Vaccines are incredibly important to prevent serious diseases, and some are required by law. A vaccine basically tricks one’s immune system into building antibiotics against a disease so when we see said disease it will be destroyed before causing illness. We tailor vaccines to individual lifestyle – you may hear about this approach as core and non-core vaccination. Core vaccines would be those vaccinations that all cats should get due to the high risk of infection or severity of the infection. Non-core vaccines are selected based on where your cat travels and what they do. Examples of core vaccines are viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, panleukopenia, and rabies virus. Examples of non-core vaccines would be feline leukemia vaccine.
Does my indoor cat need to be vaccinated?
Yes, they sure do! The vaccine selection is slightly different from an outdoor cat. People commonly forget that wildlife may get into their home (i.e. bats), or an indoor cat may escape. One also needs to consider that domestic pets are legally required to have a rabies vaccine.
What are FVRCP and core vaccines for cats?
Core vaccines would be those vaccinations that all cats should get due to the high risk of infection or severity of the infection. FVRCP stands for Feline Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and panleukopenia. Rhinotracheitis (feline herpes virus) and Calicivirus cause moderate to severe upper respiratory infections in cats. You commonly see runny eyes and a snotty nose. Panleukopenia may cause vomiting and diarrhea. It may also be a low white blood cell number, which may impair your cat’s immune system. Basically, FVRCP is considered a core vaccine. Another core vaccine for your cat would be for rabies.
How often does my adult cat need to be vaccinated?
Frequency of vaccination is dependent on the age of your cat, lifestyle and previous vaccine history. In general, your cat should be vaccinated every three years for the FVRCP vaccine and Rabies every year. If your cat requires the feline leukemia vaccine, then that is an annual vaccine as well. Your cat’s vaccination schedule will be specific to your cat and our veterinarians will review at their annual physical exams.