Vaccinations for Kittens and Cats
for us, there are vaccines to help prevent many illnesses that affect cats.
Vaccinating your cat has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help
her live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for
different diseases, there are different types and combinations of
Although vaccination has the potential to protect pets against life-threatening
diseases, vaccination is not without its risks. Recently, there has been some
controversy regarding duration of protection and timing of vaccination, as well
as the safety and necessity of certain vaccines. What does this all mean for
your cat? Vaccination is a procedure that has risks and benefits that must be
weighed for every patient relative to their lifestyle and health. Your
veterinarian can determine a vaccination regime that will provide the safest
and best protection for your individual cat. Here are answers to some of your
most frequently asked questions regarding vaccines:
What Exactly Are Vaccines?
Vaccines help prepare the body's immune system to fight the invasion of
disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the
disease-causing organism to the immune system but don't actually cause disease.
When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly
stimulated. If a cat is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is
now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce its severity.
How Important Are Vaccines to the Health of My Cat?
Bottom line-vaccines are very important in managing the health of your cats.
That said, not every cat needs to be vaccinated against every disease. It is
very important to discuss with your veterinarian a vaccination protocol that’s
right for your cat. Factors that should be examined include age, medical
history, environment and lifestyle. Most vets highly recommend administering
core vaccines to healthy cats.
What Are Core Vaccines?
The American Association of Feline Practitioners divided vaccines into two
categories-core and non-core. Core vaccines are considered vital to all cats
and protect against panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calici virus,
feline herpes virus type I (rhinotracheitis) and rabies. Non-core vaccines are
given depending on the cat's lifestyle; these include vaccines for feline
leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chylamydophila felis and feline immunodeficiency
virus. Your veterinarian can determine what vaccines are best for your cat.
Are Any Vaccines Required By Law?
Each state has its own laws governing the administration of the rabies
vaccine. Some areas require yearly rabies vaccination. Other areas call for
vaccines every three years. In almost all states, proof of rabies vaccination
How Often Should My Adult Cat Be Vaccinated?
Your veterinarian can best determine a vaccination schedule for your cat.
This will depend on the type of vaccine, your cat’s age, medical history,
environment and lifestyle. Adult cats might be revaccinated annually or every