Vaccinating Your Kitten to Keep it Healthy
Our cats are often a very valued member of the family. They may not be in the same line as a child, but for many people the cat is as vital to the family as anyone else. This is especially true of children, who form close bonds with the pets. Thats why you might ask what shots do kittens need?
It is perfectly understandable. You get your pet when he or she is a little kitten and they grow with you. Since the average cat can live as long as 18 or 19 years, they may be in your family until your kids have left to go to college, and so they can play a very long and profound role in the family unit.
Because of this you want to do all you can to protect them and keep them safe. You take the cat to the vet regularly, get the right kind of food, and ensure that they are safe from other animals that may try to hurt them. You take these precautions from the very start, including wanting to know what shots do kittens need?
This is a good question because shots for kittens are very important. Your baby kitten is susceptible to many illnesses, especially after they have been weaned from the mommy. They are no longer receiving those antibodies anymore, so you want to do what you can to ensure that they are as safe as can be.
What shots do kittens need?
Your kitty needs to be vaccinated against three primary illnesses. These are commonly referred to as FVRCP vaccine cats need. The F VR in this set of letters stands for Feline Rhinotracheitis virus, and is a common type of herpes virus for felines. This will result in severe respiratory illness, and is passed from one cat to another through direct contact. The very old and the very young cats are the ones that are the most susceptible to this illness.
The Calicivirus is the C in this vaccine. This is also a type of respiratory disease that will cause severe mouth sores and overall oral pain for the kitty. This comes from having contact with an infected cat, but can also be contracted if the kitten comes in contact with a surface that has the virus on it. This makes it very dangerous and is a good reason to get the FVRCP vaccine cats need.
Panleukopenia is commonly known as distemper and is the P in this vaccine. This is a fatal disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, the nervous system and the immune system. The disease gets its name because of the way that it rapidly decreases the number of white blood cells the cat is able to produce. Since this is the way that the kitten fights off disease, the feline is basically defenseless against the illness.
The first of these is distemper. Feline distemper is quite fatal to cats if they should contract the illness. What makes it even more dangerous is that it is quite contagious, meaning your cat can easily contract this from another cat that has contracted the illness. That is if they have not had the vaccination, and this is one of the main vaccinations that answers the question what shots do kittens need.
You will find that this shot is usually given with the other two vaccinations, as well as with feline leukemia and rabies. It is just to ensure the optimal health of the cat.
Rabies is a very deadly illness to cats, just as it is to virtually any other mammal. Many people make the mistake of not treating their cat for this illness because they have a cat that is indoors all the time. They assume they cannot get the illness if the kitten does not go outside. That is a tragic mistake.
You need to understand that if given the chance your cat will seek to explore, and that means looking for an open door or window to make their escape. All it takes is the shortest contact with another animal and they can easily contract the illness. Wild animals like squirrels, raccoons, possums, and rats carry rabies, and if they bite your cat you can be sure that he or she will have the illness. This is why you need to be safe and ensure that your cat has been immunized against his illness.
We don’t think of cancer spreading through contact with others, but this is one of the major ways that a cat can contract this illness. This is almost always fatal and this is why it is a great idea to make sure that your cat has been treated for the illness.
How Often Do Cats Need Shots
Now that you know what shots do kittens need, the next thing you may want to know is how often do cats need shots? All kittens have the shots that are listed above. The reason is quite simple. While they may be inside cats, after weaning from the mother they are no longer receiving antibodies and may not be healthy enough to produce ones on their own. It just makes sense to ensure the optimal health of your kitten, especially considering that he or she will be with your family for a long time.
Once they are adults the regularity of shots depends upon the state you live in. Most states require that your dog or cat have an annual rabies shot, regardless of your cat is an indoor one or not. It is the law and you can be fined for failing to abide by that law.
After that you will need to take your cat every three years to have booster shots for the vaccinations that they received when they were kittens. This is to ensure that the antibodies are staying active and can still maintain the health of your cat.