I remember when my sister first got her cat, Snickers. He was so small and scared looking in his carrier. We took him home and my sister spent hours playing with him and making him feel comfortable in his new home.
The next day, we took him to the vet for his shots. He was so brave! After he got his shots, he just wanted to sleep. We were worried that he was sick, and we called the vet. They said it was normal for cats to sleep after shots because their bodies are working hard to fight off the infection.
Since then, I’ve always been careful to make sure my cats have a nice, quiet place to sleep after they’ve been to the vet. It’s just part of taking care of them and making sure they stay healthy and happy.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss whether it is normal for cats to sleep after shots. I’ll also provide some tips on how to make sure your cat is comfortable after a trip to the vet.
Is it Normal for Cats to Sleep After Shots?
It is not unusual for vaccinated cats to seem a little sleepy afterward. The components of vaccines stimulate the immune system, and all of that activity can be quite tiring.
I often compare it to working out at the gym. It feels great afterward, but most of us are pretty exhausted and just want to take a nap.
The same can be true for our feline friends. In addition, some veterinarians give a mild sedative before vaccinations to help keep your cat calm during the procedure. This can also contribute to drowsiness afterward.
If your cat is acting normal in every other way and doesn’t seem uncomfortable, there’s no need to be concerned about post-vaccination sleepiness.
Normal Reaction for Cats After Getting Shots
Most cats don’t like getting shots, but they usually recover quickly and don’t have any long-term effects. Here I’ll discuss what you can expect in the hours and days after your cat’s vaccinations.
1. A Little Tired and Sleepy
In the first few hours after getting shots, it’s normal for cats to be a little tired and sleepy. This is because their bodies are working hard to fight off the infection.
A study published in 2012 found that 67% of cats were tired after their vaccinations, and 31% of them slept more than usual.
2. Appetite May Be Affected
Some cats may have a decreased appetite for a day or two after getting shots. This is because the vaccinations can cause some mild stomach upset.
3. Soreness and Swelling at the Injection Site
It’s also common for cats to have some soreness, swelling, and redness at the injection site. This is usually nothing to worry about and will resolve on its own within a few days.
A small percentage of cats (less than 5%) may develop a fever after getting shots. If your cat has a fever, it will usually go away on its own within a day or two. However, if it lasts longer than that, or if your cat seems sick in other ways, give your veterinarian a call.
5. Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions to vaccinations are rare but can occur. The most common signs of an allergic reaction are hives, swelling of the face or paws, difficulty breathing, and vomiting.
If you see any of these signs, it’s important to get your cat to the vet right away. Fortunately, there are now vaccines available that have a very low risk of causing an allergic reaction.
Preparing Your Cat for the Trip to the Vet
If you’re worried about how your cat will react to getting shots, there are a few things you can do to make the trip to the vet easier.
1. Get Your Cat Used to Being Handled
If your cat isn’t used to being handled, it will be more stressful for both of you when it’s time to go to the vet. Start slowly, and work up to being able to hold your cat for a few minutes at a time.
If your cat is resistant to being held, try using a towel or blanket to wrap them up like a burrito. This will help them feel more secure.
2. Use a Carrier
I know all cats hate being in carriers, but it’s important to get your cat used to it before going to the vet. This will help reduce their stress levels when they have to go through the door of the vet’s office.
Put the carrier in a quiet room, and put a towel or blanket over it to make it feel more like a den. Leave the door open, and put some treats inside. You may need to do this a few times before your cat will go inside on their own.
3. Don’t Feed Your Cat Before the Vet Visit
It’s best not to feed your cat before going to the vet. This is because they may vomit during the car ride or during the exam.
I have a bad habit of forgetting this, and my cat has thrown up in the car more times than I can count.
4. Try a Calming Aid
There are a few products on the market that can help calm cats during stressful situations, such as going to the vet. These include pheromone diffusers, collars, and spray-on products.
Talk to your veterinarian about whether one of these products may be right for your cat.
5. Schedule the Appointment for Early in the Day
If possible, schedule your cat’s appointment for early in the day. This is because most vets are less busy in the morning, and you won’t have to wait as long in the waiting room. To schedule an appointment, you can call your vet’s office or schedule online.
6. Bring a Friend
If you can, bring a friend or family member with you to the vet appointment. This will help take some of the stress off of you, and your cat may feel more relaxed if there’s someone else in the room.
