Most veterinarians agree that cats should be vaccinated against those diseases that are widespread, cause serious illness and/or are highly contagious. These are called “core” vaccines. Other vaccines may be recommended based on the risk of individual cats being exposed to particular diseases; these are called “non-core” vaccines. Vaccines may, but don’t always, provide absolute protection against the disease vaccinated against. Sometimes, vaccines only reduce the severity of symptoms if a cat becomes infected. The American Association of Feline Practitioners has published guidelines as to which vaccines should or should not be given to cats, and when they should be given. Veterinarians differ in their recommended vaccine protocols, depending upon where they are located and the lifestyle and health of their patients. It is always best to consult with your cat’s veterinarian to come up with the best vaccination schedule for your feline friend.
Most vaccines are given by injection through a sterile needle either under the skin (subcutaneously) or into the muscle (intramuscularly). Some vaccines can be administered in drop or mist form, into the nostrils or eyes. The most novel way to give vaccines is transdermally, which involves applying them topically to the skin. Some vaccines are given in combination; these are called “multivalent” vaccines. Multivalent vaccines have antigens for several diseases combined in a single
A vaccine is a liquid suspension of killed or attenuated (weakened) microorganisms – typically viruses or bacteria - that is administered to prevent or lessen the risk of infectious disease. “Attenuation” is a process that reduces the virulence of an organism, which means that it decreases the organism’s ability to multiply and cause illness. Attenuation can occur naturally or in the laboratory. Attenuated (modified live) vaccines are made from living organisms that still will replicate
Core vaccines for cats are those that most veterinarians and feline authorities recommend all cats be given. Preferably, core vaccines will be given in a short series to kittens after they reach 6 to 8 weeks of age, followed by booster shots at varying intervals. The precise protocol for feline vaccinations may vary based on geographical location, the cat’s age and health status and the preferences of the veterinarian and owner. This article discusses the
Feline leukemia virus can cause a multitude of disorders, including tumors, bone marrow and immune system suppression, weight loss, chronic infections and anemia. Some cats don’t develop symptoms for several years after they become infected. FeLV vaccines are not completely protective in all cases, but they may reduce the severity and duration of clinical disease. FeLV vaccines may be recommended for cats entering a household with a cat known to be infected with the virus.