Do you forget to take vaccine for your little baby to prevent them from certain diseases? I know you won’t, same like that; cats also need to take a vaccination schedule to protect them from certain diseases that affects them. These cat vaccinations are a great boon for them as they help them to live a healthy life. Being a cat owner you need to know the different combinations of cat vaccinations. Although some of these vaccines aim at protecting your cat’s life, they are not free of risks. Some cat vaccines are essential for them, whereas some optional. Whether to vaccinate your cat with these optional vaccines depend on various factors. This includes overall health, age, breed and whether there is any possibility of contracting that particular disease in that area of residence.

About cat vaccines

Just like vaccines protect us from several hazardous health concerns, vaccinations for cats are also designed to protect their immune system to fight against various disease causing organisms. Whenever a new vaccine is injected into the cat’s body, it stimulates the immune system. When the immune system is exposed to the disease causing organisms, it is now well prepared to fight it off completely. Or in some cases it lessens the severity of the disease leaving your cat healthy.

Need for a cat vaccination if your cat is healthy?

Basically there are two types of cat vaccines – core cat vaccines and non-core cat vaccines. Certain cat vaccines are needed to keep your cat healthy and protect it from very common life-threatening diseases. These vaccines come under core vaccines. Whereas there are certain vaccines that are optional for your cat, that may not be needed for all cats and can be avoided. Considering your cat’s age, lifestyle, location and medical history, the vet will schedule your cat’s vaccination chart. You just have to follow them for maintaining the health of your cat. To be on the safer side,vet will always insist on giving the core vaccines.

Core cat vaccines

Core vaccines are essential for the overall health and well-being of your cat. These vaccines help to protect your cat against some very commonly found diseases that affect your cat. This means that by following core cat vaccines, your cat is protected from diseases like panleukopenia or feline distemper, rhinotrachetis, rabies and calcivirus. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommends administering these above vaccines every three years. Whether your cat is healthy or not, and whether he needs to be vaccinated every few years or not should be considered only after consulting the vet.

Non-core cat vaccines

Optional cat vaccines are given depending on the age, health, lifestyle and breed of the cat. These include Bordetella, feline leukemia, chlamydophila and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The AAFP does not recommend feline leukemia vaccine for indoor cats that have no exposure to outdoor cats. The FIP and Giardia cat vaccinations are not mandatory. Whether to administer the chlamydophila vaccine is up to you and depends on the prevailing conditions in area of residence.

Right age to vaccinate a kitten?

A healthy kitten gets antibodies from her mother’s milk. If she has a healthy immune system, naturally her kitten will also have strong immune system. These antibodies are capable of protecting the kittens until they develop their immune system.

You can begin the vaccination schedule as soon as your kitten reaches 8 weeks. This can be continued until they reach around 16 weeks of age. Make sure you vaccinate your kitten every 4 weeks.

Do I need to vaccinate my kitten regularly?

Whether your kitten needs a regular vaccination will be notified by the vet. Regular vaccinations, especially boosters should be given only after your vets approval or after consulting with him. A veterinarian is the right person to decide on this. Usually adult cats are vaccinated every year or every three years depending on various factors known to the vet.

Any side effects?

Side effects for the above mentioned vaccines may vary depending on a lot of other factors. These factors include age of the cat, type of vaccine, number of vaccines, breed, whether your cat is healthy or not, whether he is neutered or not and his previous medical history. Side effects start developing within a few hours of administration. Some very common side effects include mild fever, lethargy, decreased appetite and some discomfort around the area of vaccination.

Some of the severe side effects include bumpy skin, continuous vomiting and diarrhea. If the side effects are severe, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Usually the risks are small than disease. Before you take any vaccination always check your cat’s past medical history so that your vet gets a clear idea.