Cats are extremely popular pets. In fact, according to a 2021 study by veterinary charity PDSA, 24% of the UK adult population own a cat. And the estimated cat population in the UK stands at 10.7 million.
If you’re a cat owner, their health comfort is likely to be a top priority and one simple way to protect your cat against a range of illnesses is to keep up to date with their vaccinations.
In this guide, we take a look at what you need to know about cat vaccines, which ones a cat needs and when they need them, up to how much they are likely to cost.
What vaccines do cats and kittens need?
If you live in the UK, cats should be vaccinated against:
- cat flu (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus) – this causes symptoms similar to the human cold and flu such as sneezing, snotty nose, sore or watery eyes, fever, low energy, cough and a sore throat. It can be serious, even fatal, for kittens, but is usually not serious for healthy adult cats.
- Feline infectious enteritis (also known as FPV, feline parvovirus and feline panleukopenia) – this is a disease that attacks a cat’s gut and immune system. It can also attack the heart. Young kittens often suffer from more severe symptoms than healthy adult cats. Kittens from an infected pregnant cat can be born with brain damage.
- Feline leukemia virus (essential for outdoor cats) – this is a virus that attacks the cat’s immune system and can be fatal. It can cause cancer, anemia and make cats susceptible to other infections.
Other nonessential vaccines for cats include:
- Chlamydophila felis – this is a bacterium that causes eye infections and symptoms similar to cat flu. Your cat will usually only need this vaccination if it has suffered from it in the past.
- Rage – this is a deadly virus but as it is not currently a problem in the UK it will only be necessary if your cat is traveling overseas or you are adopting a cat from the UK ‘foreigner.
If you’re not sure which vaccines your cat needs, talk to your veterinarian.
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How often do kittens and cats need vaccines?
Kittens need two sets of initial vaccines. One to nine weeks and a second booster at three months. Some kittens may also need a third injection at 15 weeks. A kitten will be fully protected three to four weeks after their last injection and you should keep your kitten indoors and away from cats outside your household until then.
After this primary course, cats usually need reminders once a year. You should receive a vaccination record from your veterinarian to remind you when the next course is due.
How much do cat vaccines cost?
Prices vary depending on the vaccines your cat needs – indoor cats, for example, are likely to need fewer. Different veterinary practices also charge different prices, so check the website or call ahead to avoid any surprises.
However, a cost of between £70-80 for the kitten’s first two injections and £60-70 for an annual list of cat vaccinations is fairly typical.
If you have a few local veterinary practices to choose from, that may be one of the factors you use to make your decision along with other considerations such as its location, recommendations from friends and family, attitude staff, facilities and openness. hours.
Some veterinarians may offer a health care plan for your cat that will allow you to split the cost of preventative treatments such as vaccinations, flea and worm treatment, and checkups. If you are eligible for financial support, some animal charities such as the RSPCA and Blue Cross may be able to help with veterinary bills.
Are cat vaccinations covered by pet insurance?
Pet insurance is designed to cover high costs in the event of an unexpected injury or illness. Thus, regular scheduled care such as vaccinations, flea treatment and deworming are generally not covered.
However, you may be offered lower insurance premiums if your cat is vaccinated, while some insurers may require your cat to be up to date with their vaccinations for your policy to be valid – so always read the terms and conditions carefully and set reminders. in your calendar for vaccination dates.
What does pet insurance cover?
Although pet insurance won’t cover your cat’s vaccinations, it’s worth buying to give you peace of mind that you’ll have financial protection if your cat gets sick or injured. Comprehensive cat insurance can cover:
- Veterinary bills for new illnesses, conditions and injuries
- The purchase price of your pet if it dies from accidental injury (there is usually an age limit for this)
- Cattery fees if you have to go to the hospital unexpectedly.
Always read the terms and conditions of any policy you are considering carefully so that you feel comfortable with what is covered. And don’t forget to shop around to find the best policy for your cat at the most competitive price.