Introduction

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The widespread use of vaccines has changed the nature of feline health management. Today, routine vaccinations provide cats with an enhanced level of protection against feline leukemia, upper respiratory infections, and other diseases. Although vaccines are not invulnerable or problem-free, they are one of the reasons that cats are living longer, healthier lives. Up until the mid-1990s, the vaccination schedule for your cat seemed pretty simple. You'd give your kitten a standard starter set of vaccines, and then each year your veterinarian would mail you a reminder for kitty's annual exam and booster shots. The yearly checkup is as important as ever, but as we have gained more experience with vaccinations, the vaccination protocol has transitioned from a "one size fits all" strategy to a more individual approach. This puts more of a burden on both veterinarian and cat owner or caretaker. The veterinarian, with help from the cat owner, determines which initial vaccinations and boosters are optimum for the cat -- the best balance between benefit and risk.

Although in recent years the risks of vaccines -- particularly vaccine-induced tumors -- have become more apparent, this does not diminish the enormous contribution that vaccinations have made and continue to make in improving the health and well-being of our cats.

With virtually every aspect of cat care, education is key; vaccinations are no exception. This site can provide you with useful information about vaccines so that you and your veterinarian will both be comfortable with the vaccination program for your cat. Vaccinations are a topic of great interest among veterinarians, researchers, and cat owners, and there is a lot of ongoing research in the subject. We will update the site as new discoveries are announced and as revisions to the official vaccination guidelines are published.

Vaccinations are a major part of your cat's overall wellness program. The goal of www.catvaccines.com is to help you and your cat make the best use of this powerful disease-prevention tool.