Vaccines are a preventive treatment against diseases, consisting of inoculating virus or inactivated bacteria or attenuating in the body, so that it produces defense antibodies against said virus. Until the kitten has been weaned, and subsequently dewormed (from the first month of life), you will not be able to start the vaccination process.
DISEASES OF CATS
All cats are susceptible to infection, and therefore must be immunized against the following three diseases:
1. Feline panleukopenia: it is an often lethal gastroenteritis, which causes loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
2. Feline calicivirus: severe viral infection that causes ulcers.
3. Rhinotracheitis: causes cold-like symptoms.
WHEN TO VACCINE A CAT
The vaccine that immunizes against these diseases is called "Trivalent", and the veterinarian must give it to your kitten at 2 months of age. In the third month, it will be applied again as a reinforcement.
If your cat has access to the outside and contact with other cats, it is recommended to also vaccinate against feline leukemia, which affects the immune system and often has fatal consequences for the life of the animal. This vaccine should also be given after 2 months, and apply a booster 2 to 4 weeks later.
In addition, and throughout the life of your cat, every year you should go to the veterinarian to inject a souvenir dose of each of the types of vaccines mentioned.
In geographical areas where there may be a risk of rabies, rabies vaccination may even become mandatory. So is it if you plan to travel with your cat, and cross borders within the European Union.
There are other vaccines to protect cats from certain diseases, but it is only recommended to be given if they are exposed to specific conditions (in shelters or hatcheries, when an outbreak of a certain disease occurs).
What should be considered before vaccinating?
It is equally important to protect your cat from diseases through vaccines such as knowing the risks and their side effects. Since in Spain the laws differ from one autonomous community to another, it is your duty to inform you about which vaccines for cats are mandatory and which are optional.
If you decide to vaccinate your cat you must make sure it has a good health and that is dewormed Y well fed. Deworming is done at about six weeks of age of the kitten. The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on compliance with these requirements, since otherwise it could weaken your pussy further. If your cat is sick or weak, the vaccine will have no effect or the immune effect will not be enough.
From what age can kittens be vaccinated?
The first vaccine for cats can be given after weaning, that is, at approximately eight weeks of life. This will be the trivalent vaccine, which offers protection against panleukopenia, calicivirus and rhinotracheitis. It is the most important because it protects your kitten from dangerous diseases at this early age. In the first weeks of life, the kittens are protected by antibodies obtained from the mother, which circulate in the blood. Since in this period the ability of kittens to develop their own immunity against pathogens is limited, a revaccination is required after a few weeks. In the event that cats have already completed three months at the time of vaccination, a single vaccine is enough to create good immunity.
Is it necessary to vaccinate cats that do not leave home?
Indoor cats do not have contact with other unknown cats, so they rarely become infected with pathogens. However, also there are typical diseases in cats that can be transmitted without contact with other cats. This is the case, for example, with distemper (panleukopenia) and feline flu (rhinotracheitis). For this reason, indoor cats must also get vaccinated against these diseases.
This vaccine immunizes the cat against panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. It is usually administered between the eighth and ninth week of life of the kitten and needs a revaccination three or four weeks after the first dose. In addition, a souvenir dose every year or every three years, according to the composition of the vaccine and according to the lifestyle of your cat (if you do not leave home or if you have access to the outside). The veterinarian will tell you exactly how often vaccines should be given. Let's see in detail each of the diseases against which the trivalent vaccine for cats protects.
In most cases, panleukopenia or distemper is caused by feline panleukopenia virus. It bears some resemblance to the pathogen of parvovirus in dogs. The contagion is made from one animal to another, but also through the objects in which the pathogen is found.
This virus can spread rapidly and presents great resistance, so it can become a permanent danger for unvaccinated cats. It can be found both in the droppings of sick cats and in those of cats that have already been cured. It is frequent that this disease affects young cats, although older cats may also have it. The first symptoms of distemper usually appear three to nine days after infection. Some of these are weakness, lack of appetite, fever, rejection of food and vomiting.
Rhinotracheitis and calicivirus
Rhinotracheitis or feline influenza is triggered by herpesvirus and calicivirus. Although it seems harmless, this disease is very contagious and can cause pneumonia or blindness in the cat. If left untreated, it can become deadly.
