Vaccination is an important tool to prevent a range of infectious diseases in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help reduce disease spread, and protect the pet population as a whole.
When do I get my kitten/cat vaccinated?
You should commence vaccination with two vaccines a month apart once your kitten is 6-8 weeks old. This is then followed up by an annual booster vaccination. Even if your cat is older when starting a vaccination program, it will still follow this basic protocol. If you think that your cat may be overdue or have missed some vaccination, this can be discussed with a vet and a plan made to best suit your individual requirements.
What diseases does the vaccination prevent?
Most cats will be vaccinated with an F4 vaccination, this includes feline enteritis, feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus and chlamydia.
Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia)
It is a very contagious disease with a high mortality rate, especially in young cats. Clinical signs can include depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain. Infection in pregnant cats may result in loss of pregnancy or deformed kittens to be born,
Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat flu)
It is caused a majority of the time by feline herpesvirus (feline rhinotracheitis) and/or feline calicivirus. Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers. This disease has a low mortality rate but can persist in infected animals for a prolonged period.
Chlamydia (also known as Chlamydophila)
Feline Chlamydia causes a severe persistent conjunctivitis in a number of cases. Kittens are more severely affected by Chlamydia when also infected with “Cat Flu”, and Chlamydia can be shed for many months. Vaccination against cat flu and Chlamydia helps protects against clinical disease.