Even if your cat lives in an apartment and does not seem to face external dangers, it is important to vaccinate it against certain diseases. Indeed, it can be exposed to infectious agents without being in contact with sick cats. However, vaccination protocols can be simplified compared to cats who have access to the outside.
What are the risks for a cat that does not go out?
The agents responsible for coryza and typhus are resistant in the external environment. Even if your cat does not go out, these agents can be passively transmitted to your cat through your clothes, shoes, etc.
Feline typhus or panleucopenia is a disease caused by a virus. It is mainly responsible for gastrointestinal symptoms. It is a serious illness that can quickly be fatal, especially in young kittens.
Coryza is a disease caused by viruses and bacteria. It is responsible for sneezing, tearing, nasal discharge, fever, etc. The coryza can be more serious, lead to anorexia, weight loss … Vaccination does not protect cats against all coryza agents but against those responsible for the most serious symptoms. Vaccination decreases the intensity of clinical signs and the frequency of episodes of common cold.
Feline leukosis is a serious viral disease transmitted mainly through direct contact between cats. It therefore mainly concerns cats that have access to the outside.
Finally, France is free from rabies and vaccination of cats against rabies is not compulsory in French territory. On the other hand, it is compulsory for traveling abroad and it can be requested by certain animal pensions or vacation places for example.
Vaccination is strongly advised to protect cats against serious diseases.
For cats who never have access outside, it is recommended to vaccinate them against typhus and coryza.
The new recommendations encourage to reinforce the primary vaccination and to give three primary vaccination injections at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.
The first recall must be made a year later, and subsequent reminders can be spaced and performed every 3 years.
The attending veterinarian will establish the protocol that best suits the animal based on its lifestyle.
Be careful, do not forget to tell your veterinarian if your cat has access to the outside even for a short period of the year (during the holidays for example). Indeed, it will undoubtedly be necessary to protect your cat against feline leukosis and to carry out annual reminders for better protection against the common cold.
For cats that are kept in boarding for example, it is important to report it to the attending veterinarian because they are in contact with other cats so the risks of diseases are greater. Pensions can also require that the animal be vaccinated against rabies.
Do not hesitate to read our fact sheet “Should vaccines be given every year? ” for more information.
Good to know : annual visits to the veterinarian are very important even if the vaccination reminders are spaced out. The veterinarian will be able to take stock with you on your cat's diet, behavior, health, etc.