When adding a new cat to a household, there are a few things to keep in mind: litter boxes, types of food, and toys to keep your new pet entertained. The most important thing, however, is to make sure your cat is fully protected from common diseases. Vaccination is key to disease prevention, and some vaccines can be purchased online for the convenience of an owner. If you’re comfortable with needles, you can visit many online pharmacies and companies that provide the vaccinations you need to protect your pet. Read on to learn what the vaccines protect against and how you can visit Vet Products Direct for cat vaccinations.
The common cat vaccines combine multiple virus protections into one injection. The most common diseases these vaccines protect against are the following:
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) – This disease, caused by feline herpesvirus, is sometimes referred to as the “feline flu” because it shares similar symptoms with the human version. Cats with this disease will have sneezing, discharge from the nose and eyes and loss of appetite. While these symptoms can be mild, if left untreated, this viral infection can turn into pneumonia which may require your cat to stay in the hospital for treatment.
- Calicivirus – Calicivirus is a viral respiratory infection similar to feline viral rhinotracheitis. Both diseases will cause a cat to have sneezing and discharge, but calicivirus can be deadlier if not treated promptly. This virus also causes bleeding ulcers of the mouth and nose which can be painful for the cat and cause a loss of appetite. Cats with calicivirus may also start limping when they walk as their joints become inflamed and painful in response to the virus.
- Panleukopenia – Unlike the previously mentioned viruses, this virus does not cause respiratory disease. Also known as “feline distemper” or “feline parvo”, panleukopenia is one of a handful of viruses that can be passed to a developing kitten inside mom. Kittens born with panleukopenia have under-developed brains and have issues with walking and coordination as they get older. Older cats can contract this disease from sharing bedding, food bowls and litter boxes with infected cats. The virus can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea that can lead to dehydration.
- Chlamydia – Not always included in combination shots depending on the brand, this bacteria causes respiratory issues similar to the ones seen with feline viral rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. This bacteria is typically seen in cats that have been in high population shelters or other sources of overcrowding. If left untreated, this bacterial infection can also lead to pneumonia which will require medical intervention.
The Vaccination Schedule
It is recommended to start your new cat’s vaccine schedule when they are six to eight weeks old. Before this age, kittens are still protected by mom’s antibodies, and this maternal protection can make the vaccines less effective. Much like children at a pediatrician’s office, growing kittens have a set schedule to make sure the vaccines are properly boostered for effective protection. Typically, starting at the first vaccine at six to eight weeks, vaccines are repeated every three to four weeks until the kitten is 18 weeks of age. After finishing the kitten series of injections, the vaccines only need to be given annually to ensure protection. If your cat happens to be an older rescue, and you’re unsure of their vaccination history, veterinarians recommend completing two combination vaccines four weeks apart then moving onto annual vaccines from there.
By selecting the right vaccines for your new cat and following the proper booster schedule, your new cat can spend many healthy years as your furry family member.