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When to vaccinate cats?



(February 25, 2010)

Cats also need to get vaccinated just like human beings and other animals. Vaccination is important to boost a cat’s immunity level against viral and bacterial infections. Vaccines are mostly given through an injection and contain a mild form of the infection or dead virus, which basically stimulates the body’s defense mechanism against that form of infection in the future.

The ideal time to vaccinate your cat is after six weeks of its birth. Before that, it is possible that their maternal antibodies interrupt the response of the vaccine. The maternal antibodies usually start to drop between six and eight months. The recommendation is for a two shot protocol at eight and 12 weeks, a booster at one year, and vaccinations at three year intervals thereafter. However, outdoor cats may require an annual vaccination because they are more exposed to the diseases transferred by other animals (from the external environment).

It is always advisable to get complete check-up done on your cats before the vaccination and the recommendation is once a year. It is important that the cat is healthy during the vaccination to avoid any kind of problem occurring subsequently. If any problem or concerns arises during the health checkup, you should make sure that you treat that particular problem (or disease) and then administer the vaccination.

After the vaccination, there are chances of unexpected responses (side effects) such as skin lumps or a mild fever, which generally disappears after a few days. These days, vaccinations are safe and the chances of encountering diseases after a vaccination are very rare. In some unfortunate and rare cases, even a healthy cat may not respond properly to the vaccine; in this case, a proper examination is required to determine the reason. Six years back the development of a cancerous tumor in connection with the rabies vaccination was reported in some part of the U.S and U.K; however, those were very rare instances.

Here are some diseases against which cats must get vaccinated:

•    Herpes virus and calcivirus disease:  This is commonly known as the cat flu. It causes upper respiratory problems, skin problems, eye problems, and sometimes, mouth ulcers, and can be fatal. The vaccine for this should be given at three year intervals after the primitive doses.

•    Feline infectiousenteritis: This is also known as feline panleukopenia. It is a severe kind of infection and is often fatal. It can affect the immune system badly and recovery could be delayed. The vaccine for this should be given once in three years, after giving a one year booster dose.

•    Feline leukemia virus: This infection could last for life without showing any kind of symptoms. It is advisable to get a proper blood test done before administering any kind of vaccination.

•    Rabies vaccine: It is recommended for outdoor cats as well as indoor cats. The vaccine for this can be given once in three years, after giving a one year booster dose.

Submitted by M A on February 25, 2010 at 12:04

 

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