Cat Why have my cat identified, sterilized and vaccinated?

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tatouage chat

The tattoo, which requires general anesthesia, is performed inside the ear. In order to avoid putting the cat to sleep just to tattoo it, it is often done concomitantly with a surgical procedure such as sterilization.

When it is done on the occasion of sterilization, for example, the price of the tattoo is roughly equivalent to that of the chip. It is still recognized today in France. While some owners deplore its lack of aesthetics, others find it more beneficial to affix a mark on their animal that is visible to all. It should nevertheless be borne in mind that tattoos can fade over time until they become illegible, and that eventually it may be necessary to redo it, or to complete it with a chip (both methods can perfectly accumulate). On the other hand, if your cat is not easy going, it may not be easy to read a tattoo in the hollow of the ear.

For globetrotters, on the other hand, the chip is the best solution. Indeed, since July 3, 2011, it is indeed the electronic chip which is required to travel with your animal, including within the European Union.

It sits without anesthesia, just under the skin in the left neck area. About the size of a grain of rice, it is completely invisible. The pose can sometimes be slightly painful but is very quick. The chip is read using a reader available to veterinarians and shelters. All you have to do is scan the neck region with the reader, and the chip then emits its signal. This is a unique identification number, specific to your cat, consisting of 15 digits. The first three indicate the country of origin (250 for France). Permanent and tamper-proof, the electronic chip therefore has many advantages.

Vaccination is an essential tool in the fight against diseases in cats. Depending on the case, it helps protect against infection or alleviate symptoms.

It may be required in certain contexts (breeding, exhibitions). The fact that a cat lives exclusively in an apartment does not mean that vaccination is superfluous. Even if he is not used to going outside, your cat may have encountered other people during his life during a visit to the veterinarian, a hospitalization, or if you have occasionally need to keep him in a reception structure.

The vaccine injections are carried out according to a precise schedule, which depends on the vaccine used but also on your animal and its lifestyle. Typically, this vaccination schedule begins between 8 and 12 weeks of age. It includes two injections one month apart, then annual boosters. This should be seen as an opportunity to see the vet at least once during the year, to do a check-up, and to ask all your questions.

Cats are vaccinated against the following diseases:

-The Calicivirus: First cause of coryza in cats, the calicivirus is frequently encountered. In case of infection, the vaccination will help alleviate the symptoms.

-Infectious rhinotracheitis: This is the second cause of coryza in cats. This virus is very widespread in cats, and is transmitted during close contact.

-Panleukopenia (Typhus): Panleukopenia is a very serious disease, often fatal in young cats. Although quite rare, it is still found regularly in places where cats meet (kennels, veterinary clinics). Vaccination reduces the intensity of symptoms and the risk of death.

To this can be added, depending on the case, vaccination against leukosis and rabies:

– Leucosis: it is a retrovirus, extremely contagious. Transmission occurs through contact with an infected cat, via saliva. Once infected, the cat can eliminate the virus, or keep it for life. Vaccination helps prevent permanent infection.

-Rage: this vaccination is only compulsory if you wish to travel abroad or to Guyana with your cat. On the other hand, it remains recommended for all. Indeed, if France is today free from rabies, we regularly detect cases of rabies imported from non-free areas, such as Morocco. Likewise, your cat while hunting may encounter some bats in which the absence of rabies can never be guaranteed. This disease, very rare in France, nevertheless remains inevitably fatal when it is transmitted to humans.

What is the point of sterilization?

Spaying is often requested by owners of male cats. Carried out around the age of 6 months, it is a rapid intervention perfectly mastered by your veterinarian. The cat recovers very quickly, but it nevertheless remains a surgical act under general anesthesia which can therefore involve risks.

Castration is known to make cats less wandering and therefore less prone to accidents and fights with fellow creatures. They would then be less likely to contract IVF and leukosis, diseases usually transmitted by bite. Be careful, however, these behavioral modifications are only observed if the castration is carried out early. Indeed, once the cat has acquired certain habits, it will not get rid of them so easily … On the other hand, sterilized male cats tend to develop diseases of the lower urinary tract more frequently, in particular stones which, if they get lodged in the urethra, prevents the cat from urinating. The cat then gets into position to urinate, meows, or even urinates a few drops tinged with blood. It is then an emergency. The prevention of these stones requires weight control and a suitable diet.

Surgical sterilization of females, called oophorectomy, is a slightly heavier and therefore more expensive operation. However, this remains a very frequent operation. Its advantage is considerable from a medical point of view: in fact, carried out early, it reduces the risk of generally malignant mammary tumors in the cat by more than 90%. It also makes it possible to avoid heat and its share of behaviors that are sometimes painful for the cat. owner (untimely meows, attraction of male cats from the neighborhood…). On the other hand, this act is final, and permanently deprives the cat of any possibility of having kittens. Contrary to many popular beliefs, not having babies has no impact on the health and well-being of the cat.

Finally, be aware that there are also temporary contraceptive methods. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on this subject.

In both males and females, sterilization deprives the cat of its sexual functions, which are very costly in energy. Therefore to avoid any weight gain it is imperative to reduce your cat’s energy intake by switching to a range of specific foods for sterilized cats.

Sterilization is therefore an act that must be considered, which has advantages and disadvantages. The decision is yours, and must be adapted on a case-by-case basis. Do not hesitate to seek advice from your veterinarian.

Pauline Denoeux

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