We Routinely Vaccinate Against:
Feline Leukaemia VirusThis virus attacks the immune system and can also cause tumours to develop. It is spread by persistent close contact with infected cats, such as bite wounds/fighting or sharing food bowls or litter areas. Feline Infectious EnteritisThis was once a common fatal viral disease in cats which caused bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. Thanks to many years of vaccination this illness is rarely seen but has not been eradicated. Feline Herpes VirusPart of the “cat flu” syndrome, herpes virus causes severe cat flu symptoms, especially in kittens in which it can be fatal in severe cases. Many cats become life long carriers of the disease and will shed virus when stressed, this has ensured that Herpes Virus is common in the enviroment. Feline Calici VirusThis virus also forms a part of the “cat flu” syndrome but tends to cause less severe illness. After infection up to 50% will become carriers of the disease and will shed virus continually for some time after recovery. When can they go out to play?Approximately 7 – 10 days after the second injection your kitten is protected against these diseases.
When do they need a Booster Vaccination?To keep the immunity against these diseases up they will need a repeat vaccination in 12 months, although we do not give the enteritis vaccination every year as it lasts for 3 years and after 3 – 4 years of age they only need FeLV every 3 years.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Cat Vaccines
As with any vaccination, there is a rare chance of an allergic reaction. Clinical signs of a vaccine reaction will be discussed at the time of your appointment with our veterinarians, but could include facial swelling, vomiting, lethargy, or increased breathing rate. A true allergic reaction will happen within minutes to hours of vaccination, but more delayed reactions usually of a gastrointestinal nature could appear within a few days of vaccination. If you have any concerns about your cats health after vaccination, please contact your veterinarian immediately. They will advise if any supportive care is recommended. If your cat has a reaction, it is important to report it as it may alter their future vaccinations.
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.
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Cat Vaccination Side Effects
Cat vaccinations are safe for most cats. Although it is possible for side effects to occur, they are very rare. Vaccines are increasingly reliable and safe, but its always best to keep an eye on your cat after the visit to the vet.
Some of the cat vaccination side effects that have been reported are:
- Localised swelling
Are Feline Shots Expensive
Feline vaccinations arent expensive and usually wont add much cost on top of a basic vets appointment. If you cannot afford to see a private vet, helplines and vaccination drives can be a huge help. Feline health is an important part of any neighborhood ecosystem, and initiatives like these can assist where you need it.
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What Are Cat Vaccinations
Several serious feline-specific diseases afflict many cats every year. To protect your kitten from contracting a preventable condition, its critical to have them vaccinated. Its equally imperative to follow up your kittens first vaccinations with regular booster shots during their lifetime, even if you expect Fluffy to be an indoor companion.
The aptly named booster shots boost your cats protection against a variety of feline diseases after the effects of the initial vaccine wear off. There are booster shots for different vaccines given on specific schedules. Your vet can provide advice on when you should bring your cat back for more booster shots.
I Am Worried About Vaccinations What Should I Do
It is totally understandable that you may have questions about your cats vaccinations. Your vet will be happy to explore these concerns with you and together, you can come up with the plan that is right for your individual circumstances. Your vet is there to support you and will be able to give you all the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
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At Purton Vets We Recommend The Following To Our Cat Owners:
- Arrange an annual health assessment and vaccination against cat flu, enteritis and leukemia virus. Leukemia virus vaccination is optional for cats that never go outside.
- Feed diets that are high in animal protein and have ingredients you can recognise like Meowing Heads and Applaws. Avoid supermarket foods like Iams, Go Cat, Felix and Whiskas. Feed real meat as a treat.
- Stay on top of worming. Most cats need worming every 3 months especially hunters. Indoor only cats can be dewormed yearly or every other year.
- Flea treatment for 12 months of the year with Spot-On every 4 weeks. Minimum treatment period should extend from Spring through to Winter until well after a few good frosts.
- Neuter from about 6 months of age.
- Join our Pet Health Club and save up to 33% giving all of the above to your cat.
- Insure your cat against accident and illness. Choose wisely, the more expensive policies are often better in the long run.
- Microchip your cat to help find it when lost .