Rabies is a deadly disease. The rabies vaccine not only protects your cat, but also you as the owner because it can be transmitted from animals to people and be deadly even to them. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about fifty thousand people die every year in the world because of rabies. The pathogen of this disease is the rabies virus (Lyssavirus or rhabdovirus).
If you want to travel with your cat outside the country, it is mandatory to put it on. The most affected by this disease are the felines that leave home. From the fourth month of life You can now take your cat to the vet to immunize it. Depending on the composition of the vaccine, it is necessary revaccinate every one or three years. You can consult the veterinarian for more information about the vaccine.
Feline leukemia (leukosis)
Feline leukemia or leukosis is a disease that still has no cure. It causes tumors and disorders in the formation of blood cells. The main ones affected by feline leukemia are the cats that have access to the outside. If this is the case with your cat, you should vaccinate it. from the ninth week of life. TheRevaccination is necessary every year or every three years, but this information can be requested directly from the veterinarian.
Compulsory vaccines in cats
Most likely, when you go to the veterinarian's office with your cat For the first time, you're pretty lost. Something fundamental for the issue of vaccinations of your cat It will be to have a recommended or known veterinarian.
It is important that the veterinarian has your trust or that of someone close to you who can assure you that both the prices and the treatment will be the best for you and your cat.
There are some cases (the least frequent), in which veterinarians take advantage of the ignorance of the owners to inflate the price of the vaccines or inject some vaccines that you could save yourself
The first thing you should be clear about is the vaccines for your cat that are mandatory:
- Feline Trivalent: Acts against feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirosis and feline viral rhinotracheitis.
- Rage: Mandatory in some Spanish autonomous communities, such as Andalusia, Castilla la Mancha or Comunidad Valenciana in which you also have to put yourself in ferrets. To know if it is mandatory in your autonomous community you can find information on the Internet or consult your veterinarian. We, if in doubt, we would recommend putting it as it remains mandatory for animals traveling abroad and it never hurts to protect our cat. We don't say this to the tun tun So for you to see that it is a common vaccine we copy the mandatory map of rabies vaccine in dogs in Spain:
Recommended vaccines in cats
Besides the Feline and rabies trivalent in communities where it is mandatory, it is recommended to vaccinate the cat of Feline Leukemia.
The Feline Leukemia It is a dangerous disease, but the cat's exposure to it and the actual risk of contracting it should be evaluated. This disease is much more frequent in cats that live with other cats, for example in hatcheries or protectors.
For domestic cats that never come in contact with others, vaccinating Leukemia may not be necessary.
You should consult with the veterinarian about the risks involved in giving the vaccine and decide whether it is worth it or not. In some cases the Feline Leukemia vaccine can cause sarcoma, so it is punctured on a hind leg to affect other vital organs if it occurs.
We are not veterinary experts but the sarcoma does not sound good to us, so if your cat is not in a risk group, Most likely, the vet would advise against it..
Feline Vaccination Calendar
This is a summary calendar of the vaccines you should give your cat and when to do it Trivalent feline (the most important vaccine) should be given when cats stop breastfeeding their mothers, since if they are put before weaning, it may not be effective.
Once vaccinated Kittens is essential that after 3-4 weeks of the first vaccine, a souvenir is put on to ensure that its effects are correct.
If in your Autonomous Community the vaccine of rabies in cats, then, you must put it before the year of life of the cat, as it happens with leukemia in case the veterinarian advises to put it.
Rabies and leukemia vaccines are given in 2 doses. As we have seen before the year the first one will be put on and when the year of life is reached and reaching adulthood, the second one will be put on.
All vaccines They need reinforcements when a period of time passes. Some veterinarians recommend revaccinating cats every year to ensure the protective effect, however, others claim that vaccines do not lose effectiveness until 3 years, so the revaccination could wait.
Follow the advice of your veterinarian and ask him any questions you may have about it, as well as the period he considers necessary to revaccinate.
It is important that you consider the savings of revaccination only every 3 years, but even more important is knowing for sure that your pet is protected, so decide well.
We hope we have resolved some questions and we invite you to ask us anything in the comments.
