Cat vaccines are essential for protecting your cat from severe infections and preventing the spread of infections to other animals or humans. Some vaccines are also required if you plan to travel with your feline friend. If your cat has not been vaccinated yet, contact Lakeville Animal Hospital in Lakeville to ensure they receive the recommended vaccines.
When Should You Vaccinate Your Cat?
The initial set of vaccines is typically administered when the cat is 6 to 8 weeks old. The next shot, known as a booster, is given at three months of age, followed by annual booster vaccinations.
Vaccination schedules are determined based on factors such as the cat's age, health, and lifestyle. A professional veterinarian can assist you in identifying the necessary vaccines and help you maintain a vaccination schedule.
If you do not have access to your cat's vaccination history, schedule a review appointment with the veterinarian. They will determine which shots your cat needs. Most state laws require unvaccinated cats or those without vaccination records to receive core vaccinations.
Which Vaccines Do Cats Need?
Core vaccinations are typically administered first to provide protection against highly infectious diseases prevalent worldwide. The core vaccines include the rabies vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine. Here is a detailed overview of the essential vaccines your cat should receive:
The rabies vaccine protects cats from the viral disease known as rabies. This illness attacks the central nervous system, spreading rapidly to the brain. Affected cats may exhibit signs of paralysis, difficulty breathing, and even death. Cats can contract rabies through bites from infected animals or contamination via open wounds.
Unfortunately, the disease can also be transmitted to humans, causing flu-like symptoms, headaches, fevers, cerebral dysfunction, and in severe cases, death. Kittens should receive their first rabies vaccine within their first year of life. Afterward, they should receive the vaccine annually or every three years, depending on state laws.
The FVRCP vaccine combines three core vaccinations into a single shot. It provides protection against the following viral infections:
- Feline rhinotracheitis virus/herpesvirus (FVR/FHV-1): This virus affects the cat's respiratory system, causing symptoms such as discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion, oral ulcers, and pneumonia. The disease can recur, with cats showing signs after treatment without re-exposure.
- Feline Calicivirus (FCV): This virus also affects the respiratory system and can cause chronic infections in the gums, teeth, and stomach. Symptoms may include crusting in certain body parts, hair loss, and hepatitis.
- Feline Panleukopenia (FPV): Also known as Feline Parvovirus or feline distemper, this disease targets white blood cells, affecting the cat's immune system. It is highly contagious in kittens and has a high mortality rate.
The FeLV vaccine is another core vaccine that protects cats against the feline leukemia virus. The disease is transmitted through body fluids like urine and saliva and can be contracted when a cat comes into contact with an infected feline while sharing the same bowl or during grooming.
Visit Lakeville Animal Hospital for Cat Vaccines
At Lakeville Animal Hospital, our veterinarians provide professional preventative care to ensure the good health of your pet. We can help you stay updated on all the necessary vaccinations for your cat's well-being. If you live in or around Lakeville or Middleborough, call our team today at (508) 947-1309 to learn more or schedule an appointment.