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.
How Often Do Cats Need Flea Prevention
The question, How often do cats need shots? arose out of the context of flea prevention. Do all cats require flea preventatives, or are they more important for outdoor cats? Many people believe that fleas are contagious and are transmitted from pet to pet. Although a flea-infested cat may spread the infestation to any cat with whom he comes into contact, remember that fleas, although thoroughly detestable, have a remarkable capacity for spreading and surviving. Fleas can roam freely and can make their way into houses under their own steam. Therefore, indoor-only cats are at risk of flea infestation even if they do not come into contact with any other animals.
This does not necessarily mean that every cat requires a monthly flea preventative. Cats with no skin problems and no visible flea infestation can often get by with only occasional applications of flea preventatives. So, in short, flea prevention can be considered optional for all cats, but especially for indoor cats.
Be aware, however, that fleas are insidious, and it is not uncommon for cat owners to be unaware of significant infestations on their pets. Modern flea preventatives generally are safe, and fleas can cause all sorts of health problems. Therefore, unless you really know how to monitor for fleas, its better to err on the side of using flea preventatives rather than risking an infestation.
What Are Cat Booster Shots
Your vet will help you determine if your cat needs booster shots to previously administered vaccines.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners , low-risk cats who received a full vaccination schedule as a kitten can be vaccinated every three years for core vaccines and per vet decision for non-core vaccines. If your cat spends most of its time outside or you have seen changes in your pets health, the vet may perform a series of blood tests to measure antibodies.
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Veterinary Care And Vaccinations For Kittens
Its a no-brainer, but your cat must be immunised to protect her from harmful, sometimes fatal, disease.
Before you pick up your new kitten and take it home, make sure that they have had their first vaccination. Kittens should receive they first vaccination between 6 to 8 weeks of age. This first vaccination starts to build your kittens defences against any potentially serious diseases.
How Vaccines Work For Cats
Kittens receives antibodies from their mothers milk until they are six weeks old. Vaccines stimulate your cats immune system, acting as a weaker version of the real virus, in order to build up resistances to the virus in the future. After a cat is vaccinated, their immune system will now have the ability to defend itself against the virus when exposed to it.
Since animals are more intimately exposed to bacteria more so than humans they are more susceptible to picking up diseases. However, we have a choice to be vaccinated, cats do not. Therefore, its important to know what types of vaccines your cat can have.
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What Vaccinations Do Cats Need
All cats living in the UK should be vaccinated against:
Some cats require additional vaccinations such as:
- Rabies – only necessary for cats that travel outside of the UK.
- Chlamydophila felis – a bacteria that causes conjunctivitis and cat flu like symptoms. Vaccination is only usually needed when there is a problem with the disease.
Feline Herpes Virus And Feline Calicivirus
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.
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Vaccinations For Adult Dogs: Boosters And Titers
There is a difference of opinion about having your adult dog vaccinated every year. Some vets believe too many vaccinations in adult dogs pose health risks. But others disagree, saying that yearly vaccinations will prevent dangerous diseases such as distemper. Talk with your vet to determine what kind of vaccination protocol works for you and your dog.
Many dog owners opt for titer tests before they administer annual vaccinations. Titer tests measure a dogs immunity levels, and this can determine which, if any, vaccinations are necessary. One key exception to this is rabies: a titer test is not an option when it comes to the rabies vaccine. This vaccination is required by law across the United States. Your vet can tell you the schedule for your particular state.
And its all worth it. For your effort and care your puppy will lavish you with lifelong love in return. This critical first year of her life is a fun and exciting time for both of you. As she grows physically, the wonderful bond between you will grow, too.
Dont miss crucial information when it comes to raising your puppy get personalized training, nutritional, veterinary, and everyday advice sent straight to your inbox. , a weekly email newsletter with customized content based on your puppys breed and age.
Once My Cat Is Vaccinated Will It Need Boosters
Yes. So, immunity doesn’t last forever. In most individuals, we sometimes need to jumpstart the immune system in the form of a booster to remind us how to keep us safe from a particular disease. And so, with most cats, we recommend seeing them every three years. We like to see them every year, but we will do them every three years for rabies and the distemper combination for boosters. And then, for those cats that need the leukemia vaccine, we typically do that every two years after kittenhood.
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Symptoms Of Feline Leukaemia
When unvaccinated cats catch FeLV, they either become affected permanently, become infected briefly before the virus goes away, or fight the virus off. If a cat is vaccinated, its more likely to be able to fight off the virus without showing symptoms or spreading the disease.
Initially, symptoms of feline leukaemia can be quite mild such as being very tired or a fever. The main signs of FeLV usually appear when theyre struggling to fight off other infections due to a weakened immune system.
Symptoms can include:
- Ongoing breathing, digestion or skin problems.
- Frequently getting unwell.
Sadly, there is no cure for feline leukaemia once cats are infected.
However, vets can help keep affected cats healthy for as long as possible. FeLV weakens the immune system, so cats are also more prone to getting other infectious diseases. These need to be caught and treated as early as possible to avoid affected cats becoming seriously ill. Its important that if your cat has FeLV that you stay on top of their worming and flea treatments, vaccinations and go for regular vet checks. Affected cats must also be kept indoors.
Sadly, most cats with feline leukaemia die or have to be put to sleep within three years of being diagnosed with the disease from its complications.
