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Does My Cat Need Shots

On Social Media Recently I Followed A Heated Discussion As To Whether Indoor

Medical Breakthrough: Vaccine Could Help You Say Goodbye to Cat Allergies

A surprising number of cat owners argued that since their cats lived inside and were never allowed outside, a rabies vaccination wasnt needed. Far fewer cat owners said that the vaccination was still needed that cats could still be exposed to rabies. The anti-vaccination folks then brought up the dangers of allergic reactions to the vaccinations. The argument went back and forth with considerable passion on both sides. So, removing most of the passion, lets talk about this important issue and see what the experts have to say.

Feline Herpes Virus And Feline Calicivirus

Vaccines for feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus are always combined, as these two viruses together are the main causes of upper respiratory tract infections in cats .

Affected cats typically show sneezing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, eye discharge, and mouth ulcers. Clinical signs vary from mild to extremely severe, and occasionally other complications may develop including viral pneumonia. With FHV-1, even after the initial signs subside, most cats will remain permanently infected with the virus and some go on to develop recurrent eye infections or other signs.

The viruses are often transmitted by direct or close contact between cats , but they may also survive for short periods in the environment.

Both of these viruses are ubiquitous in cat populations, and because infection is so common, and can often be quite severe , vaccination is considered important for all cats. Although vaccination does not always prevent infection with these viruses, it will help greatly in reducing the severity of disease if a vaccinated cat does become infected.

See feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus

How Do Vaccines Work

Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to recognize and fight a particular microorganism such as a virus, bacteria, or other infectious organism. Once vaccinated, the animal’s immune system is then primed, or prepared to react to a future infection with that microorganism. In other words, the vaccine mimics a true infection so that the immune system can better protect the body in the future.

“the vaccine will help the body prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote rapid recovery.”

Depending on the disease, the vaccine will help the body prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote rapid recovery.

While a vaccine can prevent illness, it cannot block microorganisms from getting into the body. This means that sometimes a cat may not look sick thanks to the vaccine, but the cat can still spread the invading microorganisms to other cats. This is not a major consideration in the pet cat but may be important in the breeding colony.

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Why Does My Indoor Cat Still Need Core Vaccinations

Outdoor cats do have a higher risk of picking up disease, such as Infectious Enteritis and Cat Flu, but does that mean an indoor cat has no risk? No, unfortunately not. When we come and go from our homes, there is a very real possibility of us bringing infections back to our beloved cats. Viruses survive different lengths of time in the environment.For example, Feline Herpesvirus only last around a day but Feline Panleukopenia can last between 6 months and a year! There is no way of telling if you have come into contact with a virus so keeping them up to date with their vaccines is the safest way to protect your cat.

It is important to consider that although you may choose to keep your cat indoors, there is a possibility of them developing the skills of an escape artist. It is stressful enough if your normally indoor cat is on a big adventure without having to worry about them catching a preventable disease.

It Protects You From Avoidable Expenses

Cat Vaccinations: What Shots Does My Cat Need? : Keeping ...

Cat vaccinations not only protect your cats health and potentially its life, but they also protect you financially. If your cat catches a preventable disease because you didnt vaccinate, you face high vet bills to get your cat well.

It also may be the law in your community to have certain vaccinations kept up to date. Vaccines are important, as is a total plan for preventive healthcare. A wellness plan will ensure you never miss a vaccination. If you are serious about preventive healthcare and overall wellness for your cat, a wellness plan is an excellent tool to use.

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Lifestyle Vaccines For Cats

Some cats will need lifestyle/ non-core vaccinations depending on the lifestyle they live. Your veterinarian will let you know which ones your kitty should get. This type of vaccine protects you cat from the following conditions:

  • Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukemia – These vaccines usually are only recommended for cats that are outdoors often and protects them against viral infections which are contracted from close contact exposure.
  • Bordetella – A highly contagious bacteria that causes upper respiratory infections. Your vet might suggest this this vaccine if you are taking your cat to a boarding kennel or groomer.
  • Chlamydophila felis – This vaccination is often part of the distemper combination vaccine. It protects your cat from Chlamydia which is a bacterial infection that causes severe conjunctivitis.

Cat Allergen: Its Everywhere

The major culprit in cat allergies is Fel d1, a protein excreted in the cats skin, saliva, and urine. When cats lick themselves, they deposit Fel d1 on their fur. When the cat sheds, the allergens on the hair and dander spread.

And do they ever spread. Fel d1 proteins are small, so they remain suspended in the air. Fel d1 is also sticky, and takes a long time to decompose, Blaiss explains. The proteins cling to surfaces like draperies, carpets, furniture, bedding, clothing, even walls and ceilings.

