An Overview of Essential Cat Vaccinations

June 29, 2020 10:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Depending on whom you ask, you might get conflicting information about which cat vaccinations you really need in Phoenix, AZ. Keeping up with your cat’s vaccinations and boosters is key to keeping them healthy, but sometimes the warnings about negative effects can scare owners.

Generally, there are required (core) vaccinations, along with some optional vaccinations that your vet may recommend, depending on your home, lifestyle and other factors. Here is an overview of the required vaccinations as well as the optional ones.

Required (core) vaccinations

The essential cat vaccinations in Phoenix, AZ are for feline conditions that are found throughout the world. These offer protection with very minimal risk to your cat, and should be performed no matter what. These diseases can be devastating, especially to young cats. The latter three vaccinations are all performed in a single injection:

  • Rabies: We’re all familiar with rabies, although it’s usually associated with dogs and raccoons, among other wildlife. Unfortunately, cats can be rabid, too—and because the fatal disease can be passed on to humans, it’s recommended that every pet cat get a rabies vaccination.
  • Feline panleukopenia (FPV): This is often referred to as feline parvovirus, which can attack and kill kittens. Vomiting and diarrhea weaken their systems and make them especially vulnerable to secondary infections.
  • Feline rhinotracheitis virus/herpesvirus 1 (FRV/FHV-1): This is an upper respiratory disease that can cause your cat to exhibit severe symptoms, like congestion, sneezing, conjunctivitis and pneumonia. What’s worse is that even if your cat recovers, the disease will reactivate during times of stress, and your cat will experience these problems all over again.
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV): This disease is thought to be related to persistent gingivitis, which inflames the gums and teeth. It can cause oral ulcerations, hair loss, crusting and even hepatitis.

Optional vaccinations

Other vaccinations for cats may not be required, but may be recommended by your vet based on a variety of conditions:

  • Chlamydophila felis: This disease can cause an upper respiratory infection and conjunctivitis, but not all cats are at risk. Your vet will be able to tell you whether it’s wise to get this vaccine for your cat, depending on your circumstances.
  • Feline leukemia virus (FLV): While this is technically an optional vaccination, it’s important for kittens—and it may be necessary for high-risk cats. Talk to your veterinarian about whether you need to administer this vaccination to your older cat, and at what frequency.
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica: This is a bacterial disease that causes problems in your cat’s upper respiratory tract, such as fever, wheezing, swollen lymph nodes, coughing, nasal discharge and loss of appetite. It’s commonly spread in kennels and less-than-hygienic conditions, and tends to attack young kittens most frequently. However, older cats can be affected too.

As a cat owner, taking your cat’s health seriously is important to keeping them happy and healthy (even if they clearly express their displeasure at having to go to the vet). If you’re worried about potential adverse effects or are concerned about cat vaccination costs in Phoenix, AZ, be sure to talk to your local vet. At Christown Animal Hospital, we treat you and your pets like family—call to schedule an appointment today.

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