Spring and Summer Newsletter 2024

Welcome to our seasonal newsletter for Spring and Summer and apologies for the delay in producing it.

The first topic I want to cover is a new law which comes into force on the 10th of June this year. From that date all owned cats over 20 weeks of age are required to be microchipped with the owner’s details stored on one of the many different databases. I am sure you will all be aware of the benefits of having your pets microchipped but this is the first time for it to be compulsory for cats. This brings cats in line with the same requirements regarding dog ownership, but this currently only relates to England; and there is a potential fine of up to £500 for failure to comply. Full details can be found at Cat microchipping to be made mandatory – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

No doubt many of you will be looking forward to holidays this year and unfortunately some of you will have to find a cattery to look after your treasured pet while you are away. Please note that any responsible cattery will require your cats’ vaccinations to be up-to-date. All will need the Flu and Enteritis and most will also want to see that your cat has been given the FeLV vaccine. I would also suggest that you flea and worm your cats before they go in the cattery. This is no reflection on the cattery but your cat will be in closer contact with other cats than perhaps they are used to. See also: www.feline-friends.org.uk/fleas. We also have a useful webinar on: www.feline-friends.org.uk/flea-bomb.

While we are thinking about holidays, if you are planning on taking your cat to Europe then, in addition to the normal vaccinations, they will need the Rabies injection. This will need to be recorded on an Animal Health Certificate or a valid European Pet Passport. All the details regarding taking your pet abroad can be found at Taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad: Rabies vaccinations and boosters – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). We have a good webinar about vaccinations on: www.feline-friends.org.uk/feline-vaccination-what-you-need-to-know

The warmer months, on the whole, are welcomed by most of us but please bear in mind that even though cats evolved in hotter climates, some of our breeds do not do well in hot weather. With our changing climate we need to be aware that more care needs to be taken for our cats. We have an article which covers this at: Dangers in Very Hot Weather – Feline Friends (feline-friends.org.uk)

I would like to mention something which is becoming more of a potential problem for cat owners. Increasing numbers of veterinary practices are now passing responsibility for their out of hours calls to external emergency clinics. Having worked in many of these for several years, one of the problems and frustrations to me was an inability to access the pet’s medical history. When presented with an ongoing problem which may have worsened suddenly, I was very dependent on the owner either knowing what medication the cat was on or, if I was very lucky, they had brought the drugs with them. Even if the emergency was not related to any ongoing condition, it is useful to know what the medication the cat was on. After all, not all drugs are compatible.

For this reason, I strongly recommend that cat owners keep an up-to-date record of any medications being given and keep that somewhere which can be easily grabbed and taken to the emergency clinic should the need ever arise.


An interesting study has just been released by the Royal Veterinary College in London regarding the life expectancy of various breeds of cats. It is hoped that this may help people decide on what breed to buy or help with further research. Personally, some of the ages look low to me from my experience but it appears to be a well founded study so if you are interested have a look at New research from the RVC predicts the future life expectancy for companion cats – News – VetCompass – Royal Veterinary College, RVC


Lastly, I am sure that everyone will have noticed the price of veterinary care becoming increasingly expensive, particularly over the last 2-3 years. In no small part this is being driven by the extreme shortage of vet assistants. There is a myriad of reasons for this and I could rant and rave for hours about it but one major problem is that we are not getting the number of vets from Europe and other nations coming into the country. In my own practice I employed a lot of foreign vets primarily from Australia and New Zealand because this shortage of home-grown vets has been a long-standing problem. One further reason for this shortage is that since Brexit the government has set a minimum salary threshold for foreign vets at £48,100 in order to apply for a working visa. MPs are trying to get this reduced and other measures to encourage vets to work in areas where the shortage is most acute. Perhaps you could write a letter to your local MP. It may well help – even if he/she is out and about on the election trail.


Eric McCarrison BVMS MRCVS – Trustee