Congratulations on your decision to have your cat vaccinated. Vaccines are the cornerstones of preventive health care throughout your pet’s life. When injected, a vaccine triggers the immune system to produce antibodies, which like soldiers, stand ready to defend against that invader in the future. This antibody army needs periodic retraining and thus the need for regular revaccination. There are many vaccines on the market today against numerous diseases. We use the purest vaccines available to insure the best antibody response with minimal, if any, post vaccine reactions. Following is a list of the vaccines offered at Pet Street Station Animal Hospital along with current recommendations on when they are appropriate. Our recommendations are in alignment with the latest AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines
- Rabies: Currently the cases of feline rabies in the U.S. far exceed those in all other domestic animals. Because rabies can be transmitted to humans and is always fatal, New York State law requires that all cats be current on rabies vaccination. The initial vaccination is one injection no earlier than 12 weeks of age. In kittens this is typically give between 12 and 16 weeks of age, with a booster once year thereafter for the life of your cat.
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (herpes), Calici and Panleukopenia ( FVRCP): These three viruses cause widespread disease in the cat population. Rhinotracheitis and calici virus account for 80% - 90% of infectious upper respiratory tract diseases. In kittens, signs are usually severe and sometimes fatal. Once infected, many cats become chronically sick and become a source of infection for others. Panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, and similar to parvovirus in dogs, killed thousands each year prior to development of the vaccine. We strongly recommend that all cats be vaccinated for these three viruses at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. A booster is given 1 year following the last dose of the initial series and then once every 3 years for the life of your pet.
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV): This is currently the leading viral killer of cats. Infection is transmitted by saliva, bite wounds, via urine and from an infected mother to her kittens. 80% of infected cats die within 3 years. All cats who go outdoors or who come in regular contact with cats that go outdoors are at risk of exposure. Cats living indoors with other cats whose infection status is unknown or positive are also at risk. Kittens younger than 4 months old are at greatest risk if exposed. We recommend that all cats be tested for Feline Leukemia. All kittens should be vaccinated the first year, and receive a booster one year after that. Adult cats who go outside or who are exposed to outdoor cats should continue to be vaccinated annually for the life of your cat. Indoor cats who test negative and either live alone or socialize only with other FeLV free cats may not need to continue to be vaccinated after the 1 year booster. Remember, however, do not bring any other cats into your household unless they test negative for the virus and will not be allowed back outdoors again. Kittens can start the vaccine at 8 weeks of age with a booster 3 – 4 weeks later and annual booster thereafter. If your cat is in the “at-risk” group we highly recommend this vaccine.