Are Kitten Vaccinations And Cat Vaccinations Necessary
The answer is yes. A kitten or cat owner is responsible for the wellbeing of their feline friend this includes happiness and longevity of life. Cat vaccinations are an integral component in the longevity equation. Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are medically and scientifically proven to prevent various insidious diseases.
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.
Protecting An Unvaccinated Cat
Full immunity develops around 3-4 weeks after the final injection in a primary course of vaccinations, but until then you will need to keep your feline friend indoors and away from cats outside of your household. Youll need to keep your cat entertained and stress-free during this time especially if they have previously been used to going outside.
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When Should My Kitten Have Their First Vaccination
Kittens need a course of two vaccinations to protect them from potentially fatal infections feline infectious enteritis and feline influenza .
There is also a vaccination that offers protection from the feline leukaemia virus which can affect the immune system.
The first injection can be given from nine weeks of age, with the second three to four weeks after the first injection.
Kittens should be kept away from other cats and stay indoors for seven days after the second injection to ensure maximum protection.
To maintain the level of protection provided by vaccination, adult cats require regular boosters. Your vet will advise on what is required and when.
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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Why Should I Have My Female Cat Spayed
Spaying young cats offers several advantages:
- Your cat will avoid heat periods, which usually begin at six to seven months of age and occur every two to three weeks in an unbred cat. During the heat period, female cats encourage the attention of male cats. The female cat will posture and vocalize, which can be annoying to owners so too can the presence of neighborhood male cats that mark the territory outside your house and fight off other suitors. Sometimes the natural urge to mate is so strong that your indoor cat will attempt to escape outdoors to breed.
- Spaying prevents unplanned litters of kittens that often never find suitable homes.
- Spaying prior to the first heat cycle greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Spaying prevents cancers or infections of the reproductive organs.
Spaying a cat may be a common procedure, but all surgery must be taken seriously. The correct term for spaying is ovariohysterectomy, and refers to the complete removal of the uterus and ovaries under general anesthesia. An overnight stay in the hospital may be advised to allow close monitoring during recovery and provide adequate pain control .
Adult Cats Booster Vaccinations
A tailored vaccine program can be developed with your Greencross Vets clinic.
- Cats require booster vaccinations to ensure long-term immunity against contagious diseases. This is given one year after your cats 14-16 week vaccination
- At that stage, your friendly Greencross Vets team will work with you to determine the most suitable ongoing vaccination program guided by your cats lifestyle and environment
- If your cat is exposed to the outdoors or other neighbourhood cats, consider incorporating the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus vaccine into your cats program
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Do I Need To Get My Indoor Cat Vaccinated
When it comes to your cat’s health it’s always better to err on the side of caution. At Stage Road Animal Hospital we recommend that indoor cats receive all of the core-vaccinations to protect against diseases they may be exposed to if they manage to escape the safety of home.
It’s also important to note that many states, including Tennessee, require that all cats be vaccinated against rabies. Once your cat has received their rabies shot, your vet will provide you with a certificate of vaccination.
Why Vaccinate Your Pet
Dog vaccines and cat vaccines help protect your pet from contagious diseases, many of which can cause serious illness or death. Vaccinations are important even if your pet is kept indoors as many contagious diseases are airborne and capable of living a long time in any environment. For example, parvovirus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces. Highly resistant, the virus can live in the environment for months, and may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet, and floors.
Disease prevention is always less costly than treating a condition your pet has developed. Returning to the example of parvovirus, treatments for that disease can frequently cost $1,000 or more while our DA2PPV dog vaccine that includes protection against parvovirus is only $25.
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Frequency Of Vaccinations For Adult Cats And Boarding Facility Requirements
The frequency of feline booster vaccinations varies from 1-3 years depending on the vaccine, the disease, and the risk of disease exposure to the individual cat. In general, it is recommended by expert panels on feline vaccination that cats who stay at a boarding cattery require an annual vaccination schedule as this can be a higher risk situation than a normal home environment . This is because boarding may be stressful for a cat and stress has immunosuppressive effects which may result in increased susceptibility to infection and disease and additionally there can be a higher risk of exposure to infectious disease.
For these reasons, it is still recommended that a cat should have a vaccination within 12 months of entering a boarding facility, and why almost all cat boarding facilities require cats to have received a vaccination booster within 12 months prior to admission to the facility.
