How To Care For Your New Cat
Cats are the perfect choice of pet if you lead a busy life and no one in your household works at home. Most cats are very independent and can be left to their own devices for much of the time. They may enjoy human company but they also relish time alone and they require little care day to day other than the provision of food. However, if you are welcoming a cat to your household, there are a few matters that you must attend to.
A microchip is the best way of identifying a lost cat. Cats rarely wander off or get lost but this does happen. A microchip is safe and permanent and features a unique number which is stored on a national database. When the chip is scanned it will reveal that you own the cat and your address. Your cat won’t experience any pain when the microchip is inserted and won’t be aware of its presence. You should notify the microchip database if you move house.
You can help to reduce the incidence of several feline diseases and protect your own cat against them by ensuring that your cat receives their vaccinations and boosters. Routine vaccinations are administered at 9 weeks of age and there is a second dose at 12 weeks. Your cat will then require annual boosters to maintain their immunity. You should vaccinate against the following diseases:
Feline Infectious Enteritis
This is a severe and fatal infection of the gut caused by the feline parvovirus. This virus is common in the environment and so unvaccinated cats are at great risk of contracting the disease.
Feline Herpesvirus and Feline Calcivirus (Cat Flu)
These are common viruses. The vaccination offers excellent protection from an unpleasant and prolonged illness but the number of different strains of the virus means that some threat remains.
Feline Leukaemia Virus
Most cats which contract feline leukaemia will die within three years. The disease is transmitted via direct contact between cats and so this is an essential vaccination for cats which spend time outdoors.
This is a bacterium which causes conjunctivitis and is spread by direct contact between cats. It mainly affects multi-cat households and kittens. You vet will advise you as to whether your cat should receive this vaccination.
Neutering your cat will prevent you or someone else from having to cope with an unwanted litter of kittens. It is the most effective way of reducing the number of unwanted cats in the UK. The surgery should be conducted before your cat reaches puberty. The procedure is relatively simple for both male and female cats and they will make a quick recovery from their treatment.
A cat is a serious responsibility. Despite their independent nature, cats do require routine care. Microchipping, vaccination and neutering are expenses that you must factor in when you are considering whether or not you can afford a new pet. If you do not invest in these treatments and procedures then you will be putting your cat at risk, contributing to the population of unwanted animals and promoting the spread of disease.