Vaccination protects your cat against various diseases, some of which can be fatal. They are an important part of your cat’s health care programme, however as with all vaccines there is the potential for side effects.
Most are not serious (discomfort at the site of injection, tiredness, reduced appetite) and usually go away without treatment. However some can be life threatening, such as an allergic reaction: bumpy itchy skin, vomiting/diarrhoea, swelling of the face, difficulty breathing, collapse and even death.
For this reason it is important to choose the vaccines each cat truly needs, and to vaccinate as little as reasonably possible whilst still offering good protection from disease.
The current recommendations by the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) are to give a core vaccine (against potentially life threatening diseases which all cats should be vaccinated against) no more than every 3 years after the initial 12 month booster following the kitten series. Non-core vaccines (usually preventing less serious diseases compared to those covered by the core vaccines) are given to those cats which are assessed to have risk of exposure or a health concern that may make the disease more serious.
Our veterinarians will assess your cats’s lifestyle and health status, and tailor a vaccination plan accordingly.
Our Core Vaccine for cats protects against 3 diseases
Herpes- causes cat flu.
Calicivirus- causes cat flu.
Panleukopenia virus – this can cause severe, and often fatal gastroenteritis.
Current recommendations with the modern vaccine we use are:
1st vaccination at 9 weeks of age, or older.
2nd vaccination 3-4 weeks after the first.
Then next vaccination is a booster one year after the last kitten vaccine.
Thereafter, vaccination is repeated every 3 years as current research has shown that the vaccine will provide sufficient protection for at least 3 years.
A pregnant cat should not receive this vaccine.
Although vaccination is every 3 years for adult cats an annual health check is strongly recommended
Chlamydia, or as it is now known as Chlamydophila, causes conjunctivitis and respiratory disease in shelters or catteries, and rarely affects individual indoor cats. In addition, the vaccine has a higher incidence of vaccination reactions such as pain and lethargy. Therefore, we do not recommend the Chlamydophila vaccine.
FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis):
We do not recommend the FIP vaccine because it has not shown to be effective in preventing FIP disease.
FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus):
We only recommend this vaccine for outdoor cats with contact with stray cats.
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus):
Although commercially available, we do not recommend this vaccine as it has not been shown to be effective.
At present, Rabies vaccination for cats is not compulsory in HK. Currently there is no rabies present in Hong Kong and therefore we generally do not recommend vaccinating your cat against it.
In order to export your cat many countries require it to be vaccinated against rabies and micro-chipped, this can easily be done in our Hospital.
The final schedule of vaccination needs to be in accordance to the guidelines of the country your cat is moving to.