Vaccination and protection from disease of cats in a cattery is very important. Anywhere where numbers of cats are kept closely together gives potential for diseases to spread. The cat viruses are very adept at this. The veterinary profession has been looking at guidelines for vaccinating cats and we have used these guidelines in general here to help catteries to understand what they need to ask of owners to try and maximise protection.
For all cats, including those entering a cattery, it is essential that they have received vaccines for the 'core' infectious agents — these are:
Vaccines are available against other infectious diseases including Bordetella bronchiseptica, Chlamydophila felis and feline leukaemia virus. However, vaccination against these agents in the well-constructed and well-run cattery situation is not required, as construction and routine hygiene precautions should be adequate to prevent exposure of cats to these agents in this environment.
As boarding a cat in a cattery represents a relatively high risk and therefore a special condition, it is prudent to seek a booster vaccine within the previous 12 months for FHV and FCV in this circumstance, and maximum protection may be afforded by giving a booster vaccine in the one to two months prior to entry into a boarding cattery.
If a cat has had a primary vaccination course (minimum of two injections) followed by a first booster within 12 months, it only needs a single booster injection (irrespective of the length of time since the last injection) 2 weeks before it goes into the cattery.
A veterinary vaccination record where the cat is clearly identified (preferably by microchip) should be used to ensure relevant (FPV, FHV and FCV) vaccinations have been administered.
Click here for a flow diagram which is designed to help proprietors to understand what is required for each cat in different vaccination scenarios and help with decision making.