Should I vaccinate my cat?

posted: by: CB Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

Cats are not dogs. 

This statement could not be more true when it comes to vaccines and your kitty.

When vaccinating your cat, there are two types to consider: Core Vaccines and Lifestyle Vaccines. 

Core Vaccines
These vaccines are considered "must have" by the AAFP. The AAFP stands for American Association of Feline Practitioners. The AAFP is the organization that writes the vaccination guidelines for cats. The core vaccination for cats is the FVRCP, or the upper respiratory vaccine. 

Lifestyle vaccines
 Lifestyle vaccines are those that are available, but the pet owner and veterinarian should work together to decide if your pet is at risk or not and should be vaccinated. Lifestyle vaccines include:
Feline Leukemia Virus- spread by bodily fluids
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus-spread by bite wounds 
Rabies-spread by bats and wildlife

**A note on Rabies vaccines:
Currently, it is not required by law for a cat to be vaccinated in the state of Ohio for Rabies, however, all cats are at some risk due to the chance of a bat getting into your home.   

Feline Injection Site Sarcoma
Although uncommon, cats can develop a cancerous growth at the vaccine injection site called FISS, or Feline Injection Site Sarcoma. To safeguard your cat from this, the two things you must keep in mind are:

1. Vaccinate as least often as possible
2. Stay on the leg

**Feline Injection Site Sarcoma shown below on the neck

We can achieve vaccinating minimally by choosing only vaccines your pet needs based on lifestyle and also getting longer duration vaccines, such as the upper respiratory vaccine that lasts 3 years. 

We also urge pet owners to be diligent in noticing where on the body their pet is being vaccinated. All cats should be vaccinated on the leg. The reason for this is if your cat develops a FISS, the leg can then be removed and the pet's life can be saved. Pictured below in the proper site to inject a cat for vaccination.

If you have any questions about this article or any other vaccine questions, feel free to give us a call at 419-636-5081 or email at