Because of this, cat allergens are notoriously difficult to remove from a home, even with cleaning and vacuuming. Research has shown that there are cat proteins in almost all U.S. homes, even in homes where there are no cats. In school classrooms, kids can bring in enough Fel d1 on their clothes and backpacks to trigger asthma symptoms in their allergic classmates.

Bathing cats can cut down on Fel d1 in the fur, but only for a day or so. Studies have found female cats produce a lower level of allergens than males, while neutered males produce lower levels than unneutered males but they all produce plenty.

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What Is The Difference Between The Various Types Of Vaccine

There are three major types of vaccine:

1. Modified live vaccines. These vaccines contain live organisms that are weakened or genetically modified so that they will not produce disease but will multiply in the cat’s body. Live vaccines induce a stronger, longer lasting immunity than inactivated vaccines. It is not advisable to use modified live vaccines in pregnant queens or cats whose immune system is not working properly , or other diseases).

2. Killed vaccines. These vaccines are prepared using actual organisms or genetically modified organisms that have been killed by various treatments. On their own, they do not give as high a level of protection as the live, replicating type of vaccine, so killed vaccines may have an adjuvant to make the immune response stronger.

3. Subunit vaccines. These are more commonly called recombinant-DNA vaccines. These are vaccines in which the infectious organism has been broken apart and only certain parts are included in the vaccine.

“Some vaccines are intranasal but the majority are given by injection.”

Many vaccines come as combinations, so that protection against more than one disease is achieved in a single injection or administration. Some vaccines are intranasal , but the majority are given by injection. Your veterinarian will advise you on the most appropriate vaccines for your cat.

Preventive Care For Happy Healthy Pets

What Vaccines do Dogs and Cats Need

Vaccines are just one part of your cats preventive care. If you want your cat to be happy and healthy, start thinking about how you can be proactive about their healthcare needs so they get to enjoy a long and healthy life as best possible.

In addition to vaccinations, make sure you have taken care of parasite prevention to prevent diseases that parasites carry. Also, be sure to keep your pets annual checkups to ensure your vet can spot any serious health issues right away. Even nail clippings and dental checks are part of preventive care to keep your cat happy and healthy.

A great way to ensure your cats health needs are properly met is with a pet care plan. A pet care plan includes parasite prevention, medical checks, vaccinations, dental checks and extra member benefits. With a pet care plan, pet owners can make pet care easier while saving money as they strive to give the best possible care to their cats.

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How Frequently Should My Cat Be Vaccinated

All kittens should receive their core vaccinations and any others that are agreed between you and your vet. The initial vaccine course is often started at 8-9 weeks of age, with a second injection 3-4 weeks later. It is now common also to recommend a third vaccination at 16-20 weeks of age to ensure the kitten is properly protected.

A first booster vaccination should be given 12 months later to ensure a good level of continuing protection. However, after that, the frequency of booster vaccinations may be only every 1-3 years depending on the vaccine, disease and risk of with the individual cat.

Cats that stay at a boarding cattery will generally require an annual vaccination as this is a higher risk situation.

Why Your Indoor Cat May Need Vaccinations

Your cat stays indoors only. Do you really need to vaccinate her?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You want your cat to be protected from disease, but you dont want to give her a shot that she doesnt need. How do you make a good decision for your cat?

The American Association of Feline Practitioners prepares guidelines based on published data, as well as consensus of a multidisciplinary panel of experts in immunology, infectious disease, internal medicine, and clinical practice. Its my job, and your veterinarians job, to put the guidelines into practice for each individual patient.

Vaccines or no vaccines, your cat should visit the veterinarian at least once a year for a full physical exam. Together, you and your veterinarian can determine if your cat needs vaccines and, if so, an appropriate vaccination regimen that will provide the safest and best protection for her.

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Myth: Vaccines Do More Harm Than Good

Every responsible cat parent is right to make an informed decision about whats best for their pet as an individual. However, when weighing up the pros and cons of vaccination, its relevant to know the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Diseases such as cat flu, distemper, and feline leukemia are still out there and have life-changing consequences. Balance this against the risks of vaccination which can be divided into common-but-mild reactions and rare-but-serious, as outlined below.

Feline Herpesvirus And Feline Calicivirus

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FHV and FCV are colloquially referred to as cat flu. Both are respiratory infections with symptoms comparable to a common cold. In addition, cats with FHV or FCV will experience:

  • Streaming from the nose or eyes
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

Respiratory infections are rarely fatal but are more dangerous in older or immunocompromised felines. In such cases, cat flu can lead to pneumonia. FCV is linked to acute inflammation and arthritis by Research in Veterinary Science.

No vaccination can completely protect a cat against respiratory illness. The viral strains mutate too quickly and frequently. A vaccine reduces the impact of the virus, enabling the cat to make a faster recovery.

