One easy way to help achieve this is to vaccinate your cat to help protect them against certain infectious diseases, some of which are very difficult to treat and can be fatal. I haven’t vaccinated a cat in over ten years. Attenuation can be achieved in a number of ways, including serial passage in cell culture in the laboratory or by genetic manipulation, or by the choice of a naturally occurring apathogenic strain. They stimulate the body’s immune system to fight against specific diseases and this response is then ‘remembered’ so that if there is exposure to the disease in the future the body can react accordingly to protect the cat. Some vaccinations are even combined into a single syringe so a pet experiences fewer injections. Feline panleucopaenia is similar to parvovirus in dogs. The two of you will need to determine the likelihood of your cat being exposed to the non-core illness listed above and weigh those risks against any side effects associated with the vaccines themselves.
After the primary vaccination course your cat will need regular booster vaccinations to ensure it remains protected. When a disease is detected, your vaccinated pet’s immune system quickly responds, decreasing severity of the illness or preventing it altogether. While it is rare, some pets do not develop immunity from their vaccinations and still become ill. The mechanism by which vaccination works is complex and involves many chemical and cellular reactions within and between the immune system cells of the body. Estimated to occur in about 1 in 10000 cats, and mostly in the USA or UK, these fatal tumours have been mostly linked to FELV vaccines. A vaccination will prevent an illness, but if your pet is already suffering from a disease, a vaccine will not cure them. Also known as feline panleucopenia or feline parvovirus A severe disease that has become much less common thanks to highly effective vaccines Very infectious – the virus can be transmitted on contaminated equipment, shoes and clothing, so even indoor cats which don’t have direct contact with other cats are potentially at risk.