Your cat counts on you for protection
One of the very best things you can do to give your cat a long and healthy life is to ensure that your pet is vaccinated against common feline diseases. Your cat's mother gave her kitten immunity from diseases for the first few weeks of its life by providing disease fighting antibodies in her milk. After that period it's up to you to provide that protection!
Which vaccinations should my cat receive?
Most veterinarians believe that your pet should be protected against those diseases which are most common, highly contagious, and which cause serious illness. In cats these include feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline chlamydophila, feline leukemia, and rabies
1. Rhinotracheitis- This virus is easily transmitted between cats. It causes a fever, loss of appetite, sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, and coughing. This disease can be dangerous as effective treatment is limited.
2. Calicivirus- This virus is another cause of upper respiratory infection in cats. It is easily transmitted between cats and causes a fever, ulcers on the tongue, and pneumonia. If a cat recovers it can be a source for infection for other cats.
3. Panleukopenia- Sometimes known as feline distemper, this virus is so resistant it can survive over a year in the environment. This virus is often fatal and causes diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, dehydration and fever.
4. Rabies- This incurable virus affects the nervous system of almost all mammals, including humans. It spreads through contact with the saliva of infected animals through bites or any break in the skin. There is no cure. This vaccine is required by law to prevent human exposure.
5. Feline Leukemia- This virus can cause many different problems in your cat including some cancers or secondary infection from destruction of the immune system. After exposure the cat may not show any signs for awhile but is a source of infection to others.
6. Feline Chlamydophila- This bacterial disease is another source of upper respiratory infection. It is extremely contagious, especiallly in young kittens. It causes local infection of the mucus membranes of the eyes but may also involve the lungs.
How effective is vaccination?
Like any drug treatment or surgical procedure vaccinations are not 100% guaranteed. However, when used in conjunction with proper nutrition and sanitary conditions, vaccination is clearly your pet's best defense against disease. Plus, when you consider what treating a serious illness can cost you (as well as the distress it places on both you and your beloved cat), prevention through vaccination is very cost effective.