What Vaccinations Does My Cat Need?
All living things can get sick from time to time. Unfortunately, there are just as many viruses, infections and diseases that can affect our animals as there are humans, and many are equally as serious for our beloved felines. Many of these are contagious and can spread like wildfire amongst those cats that are unprotected.
When we choose to adopt a cat, we take on the responsibility of keeping her safe from all things that could harm her, including protecting her from preventable illnesses wherever possible. Happily, this is now more possible than ever before thanks to there being vaccines available for the vast majority of contagious diseases.
What are vaccinations?
Vaccinations are a crucial element of preventative pet care. They work by safely replicating the core building blocks of a virus or disease and introducing them to your cat. This triggers a response by your kitty’s immune system to fight them – something which her body then stores and remembers. If she were to then come across the real illness, her body will automatically recognize it and fight it before your cat can actually be adversely affected.
Vaccinations are largely very successful, but for them to be as effective as possible, they must be given on a strict schedule, particularly as the effects of some are not permanent and ‘booster’ vaccinations are needed to maintain your pet’s protection. Failure to do this could leave your cat vulnerable to disease. Our veterinarian will be happy to advise you of the appropriate vaccination schedule for your cat.
The requirement for feline vaccinations
Not only are vaccinations essential for keeping your cat safe from disease, but many states also insist that domestic pets, such as cats and dogs, have specific vaccinations in order to be kept. In these instances, proof of vaccination is usually required to be presented to the designated authority.
Similarly, many boarding kennels, animal shelters and even grooming parlors also insist on proof of vaccinations so that they know there is no health risk posed by having your animal on their premises.
Some owners with indoor cats feel that vaccinations are an unnecessary expense since their furbaby doesn’t go outside and come into contact with other animals. However, many contagious illnesses are airborne and can be contracted through an open window and door. Therefore, it is strongly advised that all cats have the necessary vaccinations – even indoor ones!
What vaccinations does my cat need?
There are a range of different vaccinations available for felines, and exactly what ones are recommended for your kitty will depend on her individual circumstances, including her age and lifestyle.
There are two core vaccinations that should be given to all cats regardless of their age and location. These are:
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia. This 3-in1 injection is also known as the ‘distemper shot’ and protects your feline from all three of these deadly and contagious diseases.
- Rabies. The rabies virus is fatal and all mammals, including humans, are vulnerable to infection. Nearly all states require animals to be vaccinated against rabies and proof of this supplied to the relevant body.
Some of the other, non-core vaccinations that may be recommended for your cat could include:
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). This vaccine is normally always recommended for outdoor cats as it is spread through close contact with infected felines.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Although most house cats are at low risk of contracting FIP since it is spread through the saliva and feces of infected felines, there is no cure for the virus and it is almost always fatal.
- Bordetella. Often recommended if your cat goes into boarding or grooming facilities since the bacterium that spread this disease is very common in these locations.
- Feline Leukemia (Felv). Again, only spread through close contact with an infected cat so this vaccine is more likely to be given to felines who roam outdoors.
- Chlamydia. If not vaccinated against separately, Chlamydia is often included as part of the core distemper shot.
If you are concerned that your cat may not be up to date with her vaccinations, or you would like to speak to someone to discuss your feline’s vaccination requirements, our knowledgeable team would be happy to help. Please pop by our offices or contact us.