Which Vaccinations Does Your Cat Need Before Boarding?

Catteries, such as Cottage Kennels & Cattery, typically require their furry visitors to have been vaccinated before they will accept them for a stay. This may take a little advance planning on your part -- you don't just have to have your pet vaccinated against common feline diseases, but you also have to leave time for the vaccinations to work before it can board.

Basic Vaccination Requirements

Vaccination requirements may vary, depending on the cattery and its state code of practice. Typically, catteries ask for proof of the base F3 feline vaccination. This covers dangerous diseases such as cat flu and feline infectious enteritis. You'll still be covered if your vet has given your cat F4 or F5 vaccinations instead. These handle the same diseases as the F3 vaccination, adding protection against leukaemia and immunodeficiency viruses.

Most catteries also have to make sure that vaccinations are up to date according to state codes of practice. For example, Victoria's Department of Agriculture requires catteries to check that cats have been vaccinated within the 12-month period before boarding. If your cat's vaccinations are not current, you may have to get your vet to administer a booster before the cattery can allow it to stay.  

Tip: It's a good idea to check if the cattery you want to use has a worming or flea policy. Some catteries may require this protection in addition to vaccinations and may ask you to administer treatments before you board your cat. Some may treat pets when they enter the cattery, but you may have to pay extra for the treatment.

Timing Your Vaccinations

Vaccinations don't work immediately, so you can't simply have your cat vaccinated and then put it straight in to a cattery. Check with the owner to see how long you have to wait before it is safe. For example, RSPCA South Australia sets a limit of at least 10 days after vaccination before it allows cats to board.

If you want to board a kitten, you may have a longer wait, unless the cattery has special boarding facilities that can keep younger cats in a sterile environment. Vets usually vaccinate kittens in three monthly stages before they are around 16 weeks old, as antibodies they get from their mothers may interfere with the immunity they get from vaccinations. Kittens don't have full immunity until they've had all their injections, and you must also factor in a wait period after the last vaccination for it to work fully.