Recommended Vaccine Protocol (CATS)
Many serious infectious diseases contracted by our pets can be prevented by vaccination. Most cats will come in contact with an infectious disease at some time during their life. Even indoor animals can be exposed to viruses carried in the air, on clothing, or on your hands. Vaccines work for pets just like they do for people. Vaccinations help eliminate the need for costly treatments or even the premature death of your pet. We follow the recommendation of American Veterinary Medical Association to set our vaccine protocol. We divide the available vaccines as ‘core’ and ‘non core’ vaccines. Kittens should not go into high exposure areas (ie: outdoors, or around cats who have unknown vaccination history) until 10 days AFTER all vaccination series have been completed to allow the vaccines adequate time to establish the proper immune response.
CORE VACCINES (CATS)
Rabies is a fatal disease that has no treatment options. As you may be aware, this disease has serious public health significance, and vaccination against rabies in cats is required by law. Vaccination for rabies in cats is started at 16 weeks of age and is boosted once yearly. We currently use a non-adjuvated vaccine in cats to reduce the risk of fibrosarcoma formation.
FVRCP-P, otherwise known as the feline distemper vaccine, protects against and/or reduces the symptoms of four very contagious diseases that cause upper respiratory infections in cats. After the initial series (usually 2-3 vaccines given 3-4 weeks apart) the vaccination is boosted every year. There is also the option for a three-year vaccine, which can be given after the first yearly booster. Again, we use a non-adjuvated vaccine to reduce the chances of fibrosarcoma formation.
NON CORE VACCINE (CATS)
FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)
FeLV is a virus that affects a cat’s immune system. There is no known cure for this disease. Cat-to-cat transfer of the virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (though rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes. The cats at highest risk for this disease are outdoor cats. This vaccine is given starting at 10 weeks of age, boosted after 3-4 weeks (if not previously vaccinated), and then updated yearly. This Vaccine is strongly recommended for all kittens, and for adult cats who have access to the outdoors.
Our recommendation is to verify that your cat is free from this disease before starting vaccination. This can be done using an in-house blood test.