Your shopping bag is empty.

Looking After Your Why should I vaccinate my cat?

Pet Advice

Free pet advice. We’ve got it covered

Find all the information you need on how to choose the right pet and how to keep pets healthy and happy

Why should I vaccinate my cat?

Cats can be vaccinated against a number of diseases, including conditions that can ultimately prove fatal. Most cat vaccines provide protection against the cat flu viruses and the feline enteritis virus. More deluxe models will also include protection against the Chlamydia bacteria and feline leukaemia virus.

Cat Flu

There are two types of virus that cause cat flu: feline calicivirus and feline herpes virus. The viruses cause a combination of upper respiratory tract symptoms, including nasal discharge and coughing, alongside conjunctivitis and ulceration of the tongue and oral tissues. Affected cats usually have a high temperature, don’t want to eat or drink and are lethargic. 

Feline enteritis virus

If cats are infected with feline enteritis (panleucopaenia) virus, they develop gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhoea, with a high temperature and depression, leading to the feline enteritis virus being known as feline parvovirus. 

Chlamydia infection

Cats with Chlamydia usually have conjunctivitis, with watery or mucus ocular discharge. It can also reduce the fertility of infected cats and can even cause abortion in pregnant females.

Feline leukaemia

The feline leukaemia virus is the most life threatening of the diseases mentioned in this article. If an individual cats immune system doesn’t expel the virus, then infected cats will die within three years of diagnosis. These cats will develop tumours (lymphoma), suppression of the immune system predisposing to other infections, bone marrow disease and ultimately death. 

Vaccination protocol

Most veterinary practices will have their own vaccination protocols. However, standard vaccination protocols usually vaccinate kittens at 9 weeks of age and follow this up with a second vaccination 3-4 weeks later. Adult cats should then be given regular annual boosters. 

Doolittle’s Dispensary recommends that all cats are vaccinated as part of responsible pet ownership and we urge owners to speak to their veterinary surgeons about the best protocol for your cat.