Why You Should Vaccinate Your Cat
Until relatively recently, cats, like people and dogs, were subject to illness and possible death from what are now preventable diseases. The lives of millions of cats have been made healthier and longer through the use of vaccines that prevent or mitigate the effects of various pathogens. Even if your cat never goes outside or comes into contact with another cat, you can inadvertently bring viruses into your home on your shoes or clothing. Protecting you’re indoor, as well as your outdoor cat against serious illness is the mark of a responsible and caring pet owner.
Veterinarians begin vaccinating kittens when they are between 6 and eight weeks old. To assure that your kitten is well protected, he or she will receive subsequent vaccinations about once a month until they are about 20 weeks old. The cat vaccines are often delayed until the antibodies from the mother cat are gone.
Adult cats require vaccine booster shots once a year for most diseases. While it is possible for you to administer most of these vaccines at home, by law rabies vaccinations will always have to be done by a veterinarian.
cat vaccines work to prevent illness by programming the cat’s immune system to recognize a pathogen and destroy it. When your cat receives a vaccination, dead or damaged live viruses are put into the animal. This allows the body to become familiar with the pathogen, so that should your cat be exposed to this particular virus, the body can destroy it before it has the chance to cause illness.
Respiratory viruses can cause not only sneezing and discharge from the nose, but also damage to the cornea of the eye. These viruses have a tendency to occur over and over, and over time can severely damage the eye, even causing blindness. Additionally, these viruses can lead to chronic breathing problems. Humans cannot catch these viruses from their cats.
Rabies is deservedly one of the most feared diseases on earth. Incurable and always fatal, this disease affects the central nervous system resulting in seizures, intense salivation, staggering, uncontrollable aggression or fear, and blindness. Spread by bite, rabies can be acquired by humans from an unvaccinated cat with the disease.
Panleukopenia is a nasty disease that will hit kittens the hardest. Death can result from this illness and the virus responsible attacks the bone marrow and gastrointestinal system. A cat that is lethargic and has fever and diarrhea could well be infected with this virus. Humans cannot catch this disease from their cats.
Feline leukemia mostly affects cats that go outside. However, if you have several cats and allow even one to roam outdoors, all the cats could become sick with this viral disease. Cats with feline leukemia will suffer weight loss, fever, anemia, and listlessness. Unfortunately, many cats with feline leukemia do not survive.
cat vaccines for the above illness are considered to provide ‘core protection’ for your cat. Unvaccinated cats are at the risk of chronic conditions or death from diseases that can be easily prevented. Caring for a sick cat at the veterinary hospital is costly, and home care to nursing a sick cat back to health is time-consuming and emotionally draining.
It is entirely true that side-effects can occur when your cat is vaccinated. Fortunately, in most cases, the cat may run a slight fever or be fussy for a day or two. At times, a knot will form at the site of the injection, and if this does not vanish within a few weeks, your vet should take a look at it. There is also a very slight chance of a severe allergic reaction to vaccination, which is why your vet may ask you to remain in the clinic for a few minutes to make sure that no such reaction is occurring in your cat.