To control the spread of highly infectious and potentially life threatening diseases, it is important that your pet be vaccinated. This protects your pet and other animals they may come into contact with. Initial protection is obtained from a course of vaccinations while the cat is still young. This needs to be followed up with regular vaccinations for the adult cat to maintain immunity.

Kitten Vaccination

Kittens have some immunity from disease due to antibodies obtained through the mother’s milk. These antibodies can neutralise vaccines as well. This is why it is so important that the kitten completes the full course of vaccines to obtain immunity from certain diseases.

Adult Cat Vaccination

The initial round of vaccines given to kittens does weaken over time. This means that your pet may have some susceptibility to the diseases unless they are given booster vaccinations. Speak to your vet about vaccinations at your annual vet check.

Cat Vaccination Guide

Kittens should receive a minimum of 2 vaccinations initially against some or all of these diseases : rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, leukaemia and Chlamydia. It is recommended that they receive three vaccinations once they are 8 weeks old, 2 to 4 weeks apart for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Your vet can advise on the vaccinations required in your area.

After Care

Cats may have some tenderness or swelling at the site of the vaccination injection for a day or two after their vaccination. They may also seem a little under the weather for a day or two. Ensure they are allowed to rest comfortably and have access to water and food. If they seem unusually ill or there is any severe reaction to the vaccination, contact your vet immediately.

Contact us to discuss a suitable vaccination schedule for your cat or kitten.

Cat diseases that have vaccines available include:

  • Feline Enteritis (aka Feline Panleucopenia)

    This is a highly contagious disease. Cats that contract this disease have a high risk of it being fatal. It may also result in spontaneous abortion, stillbirth or abnormal kittens in pregnant cats. Symptoms include loss of appetite, depression, diarrhoea, vomiting (emissions may contain blood) and abdominal pain. The virus can be spread quite easily and areas where the infected cat has been will need a strong, specially formulated disinfectant to clear it of the virus. Even if cats recover from the virus, they are still carriers and can infect other cats for some time afterwards.

  • Feline Respiratory Disease (aka Cat flu)

    In 9 out of 10 cases, feline respiratory disease is caused by the feline calicivirus and/or the feline rhinotracheitis (feline herpes) virus.) and/or feline calicivirus. This disease can affect cats of any age but is especially detrimental to kittens. Burmese and Siamese cats are particularly susceptible. Symptoms include runny eyes, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, tongue ulcers and loss of appetite. Fatalities are lower in older cats than in young kittens, but the disease is quite distressing and can persist for some time. Once recovered, cats remain carriers of the infection for some time and can infect other cats for long periods afterwards. If they become stressed, the disease can reoccur.

  • Chlamydia (also known as Chlamydophila)

    Feline Chlamydia causes persistent conjunctivitis in 3 out of 10 cats and it can be quite severe. Kittens are more likely to be affected severely, especially if they are suffering from feline respiratory disease at the same time. Cats remain infectious for months after recovery.

  • Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)

    The feline leukaemia virus directly attacks the immune system of cats. Symptoms include apathy, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea, pale or yellow-looking mucous membranes and reproductive issues. Cats infected with FeLV are also more susceptible to infection, blood cancer and tumours. While most cats show obvious symptoms, some may not show any sign of infection at all. Up to a third of infected cats spread the disease to others in their tears, saliva, urine and nasal secretions.  The disease can even be spread by flea bites, sneezing, mutual grooming or fighting.

  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

    This disease affects the cat’s immune system and is often referred to as feline AIDS.  The disease hampers the immune system’s ability to fight off other illnesses and disease. FIV cannot be transmitted to humans. The virus is spread through saliva and cats are usually infected by being bitten by an infected cat. Symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, diarrhoea and swollen lymph nodes.  If untreated, further symptoms include poor condition of coat, eye lesions, weight loss, sores around the mouth and chronic infections. Not all cats show symptoms when infected.  Most cats die as a result of infections or diseases which the immune system is not able to deal with due to FIV. Many cats in Australia are infected with FIV. Speak to your vet about a blood work-up should you be concerned.

Contact us to discuss an effective vaccination schedule for your kitten or cat.