Vaccinations and Boosters

Making sure vaccinations are current is the key to keeping your cat healthy.

Posted: Tue Dec 17 00:00:00 PST 2002

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CatVaccinations are one of the most misunderstood components of the feline health program. For most cats there are four vaccines to consider: FVRCP (a combination vaccine against several respiratory, gastrointestinal and systemic viral infections), FeLV (designed to prevent the dreaded feline leukemia virus), FIP (an intranasal vaccine against feline infectious peritonitis) and rabies (required by law in certain locales). Current recommendations include a series of injections for new kittens and adult cats with unknown vaccination histories, followed by annual boosters. Rabies vaccines may be given every three years. Be sure to consult your veterinarian about your cat's vaccination schedule.

Benefits of vaccination must be weighed against the possible side effects and anticipated exposure to the diseases in question. Considerations of vaccine-induced sarcomas, autoimmune diseases, allergic reactions and other possible negative effects on the immune system are leading to an ever-increasing debate of the necessity and prudence of annual revaccination-veterinarians will keep cat owners posted as new information becomes available. Because of the currently incurable nature of several of the more common feline diseases, special considerations might need to be made; you should contact your veterinarian regarding these issues. Vets currently recommend FVRCP and FeLV for indoor-only cats and add FIP and rabies vaccinations for cats with outdoor exposure. It is important for owners to remember that no vaccine provides 100-percent protection. Eliminating exposure is the best prevention.

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Reader Comments

LORETTA DUMAIS    DRACUT, MA

6/21/2011 3:22:10 PM

my cat PERSIAN has PERITONITIS ( FIP ) HOW LONG DO THEY LIVE? I JUST FOUND OUT TODAY I HAVE BEEN CRYING ALL DAY ! HE IS ONLY 1 1/2 YRS OLD SO YOUNG FOR A SHORT LIFE . AND NOW MY VET SAID MY OTHER 2 CAT WILL HAVE IT IS THIS TRUE ?

Gloria    Selma, TX

4/22/2010 4:23:03 AM

I have a cat with FIP, in fact had 2 others and I keep all the shot currant and they had everthing they needed and wanted. I have lost 2 with it and the Vet told me the shot doen't work so he don't recommed it. I have since changed vets but still have one with it

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

9/21/2009 11:00:00 AM

good article thank you

Lori    Barstow, CA

3/1/2009 4:07:43 PM

My cat got his a rabbies three year shot the other day and now he is sick. Why did this happen he is 10 years old and has never been sick a day in his life why now.

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