What vaccinations does my cat need in the UK?

Here’s the information in plain language from an excellent source but note that I am not a veterinarian. To the average cat owner trying to figure out what vaccinations against disease that their cat needs, or should have, it’s a bit of a minefield. It can be confusing, I think, perhaps partly because the guidelines have changed or are evolving. The problems are compounded by the fact that some people don’t like vaccinations or the concept of vaccination. And recommendations can vary from place to place.

Core vaccinations at animal shelters
Core vaccinations at animal shelters
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Set against this background I think it might be useful if I tell people how Dr Bruce Fogle DVM, in the UK, vaccinates cats. He is also a very well-known author, therefore he helpfully tells us. And, of course, in his inimitable style, he tells us in very clear, easily understood language.

He vaccinates kittens against feline infectious enteritis and 2 cat flu viruses namely feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV).

He also follows the recommendations of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Academy of Feline Medicine. Their recommendations on boosters is that cats should be vaccinated no more often than every 3 years for feline infectious enteritis and, in general, every 3 years for the above-mentioned cat flu viruses.

In addition, he says that when a cat is travelling and the travel requirements stipulate that a rabies vaccine is required, of course, he delivers it. He makes the point that in some countries the rabies vaccine is mandatory e.g. in America.

He also makes the point that cat boarding establishments often require proof of vaccination within the preceding 12 months. This clashes with the advice on boosters mentioned above.

That is the sum total of how he vaccinates cats, and I think it’s excellent. For the sake of completeness, Dr Bruce Fogle does not vaccinate against the following diseases:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Feline chlamydophilosis
  • Feline coronavirus (FCoV)
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • Giardia

He says that the usefulness of a vaccine against FCoV is questionable. A vaccine against FIV is licensed for use in the United States but researchers question its value. A vaccine against giardia is available in the United States but Dr Fogle questions its efficacy and in any case he says that this disease is treatable with simple medications.

I hope this helps and my thanks to Dr Bruce Fogle and his book (one of many): Complete Cat Care pages 136-137.


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