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Vaccinations for cats help prevent infectious viral diseases from making your cat extremely ill. Kittens should receive their first combination vaccine ( calicivirus, feline distemper, and rhinotracheitis) when they are around six weeks old and a booster at 10 weeks of age. Cats must be at least 12 weeks old before receiving their first rabies vaccine. Your Memphis veterinarian recommends a combination vaccine when a kitten is 3 weeks old to protect against feline leukemia and pneumonitis. When a kitten is five months old, they should receive another combination vaccine and booster vaccines as scheduled by your vet.
Rabies, herpes virus, calicivirus and panleukopenia (feline distemper) are considered "core" vaccinations necessary for keeping your cat in good health. Non-core vaccinations, or vaccinations that are not needed for cats to travel internationally or to be boarded at kennels, include feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. Currently, no vaccination for feline heartworm exists. However, veterinarians urge cat owners to take advantage of heartworm preventives such as chewable tablets containing safe and effective ingredients for killing heartworm larvae transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
Rabies is a potentially fatal viral disease affecting the central nervous system of cats, humans, and mammals. Unless treated promptly, rabies causes symptoms resembling a serious neurological disorder, such as agitation, confusion, and lethargy. Animals suffering late-stage rabies will salivate excessively or "foam" at the mouth, act aggressively and have difficulty swallowing. A kitten or cat with advanced rabies will need to be put to sleep by your Memphis veterinarian.
Distemper is a serious, often fatal illness affecting cats and dogs that have not received distemper vaccinations. Symptoms of distemper include diarrhea, vomiting, rapid weight loss, dehydration, and convulsions. Spread when an animal comes in contact with an infected animal's saliva, blood or urine, distemper is especially devastating in younger animals and almost always proves fatal if not treated immediately. Vaccinating your cat against distemper is essential to the lifelong health and well-being of your cat.
Yes! Vaccinations for cats and other pets mildly stimulate their immune system to establish a strong, defense mechanism against infectious diseases. Although some cats may experience minimal side effects, such as soreness and swelling at the injection site, coughing, sneezing or running a low-grade fever, these symptoms will disappear within 24 to 48 hours after receiving the vaccination. Very rarely do pets have a serious allergic reaction to vaccines. If you have any concerns about your kitten getting feline vaccinations, your Memphis veterinarian will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you have prior to starting your cat on a vaccination schedule.
To schedule an appointment for your kitten or cat, please call one of our PetVax Complete Care Centers in Cordova, Bartlett, Germantown or Memphis at 901-654-3110. We look forward to meeting with you!
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