Are you a first-time cat owner? If so, you are among the 25 percent of households in the country that has a cat. There are many reasons so many people have a cat for a pet. Besides being low maintenance, cats are great companions that reduce feelings of loneliness and can even decrease stress and anxiety. When a child has a cat, it can help them become more responsible. While cats are pretty independent, they do require regular trips to the veterinarian. One important part of these visits to the vet is pet vaccinations.
If you would like to know more, here are the answers to three frequently asked questions about pet vaccinations for cats.
1. When Should Cats Receive Pet Vaccinations?
Thanks to the colostrum in their mother's milk, baby kittens are immune to diseases when they are born. However, this immunity wears off over time. For this reason, it's important that kittens receive their first pet vaccination when they are between six and eight weeks old.
Boosters will be then required until the kitten is between 15 and 17 weeks old. It's important to note that if your kitten is sick, they should not get a pet vaccination, as this could make their illness worse.
2. What Pet Vaccinations Should Cats Receive?
Your veterinarian will help you determine which pet vaccinations your cat needs. The pet vaccinations that all cats should get are called core vaccinations. These core pet vaccinations include:
- Feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1)
- Feline calicivirus (FCV)
- Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV)
- Feline leukemia virus (FLV)
All of these diseases can be spread from one cat to another. These diseases can cause serious symptoms, such as weight loss, high fever, and dehydration. When cats have serious symptoms such as these, it can be hard for them to fully recover. Rabies is another core pet vaccination for cats as there is no cure for this fatal disease.
Some pet vaccinations aren't required and will only be necessary for cats that venture outdoors or are around other animals. These are called non-core pet vaccinations. Some examples of non-core vaccinations include feline immunodeficiency virus, feline chlamydia, and feline Bordetella.
3. What Are the Side Effects of Pet Vaccinations?
You might think that a tiny kitten will feel pain when they receive their pet vaccinations. This is not true, however, as the needle is small and most kittens don't have any reaction whatsoever when they get a shot. Cats usually don't have any side effects after a pet vaccination. However, some cats might experience a decreased appetite, swelling at the injection site, and a low-grade fever.
Scheudle your pet's vaccinations at a local animal hospital, such as Apple Valley Animal Hospital.