Do cats need vaccinations?

Cats need vaccinations. Vaccination is essential to cats as the shots would be the first line of defense against common feline diseases. Vaccinations are essential in the maintenance of the cat’s health. Many serious and fatal diseases can be prevented by vaccinating your cats.

Kittens receive immunity against diseases from their mothers’ milk. This immunity though disappears in the first few months of the cats’ life. At 6 to 8 weeks of age the cat may get its first dose of vaccines. This is the time that the cats’ antibodies that they got from their mother cat starts to decline. A vaccine is a preparation introduced to the body to provide immunity against diseases. Vaccine works by producing antibodies. Once the vaccine is administered, it will produce a protective response. Then if your cat comes into contact with the disease-causing microorganism the immune system will produce antibodies that will fight the infection. Most vaccines are given through injection. Vaccines can also be administered via nasal spray.

Cats’ vaccine is subdivided into 2 groups, the core vaccines and the non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are the vaccines that are needed by your cat. Core vaccines include feline panleukopenia vaccine, feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and rabies vaccine. These diseases are commonly found in the environment. Cats are at high risk from these diseases. This is why these vaccines are considered core vaccines. These diseases can be contacted by cats at any age. Vaccine against feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, and feline calicivirus are combined into one vaccine shot. This vaccine is called FVRCP vaccine shot. FVRCP stands for Feline viral rhinotracheitis calici panleukopenia. This is a live vaccine and should not be given to a pregnant cat. Non-core vaccines are those that veterinarians do not consider very necessary for cats. Feline leukemia vaccine, feline infectious peritonitis, chlamydophila, bortedellosis, ringworm vaccine, feline AIDS, and giardiasis vaccine are considered as non-core vaccines. If your cat goes outside, consider giving him vaccine against feline leukemia. Feline leukemia is a deadly illness that is very contagious. Feline leukemia vaccine is started when the cat is 8 to 12 weeks of age. However if your cat is always inside the house you may not give him the feline leukemia vaccine.

Vaccines do not have 100% effectiveness on illness prevention. But for those cats that do not develop full immunity, vaccination can significantly reduce the severity of the illness. Unvaccinated cats are a risk to other cats especially to kittens and to cats that have not yet finished the vaccination course.

Although vaccines are considered safe, some cats may have adverse reactions once vaccinated. The most common reaction that cats manifest is very mild. The cat may experience loss of appetite and lethargy, tenderness at injection site. More apparent reaction includes vomiting, diarrhea, fever and lumps. Kittens and young cats appear to have more problems than older cats. Occasionally severe and even fatal adverse effects of vaccination are reported. Hives, swelling of the face, ears and muzzle and sometimes vomiting is seen as an allergic reaction to vaccination. If your cat manifests these symptoms, go to your vet immediately for instructions. Other complications can also occur as a result of vaccination. Cats may have vaccination sarcoma at the injection site. This incident is associated with feline leukemia vaccination and rabies in particular.

Vaccines are very important preventative measure for cats. Vaccination safeguards your cat from serious diseases; some can be fatal and some like rabies can be transmitted to humans. Vaccination is a safe procedure to reduce the incidence of cats acquiring common feline diseases. Good health is the greatest gift a cat owner can give to the pet. Protect your from diseases by making sure that it receives the necessary vaccination.