With over 25 years of veterinary experience between them Carla Murphy and Melanie Broad started Border Vets in October 2009. Through practices situated in Galashiels, Selkirk, and Innerleithen, they provide friendly and personal veterinary care to pets across the Borders.

From first vaccinations to a lifetime of preventative care, it’s our aim at Border Vets to help your pet live a long, happy and healthy life.

Feeding your kitten >


Kitten need dedicated kitten food rather than adult cat food. Kitten food has the right proteins and carbohydrates for growth and we stock the only food on the market that is proven to boost the immunity provided at vaccination by up to 50%.

Proplan kitten food trial packs can be found in our kitten packs. Plus you get a voucher which entitles you to £5 off your next bag of food.

Ongoingly you can ask to join our 8th bag free club which means that once you buy 7 bags you get the 8th one totally free. Just ask at the desk when you are handing in your voucher.


Vaccinating your kitten or adult cat >

Cat Dog Rabbit

Having your kitten vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect them against disease. At Border Vets we routinely vaccinate against the 3 core feline infectious diseases :

  • Feline Panleucopaenia Virus
  • Feline Herpesvirus
  • Feline Calicivirus

To this you can also add vaccination against Feline Leukaemia Virus. To find out more about vaccinations for your cat >>

When to vaccinate

Kittens get their first vaccine at 9 weeks of age and their second one at 12 weeks of age.

It is important to keep them up to date with an annual booster - we send out both postcard reminders and text reminders ( if you leave us your mobile number ).


Kitten Start Up ( 2 vaccine course ) £42.86

Annual Booster Vaccination £25.62


 Neutering >

From around the age of 5 to 8 months, kittens reach sexual maturity and are therefore capable of breeding and producing kittens themselves! Most people do not have the time or desire to breed from their cat and do not wish to add to the number of unwanted cats and kittens already looking for homes. Neutering a cat - castration in the male (removal of the testes), and spaying the female (removal of the ovaries and uterus) - not only prevents unwanted pregnancies occurring, but also curbs unwanted behaviours associated with sexual maturity and reduces the risk of certain diseases.

Spaying a female

In the past it has been suggested that all female cats should be allowed to have one litter of kittens. However, this is totally unnecessary and of no benefit whatsoever to the cat. It is therefore preferable to have a female spayed before she reaches sexual maturity. Once sexual maturity is reached, the cat will begin to come into season or 'call'. Cycles of sexual activity typically occur every three weeks, and when a cat is 'calling', as its name implies, this can be a very noisy affair! Certain drugs can be used to suppress the sexual cycle, but these carry quite a risk of significant side effects in cats and are not recommended for long-term use. If you are not going to breed from your female kitten, having her spayed will eliminate the sexual behaviour, the possibility of unplanned pregnancies and the risk of diseases associated with the genital tract later in life.

The spaying operation involves the administration of a general anaesthetic and the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus through an incision made on the flank or belly of your cat. The operation is done as a day procedure - drop her off at 8.30am and home at 5pm. She will have stitches in for 10 days so needs to be kept inside until the stitches are out.

Castrating a male

Castrating a male is equally important as spaying a female to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore, entire male cats have a strong tendency to roam, to be aggressive to other males, to fight and to mark their territory by spraying urine (often indoors!). The aggressive behaviour puts an uncastrated male at much higher risk of serious infectious disease such as feline immunodeficiency virus (feline 'AIDS') and feline leukaemia virus, both of which are transmitted through cat bites.

Castration involves removing both testes under general anaesthetic through small incisions into the scrotum. Usually the skin incisions for a castration are so small that stitches are not required.

Postoperative care

Cats usually recover from the neutering operation remarkably quickly. They may be a little drowsy for a few hours, but by the next day they are usually very lively again. It is sensible to try to keep your kitten fairly quiet for a day or two to allow the internal wounds some time to heal. However, if your kitten seems unusually quiet or dull you should contact Mel or Carla. Also, if your kitten starts to lick or scratch excessively at the skin sutures, contact us to get a collar to prevent any damage being done to the wound.


Dark patches of fur

The skin temperature is important in determining the hair colour of some cats (eg, Siamese cats). This means that when a patch of hair is shaved (eg, for the spay operation) the new hair may grow back a darker colour. However, this is only temporary and, as further hair growth occurs, the dark hairs are replaced by normal lighter coloured hairs.

Age for neutering

We normally neuter cats at 6 months of age. We provide a free 6 month check up to ensure that they are ready. Undesirable behaviour patterns may be more difficult to alter if cats are neutered when they are older.



How to buy a cat box >



Choosing the right cat box can make or break the trip to the vet. Many of the older style boxes are too small to get your cat in at home, and then too small to get them out of when they get to us, which causes stress for all involved at both ends.

What you want to aim for is something that makes your cat feel secure, but at the same time is accessible. Modern cat boxes like the one pictured are ideal. The front opens and the top opens making putting your pet in and getting them out doesn't turn into a fight.

Neither you nor your pet should dread travel because of the cat box fight !



How to encourage drinking >

Like us, cat's need to drink enough fluid. If they don't then they can be more prone to bladder infections and bladder stones. But try telling your cat they need to drink more ... they tend to have their own opinions on everything !

So make drinking more fun and tasty. Many cat's will drink from a running tap more readily than a bowl and we think it's because running water is more aerated and tastes slightly better to them. That is what the Drinkwell fountain does.

If there's one thing that will reduce your cat's episodes of cystitis, it's getting a fountain to encourage drinking.



How to check for dental problems >

The photo on the left shows the teeth of a cat that are good. Note the whiteness of the teeth and the absence of tartar ( yellow stuff ) on the surface of the teeth. The next thing to notice is the gum line round the edges of the teeth is nice and pink and smooth.

Now contrast the previous photo with the photo on the right here. Note all the tartar on the teeth and the red angry gum edge showing us gingivitis. The teeth need to be scaled and polished or the roots will soon be damaged and teeth will be lost.


Pull back the lips of your cat today and check their teeth out. Action now could save their teeth in the future.


How to get a urine sample >


This is by far the easiest way to get a urine sample for testing. The whole pack costs £3 and contains non-absorbant cat litter, a pipette to sook up the urine, and a little test tube to put it in to bring to us for testing. it really couldn't be easier and it's all reusable !!

Urine tests ( especially in cat's who are aged 10 years plus) are a huge benefit to screen for early diabetes and kidney problems as well as the bladder infections that can effect all ages.



How to avoid other cat's coming in and spraying in your house >

This is genius :)

We have lots of clients that have terrible problems with their cats inviting other cats in through the cat flap for a house party. Typically they get drunk and start spraying around their house (well maybe not drunk ) to claim it as their territory. The cat whose house it is then starts spraying to reclaim their territory and so it goes on ...

To stop the cycle the easiest way is to ban the party-goers but that can prove difficult if you still want your cat to be able to go in and out of the house - until the invention of these flaps !

The flap is programmed to your own cat's microchip number and it only allows your cat in - genius !


How to get to us >



We currently operate three surgeries in the Scottish Borders. Find out which one is the nearest to you and how to get there.


Surgeries page >>

Contact us >>