Vaccination is the only safe way to provide immunity against a number of dangerous diseases that continue to infect cats in the UK. When kept up to date, as recommended by your vet, regular vaccination can keep your pet protected for life.
Immunity and cat vaccination
Immunity is the body’s natural ability to fight infection. Vaccination confers immunity by exposing the body to a small but entirely harmless dose of the disease in question.
Immunity in kittens
Kittens are usually protected during the first few weeks of life by an immunity passed through the mother’s first milk (colostrum). However, this immunity fades rapidly, leaving the kitten susceptible to disease within a few weeks. At this point, vaccination can take over in providing protection.
What diseases do we vaccinate against?
Cat ‘flu (feline upper respiratory tract disease)
Common in the UK and can be very serious, especially in kittens and older cats. It is spread between cats by direct contact or through sneezing. Symptoms such as a runny nose and eyes, high temperature, and extreme lethargy. Regular vaccination is the best means of keeping the disease at bay.
Infectious enteritis (feline panleucopenia)
An unpleasant, often fatal disease, relatively rare, vaccination has been extremely successful in controlling the disease.
A viral disease, transmitted when cats fight each other or even during grooming. It can take months to develop after infection but then will begin to supress the cats immune system, causing secondary infections, tumours and death. Vaccination is gradually bringing this disease under control.
Can cause conjunctivitis and is mainly seen in kittens and multi cat households.
A fatal disease not found in the UK, vaccination is mandatory if you plan to take your cat abroad.
Kittens first vaccination
The first time your kitten is vaccinated, a course of 2 injections is usually given separated by at least a couple of weeks. This primary course can be given as young as 9 weeks of age – but if you acquire a kitten that is already older, talk to your vet about vaccination timings. The vet will also give your kitten a general health check at the same time.
Vaccination doesn’t work immediately; it takes a few days for immunity to develop. Your vet will advise you on when it is safe to let your kitten interact with other animals.
Immunity to a disease may gradually fade, leaving your cat at risk. Depending on the disease, boosters may be needed. An annual visit to the vet will allow for a general health check and any necessary boosters to be given.
You will be given a vaccination card which contains a record of the vaccination and tells you when the next booster is due, catteries will need to see this so keep it in a safe place and bring it with you on your cat's annual check up.
Getting your kitten vaccinated is essential for your new pet’s health and plays a pivotal role in their preventative healthcare throughout their life. Register your pet with us online today to Book an appointment at Boundary Vets.
Book a vaccination appointment for your cat online using our form below!
Cat Vaccinations FAQs
Why are cat vaccinations necessary?
Vaccinations are essential for providing your cat with adequate protection from life-threatening and debilitating diseases. There is the option of Titre testing, which involves blood samples to determine your cat’s immunity. Unfortunately, this can be costly to perform and is not always 100% reliable. Cats staying in boarding or cattery facilities are often required to be vaccinated if you're planning to go on holiday.
Do indoor cats need vaccinations?
Indoor cats still require vaccines, but this may be a reduced course that only includes cat flu and enteritis. However, many indoor cat owners still have a full vaccination course each year just in case their cat decides to go out exploring!
What happens if you don't vaccinate your cat?
Deciding not to vaccinate runs the risk of your cat contracting various harmful diseases. If you also want to travel with your cat or need them to stay in boarding facilities or catteries, most of these require up-to-date vaccination status and will not accept unvaccinated animals. An annual vaccination course can help to protect your cat so they can live a happy and healthy life.
Should you vaccinate an older cat?
As long as your cat is fit and healthy, we would always recommend vaccinations for your cat. These vaccinations provide protection from harmful diseases on a yearly basis when kept up with correctly.
How much does it cost to vaccinate a cat?
To find out more about the costs involved in vaccinating your cat, you can see our Procedures & Pricing page.
At Boundary Vets, we offer out Cat Pet Health for Life plan which helps you spread the cost of your pet's healthcare across the year, whilst ensuring they receive the right treatments throughout the year. Vaccinations are included in our Pet Health for Life Plans. Find out more today and sign your cat up with us.
Can a vet tell if a cat has been vaccinated?
There is no way to tell if a cat has been vaccinated physically; however, if your cat has a vaccination card, previous vet records or microchip details, our team can look into your cat's history where possible
Save money on your pet’s preventative care
Our Pet Health For Life Plan provides comprehensive care across your Pet’s lifetime, with the cost broken down into monthly instalments.
Annual health check, vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, microchipping, 2 vet consults and 2 nurse consults a year and discounted services are included in the plan.