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Cat Vaccination and parasite control routines for ‘less than cooperative’ kitties

Cat receiving a vaccination from the vet to prevent parasites
Cat receiving a vaccination from the vet to prevent parasites

Whilst our domesticated feline friends may like to think of themselves as little wild jungle cats, they still require our assistance to stay healthy, starting with the protection of a regular cat vaccination and parasite control program. Here’s how you can practically achieve optimal protection for your resident feline, even if they are acting a bit like a jungle cat!

Feline Vaccination

The F3 vaccination is recommended for every cat who comes into contact with other cats, whether at home, outdoors or in boarding. This vaccine helps to protect them against the effects of feline panleucopaenia (similar to parvovirus in dogs) and two of the most common causes of cat flu – feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus.

For any cat that goes outdoors, we recommend vaccinating against Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Carried in the saliva and most commonly spread via cat bites, FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) is a danger to any cat who ventures outside and makes contact with an already infected cat. Similar to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), symptoms are not easily detectable, causing the virus to usually go unnoticed for several years. During this time, the immune system gradually weakens. Lymph nodes increasingly swell and your cat might start losing weight, causing them to suffer from chronic infections. As FIV has no cure, if your cat goes outdoors and isn’t vaccinated for FIV, get in touch with us today.

To keep optimal immunity, kittens will require a series of vaccinations starting at 8 weeks old and vaccinating every 2 to 4 weeks up until 16 weeks old and then an annual booster.

If you know your cat becomes very fearful during car journeys or shows anxious or aggressive behaviours in the clinic, have a chat with our friendly team! Depending on your pet’s particular demeanour, we may be able to recommend calming scent pheromone sprays (Feliway) for the journey or sedative medications that you can administer at home (directly into your cat’s mouth or via food) to reduce their anxiety.


Feline parasite control

We recommend regular flea control for most cats, even if they live indoors, as fleas can be brought in by other household pets or on human shoes.

Any cat that goes outdoors, we recommend to be on a regular, year-round routine of flea, tick and worming prevention.There are effective topical products which last from one-to-three month’s duration.

Whilst this may sound easy in theory, we understand that not every cat will be cooperative!

Most topical products are designed to be administered to the skin at the back of your cat’s neck/scruff area, where they can’t lick it off. It can really help to perform a gentle towel wrap restraint of your cat if they get wriggly, as demonstrated in this video. It may also help to distract them with a tasty lickable treat pouch during the process, and remember to always have a treat ready for your cat afterwards as a positive reward!

Administering tablets to cats requires gentle restraint and correct technique. Here is a video that demonstrates good techniques for giving tablets to your cat. It can also help to coat tablets in butter, or to hide unpalatable tablets in flavourless gelatin capsules, which can be purchased at a pharmacy.

If you’re really struggling to administer routine treatments to your cat, have a chat with our team. Depending on the particular treatment, we may be able to recommend an easier, alternative product. Otherwise, our experienced nurses and vets are always happy to provide hands-on help for you and your pet in-clinic. Together, we can keep your little jungle cat happy and healthy!

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