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  • Writer's pictureSteve San Miguel Zamorano

Cat Vaccination 101

March 20, 2021

Many serious infectious diseases of cats can be controlled by vaccination. With over 20 million pet cats in the U.S., your cat is quite likely to come in contact with an infectious disease at one time or another. Even indoor cats can be exposed to viral diseases carried in the air, in the dust, or on clothing. Vaccination is inexpensive protection against costly treatment or even the premature death of your cat!

Feline Panleukopenia:

Known as “cat distemper” is a highly contagious and often fatal disease in young cats. It is easily transmitted from cat to cat. Signs include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Feline Respiratory Diseases include several different infectious agents.

They are all highly contagious and are widespread. High death rates occur in young cats and “old” cats. Signs of these diseases include sneezing, fever, nasal discharges, runny nose, coughing, Conjunctivitis (eyelid infections), mouth ulcers, and general depression. These diseases include: Rhinotracheitis, Calici Virus and

Chlamydia Sneezing, etc easily spread from upper respiratory infections. Even a stray cat that seems outwardly to be healthy may be a “carrier” infecting your pet, even though a screen window. Protection from all the above diseases is included in one injection. A series of the initial injection is necessary to build the antibody protection needed to help your cat develop a high degree of immunity against these diseases.

Feline Leukemia:

Unknown 20 years ago, but is now considered to be the leading cause of death in cats. It is a cancer-causing virus that often suppresses the ability to fight other infections. Kittens can be born with the virus. Cats can have the leukemia virus for years before showing signs of the disease. Feline Leukemia is not transmissible to humans or dogs. There is no successful treatment once signs develop!

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP):

A progressive and fatal disease. It is now said to be the number 2 killer of cats in the U.S. Many infected cats also harbor Feline Leukemia. Signs include loss of weight, labored breathing, enlarged abdomen, and generalized illness. There is no successful treatment once signs appear!


Fatal viral infection of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Cats have outnumbered dogs in reported cases since 1981. Rabies is a public health hazard and a personal risk to you. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal. Even indoor cats may be infected through contact with a carrier in a basement, garage, or attic. There is no cure! Vaccination is very important for your safety, as well as the safety of your pet.

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