Saturday, September 30, 2023

When Should Cats Get Vaccinated

Kitten Vaccine Side Effects

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Side effects of vaccinations are usually mild if they occur at all, although in rare instances, unexpected severe reactions can occur. Your veterinary team should discuss these possible issues with you so you know what to monitor for.

Mild side effects can include:

  • Soreness at the site of injection

  • Lump at the site of injection

Moderate side effects can include:

How Much Are Cat Vaccines

The cost of your cats vaccines will vary depending on where you get them done. If you go to the vet, you can probably expect an office visit charge in addition to the cost of the vaccine. There are some clinics that will vaccinate your cat for free. And if youre about to adopt a cat, some rescues and shelters will include the costs of the vaccines he already got in your cats adoption fees.

On average, your cats core vaccines alone can cost $40 to $80 for the first years worth of shots. The non-core costs range from $15 to $20 for the year.

What Is The Vaccination Schedule For Kittens As Opposed To Adult And Senior Cats

So a little kitten like Jack here would get the initial vaccines at eight weeks. We would test to make sure that she’s not already carrying the feline leukemia virus prior to giving that vaccine, because they can actually get that from their mama cats too. So we would do feline leukemia and the distemper first at eight weeks, and then booster every four weeks for a total of three doses for the feline distemper, two doses for feline leukemia, and then they only get one one-year rabies at 16 weeks, and then booster that annually.

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Your Cat Counts On You For Protection

One of the very best things you can do to give your cat a long and healthy life is to ensure that he/she is vaccinated against common and serious feline infectious diseases. Your cats mother gave her kitten immunity from disease for the first few weeks of existence by providing disease-fighting antibodies in her milk. After that period its up to you with the help and advice of your veterinary surgeon to provide that protection.

What If I Adopted My Kitten

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If you adopt a kitten or cat from us, they’ll be vaccinated before they leave our care. That’s one of the reasons we charge an adoption fee when we rehome an animal.

Some kittens may be rehomed before they’re ready for their second set of vaccinations. If this is the case, we’ll let you know and may arrange for you and your kitten to come back at a later date. Otherwise, you can make arrangements with your local vet.

If you’re looking to buy a cat from a breeder, take a look at our advice on what to look for when buying a kitten.

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Rabies Vaccine For Cats

Rabies is a viral infection that can be transmitted to humans. The disease is uniformly fatal to any mammal it infects, and we do not have a reliable test for it in a live animal.

Veterinary professionals and state health departments take rabies very, very seriously, and most states have a legal requirement for all petsdogs, cats and often ferretsto be vaccinated against rabies.

In these states, all pets are required to be vaccinated whether they are allowed outdoors or not. The reasoning here is that it is not unusual for bats to make their way into houses, so even indoor pets can be at risk. There is also always the possibility that your kitty escapes and is unlucky enough to be exposed.

There are pros and cons to different rabies vaccines in cats. Most feline veterinarians are recommending non-adjuvanted vaccines for cats, which are thought to cause fewer reactions. Your veterinarian can help you choose the best option for your cat.

The frequency with which your cat will need to be vaccinated depends somewhat on the local regulations in combination with the brand of vaccines used by your veterinarian.

In most instance, the first rabies vaccine received by your pet will last for one year. Subsequent vaccines will be good for either one or three years. It is extremely important that this vaccine be given on time and exactly as required by your veterinarian.

Lifestyle Vaccines For Cats

Some cats will need lifestyle/ non-core vaccinations depending on the lifestyle they live. Your veterinarian will let you know which ones your kitty should get. This type of vaccine protects you cat from the following conditions:

  • Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukemia – These vaccines usually are only recommended for cats that are outdoors often and protects them against viral infections which are contracted from close contact exposure.
  • Bordetella – A highly contagious bacteria that causes upper respiratory infections. Your vet might suggest this this vaccine if you are taking your cat to a boarding kennel or groomer.
  • Chlamydophila felis – This vaccination is often part of the distemper combination vaccine. It protects your cat from Chlamydia which is a bacterial infection that causes severe conjunctivitis.

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How Often Should My Cat Get A Rabies Shot

So, just how often should your cat get vaccinated against rabies?

The answer is well, it depends.

When your cat is around 12 weeks old, he should receive his first rabies shot. He should be vaccinated again after a year. From then on, your cat will need regular booster shots, but how often he will need these booster shots depends on state regulations and the type of vaccination used.

Your veterinarian can determine the best vaccination routine for your cat. Usually, this routine will be one booster shot every year or every three years.

For other vaccine references, WebMDs Fetch offers a helpful vaccine schedule chart that displays which vaccines your pet should receive and when.

