Cat attending appointment about vaccinations

Keep your cat healthy with cat and kitten vaccinations

A healthy cat is a happy cat – and happy pets mean happy owners! When it comes to the health and wellbeing of your cat or kitten, prevention is better than cure. And cat vaccinations are the best way to protect your cat or kitten against illness.

Why does my cat or kitten need vaccinations?

As a responsible cat lover, you do everything you can to keep your feline friend fit and healthy – including making sure your cat or kitten is protected against infection with regular injections.

Cat and kitten vaccinations are an effective way to keep nasty diseases at bay. These vital injections protect your pet from infectious and sometimes life-threatening conditions such as cat flu, feline infectious enteritis, or leukaemia. It’s also worth noting that vaccinations are essential if you’re considering putting your cat into a cattery at any time.

What vaccinations does my cat or kitten need?

Your local vet is your best source of information about the cat and kitten vaccinations available. Generally, your vet will recommend routine cat injections against a range of core infectious conditions and diseases.

Vets recommend vaccinating your cat against:

  • Feline herpesvirus (FHV) and feline calici virus (FCV) (cat flu)
  • Feline infectious enteritis (FIE, feline parvovirus, panleukopenia virus)
  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)
  • Chlamydophila felis

Two common viruses, feline herpesvirus (FHV) and feline calicivirus (FCV), are responsible for most cases of cat flu – sometimes called acute upper respiratory tract disease. Much like human flu, cat flu symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose, sticky eyes (conjunctivitis and ocular discharge) and a sore throat. 

Annual vaccination is an effective way of protecting your cat from cat flu, and reducing the severity of the disease, though there are so many strains of FCV that it’s impossible to prevent cat flu entirely. 

Feline infectious enteritis (also called feline parvovirus or panleukopenia virus) is a serious, highly contagious and often fatal disease. Infected cats experience sudden, severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Vaccinations for feline infectious enteritis are very effective, and all cats and kittens should be vaccinated to protect them from this severe condition. A single injection can protect your cat for at least three years. 

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a virus that attacks the cat’s immune system, leaving them at risk of infection and illness. Infected cats deteriorate over time, with weight loss, lethargy, fever, diarrhoea, and recurrent respiratory tract infections all being symptoms of the disease. There’s no treatment for feline leukaemia, and secondary infections are common, so vaccination is vital.

Chlamydophila felis is a fragile bacterium that’s transmitted by direct contact between cats, and mainly causes conjunctivitis. Infected cats and kittens experience mild to severe conjunctivitis, runny, sticky eyes, sneezing and nasal discharge that can be treated by antibiotics, but vaccination can be effective at preventing the condition. 

Kitten vaccinations 

Kittens and younger cats are particularly vulnerable to disease, due to their immature immune systems, so it’s vital to get them vaccinated early. If you’re lucky enough to be the proud owner of kittens, make sure you get them along to your local vet for their first injections when they’re eight to nine weeks old, and for booster vaccinations three to four weeks later.

“Cat and kitten vaccinations are an effective way to keep nasty diseases at bay. They’re also essential if you’re considering putting your cat into a cattery at any time.”

Got questions about cat or kitten vaccinations? 

If you’ve any questions about the best cat injections to protect your feline friend, call or visit your local vet, who will be happy to talk to you about the vaccinations available to keep your cat happy and healthy. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.