Many people know that they should vaccinate their dogs, but fewer realize that their feline friends need to be protected with vaccinations as well. Here at Forest Hill Animal Hospital in Germantown, we understand the needs of your cat and can make sure that they are up to date on their vaccines to avoid preventable illness.
Core Vaccines for Cats
The vast majority of experts agree that there are certain vaccines that are considered core vaccines for cats, which are vaccines that should be given to every cat. These core vaccines are rabies, feline calicivirus, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and feline panleukopenia – also known as distemper.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommends that these vaccines be given every three years. They note, however, that cats that might be considered at an elevated risk of exposure – such as those cats that spend a lot of time outside – might require more frequent vaccinations.
Non-Core Vaccines for Cats
Non-core vaccines are those that are only given to certain cats. Whether or not a cat needs a non-core vaccine depends on factors such as the cat’s health status, breed, and age as well as the risk factor of that cat being exposed to the disease. Another consideration is the geographic area the cat is in and the prevalence of the disease in that area.
These non-core vaccines include those for:
- Chlamydophila (feline upper respiratory disease)
- Bordetella (also known as kennel cough)
- Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
- Feline leukemia (FeLV)
The feline leukemia vaccine is not recommended for adult cats that live entirely indoors with zero exposure to other cats. In fact, the AAFP recommends against this. However, it is recommended for all kittens to receive this vaccine regardless of their living conditions.
One final consideration is whether to use a modified live virus (MLV) or a dead strain of vaccine. It is recommended that MLV vaccines are used, as they stimulate immunity quicker.
Protect Your Cat with Vaccines in Germantown
To make sure your feline friend is safe, call the caring, friendly staff at Forest Hill Animal Hospital at 901-754-5007, or visit us at our office in Germantown to schedule an appointment.