Taking Precautions with your Cat

The majority of veterinarians tell the owners of pets “to prevent is better than having to cure”. For your cat to live a long and healthy life it is necessary to give it a regular veterinarian care.

Because the number of cats (and crossbreeds) keeps increasing, there is now an over population of stray cats. Your cat may come in contact with other cats and there may be the risk of it getting infected with sicknesses that are sometimes deadly. Even cats that are kept indoors are not completely safe because there is the chance of certain viruses getting in on shoes or clothes. Therefore it is very important that your cat is vaccinated against the “family tree” of viral sicknesses: cat flues, feline enteritis and feline leukemia (and even in some countries, rabies). Until now there is no vaccination against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.

For kittens, the first vaccinations consist of two injections, one when it turns nine months and the second when it is twelve months old. If you adopt a stray cat or one from a rescue center, wait for two weeks before vaccinating it; if it is has a flu virus, the vaccination may do it harm. Immunity is not complete until two weeks after the second injection, so keep your cat inside for that time The vaccination will not protect it against a disease that has already shown symptoms.

To be able to maintain a level of immunity, it is required to give it another dose every twelve to eighteen months. Some cats may feel a little sick after the vaccinations, but unless the symptoms keep showing up after two months, there is no need to worry. In the last couple of years it was proved that a small percentage of the animals that had a regular dose would become sick or would develop deadly tumors in the area where the injection was taken.

This problem is usually found with vaccinations against rabies and leukemia. Some veterinarians recommend that the reinforcing doses are only taken once every three years, after the first dose, to avoid risk of any other reactions. Even so, the debate of this risk is still open for discussion and the risk of getting feline leukemia is far greater than the small risk of developing tumors around the area where the injection was taken. To be able to be at ease and not have to worry about this subject, it’s better that you council with your veterinarian and discuss the pros and cons.

You will be given a certificate, which should be updated when you apply the annual reinforcing injections. Always have it with you, in the case that you decide to one day leave you cat in a care center.

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