Owning a pet is not something easy, it is a huge responsibility. Before buying/adopting any animal you should thoroughly know how to take care of it. Be it a lifestyle or medical concerns. Now if you’re a proud new or old owner of a cat or kitten and want to keep your furry new friend healthy then get it vaccinated ASAP! Cat vaccination is one of the first steps of caring for your cat.
How Does a Vaccine work?
Vaccines are non-pathogenic agents that resemble an infectious disease, introduced into the body before the occurrence of disease. This prepares the immune system to produce antibodies that’ll help your cat fight them.
Why Is Cat Vaccination recommended?
For the sake of the health and quality of your feline of a happy life, vaccinations are recommended at specific ages. It won’t only protect them but also make living with the carefree, without the fear of catching any disease from your pet.
Vaccinating a Kitten
You all know that kittens are tiny adorable creatures, accompanied by a weak immune system. Kittens nursing on their mother feed already have temporary antibodies through the milk against infections. So it is advised to start vaccination from 6-8 weeks. Kittens get a series of vaccinations over a period of 12-16 weeks.
Check out our blog for kitten care.
Vaccinating an Adult Cat
Adult cat vaccinations are less frequent than the kitten series of vaccination. It also depends individually on the cat’s environment, lifestyle, interaction with other cats, outdoor interactions. So every adult cat has its own customized vaccination plan along with booster vaccination.
Check out our blog for cat care.
Types of Cat Vaccination
Cat vaccines are divided into 2, core vaccines and non-core vaccines.
Core vaccines are those that are supposed to be given to every cat regardless of their environment. They are:
This deadly virus is spread through the interaction of the infected saliva to the blood of the victim. It is the most common virus that is spread easily to humans via bites of their unvaccinated pets.
This is a virus that causes infection mainly of the upper respiratory tract of cats. Once infected your precious pet may show signs of sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, conjunctivitis and in some cases even pneumonia.
Panleukopenia (Feline distemper)
Kittens are more prone to this lethal virus which is very contagious as well and often leads to sudden death. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Feline herpesvirus (viral rhinotracheitis)
This is another upper respiratory tract infection, that is more susceptible to kittens causing fever, sneezing, nasal and eye discharge, keratitis, conjunctivitis, and lethargy.
Non-core vaccines are those which are given according to the habits, lifestyle. Interaction and environment of the cat. These include:
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
This virus compromises the immune system which leaves your cat vulnerable to diseases and infection. It can be spread among cats who are aggressive in nature by contact of the infected saliva. This is not the most effective vaccine.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
One of the most lethal viruses which lead to death in almost 50% of cats infected by it. Every kitten should be vaccinated against it and those cats who are outdoors should be regularly vaccinated. It spreads through any body fluid of the infected cat and causes anemia, cancer, and immune suppression.
Bordetella bronchiseptica (Kennel cough)
Another upper respiratory tract infection causing bacterium commonly in shelters, or a house where a lot of cats and dogs live together. The vaccine is highly effective to prevent outbreaks. It is spread through nasal and oral discharge causing sneezing and sometimes cough.
Acquired from over housed cats, this bacterium can cause upper respiratory diseases and conjunctivitis.
Inherent Risks of Cat Vaccination
It is common knowledge that when a vaccine is given it will show some side-effects but its not much of a deal. The symptoms of vaccination may or may not occur within a few hours of vaccination but will subside within a few days. But if it persists longer, then a visit to the vet is mandatory. Some common aftermaths of cat vaccination are:
Swelling at the site of vaccination
Loss of appetite
Myths and Truths About Cat Vaccination
The myth about cat vaccination is that getting your cat vaccinated will result in having your cat that disease.
Truth is that it doesn’t unless the vaccine is expired or contaminated.
Another myth is that getting your cat vaccinated will cure it of that disease while the truth is that it is just a preventive measure. It minimizes the chances of the occurrence of that disease.
The final myth about cat vaccination is that every cat should get every available vaccine for their species. As mentioned earlier, only the core vaccines are for every cat, rest are dependant upon the situation of your cat, so truth be told your cat doesn’t need all the vaccines available for it.