Vaccinating your pet is just as important as vaccinating your family; and an essential responsibility of every pet owner. When your cats' vaccinations are up-to-date, they are better protected against harmful, contagious diseases. And when your friendly feline visits other animals at a daycare or boarding facility, vaccinations help protect every other animal as well. When your cat leaves the comfort of your home for the pleasantries of a boarding getaway, here's why it's so important to keep your kitty vaccinated.
Vaccinating Your Cat: Why It's Important
Just like humans, cats can spread disease and germs to one another. Vaccinations work for cats the same way they work for humans, providing stimulation to the immune system and teach it how to fight off certain diseases and germs in the future. While no vaccine is 100 percent foolproof, providing your pet with the right vaccinations can help them reduce the risk of developing a wide array of health concerns, as well as recover more quickly from certain infections.
And just like when you send your toddlers off to preschool, your feline companion will be surrounded by other feline friends and germs. As the perfect environment for the spread of infections and germs, sanitation, health, and prevention are more important than ever.
What Happens When Pets Aren't Vaccinated
Some of the most common, and riskiest, diseases and infections can be transmitted easily through the air and other materials. Much like the use of vaccines on humans, researchers agree that "widespread use of vaccines within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals." By helping to avoid unhealthy, unnecessary health problems, your cat can live a longer and healthier life.
Aside from the obvious health-related risks to your pet and the risks you pose to others, not vaccinating your pet can also put a damper on your life as a pet owner. Many states mandate certain vaccinations, boarding facilities require specific vaccines, and even dog parks will demand all visitors are up-to-date on vaccinations.
Before boarding or making new friends, cats should be vaccinated accordingly with the following inoculations:
- FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia): This is more commonly referred to as a "distemper" shot. As a combination vaccine, it protects against 3 major diseases: panleukopenia ("distemper"), calicivirus, and feline viral rhinotracheitis.
- Rabies: As one of the most commonly referred to vaccines, a rabies shot protects against the dangerous and fatal rabies virus. Unlike other types of diseases, rabies can be spread between all mammals, including humans.
Though boarding facilities run on strict, sanitation and health standards that significantly reduce the risk of many diseases, conditions, and issues, your vet may also recommend that your cat receive other vaccinations as well. These vaccinations are less of a necessity required by boarding/daycare facilities and more dependent on lifestyle, location, etc. Some vaccinations your vet may recommend for your cat include:
- Feline Leukemia (Felv.): Your vet may recommend this vaccine if going outdoors is common for your cat, as it protects against a viral infection that is only transmitted through close contact.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV): This vaccine is also recommended for cats that go outside, to protect against the viral infection, FIV.
- Bordetella: Highly-contagious bordetella causes serious upper respiratory infections and worse. Your vet may recommend your pet receive this vaccine before going anywhere where there are other pets.
Tips, Tricks, and Advice
1. Vaccines Aren't Immediate
It's important to understand that a vaccine doesn't necessarily become effective the moment it is injected. In fact, most vaccines take a few days, up to a few weeks to become completely effective. Before boarding your kitty anywhere, be sure his or her vaccines are updated at least 2 weeks before the visit.
2. Don't Forget the Fleas
Though it's not technically a vaccination, it's important to keep your kitty flea and tick free when you're ready to send them to the boarding facility. Not only is it easy to spread fleas throughout an entire facility, but fleas also promote an environment which is more conducive to germs and infection.
3. Update Yearly
Most vaccines, like rabies, should be given by your vet every year in order to be the most effective. For some vaccinations, however, your vet may recommend a longer or shorter period between vaccines. Your vet will customize a personalized vaccination schedule based on you and your cat's needs.
Boarding facilities, daycare camps, and fun days out are a great way to socialize your cat, provide support while you're away, and keep your furry friend happy. In order for all kitties to enjoy their time however, it's essential to be a caring and responsible pet owner and vaccinate your cat. For more on boarding your cat in luxury, as well as all the personalized care our experts can provide, contact our trusted staff today!