Cat vaccination is recommended annually for all cat owners. By giving your cat the right vaccines, you are doing an important job in preventing serious infectious diseases. Just as humans are exposed to infection through contact with others, cats can also be infected by other cats and animals when they are outdoors. Even indoor cats can be infected through contact with their owners or other people, and vaccination offers the necessary protection. 

What vaccines does the cat need?

When it comes to cat vaccinations, which ones are necessary will vary from cat to cat. The vaccines in a standard basic vaccination program protect against feline distemper and feline influenza, and are recommended for all cats.

Your cat may also need additional vaccinations. For example, the geographical area and the cat's activity may matter. If your cat spends a lot of time with other cats, for example in a boarding house or at a cat show, it may benefit from vaccination against feline chlamydia. If you are taking your cat abroad, it should also be vaccinated against rabies.

Cat plague

Cat plague is a highly contagious and relatively common disease among cats in Norway. The disease is caused by the parvovirus feline panleukopenia virus and can be potentially fatal, especially for kittens. Symptoms of feline distemper often include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, fever and lethargy. The virus is primarily spread through droplets or faeces, but can unfortunately also be spread through surfaces or clothing. Therefore, it can be difficult to get rid of if you catch it in your house.

Indoor cats can also be at risk of infection, as the virus can be transmitted to the cat through shoes, clothing or other objects. The most effective way to prevent the disease is therefore vaccination. If the cat is already infected, prompt treatment is essential and the diagnosis is made by a stool sample and a rapid test.

Cat flu

Cat flu is an umbrella term used to describe a respiratory infection in cats caused by various viruses and bacteria. Often the viruses rhinotracheitis and calicivirus are responsible for the infection. Common symptoms are sneezing, runny nose and eyes and fever. The cat can become infected through contact with other cats, but the viruses can also survive for a short period without a host and spread through contaminated objects or through the air.


Feline chlamydia is an infection caused by the bacterium Chlamydia felis, and is a common cause of upper respiratory infection in cats. This bacterium does not survive long without a host and is usually transmitted through direct contact. The infection is therefore most commonly seen in cats living in close environments, such as boarding or multi-cat households. Common symptoms of feline chlamydia are sneezing, runny nose, inflammation of the eyes and coughing. Some cats may also develop a fever and show a reduced appetite. In severe cases, the infection can lead to pneumonia.


Rabies is a viral disease that is fortunately not very widespread in Norway at present. It is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals, and can also be transmitted from animals to humans. It is not common to vaccinate Norwegian cats against rabies as part of the basic vaccination, but if you are taking your cat on a trip abroad, a rabies vaccination is required by law. The vaccination is then carried out no later than 21 days before departure.

A vet dressed in white tending to a dark striped cat. Vaccination of cats

When should the cat be vaccinated?

We recommend vaccination at 12 weeks of age for both cats and dogs. Until then, the animals are protected by their mother's antibodies which are passed on through their mother's milk. Here at A-Vet, we recommend that both dogs and cats receive 2 basic vaccinations, 4 weeks apart. It is important not to leave too much time between vaccinations, as this will not provide sufficient immune protection.

If the cat is over six months old, it is vaccinated with 1 basic vaccine. Cats that have received the basic vaccine are then vaccinated annually against feline influenza. The feline distemper vaccine is given every three years. It is important that the cat is healthy when vaccinated and we recommend that both dogs and cats are dewormed before vaccination.

Side effects of cat vaccination

Most cats usually experience few side effects from vaccination, but sometimes a cat may feel a little extra tired and lethargic for a few days after receiving the vaccine. Some also experience a mild reaction in the form of swelling and soreness around the injection site or a slight fever.

Severe reactions are rare and may appear in the form of breathing problems, vomiting and diarrhoea or collapse. These symptoms typically appear within a short time after vaccination and therefore it is advisable to keep an extra close eye on the cat for half an hour after vaccination. Contact the veterinary clinic immediately if it shows signs of becoming ill.

Price vaccination cat

Contact us if you have any questions about vaccinating your dog or cat. You can find an overview of our vaccine prices here. At A-Vet, every 4th vaccine on dogs and cats is free of charge provided that our vaccination programme is followed annually.