Vaccinations are one of the most important things you can do to protect the health of your pet. Unvaccinated cats are at risk as we still see many of the diseases for which we vaccinate, most of which are life-threatening. We feel prevention is easier than treatment! We tailor our vaccination program to each individual, so your pet is receiving only the vaccines he/she needs for his/her lifestyle and age.
Does my indoor cat need to be vaccinated?
Yes. Indoor cats still require vaccination. It is true that their lifestyle is less at risk than a cat that goes outdoors, however, many cat viruses are respiratory in nature and as a result spread through the air through open windows, on your shoes, etc. In addition, at the moment, there is a legal requirement for all cats to be vaccinated for Rabies. We do look at our cat’s risks and assess each individual’s need for vaccines separately so please feel free to discuss any concerns you have with the veterinarian at your appointment.
What are FVRCP and core vaccine for cats?
FVRCP is a combination vaccination that protects a group of viruses. It stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia. This is a core vaccine we recommend for all cats, indoor and outdoor. The other vaccine we advise for all cats is Rabies vaccination. Feline Leukaemia vaccines are optional and recommended for those cats that go outdoors or have contact with cats that go outdoors.
How often does my adult cat need to be vaccinated?
We recommend that your cat is examined annually. At that visit, we discuss any changes to the lifestyle and administer any vaccines required.
Are there any risk associated with cat vaccines?
Vaccines by their nature are designed to cause a response in an individual. The goal is to stimulate the immune system into forming protection from disease. Normal responses to a vaccine would be some soreness or fever for 1-2 days after the injection. In some individuals, their response is overproduced, and we can see anaphylactic responses which may include facial swelling, vomiting or diarrhea a short time after receiving the vaccine. These types of reaction are quite rare. If your cat has experienced this in the past, we can administer an antihistamine prior to their vaccination to prevent this from happening again. You may have heard of injection site sarcomas in cats. Fortunately, we do not see these as frequently as we used to, and we feel that the risk that diseases present for your cat are far greater than the risk of forming a sarcoma at the site of an injection. The annual physical exam is the perfect opportunity to have a discussion about any concerns you may have with one of our veterinarians.