Here at Micro-ID we love your pets just as much as we do our own! Even though our bread and butter is providing you with essential pet supplies, we also intend to bring you only the best information in pet care. Just like humans, a cat’s immune system can become compromised and broken down. Bad diet, environment, stress, hereditary issues and cat breeding, all make an impact on whether or not a cat will be susceptible to a certain disease. While some factors can be controlled by their owners, cats need to be vaccinated to decrease the possibility of not only contracting a disease, but also passing it on to other pets.
Importance of First Vaccinations
Kittens, like babies, are more susceptible to household germs, colds and viruses. If other older cats exist in the household, it is essential to vaccinate your kitten to avoid any cross contamination. Getting your cat its first set of vaccinations guards its immune system for future growth. Experts generally agree that at around the six to seven week mark, kittens should receive a combination vaccine: Feline distemper (Panleukopenia); Rhinotracheitis; Calcivirus and on occasion Chlamydophila (Pneumonia). Vaccinations are then repeated when the cat is around twelve to thirteen weeks old, with the addition of a Feline Leukaemia vaccination. Depending on location, a rabies shot may also be given.
Importance of Continued Vaccinations
Vaccinations tend to break down in the body over time. Booster shots of Chlamydophila, Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) and Rabies shots tend to be given on a yearly or biennial basis. Additional vaccinations that are often viewed as non-essential, such as Bordotella and Giardia, may also be given at the owners’ request. A vet may recommend that the pet have these vaccinations if the animal is deemed to have a high risk of contracting these diseases.
Why Vaccinate at All?
It’s true that cats managed to survive for thousands of years without any vaccinations but times have changed. Cross and inter-breeding in close communities can weaken immune systems. New diseases have developed and the use of commercial low-grade cat food can compromise the cat’s immune system and aggravate the intestines.
Arguments exist that if your cat stays indoors, is never boarded at a veterinary facility and always has access to clean cat litter and drinking water, then they don’t need vaccinations. There are further arguments based on always feeding cats organic or even raw diets to help protect the immune system against all disease. Sadly, these arguments simply aren’t true.
Indoor cats can contract colds and flu. A good diet from optimal cat food can protect an immune system, but diseases can still be contracted. Most important of all is if your cat should become sick and diseased you looking at a large veterinary bill to try and save them, especially worrying if you are not insured.
Depending on where you are in the world, there may be laws that determine not only registering your pet, but also what vaccinations they must have. Although there are currently no laws on vaccination within the UK, there are many who believe that there should be – both for the protection of the cat in question, and for future disease prevention.