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It Helps Prevent Them From Acquiring Diseases

Vaccinations are a critical part of preventive health care for your cat. Even indoor cats can be exposed to serious and potentially fatal diseases because many of the diseases that fit within the normal vaccine schedule are airborne.

An open window is all it takes to expose your pet. Your cat may also be exposed at a routine trip to the vets office or at a boarding facility while you are on holiday or if you bring a new cat that has not yet been fully vaccinated into the home.

With a series of cat vaccinations, you can ensure that your cat is protected and safe, no matter what the future holds.

What Vaccines Does My Adult Cat Need

The goal of vaccinating your adult cat is to prevent as many diseases as possible.What vaccines are even available for your adult cat?There are lots of vaccines available, but not all cats need to be vaccinated for all diseases all the time. There are two general groupings of vaccinations

  • Those against so called core diseases
  • Those against non-core diseases

Do vaccinations have risks?As with any medical procedure there are some risks associated with vaccines. Those risks minor, transient effects to serious adverse effects:

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Do Older Cats Need Vaccinations

The Journal of Comparative Pathology confirms that senior cats have weaker immunity than their younger counterparts. This suggests that older cats, especially those that wander outside, need core vaccinations.

As cats get older, any health ailment will be worse. For example, most healthy adult cats will recover from a respiratory infection in two weeks. However, a senior cat could take a month to recover or may not recover at all.

Vaccinations do not 100% protect a cat from infection. Your senior cat may still get sick, even if vaccinated. However, the impact of the infection will be reduced, giving the cat a chance of recovering faster.

Pet Vaccinations: Understanding Vaccinations For Your Cat Or Dog

Answering Your Cat Wellness Questions for #HappyCatMonth

WebMD discusses pet vaccinations, including why pets need them, vaccination reactions, and more.

Many pet owners and some animal scientists believe that we are over vaccinating our pets. They also think that some shots may be doing more harm than good. One type of cancer in cats, for example, is known to be caused byvaccinations. In addition, vaccines can cause allergic reactions.

Because reports and rumors of side effects have become so widespread, pet owners increasingly are asking their vets about whether or not to vaccinate. Andy Smith, DVM, a long-time Atlanta veterinarian, says he has this conversation with a client twice a week. Its clear theres a lot of confusion and concern. So WebMD went to some top veterinary experts to find answers you can use in sorting out your own concerns.

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Outdoor And Indoor Cat Vaccination Schedule

Shots for kittens – whether your kitty will live indoors or be allowed out to roam – should be given starting at about six to eight weeks old. Following this, your cat should get a series of shots at three to four-week intervals until they reach about 16 weeks of age.

The recommended vaccine schedule for all cats is the same. When it comes to the differences between vaccinating indoor cats vs outdoor cats it is really a question of which vaccines are best suited to your cat’s lifestyle. Your vet will advise you as to which vaccines your cat should have.

First visit

  • Review nutrition and grooming
  • Blood test for feline leukemia
  • Fecal exam for parasites
  • Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia

Second visit

  • Examination and external check for parasites
  • First feline leukemia vaccine
  • Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia
  • First feline leukemia vaccine

Third visit

  • Rabies vaccine
  • Second feline leukemia vaccine

Risks Associated With Cat Vaccines

As with all medication options, vaccines for cats do carry some risks. Many cats will experience decreased appetite and lethargy after their vaccines. Sometimes swelling at the vaccine site starts a few hours after administration. A slight fever is also common.

Thankfully, most of these will go away within a few days. If your cat experiences reactions that last longer, call your veterinarian. For almost every cat, the benefits vaccinations provide far outweigh any risks. If you have concerns about your specific cat, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

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When Should My Kitten Receive Their First Shots

You should bring your kitten to see your vet for their first round of vaccinations when they are about six to eight weeks old. Following this, your kitten should get a series of vaccines at three-to-four week intervals until they reach approximately 16 weeks old.

Kitten Vaccination Schedule

First visit

  • Review nutrition and grooming
  • Blood test for feline leukemia
  • Fecal exam for parasites
  • Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia

Second visit

  • Examination and external check for parasites
  • First feline leukemia vaccine
  • Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia
  • First feline leukemia vaccine

Third visit

  • Rabies vaccine
  • Second feline leukemia vaccine

Applying Eye Drops To Cats

What Vaccines Does My Kitten Need?

The proper administration of eye medication is critical in helping your cat quickly recover from an eye injury or infection. Gently clean away any debris around your cat’s eyes with warm water and a washcloth. Hold the bottle using the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand with the tip pointed downwards. Use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid. Place your remaining fingers under the cat’s jaw to support the head. The lower eyelid will act as a pouch to receive the drops. DO NOT touch the eye’s surface with the applicator. Aiming for the center of the eye, squeeze the desired number of drops onto the eyeball.

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