If you just brought home a new kitten, you might be wondering whether or not you should have it vaccinated each year. Like dogs, cats do need yearly vaccines for rabies and other common diseases that can pose potential life-threatening situations for your cat.

While there is some argument over whether or not an indoor cat needs vaccines, it is typically best to be safe rather than sorry. However, once you get your cat home from the vet, keep these things in mind as you keep an eye on your cat.

Symptoms That Pose No Concern

A small amount of redness or swelling around the vaccination site is to be expected, along with a low-grade fever. Additionally your furry feline may also experience some fatigue and lack of appetite.

Watch these symptoms closely over the next few days and if they seem to be getting worse; or if new symptoms, such as vomiting, appear, consult with your vet. An appointment may be needed to provide additional medication.

When to See the Vet

Rarely, some cats have more severe reactions to vaccinations. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • facial swelling
  • uncontrollable vomiting
  • constant diarrhea
  • persistent itching
  • extreme coughing
  • difficulty in breathing

These symptoms should be reported to your vet as soon as possible, since they can lead to further illness or even death.

How to Help Your Cat

The best way to help your cat when they have been vaccinated is to keep them calm while you are watching to see if any allergic reactions or side effects appear. However, if they really want to run and play, then allow them to do so, but keep an eye on their behavior. Many cats and kittens don't have any reaction to the vaccines at all, and will go about their lives as normal; though they may be angry at you for a bit for taking them to the vet.

Follow your vet's instructions for offering food and water as well. While this is not usually an issue, there are times when some medications and vaccines don't mix well with food, so keep this in mind going forward.

Now that you know what to side-effect symptoms look for when your cat is vaccinated, you can put your mind at ease knowing that most of the symptoms that you see are normal and will probably resolve on their own. Remember to keep your cat's vet appointment each year so that there is no lapse in vaccinations. Visit Chicago Cat Clinic if you have any more questions.