So, which vaccines do cats need? Making sure that your cat is up to date with their vaccinations is one of the most important pet parent responsibilities.
By ensuring appropriate inoculation against unfriendly bugs and illnesses, you are helping to keep your cat safe and happy. Which also means less time at the vet and more time playing and snuggling with your fur baby!
But why are vaccines so important? And where do I start?
Never fear, kitty pals – you’ve come to the right place!
If you’re considering getting a cat, or perhaps you’re a new cat owner, this handy starter guide about vaccinations and feline illness is the perfect map to direct you where you need to go.
Table of Contents
Which Vaccines Do Cats Need?
- Vaccinating your cat is important to keeping your kitty healthy. But also preventing the spread of any diseases to other cats too
- Some common feline ailments to watch out for as a pet parent include: fleas, worms, diabetes, upper respiratory infections, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and cancer
- Your cat will need different vaccines depending on their developmental stage and health needs. Some common cat vaccines include: the FeLV vaccine, the rabies vaccine, and the FVRCP vaccine which targets feline rhinotracheitis virus/herpesvirus 1, Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Panleukopenia
Here at Fluffy Kitty we want to reiterate that we are not animal medical professionals. Therefore our number one piece of advice will always be to consult your vet when looking to vaccinate your cat. This is so you can ensure that you receive the appropriate professional medical advice for your pet.
With this in mind, we hope that the information outlined in this blog will give you a bit more insight into the importance of vaccinating your cat.
As well as which vaccines your cat will require to keep them happy and healthy.
Why Should I Vaccinate My Cat?
Vaccinating your cat is the most efficient way to stop your cat contracting diseases.
They are a preventative measure that has saved the lives of millions of kitties all across the world!
Not only do vaccinations protect your cat, they also help to keep other cats safe. If your cat can’t contract an illness, it can’t be passed onto other cats. Therefore benefiting other fur babies and pet parents alike.
Cats are often vaccinated during infancy to protect them when they’re at their most vulnerable. It also helps to ensure they can develop safely.
Kittens should be kept indoors until they are fully vaccinated. This is to avoid illness and infection.
Your kitten will require two sets of vaccinations:
- the first set at 9 weeks old, and
- the second at three months old
Both kittens and cats will then require further booster vaccinations (usually repeated once a year, however this can vary per vaccine type). This is to keep them continuously protected against nasty bugs and infectious diseases.
If you are rescuing or buying a fully grown cat, check with the shelter or breeder if the cat is up to date with their vaccinations. You can also use this as a chance to check whether they’ve previously had any other ailments or illnesses.
You can then register your cat with your local vet. This’ll help to ensure that your cat’s vaccination and other health needs are appropriately seen to.
Indoor-only cats need vaccines, too to ensure their safety. However, ask your vet for vaccine admistration alternatives to injection as injections can cause injection-site sarcoma cancer, or FISS. This is what Yoda developed.
Feline Illnesses and Ailments to Be On the Lookout For
Cats are curious by nature, and so enjoy searching and exploring nature (just like our fluffy boy Yoda!) But during these adventures, they may meet other feline friends along the way.
Whilst this freedom and stimulation is beneficial to a cat’s development and happiness, it also exposes them to possible diseases, infection and bacteria. Which can, in turn, make them poorly or cause discomfort.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of common cat illnesses and ailments will give you the best support as a loving and assertive pet parent. It will mean you’re able to get them the treatment they need quickly, so they can get back to top health and continue exploring.
Some of the more common cat illnesses to be aware of include:
A usually harmless but extremely uncomfortable affliction which can infect cats, humans and homes. Fleas are little vampiric parasites that suck blood from their host. Unfortunately, the bites leave sore, itchy bumps on the skin.
Fleas are a pest but easily prevented by applying regular flea treatments to your cat. As well as regular grooming and checking your cat’s skin and fur for marks and hair loss.
Worms are truly unpleasant for kitties and cat parents alike! There are multiple types of worms which can afflict your cat. For example: intestinal worms such as tapeworms, ringworm, as well as more serious forms of worms such as heartworm.
Be on the lookout for any changes in your cat’s weight and appetite, a change in toilet habits, signs of bloating, vomiting, coughing, gagging and breathing issues, as these are all possible indications of worms.
Similarly to fleas, worms are often easily preventable through regular worming tablets and treatments.
