Routine Vaccinations

At Cat Care Clinic, we aim to minimize vaccinations given to our patients, but do believe in the importance of core vaccines for all cats. Many diseases can be prevented through proper, safe vaccination schedules and brands. Depending on your cat’s age, lifestyle, health status, and history, we will recommend the safest and most important vaccines for your cat. You can rest assured that we use only the safest vaccines, the best route of administration, and the minimal frequency needed for protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my cat need a Rabies vaccine? He never leaves the house.

Rabies is a fatal disease for people and for any animal that is exposed to the virus (through a bite, scratch, or saliva of a rabid animal). Since our furry pets can be a route for the virus to get from a wild animal to a human, it is considered a serious human health concern and therefore is a legally mandated vaccine for all cats.

Historically, people that have contracted rabies do not realize they had been exposed to a rabid animal. Affected animals can act quiet and subdued, or the opposite with wild aggressive behavior that we expect with a rabid animal. In Wisconsin, bats are the number one carriers of rabies and they can certainly find their way indoors through the smallest cracks. And, of course, we can never put it beyond a cat to sneak outside or escape during travel.

If a cat is not current on their Rabies vaccination and came in contact with a rabid bat or other animal, the consequences can be severe (aside from the severity of possibly dying from contracting Rabies). Each state has its own laws, but depending on the state and situation, strict long term quarantine or even euthanasia is sometimes mandated.

Another situation where the legal regulation of Rabies vaccination takes effect is if a cat bites someone. Even the sweetest, quietest cat has a mind of its own and out-of-the-blue can get scared and bite an innocent friend or child. If there is no proof of current Rabies vaccination, you may be fined heavily and your poor cat may be faced with strict quarantine or in some cases euthanasia.

Rabies is rare in the United States, but still present and taken very seriously since it is fatal. Around the world, an astonishing 50,000 people die each year from Rabies, typically in areas where vaccination is not routine.

We use the safest Rabies vaccine for cats. It is an injection given under the skin of the right rear leg. Because is is non-adjuvanted (does not contain the harmful preservative that some Rabies vaccines do), it must be given every year. Please do not ever have your cat vaccinated with any other Rabies vaccine.

What are the side effects of the vaccinations?

Some cats will be a little sore at the site of vaccine injection, but it is normally not noticed since the vaccines are given right under the skin, not in the muscle. Your kitty may be a little quiet 24 hours after a vaccine. The upper respiratory vaccine (FVRCP, aka distemper) given intranasal, may stimulate a little sneezing or watery eyes for 24-72 hours.If you cat continues to eat well, respond well, and carry on normal activity, we recommend monitoring closely. If your cat doe not eat well or continues to be lethargic after 24 hours, we recommend they be seen by us. They may be having a mild reaction to the vaccination.

More severe vaccine reactions are rare with the vaccines we use. Typically they occur soon after administration, so we recommend keeping an eye on your cat for at least 30-45 minutes post vaccination administration. Signs of severe reactions include swelling or hives, repeated vomiting, abnormal or labored breathing, or anything else you feel is out of the ordinary. Please call us immediately.

I can buy vaccinations online, can I just give those myself?

We never recommend people give vaccinations that are not sold and administered through a veterinary hospital. The safety of your cat is most important and the vaccine must be given the correct route in the correct location. Transport of and storage of vaccines is crucial to their effectiveness and safety too. If a vaccine is shipped from the manufacturer then to a store, possibly to another store, and then to a home, there is higher risk of it being handled wrong. And, of course, if your cat reacts to a vaccine at home, it can be very dangerous if it is not noticed and addressed right away.

Why do you give the vaccine drops in my cat`s nose?

The most effective way to combat some diseases, particularly the upper respiratory ones, is at the site of infection: the nose itself.  For this reason, an intranasal vaccine is given directly into the nose.  A single droplet of vaccine is given into one or both of the cat’s nostrils.  The application is quick, easy, and painless.

Because it’s dropped into the nose, your cat’s reaction may be to sniff or sneeze.  This is perfectly normal and means your cat has received the vaccine where it is needed.  No need to worry that the vaccine has been “sniffed out” because an effective amount will remain in your cat’s nose.

Does the "distemper" vaccine help with my cat`s temper?
“Distemper” is often what the traditional feline upper respiratory and panleukopenia vaccination is called, but has nothing to do with their temperament.  Clinics may use different forms of the “distemper” vaccine, some with 3, or even 4 components within it.  It is an important vaccine and at Cat Care Clinic, we use a safe and effective intranasal vaccine that protects against the three easily transmitted viruses: rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.
This is a mild vaccine that is given intranasally only every third year.  It provides rapid protection without the risk of injection site sarcomas and related reactions.