Cats Need Vaccinations Annually
Vaccinations Are NOT Equal To Immunity
Vaccinations do not always create or improve immunity. And they do carry risks.
Vaccinations can and do help protect our feline companions, but are neither 100% effective nor 100% safe. The decision to vaccinate should never be made lightly.
Risk of disease exposure is different for every cat. So are the risks of and the protection derived from vaccinating. Every cat should be evaluated as an unique individual before any vaccine is given. You and your vet should conduct a careful evaluation of your individual cat’s exposure risks, current health, and current immunity first. The risks and effectiveness of the vaccine should also be considered.
Only TWO immunities are considered “core”in cats: Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia), and Rabies. Immunity to both diseases can be accomplished without annual vaccinations.
Feline Distemper is a terrible disease. Indoor cats can and do get it. Immunity is important. However, many cats vaccinated while young have immunity that lasts for years. Blood Antibody Titer tests can help determine if your cat needs a booster vaccine.
Rabies: Cats are highly susceptible to rabies virus, and people get rabies too. Rabies is a real threat in Colorado. For cats healthy enough to be vaccinated, there is a special, non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine for cats. It is given every 3 years.
Vaccinations are contraindicated in sick cats. If your cat is ill, vaccination is best delayed until the illness is cured or controlled. If the illness is chronic, you may decide to stop vaccinating entirely. In many states, including Colorado, your vet can provide a Rabies Exemption Certificate if vaccination is medically contraindicated.
Your feline veterinarian has the skills and experience to help you make the best and safest healthcare decisions for your cat.