Annual Health Visits
& Vaccinations

Regular vet visits and vaccinations are an important part of your cat's routine health care, to help them live a long and happy life. 

We have put together this guide on everything you might want to know regarding annual health visits (boosters). If you have any further questions after reading this, feel free to ask your vet at your cat's appointment.

Your cat's annual health visit

Booster visits aren't just for vaccines - they are an important regular health check. We want to make sure that your cat is not only protected from infectious diseases, but that we also detect any health issues promptly, so that we can help you to give them the happiest and healthiest life we can.

At the annual health visit your cat will be weighed and have a full physical examination before recieiving appropriate booster vaccinations. Older cats will also receive routine health checks such as blood pressure and urine tests.

What happens at the annual health visit?

We recommend joining our Healthy Cat Plan, which spreads the cost of your cat's routine health care across discounted monthly payments. It not only saves you money, but also helps you ensure that your cat is getting everything they need. We have mapped our Healthy Cat Plan to the recommendations from CatCareforLife, based on evidence and advice from the world's top cat experts.

Cat life stage diagram

* For urine testing, please try to bring a sample of your cat's urine along to the appointment. Some cats will urinate into a clean litter tray, or you can use Katkor plastic beads instead of litter. Katkor litter and urine sample pots are available to collect from the practice. If you are unable to bring a urine sample, but your cat has a full bladder at the appointment, we can usually perform cystocentesis - taking a sample of the urine using a needle and syringe. However, this may not be possible if your cat's bladder is empty or they are overweight.

Why do older cats need extra checks?

It's very important to screen older cats for common diseases such as high blood pressure, kidney disease and thyroid disease. If you can catch these diseases early, you can help them to lead a longer and more comfortable life.

At Manchester Cat Clinic, all cats over the age of 7 coming for routine booster appointments will have their blood pressure checked and their urine checked for evidence of kidney disease or diabetes. We advise upgrading to include blood tests as per the recommendations from the experts at CatCareforLife.

For more information on the most common health conditions in older cats, click here.

CatCareforLife recommended regular health checks 

Which diseases can we vaccinate cats against?

We routinely vaccinate cats against cat flu, panleukopaenia and FeLV. Click on the name of each disease below for more information.

Calicivirus & herpesvirus (cat flu)

Cat flu is usually caused by calicivirus (more information here) or herpesvirus (more information here). A third cause of cat flu is Chlamydophia felis (more information here), but there is not a widely used UK vaccination for this.

Cat flu vaccination is recommended for all cats (including indoor-only cats) as the virus is common in the environment and can be transmitted by shoes, clothes and other objects. Vaccinated cats can still become infected with and carry calicivirus and herpesvirus but regular vaccination helps to prevent severe disease.

Panleukopaenia (feline parvovirus)

Panleukopaenia virus is also called Feline Infectious Enteritis or feline parvovirus. It is a severe and often fatal disease (more information here). It is particularly dangerous as it can survive for long periods in the environment and is resistant to many disinfectants.

Panleukopaenia vaccination is recommended for all cats (including indoor-only cats) as the virus is common in the environment and can be transmitted by shoes, clothes and other objects.

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)

FeLV is a virus which causes blood cancer (leukaemia) in cats (more information here).

All cats with any outdoor access should be vaccinated against FeLV. We also advise FeLV vaccination for indoor-only cats who have contact with outdoor-access or stray cats.

Which vaccinations will my cat receive?

This depends on their risk. When you bring your cat for a vaccination appointment, the vet will ask about your cat's lifestyle and give them their appropriate vaccinations. All cats (even indoor-only cats) require vaccinations annually. Click on the description which best fits your cat's lifestyle to see their recommended vaccination protocol.

If you would like to read further about vaccinations in cats, see the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABDC) website. Our vaccination protocol is based on a combination of the vaccine datasheets and the ABDC recommendations.

Cats with any outdoor access

Indoor-only cats

If an indoor-only cat has any close contact with outdoor-access cats, stray cats or cats of unknown vaccination status, they should be given the same vaccines as an outdoor-access cat.

* Purevax RCP vaccines are licensed for use every 3 years. However, ABCD vaccination guidelines recommend annual vaccination for most cats. Attending cattery, cat shows or even visiting the vets could expose your cat to cat flu so as standard we will keep all cats boosted against cat flu every year.

How do I book in?

A ginger cat sitting next to a red telephone