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Cat Vaccinations

At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital we can offer the most current advice on preventative health care, including the right vaccinations for your cat. We firmly believe that each animal is an individual and not every vaccine is right for every cat. Our veterinarians will work with you to put together the right vaccine program that is not only essential for your cat’s overall health but appropriate for your pet’s age, lifestyle and travel needs.

Does my indoor cat need to be vaccinated too?

As we treat every pet as an individual, we firmly believe that not every vaccine is right for every cat and this definitely rings true when working with indoor cats vs. outdoor cats. Indoor cats may not require the same vaccines as outdoor cats but it is still important that they get the best possible chance at building a strong immune system early on in life. Although they are not being exposed to viruses outside, indoor cats can be more vulnerable to viruses entering your home. It can also be hard to predict if your cat will stay an indoor cat years down the road or if you will be adopting new kittens in the future, which can pose a threat. Your veterinarian will formulate a unique vaccine program for your cat’s current needs. Vaccine protocols can be modified as their lifestyle changes.

What is FHCP and Core vaccine for cats?

The FHCP vaccine or “core” vaccine for cats consists of Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Panleukopenia and Calicivirus. This is also sometimes referred to as a combo vaccine or “core” vaccine. Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory tract infection and is easily transmitted from one cat to the other. Kittens are most vulnerable to this virus but this can affect any unprotected cat. Cats who are fortunate enough to recover from this virus will remain carriers for life. Feline Panleukopenia (or feline distemper) is a very serious virus and most often deadly. This virus can live in the environment for up to a year and unprotected cats are at very high risk of contracting this virus. Calicivirus is another major cause of upper respiratory tract infection in cats which is widespread and highly contagious. Vaccination is key to stopping the spread of this virus. Once contracted, even successfully treated cats will continue to be carriers, infecting other cats and can continue to show symptoms such as runny eyes, sneezing and gum disease throughout life.

How often does my adult cat need vaccines?

Cats typically require their core FHCP vaccine as well as a rabies vaccine (for those outdoor kitties) once every three years. This is after they have received all of their primary vaccinations as well as their 1 yr booster.

Are there any risks associated with vaccines?

There are always risks with any vaccines however the benefits to vaccinating your kitten typically outweigh the risks. Some of these risks can include minor adverse effects such as a delayed localized tissue reaction, vomiting, fever and or diarrhea. More severe reactions, although rare, can include anaphylaxis.

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