The Granby Animal Clinic, Inc.
Feline Vaccination Guidelines
†††† All cats should be vaccinated against Panleukopenia, Feline herpes virus (FHV) and Calici virus (FCV).† These vaccines are usually given as a combination and referred to as the FVRCP vaccine.† Kitten are given a series of vaccines every three to four weeks until they are at least sixteen weeks old and have received at least two doses of the vaccine.† The vaccine is repeated in one year then every one to three years depending on your catís lifestyle.†††
†††† All cats are required to be vaccinated for rabies by law.† Kittens receive one dose of the rabies vaccine as a kitten and then the vaccine is boostered nine to twelve months later.† Following this initial set of vaccinations, your cat will be vaccinated every one to three years depending on the type of vaccine used.† Please note to qualify for the 3 year vaccination, your cat must receive two vaccine doses nine to twelve months apart and no later.† Your pet should have their rabies vaccine boostered if they receive a wound that may have come from another animal even if the current rabies vaccine has not expired.†
†††† Due to the high susceptibility of kittens to Feline Leukemia (FeLV), the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommends all kittens to be vaccinated for Feline Leukemia and have the vaccine boostered one year later.† Cats that are low risk for FeLV (indoor only cats that have no exposure to cats that go outside or to cats that are FeLV positive) can discontinue the vaccine the following year.† Cats at higher risk of exposure (indoor/outdoor cats or cats exposed to untested cats or cats that go outside) should continue the vaccine yearly.† Initial vaccination requires two doses given two to four weeks apart.†
†††† Other feline vaccinations which are available, but which we do not recommended for routine use include vaccines for Chlamydia, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Dermatophytosis and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
†††† Most reactions to vaccinations are mild and include sneezing, discomfort at the injection site, mild fever and or muscle soreness which usually passes without the need for any treatment.††† Serious allergic reactions are rare.† On very rare occasions, cats can develop a sarcoma at the injection site.† This is a malignant tumor that can be hard to remove.† Sarcomas can develop weeks to years after a vaccination (and occasionally to other injections).† This reaction is rare and is estimated to be less than 3 in 10,000 vaccines administered.† The exact cause of this reaction is not yet understood.† It is important to monitor vaccination sites and if you notice a lump that you have it checked out ASAP.† It is very important to remember that for the general population of cats, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risk of an adverse reaction occurring.†
†††† Not all vaccines are alike.† We choose vaccines which we feel decrease the risk of serious side effects and/or provide better immunity.
†††† It is also important to remember that your catís annual physical is as important if not more important than the vaccines your cat receives and even if your cat does not need any vaccines in a given year, he/she should come in for their physical examination as well as a review of other important preventative health care issues such as dental care, heartworm prevention and gastrointestinal parasite control.†
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