Cat Vaccinations

Vaccinating your cat

At Towy Vets we recommend that all cats are vaccinated against the life threatening diseases that we still see in the cat population today.

The vaccinations that we provide can protect against these diseases:

  • Cat Flu
  • Enteritis – Panleucopaenia
  • Leukaemia
  • Rabies

 

The primary vaccination course

Kittens may start their initial vaccination course as early as 9 weeks of age. If you acquire or have an older kitten or adult cat that is unvaccinated or has an unknown vaccination history, please book it in for its vaccinations straight away. Remember that the protective effects of vaccination are not immediate and our vet will advise when your kitten may be allowed out safely.

The primary vaccination course is made up of two vaccinations given two weeks apart. Your kitten will be given a full health check at both visits.

 

Booster vaccinations

Annual boosters are vital to maintain the immunity which will protect your cat from these infections and provide an opportunity for a yearly health check by the vet. It is important to ensure your cat’s vaccination status does not lapse as this may result in your cat having to start their vaccination course again.

 

Record of vaccination

On completion of your cat’s primary course, you will be given a record card providing a record of vaccination and advising when the next booster is due. Catteries will require this before accepting your cat. Please remember to bring this certificate to the surgery each time your cat has vaccinations so that it can be updated.

 

The Diseases

Feline Viral Infectious Respiratory Disease (Cat Flu) – There are two main viruses which cause what is commonly referred to as ‘cat flu’. These are feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus and they are present all year round in the United Kingdom cat population. Cat flu spreads very easily by direct and indirect contact between cats. Cats entering shows or being boarded during holidays are particularly at risk because they are placed in close proximity to each other. Signs of the disease are a runny nose, weepy eyes, sneezing, coughing and lethargy. If treated promptly, cat flu is hardly ever fatal, but can make your cat ill for some time and may leave it with snuffles and breathing difficulties for the rest of its life.

Feline Panleucopaenia – This disease, more commonly known as ‘enteritis’, occurs as an epidemic every few years. It is highly contagious and can affect cats of any age but is most common and severe in kittens. It causes acute depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration and in many cases death. The few cats that do survive the disease tend to suffer from other diseases due to the damage caused to the immune system.

This virus which causes feline enteritis can remain active in the environment for a very long time and spreads easily via contact with infected cats or their saliva, urine or faeces.

Feline Leukaemia – Feline leukaemia is a very serious, incurable disease which can take months or even years to fully develop and which is currently considered to be the single most significant infectious cause of death among the cat population in the western world.

Cats of any age, but particularly those up to 3 years of age, can be affected. The symptoms vary widely and range from damage to the immune system (making your cat much less able to fight off other infections) through to persistent anaemia and cancer.

Once the symptoms have appeared, your cat will almost certainly die, but even those which appear healthy can harbour the leukaemia virus and spread the infection to others when they share food or water bowls or when they suffer bites during fights. If a pregnant cat has the virus, her kittens will usually be infected when they are born.

Rabies – This disease is not seen in the UK but vaccination is compulsory for cats travelling abroad on the ‘Pet Passport’ or for export. Cats have to be microchipped before receiving a rabies vaccination. Please ask for more information at reception if you wish to travel with your cat.

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