Photo of @stopbarkandmeow on Instagram
Just like human babies, Bengal kittens need to take all their shots to stay healthy as they grow older. That’s why it’s very important for you to know what vaccines do and which ones your Bengal kitten needs to get.
Vaccines are weakened viruses that are injected into your kitten to help their body build an immunity against the virus. It will help your Bengal kitten create antibodies that will build up their resistance and protect them from diseases for as long as these antibodies are in their system.
Below are the vaccines that your Bengal kitten needs to get:
- FVRCP vaccination
This vaccine fights against Panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.
Panleukopenia is also known as feline distemper. This disease is very common and is easily spread from one cat to another. Symptoms include fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. This is an extremely dangerous disease and can cause death within 12 hours without immediate medical attention.
Rhinotracheitis is caused by the feline herpes virus. Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose and drooling. An infected cat’s eyes will be crusted with mucous. They will also sleep more and eat less than normal. If left untreated the disease will cause dehydration, starvation and eventually, death.
Calicivirus is especially common in kittens and elderly cats. It affects the respiratory system and causes mouth ulcers. If left untreated, this disease will result to pneumonia.
- Rabies vaccine
Cats are the number one domestic animal carrier of the rabies virus in the United States. For that reason, it is the most important vaccine and the one that most states require by law. It’s crucial for all cats—kitten or not—to get this vaccine because it not only poses a threat to animals, but also to humans. Once contracted, rabies is almost always fatal.
A rabies shot can be given to kittens as early as 8-12 weeks of age. Often, their first rabies show will already be given to them by their breeders.
- Feline Leukemia (FelV) vaccine
Feline Leukemia is the second leading cause of death in cats. It can be transmitted to humans, dogs or other animals through blood, saliva and feces. The most common way for infection to spread is through grooming and fighting. Kittens may also contract the disease from their infected mother’s milk. It causes anemia and lymphoma, while also suppressing the infected cat’s immune system, making them more vulnerable to other diseases.
Young cats are more susceptible to FelV because resistance to the disease increases as cats grow older. Indoor cats are also less likely to contract it, so it’s best to keep your cats from roaming outside, especially if they’re young.
Cats in catteries are more at risk, more so if they share food and water bowls. So if you get a kitten from a cattery, it’s best for them to get them vaccinated from FelV.
- Chlamydia vaccine
Chlamydia can cause cats to suffer feline chlamydiosis that mainly affects the upper respiratory tract and initially appears as conjunctivitis. Their eyes can become bloodshot and secrete a thick, mucus-like discharge.
Although feline chlamydiosis is not a life threatening disease, it’s still a good idea to get your cat vaccinated against it to be safe.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) vaccine
FIP is a viral infection caused by the feline coronavirus. Coronavirus is fairly common in cats and doesn’t actually cause problems, other than mild diarrhea. But, the virus can mutate and change into an infectious strain that causes FIP.
Infected cats can develop peritonitis which is the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen or chest cavity. In some cats, the virus can even cause inflammation that affects the brain, eyes, liver and kidneys.
There is not treatment for FIP and it’s usually a fatal disease. The vaccine should be given to kittens over 16 weeks of age. Before vaccination, antibody testing is done, since cats that have already been exposed and have antibodies won’t benefit from the vaccination.