
Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing, Pet statistics in NZ, Phamaceuticals- the NZ situation, Parvovirus
Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block
Senior wellness, Sheep measles, Snuffles
Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work, Tom cat vasectomy
Urinary problems in cats, Upper Respiratory Tract (URT) infections
Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler
War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats
Xhosa- lost in translation
Yoghurtised milk recipe