The Best Time of Day to Give a Shot
When you take your pet to the veterinarian for vaccinations, they’ll likely ask you what time of day you would like to have the shots given.
You may not have given this any thought but, believe it or not, the time of day that vaccinations are given can make a difference in how well they work.
Based on the available evidence, I recommend that you have your pet vaccinated first thing in the morning. Research has shown that vaccination-induced immunity is greatest when animals are vaccinated at this time.
So, if you want your pet to be as protected as possible from disease, plan on taking them to the vet for their shots first thing in the morning.
Making the Vet Visit Less Stressful for Your Cat
There are a few things you can do to make the vet visit less stressful for your cat.
1. Arrive Early
I suggest getting to the vet’s office 10-15 minutes early if possible. That way, you can fill out any paperwork and get situated before your cat’s appointment begins.
2. Tell the Vet That You’re Worried about Your Cat’s Stress Level
When you check in, let the vet know that you’re concerned about your cat’s stress level. This will help them take extra steps to make the visit less stressful for your cat.
3. Ask the Vet to Perform the Exam in a Quiet Room
Yes, the vet’s office can be noisy, but there are usually a few quieter rooms available. Ask the vet if they can perform the exam in one of these rooms, and your cat will probably be less stressed.
4. Take Your Time
Don’t feel like you have to rush through the vet visit. If your cat needs extra time to adjust, that’s OK. Take your time, and let your cat take breaks as needed.
5. Reward Your Cat After the Visit
After the vet visit is over, give your cat a special treat or toy. This will help them associate the vet’s office with something positive.
5 Things to Do if Your Cat Gets Sick After Getting Shots
It’s not unusual for a cat to seem a bit under the weather after getting vaccinated. If your cat gets sick after getting shots, there are a few things you can do to help them feel better.
1. Give Them Plenty of fluids
Make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water to drink, and offer them some wet food as well. This will help them stay hydrated and avoid dehydration. I like to offer my cat chicken broth or tuna water as a way to get extra fluids into them.
2. Monitor Their Appetite
It’s normal for a cat to lose their appetite after getting shots, but it’s important to make sure they’re still eating and drinking. If your cat stops eating and drinking altogether, contact your vet right away.
3. Keep an Eye on Their Temperature
A fever is one of the most common side effects of vaccinations. Keep an eye on your cat’s temperature, and contact your vet if it goes above 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Give Them a Quiet Place to Rest
After getting vaccinated, your cat will probably just want to sleep. Give them a quiet place to rest, away from any loud noises or commotion.
5. Keep Them Away from Other Pets
If your cat is around other pets, there’s a chance they could catch something from them. It’s best to keep them away from other animals until they’re feeling better.
Everything You Should Know about Cat’s Vaccinations
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to do everything you can to keep your cat healthy and prevent the spread of disease.
One of the best ways to do this is to make sure your cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Here’s everything you need to know about cat vaccinations.
What Vaccinations Do Cats Need?
There are a few core vaccines that every cat should have:
Rabies: All cats should be vaccinated for rabies. This is a deadly disease that can be spread to humans, so it’s important to make sure your cat is protected.
FVRCP: The FVRCP vaccine protects against three diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. This is sometimes called the “distemper shot” or the “kitten shot.”
FELV: The FELV vaccine protects against feline leukemia virus. This is a deadly disease that is spread through contact with infected cats. It’s important to have your cat vaccinated if they will be around other cats on a regular basis.
How Often Do Cats Need Vaccinations?
Cats need booster shots every one to three years, depending on the vaccine. Your vet will be able to tell you how often your cat needs to be vaccinated.
What Are the Risks of Vaccinations?
There are always risks associated with any medical procedure, but the risks of not vaccinating your cat are much greater. Vaccines are safe and effective, and they have saved countless lives.
How Much Do Cat Vaccinations Cost?
The cost of cat vaccinations varies depending on the vaccine and where you get it, but it is generally very affordable. You can expect to pay $20-$40 for a set of shots.
My Final Thoughts
Finally, I’d like to emphasize that it’s typical for a cat to sleep considerably after being shot. It’s also common for them to have a reduced appetite and experience a low-grade fever.
If your cat is acting very lethargic or has a high fever, contact your vet right away. Other than that, just give your cat some TLC and they’ll be back to their old self in no time.