Vaccinations protect your cat against infectious illnesses, which can cause distressing symptoms, lifelong problems and ultimately death.
Cats have an initial course of injections which then need to be ‘topped-up’ routinely to ensure continual protection. A standard vaccination protocol for a kitten would be; 1st injection at 9 weeks of age, 2nd injection at 12 weeks of age followed by annual booster vaccinations. Early vaccination of kittens ensures protection against potentially fatal illnesses at a young age. By keeping your cat vaccinated you are keeping it safe and helping to prevent the spread of disease.
At a vaccination appointment your vet will give your cat a full health che
ck and gain a recent history from you in order to make sure that your cat is healthy enough for the vaccination. This also means you are able to discuss any queries you may have about your cats health or behaviour.
Most vaccinations are injected either subcutaneously (under the skin) or into the muscle and it is fortunately very uncommon to see a reaction after the vaccine is given.
Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (FURD) – Cat Flu
This is caused by the Feline Herpes and Calici Virus and is spread through ocular and nasal discharge and exhaled breath. Signs include sneezing, excess ocular and nasal discharge and salivation, mouth ulcers and anorexia. Cats can be nursed back to health with cleaning of face and assisted feeding. This is possibly fatal in young kittens and many infected cats would become carriers.
Feline Infectious Enteritis – Panleucopenia
This virus is related to the Canine Parvovirus causing similar symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration. If affecting a pregnant queen it can affect the co-ordination and balance areas of the kitten’s brains. It is spread in the urine, faeces, saliva, vomit and through the placenta.
Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)
This virus is spread through the placenta, mother’s milk and contact with infected saliva. Some cats can eliminate the virus, some carry it without symptoms for a while and others become infected. It leads to cancer of the lymph glands, anaemia, suppression of the immune system, stillbirths and abortions. There is no treatment for FeLV.
Feline Pneumonitis (Clamydiosis)
This is carried in the ocular and nasal discharge that it causes. Sneezing and anorexia may also be seen. This is an unpleasant illness but is not often life-threatening.