Vaccinating Your Cat
Before your cat can hit the streets and show the neighbourhood who’s boss, it’s essential they’re vaccinated against the most common viruses and diseases.
We recommend your kitten’s first vaccination at nine weeks old, followed by a second vaccination three weeks – and no more than four weeks – later. This means that they are protected from common (and potentially deadly) diseases found in London and the UK. Once the vaccination kicks in, within about a week, they’re protected. But we advise waiting until they’re neutered before letting them go out on the tiles.
What do we advise vaccinating against?
- Cat flu – caused by two main viruses, Herpes and Calicivirus. If these are caught, your cat can become a lifelong carrier and suffer regular relapses. Herpes can cause repeated colds and sniffles, and Calicivirus can cause an unpleasant gum disease.
- Feline leukaemia – this virus is known to be deadly to young cats and is spread by direct contact such as grooming and fighting. Any young cat going outside should be vaccinated against feline leukaemia.
- Rabies – if you plan to take your cat abroad using the Pet Travel Scheme, they’ll also need a rabies vaccination. See Pet Passports for more details.
Even if your cat’s a homebody, they still need vaccination against cat flu and Enteritis, as these hardy viruses can be carried into the home on shoes and clothing.
Annual vaccination top-ups
To ensure that your cat stays protected, they’ll need annual vaccinations for flu. Every three years they should also have an Enteritis vaccination and – if they go outside – feline leukaemia. We’ll do our best to send reminders but it’s a good idea to pop the dates in your diary.
As well as the annual course of vaccinations, we also recommend that older cats have an annual blood test, which can pick up early signs of any old-age problems and make them easier to treat.