Cat Vaccinations 101

Cat Vaccinations 101

April 5, 2022

Vaccinations are essential to the overall health and well-being of your cat. They are proven to stop the incubation and spread of potentially fatal diseases. If you need cat vaccinations in Saint Francisville, it’s crucial to learn what vaccinations are required and when you can schedule them. Read on to learn more about cat vaccinations.

How Does a Vaccine Work?

Vaccines stimulate the immune system to identify and fend off a particular microorganism such as a virus or bacteria. The immune system then becomes prepared to react to future infections with the microorganism. Vaccines mimic the infection to give you protection in the future. Vaccines cannot prevent illness, but they can provide the body’s immune system with a better chance to fend off the disease. 

When Should Cats Get Vaccinated?

Kittens can start getting vaccines between six and eight weeks old and about four months old. Boosters should then occur once a year later, and there is a series of shots every three to four weeks. Adults are vaccinated less often, but usually, every one to three years, depending on how long the vaccine lasts. 

What Vaccines Do Cats Need Each Year?

The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends specific vaccines for cats. You can discuss which ones are needed with your veterinarian. However, the following vaccines are commonly recommended:

  • Rabies
  • Feline Leukemia
  • FVRCP 

Boosters are recommended yearly but could be more often depending on your cat’s exposure to disease. Indoor and outdoor cats will differ in the types of vaccines that are recommended. Your cat’s lifestyle should be discussed with a veterinarian to determine the necessary vaccines. 

Side Effects of Cat Vaccinations

The majority of cats do not have any side effects from vaccines. Any reactions are generally mild and temporary. In rare cases, there are some severe side effects to look out for. They include:

  • Fevers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives and redness
  • Swelling near the injection site 

You should contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect serious side effects so that care can be administered right away.

Do Vaccines Protect Cats?

Vaccines are highly effective for protecting the majority of cats. However, in some cases, there are breakdowns or vaccine failures. Reasons include:

  • The vaccine is not effective in protecting against different strains of the virus.
  • Derived antibodies that block the effect of a vaccine
  • Stress can prevent a positive response to a vaccine.
  • An underperforming immune system occurs with age and the vaccine is not effective.

Risks of Vaccines

There are minor risks to vaccinating your cat. Veterinarians can discuss all potential risks, but there is more significant harm than good without the vaccine. It’s not common for an allergic reaction, but you should contact a vet immediately if signs like vomiting or difficulty breathing occur. 


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