Vaccination for cats is an important part of their preventive health care plan. Vaccines are generally safe and pose few risks. They provide your cat with protection against many serious diseases; some that can be fatal and one that can be passed to humans.
When should my kitten get their first vaccines?
We recommend that kittens get their first vaccine when they are 6-8 weeks old. We will administer different doses when they are 12 and 16 weeks old. Typically, adult cats should have boosters every 1 to 3 years based on their lifestyle, environment and health.
Which vaccines are necessary for my cat/kitten?
Here are the vaccines we generally recommend for cats and kittens in the Richmond area:
- FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) - this combination vaccine protects your loyal companion from three different viruses. This vaccine is administered every 3 years for adult cats.
- Feline Leukemia - We recommend this vaccine for cats that go outdoors and those in multi-cat households. As an adult, cats are vaccinated annually. Viral leukemia is a prevalent, highly transmissible, and often fatal disease, of which there is no cure. Each year, we see cats that die from this disease. It’s heartbreaking, as it most likely could have been prevented. This virus may express itself in one or a combination of different forms involving various internal systems. Blood cell cancers, bone marrow suppression, and production of tumours involving the intestines, kidneys, lymph nodes, or other organs are common consequences of the virus. Closely “associated” disease processes include frequent respiratory infections, central nervous system diseases, and reproductive problems. Some cats can live with the virus for years and show no symptoms. These “carriers” can still pass the infection to other cats by direct contact.
- Rabies - We administer the vaccine every three years in adult cats. Rabies is a highly fatal virus that causes neurological disease in affected animals. Dogs, cats, bats, skunks, raccoons, and many other animals can get this disease. Humans can become infected and die from this disease as well. Once a person/animal shows signs of this disease, it is fatal and there is no treatment.
Is vaccination necessary for all cats?
Absolutely! Even if you have an indoor cat, they need to be vaccinated. Vaccines will prevent illnesses that require treatments which can be expensive. Not to mention some of these diseases can also cause death which is why they are required by law for all cats.