Because they’re such independent creatures, people often overlook the importance of feline veterinary care. It is crucial to maintain a preventive care schedule for cats, though, to ensure they are as healthy as they seem. Cat vaccinations are especially important so they can live long, happy lives. 

Cat Vaccinations: Bacteria and Infections 

Both indoor and outdoor cats are regularly exposed to bacteria and viruses that could seriously affect their health. In fact, many of the most common bacteria and viruses could lead to serious (and often fatal) illnesses. Feline vaccines help cats build up protection against these invaders. Once vaccinated, your cat’s immune system will fight off potential future infections. Vaccines can either entirely prevent an infection, or give your cat’s immune system a jumpstart to fight it for a fast recovery. The younger your cat is when she gets vaccinated, the better protected she will be.

Cat Vaccinations: Rabies

When it comes to potentially fatal illnesses, rabies is at the top of the list. While this vaccine is not required by law for cats, you should still talk to your veterinarian about getting it. Cats can get exposed to the disease through encounters with wildlife like bats, coyotes, racoons, and skunks. Even if your cat lives entirely inside your house, it is vitally important to protect her against this preventable disease. Your cat could unexpectedly get out one day, or maybe a raccoon will find its way into your house. The rabies vaccine will keep your cat covered even in unexpected situations like these.

Cat Vaccinations: Tailored to Your Cat’s Lifestyle

Veterinarians want to make sure your cat is protected for her specific lifestyle. Based on your cat’s environment and exposure, the vet will determine which vaccinations are the most vital for your cat’s overall health and wellness. Most cats will get vaccines for common illnesses like rabies, parvovirus, and rhinotracheitis. Outdoor cats will usually need additional shots like feline leukemia, which is spread between cats. 

The Feline Vaccination Schedule

With cat vaccinations, it is important to stick to the schedule created by your veterinarian to ensure optimal protection. Veterinarians typically like to vaccinate kittens between 6-8 weeks of age. After this initial shot, they will need boosters every 3-4 weeks until they reach 16-20 weeks of age. Please note, a kitten will not have full immunity until one week after the final booster shot. 

Depending on the vaccine, cats will need to get additional boosters every year or every 3 years. If your cat came to you later in life and has not yet been vaccinated, it is not too late. Talk to your veterinarian about when to start the vaccine schedule. 

At Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we are committed to setting your pets up for a long and healthy life. From wellness visits to surgery, we offer full-service veterinary care to help you through every stage of life with your pet. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment for vaccines, please call (248) 363-1508.