Hello again, fellow felines. I know vaccinations and veterinary visits in general are something that you’d probably rather not talk about. In fact, they’re probably something you wish your human would forget. But don’t make that decision so quickly because those pesky vaccines and other veterinary visits are actually necessary to keep all of us furry felines healthy.
The video above, provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association, explains what vaccines are designed to do and why we need them. It explains the difference between “core” vaccines and “non-core” or “lifestyle” vaccines. It also talks about the risk of sarcoma formation, a type of tumor that has been linked with vaccine injections.
It’s worth five minutes of your human’s time to watch the video but here’s the bottom line. All of us need vaccines but we don’t all need the same vaccines. Vaccination protocols should be individualized to meet our individual needs. While I don’t recommend the outdoor life for cats, if you do live part of your life outdoors, you probably need a different vaccination protocol than a cat that lives indoors exclusively. Your human should discuss your individual risks and needs with your veterinarian and establish a vaccination schedule that suites your lifestyle.
One of the things that our humans frequently ask our veterinarians is whether indoor cats need vaccinations at all. The answer in most cases is yes. An indoor cat may still be at risk for certain diseases and may need protection against them. Your veterinarian can help your human decide.
In the case of rabies, though an indoor cat may not have a significant risk of contacting rabies, accidents do happen. We cats can be pretty sneaky when we want to be and sometimes we sneak outdoors when nobody is looking. Sometimes wild animals find their way indoors too. Some indoor cats have been exposed to rabies by bats that found their way indoors. In the unlikely event that one of us is unvaccinated and exposed to rabies, the consequences can be dire. We might be quarantined or even “put to sleep” as a result of the exposure. So tell your humans that you need vaccinations even if you are an indoor cat.
Humans, your veterinarian is always the best source of information about your cat’s health. If your cat is not already vaccinated, talk to your veterinarian about establishing an appropriate vaccination schedule for your cat and be sure you follow through. Even if a visit to the veterinarian isn’t your cat’s favorite thing to do, your cat will still thank you for caring enough to keep him/her healthy.