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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog
Kittens over 9 weeks old should be vaccinated with the primary vaccine dose and have the second dose 3-4 weeks later. As with dogs they won't be fully vaccinated until a week after the second dose. Cats who have not been vaccinated or who's vaccines have lapsed will also need the same 2 doses initially.
Back in the day indoor cats were given a vaccine only against flu and enteritis whereas outdoor cats were given the full vaccine, these days we give the full vaccine as standard unless asked otherwise.
So what's in a cat vaccine?
1) Cat Flu (Calcivirus and Herpesvirus). If treated promptly these diseases are rarely fatal, but will make your cat very ill for some time, and may leave it with chronic breathing difficulties for the rest of it's life. These diseases are spread very easily.
2) Feline Enteritis (Panleucopenia virus). This virus causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, leading to dehydration, and is often fatal, particularly in very young or elderly cats.
3) Chlamydia. May cause similar signs as cat flu, but predominantly produces a painful inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) which may recur for many months. This disease is also easily spread.
4) Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV). This is an incurable disease and is currently considered to be the single most significant infectious cause of death among cats in the united kingdom. Statistics show that 2 out of every 3 cats will come into contact with the virus during their lifetime. The virus can also cause leukaemia and cancers in any of the main organs of the body.
Rabies is only necessary when the cat is travelling abroad.
Cats can sometimes feel a little poorly after their vaccination, one of my boys is like that. He was lethargic and had a high temperature and was off his food. This lasted the normal period of 24-36 hours, although you should always call us and let us know. He now has an anti-inflammatory injection with his boosters and is fine and most cats are. But there's always an exception to the rule like my sisters cat, she was poorly after her vaccine, the next year she had the anti-inflammatory injection, she was unfortunately still unwell. So the following year we split the vaccines by giving the flu and enteritis and the other half separately and she was fine!
Cat vaccinations are so important, having to nurse cats that are so unwell and not eating and close to death when a vaccination could have prevented it all.
Author: Menna Field RVN MBVNABlog topics