Neutering is a priority, as it is the key to reducing the vast number of unwanted cats and strays.
- Cats Protection neuters 100,000 cats each year, but despite this the cat population has risen over 22% in a decade, and around 800,000 kittens are being born each year.
- A female cat can start to reproduce from the age of six months and have up to three litters a year with five or six kitten per litter.
- Male cats are fertile from as early as six months and each can impregnate hundreds of female cats each year.
- Cats reproduce incredibly efficiently and a single female can be responsible for more than 200,000 offspring in just five years.
- A neutered cat makes a better pet: it is not as territorial, less agressive, more affectionate, and less likely to wander. Neutered cats usually live longer.
- Neutering can literally save a cat's life. Feline Immunodeficiency Virun (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) are life-threatening diseases for cats. They are transmitted through a cat's saliva, which makes fighting cats at more risk. Neutered cats are less likely to get into fights with other cats and therefore are less likely to be bitten and infected with these diseases.
- Neutering is a simple operation which is carried out when the cat is about six months old - just before the onset of the cat's puberty.
- Cats Protection advocates responsible pet ownership, and feels that money should not be a barrier to providing good standards of care. They continue to fund neutering through a special neutering scheme.
The implanting of a tiny chip between the animal's shoulder blades ensures that cats who wander can be reunited with their owners: the chip contains owner's details and can be scanned with a special device.
- The microchip is a safe and permanent method of cat identification. It is more reliable than other forms of identification, such as collars, which can get snagged or lost.
- The presence of the microchip enables Cats Protection and other animal welfare agencies to reunite cat owners and their pets swiftly.
- Microchipping is a simple process where a device, slightly smaller than a grain of rice and weighing less than one hundredth of an ounce, is inserted under the cat's skin between the shoulder blades.
- Inserting a microchip is no more painful than an injection. It can be carried out by vets and other specially trained personnel, including staff at Cats Protection shelters and some branches. Once in place the animal is unaware of its presence.
- Most vets and animal welfare organisations have microchip scanners. These handheld devices can be used quickly on a cat to detect the presence of a microchip.
- Each chip carries a unique identification number linked to a database containing details of the pet as well as the name and address of the owner. A simple phone call can establish the owner's details, thereby enabling missing cats to be reunited with their owners quickly.
- Microchipping greatly increases the chance of a missing cat being safely returned, but an added precaution is putting a quick-release collar and name tag on a cat.
Vaccination is essential in safeguarding against the common diseases to which cats are prone.
- Vaccination of cats helps to ensure general health and well-being of the cat population and assist in the reduction of the general incidence of disease amongst cat.
- Vaccinations work by stimulating the cat's natural defense mechanisms, setting up a protective response against the disease. This response is then triggered whenever the specific disease whenever the specific disease is encountered.
- Cats can be protected by vaccination against some of the most serious and possibly fatal feline diseases, including cat 'flu, feline infectious enteritis (FIE), feline leukaemia (FeLV) and feline chlamydia.
- Kittens are born with some natural protection against disease which is provided by their mothers' milk. As this protection is only temporary and declines quite rapidly, a kitten's course of vaccination should start from an early age, that is, at nine week's old. Older cats can be vaccinated as soon as they are settled in a new home.
- Cat should be kept indoors until 7-14 days after their vaccination course is completed. This ensures they develop full protection against disease whilst minimising their risk of infection from other cats.
- Once a cat has been vaccinated, the owner will be given a record card detailing the diseases the cat has been vaccinated againsts, as well as the due date of necessary annual booster injections. The record card is an important document and will be required should a cat enter a cat show or stay in a reputable boarding cattery.
- It is extremely uncommon for cats to suffer from side effects to vaccination of for vaccination to be ineffective. Any side effect tend to be fairly minor, such as listlessness for a short period. However a vet should be contacted if symptoms continue for more than a day.