What About Vaccines?
Written by Karen Katzen   
Monday, 06 October 2008

There are two methods of vaccinating.  Everyone knows about “shots”, while fewer know about “nasal” vaccines. There are pros and cons to both.  While “shots” may possibly last longer, they simply must not be used in early kitten hood, lest wiping out important immunities imparted from mother to kitten. However, “nasal” vaccines can be given as early as two weeks of age without this risk.

Basically, a “shot” creates antibodies in the blood stream, a systemic immunity, while a nasal vaccine makes the tissues in nose, eyes and throat infertile ground for the virus, a cellular or localized immunity.

All my kittens go home with two doses of Pfizer Felomune CVR nasal, for both Rhino and Calisi, given at two weeks and again at 4 or 5 weeks of age. This gives them early protection from the two most common ‘kitty colds’, allowing them to get a good start in life, then protects them until they are well established in their new home environment.  However, this vaccine does not include Panleukopenia (distemper) or Feline Leukemia, so please take the Health Record I provide to your Vet and follow his recommendations as to “shots” needed.

Having said this, I still don’t recommend the FeLuke vaccine being given until your kitten is old enough to go TWO days without eating, as this vaccine can really knock them off their feed!  Don’t do this to a “baby”.

You also might want to pay attention to topics about “Over vaccinating” cats, just as with humans.  Many Vets are rethinking yearly booster shots and unneeded shots for indoor cats.

Re FIP vaccinations:  Just DON’T!  No FIP has ever been found in my cattery, so leave this one alone! It’s not a safe vaccine!

Re Rabies vaccinations:  Don’t do it, unless it is required for travel or by city ordinances.


Bottom Line: No vaccine is perfect. For example, within the Feline Rhinotracheitis (herpes) world, there are many different strains, just as with our own yearly strains of human flue.    The best ‘vaccine’ for it all is found in good kitty genes and good kitty care!
Last Updated ( Monday, 06 October 2008 )