The common strain of Calicivirus is active in the ACT this spring. Kittens with sore mouths, sneezes and runny noses suffer like humans with colds. Unvaccinated kittens and cats fall victim to Calicivirus and take longer to get over it than vaccinated cats.
Vaccines stimulate the cat's natural immune system to produce defences to viruses. The two viruses that cause 'cat flu' are calicivirus and herpesvirus. Most cats come into contact with them at some time in their lives. Owners can bring calicivirus and parvovirus, which causes Feline Panleukopenia or Enteritis, home on their hands and shoes so even indoor cats are at risk of illness. The vaccine for panleukopaenia is very effective and in adults immunity lasts for 3 years.
The vaccine for the 'cat flu' reduces the severity of flu symptoms and vaccinated cats recover more rapidly.