Complete Guide to Cat Vaccinations: Schedule, Risk and More

Complete Guide to Cat Vaccinations: Schedule, Risk and More

Hi everyone! It’s your favorite feline blogger - Milo back at it again. Today I am going to give you a complete guide to cat vaccinations. It’s important to keep up with your pet vaccinations because this will ensure your fur baby is happy and healthy at all times. I’m not going to lie to you, getting shots is no fun for anyone involved. My human, Jeff, sometimes must deal with a grumpy Milo after I have to get shots. But it is always worth it.

Why are vaccinations important?

Vaccinations are particularly important to keep up with to make sure your furry friend is healthy and happy. It’s important to get vaccinations because they will protect your kitty from various viruses and bacteria. In addition to protecting them from these illnesses, they also will help keep your cat’s immune system strong and healthy. If you have a cat that spends any time outdoors, you will want to check with your vet to see if there are any additional shots they need to protect them from viruses in the wild. It’s important to note that even if your kitty is only an indoor cat, that they still need to get their vaccinations when they are due. Vaccinations help your cat’s immune system stay strong so they can fight off any viruses to which they are exposed. Of course you hope that your kitty is never exposed to anything that could potentially hurt them, but taking the preventative approach is extremely effective in this case.

What vaccinations do indoor cats need?

The type of vaccinations that your cat will need will depend on their age. I gave my best tips on discovering your furry friend’s age here. Kittens begin getting their vaccinations when they are 6 weeks old.

Yearly cat vaccinations

They continue with a series of vaccinations every few months of their first year. A year after their first vaccination, they will need to have a booster shot. As cats get older, they won’t need their shots every year but might need them every two years. Your vet will be able to recommend the best practices for your kitty’s age.

Booster vaccination for cats

A booster shot is an additional “boost” to the original vaccine to help make your furry friend’s immune system even stronger.

Free vaccination for cats

If you are worried about being able to afford vaccinations for your cats there are some options for you. The ASPCA has a list of low cost programs on their site here. You can also look into local veterinarian schools that might be able to offer lower costs due to being a teaching vet.

The two main vaccines that your indoor cat will need is a Rabies vaccine and FVRCP. The rabies vaccine obviously protects your kitty from rabies. It is possible for your fur baby to catch rabies even if they are an indoor cat only. This is why it’s so important to get your cat vaccinated even if they don’t spend time outside. FVRCP stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus, and Panleukopenia. This shot can also be referred to as a “distemper shot”. This shot will protect your furry friend from the most common types of upper respiratory diseases. It also protects your kitty from what is known as the “Feline Distemper Virus”.

In most places, the only vaccine that is required by law is the rabies vaccine. This does not mean that you shouldn’t get the other vaccines for your furry friend. Your vet will know best when recommending vaccines for your kitty that match their specific needs.

If your cat spends time outdoors

If your cat spends any amount of time outdoors, it’s important to take a few extra steps in taking care of your furry friend. First, you will want to make sure that your kitty gets a vaccine for feline leukemia and bordetella. Both vaccines protect your cat from picking up diseases or viruses from other cats outdoors. Specifically, bordetella is known to spread within vet’s offices, kennel centers, and grooming spaces. It’s important to get this vaccine if you bring your cat to any of these places often. As your cat gets older, they will need to get their shots every few years. This is dependent on each specific vaccine and how long it lasts. In addition to these vaccines, if your cat spends time outdoors you will want to make sure they have some sort of flea protection.

Cat vaccination side effects

As with any vaccine, for humans or cats, there will always be the possibility of side effects. In most cases, your kitty will not experience any side effects after getting a vaccine. Over the years, these vaccines have been perfected to make sure they are safe and effective for your fur baby. If your cat does experience side effects from a vaccine, they likely will not last long. If you notice that any of these symptoms last more than a few days, you should contact your vet to make sure everything is okay.

The main possible side effects that your cat may experience are changes in their eating habits, changes in their restroom habits, vomiting, diarrhea, swelling, or irritation where the shot was given, hives, fever, and lethargy. Like I mentioned earlier, these side effects are not very common. But it is important to be on the lookout for them in case your furry friend does experience any of them. Veterinarians believe that the benefits of  vaccines for your kitty far outweigh the risks.

As a cat parent, you are most likely to do just about anything to make sure your furry friend is safe and healthy. Keeping up with your furry friend’s vaccinations is a huge step in achieving this goal. Even if your cat only spends time indoors, there are still vaccines that they need to have to make sure they are aging with grace. Some of the viruses I mentioned above can travel through the air or be carried by other pets. Cats are known to live long lives in comparison to other household pets. In these cases, cats that live longer usually have humans that pay attention to their medical needs and make sure they are always met. As a cat parent it is likely that you will want to do whatever you can to protect your kitty from anything that can hurt them. Vaccinations are a great way to do this! I know that vaccinations are needed to make sure I am healthy, but all of this needly talk is seriously freaking meowt! See you soon in our next post!

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