Vaccination and parasite prevention are important in preventing illness in your cat and promoting public health.
Vaccinating your cat is an important medical decision that should be discussed with your veterinarian. Vaccines stimulate an immune response against specific infectious organisms, and help the immune system fight disease. Given at the appropriate age and at the appropriate intervals, vaccinations will benefit your cat by providing protection against serious and at times life threatening illness. Vaccinations also help to promote human health – Rabies is a disease transmitted from cats to humans and is prevented by vaccination.
We follow the American Association of Feline Practitioner’s Feline Vaccination Guidelines (view here) and assess each patient’s lifestyle, risk of exposure, age, health status, and medical history before determining which vaccines will be administered.
Vaccinations are important even for indoor only cats. Cats can be exposed to diseases in various circumstances including boarding, traveling, a new cat in the home, a stay in the hospital, exposure to other cats, wildlife that have unexpectedly entered the home, & even humans unknowingly bringing transmissible diseases into the home.
We use only non-adjuvanted vaccinations for our feline patients. These vaccines are manufactured without the use of adjuvants, which are agents added to a vaccine (such as aluminum) that can increase immune response. Adjuvants may present potential risks to feline patients, such as injection site reactions, chronic inflammation, or the development of fibrosarcomas.
A high percentage of kittens are infected with parasites at the time of birth. Other modes of transmission to cats include infection from contact with other animals, infection by ingestion, and certain forms of parasites can be tracked indoors from soil on shoes or found in potting soil. This means that even cats that live exclusively indoors are at risk.
It is possible for some parasites, such as roundworms, to be transmitted to humans. Your doctor will discuss individualized vaccination and parasite prevention recommendations based on your cat’s age, health status, and lifestyle and risk assessment, and will consider the potential for human infection.