The importance of neutering, vaccinating and microchipping
Neutering is a very important part of responsible pet ownership. Did you know that an unneutered female cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendants in as little as 5 years.
Neutering is a simple operation which has many health benefits for cats:
- Essential to prevent unwanted kittens
- Reduce the spread of disease
- Wandering (while searching for a mate)
- Reduce territorial behaviour such as scratching, spraying and fighting (which can cause the spread of disease and injury)
All kittens and cats should be vaccinated to help them stay healthy and stop the spread of disease.
Vaccinations are available against:
- Feline infectious enteritis (feline parvovirus / panleucopenia) – a severe and potentially fatal gut infection.
- Cat Flu - vaccinations are available against several of the micro-organisms which cause this common but potentially severe respiratory syndrome.
- Feline leukaemia virus – a devastating fatal disease that damages the cat’s immune system and can cause cancer.
- Chlamydophila - a bacteria that causes severe conjunctivitis, along with mild sneezing and nasal discharge.
All vaccinations take place initially as a two part exercise, given three weeks apart, and then you need to update these vaccinations every year, to give your cat full protection against the above detailed diseases.
Microchipping your cat is highly recommended as the safest and simplest means of permanently identifying your cat.
A microchip is no bigger than a grain of rice and is inserted under the cat’s skin between their shoulder blades. The microchip carries a unique ID number linked to a database holding all your contact details, and details on your cat, ie: their name, allowing you to be contacted should they stray and are found or are injured and again found.
Through the action of microchipping your cat, collars for identifying purposes are no longer required. They are much safer than a collar too. At Cats Protection we see a lot of severe injuries resulting from fitted collars and, of course, collars can become lost and so the means to identify your cat is lost. The microchip will last a lifetime.
Please remember to update your details on the microchip at any point your contacts change. We see too many cats coming into our care who have been found lost and are microchipped, but the details are out of date and so we are unable to reunite them with their rightful owners.
Regular flea and worm treatment is another vital responsibility as a new owner of your cat and is a basic requirement in the care of your cat.
Fleas are very common in cats but can be hard to spot. Fleas are picked up from outside when your cat goes out to play, picked up from close contact from other animals, and potentially even from yourself from where you go out and bring them in on your footwear, and they will lay in wait to jump on your cat as a nice warm host, to then feed off of your cat.
You must treat your cats for fleas monthly to keep it healthy, to prevent over-grooming through irritation, through scratching, and to prevent infestation, which can bring further health issues.
There are many high quality treatments available from your vet.
Cats can become infected with various internal worms through hunting, and sometimes through ingesting fleas when grooming, another reason to keep your cats flea treatment updated.
A build up of worms in your cats intestines can cause serious health problems, so it is advised to treat your cat at three-monthly intervals, and there are various high quality worming products available for your cat at your vet.
All cats and kittens adopted from the National Cat Adoption Centre have been neutered/vaccinated/microchipped and regularly treated for fleas and worms, so you can adopt with confidence.