As a cat-owner you know the saying, A Dog has a Master, but a Cat has a Staff. The reality of "owning" a cat is the wee-one in fur doles out bits of love and Instagram moments in response to our endless hours of feeding, sheltering, and caring for His or Her Majesty. But, the truth is we're cat-happy to do it!
One important way we serve our cats is by providing routine vaccinations to protect them from life-threatening diseases. Vaccination protocols can be somewhat confusing, so I thought I'd cut through the mish mash and put together a simple little primer on how we vaccinate cats here in Tomball, Texas.
First, you need to know I didn't willy-nilly come up with this vaccination schedule. Instead, we follow the American Association of Feline Practitioners guidelines, and we also use regional information provided by Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, and Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
Second, we tailor our vaccination schedule to your cat’s particular needs by assessing their life-stage, lifestyle, risk of exposure, and underlying medical conditions. That means not every cat gets every vaccination as each cat we see is unique and special; by dialoguing with you, we figure out what’s best for your beloved pet!
Healthy cats in our practice are routinely vaccinated for Rabies and FVRCP. The latter of these two is actually a grouping of vaccines--
1. Healthy adult cats who go outdoors, and
2. Healthy adult cats who stay indoors, but are exposed to cats who go outdoors, and
3. Cats living with Feline leukemia-positive cats, and
4. Healthy cats under 12 mos of age, regardless of whether they stay indoors or go outdoors (as the living status of this age group frequently changes),
are also routinely vaccinated for Feline leukemia virus.
And one last tidbit: kitten vaccinations begin between 6 to 8 weeks of age, and we boost them every 3 to 4 weeks until your kitten reaches 16 weeks of age or older. This series of vaccinations is necessary as kittens receive short-lived antibodies from their mother’s first milk which gradually wear off by 14 to 20 weeks of age. This temporary immunity slows the development of your kitten's own protective immune response to the vaccines we give, that’s why we give boosters. Too, it's important to have your kitten tested for Feline leukemia and Feline immunodeficiency virus when you first get them.
Hope that helps! Check out my dog vaccination guidelines. I just scratched the surface, so remember we’re just a phone call away if you need more veterinary info: 281.351.7184. You'll also find us at kindvet .com. We love 'em like you do!