We recommend the routine vaccination of cats, starting as kittens and continuing throughout life.
Primary vaccination can start from 9 weeks of age and consists of two injection 3-4 weeks apart. We do not recommend that you allow your cat outside until 1 week after the second injection to avoid the risk of them contracting one of the diseases before the vaccine takes effect.
We routinely vaccinate against:
Also known as Feline Panleucopaenia, this virus causes a severe gastrointestinal infection with vomiting and diarrhoea, but also suppresses the bone marrow. It also causes congenital defects in kittens if infection occurs during pregnancy.
This disease is not seen much anymore, but probably only because we have achieved a population immunity with widespread vaccination.
This is not just one virus. Two viruses are included in the vaccine, Calcivirus and Herpesvirus. They cause an upper respiratory infection with sneezing, nasal discharge and sometime coughing or mouth sores.
Although Cat Flu is rarely fatal except in young kittens, once a cat has cat flu they will often enter a carrier state. The virus never really goes away and the cat will suffer with it again at intervals, especially when their immunity is lowered by something, affecting the cat's health for life.
This is a cancer causing virus and is currently the biggest infectious killer of cats in the UK. It is a relatively slow disease and the mild signs associated with initial infection probably go unnoticed in many cases. A proportion of cats (about 2/3 of them) are able to mount an immune response and eliminate the virus, but the remainder will suffer disease and are usually dead within 2 years. Disease includes a variety of cancers (especially of blood and inflammatory cell lines) and also an AIDs-like syndrome.
It is passed around by fighting, breeding and close contact (e.g. within the home). The chance of your cat catching the virus depends on how many cats you have, how much they go out and how many other cats are in your area.
This is not a virus, but a class of small bacteria. It is another cause of cat flu, but also can cause some additional breeding problems.
Our routine vaccine does not contain this, but we keep a small stock of vaccine containing it, mainly for use by breeders. Please mention if you require this when booking your appointment as we may have to ensure stocks are present.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Sadly, there is no vaccination against this disease. It is a close relative of HIV (but not infectious to humans) and has the same problems with creating a vaccine. Work on the vaccine progresses as a model for the HIV vaccine.
When an effective vaccine for this disease is created, it will be big news!