New guide offers advice on feline vaccinations

The American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners have released a new report with recommendations for feline vaccinations.

The “2020 AAHA/AAFP Feline Vaccination Guidelines” are an update to a 2013 vaccination report from the AAFP. They stress the need for an expanded understanding by veterinary professionals of individualized feline risk factors to determine a proper preventive health care plan. Practitioners are encouraged to gain better insight into feline patients’ risk factors, which may include life stage, environment and lifestyle.

Veterinarians should use the guidelines in conjunction with their own clinical experience and expert opinion, while considering the needs of the individual patient, the announcement said.

“Cats used to be vaccinated for certain diseases based solely on whether they went outside or not,” said AAHA senior veterinary officer Heather Loenser. “Those times have changed. We need to tailor vaccine protocols for individual pets, rather than basing vaccination decisions on a single factor.”

The guidelines provide resources for the entire veterinary practice team, including:

  • A lifestyle-based feline vaccine calculator
  • FAQs and tips for client and staff education
  • Recommendations for core and non-core vaccines for pet and shelter-housed cats
  • A webinar summarizing the must-see and clinically important sections of the guidelines (available in October)

More information, along with a link to the full guidelines, is available from the AAHA.