Vaccinate your cat

Bringing a new kitten into your home does come with certain responsibilities. Furbaby parents have to make sure that their kitten is taken care of and stays healthy. Kittens cannot take care of themselves so you will need to take care of them.

Why Vaccinate?

Indoor and outdoor cats need to be vaccinated. Vaccinations keep your pet safe from contagious diseases. Not only do they keep your animal safe, it keeps your family safe too. You have to vaccinate to make sure that your kitten stays happy and healthy for a long time to come.

At Croftdon Down Veterinarian clinic we will help you make sure that your feline friend, regardless of age, is up to date with their vaccinations and keep them up to date. In New Zealand there are mandatory vaccinations to ensure the safety of the overall cat population.

Types of vaccinations

There are two types of vaccinations that your vet needs to administer to your kitty. Core and non-core vaccinations.

Core Vaccinations:

These are vaccinations that every cat needs, regardless of area they live in and whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat. Core vaccinations are given to all breeds of cats; to keep them safe from serious and contagious diseases. The core vaccinations are for the following infections and diseases:

  • Feline Herpesvirus also known as FVH-1 – is a virus which causes infections in your cat’s respiratory tract. This potentially turns into pneumonia which can be fatal. Cats with the FVH- 1 virus spread the infection through contact and surface sharing. The FVH – 1 virus is not transferable to dogs or humans.
  • Feline panleukopenia – which is abbreviated to FPV. FPV goes under 2 more names: feline distemper or feline parvovirus. This virus is life-threatening and it is contagious to other cats. Feline panleukopenia is commonly spread through the contact of infected faeces. If your cat comes into contact with the infected poop and gets sick they will become lethargic, not show an interest in food, vomit and have diarrhoea. Kittys will also show signs of a fever. There is no cure for this virus, but it is treatable. FPV is not transferable to humans or canines.
  • Feline Calicivirus known as FCV – This virus causes cold-like symptoms in your cat. They will begin to sneeze, cough and run a fever. Though the symptoms sound mild this virus can cause serious health complications and can even be fatal. This virus is serious to felines but does not threaten the health of humans.

Non-core vaccinations:

These are vaccinations that will be administered on advice from your vet. At Vets at North Rocks our vets will advise you on any non-core vaccinations required for your furbaby. The vaccinations in this category are:

  • Feline Leukaemia Virus – this is a cancer causing virus and is fatal there is no cure for the disease so it is important to vaccinate. Animals that are infected come into contact with healthy animals, that is how the virus spreads. You cannot contract feline Leukaemia from your cat.
  • Rabies – rabies is no longer a core vaccination in New Zealand, because we are a proudly rabies free country.You will however need to vaccinate your cat against rabies if you plan to travel internationally with your cat.
    ne Leukaemia from your cat.
  • Chlamydia – is an infectious disease which attacks the eyes and upper respiratory tract of cats. It is easily treated, which is why it is not a core vaccination.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) – can lead to Feline Aids which compromises your cat’s immune system. This virus is spread through contact with an infected feline’s saliva. Speak to one of our friendly Vet’s to find out if your cat is at risk and needs a vaccination

When to vaccinate?

Below is a guideline on when to vaccinate your kitten, these are the recommended schedules to follow. The vet will give your kitten a thorough examination before administering any vaccination to ensure the cat is healthy.

  • 6 – 8 weeks, the first of the core vaccinations are given. Depending on the weight and health of the kitten.
  • 10 – 12 weeks your kitten will receive its first booster shot.
  • 14 – 16 weeks your kitten receives its second booster injection.
  • 6 – 12 weeks, the third booster shot. After that your cat will need a booster shot every 1 to 3 years. It will all depend on the actual product used.

If you adopt a mature rescue cat, or if your cat has missed any of its booster shots, make an appointment as soon as you can with the vet to make sure your cat gets the protection it needs.

Are vaccines safe?

As a pet owner you want to make sure that your pet is happy and healthy. Vaccines are simply modified versions of the disease, the modified version is used to stimulate antibodies to fight the disease. These antibodies enable your cat to fight off the disease if they ever come in contact with it again.

Of course your vet will make sure your cat is healthy enough to have the vaccine, and there are mild side effects which pass quickly and are not serious. These side effects differ slightly from vaccine to vaccine but they include:

  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Lethargy or a lack of energy
  • Loss if interest in food
  • A low grade fever
  • Some coughing and sneezing.

These side effects are normal and you need to make sure your kitten or cat has a comfortable place to rest, and plenty of water. The side effects can last for a few days, if they worsen or do not clear up contact your vet as soon as you can.