Just as our human children, our feline children too should be vaccinated on time in order to keep them healthy and protect them from infections that can make them seriously ill.
Cats are always elegant.
Vaccines Save Your Cat from Viral Diseases
If your cat catches a viral infection, there is no particular treatment for it. Antibiotics cannot kill viruses and even after the best of precautions, some viral infections can be deadly.
Vaccination brings about the production of antibodies in the cat’s body against a specific virus. If your cat catches it again, his immune system will quickly identify it and work immediately to throw it out of his body. Therefore, the best way to save your cat from serious viral diseases is keeping his vaccination routine up to date.
Working with Your Vet for Correct Vaccination Schedule
In the early days, vaccinating cats was a very straightforward process; you had to take your cat to your vet once a year for a general checkup and his shots. Studies have shown now that certain vaccines last longer than a year. This means that you can set an appointment for cat vaccinations at Gordon Vet Hospital, for example, to set a correct vaccination schedule for your cat.
Types of Vaccines for Cats
Vaccines are classified into core and non-core types. Core vaccines provide protection to your cat from diseases that cause severe illness and are widespread. Non-core vaccines are not compulsory. They are meant for immunising your cat against illnesses occurring only in some regions or in cats with a particular lifestyle.
The core vaccines that need to be given to all cats are:
Feline Infectious Enteritis Virus: This is the feline equivalent of canine parvovirus. It gives fever, dehydration, depression, diarrhoea and vomitting. Several cats that catch this virus don’t survive and those which survive can spread the virus into the environment to cause infection to other cats for up to 6 weeks.
Calicivirus and Feline Herpes Virus: Both these viruses cause a condition called “cat flu”. They are very contagious and can make cats extremely ill with runny eyes, sneezing and ulcers on tongue and in mouth. Cat flu doesn’t tend to be fatal but is weakening. Young cats fall prey to it more severely than adult cats.
A cat can purr its way out of anything.
Non-core vaccines need to be given only if you and your vet think that your cat is at a specific risk. These include:
Feline Leukaemia Virus: As it’s clear from the name, this virus causes leukaemia as well as lymphoma. Several cats are able to clear the infection from their body. But those that can’t may suffer from lymphatic cancers and disperse the virus among other cats. The events of leukaemia virus are very low in Australia and hence you should discuss with an expert North Turramurra vet like Gordon Vet Hospital, whether your cat needs to be vaccinated against this disease.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: This virus takes place in bite wounds and hence is more common in male outdoor cats that fight with other cats. The virus weakens the immune system and hence the cat catches recurring infections. A vaccine against it is available; however, the risk of the disease can be reduced by preventing cats from going out and desexing them and so, the vaccine is not used routinely.
When Should You Vaccinate?
Young kittens get some protection against viruses from antibodies in the first milk or colostrum. However, it can’t be told surely how effective it is or how long lasting the antibodies are. Your goal should be to give a vaccine when the antibodies diminish so that the time can be reduced to the shortest possible, when your kitten is not protected.
To achieve this, kittens are vaccinated 2 to 3 times, beginning from 6-8 weeks of age and at 16 weeks of age, the last dose should be given. A booster vaccine is given after a year and then the cat should be vaccinated every 12 months.