Preventive Care: Cats
Your cat is a special part of your family and we know first-hand how important it is to have all your family members healthy and happy! That’s why proactive and preventive care is so important. After all, it’s much easier to prevent diseases then to treat them!
In addition to your cat’s regular physical examinations, an appropriate vaccine schedule is essential based upon your pet’s specific risk factors. Not every cat will need every vaccine that is available. We listen, and based upon your pet’s lifestyle will recommend the necessary vaccines.
Vaccines stimulate the body’s immune system to form antibodies, which are a major part of the body’s defense system against infection. Vaccines only mimic the real infection so they often need to be introduced as a series of vaccines and then maintained with booster vaccines to keep the immune system’s defenses up. Cats are unique. They are not just “small dogs”. For this reason, Village Veterinary Practice follows the American Association of Feline Practitioner’s vaccine guidelines to best ensure your cat’s health and safety. This means using proven effective, non-adjuvanted vaccines.
What is an Adjuvanted Vaccine?
An adjuvant is a substance that is added to a vaccine to increase the body’s immune response to the vaccine. Adjuvants have been associated with injection site reaction, injection site granuloma, and chronic inflammation in cats. Rest assured our feline vaccines are non-adjuvanted!
Vaccines for Cats
Rabies is a viral infection that can affect all warm-blooded animals. The disease is almost always caused by the bite of an infected animal that has rabies virus in its saliva.
Unfortunately rabies is always fatal once clinical signs of the virus appear. The Rabies vaccine used by VVP is given annually to all cats and is the safest rabies vaccine available for felines.
Feline Distemper (FVRCP) vaccine
This vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and feline panleukopenia and is given to all cats once every three years. These viruses are easily contagious and spread through direct cat-to-cat contact.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) vaccine
This vaccine protects against the Feline Leukemia virus and is given annually to cats that go outdoors or live with a cat that ventures outdoors. FeLV produces immunosuppression, which can lead to other disease, infections or cancer. The disease is transmitted by direct contact with infected cats or with contaminated food dishes or litter boxes.
Although very uncommon, your pet may experience some mild side effects after being vaccinated. These side effects can be seen within a few hours of vaccination administration, but if they persist longer than 1-2 days, please contact our offices. Typical side effects of a vaccine may include the following:
- Discomfort and swelling at the vaccination site
- Mild decrease in activity
- Mild decrease in appetite
More serious, but less common side effects, such as allergic reactions, may occur within minutes to hours after vaccination. Please contact us immediately if you notice any of the following in your pet after a vaccine:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Itchy skin that may seem bumpy (“hives”)
- Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
- Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site of a recent vaccination. It should start to disappear within a couple weeks. If it persists more than three weeks, or seems to be getting larger, please contact our offices.
Another important part to your cat’s preventative care includes parasite screening and prevention.