Cats don’t have nine lives, so you must do what you can to protect them. Cat vaccinations protect your animals from diseases caused by viruses and bacteria and boost the immune system.
Whether you have a small cat or an adult cat, your veterinarian can help you determine which cat vaccinations are best and how often your cat should be vaccinated. It usually depends on her age, general health and lifestyle. The vet will also mention how long the vaccinations will last and how likely your cat may have a certain disease.
What are cat vaccinations??
The four main cat vaccinations are:
- The rabies
- rhinotracheitis / Herpes Virus 1 (FVR / FHV-1)
- Calici virus (FCV)
- Panleukopenia virus (FPV)
These diseases are highly contagious and are found all over the world. They are very dangerous for young cats, and cat vaccinations are very protective with minimal risks. This is the reason why all cats should receive these basic vaccines.
Rabies vaccination is important not only because it affects the cat, but also because it is a disease that transmits and kills humans.
While cats are not natural carriers of the disease, they can catch some of any other infected animal and then pass on to others. After an average of two months of incubation, symptoms of aggression, confusion, and death quickly develop.
Rabies is endemic all over the world, and vaccination is recommended for all cats and pets.
While rabies vaccine is considered a non-essential vaccination according to the AAFP guidelines, it is required by law in most countries. Rabies is a zoonotic disease (can be transmitted from animals to humans), so it is a public safety problem and your cat should be regular on rabies vaccination schedule. 7 benefits for raising cats
The other three primary vaccines are combined into one triple-in-one vaccine called the FVRCP vaccine. This allows veterinarians to efficiently administer vaccines at one time, rather than having to inject a cat three separate times in one visit.
panleukopenia / FPV virus vaccination
Feline panleukopenia, also known as the cat distemper, is a highly contagious disease with a high death rate in kittens.
While the disease usually begins with decreased energy and decreased appetite, it develops into vomiting and diarrhoea. The virus also kills white blood cells, making young cats more susceptible to secondary infection.
Herpes vaccination 1 / FHV-1 virus
Feline herpesvirus, also known as feline rhinotracheitis virus, causes severe signs of upper respiratory infection.
Some of the symptoms you can expect to see include sneezing, nasal congestion and excretion, and conjunctivitis. In some cases, it also causes mouth ulcers and pneumonia.
After the cat recovers from the initial infection, the virus enters a period of latency in the nerves. During times of stress, the virus can reactivate it, and the cat can begin to show signs of infection again – even if it has not been exposed to the disease.
Feline calici virus / FCV vaccination
The calici cat virus includes several viral strains that cause signs of an upper respiratory infection, such as sneezing and nasal secretions as well as mouth ulcers.
FCV is believed to be associated with chronic gingivitis / stomatitis, which is very painful inflammation of the gums and teeth. Some of the more aggressive strains cause hair loss and scaling it to other parts of the body as well as hepatitis and even death.
When do I start cat vaccinations??
Cats should start getting vaccinations when they are 6 to 8 weeks old until they are about 16 weeks old. The time between the first booster doses is between 3 to 4 weeks ….. and then it must be activated in the following year.
Adult cats need cat vaccinations at a lower rate, usually every year or every 3 years, depending on the type of vaccine. It is also possible to start vaccination against rabies at the age of 4-6 months and it does not need to be given a booster shot until the following year.
Cat vaccinations schedule:
|Cat Vaccines||Initial Kitten Vaccination (at or under 16 weeks)||Initial Adult Cat Vaccination (over 16 weeks)||Booster Recommendation||Comments|
|Rabies||Single dose as early as 8 weeks of age, depending on the product. Revaccinate 1 year later||single dose with yearly booster||Required annually or every 3 years, depending on vaccine used. State regulations may determine the frequency and type of booster required.||One of Core cat vaccines. Rabies is 100% fatal to cats, with no treatment available. Prevention is key.|
|Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia)||As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age||2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart||1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.||One of Core cat vaccines. Feline distemper is a severe contagious disease that most commonly strikes kittens and can cause death.|
|Feline Herpesvirus||As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age||2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart||1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.||One of Core cat vaccines. Feline herpesvirus causes feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), a very contagious upper respiratory condition.|
|Calicivirus||As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age||2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart||1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.||One of Core cat vaccines. A very contagious upper respiratory condition that can cause joint pain, oral ulcerations, fever, and anorexia.|
What are the side effects of cat vaccinations??
There is no injection or medication without a certain degree of risk, but we continue to vaccinate kittens because in most cases, it is much smaller than the risk of the disease itself.
The incidence of adverse reactions in cats has been reported to be around half a percent and is usually mild and limited. Common side effects include lethargy, transient fever, and local inflammation.
Fortunately, anaphylaxis and death are extremely rare: about one in 10,000 vaccines.
What is the cost of cat vaccinations ??
The cost of vaccinating your cat can vary greatly depending on your location, the type of veterinary clinic you visit, the type of vaccination, and many other factors. The costs may range from 150 to 300 Egyptian pounds (including medical examination) prior to vaccination. Your cat may need to receive more than one vaccine during the visit as well. For example, your cat may need to receive a rabies vaccination with the FVRCP vaccine.
On what basis does the vet determine the cat vaccinations schedule??
Many factors influence a cat’s likelihood of developing an infectious disease, which is why a comprehensive medical history is necessary to determine the recommended care for each cat.
Factors that your vet will consider determining your cat vaccinations schedule include:
- Age of the cat
- Medical history
- History of vaccinations
- The possibility of exposure to pathogens
- severity of disease caused by the microbe
If the cat vaccinations benefit more than the possibility of a bad reaction, the cat must be vaccinated.
You can also discuss your cat’s lifestyle and risk factors with your veterinarian to determine the optimal vaccination protocol.