Feline vaccinations 101 – what you need to know
February 7, 2021
Vaccinating your cat isn’t just about protecting them, it’s also about protecting other cats in the area. Some feline diseases can be devastating so vaccinating your kitten or cat is one of the most important things you can do for them. Nicola has the following advice for cat owners.
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Cat Vaccinations 101:
What age can kittens be vaccinated?
Kittens can be vaccinated from 9 weeks old, and should have a 2nd vaccine to complete their initial course at 3 months. You should keep your kitten indoors until both vaccinations have been done.
Vaccinations must be carried out by a qualified veterinary surgeon, who will also do a full top-to-tail health check to review your cat’s overall health and wellbeing.
What do feline vaccinations cover?
Cats are commonly vaccinated against:
- Cat flu (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus) – if your cat picks up the herpes virus they will carry it for life. Cat flu symptoms include runny eyes and nose, and can last anything from 5 days, up to 6 weeks in severe cases.
- Feline infectious enteritis (parvovirus/feline panleukopenia) – almost all cases result in euthanasia. This virus causes severe disease for which there is no treatment.
- Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) – attacks the cat’s immune system. Some cats can live with FeLV, but will probably have a shorter life. It’s not recommended to have positive and negative FeLV cats living together.
Why do I need to vaccinate my cat annually?
Protection from some vaccinations last for around 12 months so your cat will need a booster injection annually for optimum protection. Most adult cat vaccines give a tapered immunity for 3 months after their due date, but you should not wait longer.
I have an indoor cat, do I need to vaccinate them?
There’s always a chance your cat could get outside, or another cat could get inside through a cat flap or open window. Also, feline infectious enteritis can be transmitted via contaminated objects including your shoes, clothes, and hands.