Timely vaccination of kittens and regular vaccination of adult cats is an integral part of the owner’s responsible attitude to their pet. Modern vaccines are safe and effective. In healthy animals there is no visible reaction to the vaccine. The times when the cat couldn’t even get up after a week of a “health shot” are passed. It is unreasonable to get scared of vaccinations. You’d better got scared of viruses surrounding us always and everywhere.
Why are vaccinations so important?
When a virus enters the body, the antibodies are produced and releases to the blood flow. Antibodies are special agents controlling virus replication and destroying it. Vaccination of cats is the immune system provocation, i.e. the introduction of a weakened virus into the blood. This virus is insufficient for the development of the disease, but sufficient for the antibodies production. The agents remain in the cat’s blood for some time. If a vaccinated cat would inhale the virus, the antibodies would destroy it, not allowing the virus to multiply to the quantity required for the onset of symptoms – so that the cat won’t get sick. If a sufficient quantity of virus cells would get into the cat’s body (for example, if the cat would be bitten by a sick animal) the pet will get sick, but the disease will take its mild course.
Vaccination against rabies is mandatory in all civilized countries, and is available for free at any public vet clinic. Animals not immune to rabies are forbidden to be transported.
All pets should be vaccinated regardless of lifestyle. Even if the cat never leaves the house, it can catch the infection from the people (people always return home “accompanied” with a set of pathogenic bacteria). Vaccination of kittens and adult animals is possible only after deworming (10 days prior to vaccination) and a general examination by a veterinarian. Vaccinees should be completely healthy.
Types of vaccines
Vaccines may contain “dead” and “living” cells. The first type of drug contains viruses killed by heating or by a chemical. For example, rabies vaccination for cats is a “dead” vaccine, as this disease is fatal. “Live” vaccines contain weakened and/or laboratory changed viruses that provoke active immune response. Cat vaccinations against chlamydia, calicivirus, panleukopenia and rhinotracheitis usually are “live” vaccines.
Furthermore, the vaccine may be a single component or integrated. The first type contains only one type of agent, i.e. after the vaccination the cat has immune to one disease. Integrated vaccine for cats contains several species of pathogens. Cat’s organism doesn’t suffer from simultaneous administration of several viruses, as the components don’t interfere with each other, and the immunity is produced to the each type of virus that can easily be checked by passing the blood test aimed at antibodies examination.
Vaccination of cats is a safe way to extend the life of your pet. Opponents of vaccination scare the owners with negative consequences, but there are significantly less animals suffered from vaccination than those who died from an infection caused by the negligence of owners.
The side effect of vaccination (components intolerance) is a rare phenomenon. When the cat is vaccinated by a veterinarian the risk is minimal: in case of any dangerous manifestations the pet will get professional help. Before the vaccination an antihistamine that blocks allergic manifestations is introduced. Many vaccines already contain antihistamine components.
What vaccination is used for kittens? The same as for adult animals, but in such cases special “baby” vaccines designed for kitten organisms are used. Cats are usually compulsorily vaccinated against rhinotracheitis, panleukopenia, calicivirus and rabies. Additionally kittens are vaccinated against leukemia and chlamydia.
Some owners are wondering what vaccinations can protect cats from parasites and fungi? There is a vaccine against trichophytosis and microsporia, but it hardly can be considered effective (the immunity against these diseases is short-term and not stable enough). Immunization against worms, fleas and other parasites is impossible. Similar offers are always a fraud.
The first vaccination is performed in kittens aged 9-12 weeks. Before vaccination (10 days before) a de-worming medication should be given to the kitten. Three weeks before vaccination a quarantine period starts: the kitten shouldn’t communicate with other animals, you should keep it at home and do not contact with the kitten when you’re dressed in the clothes you wear outside. The second vaccination, i.e. the revaccination with the same drug takes place three weeks after the first one.
When to vaccinate kitten-foundling should be decided by a veterinarian after the examination. It is important to maintain the quarantine to see if the kitten is sick, to carry out deworming and, in some cases, to pass tests for determination of antibodies (if there is a suspicion that the kitten has been vaccinated before).
The following vaccinations should be made in kittens after their teeth replacement (approximately at the age of 6-8 months). This vaccination includes the same complex vaccine and the vaccination against rabies. During the teething it is forbidden to vaccinate kittens, as their immunity is weakened. In the future, the vaccination is carried out once a year. It is desirable to choose a drug tolerated by the cat without any symptoms (such as swelling at the injection site, rash, redness or drowsiness).
What immunizations should get kittens grown up without a mother? The same that the other kittens get, but in such cases vaccination is recommended at an earlier age: as the immunity of the kittens that aren’t breast fed is significantly weaker.
Animals that haven’t undergone a veterinarian examination can’t be vaccinated. If you plan to have your cat mated, you should move the date of vaccination so that it was made not less than 1 month before the date of mating. If for some reason a pregnant cat is not vaccinated, it should be vaccinated later together with kittens. Three weeks before and three weeks after the vaccination is quarantine period. After the procedure, the doctor must fill out a veterinary certificate containing a sticker, a signature of the vet, and a stamp of the clinic.