The importance of core vaccines in Cats
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines for cats,according to Helen Woodward Animal Center and some of the common ones include:
FVRCP: Once a cat has had their initial kitten series, and/or is indoor only, they do not need vaccines. The core vaccine for a cat is an FVRCP which is protecting against two upper respiratory diseases and a disease called panleukopenia which is like doggy parvo affecting the GI and bone marrow. Some of the worst cases of upper respiratory infection I have seen are in elderly indoor only cats. Viruses are everywhere, if a stray cat comes up to your door and sneezes or rubs his face on the screen he is depositing virus particles. If you pet another cat that is a carrier you could be bringing infection home to you cat. A very elderly or very young cat already has a lowered immune system so without vaccines to booster the immune system response they can come down with a very serious case of upper respiratory infection and these can in some cases lead to pneumonia but also not eating for several days.
Rabies: Another very common misconception is that indoor cats cannot be exposed to rabies. But in actuality they have the highest incidence of getting rabies because they are not vaccinated. This is rare but in San Diego we have bats that carry rabies, a rabid bat does not act normally and can be flopping around on the floor of your home after coming in through the chimney or getting in through a crack or open window etc.
A flopping furry thing on the floor looks like a toy to a cat. If you ever find a dead bat in your house or yard be sure to contact the County department of public health to have it tested.
Fibrosarcomas: Vaccines causing cancer in cats, in the past we had a higher incidence of vaccines linked with fibrosarcomas in cats. Three things have changed and the incidence has gone down. 1) Instead of vaccinating for rabies and FVRCP every year the recommendation is to go every three to five years once they have completed their kitten series and get their first year booster. The vaccines available today do a much better job of protecting than those that were around 20 years ago so we don’t have to vaccinate as often. 2) Veterinarians now give different injections in different parts of the body instead of putting all the vaccines in the same place this helps prevent interaction under the skin. 3) The vaccine companies are making vaccines without the adjuvants or extra chemicals that have been linked with the induction of a reaction.
You can also do blood titers if you want to check if they have sufficient antibodies to fight off an infection. If the results come back low then you would want to booster.