Cat Vaccination Myths and Misunderstandings

That adorable kitten you’ve simply adopted is dependent upon you to maintain them comfortable and wholesome, which suggests offering a cat-friendly house, a healthy diet, and plenty of love. One other very important facet of this care is vaccination. Nonetheless, it’s common for cat guardians to misconceive which cats want which vaccines and when, plus what safety vaccination affords. So, let’s discover some frequent myths and misunderstandings to set the document straight about cat vaccination.

Fantasy: Kitten vaccines defend for all times

kitten receiving vaccination
(Picture Credit score: Dina Damotseva / Getty Photographs)

There’s a extensively held misunderstanding that vaccinating a kitten offers them immunity for all times. That is false. Many completely well-meaning cat parents don’t get their cats booster photographs as a result of they don’t notice immunity wanes with time.

Booster photographs are necessary to take care of the cat’s safety towards illness. We all know this by taking a look at blood antibody titers, which present ranges fall over time to the purpose the place they’re now not detectable.

As soon as this occurs, if the cat encounters an infection, they’re probably in danger as a result of the immune system could now not bear in mind tips on how to struggle towards the bug.

How lengthy a cat stays protected varies between people, and there are numerous variable elements that affect this. So relatively than put the cat by way of blood exams annually, producers did a number of analysis to take a look at the common safety time and when a booster dose is required.

It’s this knowledge that the vet makes use of when advising a cat guardian that their cat wants one other shot.

Fantasy: Older cats now not want vaccination

Your senior cat has been vaccinated all their life. Absolutely, of their previous age, they’ve constructed up sufficient immunity to skip the booster?

Truly, no. Whereas this can be a logical argument, sadly this isn’t the case.

Firstly, even with a wholesome, robust immune system, the safety drops over time and desires “boosting.”

Secondly, older animals have weaker immune programs. This implies they’re much less in a position to struggle infections and rely extra on vaccine safety, relatively than much less. Thus, it turns into extra necessary, not much less, for seniors to get their booster shot.

Fantasy: Indoor cats don’t should be vaccinated

Improper! (Effectively, principally.)

Among the nastier viruses, corresponding to feline panleukopenia virus, are equal to a super-villain when it comes to toughness. They will survive on sidewalks in all weathers for lengthy intervals of time. When you stroll on the virus, you may carry it indoors in your sneakers, so not even indoor cats are protected.

Therein lies the crunch. An indoor cat is at low danger however not no danger. Nonetheless, your veterinarian will danger asses the cat and should choose out of vaccinating towards circumstances that require shut contact to unfold, corresponding to feline leukemia virus.

Fantasy: We over-vaccinate cats

Many individuals fear about over-vaccination in pets. It’s a priority veterinarians take very severely. Because of this vets keep away from pointless vaccinations by adapting vaccine protocols to fulfill every particular person cat’s danger issue and the way lengthy immunity lasts to a specific virus.

To do that, vets divide the vaccine elements into core and non-core. This merely means important and non-essential. For instance, vaccination towards rabies is core, whereas safety towards feline leukemia virus is non-core for an indoor cat.

When it comes to how usually to repeat a dose with a booster shot, that is determined by how lengthy safety lasts. For instance, safety towards feline leukemia lasts one 12 months, and requires a yearly booster, whereas safety towards cat flu lasts for 3 years.

Fantasy: Vaccines do extra hurt than good

female veterinarian giving cat a vaccination
(Picture Credit score: FatCamera / Getty Photographs)

Each accountable cat guardian ought to make an knowledgeable determination about what’s greatest for his or her pet as a person. Nonetheless, when weighing up the professionals and cons of vaccination, it’s related to know the advantages far outweigh the dangers.

Illnesses corresponding to cat flu, distemper, and feline leukemia are nonetheless on the market and have life-changing penalties. Steadiness this towards the dangers of vaccination which will be divided into common-but-mild reactions and rare-but-serious, as outlined beneath.


After a vaccine, round one in 10 cats expertise a delicate swelling on the injection web site. This can be a short-term lump that goes away after a few weeks and nothing to fret about.


This response primarily impacts younger kittens, often at their first vaccination. It’s considered as a result of Calici virus ingredient — a part of cat flu — and the immune system registering the vaccine.

Affected kittens could run a light fever, limp, and go off their meals. The impact lasts for 2 to 3 days after which resolves of its personal accord.

It’s often a one-off occasion and doesn’t recur with subsequent vaccines.

Feline Injection Web site Sarcomas (FISS)

There isn’t a denying these injection-related tumors are critical. Research present that this can be a uncommon complication of injection, affecting roughly one to 4 in each 100,000 cats.

Since vaccines are some of the ceaselessly administered injections, FISS has develop into linked to vaccination — however can often happen with different injections, corresponding to long-acting antibiotics or steroids.

To cut back this danger, vets take care to tailor vaccine protocols to the person to cut back pointless vaccinations. Additionally they give vaccines in an extremity, corresponding to a again leg, and annually document the place the injection was positioned, so any suspicious swelling will be linked again to the injection and monitored.

When all’s mentioned and accomplished, it’s as much as every cat guardian to make an knowledgeable determination about what’s greatest for his or her pet. However simply remember to base that call on the details, relatively than fiction, of cat vaccinations.

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