It is best to speak to your vet about your cats individual needs. Your veterinarian will always do a health check before administering a vaccination to ensure your kitten or cat is healthy to be vaccinated. In addition, this provides an excellent opportunity for your veterinarian to fully examine your cat and discuss any health issues. This allows any health concerns that your cat may have to be addressed as early as possible, giving your cat the best chance possible to be healthy and comfortable.
What Vaccinations Are Typically Recommended And What Are They For
We went over that a little bit. In general, for kittens, I recommend doing all three vaccines that we’ve discussed. The distemper vaccine, which is the combination vaccine, I recommend rabies, and for kittens, even if we’re pretty sure that they are not going to be going outside, I recommend doing the leukemia vaccine during their kittens series to make sure they’re protected. Sometimes plans change between kittenhood and a year old, and we end up letting kitties out, or they get out because they’re wily little creatures, and we want to make sure that they’re safe. After the kittenhood vaccines, we recommend every three-year vaccines for rabies and distemper, and leukemia comes every two years, but only for outdoor kitties.
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How Safe Is The Vaccine
FeLV vaccines have been specially developed so that the vaccine does not cause the disease. You are unlikely to see any adverse effects apart from some mild sluggish behavior a day or two after the vaccine is given. A very few cats may have a mild allergic reaction. Most vaccine reactions occur almost immediately and your veterinarian will provide appropriate treatment. If you are concerned that your cat is experiencing an abnormal reaction in the hours or days following any vaccination, contact your veterinarian.
A rare form of soft tissue sarcoma known as vaccine-associated or injection-site fibrosarcoma has been associated with a reaction to components in some vaccines. This association is controversial, and a considerable amount of research is underway to determine what role vaccines may play in the development of sarcomas. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh these small risks in most situations (for further information, see the handout “Post-vaccination Sarcoma”.
Are Vaccines Necessary For Indoor Cats
My cat lives indoors. Are vaccines necessary?
Like many veterinarians, I wish I had a quick and simple answer, but there is no one size fits all solution to the complex question of what vaccines should be given to cats. Some people hesitate to vaccinate their cats due to concerns about over-vaccination and a type of tumor called a vaccine-associated sarcoma. Some cats are really difficult to take to a veterinary hospital. However, it is important to discuss your cats individual risk factors with your veterinarian before skipping any shots.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners vaccination guideline recommends that kittens get a full series of vaccinations against panleukopenia, feline herpes type 1, calicivirus, feline leukemia, and rabies followed by a booster one year later. The type and frequency of vaccines given after that point varies considerably, depending on a cats lifestyle, and where you live. If your cat is truly 100% indoors, and does not have contact with indoor-outdoor cats, the current recommendation is to continue to receive boosters for panleukopenia, feline herpes type 1, calicivirus every 3 years, as these diseases do not require direct cat-to-cat contact to spread.
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What Exactly Are Cat Vaccinations
A vaccination is an injection of a mixture of molecules that will help stimulate an immune response to a specific disease. A common one would be the rabies vaccine. In the rabies vaccine, there are parts of the rabies virus, not the entire virus. It’s not an active or live virus, but parts of the virus that we inject along with other chemicals into your cat to help them start to build antibodies, to protect them against exposure to rabies, and keep them safe. We also have vaccines for many different diseases in cats. There is the feline leukemia vaccine and what we call the distemper vaccine, a combination of several diseases that can cause feline distemper and various respiratory diseases.
How Much Do Cat Vaccinations Cost
Prices can vary from practice to practice and costs will depend on which vaccinations your cat or kitten receives. Speak to your vet to see if they offer a health care plan for your pet. These allow you to spread the cost of preventative veterinary treatment, such as regular health checks, annual vaccinations and flea and worm treatments. We might be able to help with vet costs if you meet our eligibility criteria.
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What About The Minks
At the end of 2020, Denmark’s government ordered millions of minks be killed over revelations that the animals were catching COVID-19 from mink farmers and transmitting it back to humans. The phenomenon of mink-to-human spread of COVID-19 has been reported in Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland and possibly the US, according to the CDC. According to Fur Commission USA, there are over 275 mink farms in 23 states in the US. At such farms, the animals are bred and killed for their pelts and other body parts, for use in clothing, cosmetics and other materials.
