Cat vaccination

Vaccination protects against diseases which can kill your cat or take a very long time to be cured. There are four major diseases which should be covered by a routine vaccination.

FLU

This disease causes a high temperature, sneezing, discharging eyes and nose. The cat will very often not eat or drink anything at all and can rapidly become weak and dehydrated.

ENTERITIS

Infection causes a high temperature, severe diarrhoea (sometimes with vomiting) and an ensuing dehydration. Intense abdominal pain and collapse are often early signs and can easily be mistaken as 'poisoning' by the owner.

FELINE LEUKAEMIA

This is caused by a virus. It is spread through close contact with an infected cat e.g. fighting, mating (blood/saliva). Feline Leukaemia is of no risk to humans. It is purely a disease affecting cats. Unlike flu and enteritis which, in some instances, can be treated and a cure obtained (although, - as explained previously - due to a high death rate, vaccination is strongly recommended), Feline Leukaemia is unique in that once infected with the virus, the cat never becomes free of it. Feline Leukaemia damages the immune system of a cat and predisposes to other diseases e.g. cancers, and ultimately greatly shortens the expected life span of the affected cat. Protection in the form of prevention is the only answer. Protection is obtained by 2 injections, 3 weeks apart. A booster injection once per year thereafter maintains protection. Occasionally a transient lump may appear at the injection site, or the cat may be dull and off its food for 1 - 2 days after leukaemia vaccination.

CHLAMYDIA

This disease can cause recurrent bouts of sneezing, conjunctivitis and also infertility/abortion in breeding queens. This vaccination is offered in the face of persistent problems, especially in breeding catteries. A vaccination course of 2 injections (3 weeks apart) gives initial protection. Annual booster vaccination thereafter (one injection) is required.

When to vaccinate?

Vaccination can begin at any age over 9 weeks old.

Any combination of vaccination programmes can be initiated at the same time.

Consult your veterinary surgeon as to your own cat's requirements.

Some animals may be uncomfortable around the injection site for a day or two after the vaccination.