Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires kittens to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult cats require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.
Kittens are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first couple of months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary for a kitten. Generally vaccination should be given at 6-8 weeks, and again at 10-12 weeks, then booster annually.
Adult Cat Vaccination
The immunity from kitten vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.
What should I Vaccinate Against?
The standard vaccination for a cat is the F4. This will provide protection against Feline Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calicivirus – two major cause of an upper respiratory tract infection which is very easily transmitted to other cats. It will also cover Feline Enteritis which is an extremely contagious and resistant virus with a high mortality rate, and Feline Chlamydia which causes local infection of the mucous membranes of the eyes can also effect the lungs.
If required we can also vaccinate against Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) – this virus can result in a large number of serious health problems for your cat, from cancerous conditions to a wide range of secondary infections caused by the destruction of the immune system. About one third of infected cats remain chronically infected and may shed virus in their saliva, tears, nasal secretions and urine. The disease is then spread to uninfected cats by mutual grooming, fighting, sneezing or even flea bites.
After Vaccination Care
Following vaccination your cat may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.
Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet kitten or cat.