IT’S A VET’S LIFE by Vetsavers

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Purr-fect way to protect your cats

Last week we discussed the importance of vaccinations for dogs, but let’s not forget our cats.

Kittens and adult cats alike are always exploring the great world around them and, therefore, are likely to come into contact with infectious diseases.

Vaccination teaches your cat’s immune system in advance how to recognise and defend against certain important diseases, which are often incurable and can be fatal in some cases.

They need your help to protect them against the following diseases:

Feline Panleucopenia – this is a disease that can affect cats of all ages. Kittens are particularly at risk as their immune system is not fully developed. The virus is passed on in faeces and can stay in the environment for a long time. This disease is often fatal.

Cat flu – this is transmitted from infected cats and also from contaminated items in the environment such as cat bowls. The symptoms are similar to a human cold, with runny eyes and nose and sore throat and, in severe cases, fever and mouth ulcers.

Chlamydia – this is a disease spread by close contact between cats. This disease can cause severe conjunctivitis which can be long lasting and is uncomfortable.

Feline Leukaemia Virus – this is a viral disease and can cause severe damage to the cat’s immune system and can result in tumours. Cats spread this disease between themselves from grooming each other, sharing feeding and water bowls and fighting. It is a fatal disease and the only protection to ensure your cat does not contract this disease is to vaccinate against it.

Rabies – We are a rabies-free country, but if you are taking your cat abroad you must get them vaccinated against rabies. This is required by law.

Why do we need to vaccinate our cats?

Most of the diseases we vaccinate against have no specific cure. But if we vaccinate, the cat’s immune system is taught to recognise and fight the diseases.

When to vaccinate

A certain amount of immunity for a young kitten is passed down to them from their mother. This sadly diminishes quickly.

Kittens should be vaccinated ideally at eight weeks old.

The usual schedule for vaccination is two injections done three weeks apart and then 10-14 days after the second injection is given the protection is in place

However, for this protection to remain in place an annual booster injection must be given.