Ginger cat getting a vaccination shot

Vaccines have been proven to prevent diseases that can cause your pet significant harm and may even be life-threatening. The vaccine for Rabies helps prevent cats from contracting this disease that can be passed on to humans.

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Does my indoor cat need to be vaccinated?

Even indoor cats are susceptible to disease. Some viruses like Feline Leukemia and Rabies do not survive well or for long once outside of the host animal while others can survive in the environment and on objects, increasing the risk of their spread. We recommend that indoor cats be vaccinated with FVRCP to protect against upper respiratory viruses. In areas where Rabies is a concern, it is safest to protect cats with the vaccine for this fatal virus that can be passed on to people.

What are FVRCP and core vaccines for cats?

The term “core vaccines” relates to the vaccines that the majority of cats will receive, barring specific medical considerations. What is determined to be core will depend on your cat’s lifestyle and the risk of contracting diseases. Indoor cats will all receive a single injection termed FVRCP that will protect against three viruses – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia. These viruses can survive for longer periods, including on inanimate objects, once they have left the host animal’s body, increasing the risk of your cat coming in to contact it. Outdoor cats will receive this vaccine as well as protection against Feline Leukemia and Rabies. Feline Leukemia and Rabies do not survive well outside of a host and therefore require direct transmission from infected animal to your cat. Due to this, it puts outdoor cats at increased risk.

Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be passed on from pets to people. As Rabies is a fatal virus, many vets will advocate for all pets, whether indoor or outdoor, to be protected with this vaccine.

How often does my adult cat need to be vaccinated?

The frequency of vaccination depends on the type of vaccine administered. Your vet will discuss which vaccines are best for your pet and then follow the company guidelines around frequency. Some will need boosting every 12 months and others will only require administration every 3 years until the cat reaches adulthood. Regardless of the vaccine schedule, all cats need annual physical exams to keep them on the right track and help them live long and healthy lives.

Are there any risks associated with cat vaccines?

Thankfully, medicine is ever developing, and great strides have been made to make vaccines very safe for the average cat. While there are no risk-free medical treatments, if they occur at all, reactions to vaccines tend to be limited and controlled. Vaccine reactions may include mild fever, lethargy, decreased appetite or swelling at the vaccination injection site. The signs usually subside within 24 to 72 hours.

More severe allergic reactions are rare and can include swelling, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, pale gums, difficulty breathing and collapse. If you see any of the above signs in your cat, please proceed directly to your veterinary clinic. Also, have someone call en route for you so the team can prepare for your arrival.

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