Having your kitten vaccinated before he or she is three months old is very important. It’s an issue that can be confusing for a new cat owner, so follow our easy guide to the vaccinations, why they’re necessary and the myths that surround them.
Why you should get your cat vaccinated
Vaccination provides invaluable protection against diseases your cat will be exposed to. Some diseases can’t be protected against, such as FIV (cat AIDS) but others, which may be life-threatening, can be.
The diseases that vaccinations protect against
Having your kitten vaccinated will protect your pet from four of the most serious cat diseases. These are feline infectious enteritis, feline herpes virus, feline calicivirus and feline leukaemia virus. All are contagious and spread by infected cats.
When to get vaccinations done
Kittens usually start with a course of two injections, given at nine and 12 weeks. A booster follows this first vaccination 12 months later, and then again once a year throughout the cat’s adult life.
Keep the vaccination record safe and check whether your vet practice offers a vaccination reminder service. Remember as part of your Petplan insurance, you must keep your cat’s vaccinations up to date.
Vaccination myths vs reality
Many owners underestimate the importance of regular jabs. Here are some common misunderstandings – and the real picture.
‘Once I’ve had my cat injected, they’re immune for life’
Not true. It’s important to have your cat vaccinated every year to maintain his immunity against serious diseases because cats’ immunity can decline with age. If you have other cats – or if you allow him to roam – he’ll have an increased chance of exposure to a contagious disease.
‘My kitten is an indoor cat, so won’t have contact with disease.’
Not true. Your pet can be at risk from viruses transmitted via your hands or clothes from other cats you may come into contact with. Even if your cat goes out only rarely, or goes to a cattery (even very occasionally), they are at risk of contracting these diseases.
‘Feline leukaemia is rare, so my cat won’t need that injection.’
Not true. Feline leukaemia is a common cause of early death in young cats in the UK. It is particularly prevelant in urban areas and among unneutered animals. Cats living in multi-cat households are also at risk.