The core vaccination course for cats protects against three different viral diseases
- Felinepanleucopenia (also called Feline Infectious Enteritis or Feline Parvovirus)
- Feline Herpes Virus
- Feline Calicivirus
Felinepanleucopenia is a rare disease that causes a severe and usually fatal diarrhoea. Vaccination against this condition provides long lasting protection.
Infection with Feline Herpes Virus or Feline Calicivirus causes cat flu. This can be a mild disease, but it also has the potential to cause long term problems and a severe illness in some animals. A proportion of cats infected with these viruses become carriers and during periods of stress these animals can show a recurrence of clinical signs including a runny nose and sneezing. Cat flu infection can also cause a persistent nasal discharge. This is a result of the virus damaging the lining of the nasal chamber and predisposing the animal to repeated bacterial infections. The immunity produced by vaccination against these two viruses is short lived and this is why an annual vaccination is required. In addition, there are several strains of Calicivirus that are not covered by the vaccines available. This means that vaccinated cats can still get flu, but the probability of catching the disease and its severity are substantially reduced by vaccination.
We strongly advise our clients to vaccinate their cats against Feline Leukaemia Virus in addition to the three core diseases. This virus is a significant cause of suffering and death in cats around the world. Infected cats shed the virus in their saliva, faeces, urine and milk. Some cats are able to combat this infection, but a significant percentage become chronically infected and the majority of these will die from complications associated with the disease. It causes cancer, anaemia and immunosuppression. The virus can be passed directly to kittens from the Queen via the milk and mutual grooming. Many months can pass after infection before disease occurs during which time infected cats can appear totally normal. There is a simple blood test which can be performed prior to vaccination to check for this virus.
The following is a typical vaccination regime for cats:
Age 9 weeks-First vaccination against Feline Infectious Enteritis, Feline Herpes Virus and Calicivirus +/- Leukaemia (given as a single injection)
Age 12 weeks-Second vaccination against Feline Infectious Enteritis, Feline Herpes Virus and Calicivirus +/- Leukaemia (given as a single injection)
Booster vaccination every 12 months thereafter.
Rabies vaccination is only required if you intend travelling outside of the UK with your pet. Further information can be found under ‘Pet Travel Scheme‘.