Vaccinating Your Cat

April 12, 2012

Okay, I often hear my cat doesn’t need the FVRCPC vaccination because it never goes outside; it is an indoor cat.  I agree if it really lives in a bubble.  But most likely at least one animal living in the household goes outside and thus can potentially carry a virus into the cat’s environment on their shoes.

Yes it is unlikely, but it is possible.  And yes it is true that some viruses are not transmitted unless ingested, but it is always potentially possible. It just takes one occurrence.  You open the door and the cat bolts out the door even though it has never displayed the want to go outside. Now the odds are greater for the cat to acquire any of the given viruses.  All cats need the FVRCPC vaccination and prevention is always worth a pound of cure.

FVR C P C Vaccine: What Does It Stand For?

FVR stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis. The virus is airborne and very contagious in susceptible animals.  It is most severe in very young cats and very old cats.

C stands for Calicivirus infection.  The virus can survive up to ten days in the environment.  The disease may be transmitted by direct contact with an infected cat.  It can also be transmitted from an object (bowl, cage, brush, blanket, etc.) that harbors the virus.

P stands for Panleukopenia and is commonly referred to feline distemper.  It is a highly contagious disease with a high mortality rate.  It is very resilient and can live in the environment up to one year.  This disease is caused by the parvovirus similar to the parvovirus seen in dogs.   Mortality rate is approximately 90%.  The vaccine is very effective in preventing the virus.

C stands for Chlamydia Psittaci. Chlamydia organisms are very delicate and cannot survive in the environment.  Infection occurs from direct contact. The disease is common where large groups of cats are kept together, such as multi-cat households, breeding catteries and shelters. The vaccination will help prevent severe clinical disease.

FeLV [Feline leukemia virus] / FeLV Vaccine

FeLV is one of the most dangerous diseases for cats today.  It is a retrovirus that causes suppression in the cat’s immune system impairing the cat’s ability to fight off infections. This disease may lead to some forms of cancer and may cause anemia. Cats at risk for developing feline leukemia include indoor cats that sometimes go outside, cats that live outside, cats living in multiple cat households and cats that interact with other cats.Important things to know are:

  1. The FeLV disease is always fatal.
  2. The disease is transmitted through saliva and nasal secretions, by biting, sharing food dishes, and other close contact such as grooming.
  3. All cats should be tested for this disease at least once during their lives, and at any other time when they might have had contact with an infected cat.
  4. New cats must always be tested prior to introduction into a household.
  5. All cats with a positive ELISA screening test should be segregated from other cats.
  6. The vaccine is recommended for all indoor cats that sometimes go outside.
  7. The vaccine is recommended for all cats that live outside on a permanent basis.

Prior to vaccinating for feline leukemia, your cat should be tested for the virus. FeLV is easily diagnosed by a simple blood test. Once a cat tests negative, the vaccine can be administered. The purpose of the vaccine is to create immunity in the attempt to prevent infection with the virus. The FeLV vaccine will not cause a positive test result.

Laboratory case study on dogs and cats:

  • Ten cats and 10 dogs are not given vaccinations
  • Twenty-one cats and 21 dogs are vaccinated
  • One hundred percent (100%) of the UNVACCINATED animals (dog & cats) after being exposed to a virus died from the virus they were exposed to.
  • All of the unvaccinated dogs and unvaccinated cats died.
  • One hundred percent (100%) of the vaccinated animals (dog & cats) after being exposed to a virus did NOT acquire the virus.
  • One case study did display mild symptoms but got well over time.
  • All of the vaccinated dogs and cats lived.

Are vaccinations necessary?  I would say definitely! If your pet is not vaccinated, please get them vaccinated as soon as possible.

Article used with author’s permission