Vaccines may seem boring, but they are NOT! Lake County has recently had an outbreak of feline distemper, which has killed a number of cats. This is a viral disease like the more familiar “parvo” that dogs get. Sick cats often die even when they receive intensive medical care. Likewise, every veterinarian around Clearlake sees more than a few cats each month with Feline Leukemia and with less severe respiratory infections. These sick cats are especially sad because proper vaccinations could have saved them.
Recently cat vaccines have been under review because of the chance that some of them can cause a tumor at the vaccine site. The chance of this happening is somewhere around 1 in 10,000. Also, newer vaccines and vaccine injection technology have been developed to decrease the chances even further. Therefore, each person needs to learn the best vaccination strategy for their own particular cat. If a cat NEVER goes outdoors, then perhaps fewer vaccines or less long-lasting vaccines are needed. If a cat is outside and getting into frequent fights, then maybe maximum protection is required.
Rabies is also worth mentioning since this vaccine is required by law for dogs, but it is not for cats. However, rabies is very important for every cat. First, because it is an incurable disease and because it is present in the wildlife in Lake County. Second, because if your cat happens to bite someone (even you) and it is not current on its rabies vaccination, the Health Department can require it to be euthanized to test it for the rabies virus.