Too few cats are vaccinated. Less than 50% of cat owners remember to get vaccination reminders* However, vaccines protect cats against several contagious and sometimes fatal diseases.
Typhus (or Feline Infectious Panleukopenia)
All cats, regardless of their lifestyle, can be infected with Feline Infectious Panleukopenia virus. The presence of a contaminated object in the environment is enough to trigger life-threatening hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. This disease mainly affects young cats and can spread to entire litters of the kitten.
Upper respiratory diseases of the cat (rhinitis, sinusitis…) are grouped under the term of coryza. 2 main viruses are involved in this diseases: calicivirus (C) and herpesvirus (R). Vaccination against coryza is advised for all cats. The disease is very contagious and the symptoms are very important.
Feline leukemia (FeLV)
Feline leukemia is a fatal disease that is spread by direct contact between cats. It causes immunosuppression that seriously affects the cat’s health, even if the symptoms appear late after contamination. Once the cat is contaminated, there is nothing you can do: the diseases cannot be cured. Fortunately, vaccines exist to prevent the cat from being contaminated by this virus. It is the best way to fight against this disease. It is advised to vaccinate all cats that go outdoors or that have contact with other cats. Feline leukemia is a fatal disease that is spread by direct contact between cats.
In France, vaccination against rabies is no longer mandatory, unless the cat has to cross a border. This vaccination is still recommended for cats that go outdoors and who could possibly get in contact with infected dogs or cats (for example, illegally imported animals).
The first vaccinations must occur when the kitten is between 8 and 16 weeks, when he is no longer protected by the antibodies transmitted by his mother. A first general reminder is recommended when the kitten reaches one year of age, then the reminders will intervene regularly.