Vaccinations help protect your cat against many deadly diseases. Unvaccinated pets often have a shorter lifespan or need to undergo harsh treatments if they encounter dangerous illnesses. Outdoor cats need vaccinations even more than indoor cats, because they may encounter other cats, wildlife, or tainted water supplies while they explore.
Why All Cats Need Vaccines
Vaccinations for cats work just like vaccines for humans. They allow the body to build up an immune response to certain viruses, increasing the ability to fight off illness if a cat comes in contact with that disease.
Vaccines can stop your cat from experiencing an illness altogether, or allow them to fight it off more effectively. Vaccines can lead to less severe illnesses, shorter treatment times, less pain, and more time with you in the long run.
When Should Cats Have Their Vaccinations?
Kittens should start their core vaccination schedule between 6 and 8 weeks. After that, adolescent and adult cats will need boosters for some vaccinations (like rabies) every one to three years.
How Many Shots Will My Cat Need?
The amount of needle sticks your cat will have depends greatly on where they are in their vaccination schedule. Luckily some vaccinations are grouped together, like the FVRCP vaccination, which protects against three diseases at once.
The Four Most Important Vaccines for Outdoor Cats
While the rabies vaccine is part of the core set of vaccinations for all cats, it is especially important for outdoor cats because of their higher risk of encountering infected wildlife.
2. Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
This highly contagious virus can be transferred through biting, scratching, mucus secretions, and many other ways. It can cause illness for up to two years before a cat succumbs to the virus. Because it is so infectious, it is all the more important to vaccinate against FeLV.
Deadly to half of the cats that contract it, this virus affects the upper respiratory system and is easily spread through cat populations.
4. Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
Once the leading cause of death among cats, thanks to vaccinations, this disease is now rare. However, it can still spread through cat populations quite easily as the virus lives in a variety of places including water sources that have been infected by other cats.
Best Outdoor Cat Care in Gilbert, Arizona
No matter where your cat spends their time, good veterinary care can keep them healthy, and vaccinations can help them live longer. Our highly trained staff can administer the vaccinations your cat needs during their annual check up.
We care about the health of your pet, and we are happy to answer any questions you might have about which vaccinations are most important for your kitty. Contact us to schedule an appointment for an exam and vaccinations today.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/15/23). Photo by Ludemeula Fernandes on Unsplash.