In response, animal vaccine-makers, most notably Zoetis, started working on shots for minks, The New York Times reported. The pharmaceutical company, which started working on a vaccine for dogs and cats in 2020, said in January that it shifted its focus to minks and that “it’s not uncommon to adapt vaccines for experimental use in other species.” In July, Zoetis said it was donating more than 11,000 doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to zoos, conservatories and sanctuaries in 27 states.
The USDA is currently only accepting applications for animal COVID-19 vaccines for mink. Other animals can only get vaccinated on a case-by-case basis, with USDA and state veterinarian approval. Wisconsin Public Radio reported in July 2021 that the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection approved Zoetis’ vaccine for minks in May. Wisconsin produces the most mink pelts in the US.
Can You Recommend Something For Pet Identification
All cats should have identification. Even strictly-indoor cats have been known to escape the confines of their safe homes and become lost. Cats often do not tolerate collars well, so ID tags are not the best option for pet identification. The best way to identify your cat is to have your veterinarian insert a microchip under the skin. A microchip, pictured to the right with pennies for scale, is a tiny device that is implanted with a needle much like any other injection. The microchip contains a unique number that you register with a database along with your contact information.
Veterinary hospitals, Humane Societies, and animal shelters have electronic scanners that detect the presence of a microchip and access your cat’s unique identification. Microchips and data registry assist the reunion of cats with their families throughout the United States and Canada. For more details, see handout Microchipping Your Cat.
Adding a kitten to your family is a lot of fun. Remember that kittens are very energetic, so be prepared to build play routines into your daily routine. Discourage play that encourages your kitten to play with your hands directly and offer kitten safe, stimulating toys. Providing your kitten with the health care she needs will set her up for a long, healthy, happy life.
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Kitten And Cat Vaccinations
- Cats and kittens in the UK need to be vaccinated against feline enteritis and cat flu
- Cats and kittens who go outside will also need to be vaccinated against feline leukaemia
- Some boosters may be needed annually, but others may be needed every three years
- Rabies, bordetella and chlamydia vaccines are also available for cats in the UK but these are considered non-core
Are There Any Side Effects I Should Watch For After Cat Vaccination
Most cats show no ill side effect from receiving a cat vaccine. If your cat does have a reaction, they are usually minor and short-lived. However, you should still be on the lookout for the following symptoms that might indicate negative side effects from a cat vaccine:
- Swelling and redness around the injection site
If you suspect your cat is experiencing any ill side effects from his or her cat vaccine, call us immediately so we can help you to determine whether any special care is needed.
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Myth: Vaccines Do More Harm Than Good
Every responsible cat parent is right to make an informed decision about whats best for their pet as an individual. However, when weighing up the pros and cons of vaccination, its relevant to know the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Diseases such as cat flu, distemper, and feline leukemia are still out there and have life-changing consequences. Balance this against the risks of vaccination which can be divided into common-but-mild reactions and rare-but-serious, as outlined below.
When Should Kittens Be Vaccinated
Your kitten will need two sets of vaccinations to get them started – their first set at nine weeks old and a second booster set at three months old. After this, kittens and cats usually need ‘booster’ vaccinations once a year.
Until your kitten is fully vaccinated , you should keep him or her inside.
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What About Adverse Events
No injection or medication is without some degree of risk, but we continue to vaccinate because, in most cases, it is much smaller than the risk of the disease itself.
The overall incidence of adverse reactions in cats is reported to be about half of 1 percent and usually mild and self-limiting. Common side effects include lethargy, transient fever and local inflammation.
Anaphylaxis and death are, fortunately, extremely rare: about one in every 10,000 vaccines.
A vaccine-associated sarcoma is a slow-growing but locally aggressive cancerous mass that develops at vaccine injection sites. Sarcomas occur with about the same rare frequency as anaphylactic reactions.
For cats without a history of vaccine reactions, the risk of sarcomas is usually outweighed by the benefit of the core vaccines.
Pet owners can minimize the impact of sarcomas by monitoring injection sites for swelling after vaccinations. Swellings should be biopsied if they are larger than 2 centimeters, persist longer than three months, or grow one month past the date of vaccination. When sarcomas are addressed early, surgery is often curative.