Covid-19 Update re the vaccination of kittens – Tuesday, 13th April 2021
RCVS guidance allows practices in each of the UK administrations to provide a more normal range of services to clients in accordance with their professional judgement from the following dates: Wales 22 March; Scotland 5 April; England and Northern Ireland 12 April.
Nearly all veterinary practices throughout the UK have arrangements in place to carry out routine procedures including vaccination and neutering. From 12 April some are beginning to admit clients to waiting rooms again, allowing for social distancing.
Therefore the temporary concession to allow 12 week old kittens to go to their new homes without their full course of vaccinations (a suspension of rule Section1:10 bii) is now removed. All breeders using GCCF’s registration services for any of their kittens must comply in full with the vaccination rules for all of them.
Breeders are advised to: make early bookings for appointments for the first vaccination of kittens, or inform the Office immediately if your vet is not offering kitten vaccinations so that advice can be given if there are genuine difficulties
It should also be noted that the concession AGRIA had in place for the ‘5 weeks free' cover re kittens and puppies going to new homes unvaccinated is no longer valid. The original terms and conditions apply and a kitten going to a new home without completing its course of vaccinations will not be covered by the insurance provided.
ATTENTION ALL BREEDERS: DELIVERY OF KITTENS DURING THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC
CFSG ADVICE LINK DEFRA AUTHORISATION LINK
The delivery of kittens by the breeder to their new homes and by commercial carrier is now permitted by DEFRA. The details of the procedure to be adopted is given in the COVID-19 – ADVICE FOR ANIMAL RELATED BUSINESSES AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES issued by the Canine and Feline Sector Group on 23rd March 2021. Breeders should comply strictly with the hygiene requirements and social distancing during the handover.
A letter from DEFRA including confirmation that this advice is authorised and approved by DEFRA has been received by the GCCF Veterinary Officer.
The GCCF advises that breeders, when delivering kittens personally, take copies of both documents (in which the relevant paragraphs have been highlighted ) with them in their vehicle. In the event that they are stopped by the police these documents can be given to the officer to show the reason for travel is permitted by DEFRA. The GCCF has had assurance from the police that this will be acceptable.
Dr Susan Moreland BA Vet MB MRCVS, GCCF Veterinary Officer
For Covid advice in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, please click on the links to the administration sites below, for local advice, where it exists:
TAKING QUEENS TO STUD DURING LOCKDOWN
Generally, GCCF advises that breeders think very carefully about breeding during lockdown, however, we understand breeders' concerns about queens calling and losing condition (and risking problems such as pyometra). Please talk with your vet about oestrous control, but this can hold some risk for maiden queens, in that it can prevent a girl calling for an indeterminant amount of time.
If you are planning to go ahead and mate your queen, you need to find a stud as local as possible to where you live and to contact the stud-owner to discuss the possibility of a mating. Travelling too far to stud would not be in keeping with Covid rules; we are all supposed to stay in our local area as far as possible.
If a stud owner is willing to take a queen, she may require certain tests, etc., which will need to be organised with your vet, prior to taking her to stud. When you find a suitable stud, you will need to discuss arrangements in line with Covid 19 rules. Ideally, this will include not entering the stud owner's house but handing over the queen outside and seeing, from a suitable distance, her settled in the queen's quarters at the stud's house. It is a good idea to wipe over the queen with a damp disposable cloth before she is given over. Obviously, the carrier should be disinfected before leaving home, and clean bedding placed in it, etc. Of course, if you or any member of your family feels unwell immediately before travelling, you must not go and must cancel that appointment and wait until you are well before visiting the stud owner (it is expected that the stud owner will behave similarly).
Both you and the stud owner should maintain social distance (2 metres) and wearing facemasks is sensible. Sanitising hands before and after exchanging the cat etc., basically using common sense.
Normally a cat would stay with the stud for at least 3 days and maybe up to a week or longer if mating doesn't take place immediately (you should agree this with the stud owner who would normally contact the owner of the queen when she's been mated). When you travel back to pick-up your queen, you should follow all the hygiene rules again - sanitising hands, wiping over the cat with a damp disposable cloth, disinfected carrier, etc. Aim to conduct all transactions and exchanges of paperwork outside in the open air, rather than indoors.
An experienced stud owner that is willing to take your queen, has probably been taking in other queens over the past year, so it is expected that they will advise the queen's owner about what processes they are using to keep Covid secure. The advice would be to seek out someone experienced and to ask questions about how things will work beforehand.
Finally, assuming the queen is mated and becomes pregnant, you should consider in advance the selling and homing of the kittens (see CFSG Covid advice on this page below). It is hoped that by June or July things will be less problematic and the Covid rules may be more relaxed, but it's always better to plan for every eventuality.
The British Veterinary Association has clarified its position in light of a report on the BBC news website relating to cats and coronavirus. LINK to the BVA website.
Please note that there is no absolute compulsory requirement to keep a cat indoors.
1. Consider seriously whether your cat needs to go out depending on your situation and your cats temperament ie use common sense and assess the risk of your cat coming into close contact with people and other pets and also any increased risk to the cat itself in your particular area. If your cat is happy to stay indoors it may be the safest option in some areas.
2. In particular, consider keeping your cat indoors if very friendly and has a habit of approaching strangers for attention and/or entering neighbours houses.
3. If your cat is stressed by confinement and needs to go out for health reasons consider a safety collar with a clear DO NOT TOUCH message.
4. If anyone in your household has been diagnosed with Covid19 or has symptoms of Covid19 infection or is in self isolation keep your cat indoors if at all possible. If you have to let your cat out for welfare reasons, please, for the sake of others, try to avoid all close contact with him/her and adopt strict hygiene procedures as advised by the Government.
Please also see the LINK to information from International Cat Care and International Society of Feline Medicine
FREE WEBINAR - Covid-19, meeting your cat's needs
You can click on this LINK to see a free webinar by International Cat Care's feline behaviourist, Vicky Halls, to find out what you can do to make sure your cat’s needs are met during restrictions put in place to help combat the Covid-19 virus.
Given the rapidly changing situation, please regularly check the latest government advice and continually assess your own situation based on this information. See link to gov.uk website on the left.