The K.I.S.S. Guide to Cat Care

Your Veterinarian's Role:
Never underestimate the importance of your veterinarian in keeping your cat healthy and happy. From administering vaccines to catching cancerous growths to parasite control to answering your questions, your veterinarian should be, next to you, the most important person in your cat's life.

An annual exam
What the visit should include
Things to ask the vet

Cats, like humans, should be protected by vaccinations against a number of serious and potentially fatal infectious diseases. Vaccinations guard your cat against viruses or other diseases that can make it sick or even threaten its life. It is imperative that you have your cat or kitten properly vaccinated.

The basics of vaccinations
Rabies vaccination
Vaccinating for feline panleukopenia (FPV)
Vaccinating for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
Vaccinating for feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)
Vaccinating for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
Vaccinating for feline respiratory disease complex
Other feline illnesses to watch for
Cancer and vaccines

When to start vaccinating:
When should your cat or kitten be vaccinated? Good question.

Kittens should normally receive their first vaccination by eight or nine weeks of age, and follow-up vaccinations every three to four weeks until they are twelve weeks old.

Your pet is not fully protected until this complete series of vaccinations has been administered. A booster vaccination is recommended at one year of age.

When the vaccination history of an adult cat rescued from the street or a shelter is not known, I recommend having it vaccinated straight away, even if you suspect someone might have already had the cat vaccinated. The vaccination won't do any harm to the cat and could, in fact prevent it from catching something fatal.

The bottom line:
With all that's still not known about vaccinations and all that's changing, sometimes it's hard to know what's right for your cat. Make sure your veterinarian stays current on all reports regarding new feline vaccination techniques. In the U.S., veterinarians can do so by reading all literature generated by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Then discuss your options with him or her, and together you will be able to figure out what's best for your cat.

Excerpted from The K.I.S.S. Guide to Cat Care by Steve Duno
Copyright 2001 by Steve Duno.
Excerpted by permission of Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.
All rights reserved.
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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