Your cat’s health is important and one of the most important steps you can take to prevent major diseases and illnesses is through cat vaccinations. There are a variety of vaccinations available, and most are provided at certain times in your cat’s development. Here is more information about vaccines for your cat at Dames Point Animal Hospital, what they’re for, and why you shouldn’t hesitate to give them to your cat through our veterinarian in Arlington, FL or Beaches, FL.
Getting Started With Cat Vaccines
All kittens should have an initial examination between 6 to 8 weeks, which is designed to assess your kitten’s overall health. In general, your kitten’s vaccine schedule will start between 10 to 12 weeks, but tests will be performed during the initial visit, such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FeLV/FIV) screening. This is designed to learn if your cat is already infected with certain dangerous diseases and determine whether they need vaccinations earlier.
Building a Vaccine Schedule
As your cat develops, there will be certain key times when they should receive a vaccine that we will review with you. Here are some of the common vaccines all kittens should receive.
The rabies vaccine is not only designed to protect your cat from this disease, but also you. Cats can transmit rabies to a human host. Rabies is recommended for all cats and under Florida law you are actually legally obligated to vaccinate your cat against this virus.
Feline Leukemia virus
Feline leukemia virus is transmitted through saliva, biting, sharing food and water, and through nasal discharge. In fact, this virus can even be transmitted from mother to kitten in uterus or through nursing. This virus works by attacking your cat’s immune system, and most cats will show signs of anemia, weight loss, lethargy, respiratory infection, and cancer. In some cases, this virus is deadly. This vaccine is recommended if your cat is at risk for exposure or if your cat tested positive for this virus. The vaccine doesn’t offer total protection and may have some serious but rare side effects due to the vaccine. However, the risk of contracting feline leukemia virus for certain cats is far greater than the risks presented by this vaccine.
This parvovirus, also known as feline distemper, is spread through litter boxes, cages and bowls. It can even remain contagious for years on a surface, underlining the threat of this virus. Cats ingest it orally from areas where another cat has defecated, and it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and sometimes death. The only way to prevent this virus is through vaccination. Vaccines for panleukopenia offer almost total immunity to this virus and should be offered at around 12 weeks of age and additional boosters at a later date.
Feline calcivirus and viral rhinotracheitis
These two viruses cause the most infectious upper respiratory diseases in cats. Both viruses are transmitted between cats with nose-to-nose contact or when cats share water or food. Viral rhinotracheitis, also known as feline herpes, can be especially deadly for kittens. Vaccines for both of these viruses are recommended for all cats. You may require earlier vaccination than normal if your cat was born into an environment such as a boarding facility or shelter where these viruses are very common.
Need Feline Vaccinations in Arlington? Contact Dames Point Animal Hospital Today!
At Dames Point Animal Hospital, we ensure that you have access to these affordable pet vaccinations and a wide range of ancillary vaccines as well if needed.
We can also help you understand the pros and cons of each vaccine, and any potential side effects your cat will experience, such as fever or lethargy. We’ll walk you through what you should do if these reactions occur and help monitor your cat throughout his or her vaccine schedule.
If you want to schedule an appointment with our Jacksonville veterinarian or have more questions, then call us at 904-744-2699. We are proud to serve the areas of Arlington, the Beaches, Intracoastal, and the surrounding Jacksonville communities.