Cats, like any other animals, are susceptible to certain viral diseases, some of which can prove fatal. While they will not pass these on to humans apart from rabies, they will transfer them to other cats, either in the air or through mating or other physical contact. It is advisable to have your cat vaccinated, where this is possible, in order to:
- help prevent your cat dying early from a feline viral disease:
- help prevent feline viral diseases reaching epidemic proportions
- help eliminate feline viral diseases
- enable you to book your cat into a cattery when you go on vacation
- enable you to enter cat shows
- enable you to travel abroad with your cat if you so desire
When to vaccinate
Vaccinations are given via injection by a vet. Kittens can receive their first shots at about nine weeks of age, with a second dose given at 12 weeks.
Diseases your cat can be vaccinated against
-Feline leukaemia virus FeLV,
-Cat flu feline respiratory disease – there are two forms of this disease: feline herpes virus also known as feline rhinotracheitis virus and feline calici virus FCV,
-Feline infectious enteritis FIE, also known as feline panleukopenia,
-Chlamydial disease, Rabies
-Feline infectious peritonitis FIP – the vaccination is currently available only in the USA
There are some risks associated with vaccination, but these are generally low and severe reactions are rare. The cat may have a small lump at the injection site, or maybe quiet and off his food, for 24 hours after immunisation, but should soon recover. If you are worried about your pet’s behaviour or health after vaccination, contact your vet immediately for advice. On the whole, most vets recommend immunisation to prevent certain feline diseases reaching epidemic proportions, especially in urban areas where there are large numbers of cats.