Natural Cat

Does your cat need annual vaccines?

By Helen Jablonski

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Your cat's birthday is a good time to schedule its yearly exam. While all veterinarians agree that annual exams are essential and potentially lifesaving, not all agree on the importance of annual booster vaccines.

Each kitten receives its first round of vaccines to protect against the feline panleukopenia virus (distemper), as well as herpesvirus and calicivirus (upper respiratory viruses). As the kitten gets a bit older, it is given a rabies vaccine. After one year, the cat is given a booster shot of these vaccines. You'll be hard-pressed to find a veterinarian who disagrees with this initial vaccine series, as it lays the foundation to help your cat's immune system fight these diseases. The great debate begins when you start to ask about the necessity of boosters after your cat's first birthday.

**Get the October 2008 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article.**

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