Why you Need to Vaccinate Your Cat (and How to do It!)

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Any veterinarian or long-time cat owner can tell you that cats are constantly exposed to things that can make them sick. It’s in their nature to explore and uncover, and sometimes, that can be very unhealthy. The best way to prevent curiosity from killing your cat is to make sure that is has all the necessary vaccinations, and stays up to date. Luckily that’s very easy to do if you shop with Vet Products Direct for vaccines for your cat. If you’re uncertain which vaccines you need (or why you need them) here are some of the most common vaccines for felines.

Protection Against Rabies

Let’s start with the most well-known health risk to animals in general: rabies. Rabies is particularly nasty in that it can be transmitted from animals to other animals (even humans) through saliva. The rabies vaccine is a must-have and a no-brainer because this condition is 100% preventable by vaccination!

Upper Respiratory Conditions and Feline Distemper

If your kitty is an inside/outside cat you should shop with Vet Products Direct for vaccines for your cat that will prevent upper respiratory conditions, such as Rhinotracheitis, which affects the nose and throat. Feline Distemper, also known as Feline Panleukopenia Virus can break down bone marrow and wreak havoc on a cat’s intestines. It’s a blood disease that is highly contagious and mostly affects young kittens. If the kitten contracts the condition in utero from its mother’s breast milk, it can be very bad. But if given a preventative vaccine, and kept in a clean environment, a kitten’s chance of infection decreases substantially after 8 weeks of age.

Feline Leukemia

Similar in some ways to Distemper, feline leukemia can be transmitted via blood or saliva, and is more common in adult cats. Feline Leukemia is frequently transmitted when cats fight, as biting and scratching can easily spread it. Some cats are exposed through the sharing of grooming supplies as well.

While there is around a 70% recovery rate for cats with Feline Leukemia (if caught early and given proper medical care), an infected cat will have to endure an unpleasant and painful period of illness. Vaccination can all but prevent this.

When and How to Vaccinate

Hopefully, by now you see the necessity and benefits to shopping for vaccines for your cat. The great news is that you won’t need to step into a veterinarian’s office for most of them! Kittens need the common vaccinations we’ve discussed from the time they are about 8 weeks old until they are 16 weeks old. For each specific shot, they will need a booster a year later.

Rabies shots are required to be given by a doctor by law. Beyond that, while it’s usually not necessary for a veterinarian to administer the vaccinations, it’s always a good idea to consult your pet’s doctor before attempting to do it yourself the first time. You need to be clear about where each shot should be injected. Combination vaccines generally go outside the right front leg, whereas Feline Leukemia vaccines are given outside of the left back leg.

Preparations are straightforward but need to be done correctly. Make sure you have checked the vaccines’ labels and that they are at the appropriate temperatures. Put them into the syringes and mix if necessary before getting your cat. When you insert a needle into the injection site, always pull back on the syringe to make sure you haven’t hit a blood vessel. If blood enters the syringe, you’ll know that you have, and need to start over.

After the vaccinations are administered, be sure to make a fuss over your cat and reward them with appropriate treats. Monitor them for several hours, and if you notice any strange behavior or changes in their appearance, call their vet immediately.

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