Q: My cat is now 15 years old. Should I continue to have her vaccinated annually? She is an indoor cat and never has contact with other cats.
A: Due to ever-improving nutrition and medication, thanks to the research and development of the food and pharmaceutical companies, cats are living to a much older age today. The average age of our feline patients is 15 for both indoor and outdoor cats, and it is not unusual for cats to reach 20 years of age. Together with the older age of the cat come the older age diseases and ailments. Many of these conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and overactive thyroid glands, are easily treated and prevented with early detection. Therefore, it is important to have an annual check-up with the annual vaccination. Some of our older patients need to be seen more frequently.
As far as the vaccinations are concerned, it is still believed that with age the immune system does decline. Thus, it is very important that older cats are vaccinated with the core vaccines.
Dr P Bernhardi, veterinarian