Archive for March, 2010


Kittens are extremely cute animals. When you first get your kitten, chances are you will never let it out of your sight, showing it off to friends and family as it stumbles around your home.

But cats, like all animals, have the potential to catch and carry diseases. Even if your cat is an indoor cat, it is at risk for commonly spread viruses and diseases that can harm your cat’s health. When your kitten is young it is important to make sure that it is properly vaccinated in order to ensure that your cat stays safe.

What if My Cat With Stay Indoors?
Even if you expect your cat to be an indoor cat for most of its life, it is still a good idea to get your cat immunized for diseases. There are several reasons that vaccinations are advised:
• Your cat can escape, causing it to be at severe risk for disease as it roams the outdoors.
• You can bring in some of these diseases on your clothes or shoes.
• Your cat may someday need to be an outdoor cat, and immunizing your cat as a kitten makes it more likely that the immunization will work effectively.
Though a true indoor cat that never leaves your home is not at great risk for diseases or illness, there is still too great a risk that your cat can get sick to avoid getting the immunizations. It is safer for your cat, and since most of the shots are inexpensive, safer for your wallet as well.

Shots for Cats
If you are going to raise an outdoor cat, your vet may recommend more than just the basic kitten vaccines. Still, here are several of the potential vaccinations that your kitten should receive early in life.
• Distemper/Panleukopenia
Distemper is a widely spread disease throughout the feline community. Any contact with any secretion from another cat that has the disease can cause the illness to be spread. Distemper can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe fluid loss. Immunizations for distemper have been shown to be highly effective and are recommended for all cats both indoor and outdoor.
• Calcivirus
A respiratory illness, Calcivirus is also extremely contagious and can quickly spread from cat to cat. The illness can also be caused by other infections that weaken the immune system. Like Distemper, Calcivirus shots have been shown to be highly effective.
• Rhinotracheitis
Rhinotracheitis is similar to Calcivirus, except that it is does not often show up with other infections. It is also spread through sneezing and affects cats of all ages. Immunizing your kitten is the best way to reduce the effects of this disease.
• Leukemia
Unlike the disease in humans, Feline Leukemia is a virus that can spread through bites or shared saliva, such as two cats eating the same meal. Feline Leukemia is very dangerous and painful for you cat.
• Feline Chlamydia
It is also important that your cat gets immunized for feline Chlamydia. Unlike many of the other diseases, this type of disease can spread to humans, because it is caused by aggressive bacteria.
• Bordetella
If you ever want to bring your cat to a kennel, you will need to get it immunized for Bordetella. This illness is not often fatal, but does spread EXTREMELY quickly, especially with cats in close quarters.
• Rabies

Cats are always at risk for rabies, especially outdoor cats. Simply coming in contact with the saliva from a rabid animal can spread it to your cat. Since rabies can spread to humans, getting your cat immunized for rabies is as important for you as it is for your pet.

Additional Vaccines
There are also additional vaccines available. Giardia and FIP are a few examples. Talk to your vet about what immunizations are best for your kitten. The cost of these vaccines is not very high, but the medical costs of a cat that catches these diseases, as well as the risk of spreading the disease to other cats is so high that it is highly recommended that you get your kitten vaccinated, even if you are planning on keeping your cat indoors all of its life.