Keeping a cat strong and healthy is no mission impossible, especially when they are well cared for. One essential thing that cannot be overlooked is immunization. Cat vaccination is a very effective measure to avoid exposing felines to serious diseases and zoonoses, which are pathologies that can be transmitted from animals to humans. However, the vaccine schedule forcats can generate some doubts, especially regarding the time interval between each dose.
To better understand how the kitten immunization cycle works, we have separated some important information on this topic.
Why is the cat vaccine so important?
The cat vaccine is necessary to stimulate the creation of antibodies in the animal's body, keeping it protected against a number of diseases. This causes the body's defense cells to create an "immunological memory" that prevents the feline from contracting certain pathologies - some of which are even considered zoonoses.
The risks of having an unvaccinated cat can affect not only the health and quality of life of the animal, but also other cats in the house and even humans. So, with vaccinations, cat is protected - and so are you! Therefore, do not hesitate to search the internet for "cat vaccinations". Calendar of immunizers can be easily found everywhere, and your only task is to follow it to the letter.
Which vaccines should a cat have and how do they act on the feline body?
There are different types of vaccines for cats, but one of the main ones is the polyvalent one. It is an immunizer that protects the feline from the most varied diseases, and has different versions, such as V3 (triple), V4 (quadruple) and the V5 vaccine for cats. The latter is also called feline quintuple or multiple vaccine.
See which diseases these cat vaccines protect against:
- V3 - With V3, diseases such as rhinotracheitis, calicivirosis and panleukopenia can be prevented.
- V4 - V4 also includes chlamydiosis in addition to the diseases already mentioned.
- V5 - The V5 vaccine for cats is the most complete of all and, in addition to immunizing against the same diseases as V4, also protects cats against feline leukemia (FeLV).
In addition to the polyvalent vaccine, cats also need to get the rabies vaccine. It acts to prevent the rabies virus, a very dangerous zoonosis that can be fatal for pets. It is worth noting that there is no V10 vaccine, cats are only protected, at most, by V5.
Learn more about the cat vaccine schedule
Soon after birth, the kitten needs to be taken to the vet for a clinical health check and also to receive the first advice on feline immunization. It is usually recommended that kittens receive their first dose of vaccine around the eighth week of life, close to 60 days old.
The schedule of cat vaccinations during this period in cats should follow the following logic:
- Polyvalent cat vaccine (V3, V4 or V5): the first dose is given from the age of 60 days.
- Polyvalent cat vaccine (V3, V4 or V5): the second dose is given between 21 and 30 days after the first dose.
- Polyvalent cat vaccine (V3, V4 or V5): the third dose is given between 21 and 30 days after the second dose.
- Cat vaccine against rabies: the first dose is given from the fourth month of life.
After that, the animals should receive booster doses annually. This applies to both the polyvalent vaccines and the rabies vaccine.
In cat vaccination, the application is done in three doses in the first year, following the time interval of 21 to 30 days between one and the other. If there is any delay, it is necessary to start the cycle again from scratch. After completing the vaccination schedule, a single booster dose is sufficient each year.
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Vaccinating cats: how much does each vaccine cost?
Cat vaccinations can vary in cost, depending on the immunizer you choose and where you live. The V5 vaccine - or feline quintuple vaccine - is usually pricier than the V3 and V4, but it's also a more complete version that protects against the very dangerous disease FeLV.
The estimated values are as follows:
- Cat vaccines V3 and V4 - It costs between R$ 60 and R$ 120.
- V5 cat vaccine - It costs between R$ 90 and R$ 150.
- Cat vaccination against rabies - It costs between R$ 50 and R$ 80.
The amount charged is per dose. It is a high price when it is the first cat vaccines, which requires three doses of polyvalent vaccine + rabies vaccine. However, it is good to keep in mind that this is the best way to keep the animal protected.
Can a cat have a reaction after getting the vaccine?
Yes, after vaccinations, cats can have adverse reactions, although it is not common. In general, the symptoms are quite mild and last a maximum of 24 hours. Fever, pain and swelling at the application site are possible effects. In some cases, itching, vomiting, drowsiness, lack of appetite and a cat with diarrhoea can also occur. If this happens, do not hesitate to call the veterinary clinic and avoidany form of self-medication.
Is it ok to delay cat vaccination?
Unfortunately, yes. In order for immunization to be completely effective, it is essential to respect the deadlines established in the cat vaccination schedule. Otherwise, the animal will be vulnerable and runs the risk of getting sick. Therefore, if the vaccine is already overdue, the best thing to do is to see a veterinarian as soon as possible to find out if the cat's health has not been compromised and if it is possible tovaccinate you again.
If you have a pet that has never been vaccinated, the guideline is that two doses of the multiple vaccine should be given, 21 days apart. A dose of the rabies vaccine is also recommended for the kitten, as well as annual boosters.
Caution: vaccination for cats in heat is not recommended!
The vaccines that the cat should have are the polyvalent vaccine - which can be V3, V4 or V5 - and the rabies vaccine. On the other hand, the cat heat vaccine is totally contraindicated. The so-called "contraceptive injection" can pose serious risks to the animal's health and is not part of the feline immunization cycle.
The drug causes infections in the uterus, tumors in the breasts and ovaries and mammary hyperplasia. To top it off, there is still a hormonal imbalance in the kitten's body. Therefore, the tip is to stick only to the vaccination table for cats given above, and always consult a veterinarian about the possibility of applying non-mandatory vaccines (which do not include the heat vaccine).
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