August is Immunization Awareness Month. Although there are a variety of dangerous illnesses and diseases that can afflict our cats, we’re lucky to have many vaccinations to protect against the worst of them. Learn more about one of the best things you can do for your cat’s health as a Myrtle Beach vet answers some of your most common questions.
What Are Vaccines, Exactly?
Vaccines introduce antigens to your cat’s body, which look like diseases to the immune system. Your cat’s immune system is then mildly stimulated and is then able to recognize and fight off the disease. When the real thing comes along, your cat’s body is prepared to eliminate or reduce the effects of the infection.
What Vaccines do All Cats Need?
All cats should receive the “core” vaccines. These include the feline distemper, feline calici virus, feline herpes virus, and rabies vaccinations. They’re considered essential for all cats. Other cats may receive “non-core” vaccinations based on their lifestyle, environment, and location. Ask your vet for a complete list of the regimen your cat might need.
When Are Kittens Vaccinated?
Kittens receive antibodies from their mother’s milk, but once they’re weaned, they’ll need vaccinations shortly thereafter. Most kittens receive the first batch of vaccinations at around six or eight weeks old. This continues in regular intervals until 16 weeks of age, at which point your cat gets on the standard adult-cat schedule for re-vaccinations.
Are There Any Risks?
Since vaccinations mildly stimulate the immune system, there is a small chance of adverse effects. These are almost always mild and can be treated easily. The benefits far outweigh these risks! If you do think your cat is reacting poorly to a vaccine, call your vet’s office right away.
How Do I Get My cat the Vaccinations She Needs?
Your Myrtle Beach veterinarian can tell you all you need to know about vaccinations and what exactly your cat needs. Set up an appointment at the office today to set your cat on the path to great health and well-being for a lifetime!