As we wrote in our canine vaccine post, we hear the word “vaccine” and we’re not sure what to think. Are they really necessary for my cat? Really? The short answer is: Yes. The longer answer is: Well, yes. Yes, they are actually. Cats suffer from diseases just like dogs suffer — they’re just better at hiding pain. Add to that fact how many more (unvaccinated!) stray cats than stray dogs there are here in Clinton, MS and you have the perfect recipe for disease-ridden clowders of cats spreading misery to each other and then suffering in silence. We don’t want that for your sweet kitty (or any kitty for that matter)! That’s why we do everything we can to prevent illness and misery within our kitty communities. And that starts with preventing diseases through vaccinations. Below are the major diseases that we recommend vaccinating against.
Rabies: this disease is no respecter of persons or animals — it’s horrible, almost always fatal (unless treated before symptoms begin), and is transmittable to humans. This vaccination is required by law in Mississippi. End of discussion.
Feline Herpesvirus (1) — this upper respiratory disease typically causes sneezing, eye/nose discharge, and fever which can significantly affect quality of life. Exposure through bodily fluids is common and there is no cure although the severity of the disease often differs depending on stress.
Feline Calicivirus — this virus causes similar symptoms to the Herpesvirus with the addition of mouth ulcers. As you can imagine, mouth pain (in addition to the other symptoms) can affect eating/drinking which can severely affect quality of life.
Feline Panleukopenia — remember parvo from our previous post about dog vaccinations? Well, this is the same type of virus. It’s highly contagious, shed in all bodily secretions, and affects the digestive tract (think dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea) and central nervous system. This virus can only be killed through intense heat or bleach, NEITHER of which should EVER be ingested, so veterinarians can only treat symptoms and guard against secondary infections.
Feline Leukemia Virus — do your kitties share food or water dishes with the neighbor’s cats? If so, they may be exposed to this virus. It can suppress their immune system, cause anemia, and/or cause cancer of the lymphatic system.
Friends, these diseases are miserable for your kitties, easily spread, and incurable once contracted (although symptoms can be alleviated for some and antibiotics can be given to prevent secondary infections in cases like panleukopenia). Regardless, these are painful diseases for your cat to live with, so don’t wait! Vaccinate.
(To schedule your next kitty wellness visit, simply call us at 601-924-4549)