We’ve heard many concerned cat owners ask the question: “Why does my cat need vaccines if he/she doesn’t go outside?” While keeping your cat indoors may reduce the chances of exposure to a wide variety of feline diseases, there are still ways your cat can contract fatal infections. Here are 5 things to remember why providing vaccines as well as parasite prevention to your cat is the best option.
1) Your cat could get outside: While most cat parents are cautious to make sure their felines don’t bolt out the door, friends and family may not be so vigilant. If you’re having a party, a garage sale, or even just a family dinner, your guests may accidentally let Kitty slip out the door and be exposed to diseases and parasites like fleas, heartworms, ear mites, etc.
2) Your cat may end up in a shelter: If your cat does run out your front door, he/she may end up at their local shelter. While we always recommend having identification tags on your cat as well as an implanted microchip to increase the odds of your kitty coming home, any time spent in the animal shelter exposes your cat to a wide variety of feline diseases. The other cats at the shelter may have been unvaccinated strays who carry parasites and deadly diseases like feline leukemia, FIV (the feline version of AIDS), and many more. These diseases can quickly be transmitted to your cat, even if he/she is just there for the day until you run to the shelter to bring Kitty home.
3) You, another person, or another animal may bring diseases or parasites into your home: You can carry certain parasites and/or their eggs on their pant-legs or shoes into your home. If your neighbor who has an outdoor cat comes over to take care of your unvaccinated, parasite exposed cat after a playtime session with the outdoor cat, those diseases can be transmitted to your cat. Bats, which carry rabies, are capable of entering homes through small cracks. If bitten by a bat, your kitty will be exposed to the deadly rabies disease-who then may transmit it to you via bite.
4) Vaccines can also help to keep dormant diseases in check: Upper respiratory infections in cats are highly contagious and the feline herpes virus can remain dormant in your cat’s body for its entire life. If your kitty is sick with another disease or stressed out, it can allow the herpes virus to flare, generating symptoms like discharge from the eyes, nose, and mouth, congestion, coughing, and more. Vaccination against the herpes virus can help keep the symptoms suppressed and keep your kitty full of energy.
5) Your city or county may require vaccines by law: Let us tell you that the fines for not vaccinating are much higher than the cost of the vaccines. Most cities, counties, or states require rabies vaccinations by law. Be sure to check with your veterinarian about the vaccine laws in your area to see if any further vaccinations are required.
While we do believe that inside your home is the best and safest place for your cat, not even the best pet parent can prevent all chances of exposure to parasites and diseases. Here at Emerald Animal Hospital, pet health is our number one priority. We carry vaccinations against feline leukemia, rabies, as well as the FVRCP vaccine (which protects against upper respiratory viruses and feline distemper). We also recommend using Revolution, a topical product, to prevent and treat fleas, ear mites, intestinal parasites, and the fatal heartworm disease.
We want to encourage all of our cat parents out there to get their kitties examined and treated, so for the entire month of August, we’re offering a free roundworm deworming with all feline examinations AND $10 off of all feline leukemia and FIV combo tests. To take advantage of these deals and keep your cat’s health in tip top shape, give us a call at 216-749-7161 and set up your appointment.