We recommend that kittens be vaccinated at 8, 10, and 12 weeks of age. We routinely cover for feline enteritis and cat flu in all kittens. For kittens that will grow up to spend any portion of time outdoors, or be in contact with infected cats, we reccommend FIV vaccinations also.
Adult Cat Vaccinations
The immunity from kitten vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Booster vaccinations should be given yearly.
Adult cats should be vaccinated against feline enteritis and cat flu (and also against FIV if they will be spending time outside).
WHAT DO WE VACCINATE AGAINST?
Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia)
Very contagious and the death rate is high, especially under 12 months of age. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities, quite often with brain damage. Symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain.
The virus spreads so easily that heavily contaminated areas may need cleaning with a special disinfectant. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.
Feline Respiratory Disease (Catflu)
It is caused in 90% of cases by feline herpesvirus (feline rhinotracheitis) and/or feline calicivirus.
Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens, Siamese and Burmese cats. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers.
Fortunately, the death rate is low except in young kittens, but the disease is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Recovered cats can continue to carry and spread the infection for long periods, and can show signs of the disease again if they become stressed.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Feline AIDS is a disease caused by infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and affects the cat’s immune system. Their natural defence against attack by other diseases may be seriously affected, much in the same way as human AIDS.
This disease is not transmissible to humans.
FIV is almost always transmitted by scratches and bites from infected cats. The virus that causes the disease is present in saliva.
While some infected cats show no sign of disease, others may display initial symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.
As the disease progresses, symptoms may occur such as weight loss, sores in and around the mouth, eye lesions, poor coat and chronic infections.
Eventually, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections and diseases. As a result, the cat may die from one of these subsequent infections.
Unfortunately in Adelaide, approximately 20% of unvaccinated cats are infected with this virus. This vaccine is not considered neccessary for cats that live an exclusively indoor lifestyle where there is no chance of them fighting with, or being attacked by, infected cats.