Our Sudbury Animal Hospital’s Insight on the Importance of Vaccinating Indoor Cats
Our Sudbury Animal Hospital, The Barrydowne Animal Hospital, knows that many people choose to keep their feline family members indoors BUT did you know that they can still be exposed to harmful viruses?? There is a common myth that indoor cats do not need vaccinations but this is in fact, only a myth. Our Sudbury Animal Hospital would like to “let the cat out of the bag” and provide some insight on the benefits of having your feline friend vaccinated, even if they stay indoors. Let’s begin with some info on the viruses that we are vaccinating against:
- Feline Panleukopenia – This virus is highly contagious and often fatal. It is very resistant and can survive in things such as carpets and furniture. Our vets at the Barrydowne Animal Hospital in Sudbury want you to know that this virus is caused by a parvovirus that is similar to parvovirus seen in dogs.
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis – This virus is also very highly contagious and is caused by the feline herpes virus. We want you to know that this is one of the most severe upper respiratory infections and can create lifelong issues. It is more common in kittens and unvaccinated older cats.
- Feline Calicivirus – Again this virus is highly contagious and most common in kittens. This virus can cause ulcers in the mouth, eyes, and nose. It can also lead to long-term health issues.
- Feline Leukemia Virus – Our Sudbury Animal Hospital wants you to know that this virus is often fatal to your feline friend and may take months or even years before showing symptoms.
- Rabies – We all know that Rabies is no way for a friend to die but did you realize that humans can become infected as well? This vaccine is required by law as it is nearly 100% fatal to both pets and pet parents.
Now that you know what we are vaccinating against, let’s discuss why Our Sudbury Animal Hospital feels that it is vital for your indoor feline friend to be properly vaccinated. There are many different situations that may put your kitty at risk of exposure.
Many of these viruses are airborne and resistant to several disinfectants. Therefore, your new home may be harboring these viruses even if you thoroughly clean before moving. Our Sudbury Animal Hospital wants you to know that if there was an infected cat living in the home before you moved in; there could a risk of exposure to your cat. Definitely not the housewarming gift you want!! Also, if your cat goes to the groomers or visits the pet store they run the risk of exposure through contaminated equipment or close contact with other infected animals. All it takes is one infected cat to ruin the party!
If you have a multi-cat household or bring a new cat into your household (planned or unplanned) that has a virus, there is a strong chance of passing the virus along to healthy cats. Our Sudbury Animal Hospital states that cats that share toys, food, water bowls, litter boxes, crates, brushes, blankets etc run a high risk of passing these viruses if one cat is infected.
Many indoor cats love sitting in a screened window or porch to catch some rays and catch a glimpse of what is happening around the neighborhood. Cats are very curious by nature!! Our Sudbury Animal Hospital states that if there is an infected cat in the vicinity, your furry friend could potentially be exposed!!
Hunting is a favorite activity for any cat, even the indoor cat!! Our Sudbury Animal Hospital knows that our feline friends are genetically predisposed to be keen hunters. If, by chance, a bat or small mammal sneaks into your home, your cat will most likely become like a stealth predator and will seek and destroy the enemy!! If this intruder does have a virus, your cat runs a high risk for exposure.
The goal at Our Sudbury Animal Hospital is to keep your feline family member happy and healthy throughout their lifetime. Annual vaccinations are a great way to discuss any issues or changes that you have noticed with your feline friend. We all know that cats can be difficult to bring in to the veterinarian and many pet parents decide against vaccinations for this reason. We often hear that the cat becomes “too stressed” or is “too difficult.” Well, at The Barrydowne Animal Hospital we are up for the challenge!! Please stay tuned for our next blog article for some helpful suggestions and tips to make the trip to Our Sudbury Animal Hospital more pleasant for both you and your feline family member!!