Cats are vaccinated against 3 different viruses. The core vaccination for cats typically involves coverage of:
(Feline herpes/rhinotracheitis virus - also known as cat flu)
This virus is very infectious and affects the upper respiratory tract.
If a cat is infected it may show symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite, eye and nose discharge, and may have a fever. This virus can be hard to get rid of and even if the signs have gone the cat can still be a carrier and may have it reoccurring. Kittens are particularly at risk of picking up this virus up, so it is very important to vaccinate your kitten as soon as you get him/her.
(Feline Calicivirus - also known as cat flu)
This virus also affects the upper respiratory tract.
Symptoms include, eye and nose discharge, sneezing, sores in the mouth, and pneumonia can also be present. K ittens are at high risk with this virus and it can be picked up easily from any infected cats sneeze or cough. Vaccination will reduce the chance of infection.
(Feline Panleukopenia - also known as Feline Enteritis)
This virus can affect cats of any age and symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, uncoordination, weakness and tremors. This is a very severe disease and can cause death. The vaccination is very effective against this virus and all cats should be vaccinated against this.
FIV (Feline AIDS) Vaccine:
The FIV virus is transmitted during a cat fight through biting. If bitten, the virus remains with your cat for life and gradually decreases it’s immunity. Feline AIDS can lead to an increase in infections and some types of cancer.
Cats that develop disease caused by infection with FIV have a vastly decreased quality of life and suffer pain and discomfort needlessly. Sadly, your cat may die from one of these infections or diseases.
FIV is a common virus found in many areas of New Zealand. In 2013 some veterinarians surveyed, reported that they found up to 70% of sick cats tested were positive to FIV.
There is no known cure should your cat contract the FIV virus. The best chance of protection is to keep your cat inside fulltime but in reality cats love to explore the outdoors so a vaccine is available from your veterinarian to help protect them.
Kittens and adult cats have different vaccination schedules.
Kittens require a course of 3 from 8 weeks of age – each given 2-4 weeks apart. They can be given at the same time as their normal vaccination.
Adult cats that have never been vaccinated need to have the FIV test before vaccination can be given. If the test is negative then the course of 3 injections as for kittens can proceed. The implications of a positive result will be discussed in full with you by your veterinarian.
An annual booster is required and it must be done within 13 months of the previous vaccination. If overdue your cat may need to repeat a full course to reinstate their protection.
We recommend microchipping your cat if FIV vaccinated as once vaccinated it will produce a positive result to the test making it appear to be FIV infected. This means identification is easier if your pet went missing and immediate reuniting with you.