In Dubai three types of vaccinations are mandatory for cats in order to receive Dubai Municipality registration.
- Cat Flu
Cat flu is a feline upper respiratory tract infection that has similar symptoms to human flu i.e. runny nose, breathing problems, sneezing and watery eyes. The illness is mainly caused by two viruses – Feline Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calicivirus. The symptoms of both viruses are quite similar. While the virus makes the cat very uncomfortable, adult cats have a reasonable chance of surviving the ordeal with adequate veterinary intervention. Mortality rates in kittens are higher.
- Feline Infectious Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia and Feline Parvovirus)
This is highly contagious and deadly disease which appears to be more prevalent among kittens, but is not uncommon in adult cats. Only a few cats recover from the disease and the survival is due to a natural immunity as none of the known drugs are effective against the enteritis virus. Antibiotics are useful, but only to preventing secondary infections, rather than treating enteritis.
Symptoms of enteritis include depressed behavior, loss of appetite, vomiting and a desire to drink but not being able to do so and sometimes diarrhea.
Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system and can be fatal. All mammals, including humans, can be infected by rabies. Symptoms generally include behavior change, difficulty swallowing, increased salivation, depression and paralysis.
The disease is spread through the saliva of an infected animal and can be transmitted through a bite or an open wound. Treatment is possible but must be given as soon it is suspected that infection may have occurred. There is very little hope of any infected mammal surviving once the incubation period of the disease has passed and the symptoms can be observed.
How often the vaccinations need to be carried out?
It is recommended that the first vaccination is given to kittens for cat flu and feline enteritis at the age of 9 weeks. This visit to the vet can be combined with a medical check-up and micro-chipping.
A booster to the vaccine is required 4 weeks after the first vaccination for cat flu and feline enteritis, that is at the age of 12 weeks for kittens. This visit to the vet can be combined with a vaccination for rabies.
Your cat will be able to obtain the tag from Dubai Municipality, after the above vaccinations have been carried out combined with the micro chipping.
Then after vaccinations for cat flu, feline enteritis and rabies need to be repeated yearly.
In the event you rescue a cat and decide to adopt it, it will not be known whether the cat has already received the required vaccinations. In that instance the cat should be taken to the vet as soon as possible and follow the above schedule for vaccinations i.e. the first vaccination followed by a booster 4 weeks later followed by 12 monthly vaccinations.