The core (essential) vaccination for cats provides protection against Panleucopaenia, Rhinotracheitis, Calici Virus and Leukaemia. Additional vaccination against Rabies is also available.
Panleucopaenia is a virus which is a type of parvovirus.
It is very contagious and cats can become infected through contact with other infected cats but the virus can also be spread through faeces and urine and by fleas.
Infected cats will develop severe diarrhoea.
The virus also causes destruction of the cat’s white blood cells (which fight infection) and so they are left very vulnerable to secondary infections.
This is often a fatal disease.
Rhinotracheitis is a virus caused by a herpes virus.
It is commonly known as the cat flu virus and is very contagious.
Infected cats will develop a range of symptoms including conjunctivitis, sneezing, nasal discharge and fever.
They can also go on to develop pneumonia.
In some cases cats will remain infected for life with symptoms flaring in times of stress.
Calicivirus is a virus which is commonly found in cats.
It does not always cause clinical signs of illness.
However, Calicivirus can cause conjunctivitis, nasal discharge and mouth ulcers.
It is commonly associated with feline Rhinotracheitis.
Cats are often infected for life and the virus and symptoms can flare in times of stress.
Feline Leukaemia Virus
Feline Leukaemia Virus is a retrovirus.
It is transmitted directly from infected cats through their saliva, either by sharing feeding bowls or through bite wounds and grooming.
Some infected cats show no clinical signs.
Clinical signs which can develop are very varied as the virus can affect many organs.
Suppression of the cat’s immune system is a common factor in this disease.
Feline Leukaemia infection can be fatal.
Rabies is caused by a virus which invades the nervous system to cause inflammation of the brain and death.
It is zoonotic (can be transmitted from animals to humans).
At present rabies is not in the UK and Rabies vaccination does not form part of the core (essential) vaccination protocol.
However, if you wish to travel abroad with your cat they will need Rabies vaccinations.
Please visit our section on ‘Travelling abroad with your pet’ for more information.