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Prevention of Diseases in Cats

Prevention is better than cure!

Most Mediterranean Diseases Are Spread By Mosquitoes Or Ticks

The prevention of tick-borne infections in cats must focus on tick control, while the prevention of mosquito-borne infections must focus on the control of mosquitoes.

Fortunately, there are chemicals that help control ticks and some have the added advantage of also eradicating fleas as that can aid in the transmission of tapeworm (see chart below).

Commercial Treatments Available To Buy

Cat Products
Administration Frequency
Kills adult fleas Kills flea eggs Kills ticks Repels mosquitoes Kills lice Repels flies
Advantage 40 (cats up to 4kg)
Advantage 80 (cats over 4kg)
Monthly topical
YesYesNo NoNoNo
Advantage Multi SpotOn for Cats
Monthly topical
YesYesNo NoNoNo
Frontline Combo
Monthly topical
YesYesYes NoYesNo
Advocate 40 (cats up to 4kg)
Advocate 80 (cats over 4kg)
Monthly topical
YesYesNo NoNoNo
Advocate also kills ear mites and the majority of intestinal worms
Seresto Collar
Effective for 8 months
YesYesYes NoNoNo

Some cats however, are allergic to these chemicals and you might choose to treat your cat with natural products. There is a possibility then, that he/she will get more ticks and will be at greater risk of developing tick-borne diseases.

There are other measures that can be taken to reduce exposure to ticks:

  • Checking your garden and identifying and treating areas that could harbour tick nests, particularly during periods of peak tick activity during Spring and Autumn
  • carefully examining your cat to identify and then to remove ticks is vital, as removal of ticks within 48 hours of attachment helps to reduce the risk of disease transmission

There are other measures that can be taken to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Checking your garden and identifying and treating areas that could attract mosquitoes, particularly during the time of year when mosquitoes are more prevalent
  • Making the home environment unattractive to mosquitoes

Vaccination is an integral part of a preventative health care programme.

Vaccination has been one of the great success stories of veterinary medicine, and has saved countless thousands of animals and it's worth remembering that many of the pet diseases we vaccinate against are killers.

Vaccines Against Infectious Diseases

Cats should be routinely vaccinated against:

  • feline panleucopaenia (or infectious enteritis)
  • feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus (both causes of "cat flu")
  • Chlamydia
  • Most vets will also vaccinate against feline leukaemia, although some do not.

These are administered in the one vaccination (often called a polyvalente vaccination).

Other vaccines, that are administered separately include Rabies vaccination, which is mandatory in Spain.

The timetable for vaccinations and worming is in a separate section at the bottom of the page called Vaccination and Treatment Timetable for Cats and Kittens

Worming

Regular worm control is part of being a good cat owner.

The main categories of worm affecting cats are roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms.

The most common of the roundworms is toxocara canis — this is the one that gets a lot of publicity about being a health risk to children.

Tapeworms are made up of strings of long flat segments, and can grow even longer than roundworms; the most common is dipylidium caninum.

More information on roundworms and tapeworms can be found in the relevant Fact Sheet

Even if there are no obvious signs of worms, it’s still possible your cat has them, so don’t wait for symptoms of infection to appear before you do anything about it — by the time this stage has been reached, your pet will have a heavy infestation and the worms will be doing their damage.

Worming products are a treatment and not a preventative. They are available in:

  • Flavoured pastes
  • Flavoured and chewable tablets
  • Powder/granules
  • Liquid suspension form (recommended for kittens)
  • Spot-ons are very convenient for administering a worming treatment to your cat. Some spot-on monthly parasite control treatments will also contain anti-worming properties.

As well as buying veterinary recommended products, such as Drontal, other brands are available in supermarkets and on-line. It is advisable to check that these are as efficient.

When a wormer is given, although it removes worms already present in the digestive tract, it doesn’t have a residual effect, but leaves your cat’s system after a few days, so it won’t prevent re-infection. This is why it’s important to have a year-round programme in place.

Frequency of worming depends on the product you use, the age of your cat and it´s lifestyle. Kittens are generally wormed every two to three weeks from the age of two weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly until six months old, after which every three months is usually sufficient.

Before giving a wormer, make sure you are giving the right dosage for your cat’s weight; and as this can fluctuate with both age and activity, check it first.

You may prefer to use natural products, perhaps because your cat has health problems, or simply because you don’t like the idea of using chemicals. There are alternatives to choose from, including giving garlic, neem or one of the many herbal and homeopathic preparations available. Remember that they will not have undergone the same safety and efficiency testing as the commercial products, so it may be a good idea to have stool samples checked periodically.

Prevention

A preventative strategy is as important as some form of regularly administered wormer; such preventative measures include:

  • scooping your cat´s poo both in the garden and from the litter tray
  • try to keep your cat from scavenging and killing wildlife
  • regularly wash the cat´s bedding
  • Also, routinely clean and disinfect your home to ensure that any infected material has not been brought in, on the soles of shoes etc.

Vets in the Axarquia

See a list of some of the vets local to the Axarquia

Reporting Abuse

If you need to report a case of cruelty please contact SEPRONA

If you find a stray ...

dog or cat abandoned in the Axarquia region, here's what to do