All cats should be vaccinated against cat flu and infectious enteritis, a vaccine is now also available to prevent feline leukaemia.
Initially all cats require two vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart and thereafter a yearly booster. Kittens can start their vaccination course at nine weeks of age.
Cat Flu – This is a very common respiratory viral infection. It is easily passed from cat to cat through the air. The predominant signs are “flu like” symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, blocked nose, watery eyes and loss of appetite and can quickly lead to an acute pneumonia and death if not treated from an early stage. Recovering cats can become carriers of the virus, being able to pass the disease on to other cats.
Infectious Enteritis – This is a disease that is similar to Parvovirus in dogs affecting the intestines causing vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. This is a serious condition that is often fatal despite treatment.
Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) – This is a cancer causing virus which has recently become more widespread among the cat population. It is easily transmitted via saliva (bites and grooming) or any close contact. Successful treatment of this disease depends on the extent of the infection. Symptoms are variable depending on the organ affected and may include immunosuppresion, anaemia, enteritis or cancer. Diagnosis is determined by a simple blood test.
Feline Aids (FIV) – This is a recent problem that causes a similar condition to those seen in humans with HIV. It cannot be transmitted to humans. Unfortunately there is no vaccine available but many cases occur in cats that are infected with the leukaemia virus. A simple blood test is available for diagnosis of this condition.