Protect Your Cat: Vital Vaccinations For Health And Safety

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When you take care of your beloved cat, its critical to know which vaccinations she needs in order for her to be healthy and safe. It is important to note that all indoor cats are subject to a number of vaccinations, including the rabies vaccine and the FVRCP combination vaccine. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Panleukopenia virus, and Calicivirus, all of which are highly contagious and can cause fatal consequences, are protected against these diseases thanks to this vaccine. Experts recommend revaccination with Chlamydia and Bordetella, as well as other vaccines, every year if your cat is exposed to cats on a regular basis. In addition to protecting your cat from a wide range of infectious diseases, these vaccines can also keep your pet healthy for a long time.

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Are Vaccinations For My Cat Necessary

Yes, vaccinations prevent fatal and zoonotic diseases. Rabies is something that, if your cat were to contract it, it could be fatal to your cat, and if you were to contract it, it could be fatal to you. So that is a reason that that one’s necessary. Other vaccines may not be zoonotic, may not be transmissible to humans, but they could still be very dangerous or fatal to your cat.

What Is The Difference Between The Various Types Of Vaccine

There are three major types of vaccine:

1. Modified live vaccines. These vaccines contain live organisms that are weakened or genetically modified so that they will not produce disease but will multiply in the cat’s body. Live vaccines induce a stronger, longer lasting immunity than inactivated vaccines. It is not advisable to use modified live vaccines in pregnant queens or cats whose immune system is not working properly , or other diseases).

2. Killed vaccines. These vaccines are prepared using actual organisms or genetically modified organisms that have been killed by various treatments. On their own, they do not give as high a level of protection as the live, replicating type of vaccine, so killed vaccines may have an adjuvant to make the immune response stronger.

3. Subunit vaccines. These are more commonly called recombinant-DNA vaccines. These are vaccines in which the infectious organism has been broken apart and only certain parts are included in the vaccine.

“Some vaccines are intranasal but the majority are given by injection.”

Many vaccines come as combinations, so that protection against more than one disease is achieved in a single injection or administration. Some vaccines are intranasal , but the majority are given by injection. Your veterinarian will advise you on the most appropriate vaccines for your cat.

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Are There Risks Or Side Effects Associated With Cat Vaccines

Typically, they’re very safe. Most cats get their vaccines, go home, and have no problems. In rare cases, they can have an anaphylactic, which is an allergic reaction to a vaccine that can cause a fever, facial swelling, vomiting, or diarrhea. We ask that, if those things happen, bring those cats right back to the clinic for treatment, and we will consider that they might not be good candidates for vaccines in the future. And that’s why it’s really important that all animals who are able to be vaccinated are vaccinated, so that occasionally if there’s an animal who can not be vaccinated due to an allergic reaction or due to being on chemotherapy, that those animals are protected by the vaccinations of the other animals in the area.

Should Rabies Be A Core Cat Vaccine

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However, not everyone agrees. Dr. Donna Alexander, administrator of Cook County Animal and Rabies Control says that rabies vaccines for cats should be considered core just as they are for dogs. Rabies has got to be core for cats, says Dr. Richard Ford, emeritus professor of medicine, North Carolina State University. And, in fact, over half the states require rabies vaccines for cats by law.

Most people think their cats are strictly indoors and never can be exposed, Dr. Alexander adds. Thats a fallacy. We have bats found in homes. And many of those people have cats, and those cats dont go out. They find the bat and even deliver the dead or nearly dead bat to family members as they would a mouse.

Also, so many mostly or exclusively outdoor cats may not be vaccinated at all, and they have a potentially high exposure to skunks, raccoons and other wildlife, which may carry rabies.

Based on the CDC recommendation, if an unvaccinated cat comes into contact with any animal thought to be rabid, that unvaccinated cat will be quarantined or euthanized.

Vaccine-related reactions due to the rabies vaccine are about one in a million and are likely not life threatening, Dr. Alexander says. Rabies kills 100 percent of the time, not to mention that anyone exposed to a cat thought to have rabies requires painful and expensive rabies desensitization themselves.

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How Often Do Cats Need Vaccines

Cats first start their initial vaccinations at 8 weeks old although kittens can get the FVRCP vaccine as early as 6 weeks old, according to the American Animal Hospital Association .

Many owners choose to stagger vaccines so their kittens dont get FELV and the combo shot at the same time, Dr. Eldredge said.

Regardless of whether you decide to get your cats first shots staggered or at the same time, hell need to receive a few doses before his initial vaccination is complete.

According to Dr. Eldredge, your cat will need additional vaccine doses every three to four weeks until hes 16 to 20 weeks old.

