Home Pet Care Info Australia wide shortage of Cat Vaccines


Australia wide shortage of Cat Vaccines

(Email distributed 26 October 2023 to owners of cats whose vaccines fall due November 2023 to January 2024)

This is to advise you of an Australia wide shortage of cat vaccines, of all brands and types. At Gungahlin Cat Hospital, we have been forced to change brands of vaccine three times in the last few months, and now the last brand has gone out of stock. Stock is not expected until first Quarter 2024.

We currently have about 155 doses of cat vaccine available (late October 2023), but up to 550 cats coming due for vaccination in this time. Clearly, we cannot vaccinate all these cats.

The good news is that your cat has been vaccinated in the last 12 months, and that protection against vaccinal diseases lasts longer than 12 months in a large majority of cats. In our area many, if not most cats are now required to be confined to their owner’s house and yard, so exposure to these infectious diseases is much reduced. Therefore, your cat is very unlikely to get sick in the time before vaccine becomes available again, even if we cannot vaccinate it “on time”.

We will be prioritising two groups of cats: –

  • New kittens – these need their primary course to protect them against fatal disease (we expect to see 10-20 kittens in this interval)
  • Cats going into boarding catteries – we are coming up to Christmas and holiday season, and typically catteries demand evidence of an up-to-date vaccination to allow cats to enter the cattery.

We will of course contact the owners of all cats due or overdue for vaccination, when further stock arrives, so that you can “catch up” as quickly as possible.

In the meantime – we will continue to send out cat vaccination reminders when they fall due. When your reminder arrives, please only ring for an appointment if the vaccine is necessary:

  • Your cat is less than 20 weeks of age OR
  • You have a booking for a cattery.

If your cat does not fit either of these criteria, please do not ask for a vaccination, as we will not be able to help you. If we do offer to vaccinate your cat, it may be with a different vaccine, protecting against different diseases, with a different reminder schedule than that which was planned for your cat.

Your cat’s annual visit is a very important part of ongoing management of any health issues and preventative health care, even without the vaccination. Especially if your cat has on on-going health problem, or is older than 12 years, we encourage you to book and bring your pet in for a normal annual health check, so we do not miss any changes or issues that my cause suffering or affect your pets or longevity.

We are sorry to be bringing this news, and for the frustration and worry it may cause. We do not believe there will be any serious consequences and will work with you to find the best options for you and your pet. Please be patient with all the staff here – we are working hard to serve you and your precious pets. With cooperation and understanding, we will get through this together.

With very best wishes

Michael Hayward BVSc FAVA

For all the staff at Gungahlin Veterinary Hospital and Gungahlin Cat Hospital