This week we have Max, a 3 year old male neutered cat who came to visit for his yearly appointment and vaccinations. All cats are at risk for exposure to various illnesses and vaccines and yearly visits to your veterinarian will help ensure proper prevention protocols are taken and the best care is given to your furry family pet to keep them healthy throughout their lives.

Max was vaccinated for rabies, a central nervous system and neurological virus, transferred by wildlife animals and unvaccinated animals, usually by bite. In most states the rabies vaccination is required for cats. Rabies can pose a public health risk, so it is important to keep your cat up to date on this vaccination.

Max was also vaccinated for the feline leukemia virus. This virus attacks the cats immune system making them more susceptible for secondary infections/ diseases, and death. It causes severe immunosuppression. The transmission usually occurs through cat to cat contact so it is important if you are in a mutli-cat household, or an indoor/outdoor cat you discuss this vaccination with your veterinarian.

Max was vaccinated with a combination vaccine known as the feline distemper vaccine. This is a combination vaccine to vaccinate for Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus, Panleukopenia (feline distemper), and the feline Chlamydia virus. Panleukopenia, or feline distemper, is a virus that most cats are thought to be exposed to in their lifetime and vaccination is important. Cat to cat contact, contaminated cat feces, or environmental contact are all possible. This disease causes fever, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea and pain attacking the gastrointestinal system. Kittens are most susceptible. The Rhinotracheitis and Calici virus are easily transmitted infections which cause upper respiratory illness in cats such as nasal and ocular discharge, oral ulcers, conjunctivitis and anorexia. These can become chronic infections/illnesses and predispose cats to the feline chlamydiosis virus which is also a respiratory virus but not as common or widespread. This vaccine helps to protect against many viruses that cats could otherwise be exposed to without any protection.

Finally, Max had a fecal sample sent off for a complete check for intestinal parasites and completed his annual visit. His family did a great job completing his annual tests and vaccinations in order to keep Max healthy and happy!

Remember it is also important to place your cat on heartworm, flea and tick prevention even if your cat is not outdoors. You can always bring things inside on your shoes and clothes which you may then be wearing when you cuddle with your kitty later!!