By vaccinating the kitten, you protect it against diseases such as feline plague and feline colds. Here our veterinarian tells you more about the vaccination of your kitten and gives answers to some common questions!
Do you have to vaccinate your kitten?
Yes, that’s a good question. In Sweden (my home country), it is quite unusual with large outbreaks of, for example, feline plague. Why then should you vaccinate? Especially since vaccines (like all other medicines) can cause side effects.
Vaccination against feline plague
The reason why veterinarians still recommend that kittens be vaccinated against at least feline plague is to continue to minimize the risk of outbreaks of this, very serious, disease. As long as most cats are vaccinated against feline plague, the risk of it breaking out is very small.
If you stop vaccinating cats against feline plague, the risk of an outbreak increases, as the feline plague virus is often found in the cat’s normal outdoor environment. The virus can survive for several years outdoors or indoors. It is mainly young cats and kittens that are affected, and as many as 90% of the cats that become ill are at risk of dying.
Cat plague causes problems with vomiting and diarrhea, a lack of white blood cells (which means that the cat’s immune system is severely impaired) and the cat can die from dehydration or from any secondary infections.
When weighing the risks of vaccinating against the risk of outbreaks and their consequences, it is considered that there is less risk of vaccinating kittens than not vaccinating them.
A single dose of the vaccine is often enough for the cat to have protection against cat plague for several years.
Vaccination against cat flu
Cat flu then, do you really need to be vaccinated against it?
Cat runny nose is rarely fatal, but the runny nose can pave the way for other infections and can be very difficult for the cat as it has problems with both sores and watery eyes, as well as sneezing and thick leashes that make it difficult for the cat to breathe normally.
Cat flu can also make the cat more susceptible to, for example, pneumonia.
A cat that has had a cat flu often becomes a carrier of the virus and the infection can break out in connection with, for example, stress.
Vaccination against feline cold is unfortunately not a 100% guarantee that the cat will avoid the disease, it can still be infected, but the cat usually becomes less ill.
When it comes to cat flu, vaccination is usually recommended if the kitten is to meet many other cats (eg go to a show, be outdoors in an area where there are more cats, or be at a cat boarding house), otherwise you do as you please.