03 3489728 Straven Road Vet
03 3525749 Papanui Vet
By Dr. Francesca Matthews
Regular vaccination is required for all cats to ensure they remain free from a number of contagious diseases. Many of these are potentially fatal.
As these diseases are preventable by vaccination, in addition to your own desire to keep your cat healthy, this is also part of your obligation to ensure you adhere to the five freedoms.
Initial vaccination course
An initial course of 2 vaccinations approximately 4 weeks apart is given. This ensures high levels of immunity are achieved. We will advise you exactly when these need to be given and how many are required. The interval specified is important and must be adhered to. It is dependent on the vaccine used and the age of your kitten when you first contact us with regards to vaccinating.
In general terms, a vaccination course for kittens should start at 8 weeks.
Your kitten (or adult cat, if vaccinations were started late) is not fully protected from the diseases vaccinated against until 10 days after the last vaccination in the initial course.
Following this initial course, booster vaccinations are required. Recent research shows that not all diseases must be vaccinated for annually, as immunity for some diseases lasts longer. However, for other diseases, immunity wanes after one year, therefore an annual vaccination is required to maintain immunity to these diseases.
The area of immunity and vaccination is changing rapidly as more research is done and you should follow the current regime advised by us.
If your cat’s vaccination course becomes more than 3 - 6 months overdue, then the initial vaccination course, involving two beginning vaccinations may need to be repeated to ensure good immunity is maintained. This depends on the disease and current recommendations.
Discuss the latest vaccination recommendations and the best options for your cat with us.
Vaccination Requirements for Boarding Catteries
Ensure that you are familiar with the vaccination requirements of your boarding establishment. If your cat does not meet the requirements of your preferred boarding facility with regards to vaccination, it may be excluded from the boarding facility or be isolated for the duration of its visit. Don't leave it too late to check the vaccination requirements too. Bear in mind that your cat will not be fully vaccinated until 10 days after the final vaccination. You will need to present to the boarding facility an up to date vaccination certificate.