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Five Vaccinations That Your Cat May Need

 by petbucket on 16 Sep 2015 |
3 Comment(s)
If you're adding a new cat to your household, you definitely need to consider how you plan to protect this pet against some of the most common contagious diseases that can damage a cat's health.

The good news is that there are plenty of vaccinations available, and that many of these can help to protect your pet.

However, there are some complications; certain vaccinations are not necessary for indoor pets, and can be expensive (or even cause unpleasant side effects).

Here's what you need to know about the major cat vaccines that will be offered by your vet.
1) Feline calcivirus
When cats contract feline calcivirus, they will develop painful mouth ulcers that often lead to reduced appetite and weight loss. In addition, you will notice the cat sneezing, coughing, and weeping discharge from the eyes. In many cases, calcivirus causes permanent respiratory issues, and in a minority of cases cats will end up suffering from the major symptoms of calcivirus for the rest of their lives. The vaccine is recommended for all cats, whether they live indoors or venture outdoors, and it will protect your pet against some of the main strains of the disease. However, it is worth noting that there are other strains out there, so you should always be vigilant for signs of calcivirus (even after vaccination).
2) Feline infectious enteritis
Sometimes called feline panleukopenia or simple FIE, you may already know that feline infectious enteritis is an incredibly dangerous disease that causes fatalities in almost all cases. To make matters worse, it is very easy to pass this illness from cat to cat. The symptoms typically begin with a heightened body temperature, and ulcers soon develop in the cat's digestive system. As the disease lowers the immune system, the cat becomes vulnerable to other pathogens as well, and quickly deteriorates. Experts tend to recommend that all cats receive a cat flu vaccination, and this recommendation is dramatically reducing cat flu cases year after year.
3) Chlamydia
Chlamydia is a common bacterial infections that causes the symptoms of conjunctivitis (such as red, painful eyes), and upper respiratory issues such as coughing and noisy breathing. These symptoms are typically relieved by a course of strong antibiotics, and the disease is mainly passed between cats that spend time outdoors. As a result, most vets will think that the vaccination is not strictly necessary if you have an indoor cat (especially if she lives alone).
4) Feline herpesvirus
Feline herpesvirus will cause your cat to appear as though she has the flu; she will sneeze, experience discharge from the eyes and nose, and develop a painful sounding cough. While the disease is not always fatal, it leaves the cat with a predisposition to develop other respiratory problems in later life, and most cats with herpesvirus also suffer from repeated eye infections throughout life. The herpesvirus vaccine is highly effective and is recommend for all cats.
5) Feline leukemia virus
Feline leukemia virus (or FLV) can severely reduce a cat's ability to fight disease, and it also makes your pet more likely to develop a range of different cancers. Once a cat has contracted FLV, she is likely to die within three years, and the disease is highly contagious. It tends to be transmitted through saliva, so cats can contract it by sharing water sources or washing each other's coats. If you live in a multi-cat household or plan to let your pet outdoors, you should definitely ask your vet for the FLV vaccine. Given the severity of the disease, you may want to get your indoor cat vaccinated as well, but you must be aware of the fact that some cases develop a malignant growth after receiving the vaccine.


LW - Comment
LW18 Sep 2015Reply
I never heard of most of these vaccinations. Here (New Mexico, USA) my vet only gives Rabies and Distemper vacs. annually to cats.
AbbyandSadiesMom - Comment
AbbyandSadiesMom02 Oct 2015Reply
Here in Massachusetts, USA, we inoculate for everything. I've heard of all (5), but that's probably because I work in an animal shelter. We've seen, first-hand, the deadliness of #2. Kittens are especially susceptible to this deadly disease, since their immune system is not fully developed.

Even though we're a no-kill shelter, if a cat comes in with that disease and it's too late to treat, we are forced to humanely euthanize to protect the cats we already have.

#5 is very important also. Again, if a cat comes in with this one and it's too late, same scenario. If we didn't, it would decimate the entire shelter. This disease is highly contagious and passes between cats like wildfire.

The sad part is, most of these diseases could be either prevented or treated by having cats inoculated accordingly. Think of it as having to inoculate a baby, because really, our fur-kids depend on us for everything.

We do not, however, inoculate for FIV, which is the feline equivalent to HIV (not the same virus, but close enough). The reason we don't is because the shot itself gives a false positive.
Kamarile - Comment
Kamarile02 Oct 2015Reply
As far as I know, most of these are given as a 4 in 1, so the names are usually given as letters. 4-in-1: FVRCP-C includes panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and chlamydia.

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