Grey kitten getting an injection

Vaccinations help to reduce the risk of specific infectious diseases.

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Does my cat need vaccinations before being neutered?

By Dr Hester Mulhall MA, VetMB, MRCVS Veterinarian

Updated on the

You'll probably be seeking the advice of a vet if you're not sure whether to vaccinate your cat before it's neutered.

It is not compulsory for a cat to be vaccinated before they are neutered, but the majority of cats in the UK will be. A kitten usually receives their first vaccination at around nine weeks of age and their second vaccination three to four weeks later. When you talk to a vet, most will recommend neutering from about four months old, as long as your cat has reached a certain body weight.

Vaccinations help to reduce the risk of specific infectious diseases, such as cat flu, and are recommended even for indoor cats. This is because viruses and bacteria can be carried into a house on skin and clothing. When your cat visits the vet practice for their surgery, they will be in close proximity to other pets in the cattery area. Your cat is also likely to have a reduced immune system following surgery due to higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

If your cat has not been vaccinated, you will need to let the vet know, as many practices have protocol in place to reduce spread of infectious disease in non-vaccinated pets.

Do vets require vaccinations in cats before being spayed?

You should always notify the vet practice if your cat is not vaccinated, so that they can take necessary precautions. It is strongly recommended to vaccinate your cat before they are spayed, but not obligatory. However, a vet may advice additional protocol, such as keeping your cat separate from other pets at the clinic.

What vaccinations are necessary prior to spaying a cat?

The recommended vaccines for UK cats include those for cat flu, feline enteritis and feline leukaemia virus. A cat will require two injections for their primary course of vaccinations and this will usually take place before they are spayed. An annual booster is needed to keep protection topped up.

Can you neuter a kitten while it’s undergoing vaccination?

The protocol varies between practices. Most kittens will be vaccinated at a young age, before they are old enough to be neutered. If your cat is not vaccinated, seek veterinary advice about whether to complete the primary course before the neutering surgery. If your cat is not yet microchipped, neutering is a good opportunity to have this done too.

Can I vaccinate my cat myself?

No, you can't. A vaccination should be given after a health check by a vet. This is important because it can be less effective if given to a cat who is unwell.

Can I have my cat neutered without vaccinations?

Yes, you can have your cat neutered without vaccinations as long as you make the vet practice aware. This is so that they can take necessary steps to reduce disease risk to your pet and other animals at the practice.

How much do vaccinations to neuter a cat cost?

You should contact the vet practice to inquire about the cost of vaccinations. Some practices offer pet health plans that generally include the cost of routine preventative care, such as vaccinations and flea treatments.

When should I talk to a vet online?

A vet practice may provide video consultations and there are also other providers of online veterinary consultations. These may be suitable for an initial conversation with a vet about vaccinating or neutering. However, your cat will need a physical health check at a vet practice before being vaccinated or undergoing surgery. Costings and vaccination protocol will also differ between practices, so you will need to contact a practice for more specific information.

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