VACCINES FOR SAN LUIS OBISPO CATS– WHAT, WHEN, AND WHY??
Some of the most common questions we get at Mission Animal Hospital are those about vaccines for San Luis Obispo cats– what to give, when to give them, and why they are needed for some cats but not for others. So here we go….
VACCINES FOR SAN LUIS OBISPO CATS– WHAT vaccines might my cat need?
- Rabies vaccine: because rabies is the only disease you can get from your cat, this is the most important.
- FVRCP vaccine: this protects your cat against upper respiratory diseases carried by other cats
- Leukemia vaccine: this protects your cat against viral leukemia, which is transmitted by other cats
- FIV vaccine– this protects your cat against the felinen immunodeficiency virus, transmitted by other cats.
BUT WAIT!! One thing you should understand is that some cats can develop a malignant type of cancer called a sarcoma at the site of any injection or break in the skin… so you want to make sure your cat NEEDS to be protected against a disease before giving them a vaccine against it!!
VACCINES FOR SAN LUIS OBISPO CATS– WHY should my cat be protected against this disease?
- Rabies— Because this is the only disease that you can get from your cat and it is uniformly fatal to you, rabies vaccines for cats are required by many cities and states. If you have an outside cat, it is an EXCELLENT idea to protect your cat against rabies.
- FVRCP— Because infectious respiratory disease is REALLY common in cat populations, if your cat is going to be around other cats– either outside or while boarding– this vaccine is a very good idea. If your cat is kept in strict isolation from other cats, then we recommend protecting them with this vaccine with a full round of kitten shots, but perhaps avoiding this vaccine after that unless your cat is around other cats.
- Leukemia— This is a relatively rare disease in San Luis Obispo county, but if your cat contacts other cats while outside then leukemia protection is logical… because all it takes is contact with one sick cat to permanently infect yours.
- FIV— This is even more rare in San Luis Obispo county, but remains a concern for outside cats and cats in large populations. Bear in mind, however, that after your cat has been given this vaccine they will ALWAYS test positive for FIV… so tell your vet if that is the case!!
Want to learn more? Here are the most recent cat vaccine guidelines from the AAFP…
VACCINES FOR SAN LUIS OBISPO CATS– WHEN should my cat be given these vaccines?
- Rabies vaccines should be given after 16 weeks of age and then annually for cats at risk. However, if your cat is strictly inside without exposure to other cats, then their risk is so low that many folks choose not to vaccinate. Also, some rabies vaccines are good for three years at a spell, and generally the fewer needle pokes the better!!
- FVRCP vaccines should be given to all kittens at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age, and then annually if they go outside. If your cat is strictly isolated inside, we recommend avoiding the use of this vaccine after the kitten series.
- Leukemia vaccines should be given twice one month apart initially, and then annually after that. As mentioned above, however, we do not recommend its use in cats who are kept isolated indoors.
- FIV vaccines are generally not recommended in San Luis Obispo county, because the disease itself is so rare.
We’re Mission Animal Hospital, and we are here to help your cat!!