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In the own mysterious ways, cats often appear practically indestructible - which may be why they're said to have "nine lives." But the gravest threats to your cat's health may come, not from any obvious hazard, but from invisible invaders that destroy his health from within. Your cat needs to be protected against a number of deadly microorganisms if you want him to enjoy a long and happy life. Here at North Central Animal Hospital, we can administer the necessary cat vaccines to provide that protection.
You might assume that your cat's immune system is capable of fighting off disease threats. While this is true, there's also a catch. The immune system produces antibodies that protect against specific germs but only after initial exposure to those germs. In the case of certain deadly diseases, that first exposure could tragically turn out to be the last one.
Cat vaccines offer a relatively safe workaround to this dilemma. A vaccine is a substance that closely resembles the germ you're trying to protect against. When the immune system encounters the vaccine, it starts manufacturing antibodies against the actual germ, “remembering" that germ so it can keep producing antibodies as needed for as long as the vaccine remains potent.
Your cat will enjoy "borrowed" immunity through antibodies in his mother's milk for the few weeks of life. By the age of 6 weeks, however, it's time to start scheduling sets of vaccinations every few weeks during that first critical year, building up a strong foundation of disease resistance. but this isn't the end of your cat's need for vaccinations. Cat vaccines wear off various rates over the years, requiring us to administer booster shots on a predetermined schedule.
Every cat should receive core vaccinations, the vaccinations considered most critical against common diseases. The core vaccinations protect against calicivirus, panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and rabies. For greater convenience, the first three of these vaccines can be administered in a single injection. Your cat may also need to receive certain other vaccinations known as elective or non-core vaccinations. This is especially true to cats who spend lots of time in close quarters with other felines. Depending on your cat's individual risk factors, we may recommend vaccinations to protect against feline chlamydia, Bordetella, feline leukemia, or other potential dangers.
Don't count on your cat having nine lives against the looming threat of common diseases. Call our Phoenix veterinary center today at (602) 395-9773 to schedule the core and/or elective vaccinations your favorite feline needs to stay healthy!