Vaccinations for Kittens and Cats
Lucky for us, there are vaccines to help prevent many illnesses that affect cats. Vaccinating your cat has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help her live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, there are different types and combinations of vaccines.
What Exactly Are Vaccines?
Vaccines help prepare the body's immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don't actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly stimulated. If a cat is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce its severity.
How Important Are Vaccines to the Health of My Cat?
Bottom line-vaccines are very important in managing the health of your cats. That said, not every cat needs to be vaccinated against every disease. It is very important to discuss with your veterinarian a vaccination protocol that's right for your cat. Factors that should be examined include age, medical history, environment and lifestyle. Most vets highly recommend administering core vaccines to healthy cats.
What Are Core Vaccines?
The American Association of Feline Practitioners divided vaccines into two categories-core and non-core. Core vaccines are considered vital to all cats and protect against panleukopenia (feline distemper), feline calici virus, feline herpes virus type I (rhinotracheitis) and rabies. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the cat's lifestyle; these include vaccines for feline leukemia virus, Bordetella, Chylamydophila felis and feline immunodeficiency virus. Your veterinarian can determine what vaccines are best for your cat.