Bring out the guards: Vaccinate to Strengthen


Dr Astha Chaurasia
Dr Naveen Kumar Verma
Vaccinations are usually administered to produce or artificially increase the immunity to a particular disease. Vaccinations or immunizations work by stimulating the immune system,the natural disease fighting system of the body.
Vaccinations are an important part of your cat’s health care routine. By vaccinating your cat, you not just help protect your pet, but also your family. It is best to keep a vaccination record and follow it regularly. Get in touch with your vet to know the best vaccination routine for your pet!
Dreadful diseases at bay: Provide protection with vaccinations
Feline Panleukopenia: Panleukopenia, commonly known as feline distemper, is highly contagious viral infection in cats. It is similar to parvovirus infections in dogs. It can prove to be fatal in unvaccinated cats particularly kittens. Vomiting, dehydration, weakness, and poor appetite are common symptoms.
Feline Viral Rhinotrachetitis: Feline viral rhinotracheitis refers to infection in upper respiratory tract caused by a feline herpesvirus (this virus does not infect people). Symptoms commonly include sneezing, ocular and nasal discharge similar to a common cold in people. Once infected, cats usually carry the herpes virus for the rest of their lives and may become sick when stressed.
Feline calcivirus: It is a common highly contagious cause of upper respiratory infections in cats. Symptoms caused by this virus are very similar to those caused by the herpesvirus and include sneezing and occular discharge. In some cases cats may develop painful ulcers on their tongue and in the back of their throats as result of this infection.
NOTE: The 3-in-1 vaccine protects your cat from rhinotracheitis, calcivirus and panleukopenia.The FVRCP vaccination commonly referred to as the ‘Distemper shot’ protects cats against panleukopenia (feline distemper) and feline herpesvirus and calcivirus. It is considered a core vaccine and is recommended for all cats.
How often should my cat be vaccinated?
Always discuss your cat’s health and particular medical needs with your veterinarians.
Mantras for good health and overall wellness:

  • All kittens should receive a 4-in-1 DA2PP vaccine starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age and repeated every 3 to 4 weeks until the kitten is at least 4 month old.
  •  Adult cats who have not previously been vaccinated as kittens should receive a 4-in-1 DA2PP vaccine twice 3 to 4 weeks apart.
  •  For cats, booster vaccines are typically given a year later and then every 3 years based on the recommendation of your vet.
  •  Cats must be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age and receive booster doses on an annual or tri- annual basis in accordance with the specific vaccine administered.

Vaccines are not foolproof: Know why they fail?
When a vaccinated animal develops the disease against which it was vaccinated, it is often referred to as vaccine failure. In a majority of cases, however, it is not the vaccine that has failed, but an inadequate immune response to the vaccine has occurred. Listed below are some of the main reasons disease may develop in vaccinated animals.

  • Maternal antibody
  •  Vaccination of neonatal (newly born) kittens who did not get their colostrums with a live vaccine
  •  Insufficient time between vaccination or booster dose and exposure
  •  Damage to vaccine
  •  Improper administration
  •  Non adherence to vaccination schedule/vaccine interference
  •  Prolonged interval between vaccinations
  •  Immunosuppression/immunodeficiency
  •  Nutritional deficiencies
  •  Infective vaccines
  •  Health conditions

As we all know prevention is better than cure. Just like you’re careful about your children’s vaccination schedule, as pet parents you need to be careful about your feline child’s vaccination schedule as well. Better to get them vaccinated, rather than see them suffer.
(Dr Astha Chaurasia is from Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, Nanaji Deshmukh Veterinary Science University, South Civil Lines, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh and Dr Naveen Kumar Verma is from Division of Surgery, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh).