What Is The Vaccination Schedule For Kittens Adult Cats And Senior Cats
We typically recommend doing a distemper shot for kittens every three to four weeks, starting between six and eight weeks of age until about 14 to 16 weeks of age. We do several boosters because the antibodies that kittens receive from their mother through the milk can interfere with the vaccine’s effectiveness. It varies from kitten to kitten as to how long those antibodies stay in their system. Based on studies, we know that if we continue to vaccinate until they’re 14 to 16 weeks old, the vast majority of kittens will get a solid immunity to the diseases we’re vaccinating for by 16 weeks of age. Rabies is such an effective vaccine, and there is not a lot of maternal antibody interference, so a single vaccination – usually between 12 and 16 weeks – is adequate. We typically start between eight and 12 weeks for leukemia, and typically two vaccines as a booster series are enough.
Reasons To Avoid Frequent Vaccinations
The vaccination process itself always carries a certain degree ofrisk. Most veterinarians will agree that it is best to vaccinate yourpets no more than is necessary. Many cats experience adverse reactionsto vaccinations in general, and may develop skin rashes, irritation oreven fibrosarcoma, a malignant form of cancer associated withvaccinations.
Rabies vaccinations carry a relatively high risk of some form ofadverse effect. Although allergic reactions are still relativelyuncommon among cats that are given a vaccination against rabies, theyare common in comparison with cases of similar reactions to otherdisease vaccinations. The risk of your pet contracting the rabiesdisease from the vaccine is minimal, but may still be a consideration.
Rabies vaccines are highly effective in preventing the disease. Thechances of your pet contracting rabies if exposed to the disease withinthree years of a rabies vaccine are very small. You can help to accountfor the slight decrease in the effectiveness of the vaccine by takingprecautionary measures to limit your pet’s potential exposure.
Before you administer a cat rabies shot to your pet, speak with yourveterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for yourcat. Depending upon the situation and your pet’s health, he may notrequire a rabies vaccine more frequently than every few years.
Applying Eye Drops To Cats
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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Should My Cat Be Vaccinated
Yes. Rabies vaccination is required by law in most states and provinces. Rabies vaccination of cats is important for your safety as well as your cats. Rabies vaccines are very effective and are usually given to kittens at three to four months of age. Depending on your state or provincial laws, and the advice of your veterinarian, revaccination will be recommended at specific intervals.
Cats With Wounds Of Unknown Origin
Beyond biting or scratching a person or being exposed to rabies by another animal, many states consider any wound of unknown origin on an animal as a potential rabies exposure. Rabies testing laws are determined by state and local authorities and enforced by animal controlthey vary from state to state and even city to citybut the CDC recommends that authorities immediately kill and test wounded stray or feral animals and wounded unvaccinated pets;even if they dont display signs of rabies.
The recommendations from the CDC are often especially deadly for feral cats and are a huge hindrance to Trap-Neuter-Return. For instance, when feral cats are trapped, they often thrash about in the cage trying to escape, causing superficial wounds on the face or pawsminor injuries that sometimes classify as wounds of unknown origin and cause otherwise healthy cats to end up in quarantine.
Also, not all states require cats with wounds of unknown origin to be killed immediately, but many require a lengthy quarantineMassachusetts, for example, requires a six-month quarantine. For years, organizations like the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society in Fall River, Massachusetts, have had to quarantine cats brought in for Trap-Neuter-Return with wounds of unknown origin for half a year in accordance with state law, to make sure the cats are not killed unnecessarily for testing.
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Which Are The Most Important Vaccinations To Have
The answer to this difficult question depends on individual circumstances, including the area you live in and the lifestyle of your cat.
“Certain vaccines are more routinely given and are regarded as core vaccines.”
As mentioned, certain vaccines are more routinely given and are regarded as core vaccines. Others may or may not be advised, depending on the particular situation of your cat. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you of the most appropriate vaccination schedule for your cat. The following is a list of disease that affect cats:
Feline panleukopenia infection . This is an uncommon disease today because of widespread vaccination, but the risk remains widespread. When disease occurs, it is a severe and often fatal gastroenteritis , with profound depression, dehydration, and collapse . It is very contagious to other cats. Vaccination provides a high level of long lasting protection.
Feline infectious peritonitis .;FIP is caused by a coronavirus. Infection with coronavirus is common, but development of FIP is less common. We do not understand why some infections lead to fatal disease whereas the majority of infections cause only minor illness . Vaccines may be advised in some high-risk situations.
What Are The Side Effects Of Rabies Vaccines In Cats
Fortunately, reactions to vaccines are very uncommon in cats. In fact, side effects of rabies vaccines in cats are very rare. When they do happen, they include slight fever, lethargy, decreased appetite and a localized swelling at the vaccine site.
These rabies vaccine side effects usually disappear within a few days.;
In extremely rare cases, cats may develop an allergic reaction to the vaccine, which includes hives, swelling of the face and itchiness.
Severe reaction can include weakness and collapse. Keep in mind that these reactions are extremely rare; allergic reactions occur in fewer than 10 cats out of each 10,000 cats vaccinated.
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Vaccine Timelines For Puppies/kittens And Dogs/cats
Protecting your furbaby from the long list of infectious diseases and illnesses that could potentially affect the health and even risk the life of your pet should be an immediate priority. Not only is your cat or dog possibly dicing with disease if she remains unvaccinated, you could also be putting other pets in the area at increased risk of becoming unwell.
The good news is that there are now more preventive solutions than ever before, making it much easier to keep your cat or dog safe from harm.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of different vaccinations that your beloved animal needs if she is to remain healthy and remembering what she needs and when can be a minefield. While some vaccines are necessary for all dogs, others may only be given if your pets lifestyle and the area in which you live make them appropriate your veterinarian will be able to advise you exactly which ones your animal needs.
Most great veterinarians will send you reminders when it is time for your pets next vaccinations. However, in the meantime, here is everything that you need to know about vaccination timelines for your four-legged friend.;
Overdue For Rabies Booster
In a majority of the states and jurisdictions that require rabies vaccination of dogs, administration of a single dose of rabies vaccine, regardless of the time that has lapsed since the previous dose was administered, is considered to be an immunizing dose.
In most states, following revaccination, a dog is considered to be immediately currently vaccinated against rabies. In most states, the duration of immunity of the booster dose is determined by the product label .
Some states do require all dogs that are overdue for revaccination, even if by just one day, to receive 2 rabies vaccine doses 1 yr apart. .
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How Often Should Pets Be Vaccinated
Most animals living in homes do not need vaccines every year. We recommend doing the puppy and kitten series, and a booster vaccine in one year, and then every three years for the majority of core vaccines or possibly only rabies for indoor-only animals. Studies have shown that most animals have immunity from the diseases they are vaccinated against for at least three years after their first booster. This immunity may last even longer, but at this time, the recommendation is to administer most vaccines every three years. And when pets become elderly, most vaccines can be stopped, unless there are factors that make vaccinating necessary.
Zoonotic Diseases In Cats
A zoonosis is a disease or infection that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Although cats only pose a mild risk of causing disease in humans, those with immunosuppressive conditions such as HIV or those receiving chemotherapy are at higher risk of becoming ill from these infections. The most common and significant infections that humans can get from their cats include rabies, cat scratch disease, toxoplasmosis, and ringworm. Feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus are not zoonotic. Hygiene plays an important role in preventing the spread of these diseases, as well as preventive medicine for your cat, including regular deworming and external parasite preventives. Keep your cat indoors to minimize exposure to zoonotic diseases.
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Why Is The Rabies Vaccine For Cats So Important
The rabies virus is a very severe disease, which is predominantly fatal for unvaccinated pets. It is also important to know that many states REQUIRE the euthanasia of unvaccinated animals exposed to potentially rabid animals.
Euthanasia is required because it is impossible to diagnose rabies in living animals. The tests for diagnosing rabies require brain tissue samples from two parts of the brain that can only be extracted during a postmortem procedure.
Once rabies symptoms set in, the disease is nearly always fatal in animals, and treatment options are typically supportive. That is why prevention methods like the rabies vaccines are essential.
These are also the reasons why most states and local governments in the United States require the vaccination of dogs and cats by law.;
These laws vary by region, so I would recommend contacting your veterinarian or local health department for additional information about the requirements and recommendations.
How To Prevent Rabies
Because theres no cure for rabies in cats, vaccination is the most important thing you can do to protect Kitty. Indoor or outdoor, young or oldevery cat needs to be vaccinated for rabies. Kittens can be vaccinated as early as 12 weeks of age. Because of differences among the brands of feline rabies vaccine on the market, your vet may recommend one or a variety.
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What Diseases Can And Should I Vaccinate My Cat Against
The availability of different vaccines will vary between different countries, because some diseases are not present everywhere, and because vaccines are not necessarily licensed in every country.
The most commonly available vaccines are used to provide protection against the following infections:
Cats Who Have Bitten Or Scratched A Person
The CDC recommends a 10-day confinement for vaccinated and unvaccinated pets, but still advises that any stray or unwanted domestic animal who bites a person be killed and tested for rabies. Feral cats vaccinated through Trap-Neuter-Return are protected against rabies, but since they are not owned, in this situation it would be up to animal control to decide whether or not to kill and test the cat.
