Routine vaccination has greatly reduced the extent of several feline diseases (including some that can prove fatal). It is vital that your cat has all the necessary vaccinations and boosters.
What vaccines does my cat need?
Cats Protection, as a member of The Cat Group, recommends vaccines for the following feline diseases:
Feline infectious enteritis (FIE) - a vaccination must
Feline infectious enteritis (a severe and often fatal gut infection) is caused by the feline parvovirus (or feline panleukopenia virus). Vaccination against FIE has been very successful. Unvaccinated cats are at great risk because the virus is widespread in the environment.
Cat 'flu - a vaccination must
Two types of cat 'flu are vaccinated against feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are very common and vaccination will protect your cat against prolonged illness, but because there are many different strains of cat 'flu the vaccine will not totally eradicate the threat.
Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) - a vaccination must for outdoor cats
FeLV is a lifelong infection and unfortunately most cats will die within three years of diagnosis, usually from a subsequent disease like leukaemia, lymphoma (tumors) or progressive anaemia. It is not an airborn disease and can only be passed on via direct contact between cats (usually by saliva or bites). Because of the serious nature of the disease, CP recommends FeLV vaccination.
Feline chlamydophilosis - depends on your circumstances
This bacterium, which causes conjunctivitis in cats, can't survive in the atmosphere and is thus spread by direct contact between cats (affecting multi-cat households and kittens predominantly). Your vet will discuss your situation and advise as to whether this vaccine is necessary.
A kitten should be vaccinated around nine weeks of age, with the important second dose being given at 12 weeks.
A booster vaccination one year on is important to enhance the initial level of immunity. Regular boosters throughout a cat's life will help maintain a good level of protection against cat 'flu, feline parvovirus and feline leukaemia.Your vet can advise you on the frequency of these boosters.
From heart murmurs to arthritis, disabled cats to Feline Parvovirus, these Veterinary Guides aim to answer the important questions regarding your cat's wellbeing.