Cats are natural roamers and love their independence, so they often come into contact with other animals. The more they do this, the more they’re exposed to infectious diseases.

Some diseases, like feline panleukopenia and feline leukaemia, almost always end in death in kittens. Others, like feline rhinotracheitis virus and feline calicivirus can cause severe respiratory disease in kittens and affect an adult cat’s good health.
Fortunately many diseases of cats can be prevented by vaccination. Vaccines provide protection against many of the viruses and bacteria that cause disease. Vaccination is the best way to protect your cat’s life and health against disease – it assures quality of life for your cat, as well as survival. And vaccinating a healthy cat costs you far less than treating a sick animal. Cats unprotected by a vaccination program are at risk of contracting a serious or even fatal disease.

At The Vet Centre we recommend that pet owners have their cats vaccinated against the following infectious diseases:

Feline Panleukopenia

All cats should be vaccinated against the feline panleukopenia (FPL) virus. FPL (sometimes called feline enteritis) can affect cats of any age, causing fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, weakness, tremors and in-coordination. The disease is usually severe in kittens and death may result.

Feline Respiratory Disease (FRD)

Respiratory disease (‘cat flu’) is easily passed from one cat to another when an infected cat coughs or sneezes, releasing droplets in the air. Kittens can die from respiratory disease, especially if they develop pneumonia. Cats with infectious respiratory disease often have red watery eyes, sticky discharge from their nose and eyes, nose and mouth sores and fever. Most respiratory disease is caused by either feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) or feline calicivirus (FCV). FHV-1, which tends to be more severe, can cause pregnant cats to abort. An organism called Chlamydophilia felis causes another respiratory disease, once known as pneumonitis. In fact this disease primarily causes inflammation of the eyes. Vaccination against respiratory disease will reduce the chances of your cat developing cat flu and will also reduce the severity of symptoms in cats that do become infected.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a virus related to feline leukaemia virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the virus that causes AIDS). FIV does not, however, infect humans. The virus attacks the immune system and as a result an infected cat becomes susceptible to a range of infections and even cancers.
FIV is most common in outdoor, free roaming cats with male cats twice as likely to develop the infection as females. It is present in the saliva of infected cats and is transmitted via bite wounds. Very rarely, kittens may be infected in the womb or via their mother’s milk.