Do indoor cats need shots?

Yes. Indoor cats need shots too. Vaccination will save your cat’s life. Preventative care is still very important even if cats have limited exposure to the environment and to other cats.

The immune system plays a vital role in the maintenance of the cat’s health. The recommended age for cats to get their first vaccine is at around 6 to 8 weeks of age. It is the time when the immunity that they got from their mother goes off. Vaccination allows your cats’ immune system to identify diseases and make antibodies that will fight possible infection. When a vaccine is administered, the cats’ immune system produces a protective response. Then if your cat is exposed to the disease it has received immunization, its immune system will recognize the infectious agent and release antibodies that will fight the infection.

Some shots will prevent contagious diseases and should be given to indoor cats. There are also vaccinations that prevent damaging diseases. Vaccine that prevents rhinothraceitis is important to be given to an indoor cat. Rhinothraceitis is a disease that causes eye problems in cats. Vaccine for calicivirus is also given to indoor cats. Calici virus causes upper respiratory and oral diseases in cats. Shots that counteract feline panleukopenia and feline viral respiratory disease complex should also be given to indoor cats. These 2 diseases are airborne in nature. Rabies is a fatal zoonotic disease. This means that an infected pet can transmit the virus to humans. In most places rabies vaccination is required by law. Owners of indoor cats must make sure that the pet receives rabies shots.

Unlike outdoor cats, cats that are mainly kept indoors have lesser chance of being infected. As such indoor cat may not need other vaccinations. If your cat is unlikely to encounter other cats, you do not need vaccines against feline distemper, chlamydiosis and feline infectious peritonitis. Vaccination against feline leukemia is not necessary for indoor cats unless an infected cat lives in that household. This vaccine causes bad effects on cats, such as malignant tumors at the injection site. Although vaccines help control feline diseases, most does not generate complete protection against diseases. It is the responsibility of the cat parent to keep the pet away from other animals that can transmit diseases.

Oftentimes your cat may experience reactions as a result of the vaccination. Your cat may feel discomfort at the site of injection. Cats may also experience mild fever, diminished appetite, and decreased level of activity. These reactions that are fairly common among cats typically last only for a few days. A mild reaction typically goes off without treatment. Urticarial is indicative of moderate allergic reaction to shots. Major symptoms are redness of lips, eyes and neck area. Itching may be present. Some cats would have serious allergic response to the shots. These allergic reactions are manifested a few minutes after the shot was administered. Symptoms of allergic reaction include diarrhea, staggering, seizures. If this happens to your cat, consult your vet immediately.

The bottom-line is indoor cats need shots because although the risk for diseases is less these pets are not totally free from feline diseases. The most important reason that you need to vaccinate your indoor cat is that you will never know when circumstances might change. Your cat may be tempted to sneak outside and they get infected. Some feline diseases are airborne, and therefore can be tansmitted to your cat via open windows or other common vector. Most cats’ diseases are communicable and even the slightest contact with another cat can get your cat infected. Protect your cats’ health by making sure that it receives the necessary vaccination to stay healthy. Even indoor cats can be exposed to diseases. Shots are the cat’s first line of defense against diseases.

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