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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Frequency Of Core Vaccinations
Kittens under 6 months of age are most susceptible to infectious diseases, so they are considered a primary focus of vaccination recommendations.
Maternal antibodies passed on from the mother are meant to confer some degree of protection against diseases, but they also interfere with, or even inactivate, the bodys response to vaccination.
For this reason, initial core kitten vaccinations occur at three- to four-week intervals until the cat is 16-20 weeks old and maternal antibodies are out of the system.
For any cat over 16 weeks old whose vaccine history is unknown, the initial series consists of two doses given three to four weeks apart.
Core vaccines should be boosted one year after the initial series.
The scientific community is still learning exactly how long these vaccines last. Currently, the recommendation for indoor/outdoor cats is to administer the FVRCP vaccine annually.
For indoor-only cats, the recommendation is to administer the vaccine every three years. Cats heading into stressful situations, such as boarding, may benefit from a core vaccine booster 7-10 days before.
It Protects You From Avoidable Expenses
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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Extra Cat Vaccination Shots
In addition to the above-recommended vaccinations, you may also want to vaccinate your cat against these diseases:
- Feline Leukemia. This is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats, which often leads to cancer, blood disorders, and compromise a cats immune system. It can be transmitted by infected cats via their saliva and is one of the top causes of cat deaths worldwide.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus . Similar to human HIV, FIV is a slow-acting complex virus that weakens a cats immune system, which can make it easier to catch secondary, more dangerous infections and certain types of cancer.
- Chlamydophila Felis. A bacterial infection, this disease causes inflammation of the conjunctiva, respiratory problems, and rhinitis in cats.
While some of these diseases are not fatal, all are uncomfortable and fully preventable with vaccinations. As a responsible pet owner, you can help your cat avoid this discomfort by sticking with a recommended vaccination schedule.
What Are Core And Non Core Vaccines
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association has defined these terms as :
- Core vaccines are those vaccines which ALL cats should receive to protect them from severe, life-threatening illness. In Australia core vaccines for cats include:
- Feline herpesvirus
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline panleukopaenia
- Non-core vaccines are only required by certain cats and it depends on their geographical location, local environment or lifestyle which puts them at risk of catching specific infections.
You can discuss with your veterinarian regarding which vaccines would be best for your kitten, Vet will choose injections depending on where you live and your cats lifestyle and needs.
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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
- Review nutrition and grooming
- Blood test for feline leukemia
- Fecal exam for parasites
- Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia
- Examination and external check for parasites
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Rabies vaccine
- Second feline leukemia vaccine
Why Cat Vaccinations Are Important
If the thought of making your cat endure shots is hard for you, you need to realise that vaccinating your cat is actually one of the most loving things a responsible pet owner can do.
Yet many cat owners find themselves wondering if cat vaccination is really necessary, especially for cats that never spend time outdoors. Does a cat need vaccinations, even if it is solely an indoor cat? The answer is yes!
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How Often Do Cats Need Shots And Other Preventative Treatments First The Basics
In fact, there are answers to the question, How often do cats need shots? but theyre not very satisfying. Some plausible answers to the question, How often do cats need shots? are It depends. Nobody knows.
The correct answer to, How often do cats need shots? is it varies depending upon life stage, lifestyle, geographic location and immune system function.
People who seek a simple answer no doubt will be put off at this point. Although there is no straightforward, simple answer to, How often do cats need shots? there are some guidelines that can help to make sense of cats and vaccines, as well as cats and preventative measures.
How Often Do Cats Need Shots To Protect Against Rabies
The final common vaccine in cats protects against rabies. I have written many times that rabies is the most deadly infectious disease of both cats and humans. Truly, there is no disease that should be more dreaded. Rabies is spread through direct contact with infected mammals. Could an indoor cat be exposed to rabies? It is not likely but it is theoretically possible I have heard of rabid bats flying down chimneys or through open windows.
Should the owner of an indoor cat vaccinate his pet against rabies? That depends upon a number of factors, including your tolerance for risk, local laws , and a cats likelihood of biting people .
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How Many Shots Do Cats Need
Aside from the core vaccinations mentioned above, there are several other shots that may come into play for your pet, depending on its specific situation. Some of these include:
- Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukemia : Vaccines protect against these infections that are transmitted most often through close contact. They are generally recommended for cats who spend time outdoors. Feline Leukemia is not curable, so the priority is prevention.
- Bordatella: A bacteria that can cause upper respiratory infections. This commonly occurs if you are taking your cat to a kennel or groomer where other cats are present.
- Chlamydophila felis: An infection that causes severe conjunctivitis. Sometimes the vaccination is included in the distemper shot.
What To Expect At A Vaccine Appointment
Its important that your cat is healthy when they have their vaccination, so they will be given a full health check, and you can discuss anything you are worried about.
If you have any questions or concerns about your cat, the vaccination appointment is a good opportunity to discuss them with your vet, for example if you think they might be gaining weight, need a worming tablet, or youre having trouble with dental care.
Your cats vaccine will be an injection under the skin. Youll be asked to hold him/her still while the injection is given, but if you dont feel comfortable doing so tell your vet so that they can take steps to help keep everyone stay safe. Vaccinations arent usually painful, but they can feel cold or sometimes sting a little, and every cat reacts slightly differently.
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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.