Vaccinations play a critical role in keeping cats healthy throughout their lifetime. Our Norristown vet recommends following this vaccination schedule to protect your kitten from a number of potentially deadly feline diseases.
Why should I get my cat vaccinated?
To protect your kitten from contracting a number of serious feline-specific diseases, it is essential to have your kitten vaccinated. After your kitten's first vaccinations it is equally important to follow up with regular booster shots throughout your cat's lifetime.
As the effectiveness of the initial vaccine wears off, booster shots 'boost' your cat's protection against a variety of feline diseases. Booster shots for various vaccines are administered on varying schedules. Your vet will notify you when it is time to return your cat for booster shots.
Vaccinations for cats fall into two basic types.
Core vaccinations are recommended for all cats. These vaccinations are considered vital for protecting your cat from the following common and serious feline conditions:
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
- Feline calicivirus (FCV)
- Feline herpesvirus type I (FHV, FHV-1)
Non-core vaccinations are appropriate for some cats depending on their lifestyle. Your veterinarian will advise you on which non-core vaccines are appropriate for your cat. Non-core vaccines provide protection against the following diseases:
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
- Chlamydophila felis
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
When should my kitten get their first shots?
Your kitten should have their first round of vaccinations around the age of six to eight weeks. Following that, your kitten should receive a series of vaccines every three or four weeks until they are about 16 weeks old.
When should I bring my cat back to the vet for booster shots?
Adult cats should receive booster shots either yearly or every three years depending on the vaccine. Your vet will advise you on when you bring your adult cat back for their booster shots.
Will my kitten be protected after the first round of shots?
Your kitten is not fully vaccinated until they have received all of their injections, which should happen between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks. Your kitten will be protected against the diseases covered by the vaccines once they have received all of their initial vaccinations.
If you want to allow your kitten outdoors before they have received all of their vaccines, it is a good idea to keep them confined to low-risk areas such as your own backyard.
Is there a vaccination schedule for indoor cats?
You may not believe that your indoor cat requires vaccination, but many states, including Tennessee, require cats over the age of 6 months to be vaccinated against rabies. When you have your cat vaccinated, your vet will give you a vaccination certificate, which you should keep in a safe place.
When it comes to your cat's health it's always better to err on the side of caution. Cats can be curious creatures. Our vets recommend that indoor cats receive all of the core vaccinations to protect against diseases they may be exposed to if they manage to escape the safety of home.