If you are the owner of a friendly feline, you will probably already know a little about the importance of vaccinations as a part of your pet’s veterinary care. Vaccinations are a type of preventative care. This means that they help prevent your kitty from being affected by something which could cause her harm. In the case of vaccines, they protect her from a variety of serious and often fatal viruses and infections.
These illnesses can cause painful and debilitating symptoms, and worse still, many can be transmitted easily to other animals or even the humans in your family. Therefore, vaccinations are not only important for your pet, but they are also essential for the wider animal and human population. So much so that over the course of the last 50 years, vaccinations have saved the lives of millions of animals and people worldwide.
Most veterinarians will recommend that general cat wellness examinations take place every year, and a minimum of an annual visit is recommended for most cats that are between 1 and 7 years of age. However, wellness appointments encompass more than just preventative vaccinations. Other elements of your kitty’s visit will include a physical examination, a dental check-up and discussion of other types of preventative she may need, such as flea/tick protection.
Will my cat be vaccinated at her yearly check-up?
Although vaccinations will be discussed at your cat’s yearly check-up, your feline furbaby may not need vaccinating each time. The reason for this is that the protection offered by each vaccine lasts for a specific length of time. During this period, the vaccine remains active in your cat’s body, triggering the immune system to keep producing antibodies that would fight the real virus or infection should it come into contact with your cat. However, once the vaccine starts to become less effective, the number of antibodies being produced will diminish and eventually cease altogether. When this happens, your kitty is more likely to be affected by the disease which the vaccine would prevent.
Aside from the initial course of vaccinations that your kitty will receive in her first year of life, and her first booster, most vaccines will remain effective for up to around three years. This means that it is highly unlikely that your cat will need yearly vaccines. We strongly recommend that you follow the schedule of vaccinations designed specifically for your pet by your qualified and experienced veterinarian.
I don’t know my cat’s vaccination history; how do I know if she is protected from disease?
If you have adopted a cat without any vaccination history, your vet will almost certainly want to restart this aspect of preventative care. This will usually mean beginning with a primary course of vaccinations as if she were a kitten. This involves a series of core vaccines, plus your vet may also recommend non-essential varieties if he/she feels that your kitty’s lifestyle warrants it.
Again, since every animal is unique, your vet will recommend a comprehensive schedule of vaccinations. These should be administered at the times given to ensure that your kitty has adequate year-round protection against serious and sometimes deadly diseases.
If you have further questions about cat vaccinations, or if you would like to schedule an appointment for your feline furbaby with our veterinary team, please do not hesitate to contact out offices.