Protecting your Cat with Vaccinations

Vaccinations can help protect your cat from disease so it lives a long, happy, healthy life.  Like you, your cat should have a regular checkup once a year and at that time should have any necessary vaccinations.  However, it is important to understand what vaccinations protect against and how they will benefit your cat in particular.  As with people, you want to assure your cat is properly protected but you do not want to give unnecessary vaccinations.

Recently, veterinarians have identified a trend that shows some cats are reacting to vaccinations with site sarcomas (or cancers).  A task force is doing additional research into the trend and the American Veterinary Association has released some new guidelines for vaccinations.  Here is a summary of the guidelines:

          1. Information to record in your cat's health record
          2. Recommended vaccination sites
          3. Recommended vaccination schedules.
Vaccinations can be given under the skin (subq) or into a muscle (IM).  Vaccinations often result in a slight bump shortly after inoculation which goes away rapidly.  This "bump" is similar to the one you may get after a vaccination and is not the same as site sarcoma.  The bump can be minimized by massaging the site immediately after inoculation as this helps to disperse the vaccine.  Vaccinations should never be given between the shoulder blades.  Talisker cats receive IM vaccinations when they go to the vet as we rarely ever see even a small bump with this type of inoculation.  It takes a little more time and care to give, but we believe that the muscle tissue helps disperse the vaccine more effectively since muscles are made to disperse certain types of acids as part of their normal function.  There is no evidence that proves this however our 28 years of experience has shown we see fewer reactions this way.  In addition, rabies vaccine is the vaccine most implicated in site sarcomas however the taskforce did not find one site sarcoma linked to rabies vaccine given intramuscularly.

Here is a set of links for additional information.  Please share these links with your veterinarian in case they have not already seen the information:

  Russian Blue breeders Greater Toronto Area GTA, Ontario, Canada