Why Should I Get My Indoor Cat Vaccinated
Though you may not think your indoor cat requires vaccinations, by law cats must have certain vaccinations in many states. For example, a common law requires cats over the age of 6 months to be vaccinated against rabies. In return for the vaccinations, your veterinarian will provide you with a vaccination certificate, which should be stored in a safe place.
When considering your cats health, its always prudent to be cautious, as cats are often curious by nature. Our vets recommend core vaccinations for indoor cats to protect them against diseases they could be exposed to if they happen to escape the safety of your home.
There are two basic types of vaccinations for cats.
Core vaccinations should be given to all cats, as they are essential for protecting them against the following common but serious feline conditions:
Rabies kills many mammals every year. These vaccinations are required by law for cats in most states.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia Typically known as the distemper shot, this combination vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.
Feline herpesvirus type I
Non-core vaccinations are appropriate for some cats depending on their lifestyle. Your vet will provide advice about which non-core vaccines your cat should have. These offer protection against:
Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukemia
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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.
Preventive Care For Happy Healthy Pets
Vaccines are just one part of your cats preventive care. If you want your cat to be happy and healthy, start thinking about how you can be proactive about their healthcare needs so they get to enjoy a long and healthy life as best possible.
In addition to vaccinations, make sure you have taken care of parasite prevention to prevent diseases that parasites carry. Also, be sure to keep your pets annual checkups to ensure your vet can spot any serious health issues right away. Even nail clippings and dental checks are part of preventive care to keep your cat happy and healthy.
A great way to ensure your cats health needs are properly met is with a pet care plan. A pet care plan includes parasite prevention, medical checks, vaccinations, dental checks and extra member benefits. With a pet care plan, pet owners can make pet care easier while saving money as they strive to give the best possible care to their cats.
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It Helps Prevent Them From Acquiring Diseases
Vaccinations are a critical part of preventive health care for your cat. Even indoor cats can be exposed to serious and potentially fatal diseases because many of the diseases that fit within the normal vaccine schedule are airborne.
An open window is all it takes to expose your pet. Your cat may also be exposed at a routine trip to the vets office or at a boarding facility while you are on holiday or if you bring a new cat that has not yet been fully vaccinated into the home.
With a series of cat vaccinations, you can ensure that your cat is protected and safe, no matter what the future holds.
Vaccines For Indoor Cats
Preventive Care and Vaccines for Indoor Cats:
Even if they never leave the house, indoor cats still need to be vaccinated to protect their health. These are the required or recommended vaccines for indoor cats.
Rabies vaccine administration is required by Maine State Law for all cats regardless if they go outside or not. One of the most common carriers of the Rabies virus are bats. When a bat is infected it is more likely to seek shelter and behave in unusual ways such as fly towards light sources and into peoples houses. This makes vaccinating your indoor cat against Rabies extremely important. We get calls every year from clients who woke up to their indoor only cat playing with a dead bat in the house. We have even had this situation occur and the humans then have to go through the series of rabies vaccines themselves!
We use PureVax Rabies vaccine . This vaccine was specially formulated to reduce the occurrence of vaccine-associated fibrosarcomas in cats. Other Rabies vaccines contain an irritant or adjuvant to increase the bodys response to the vaccine. It is this irritant or adjuvant that has been identified as a cause of the fibrosarcoma tumors in cats. The PureVax is non-adjuvant, extremely safe and administered once yearly.
FVRCP is another recommended vaccine for indoor cats. This vaccine provides immunity against two separate upper respiratory diseases . The third component protects against Panleukopenia .
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Does My Cat Need A Leukemia Booster
The first felv vaccine is given to young kittens around eight weeks of age, and they are given a booster three to four weeks later. A booster should also be given within three to four weeks for kittens and adult cats 16 weeks of receiving their first dose. A booster is recommended for cats that have been exposed to the parasite for an extended period of time.
Is My Cat Protected As Soon As They Get Their Shots
Until they have received all doses of their vaccinations , your cat will not be fully vaccinated. After all of their initial vaccinations have been completed, your kitten will be protected against the condition covered by the vaccines.
If you plan to let your kitten outdoors before they have been fully vaccinated against all the diseases listed above, our Tracy vets recommend keeping them in a low-risk environment such as your own backyard.
