Bury St Edmunds

& Stowmarket

Branch Helpline number: 01284 850887  e-mail:info@cplbury.org.uk

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                                                                Cats Protection, Bury St Edmunds & Stowmarket Branch, PO Box 422, Thurston, IP31 3WE  

Tel. 01284 850887   e-mail: info@cplbury.org.uk   Charity No. 203644


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Your cat counts on you for protection

One of the very best things you can do to give your cat a long and healthy life is to ensure that he/she is vaccinated against common feline diseases. Your cat's mother gave her kitten immunity from disease for the first few weeks of existence by providing disease-fighting antibodies in her milk. After that period it's up to you - with the help and advice of your veterinary surgeon - to provide that protection.

How do vaccines work?

Vaccines contain small quantities of altered or "killed" viruses, bacteria or other disease-causing organisms. When administered, they stimulate your cat's immune system to produce disease-fighting cells and proteins - or antibodies - to protect against disease

When should my cat be vaccinated?

Generally, the immunity that a kitten has at birth only lasts for a few weeks. It is then time to begin vaccination. The first vaccination is usually given in two doses, the first dose at around the age of 9 weeks and the second about 3 weeks later. Thereafter, your cat will require annual 'booster' vaccinations for the rest of his/her life to maintain protection. Of course, these are only guidelines - your veterinary surgeon will be able to determine the exact schedule that's right for your pet.

How effective is vaccination?

Like any drug treatment or surgical procedure, vaccinations cannot be 100% guaranteed. However, used in conjunction with proper nutrition and hygienic conditions, vaccination is clearly your pet's best defence against disease. Plus, when you consider what treating a serious illness can cost you and your beloved cat in terms of both money and distress, prevention through vaccination is extremely cost-effective.


Routine vaccination has greatly reduced the extent of several feline diseases (including some that can prove fatal). It is vital that your cat has all the necessary vaccinations and boosters.

What vaccines does my cat need?
Cats Protection, as a member of The Cat Group, recommends vaccines for the following feline diseases:

Feline infectious enteritis (FIE)

- a vaccination must

Feline infectious enteritis (a severe and often fatal gut infection) is caused by the feline parvovirus (or feline panleukopenia virus). Vaccination against FIE has been very successful. Unvaccinated cats are at great risk because the virus is widespread in the environment.

Cat 'flu

- a vaccination must

Two types of cat 'flu are vaccinated against feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are very common and vaccination will protect your cat against prolonged illness, but because there are many different strains of cat 'flu the vaccine will not totally eradicate the threat.

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)

- a vaccination must for outdoor cats

FeLV is a lifelong infection and unfortunately most cats will die within three years of diagnosis, usually from a subsequent disease like leukaemia, lymphoma (tumors) or progressive anaemia. It is not an airborn disease and can only be passed on via direct contact between cats (usually by saliva or bites). Because of the serious nature of the disease, CP recommends FeLV vaccination.