Myth: We Over Vaccinate Cats

Many people worry about over vaccination in pets a concern veterinarians take very seriously. This is why vets avoid unnecessary vaccinations by adapting vaccine protocols to meet each individual cats risk factor and how long immunity lasts to a particular virus.

To do this, vets divide the vaccine components into core and non-core. This simply means essential and non-essential. For example, vaccination against rabies is core, whereas protection against feline leukemia virus is non-core for an indoor cat.

In terms of how often to repeat a dose with a booster shot, this is decided by how long protection lasts. For example, protection against feline leukemia lasts one year, and requires a yearly booster, while protection against cat flu lasts for three years.

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Recommendations For Vaccinating Your Senior Cat

The foremost recommendation is to discuss the vaccination program with your veterinarian. Dont hesitate to ask questions about the pros and cons of vaccinations.

For cats older than 8 to 10 years of age, annual revaccination should be discussed with your veterinarian. There is no nationally accepted standard at this time. Many veterinarians stagger booster immunizations over a number of years. Typical boosters include vaccines against feline panleukopenia and the upper respiratory viruses .

If the risk of feline leukemia virus exposure is significant , the leukemia virus vaccine sequence should be administered. If the cat is not at risk, many veterinarians do not recommend the feline leukemia virus vaccination. Other vaccines are given on a case-by-case basis. Some veterinarians use traditional shots for vaccination while others use a combination of injections and intra-nasal vaccines. The rabies vaccines should be given as required by local laws.

For more information on caring for your senior pet, please read Geriatric Cat Care.


Will Vaccination Always Protect My Cat

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Vaccination will protect the vast majority of cats but under some circumstances, vaccine breakdowns will occur. Reasons for such breakdowns or apparent vaccine failure include:

Variations between different strains of viruses. This is particularly a problem for example with feline calicivirus infections, where, like the common cold in people, there are a large number of different strains. Available vaccines may only partially protect against some of these strains.

Maternally derived antibodies. Kittens acquire maternal antibodies from the mother . A well-vaccinated queen passes antibodies to her kitten, and these antibodies protect the vulnerable kitten against those diseases for the first two or three months of life. However, during this same period, those antibodies from the mother can block the effects of vaccination of the kitten, the same way they can block actual infection. This blocking effect decreases over time as the maternal antibodies gradually disappear, and occurs between 2-4 months of age. Because this time range varies between kittens, booster vaccines are recommended frequently until the kitten is older.

Some vaccine types arenot always able to completely prevent infections. Some vaccines are designed to lessen the severity of disease. Therefore, it may look like the vaccine did not work, when it actually did prevent severe disease.

These are not the only reasons for vaccination failure, but they are the most common.

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Kitten Vaccination Schedule And Costs

Kittens are most susceptible to infectious diseases when they are under 6 months of age. Thats why its so important to give your kitten the protection they need with the right vaccinations.

Mother cats pass maternal antibodies through their milk during nursing. These antibodies do offer some degree of protection against diseases, but they also interfere with, or even inactivate, the bodys response to vaccination.

For this reason, core kitten vaccinations start at 6-8 weeks of age and are boosted every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 16-20 weeks old. Core vaccines should be boosted one year after the initial series.

What Happens At My Cats Vaccination Appointment

Your vet will examine your cat to check they are not already fighting an infection. Once the vet is happy your cat is fit enough for the vaccine, the procedure can begin. Some vaccines are combined into one injection while others require extra injections. The location chosen for the vaccine is usually the scruff of the neck but other sites can be used.

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How Often Should Cats Be Vaccinated For Feline Leukemia

Duration of immunity depends on the precise vaccine used and the immune response of your cat: this can vary from 12 months to two or three years. Revaccination also depends on other factors such as the risk of your cat to exposure to the virus. The topic should be discussed with your own veterinarian at your cats annual veterinary check as part of their routine health care.

How Do Vaccines Work

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Vaccines work by stimulating the body’s immune system to recognize and fight a particular microorganism such as a virus, bacteria, or other infectious organism. Once vaccinated, the animal’s immune system is then primed, or prepared to react to a future infection with that microorganism. In other words, the vaccine mimics a true infection so that the immune system can better protect the body in the future.

“the vaccine will help the body prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote rapid recovery.”

Depending on the disease, the vaccine will help the body prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote rapid recovery.

While a vaccine can prevent illness, it cannot block microorganisms from getting into the body. This means that sometimes a cat may not look sick thanks to the vaccine, but the cat can still spread the invading microorganisms to other cats. This is not a major consideration in the pet cat but may be important in the breeding colony.

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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

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