When you adopt a kitten, it may surprise you to hear from a vet or a fellow pet lover that it's a good idea to get them vaccinated at a very early age. If you were thinking of waiting until later in their life to get their vaccines, this may mean exposing your kitten to a life-long virus that could cause problems for them. Especially if you have another cat in your household or neighborhood, it's important to get your kitten's FVRCP injection right away. Here's why.
The FVRCP vaccine is designed to protect your cat against multiple strains of nasty viruses. While every vaccine is designed to block viral infections, the type of viruses that this vaccine, in particular, protects against are important.
This shot is a lot like getting a chickenpox shot for a child. The viruses in question don't simply go away when your pet's immune system beats them. Instead, they go into hiding and hibernation and can cause symptoms to pop up later, in a similar way to how chickenpox can morph into shingles later in life.
Unfortunately, once your kitten is infected with these viruses, it means they're stuck with them for life. While kittens and cats can live long and fairly healthy lives with these illnesses, they do produce more inflammation in the body and can lead to significant symptoms. For example, cats who don't get these vaccines often experience on and off-again upper respiratory infections. These infections can lead to sneezing, discharge, difficulty breathing, and crusting and swelling of the eyelids, making it hard for them to see. The symptoms will eventually subside, but during times of stress or illness from something else, they may return.
What to Expect
The good news is that once your kitten is vaccinated, you don't need to worry about this problem anymore.
Whether or not you know the age of your kitten, it's a good idea to head to the vet's office for these injections right away. They can determine whether or not your kitten is old enough for the vaccines, and can then get started as soon as possible. These vaccines typically require booster shots to be provided, so you will need to return to the vet's office to have them administered later on. Your vet will set up an appointment so that you don't forget.
By vaccinating your kitten, you can rest easy knowing that they're protected, even if another cat comes to your household who has this ongoing illness. For more information about animal vaccinations, contact a local clinic, such as Jones Animal Health Clinic.