KNOW YOUR CAT
How many regular vaccinations does a cat need?Here’s a list of the regular vaccinations advised:
Rabies Vaccine – Administering doses of this vaccine protects your cat from ‘rabies’. Since humans are also prone to the disease; this vaccine is required by law. Generally, a yearly dose of the vaccine is given to kittens, starting from four months. Some states also offer multiple years (mostly three years) rabies vaccinations. The legal requirements of the state should be taken into consideration before you go for either the one or the three-year jabs.
FVRCP Vaccine – This is a combination inoculation given on a yearly basis. Here, FVR stands for ‘Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis’ which is an upper respiratory disorder caused by a feline type 1, herpes virus. C stands for ‘Calcivirus’, which is also an upper respiratory disorder in cats. P stands for ‘Panleukopenia’ (Feline Distemper); which is communicable feline enteritis (inflammation of the intestines). Beginning at around 8 weeks of age, kittens require three jabs of this vaccine.
FeLV Vaccine – This vaccine guards against ‘Feline Leukemia’. It is a chronic and highly communicable disease that affects the immune system and other vital organs of cats, and may even lead to cancer or death in severe cases. It can also be hereditarily passed by infected mothers to their kittens. Generally, two FeLV injections are given three to four weeks apart, beginning at 9-12 weeks. An annual booster every year is administered for continued protection from thereafter.
In my hometown , the vets give canine vaccines to cats. Is this safe?
This is not just unsafe , it causes death and is illegal. It is written on vaccines whether they are ‘canine’ or ‘feline’. Unfortunately, vets in India know very little and they don’t bother to learn anything after they pass out of college. You need to complain taking the vet’s name and address and phone number to the Veterinary Council of India. Once , one or two vets have had their licenses taken away, the rest will start learning their jobs.
Why does my cat scratch me?
Cats by nature scratch a lot. It’s natural and cannot be stopped. However, excessive scratching to the point of actually causing damage to the human should not occur. Let the cat know of your displeasure on account of its scratching by not engaging with it as soon as it scratches. Make a distinct sound and walk away from the cat and ignore it as soon as it scratches. This will make sure that the cat knows that you do not appreciate its behavior and it should thus, change it.
Why does my cat suddenly get annoyed or anxious and try to scratch or bite during playtime?
No one has understood till now why a cat seems pleased by your petting only to suddenly whirl around and bite you. They purr up to the moment they attack. Could be that they tolerate human touch only for a little while. Or that they think scratching and biting is also part of play. It could also be that a sensitive area on the body has been touched. Release your hand at the first indication of its boredom/annoyance.
How should I play with my cat?
While playing with a cat you have to respect the cat’s boundaries and make sure it doesn’t feel threatened or annoyed. Be gentle with the cat and simulate it both mentally and physically. You can use a string and a toy to positively stimulate its hunting instincts, play with papers, even use your hand to play fight, but you shouldn’t get too rough. You can give it virtually any fun object, a small box or yarn in a ball.
(Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)