There are an estimated 10.5 million cats in the UK, with almost a quarter of humans owning a cat.
However, 26 per cent of these animals have never been vaccinated, leaving them vulnerable to infectious diseases, some of which are very difficult to treat, but which could easily be prevented through regular vaccination.
A further 38 per cent of cat owners do not realise the importance of regular vaccinations.
The ‘Viral Cats’ campaign aims to emphasise how vital these treatments are, with full feline vaccination information including a quiz to find out if a cat is covered housed at www.viralcats.co.uk. Owners can also obtain a voucher for their pet’s vaccinations.
Diseases such as Feline Infectious Enteritis and Feline Leukemia Virus can be potentially fatal to cats. Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (Cat Flu) is the most common infectious disease a cat can contract, and can cause cats to suffer with signs such as pneumonia and severe fever. These diseases can be contracted through direct contact with infected cats and some can even be carried into the home on shoes and clothes, meaning that even strictly indoor cats could be at risk. All three of these diseases, and more, can be easily prevented by vaccination.
Aiz Baig, Product Manager at animal health company Merial, says: “Given the high numbers of unvaccinated cats in the UK, it is important that cat owners are aware of the risks they are taking if their cat is not up to date with their vaccinations. Using social media we can reach cat owners far and wide and encourage them to talk to their vet about what they can do to protect their cat.”