Some worms can even be transmitted to and contracted by humans. So it is especially important to be vigilant when it comes to worm infestations.
Just like humans, cats can also develop diabetes. Which is a condition that requires close monitoring and appropriate treatment.
Keep an eye on your cat and consult your vet if you notice your cat demonstrating increased thirst, increased urination, changes in their fur, weakness, lethargy, reduced appetite or weight loss. These could all be indicators that your cat is diabetic.
- Upper respiratory infections
Nose, sinus and throat infections are fairly common in cats, but they can cause intense discomfort for your kitty.
Some of the symptoms to watch for: coughs, congestion, sneezing, runny nose, fever, rapid or open-mouth breathing, drooling, gagging, eye rubbing or squinting, no or low appetite, ulcers in the mouth and nose, etc.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
A slow-acting disease that affects and weakens a cat’s immune system. A cat may not experience symptoms until years after infection.
To keep your cat as healthy and happy for as long as possible, it’s important they receive appropriate medical care for this disease.
Contracted through bites and wounds, and in some cases can be passed from mother to kitten. Some of the signs to look out for include: weight loss, low appetite, eye and nose discharge, sneezing, wounds that don’t seem to heal, fever, inflammation of the mouth and gums, etc.
A scary word that is understandably feared by most kitty moms and dads. Cancer is a vicious disease – but it is no longer a death sentence.
Cancer is now very treatable, particularly if caught early. Keeping a close eye on your cat means you can intercept the disease before it progresses too far.
Different types of cancer can evoke different symptoms in cats. So if you notice any different or unusual behaviors in your cat, it is vital to consult your vet. This will be beneficial in ruling out more sinister reasons for their symptoms.
What Core Vaccines Do Cats Need?
Consulting your vet is the most important first step when it comes to vaccinating your cat.
This will ensure that you receive the appropriate and correct medical advice on which vaccinations your cat will require. And also how often they will need booster jabs to maintain safety against infection.
Some of the illnesses which cats are commonly vaccinated against include:
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV vaccine)
A virus that is passed through bodily fluids, which then damages a cat’s white blood cells and makes it harder for them to fight infections. This can become fatal.
A usually fatal virus which attacks a cat’s central nervous system. It results in paralysis of the body and vital internal systems such as the respiratory system.
With such a low mortality rate linked with this disease, it is vital to vaccinate your cat against rabies.
- Feline rhinotracheitis virus/herpesvirus 1 (FVR/FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPV) (administered through a single FVRCP vaccine):
- Feline rhinotracheitis virus/herpesvirus 1: characterized as an upper respiratory infection. This virus can become active again even after recovery due to a latency period in a cat’s nerves.
- Feline Calicivirus: another upper respiratory infection, Calicivirus can cause nasal discharge and sneezing, as well as oral inflammation and ulcers. In more intense cases, the virus can cause crusting, hair loss, hepatitis, and can even be fatal.
- Feline Panleukopenia – an extremely infectious disease, proving a high kitten mortality rate. With white blood cells being eradicated by the virus, kittens become more likely to contract secondary infections. This is a very dangerous disease for little ones.
Symptoms to watch out for include low appetite and energy, followed by diarrhea and vomiting.
The Wrap-Up on Cat Vaccines
So, in summary, here’s the need-to-knows about cat vaccinations and keeping your kitty clear of nasty bugs:
- Vaccinating your cat is a vital step to maintaining your cat’s health and safety from diseases and infections.
Not only does inoculation keep your cat safe, it also stops the spreading of illness onto other cats. Keeping all the kitties happy and bug-free!
- Cats, particularly those who like to explore the great outdoors, will be exposed to bacteria and diseases which could make them sick.
And so it is super important to watch closely over your pet, reporting any changes in behavior or appearance to your vet. Catching things early is one of the best forms of defense against long-term illness.
- Whether you have a kitten arriving soon or are thinking of rehoming a fully-grown cat, it is vital to ensure that they are kept up to date with vaccinations and boosters.
This is in addition to being aware of any issues in their medical history. So that you can be aware if they’re carrying a virus. Or that they may be more susceptible to certain illnesses and infections.
We make it our mission as pet parents to keep our fur-baby Yoda safe and healthy. All so we spend less time worrying and more time having adventures!
Take a look at some of our other blogs for more info on different elements of cat health and safety. And also, make sure to let us know if there are any topics of kitty care you’d like us to cover in the future!