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The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy

The UK's Premier Registration body

Vaccination Rules for Shows

Vaccination Rule 5/3 Explained:  With Notes for Exhibitors

a)      All cats exhibited at shows held under GCCF rules must have a current certificate of vaccination against Feline Calicivirus (FCV), Feline Herpes Virus (FHV) and Feline Panleukopenia * (FPV). (*Previously termed Feline Infectious Enteritis).

i)        The primary course (first set of vaccinations) in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations, must have been completed more than seven days before the show.

Note 1: The certificate must be clearly identifiable to the cat in question. The certificate must show the cats full GCCF registered name, sex, breed and date of birth and correct owner details.

Note 2: THE PRIMARY COURSE IS DEFINED AS THE FIRST TWO DOSES OF VACCINE ADMINISTERED 3-4 WEEKS APART PLUS A THIRD DOSE GIVEN 12 MONTHS LATER. Kittens and previously unvaccinated cats may be shown after the first two doses of the primary course provided the second dose was given more than 7 days before the show.

Note 3:. Kittens or cats who have received two doses of a primary course with an interval of more than 6 weeks between them will be rejected under Section A.

(Some vaccine guidelines now recommend a 3rd dose is given to kittens at 16 weeks but this is not compulsory for kittens attending GCCF shows.)

Note 4: Manufacturers recommend that the third dose of the primary course (often termed ‘1st Booster’) is given 12 months after the first two doses. This dose must have been given more than 7 days before the show. Cats whose certificates show an interval of more than 15 months between the 2nd  (last kitten vaccination) and 3rd  (1st booster) doses of the primary course will be rejected under section A

ii)  Booster vaccinations against FCV, FHV and FPV must be given at the manufacturer's recommended intervals. Where a variable interval of 1-3 years for FCV and FHV is recommended the minimum interval applies. i.e. all cats attending shows MUST receive annual booster vaccination against FCV and FHV.


For Boosters only note: Exhibitors are advised to leave at least a week between a booster vaccination and show attendance to allow the vaccine to take effect and in case of any adverse reaction. (Amended 05.10.2016)

Note 5: Every cat attending a GCCF show must have had a minimum of a Flu (FCV,FHV) booster in the 12 months and 7 days preceding the show. Cats whose last booster was given more than 12 months and 7 days before the show will be rejected under Section A.  

Once a cat has completed the 3 doses of the primary course a single booster is deemed adequate to restore full immunity regardless of the interval from the previous vaccination. Therefore show vets are instructed to check the latest entry only and no other entries need to be checked. A booster interval of 3 years for FPV only is acceptable with appropriately licensed vaccines where the flu components (FCV,FHV) can be given separately.

b) The certificate must have been issued by a veterinary practice/hospital and

the all vaccination entries signed by a Veterinary Surgeon or by a listed Veterinary Nurse under the direction of a Veterinary Surgeon.

Note 6: Exhibitors are advised to check that the vet or listed veterinary nurse has signed and correctly dated each entry. The entry should include a sticker showing the brand, batch number and expiry date of the vaccine.  A hand written entry is acceptable but must include all  the details from the original sticker.

c. Cats unaccompanied by a vaccination certificate will also be rejected under Section A unless the exhibitor undertakes to provide proof of vaccination, valid for that show, by  sending the certificate to the GCCF Office within seven days of the show. Failure to do so will lead to disqualification from the show and the cat's name will be placed on the rejection list until proof of vaccination is received in the Office.

Note 7: Electronic (scanned or photographed) copies are now accepted by the GCCF office but copies must show the cat/owner details and those of the veterinary practice issuing the certificate as well as the signed vaccination entries.

Note 8: REPLACEMENT CERTIFICATES  When a certificate is lost the owner must get a replacement from their veterinary surgeon which must comply with GCCF rules and be clearly labeled as a replacement. 


Kittens must have received two doses of vaccine against Feline Calicivirus (FCV), Feline Herpes Virus (FHV) and Feline Panleukopenia * (FPV). (*Previously termed Feline Infectious Enteritis), Done at approx. 9 and the second at approximately 12 weeks. 


If the interval between doses exceeded 6 weeks the vaccination is invalid as the period elapsed is too long for the 2nd dose to be fully effective. 

In these circumstances either:

i.                     If the elapsed interval from the second dose is less than 6 weeks when the error is corrected a single third dose of vaccine is sufficient to confer full immunity.

ii.                   If the elapsed interval from the second dose is more than 6 weeks the kitten course of 2 doses of vaccine, 3-4 weeks apart must be repeated.

The cat must have received a third vaccination, often termed ‘first booster’ one year after the second vaccination was given.  To comply with GCCF rules this must be administered no more than 15 months after the second vaccination.  If this period is exceeded ie the third vaccination is more than 3 months overdue a 2 dose kitten course must be repeated.

NB If a young queen is mated resulting in her third vaccination (1st booster) being due in pregnancy or lactation it is highly recommended that consideration is given to administering it early ie at least 2 weeks before mating.  This is good practice as it will help to ensure that the kittens receive adequate maternally derived antibodies in the colostrum. Failure to do this may result in her vaccination certificate being invalid for show purposes as the queen should not receive a vaccine during pregnancy and lactation.

In all cases the cat’s last booster vaccine must have been given less than 12 months and 7 days preceding the show.

For older cats who have received the full primary course of 3 doses of vaccine at 9 and 12 weeks and 15 months and at least one subsequent booster the intervening vaccination history is not considered relevant and vets are instructed to only check the current entry, which must have been administered in the 12 months and 7 days preceding the show.