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    Cat Vaccinations Guide

    Articlecat health and wellbeingFriday 20 May 2011
    There are a variety of cat vaccines that can be roughly split into two distinct groups, core and non core. The cat vaccinations that fall into the core group are those which are given to all cats, they protect against the most common and highly contagious diseases. Generally they include Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Calicivirus, Feline Herpes Virus and in some cases rabies. This guide outlines some of the common cat vaccinations.

    Feline Panleukopenia

    This condition is also known as feline distemper. It can be fatal but cat vaccines have helped stem it’s spread. It spreads through cat contact and can the virus can remain active for several years on various surfaces. It is one of the core cat vaccines in the UK.

    Feline Calicivirus

    This is a viral infection and is very contagious amongst cats, it can be spread via direct physical contact or via bedding and food bowls etc. it can be spotted by excessive sneezing and watery eyes. Although rarely fatal, it is one of the core cat vaccines in the UK to prevent the spreading. It often appears in the cat vaccination schedule when the cat is still young.

    Feline Herpes Virus

    The Feline Herpes virus produces flu like symptoms in the cat. Once a cat has this infection, it will carry it for the rest of it’s life, hence why it is part of the standard cat vaccination schedule. An infected animal will have bouts of symptoms which can help spread the disease to other cats through direct contact with other cats, bedding etc.


    This falls into the core group depending on what country you are in and whether you intend to take the cat abroad. Currently in the UK it is not a requirement but is required for a pet passport. In the USA all cats and dogs are required to be vaccinated. Rabies is nearly always fatal, to humans as well which is why it has importance in the cat vaccination schedule.

    Feline Leukaemia Virus

    This is one of the non-core cat vaccines. It is spread by saliva and that could happen through sharing of food bowls, mutual grooming or from bites. The cat vaccination is sometimes given to cats that live with other cats or those that will come into contact with them. For a lone house cat, this cat vaccine is often not required.

    Bordetella Bronchiseptica

    This is another bacterial infection and one of the non-core cat vaccines. Symptoms include coughing and pneumonia, it is quite similar to the ‘kennel cough’ condition that dogs can contract. Cats that live with other cats or are going to a cattery are most vulnerable. The cat vaccination schedule is carried out routinely or before when the cat will be introduced to large numbers of other cats, such as at a cattery. Unlike the other cat vaccines, this one isn’t an injection; rather it is applied through the nostrils and produces a local immunity.

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