The diseases that cats are most commonly vaccinated against are:

  • Feline Infectious Enteritis (Panleukopenia)
  • Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
  • Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (‘Cat Flu’)
  • Chlamydophila Felis
  • Rabies

CHECK YOUR CAT’S SYMPTOMS BELOW

FELINE INFECTIOUS ENTERITIS<br>(Panleukopenia)

FELINE INFECTIOUS ENTERITIS
(Panleukopenia)

SYMPTOMS

  • Bloody diarrhoea with a strong, offensive smell
  • Severe dehydration
  • Death can occur quickly – even before clinical signs are seen2
  • Suppresses the immune system causing the cat to become susceptible to other infections

KEY POINTS

  • Severe disease of cats – now less common thanks to vaccination
  • The virus is resistant to many disinfectants and may survive in the environment for months
  • Kittens are most susceptible
  • Any aged cat may be infected

HOW IS IT SPREAD?

  • Can be spread via shoes or clothing so indoor cats are at risk
  • Infection also occurs through direct contact
FELINE LEUKAEMIA VIRUS<br>(FeLV)

FELINE LEUKAEMIA VIRUS
(FeLV)

SYMPTOMS

  • Increases the risk of other infections
  • Also reduces the number of red blood cells and can cause cancer of the blood, intestines and other parts of the body
  • Some cats may die within 2-3 years6

KEY POINTS

  • Only early vaccination and regular boosters can help to protect your cat from the virus
  • FeLV infection is now reduced thanks to successful vaccination programmes5
  • Young kittens are particularly susceptible
  • Infected cats may not show any signs for months or even years6

HOW IS IT SPREAD

  • Cats are infected when grooming each other, sharing food bowls and litter trays and through biting
FELINE UPPER RESPIRATORY DISEASE (‘CAT FLU’)<br>FELINE HERPES VIRUS (FHV)

FELINE UPPER RESPIRATORY DISEASE (‘CAT FLU’)
FELINE HERPES VIRUS (FHV)

SYMPTOMS

  • Sneezing, discharge from the nose
  • Fever and depression
  • Eye ulcers
  • Kittens can develop potentially fatal pneumonia

KEY POINTS

  • Vaccination reduces the severity of signs but cannot completely prevent infection
  • Feline herpesvirus remains dormant after recovery, and most cats become lifelong carriers3

HOW IS IT SPREAD?

  • When carrier cats are stressed or ill, the virus may re-activate and infect other cats
  • Infection occurs through direct contact
  • The virus is shed in fluids from the mouth, eyes and nose

FELINE CALICIVIRUS (FCV)

SYMPTOMS

  • Painful ulcers in the mouth and on the tongue
  • Sneezing, discharge from the nose
  • Fever In rare cases, a much more severe and often fatal form of FCV infection may occur

KEY POINTS

  • There are many strains, so it is possible for infection and mild disease to occur in a vaccinated animal
  • Resistant to many disinfectants and may survive in the environment for about a month4

HOW IS IT SPREAD?

  • Infection usually occurs through direct contact (but indirect spread can occur – ie. via shoes or clothing)
CHLAMYDOPHILA FELIS

CHLAMYDOPHILA FELIS

SYMPTOMS

  • Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the lining of the eye) and watery discharge from the eye
  • Temporary fever, poor appetite and weight loss may occur

KEY POINTS

  • Bacterial infection
  • Mostly occurs in cats <1year

HOW IS IT SPREAD

  • Requires close contact with an infected cat, bacteria are shed in discharge from the eyes
RABIES

RABIES

SYMPTOMS

  • Unexplained aggressive behaviour or sudden behaviour change
  • Death occurs within 1 to 10 days of the onset of signs

KEY POINTS

  • Not currently present in the UK
  • Vaccination required under Pet Travel Scheme for travelling cats
  • Infected animals may not show any clinical signs for months, or even years7

HOW IS IT SPREAD?

  • Usually spread by a bite from an infected animal

Vaccination procedure:

Vaccines are usually given as injections under the skin, and are normally well tolerated by cats. They stimulate the body’s immune system to provide protection and this response is then ‘remembered’ so that if there is exposure to the disease in the future the body can react accordingly.

 

Vaccination safety:

Occasionally there can be adverse side effects associated with vaccination; these are usually mild, such as lethargy and poor appetite, and resolve quickly. Rarely, more serious side effects occur such as an allergic reaction to the vaccine. If you are worried that your cat has had an adverse vaccine reaction please contact you vet.

Vaccines vary in the level of protection they provide, and sometimes infection can still occur, but symptoms are usually much milder than in unvaccinated cats.