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Feline Vaccines

Cat getting a veterinary check-upWe’re not going to lie, having a kitty IS all fun and games! But amidst the purring, cuteness, and cuddles, there are a few not-to-be missed steps to ensure your kitty thrives. The most important is to take your feline friend to the vet! Working with your veterinarian to find the schedule of feline vaccines that’s right for your kitty will keep her protected against certain diseases—and also prevents the spread of disease in your community.

Two of the “core” feline vaccines are Rabies and FVRCP.

  • Rabies is a viral infection spread by bite wounds from an infected animal, and can be fatal for both animals and humans. Vaccinating your pet against rabies is a legal requirement in Washington state. Rabies is not a thing of the past—there have been cases of rabid animals in the Puget Sound area in recent years—so keeping your furry friend up to date doesn’t just comply with the law. It helps keep yourself, your kitty, and your community safe.
  • FVRCP is also known as the vaccine for feline distemper. The letters FVRCP stand for the viruses it protects against: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. All three are potentially life-threatening viruses that can affect your beloved kitty’s health.

When you take your kitty to their first check-up, your veterinarian will go over these important vaccines with you and create a vaccination schedule for your kitty. For more information, you can also visit the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Feline Preventative Care Guidelines.

Still have questions? Be sure to ask your kitty’s veterinarian! Here are two of the most common questions regarding vaccines:

“My kitty is indoor only, why would I need to vaccinate her?”

Good question! We’re glad to hear that your kitty is living a happy, healthy life indoors. (Staying indoors greatly lowers your cat’s risk of accidents, predators, parasites, and illness.) There are still important reasons to vaccinate your kitty. Rabies vaccination is legally required, and both the Rabies and FVRCP vaccines are safety precautions.

  • Vaccinations ensure that if your kitty accidentally escapes and ends up outside or in a shelter after going missing, she will be safe and protected from the most dangerous viral threats to cats.
  • If you need to board your cat while you take a vacation, the kitty will be required to be up to date on their vaccines.
  • If you have a kitty friend visit, make sure all the cats are vaccinated.
  • Are you and your cat going through a stressful life event? Vaccines can also help prevent viral flare-ups.

“Are there any other vaccines that my cat will need?”

A licensed veterinarian is the best person to consult about which vaccines your cat needs. Rabies and FVRCP are generally considered the two “core” feline vaccines, and the most necessary. There are also a few other additional “lifestyle” vaccines, that may be important depending on your kitty’s age, health, and living situation.

Authored by SAFe Rescue

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