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How Often Should Cats Get A Leukemia Shot
The AAFP recommends administering the felv vaccine as two oral doses 3 to 4 weeks apart, beginning at 8 weeks of age and lasting 1 year in at-risk kittens and adults. Then, unless the product has a longer interval of validity, cats at high risk of illness should be revaccinated once every five years .
Myth: Indoor Cats Dont Need To Be Vaccinated
Some of the nastier viruses, such as feline panleukopenia virus, are equivalent to a super-villain in terms of toughness. They can survive on sidewalks in all weathers for long periods of time. If you walk on the virus, you can bring it indoors on your shoes, so not even indoor cats are safe.
Therein lies the crunch. An indoor cat is at low risk but not no risk. However, your veterinarian will risk asses the cat and may opt out of vaccinating against conditions that require close contact to spread, such as feline leukemia virus.
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When Should Cats Get Their Jabs
Veterinarians advise that cats get their vaccinations at six to eight weeks old.
Younger than this is not advised, since a young kittens natural immune system might not be able to handle the effect of vaccination yet. Cats older than six weeks are fine.
Not sure how old your kitten is? Speak to your veterinarian. An appointment can help you to establish an approximate age based on physical factors like the development of their teeth and current weight.
If you have taken in an older cat and cannot establish their age or whether theyve had treatment before, start with a vets appointment. Again, a vet can help, and re-administer their injections if they deem it to be necessary.
When Do Cats Need Shots
If you have a kitten, you should begin the vaccination process right away, as they are extremely vulnerable to an array of ailments at this early age. Starting from 6 weeks old, kittens should receive a series of shots over a three- to four-month period. Dont start right after they are born, however, as kittens do receive key antibodies from drinking their mothers milk.
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Why Your Indoor Cat May Need Vaccinations
Your cat stays indoors only. Do you really need to vaccinate her?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. You want your cat to be protected from disease, but you dont want to give her a shot that she doesnt need. How do you make a good decision for your cat?
The American Association of Feline Practitioners prepares guidelines based on published data, as well as consensus of a multidisciplinary panel of experts in immunology, infectious disease, internal medicine, and clinical practice. Its my job, and your veterinarians job, to put the guidelines into practice for each individual patient.
Vaccines or no vaccines, your cat should visit the veterinarian at least once a year for a full physical exam. Together, you and your veterinarian can determine if your cat needs vaccines and, if so, an appropriate vaccination regimen that will provide the safest and best protection for her.
Can I Trim My Kitten’s Toenails
Kittens have very sharp toenails that can wreak havoc on cat owners and their furniture. You can trim your kittens nails with your regular fingernail clippers or with nail trimmers specifically designed for cats, but you must do so carefully. If you take too much off the nail, you will cut into the quick which will result in bleeding and pain.
Here are a few helpful pointers:
- Cats often have clear or white nails, so you can see the pink quick through the nail. This is a small pink triangle visible near the base of the nail. If you avoid this pink area, you should be safely away from the quick.
- When cutting toenails, use sharp trimmers. Dull trimmers tend to pinch or crush the nail and cause pain even if you are not in the quick. A good set of human nail trimmers are often sufficient. Many larger clippers meant for dogs do not trim cats nails well and can cause splintering of the nails.
- Have styptic powder on hand in case bleeding occurs. These products can be purchased from pet stores or your veterinarian. In an emergency, a bar of soap can be used to help stop the bleeding.
- Playing with your kittens feet and rewarding her with treats after nail trims is a good way to help encourage good behavior for future nail trims.
If you are unsure about trimming your kittens nails, ask your veterinary healthcare professionals for help. They can teach you how to make the procedure easy and painless for you and your kitten.
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Does My Indoor Cat Need To Be Vaccinated
While you and your veterinarian may choose to forego some vaccinations for your indoor cat, there are still some recommended for all cats regardless of their lifestyle. Even if you plan to keep your cat strictly indoors, accidental trips outside are always a possibility. If your indoor cat is not an escape artist, you could still expose them to viruses via your contact with other cats outside the house or by adopting new animals and bringing them into your home. Your veterinarian can discuss vaccination in detail with you and make an individual plan based on your cats risk assessment.