Vaccinations are normally started at 8 weeks of age. Kittens receive upper respiratory and distemper combination vaccinations every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks of age. Vaccinations for distemper and respiratory disease are extremely important in kittens. Distemper is a virus that can cause very severe bone marrow suppression that can be life-threatening. Respiratory virus can cause upper respiratory disease, pneumonia, ulcers and eye infections. Kitten’s immune systems are not mature yet, so they are much more susceptible to these diseases. So, getting their vaccinations is very important from the time you first have them.
As kittens grow into young adults your veterinarian should evaluate your cat’s lifestyle to determine which vaccinations are or are not necessary. One of the main considerations would be if your cat goes outdoors. If your cat does then a feline leukemia vaccination series would be recommended. This consists of two vaccinations approximately 4 weeks apart.
Both indoor and outdoor cats need vaccinations. Even indoor cats are susceptible to disease. Many virus type diseases can live outside your cat’s body. This means if a sick stray cat passes through your yard you can theoretically bring the virus in on your shoes and expose your feline friend. Other common ways indoor cats become ill are exposure from boarding with other cats, exposure from a groomer, even exposure from a veterinarian’s office. Just like when you or I go to the doctor we are highly likely to be exposed to illness.
It’s important to not over-vaccinate your cat. Vaccines themselves can cause illness. A mild vaccination reaction may cause fever and muscle soreness. A moderate reaction can cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. A serious reaction can cause a severe anaphylactic response. So you want to only vaccinate your cat against viruses they may be exposed to.
Rabies is a vaccination required by law in most areas. An adjuvant free rabies vaccination should be administered. Vaccinations with adjuvants have been linked to sarcomas which are cancerous tumors.
Vaccinations are normally repeated every one to three years. This would be specific one or three years depending on the vaccine.
Sometimes the term “vaccinations” comes with a bad connotation. As with anything else care and caution should be made when a veterinarian recommends vaccinating your cat. Vaccinations should be administered properly based on your cat’s lifestyle and health. Vaccinations should not be “skipped”. Veterinarians see many cats every year with illnesses that could have been prevented by vaccination.
To schedule an appointment for vaccinations click here : http://www.northernilcatclinic.com/schedule-appointment/