Why We Recommend Cat Vaccinations in Milwaukee WI

Kitten At Home Garden Wall

Even if your cat spends their whole life indoors, they could still be at risk for viral infection. At The Cat Doctor, we recommend vaccinations for all cats to build up and maintain their immunity to rabies, feline parvovirus (FP), and other diseases. To make vaccines as safe as possible for your feline family member, we space out their booster shots and only give them the vaccines they genuinely need for their protection. If you want to find out which vaccines your cat requires to live a healthier life, we’ll be happy to evaluate their health history and offer recommendations.

Call (414) 272-2287 to schedule an appointment with us, or request an appointment online.

Cat Vaccines We Offer

Our practices offers all the core vaccines recommended by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). These include:

  • Rabies vaccine
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis-Calicivirus-Panleukopenia (FVRCP) vaccine
  • Feline Leukemia vaccine (recommended for all kittens, but considered non-core for cats 1 year old and up unless they’re at risk)

We offer both 1-year and 3-year Rabies and FVRCP vaccines for cats.

Curious Kitten

Common Disease Risks for Cats

With the help of cat vaccines, many harmful diseases that were once highly prevalent are now much scarcer, and we hope to keep them scarce.

The most common diseases include:

Rabies

The rabies virus is notoriously fatal, and among domestic animals, cats are the ones most often reported in rabies cases. Therefore, it’s essential to have them vaccinated against this disease. Rabies affects the central nervous system, causing significant changes including aggressiveness, loss of appetite, seizures, and eventually paralysis.

Feline Panleukopenia (Parvovirus)

Feline panleukopenia is an extremely infectious disease caused by the feline parvovirus (FPV). Clinical signs typically include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and anorexia. This life-threatening disease can be transmitted via contact with contaminated surfaces, such as litter boxes, food and water bowls, cages, etc.

Feline Leukemia

Feline leukemia is a retrovirus that affects approximately 2-3% of domestic cats in the US. The virus is shed in feces, urine, saliva, nasal secretions, and even milk in infected mothers, who can then pass on the disease to their kittens. Clinical signs of FeLV include appetite loss, fever, weight loss, diarrhea, poor coat condition, and pale gums.
There are several stages of infection a cat might experience:

  • Abortive infection: The cat’s immune system is able to eliminate the virus entirely (rare).
  • Regressive infection: The cat’s immune system is able to eliminate most of the virus from the body, but they still have some DNA left over that can be reactivated in the future.
  • Progressive infection: The cat has the virus in their bloodstream, is able to infect other cats, and will likely show clinical signs of the disease.

Vaccination and minimal contact with stray/outdoor cats is the most effective way to prevent infection. Additionally, cats that have been diagnosed with FeLV should not be housed with infection-free cats.

Small Maine Coon Kitten

When Should I Have My Cat Vaccinated?

Cats should begin their first booster series at 6-8 weeks old. Once a kitten has been weaned, the antibodies they received from their mother’s milk will begin to fade, leaving them vulnerable to infection. The first year of your kitten’s life is a crucial time for building up their resistance to illness so they can grow up healthy and happy.

If you have questions about vaccinating your cat or want to get them started on their booster shots, call us at (414) 272-2287.