The importance of vaccinations to the overall health and longevity of your cat cannot be understated. Cat vaccines are medically and scientifically proven to combat the incubation and transmission of crippling and fatal feline diseases. Our veterinary staff is dedicated to educating people about the importance of cat vaccinations, including what cat vaccines are necessary, and when they should be scheduled.
It is important to note that our doctors don’t follow a ‘one size fits all’ protocol for immunizations, but rather treat each patient as an individual and recommend the best possible protocols for that particular cat by looking at their risk factors such as age, overall health and lifestyle.
Over the years we have fielded many questions about cat vaccinations from concerned kitten and cat owners. Here, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions to help you better understand the issues surrounding cat vaccinations. This is only meant to be a general introduction to cat vaccinations, so please consult with one of our veterinarians during your next visit for specific information regarding kitten vaccinations or cat vaccinations where your feline is concerned.
Are kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations necessary?
The answer is yes. A kitten or cat owner is responsible for the well-being of their feline friend— this includes happiness and longevity of life. Cat vaccinations are integral component in the longevity equation. Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are medically and scientifically proven to prevent various insidious diseases.
Are cat vaccinations required by law?
Rabies is the only cat vaccination required by law in the state of Indiana. This is due primarily to the threat rabies poses to human beings, and the speed at which rabies can spread. Although other cat and kitten vaccinations are not legally required by law, they are important because they protect your cat from serious disease.
What cat vaccines are recommended?
The following vaccinations are commonly recommended. You should discuss what vaccinations are necessary for your cat at your next visit.
- Feline Leukemia
What are the recommended kitten and cat vaccination schedules?
Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are dependent upon several factors, including preexisting medical conditions and indoor or outdoor living situations. You should always discuss these factors with your veterinarian to determine what your cat vaccine schedule should be. However, we have listed an approximate cat vaccine schedule here for an ‘average’ indoor housecat to give you an idea of a cat vaccination timeline:
Are there risks associated with cat vaccinations?
Cat vaccinations stimulate your kitten or cat’s immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This can cause mild symptoms to occur ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions. Cat vaccinations can cause other risks like injection site tumors and immune disease; however such incidences are extremely rare and can be linked to pre-existing genetic and medical conditions. Because of the potential for injection site reactions, we give each vaccine in a specific location that is noted in the cat’s medical record.
The fact is, the rewards of cat vaccinations far outweigh any risks. Cat vaccines have saved countless lives and play a vital role in the battle against feline infectious disease. As with any medical procedure, there is a small chance of negative side effects. In most cases, the risks are much smaller than the risks of disease itself.
- 8-10 Weeks Old: feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, feline calcivirus and rabies
- 11-14 Weeks Old: feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, feline calcivirus and rabies
- 15+ Weeks Old: feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, feline calcivirus and rabies
- Adult Cat Vaccinations
Vaccines are given to your cat one year after the end of the kitten series. Combination Vaccine FVRCP, or feline distemper, FeLV for felines at risk of exposure to feline leukemia virus (cats that are unsupervised outdoors), and rabies annually as required by law.
A combination vaccine includes feline distemper, rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners, cats at low risk of disease exposure may not need to be boostered yearly for most diseases. Consult with the veterinarian at your next visit to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your cat. Remember, recommendations vary depending on the age, breed, and health status of the cat, the potential of the cat to be exposed to the disease, the type of vaccine, whether the cat is used for breeding, and the geographical area where the cat lives or may visit.