What vaccinations does my cat need?
Just like people, vaccines vary according to need. For example, house cats that rarely go out may not need certain vaccines, while multiple moggy households might mean cats need greater protection. The most common diseases vaccinated against in the UK are:
• Feline infectious enteritis Also known as feline distemper, this spreads through infected urine, faeces, blood or fleas and can be fatal, particularly in kittens. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and a high fever.
• Feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus These two viruses cause what’s commonly known as cat flu. Symptoms are similar to human flu and include sneezing, a runny nose, conjunctivitis and a sore and inflamed throat. Its seriousness varies from mild to fatal and while the vaccine doesn’t guarantee your cat won’t get flu, it goes a long way to lowering the severity of it.
• Feline chlamydophilosis This predominantly causes conjunctivitis in cats. The vaccine won’t always prevent it, but it does reduce the seriousness of symptoms.
• Feline leukaemia Typically spreads through close or direct contact with an infected cat. Look out for weight loss, loss of appetite, recurrent illnesses, inflamed gums and diarrhoea. The disease can be fatal, and cats that do survive usually end up with lowered immune systems putting them at risk of other illnesses.