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History Of Aaha Vaccination Guidelines
In the 1970s, the United States Department of Agriculture licensed all vaccines, with the exception of rabies.
They based their recommendations on challenge studies performed from only a few weeks to a few months after vaccination. So they didnt know how long immunity really lasted. Field observation suggested that immunity after both natural infection and vaccination was long-lived.
But anyway, all the vaccine labels included the statement Annual Revaccination Recommended. So vets vaccinated yearly.
In the mid 1970s, Dr Ronald Schultz and others questioned this practice. So they began doing their research into vaccine DOI. Here was their 1978 recommendation
Based on our observations and existing knowledge of duration of immunity following natural infection and/or vaccination we published An Ideal Immunization Schedule for Dogs and Cats in 1978. We recommended a series of puppy/kitten vaccinations followed by revaccination at 1 year, then revaccination every 3 years.
So even then, more than 40 years ago, Dr Schultz believed that revaccination every 3 years was enough.
2003 Enter The AAHA
The DOI research prompted the AAHA to form the AAHA Canine Vaccine Task Force.;
They evaluated the data from challenge and serological studies. In 2003 they noted that the core vaccines had a minimum DOI of at least 7 years. But still, they made the statement revaccination every 3 years is considered protective.
2006 AAHA Findings
2011 AAHA Update
2017 AAHA Guideline
What Are The Risks Of Vaccination
There are very few risks to vaccination. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on specific details concerning your pet. You may notice your cat has a temporary loss of appetite or is less lively a day or two after a vaccination, but this should resolve within 24-48 hours. Very few cats may be allergic to one or more components of the vaccine and have more serious side effects such as difficulty in breathing, vomiting or diarrhea. If these signs occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.
“You may notice your cat has a temporary loss of appetite or is less lively a day or two after a vaccination, but this should resolve within 24-48 hours.”
A rare form of soft tissue sarcoma known as vaccine-associated or injection-sitefibrosarcoma has been associated with a reaction to vaccine components or medication in a very small number of genetically susceptible cats. This association is controversial, and studies are in progress to investigate whether the association is real. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh these small risks in most situations .
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Duration Of Immunity To Canine Vaccines
Patho-biological Sciences,School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
It has been common practice since the development of canine vaccines in the late 1950s to administer them annually. The recommendation to vaccinate annually was based on the assumption that immunity would wane in some dogs, thus to ensure immunity in the population, all dogs required revaccination since it was not practical to test each animal for antibody.
Little or no research has been done to demonstrate that the practice of annual revaccination has any scientific value in providing greater immunity than would be present if an animal was never revaccinated or was revaccinated at intervals longer than one year.
In 1978 we recommended an ideal vaccination program would be one in which dogs and cats would be revaccinated at one year of age and then every third year thereafter . That recommendation was based on a general knowledge of vaccinal immunity, especially the importance of immunologic memory and on duration of protection after natural sub clinical or clinical infections as well as on limited studies we had performed with certain canine and feline vaccines.
Since the mid 1970s we have done a variety of studies with various canine vaccines to demonstrate their duration of immunity. From our studies it is apparent, at least to me, that the duration of immunity for the four most important canine vaccines that the duration of immunity is considerably longer than one year.
Cat Bite Injuries To Humans
Cat bites are puncture wounds that can cause bacterial infections with Pasteurella multocida that can spread within the tissues or into the blood stream. Any bite should be cleaned immediately and assessed by a physician as soon as possible, as antibiotics are frequently needed to treat infection. Your doctor may recommend vaccination with tetanus or rabies prophylaxis. Your doctor will report any bite to the local health department and your cat will have to undergo a quarantine the length of which depends on their rabies vaccination status.
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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Rabies
Following a bite or scratch from a rabid animal, the disease progresses through three stages:
1. In the first or prodromal stage, there is a marked change in temperament; quiet cats become agitated and can become aggressive, while active extroverts may become nervous or shy.
2. This phase is then followed by so-called furious rabies that is by far the most common type observed in the cat. During this phase, excitement predominates and it is at this stage that the cat is most dangerous, both to other animals and to the owner. The cat becomes increasingly nervous, irritable, and vicious. Muscle spasms will often prevent swallowing and there is excessive drooling of saliva.
3. The third stage is the paralytic stage, which usually occurs after about seven days. Ultimately the cat will become comatose and die.
A noted feature of rabies in cats is the widely dilated pupil throughout all stages of the disease.