Feline Focus 3 Vaccine
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Stitch almost died of a URI
Feline Focus 3 is an intraocular/intranasal modified live dose vaccine that protects your cat or kitten against several of the most common viruses in felines, including Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis, and Calici.
Dr. Foster and Smith describe the product on their website. They say that this one dose vaccine includes tools to administer the drug. The box contains two vials. One contains a liquid feline panleukopenia vaccine and the other contains a powdered feline rhinotracheitis-calici vaccine.
To administer the vaccine you mix the liquid and powder then place the mixture into the bulb syringe and drop the vaccine into the cat's eyes and nose per the instructions (follow instructions please!). The suggested min age of the cat for use is 6 weeks (but studies show 3 weeks of age is acceptable) with a booster at 12-16 wks. People in MN need to ask their vet for a prescription.
It is a modified love vaccine given in a single dose. It is perfect for self-administering at home. The Feline Focus 3 vaccine provides three way protection against:
- feline rhinotracheitis
- calicivirus, and
- panleukopenia (feline distemper)
The vaccine is legal to purchase without prescription except in Minnesota.
It’s rare that I do an article recommending a single product, much less a vaccine. The reason I’m doing this one is in hopes more people will vaccinate their cats against these diseases. It’s an easy vaccine to mix up. I’m not sure how well I’d be at placing drops in the nose of my cat. They distrust me enough as it is and we just feel injections are easier for us.
If not for my daughter being comfortable giving the regular vaccine, this is what I’d use. Should we find any stray litters, I’d chose this product since it’s safe to use at a younger age than the injection.
The Feline Focus 3 is available at animal and feed stores across the U.S. I’m not sure if a similar product is available worldwide. It’s under $4 a dose through the Dr. Foster and Smith mail order site: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=1268.
The catch to mail order is there’s a $20 Fedex fee because it must be kept cold and delivered quickly or the vaccine goes bad. It must be kept out of direct sunlight at between 35-45 F. degrees. If you have a large number of cats to vaccinate, it’s a good buy. If you only have a few, stick to Tractor and Supply or a similar store. I found the vaccine for under $7 in the refrigerated medication pet medication section at my local store.
Although this product can be found on EBay and other auction sites, I strongly suggest you order these from a reliable company. It’s a waste of money if the order is sent to you unrefrigerated. We personally order our vaccinations from Dr. Foster and Smith as they’ve been in business for many years and were very efficient with our last vaccine order.
Side effects listed on the drugs.com website at:http://www.drugs.com/vet/feline-focus-3-drops.html list side effects as some watery eyes or sneezing 4-7 days after administering. A drop in white blood cell count may also be seen from days 4-6. Only healthy cats or kittens should be vaccinated. This holds true with any of the cat vaccinations I’ve read up on.
I realize vet visits are important. Having a kitten inoculated as early as possible is also important. Vets charge around $20 for the injectible form. There are traveling clinics and probably some humane societies that offer it at a discount. If you’re like many of us, it’s difficult to plan your day around taking your cat to a clinic to save a few dollars.
And let’s face it, many of us can’t afford $20 a pop to go to the vet. That doesn’t include the vet visit. Especially if caring for a group of ferals or strays and have to worry about catching them and then transport, with the vet fee on top of all of that.
I realize this doesn’t replace a vet visit and those who can’t afford regular visits for their cat shouldn’t have a cat. Things happen. Stray litters are found. Rescues get overwhelmed and have to cut corners and this is a reasonably safe alternative. Just use a little common sense and don’t give it to a sick cat. And if the cat needs a vet, see a vet.
I hope those of you who can’t afford a vet will use this option. Even if you’re planning to give away (or let’s face it, THROW AWAY your klttens at a shelter), at least give them this one vaccine. Many shelters don’t automatically vaccinate intake animals until an adopter or rescue has been confirmed. By then it may be too late and they’re already exposed to these potentially fatal viruses.
Reviews for Feline Focus 3 have been favorable. Most consumers reviewing the product stated they would use the product again.
I’ve chosen one of the early photos I made of Stitch for this article. His sister Lilo was our first cat death due to a URI that could have been prevented with a vaccination for common URI’s. Stitch came very close to death. He was our first emergency rescue. When I arrived to claim him and Lilo, it wasn’t known whether they had survived the weekend. They were that sick and Lilo was too small and weak to recover.
No one should have to lose a cat or kitten to something so easily and inexpensively prevented.
Have any of you tried this vaccination? I’m curious whether it was more or less difficult to administer than the injections.
P.S. Stitch needs to hitch a ride from Greenville, SC to Mount Clemens, Michigan to meet his new mommy. She's been waiting on him since July. If anyone is headed that way, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org