Protect your cat from dangerous and contagious diseases with essential vaccines.
Regular vaccine boosters are important to keep cats protected for life from highly contagious upper respiratory illnesses and deadly rabies and feline leukemia. At Roncy Village Veterinary Clinic, we will recommend a vaccine schedule that is tailored to your cat’s vaccine history and lifestyle and avoids over-vaccination while keeping your cat completely protected.
FVRCP (feline herpesvirus, calicivirus and panleukopenia): The FVRCP vaccine protects your cat from a group of primarily upper respiratory cat diseases that are common, highly contagious, painful and can be fatal.
Rabies: The rabies vaccine protects your cat against deadly and untreatable rabies (which bats can spread to indoor cats). It is required by law, so keeping your cat up-to-date on their rabies vaccine also protects them from strict public health quarantine laws if they have contact with a rabid bat or other animal.
Feline Leukemia: Feline leukemia is a serious and eventually fatal disease that weakens a cat’s immune system. It is spread through direct contact with other cats. We recommend that all kittens receive the feline leukemia vaccine to give them initial immunity at an age when they have a higher risk of infection, but it is optional for adults. Cats should get the feline leukemia vaccine if they go outside or if they are exposed to other cats (such as foster cats or other feline visitors).
Once your cat has fully completed their kitten vaccine series, including booster vaccines when they are 16 months old to lock in their initial immunity, they can transition to an adult vaccination schedule. As long as they stay up to date, we only give the FVRCP combination vaccine to adult cats once every 3 years. A 3-year rabies vaccine is also available. If they miss a year, or if a cat’s vaccination history is unknown, they will need a booster one year later before returning to a 3-year schedule. The feline leukemia vaccine doesn’t last as long, so your cat needs a booster every year to remain protected.
While every pet is different and reactions or allergies to a vaccine can occur, these are rare and are usually mild, such as soreness at the injection site, lethargy, or loss of appetite for a day. The veterinarian will always discuss potential vaccine risks with you and instruct you on what to watch for. Overall, the risks posed by vaccines are far lower than the risks of the diseases they protect your cat from.
Vaccines train your cat’s immune system to recognize dangerous diseases, but if your cat is unwell then getting vaccines at the same time could put too much of a burden on their immune system. Additionally, if your cat’s immune system is already fighting something, it may not be strong enough to create antibodies in response to the vaccine, which means the vaccine will not work. This is why veterinarians are only allowed to give vaccines after performing a physical exam to ensure your cat is healthy at the time of vaccination.
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