Vaccinations for Cats
Vaccinations for Cats
Core Vaccines (Recommended for Every Cat):
Rabies - Rabies virus attacks the nervous system and can cause clinical signs that include erratic behavior such as episodic aggression, irritability, restlessness and unexplained roaming. Other signs may include uncoordinated movement and seizures. Rabies is transmitted by a bite wound through the saliva. Wild animals that can spread this virus include bats, skunks, foxes, and raccoons. In humans, this disease is highly fatal if not treated.
Feline Upper Respiratory Combo
Feline panleukopenia - This virus attacks rapidly dividing cells and, most commonly, causes suppression of white blood cell production. Most cats infected with this virus show no signs of disease but young kittens can have anorexia, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and progressive diarrhea. Adult cats, although they may not show signs of the disease, can spread the virus in the environment where it can survive for more than a year. FVP can be transmitted in all body excretions, including feces.
Feline viral rhinotracheitis (Feline Herpes Virus) - This virus also causes upper respiratory signs but it can also cause corneal (eye) ulcers. Cats infected with this virus carry the virus for the rest of their lives and can have recurrences of clinical signs during times of stress. It is spread when an infected cat coughs or sneezes or by casual contact.
Feline Calicivirus - This virus causes upper respiratory signs such as runny eyes, runny nose and sneezing. It can also cause oral ulcers, pneumonia and, rarely, arthritis. It is spread by aerosolization when an infected cat coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by contact between cats. For example, it can be spread by nose-to-nose contact, sharing food/water bowls or when grooming.
Recommended for Special Circumstances:
Feline pneumonitis is caused by the organism Chlamydia psittaci. Signs of pneumonitis are similar to those of FVR and FCV.
Feline leukemia Virus ( FeLV ) - Feline Leukemia causes immunosuppression, major organ system degeneration and/or cancer. Signs of this disease are usually vague and include weight loss, decreased appetite, depression, vomiting and diarrhea. Cats can also get secondary infections because of the decreased immune system function. This virus is spread by casual contact between cats. This vaccination is recommended for cats that are outside unsupervised, cats that are in contact with outdoor cats and cats that live with FeLV positive cats.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis ( FIP ) - FIP can cause fluid congestion or aggressive organ destruction. The virus is spread in the feces and oronasal secretions. Unfortunately, this vaccination is not commonly recommended because it is not very effective.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus ( FIV ) - Signs of FIV can be from direct viral effects or, because this virus causes immunodeficiency, from secondary infections. Direct viral effects include chronic diarrhea, anemia, low platelets, engaged lymph nodes, kidney insufficiency and behavioral abnormalities. This vaccination is not commonly recommended because it is not very effective. In addition, once a cat has been vaccinated, there is no way to discern whether the cat truly has the disease.