Essential and Non-essential Cat Vaccines

Cat vaccinations can be expensive, but do you know that some are not really needed by your cats? Depending on your cat’s activity and risk factors, your cat can do away with some of these expensive vaccinations that some vets insist to make money. Therefore, it’s important for you to know the essential and non-essential vaccines and the cat vaccinations that should be avoided all together. You’re not only going to save money, you’re also going to save your cat’s life from some vaccine side effects.

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Essential Cat Vaccinations

There are only four essential cat vaccinations that you should not miss for your cat.

1. Feline distemper vaccination – Caused by parvovirus, a feline distemper disease is lethal; but it’s highly preventable by the feline distemper vaccine which all cats should get when they reached 8 to 9 weeks old. The vaccine is administered on the shoulder area either just under the skin or into the muscle depending on how the vaccine is prepared. After the first dose, another dose is given in 11 to 12 weeks old. A booster dose is required after a year and every 3 years thereafter.

2. Feline calicivirus vaccination – Feline calicivirus can cause lethal disease of the upper respiratory tract, which manifest as sneezing, colds, conjunctivitis, and mouth ulceration. That’s why feline calicivirus vaccine is second on the list of important cat vaccinations. It’s given when the cat reached 10 to 14 weeks old, and a booster dose is given after a year and every 3 years thereafter.

3. Feline herpes virus vaccination – Causing acute upper respiratory diseases in felines known as rhinotracheitis, feline herpes virus is preventable by cat vaccinations. The initial dose is given when your cat reached 10 to 14 weeks old, and the booster shots are given a year later and every 3 years thereafter.

4. Rabies virus vaccination – Not only is rabies deadly to your feline companion, it can be deadly to you too if you get infected from coming into contact with your cat’s saliva. Therefore, it’s imperative that all cat owners should have their mousers vaccinated against rabies. The rabies vaccine is given in 12 to 16 weeks old, the booster shot is given a year after, and in every 3 years thereafter.

Non-essential Cat Vaccinations

Depending on situations, whether or not your mouser is at risk of contracting diseases, some cat vaccinations are optional. Your cat is at risk if it’s an outdoor cat or you have other outdoor pets in the house such as a dog. Here, your cat needs these following vaccines:

1. Feline chlamydiosis vaccination – Only if your cat is exposed outside you need this vaccine. Moreover, there are other treatment options in case your cat gets infected, so the vaccine is not given much priority.

2. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) vaccination – If your cat is exposed to other aggressive neighbor cats, then you need it vaccinated against FIV. But if your cat is highly gated, then you can do away with the vaccine.

3. Feline leukemia virus (FLV) vaccination – If your cat is exposed to other cats with FLV, then it should get its shot. If you have knowledge that your cat’s parents developed the disease, the shot is warranted too.

The point to remember about these cat vaccinations is the risk factor. If your cat is not at risk, then the vaccine will just expose your cat to vaccine side effects, and you’re also going to expose your pocket to expensive vet fees.

Cat Vaccinations That Should Be Avoided

There are also cat vaccinations that should be avoided all together because of their known side effects. Instead of giving your cat a good chance of a healthy life, you’re just going to expose it to life threatening events such as allergic reaction to vaccines. These are the feline infectious peritonitis and the giardiasis vaccines according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel.

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