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Vaccinating your Cat - the benefits & risks - Part 1
Vaccines are a prep agent for your cat's immune system.
Vaccines contain substances known as antigens. Antigens look
like the disease to the cat's immune system so the cat's
body begins producing antibodies to fight off the disease.
But in actual fact the infective agents are killed or
crippled and are not supposed to be able to cause the full-
blown disease to appear in your cat.
Vaccines make your cat's body produce the necessary
antibodies to the particular disease so that if your cat
happens to come into contact with that disease it will
respond by rejecting the disease or it will at least lessen
the severity of the disease.
Vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of disease to
animals. However, they are not entirely safe and before you
have your cat vaccinated you should make sure that your cat
is completely healthy so that its immune system is not
Also read up on all the information about the vaccine so
that you are aware of the side effects that might occur.
Essentially a vaccine is supposed to help your cat's immune
system become more efficient in fighting the disease. You
need to vaccinate against specific diseases that are a risk
to your cats. Some vaccinations your cat doesn't need at all
because the risk of contracting that particular disease may
be very slim.
A veterinarian consult will determine if your cat needs to
have any special vaccinations aside from
distemper and parvovirus. Here is a list of the factors that
your veterinarian will look at to determine if your cat
needs a vaccine or not:
1) The risk of exposure to the pathogen - i.e. the other
cats your cat is exposed to and their health, and the
general environment in which your cat lives.
2) The damage the disease might do
3) Whether or not the disease is contagious to humans
4) How well the vaccine protects cats from the disease
5) The frequency or severity of reactions to the vaccine
6) The age and health status of your cat
7) Whether your cat has had past reactions to vaccines
Please see "Benefits and Risks of Vaccinating your Cat -
Part 2" for more information about the pros and cons of
vaccinating your pet cat.
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