In order to raise awareness for the importance of vaccinating your cats, this month’s blog post will discuss why vaccinations are important, which vaccinations are available to cats, and whether vaccinations are safe.
Why Are Vaccinations Important?
Below are five reasons from the American Veterinary Medical Association as to why vaccinations are important to the health and well-being of your pets.
Vaccinations can prevent many illnesses
Vaccinations can help avoid costly medical treatment for preventable diseases
Vaccinations can prevent diseases from being passed between animals and from animals to humans
Unvaccinated pets are more susceptible to diseases found in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper
To comply with local and state laws, it may be necessary to vaccinate household pets
Which Vaccinations Are Available to Cats?
Your veterinarian will assess your cat to determine the best vaccination plan for him or her. However, there are several vaccinations that are available.
This vaccination will protect your cat in the event they are bitten by an infected animal with this deadly disease. According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, rabies vaccinations can be administered to kittens as young as 8-12 weeks of age. Annual boosters are required (or every 3 years as allowed by state law).
This is a combination shot made to prevent Feline herpes virus, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia; it’s sometimes referred to as the “Feline Distemper” shot. A series of shots begins when kittens are 6 weeks of age, with a booster given 12 months later and no more than every 3 years after.
FeLV and FIV
These vaccines are considered “non-core”, meaning they’re only recommended for kittens and/or adult cats with a high risk of exposure to either Feline Leukemia (FeLV) or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Your veterinarian can determine your cat’s need for these vaccines upon assessment.
Are Vaccinations Safe?
As with any medical treatment, vaccinations come with risks. However, responsible cat owners should weigh those risks against the benefits of protecting their cats and family members from preventable diseases and illnesses.
Although most cats tolerate vaccinations well, some may experience mild symptoms such as discomfort at the injection site, mild fever, and decreased appetite. In rare cases, some cats develop sarcomas, or tumor growths, weeks, months, or even years after a vaccination. Improvements in vaccination technology have greatly reduced these occurrences.
Here in Greensboro, there are several organizations that offer low-cost rabies clinics and wellness plans. Check them out below.