What are cat vaccines?
First of all, it’s worth it to be clear what are vaccines for cats, whose operation is similar to that given in those tested with people. In these cases, viruses or microorganisms are inoculated in a controlled manner, such as bacteria, which are the cause of the most serious diseases that these animals can suffer.
By administering these small infections antibody formation will be stimulated by the immune system. This circumstance implies that the organism gets used to fighting these threats through its own defenses, which will enable healthier and more robust cats.
When can you give your cat the first vaccine?
You must be clear that you will not be able to vaccinate your cat until they spend their first two months of life. During these first four weeks the kitten will be breastfed by his mother, which will serve him to receive the energies and defenses he will need throughout these first days of life.
It is as if there were a transfer of food and energy resources by his mother, but the guarantees against the diseases of this transfer of resources begin to fail towards the seventh week of breastfeeding. Therefore, weaning, which occurs when the kitten turns two months old, mark the ideal time to think about administering the first vaccines for cats.
Write down the vaccination schedule for kittens
The second thing you should keep is that, for vaccines to take effect, you have to scrupulously follow the administration agendas that veterinarians recommend, especially, when cats have been in the world for a short time. Remember, on the other hand, that there are vaccines that these professionals consider mandatory and others that they see as optional. Among the first, no doubt, we highlight the one known as trivalent vaccine for cats.
It is named for the fact that it strengthens the body of kittens against three diseases: feline panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirosis. When two months ago, they can give your kitten the trivalent vaccine. And a month later they will have to put a reinforcement. This reinforcement is essential so that the kitten's defenses can continue to have "memory" against the threats posed by the diseases cited.
On the other hand, if your cat is going to take to the streets or have contact with other animals of its kind (as, for example, happens in competitions), it is worthwhile for veterinarians to convert the trivalent vaccine into tetravalent, what they get by adding to their effects those of preventing feline leukemia. The tetravalent vaccine will require the same reinforcement one month after the trivalent one.
Finally, when the kitten turns four months old, you can vaccinate against rabies, although we inform you that this vaccination It is not mandatory in Spain today. However, you have to consider it in case you are going to travel to countries where it is.
And what vaccines should be given to adult cats?
Once you have vaccinated cats during their most vulnerable life periods, in their first months of existence, with their corresponding reinforcements, you will only have to take care that renew these vaccinations once a year. With one dose for each vaccine you will ensure that your cat will have the defenses ready to avoid the most recurrent diseases among its species.
On the other hand, keep in mind that if you adopt an adult cat, you should not improvise with vaccinations. It is important have a test that rule out diseases such as feline immunodeficiency and leukemia. And, if you vaccinate a cat that had already contracted the disease from leukemia, you would cause a true decompensation in the precarious balances of your health that would put you at risk.
Consequences of diseases against which cats are vaccinated
In the following lines we explain what inconveniences cause the diseases included in the tetravalent vaccine in cats, which are some of the ones that most affect these cats.
● The feline panleukopenia It resembles dogs parvovirus and stands out for its very high mortality (80% in younger cats and 40% in adults). It is very contagious and the reduction of white blood cells causes them to weaken and become dehydrated, in addition to diarrhea and vomiting.
● The rhinotracheitis It is a contagious disease of the respiratory tract.
● The calicivirus It has similar effects to the flu.
● The feline leukemia It is deadly and contagious and implies a weakening of the immune system and the appearance of tumors.
● The Rage It is a deadly disease and it is spread by bites.
Other diseases against which you can vaccinate your cat
Although veterinarians do not consider vaccination against these diseases mandatory, it may be advisable, if you want to have a greater security about your health, vaccinate your cat against, for example: feline infectious peritonitis, which is deadly and incurable and requires a nasal vaccine, and feline immunodeficiency, the effects of which are similar to those of HIV in people.
The latest news when vaccinating
The experience offers clues as to how to proceed to administer vaccines correctly. In this sense, it has been discovered that it is worth vaccinate cats by injections in different areas and away from the vital organs of animals, since repeating areas can cause dangerous sarcomas and cancers.
In short, you already have the basic information of the cat vaccinations. If in doubt, consult your trusted veterinarian.