Vaccinations for cats: timing and basic rules of vaccination

Vaccinations for cats: timing and basic rules of vaccination

Some owners mistakenly think that vaccinating domestic cats is not necessary. After all, a pet does not come into contact with its relatives, does not walk on the street and has no other opportunity to pick up an infectious disease. Indeed, the domestic cat is less likely to be infected than its free-living cousins. At the same time, the environment in the house is far from sterile and the cat can easily become infected by contact with shoes or other wardrobe items of their owners who have been on the street. Well, if the animal is accustomed to independent walks, takes part in exhibitions or is taken out in the summer to the country, then disputes about the need for vaccination generally lose their meaning.

Vaccination is an effective and inexpensive method of preventing the most common and dangerous diseases for cats. Timely vaccinations make it possible not only to save the life and health of a pet, but also to save on expensive treatment in case of infection.

What is the danger of infectious diseases

 

All vaccinations are divided into mandatory and recommended. Vaccinations against such diseases are mandatory:

  • Panleukopenia (feline distemper). A dangerous, difficult to treat, viral disease in which the digestive organs, respiratory organs and heart are affected, as well as general dehydration of the body. In case of untimely provision of veterinary care, death occurs in 90% of cases. The disease is especially dangerous for kittens and older animals.
  • The cause of the disease is the feline herpes virus (FHV-1). With the disease, fever, nasal congestion, tracheitis (damage to the upper respiratory tract), conjunctivitis are observed. The disease is difficult to diagnose, often flows into a chronic form, and the herpes virus remains in the cat’s body even after treatment. The probability of death ranges from 5% to 20%.
  • One of the most common dangerous viral diseases. Infection occurs through direct contact with a sick animal, from the mother to kittens, while walking while sniffing the secretions of other animals, by air, as well as through human shoes or clothing. The main symptoms of the disease are fever up to 40 ° C and above, the appearance of ulcers on the oral mucosa, conjunctivitis, profuse salivation, coughing and sneezing, bad breath, pneumonia. The disease does not pose a danger to humans, however, in cats, in 30% of cases, it leads to the death of the animal.
  • A fatal disease characterized by damage to the brain (meningoencephalitis) and spinal cord. It is dangerous not only for the animal, but also for humans.
  • Owners who truly care about the health of their pet also vaccinate against the following diseases:
  • Feline chlamydia. The causative agents of the disease are intracellular parasites (chlamydia). The mucous membrane of the eye (conjunctivitis), the respiratory tract, the digestive system and the genitourinary system are affected. There is a small risk of human infection.

What vaccinations are given to cats and when

 

In newborn kittens, immunity is developed thanks to the substances contained in colostrum, but it lasts no more than 16 weeks. The first vaccination of a kitten is recommended upon reaching 8-10 weeks of age. At this age, the baby is injected with a vaccine against calcivirosis, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia. Rabies vaccination is given at the age of at least 12 weeks and, in most cases, is carried out simultaneously with the revaccination, which is carried out 3-4 weeks after the first vaccination. It is recommended to use the same brand of drug as the first time.

The timing of vaccination may differ slightly depending on the recommendations of the manufacturer of a particular type of vaccine. Within two to three weeks after vaccination, the baby’s contact with the outside world should be limited, not taken out for walks, not transported in public transport and not allowed contact with other cats, since the development of active immunity begins no earlier than 10 days after the drug is administered …

Annual cat vaccination

 

Adult cats are also susceptible to the diseases listed above, just like kittens. The vaccines used provide persistent immunity for one year, therefore, repeated vaccinations should be carried out no later than 12 months after the previous vaccination throughout the life of the animal.

Basic rules for vaccination

 

To maximize the effect of vaccination and ensure maximum protection of the animal, owners should follow a number of recommendations:

  • 10-12 days before vaccination, deworming should be performed and parasites (fleas and ticks) should be eliminated. Otherwise, the weakened body of the animal may develop an insufficient amount of antibodies to maintain immunity.
  • Follow the vaccination schedule. At each vaccination, a note is made on the date of vaccination in the veterinary passport of the pet and the label of the applied vaccine is pasted.
  • In case of any health problems of the cat (signs of a cold, lethargy, lack of appetite, indigestion, fever, inflammation of the mucous membranes, etc.), vaccination is postponed until the animal recovers and can only be performed after examination by a veterinarian. Also, weakened and emaciated animals are not subject to vaccination.
  • In the case of a planned surgical intervention, vaccination is performed no later than three weeks before the operation, and no earlier than three weeks after.
  • At least two weeks should have elapsed since the last time you took antibiotics.
  • It is not recommended to vaccinate kittens under 8 weeks old, as well as during the period of teeth change (at the age of 4-7 months).
  • It is forbidden to vaccinate cats during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Only high-quality vaccines should be used, while paying attention to the date of manufacture and storage conditions (live and killed vaccines should be stored at 4-8 ° C).
  • Owners are required to closely monitor changes in animal behavior after vaccination. In case of allergic reactions, lethargy, prolonged refusal to drink, you should contact your veterinarian. It should be borne in mind that a slight decrease in cat activity in the first few days after vaccination is quite normal.
  • During the procedure, the cat should be in a calm state. The owner can take the animal in his arms, calm him down with stroking and voice. It is also allowed to carry out the procedure in a home environment familiar to the cat.
  • After the vaccination, the owners must provide the cat with nutritious, but easily digestible food, a sufficient amount of drink and create a comfortable indoor climate (protect the cat from drafts and prevent hypothermia).

You should not save and vaccinate your cat on your own. It is recommended to entrust the choice of the vaccine and the implementation of the necessary procedures to a professional; in this case, the veterinarian is fully responsible for the quality of the drug and compliance with storage conditions. In addition, most modern veterinary clinics offer a veterinarian home visit service, which allows owners to save their own time and not stress the animal during transportation.

When choosing a vaccine, you should pay attention to the presence of a certificate issued by an authorized veterinary supervision body and instructions translated into Russian. The following drugs have proven themselves well: NobivacTRICAT and NobivacRabies (Netherlands), Quadricat (France), as well as the domestically produced vaccine Multifel-4.

Complications

 

If all recommendations are followed and quality drugs are used, side effects after vaccination are observed in no more than 0.5% -1% of animals. The most common complications include:

  • An allergic reaction to the components of a particular drug. Allergy symptoms (salivation, shortness of breath, involuntary defecation, inadequate behavioral reactions, and others) appear within a few minutes after the injection, so it is worth observing the pet’s condition for 15-20 minutes and not leaving the clinic immediately after vaccination. If an allergic reaction is detected, the veterinarian will prescribe the necessary antihistamine.
  • Vaccination of an already infected animal (incubation) at a time when the external symptoms of the disease have not yet had time to manifest. Such cases are extremely rare, however, they can lead to complications of the disease and even death of the pet. To avoid contamination, a two-week quarantine should be observed before vaccination, and a veterinarian should be asked to conduct a complete examination of the pet.
  • The appearance of a bump or redness at the injection site. This reaction of the body is quite normal and should not cause concern to the owners. After a few days, the redness, induration or bump will disappear without a trace.

Serious complications are extremely rare, and the risk of their occurrence cannot be compared with the risk to the health of the animal if the vaccination is refused.

 

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