The core vaccines vets recommend for all Australian cats are:
- Herpesvirus (a cat flu)
- Calicivirus (a cat flu)
- Parvovirus (feline enteritis)
This is an F3 vaccination. Additionally, vets recommend that any cat who goes outside in high-risk areas is also vaccinated against:
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
- Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
An F4 or F5 vaccination is the addition of one or both of these non-core vaccines to the core vaccines above. Whether we give an F4 or F5 should be based on a risk assessment.
For example, in Adelaide FIV infection is common, but not FeLV. Therefore, South Australian vets recommend adding FIV vaccination for cats with unsupervised outside access.
- Chlamydia is only a problem in some shelters and breeders, and is not serious if acquired
- Rabies vaccination is only necessary as a part of export to certain countries
Australian Cat Vaccination Schedules
All cats and kittens receive F3 vaccination, but the use of FIV or FeLV vaccines is reserved for those either:
- Going outside in areas with high prevalence
- Living with known infected cats
Kitten Vaccination Schedules
Most kittens that are sold have already been given their first vaccine.
Kittens under 8 weeks of age need three doses of the F3 vaccine given at 4-weekly intervals. If FIV protection is added, the three doses are done at the same visits.
Kittens 8 weeks or older need two doses of the F3 vaccine given 4 weeks apart. If FIV protection is added, the first two doses are done with the F3 and the third is given in a further 4 weeks.
Adult Cat Vaccination Schedules
Cats receive a single annual dose of the required vaccine, whether F3 alone, or F3 and FIV.
Cats with very low risk (quarantined indoors) can receive F3 vaccination every 2 or 3 years. However, this is an off-label dose and not recommended.
Adult Cats (Overdue)
Cats that have missed a vaccine need to have the same protocol as kittens: ie two F3 doses and three FIV doses given at 4-weekly intervals.