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Cat Vaccinations 101: A Perfect Guide For Cat Parents

It is just a myth that cats have nine lives, so you better take care of your feline buds from the start. Vaccinations for your cats are just as important for them as periodic physical examinations and quality nutrition. Vaccinating your cat keeps them safe from deadly diseases.

Preventing diseases is better than treating them. It's easier, nicer, and cheaper. That's what they say, and they're right.

Everything has two sides, and so do pet vaccinations. It comes with its own side effects, and they do come with a certain level of risk. It is always recommended to learn about the pros and cons of these vaccines, especially with so much misinformation circulating around.

Stay informed to make good decisions, and work with your vet to keep your cat healthy.

Immunization is not the same for everyone. It's better to treat each cat differently.

cat vaccination
cat vaccination

WHY ARE CAT VACCINATIONS NECESSARY?

Just like humans, animals have to be protected from certain fatal diseases too. This doesn’t only benefit the pet but also keeps their owners safe, as some viruses spread to humans as well. As a cat owner, you must take care of your cat's health and happiness.

Cats need vaccinations to stay healthy. They stop diseases that can be hard to see and are proven to work.

ARE CAT VACCINATIONS BACKED BY THE REQUIREMENTS OF LAWS?

There’s just one pet vaccination required by law: rabies. We need it to protect people from rabies, which spreads very quickly.

Some cat and kitten vaccinations are not required by law, but they can still save your pet from deadly illnesses.

WHAT SIDE EFFECTS SHOULD YOU WATCH OUT FOR AFTER CAT VACCINATION?

Cat vaccines rarely cause serious side effects, and any reactions are usually mild and brief.

Watch out for these symptoms after a cat vaccine. They could mean bad side effects.

  • Severe lethargy

  • Lameness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fever

  • Vomiting

  • Hives

  • Diarrhea

If your cat has bad side effects after you get vaccinated, go to the vet right away. They can tell you if your cat needs special care.

RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CAT VACCINATIONS

Vaccinations have risks, but they help your cat's immune system fight diseases. Vaccinations for cats work like they do for people. They may cause mild symptoms like soreness, allergies, or fever.

Your cat may even suffer from a temporary loss of appetite. However, all these symptoms will most likely resolve within 24–48 hours.

If your cat is allergic to the vaccine, they may have vomiting, breathing problems, or diarrhea. When you notice such symptoms, it is recommended that you immediately call your cat’s veterinarian.

Vaccines can cause a rare type of cancer called injection-site or vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma, which explains the reactions. However, you must keep in mind that the benefits of vaccination immensely outweigh the small risks.

WHAT VACCINES ARE RECOMMENDED?

An appropriately administered list of cat vaccinations is presented by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

These recommended vaccinations are medically proven to be beneficial. They reduce the chance of deadly diseases and viruses spreading to your cats and kittens.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME AND AGE TO GET YOUR PET CATS VACCINATED?

Before bringing a kitten home, make sure it's been vaccinated. Kittens need to start getting vaccinated at 6 weeks old.

Your kitten will receive a series of vaccinations every three to four weeks until they reach 16 weeks old. They also have to be equipped with booster shots after a year or so.

If you have a new adult cat that hasn't been vaccinated, take it to the vet. The vet will tell you which vaccines your cat needs based on its age, breed, and health.

cat vaccines
cat vaccines

WHAT VACCINES SHOULD YOU GET YOUR PET?

Cat vaccines are divided into two main categories, as per Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel guidelines.

Core shots

As you may have guessed by the name, core cat vaccines are mandatory for all cats to take.

The core vaccines provide protection against highly contagious and fatal diseases. Additionally, feline vaccines cause few negative reactions.

Also, there are two essential sub-types of the core vaccines, and they are as follows:

  • Rabies

Getting your cat's rabies vaccine is of the utmost importance for the betterment of both animals and humans. Pet cats can get rabies through contact with other infected animals. However, the symptoms of rabies include wobbly walking (ataxia), aggression, and death.

  • FVRCP

The FVRCP vaccine is also called the distemper shot. A single shot that protects your feline friend from three viruses

  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR): This virus is also called feline herpes and is usually caused by feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1). This virus attacks cat’s respiratory systems, and the symptoms include conjunctivitis, nasal congestion, and sneezing.

  • Feline calicivirus (FCV): FCV is the virus that affects cat’s upper respiratory organs; symptoms include sneezing, nasal discharge, oral ulcerations, gingivitis, and even death.

  • Feline panleukopenia virus or feline distemper (FPV): It’s a highly infectious illness; symptoms include diarrhea, poor appetite, vomiting, lack of energy, and even sudden death in kittens.

Give your cats extra vaccines every year, especially if they go outside. These shots protect against common diseases.

Non-core shots

After the core vaccinations, there are additional non-core shots available for cats to get extra protection.

If your feline friends are outdoor cats and inhabit regions where diseases are prevalent, they may need vaccination to maintain their wellbeing. The most popular non-core vaccines consist of:

  • Chlamydia

  • Feline leukemia virus

  • Bordetella

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VARIOUS TYPES OF VACCINES

  • Modified live vaccines

Changed vaccines have altered or weakened live organisms that won't cause sickness but will grow in the body. These vaccines make your immunity stronger and last longer. They work better than vaccines that are not active.

Don't give modified live vaccines to pregnant cats or cats with feline immunodeficiency virus or other diseases.

  • Killed (inactivated) vaccines

Inactivated vaccines literally contain the actual organisms or genetically modified organisms that were first killed by a number of treatments.

Some vaccines that are not alive may have extra things added to make them work better. They don't protect as well as live vaccines.

  • Subunit vaccines

Subunit vaccines are also known as recombinant DNA vaccines, and they contain infectious organisms that have been broken apart.

IN CONCLUSION

Vaccinating your cat is crucial, and so is keeping their vaccination records organized. You need to stay organized with them and set reminders for the booster shots.

As a good cat parent, it is vital for your cat’s well-being to understand their vaccination needs. If your new cat hasn't had important vaccines, take them to the vet as soon as possible.


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