Today we have some useful tips from Medicines4Pets for you on the importance of vaccinations.
A guide to Vaccinating cats
Keeping a cat healthy is important which is why vaccinations are vital as they help to protect them from viral infections.
Antibiotics are useless against viruses but vaccinations help the cat to create antibodies to fight certain viruses which is why keeping vaccinations up to date is the best way of preventing your cat from becoming seriously ill.
What types of vaccines are available?
There are two groups of vaccines known as core and non-core. Core vaccines help to protect your cat from widespread diseases that can result in a serious illness whilst non-core vaccines are optional as they protect against those diseases that are related to the lifestyle of a cat or the environment it lives in.
Cats should receive the following core vaccines.
Feline Infectious Enteritis Virus causes fever, dehydration, depression and many other symptoms. A large number of cats who contract this virus do not survive and those that do can encourage it to spread for a further six weeks.
Feline Herpesvirus and Calicivirus both cause a condition referred to as cat flu. This is highly contagious and can result in cats becoming very ill. Symptoms include sneezing, runny eyes and ulcers. It is not usually fatal but can result in the cat being laid up for a few days.
Non-core vaccines are only given to cats if they could be at risk and include:
The Feline Leukaemia Virus causes leukaemia and lymphoma and many cats can get rid of the virus but those that cannot could develop lymphatic cancers as well as spread the virus to other cats.
The Feline Immundeficiency Virus is spread through bite wounds and is seen in male cats that are outdoors, especially when they fight with felines. The virus works by suppressing the immune system which means the cat is susceptible to infections
When is a vaccine required?
Kittens get some form of protection from the antibodies in the first milk but how long these last is unknown, therefore, there is a time where the kitten is not protected. Kittens are given 2 or 3 bouts of vaccinations that start at around 6-8 weeks and end at around 16 weeks. A year later they are given a booster vaccine which then means that the cat only requires core vaccines every 3 years. However, an annual visit to the vet for a check up can help to identify other diseases which can be treated if caught early enough.
Possible side effects?
Following vaccinations it is common for cats to feel some soreness and they may seem lethargic for a couple of days. There is a possibility that they could have an allergic reaction which can result in swelling and hives, in some cases they can suffer with anaphylaxis. If you have any concerns then ask your veterinarian for advice.
Get those vaccinations done
A vaccination schedule that is created to suit your cat is important and will help to keep him well whilst giving you assurance that you are doing all you can to help him avoid as many diseases as possible.
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