Frequently asked Questions about Cat Vaccines

What vaccines are recommended?

We recommend the Distemper and the Rabies Vaccines. The other vaccine available is the Feline Leukemia Vaccine.

What do the vaccines prevent against?

Rabies Vaccine prevents against the rabies virus which is fatal in both people and pets. In some areas it is required by law.

Distemper Vaccine prevents against several viruses and a bacterial disease.

The most obvious component in Feline Distemper also know as Panluekopenia. This virus causes lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea and anorexia. It can be fatal.

Rhinotracheitis is another virus that causes upper respiratory infections or colds. Some cats if they get this disease can become carriers and infect other cats even though they appear healthy.

Another virus that can cause upper respiratory infections is Calicivirus. This is a highly contagious virus and can cause not only upper respiratory infections but also pneumonia and ulcers or blisters on the tongue. Once again even if recovered cats can continue to be carriers and infect other cats. Some will even develop a chronic form of this disease.

We also include in our vaccine a bacteria called Chlamydia. This bacteria also causes upper respiratory infections and pneumonia. It usually affects the eyes however causing conjunctivitis. This bacteria can be transmitted to people.

Feline Leukemia Vaccine is for a virus that causes leukemia in cats. This disease can be spread through contact with infected cats or through saliva. Once infected signs of the disease do not appear right away, they can take years to show signs. Signs of Feline Leukemia can show up as leukemia, cancerous tumors (lymphoma) or normal diseases they can’t recover from because their immune system has been affected. There is a test for this disease and it is recommended when you first bring your cat home. This disease is fatal once symptoms occur.

How often does my pet get these vaccines?

Rabies Vaccine is given every 3 years. However the first vaccine has to be boostered in one year.

Distemper Vaccine is given yearly. However in young kittens or cats who have never been vaccinated two or three boosters are needed separated by 3 weeks.

Feline Leukemia Vaccine is also given yearly, but again in young kittens or cats that have never been vaccinated a booster is needed separated by 3 weeks.

Are there any reactions I should look for?

Vaccine reactions are rare in cats. Some cats will become lethargic and won't eat for a few days. Other reactions are facial swelling, scratching, vomiting, or collapse. Usually the signs occur anywhere from immediately to 5 hours. If you notice any of these signs in your cat let us know immediately.

What if I can't give my cat vaccines?

We can take a blood sample and check titers. These are measures of how the body has responded to the vaccine.