Common Feline Vaccine Side Effects

A list of common feline vaccine side effects must be on hand following veterinary visits. Knowing the side effects of each cat medicine enables you to seek urgent care if life-threatening reactions appear.

Feline Leukemia Vaccination Information

The feline vaccine for leukemia is less critical for indoor cats, unless an infected cat also lives in that household. Outdoor cats should have the vaccination because they are likely to be in contact with an infected cat. The virus spreads through saliva and mucus making it easy for your outdoor cat to contract the disease during a fight with another cat. The side effects to the feline leukemia vaccination include:

  • Injection site swelling and tenderness
  • Fever
  • Lethargy

Monitor your cat for a week following the vaccinations and boosters. Expect your pet to feel some tenderness for a couple of days. Avoid petting your cat on the injection site for a week. FVRCP Vaccination

Many veterinarians recommend the FVRCP vaccination that protects your cat against Calcivirus, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Panleukopenia (distemper). Side effects of this common feline vaccine include:

* Sneezing for two or three days, if the nasal spray vaccination is used * Runny nose * Cats throwing up for a day or two after the vaccination * Nasal or oral sores * Cat depression

Cat depression generally clears up after the soreness of the injection disappears. Because FVRCP is a live virus, some animals contract the diseases that the vaccination prevents. Contact your vet if the cat exhibits breathing difficulties, develops a high fever or throws up so much that dehydration becomes an issue. Rabies Vaccination Information

Rabies vaccinations are mandatory for cats and kittens. If your cat bites someone and does not have a current rabies vaccine, your pet faces a ten-day quarantine and you face fines and expensive lawsuits. The first rabies shot is given around the fourth month and then a booster is required in one year. After that, the rabies vaccination occurs every two or three years.

The rabies vaccination does have side effects that sills a small percentage of cats every year. This feline vaccine contains a protein that affects a cat's nervous system. Adverse reactions include seizures, loss of motor skills and tissue damage. Serious side effects include liver and kidney damage. Side effects linked to the nervous system can appear up to 45-days after administering the vaccination. Fibrosarcoma: A Rare but Deadly Cancer

Feline vaccine injection site tumors can take up to ten years to appear. In the 1980s, researchers linked vaccinations Fibrosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Fibrosarcoma spreads quickly and surgery to remove the tumor rarely removes all of the cancerous tissue. Many companies changed their vaccination formulas to remove a chemical believed to be the cause of the increase in the tumors.

Despite this, some believe that a cat that receives numerous injections in the same area is at a higher risk for this cancer. If your cat remains inside and never encounters other cats, make sure your veterinarian is not giving unnecessary vaccinations.