Title: Essential Vaccination Guide for Your Feline Friend
Ensuring the welfare of your kitten starts with one crucial step: vaccination. Protecting your cat from severe infectious diseases is paramount, and vaccinations play a pivotal role in this process. Not only do they shield your cat from illnesses, but they also prevent the spread of these diseases to other animals in the vicinity. If you’re planning to board your cat at a cattery during your holiday, remember that up-to-date vaccinations are often a requirement.
When to Vaccinate Your Kitten
Your kitten’s journey to immunity begins with two sets of vaccinations. The first set should be administered at nine weeks old and the second at three months. To maintain immunity, booster vaccinations are required every twelve months. Note that your kitten won’t be fully protected until several weeks after the second vaccination, so it’s advisable to keep them indoors during this period.
Vital Vaccinations for Cats
Cats are commonly vaccinated against the following diseases:
Cat Flu (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus)
Feline Infectious Enteritis
Feline Leukaemia Virus
Consult your vet for advice on the necessary vaccinations to safeguard your cat against these infectious diseases.
Understanding Cat Flu
Feline viral infectious respiratory disease, akin to a human cold, is prevalent and highly contagious among cats. Symptoms include high temperature, runny eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. While it can be mild for some cats, it’s potentially fatal in others, especially kittens and those with existing health conditions. Treatment usually alleviates symptoms within one to two weeks, but some cats may become lifelong carriers, experiencing recurrent symptoms, especially during periods of stress or illness.
Facing Feline Infectious Enteritis
Feline infectious enteritis, caused by the feline parvovirus (also known as feline panleukopenia virus or Feline Distemper), predominantly affects young kittens. This severe viral infection can devastate the immune system by drastically reducing white blood cell production. Symptoms include fever, depression, and refusal to eat or drink. Although once a common cause of death, successful vaccination programs have made this disease rare.
Combatting Feline Leukaemia Virus
The feline leukaemia virus significantly impairs the cat’s immune system, leaving them vulnerable to a myriad of infections and cancers. Transmission can occur through various means, including contact with infected urine, faeces, saliva, and shared litter trays or bowls. While many cats can carry the virus for years without symptoms, those showing signs often face a poor prognosis.
Other Diseases to Monitor
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) presents in two forms: ‘dry’ and ‘wet’. Both are fatal and predominantly affect young adult cats.
Feline Immune Deficiency Virus (FIV) mirrors HIV in humans and is mainly spread through bites from an infected cat. While an intranasal vaccine is available, its efficacy is a topic of debate among veterinarians.
Awareness and early detection of these diseases are crucial for the health and longevity of your feline companions. Remember, regular veterinary check-ups and adhering to the vaccination schedule are the best ways to ensure your cat’s wellbeing.