2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines

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Tailored Immunity for Our Feline Companions: Keeping Cats Healthy with the AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines

Vaccination plays a pivotal role in safeguarding cats from infectious diseases and improving health and longevity, and it is an important part of personalized healthcare plans for cats. The AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines guide veterinary practitioners on when to administer core and noncore vaccines, how to perform individualized risk assessments, and optimal vaccination intervals.

Key points from the AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines:

Core Vaccines

  • Core vaccines are for all cats with an unknown vaccination history.
  • FHV-1, FCV, FPV, rabies, and FeLV (for cats younger than 1 year old) are core vaccines for pet and shelter cats.

Non-core Vaccines

  • Based on individual risk factors such as lifestyle, geographic location, and exposure risks.
  • Non-core vaccines include FeLV (for cats older than 1 year), Chlamydia felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines.

Individualized Risk Assessments

  • Ask questions about the lifestyle of the specific cat, as well as any other cats in the household or potentially introduced into the household.
  • Travel, boarding, housing, and enrichment activities or excursions outside of the home should also be considered.
  • A risk assessment for exposure to disease should be done at least once a year.

Educating the Healthcare Team

  • The veterinary healthcare team, led by the veterinarian, should emphasize to clients that they are part of a team approach to vaccine management.
  • This requires that the entire staff understand zoonotic diseases, core and non-core vaccines, hospital policy, state law, client compliance, and adverse vaccination events.

Look to the AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines for vaccine intervals and timing, client communication tips, adverse vaccine reactions, an update on injection-site sarcomas, and more!

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., Elanco Animal Health, Merck Animal Health, and Zoetis Petcare supported the development of the 2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines and resources through an educational grant to AAHA.

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