Your Cat's Life Could Depend On Being Vaccinated

Posted on: 31 March 2015


Your cat and its cousins, the leopard and tiger, share many traits. One thing they don't share is an immunity to some potentially fatal illnesses. That's why vaccinations at a place like The Pets Place Animal Hospital are important for your cat, even if it is an indoor-only cat. All it takes is a quick escape to the outdoors, or to rub noses with an infected cat through the screen door. Here are the typical diseases for which your cat should be vaccinated so they can stay as healthy as their wild cousins.

Feline Panleukopenia

Also called feline distemper, this is caused by a virus and is highly contagious and sometimes fatal. Cats can catch this virus and show no symptoms, then suddenly die. Other cats become weak, listless and stop eating. It can be transmitted to other cats through fecal matter in the litter box.

Feline Herpesvirus

Symptoms of this virus include respiratory problems such as watering eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. It is an airborne virus which is spread by your cat's sneeze. When a kitten contracts this before being vaccinated, they can carry the virus in their body for the rest of their life. They will then pass it on to other cats. The vaccine for this virus will reduce the severity of the symptoms but will not eradicate the disease.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that rabies now appears in cats more often than in dogs. This virus attacks the nervous system, quickly debilitating your cat. A bite or scratch from an animal with rabies infects the target immediately and it can be passed on to humans. If your cat catches rabies, it will most likely be fatal, making this one of the most important vaccinations that veterinary services can give your cat. Some cities and states require pets to be vaccinated against rabies to prevent a wide outbreak.

Feline Leukemia Virus

This virus reduces the effectiveness of your cat's immune system. This leaves your cat open to various health issues including anemia and cancer. Your cat can be infected from the saliva of an FeLV-positive cat just by licking the fur of an infected. This vaccination will prevent the immune system from being seriously damaged, but infected cats can still pass on the virus.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

This virus can stay dormant in a cat for some time, then become active and begin damaging their immune system. It is usually passed through the bite from an FIV-positive cat. When the virus becomes active, it is most often fatal. The vaccine protects most, but not all, cats from the virus.

Many of these viruses have a fatal result. Those that don't will cause your cat to have a lifetime of medical issues. Give your cat the protection of it's wild cousins by getting it vaccinated and watching that your cat doesn't come into contact with other infected felines.