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Routine Vaccinations for Your Cat

Cats of all ages need routine vaccinations to help them stay healthy. Your cat's vaccination schedule will vary based on her age, overall health, state regulations, vaccination type and risk of exposure.

In general, kittens usually need several sets of vaccination boosters to provide them with as much protection as possible. Adult cats that are properly vaccinated should receive yearly boosters for most vaccines.

The following vaccines are the most important to your cat's health:

  • Distemper/Upper Respiratory: 4-in-1 vaccine protects against several very serious diseases.
  • Rabies: protects against the disease that can be fatal to all mammals (including humans).
  • Feline Leukemia: protects against the potentially fatal disease.
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis: protects against the potentially fatal disease.

What You and Your Cat Should Expect from a Vet Visit

The veterinarian should take a detailed history and spend at least 30 minutes with you and your pet conducting a thorough nose-to-tail exam, including listening to your pet's heart and lungs and feeling his belly.

In addition to inquiring about your cat's physical health, the vet should also ask about your pet's behavior and mood. If you're having behavioral issues, the vet should provide information and discuss possible solutions.

Before prescribing treatment, the vet should offer appropriate diagnostic tests. If you have any questions about your pet's diagnosis or treatment, don't hesitate to ask questions.

When making a diagnosis, your vet should offer a full explanation of the diagnosis, along with the treatment options and use of prescriptions.

Your vet should follow up by phone in a few days to see how you and your cat are doing. Remember to mention any new symptoms and always ask questions if you're unsure about what to do next.

An Ounce of Prevention

Smart choices and consistent preventive care are the keys to ensuring your cat's consistent good health. Always pay attention to the basics including:

  • Nutrition: proper nutrition is the foundation of your pet's good health. Read more about nutrition for your cat.
  • Vaccinations: regularly scheduled vaccinations and boosters protect your cat from many harmful viruses.
  • Parasite control: pay attention to signs of both internal (worms) and external (fleas and ticks) parasites. Talk to your vet about the type of parasite prevention and treatment that's right for your pet.

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