The importance of vaccinating your cat

We know how important the health and happiness of your cat is – after all, they’re a very important member of your family. One way you can help manage your cat’s ongoing good health is by keeping their vaccinations up to date. These vaccinations play an essential role in helping to protect your cat against many serious and life-threatening diseases.

What do vaccines protect against?

In Australia there are several cat vaccines available, with the three most common diseases we protect against being:

  • Cat Flu (or Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Infection) – Similar to the human flu, cat flu can be easily contracted with symptoms including sneezing, nasal discharge, fever and loss of appetite. Cat flu can be fatal for vulnerable cats such as kittens or seniors. Infected animals may suffer relapses throughout their entire life.
  • Feline Enteritis (Panleukopaenia) – This is a highly contagious gastroenteritis which may progress very rapidly. Cats who contract this disease may experience severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. This disease can be fatal, particularly for young kittens.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) – FIV can be contracted through a cat’s saliva and is commonly transmitted through cat wounds and bites. Outdoor, roaming cats are most at risk. If infected, there is no cure; specialist care will be required for the rest of the cat’s life. Although not considered a ‘core’ vaccine, vaccination against FIV should be considered depending on your cat’s circumstances.

When do I need to vaccinate my cat?

Most kittens should receive two vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart, generally starting at 8-9 weeks of age. Kittens are not fully protected until 10 days after their last vaccination. After this initial series of kitten vaccinations, we recommend your cat visits us every 12 months for a health check and to receive a booster vaccination.

Every cat is unique, and so the vaccination requirements of your cat will be influenced by their health and lifestyle. Our vets can advise you on the most appropriate vaccination program for your cat – please contact us for a consultation.

Remember that if you book your cat in for a vaccination during March you go into the draw to win their next health check and vaccination!