One of the most important tasks you will carry out as a new kitten owner will be getting your furry friend vaccinated. Cats and kittens are vaccinated against a range of infectious diseases. These diseases are currently kept well under control in the UK because of our excellent vaccination protocol.

Kittens will have their first vaccination around 9 weeks and then another one at 12 weeks. They should also receive a booster of this vaccination every year after this.

Core vaccinations

Feline Infectious Enteritis – also known as feline panleukopenia virus can be responsible for a severe and often fatal version of gastroenteritis (vomiting, diarrhoea, tummy pain) This used to be a major killer of cats but it’s very rare now thanks to the vaccination protocols.

Feline Influenza – also known as cat flu. The viruses that cause this infection are very common. The symptoms are runny eyes, conjunctivitis, sneezing, nasal discharge, ulcers in the mouth and a sore throat. The infection is normally spread through close contact between cats and once a cat has had the infection they can continue to spread it without having any symptoms.

Non-core vaccination

Feline leukaemia virus – cats that are diagnosed with this virus usually die or are euthanised within a few years. This is one of the reasons that most UK vets would class this as a core vaccine. The widespread use of this vaccination has greatly decreased the cases of this disease. The virus attacks the cats’ immune system and can cause anaemia and lymphoma.

Bordatella – this is the same bacterium that causes kennel cough in dogs and although its not as common in cats it does have similar upper respiratory symptoms to it. Sometimes this vaccination is given when a cat is going into a cattery for a longer stay.

Chlamydophila felis – this bacterium normally causes conjunctivitis but the cat can also present with sneezing, nasal discharge and runny eyes. Its very infectious but must be close contact to survive so this is more common in multi cat households.