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Doug Hall, owner of Cape Veterinary ClinicBlack and white dog.

Cat / kitten vaccinations

Here at Cape Vets we recommend vaccinations against the core diseases that affect the cat population in the UK. Core diseases are those that are particularly debilitating and potentially fatal.

In the UK, we currently recommend vaccination against several common diseases. The initial course consists of 2 vaccinations, 2 to 4 weeks apart. We recommend vaccination from 9 weeks of age, with a second vaccination at about 12 weeks of age. This should be followed by annual booster vaccinations, to ensure your cat's protection is maintained.

For outdoor cats, we recommend vaccination against all of the following diseases:

  • Feline panleukopenia virus (feline infectious enteritis; feline parvovirus): The disease caused by this virus is often very severe and can be fatal. It is highly infectious and causes severe bloody diarrhoea and low white cell count.
  • Feline herpesvirus (cat flu): This virus causes flu-like symptoms for a relatively short time but the virus can remain dormant in the cat's system, with no clinical signs, flaring at times of stress potentially causing long term eye problems.
  • Feline calicivirus (cat flu): This virus also causes flu-like symptoms but does also cause chronic gingivitis and mouth ulcers. Cats can still get calicivirus despite being vaccinated but generally show fewer symptoms and recover faster.
  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV): This virus is spread by cat-to-cat contact such as mutual grooming. FeLV affects the cat's immune system and can cause cancer.

For indoor cats, we can discuss individual requirements with you but often decide not to include the Feline Leukaemia fragment of the vaccination. This is because the disease is much less likely to occur in indoor cats.