What vaccinations should my cat receive?
Two different types of virus cause this. Cat flu affects the cats' upper airways resulting in severe nasal discharge from the nose and eyes, often leading to pneumonia. It is potentially fatal in young kittens and elderly cats, and is a most unpleasant disease in all age groups. Chronic illnesses, such as bronchitis, rhinitis, and sinusitis can be a consequence of infection. Immunisation should be regarded as essential for all cats even if they stay indoors.
Feline Infectious Enteritis (Panleucopaenia)
This is a disease closely related to the better-known Parvovirus disease in dogs. It causes severe diarrhoea and is rapidly fatal in young kittens. Infection of adult cats during pregnancy can cause brain damage to the kittens. Vaccination is absolutely essential.
Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
For many years FeLV has been the second most common cause of death in adult cats (after road traffic accidents). It is related to the human AIDS Virus, but is not infectious to humans. FeLV disables the white blood cells, preventing the cat from fighting off infections. As a result FeLV positive cats become constantly ill from all kinds of diseases, and often fail to respond as expected to routine treatments. At present it is estimated that 8.8% of British cats are FeLV positive (Idexx survey) i.e. 600,000 cats! Each infected cat is capable of spreading the virus to other healthy cats. There is no effective treatment or cure. Producing a vaccine against this disease has required many years of research and represents a major scientific achievement, yet to be equalled in human medicine. The latest techniques in genetic engineering have been used to ensure that the vaccine is absolutely safe and effective. Close contact between cats such as fighting, mating or grooming between cats is required for the virus to spread.