In order to give your pets the best chances for a long and healthy life, you need to check with your vet to see what vaccinations your pets may need every year. Feline vaccines are administered on a schedule, and when you buy or adopt a kitten, you must establish veterinarian care right away to protect your pet. A cat vaccine like vaccines for humans stimulates the immune system so antibodies are produced against diseases which protects cats from being affected by environmental pathogens. If an immunized cat is exposed to dangerous pathogens, the vaccination ensures he won’t get sick; antibodies react quickly to attack the disease, keeping your precious new pet safe and sound.
Most vets agree that kittens should get the following vaccinations at 7-9 weeks of age:
• Calicivirus (FCV)
At 12-13 weeks old, they should receive boosters of these vaccines and then again at 16-18 weeks of age. At those times, they will also need to get vaccinated against feline leukemia (FLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS). At 12-14 weeks of age, the kitten will also need a rabies vaccination. The vaccination schedule of kittens must be monitored by a trained vet because the immune system of kittens is immature and incapable of mounting a good antibody defense to the vaccines that we administer. Because it’s not really known when to vaccinate, vets give a series of three or four injections so at least one of them will work.
Adult Cat Immunizations-
Once your kitten has grown, you must continue to protect him from deadly disease by getting him adult cat immunizations. One benefit of requiring yearly vaccinations, such as rabies, is that vets get to see the pet once a year, which allows him to detect disease early before it progresses to a deadly stage. Many vets detect disease while their examining the pets prior to booster shots. By law, rabies vaccines are required yearly, but studies have shown that a vaccination will provide up to three years of protection. However, to ensure your cat stays healthy and safe, a yearly rabies shot as well as an exam is important.
Most vets recommend that cats receive annual booster vaccinations for two years into adulthood for these diseases: feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis and feline calcivirus. After that, every four-five years is fine. Indoor cats require less frequent booster shots than outdoor cats, so be sure to ask your vet about that.
Pharmaceutical companies are working on more advanced dog and cat vaccines. New advances even include intranasal vaccines which go in the cat’s nose which means fewer shots. The Heska Corporation in Fort Collins, Colorado recently launched two intranasal feline vaccines for panleukopenia, calcivirus and rhinotracheitis. You’ll want to pay attention to your pet vaccinations so they’ll enjoy a long, safe, healthy life.