Vaccinations are crucial for providing our cats with the ability to live a long and healthy life. Our Fairhaven vets discuss why cat vaccinations are important and what the kitten vaccination schedule typically looks like.
What are the reasons why I should have my cat or kitten 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.
Booster shots 'boost' your cat's protection against a range of feline diseases, as the effectiveness of the initial vaccine wears off. Booster shots for different vaccines are given on varying schedules. Your vet will let you know when to bring your cat back their booster shots.
Kitten & Cat Vaccines
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 suitable for some cats, based on their lifestyle. Your vet will advise you as to which non-core vaccines are recommended for your cat. Non-core vaccines include protection against:
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
- Chlamydophila felis
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
When is best for my kitten to be vaccinated?
When your kitten is around 6 to 8 weeks of age you should call to schedule them for their first round of vaccinations. After that, your kitten should receive a series of vaccines at three or four-week intervals until they are about 16 weeks old.
When will my cat need their booster shots?
If you have an adult cat then they should receive their routine vaccines every 1 to 3 years. Your vet will advise you on when you bring your adult cat back for their booster shots.
Can I consider my cat protected after their first shots?
Your kitten is not fully vaccinated until they have received all of their injections, at about 12-16 weeks of age. Once they have received all of those initial vaccinations your kitten will be protected against the diseases covered by the vaccines.
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.
Will my cat need vaccinations if they stay indoors?
While you may not see the point in having your cat fully vaccinated if they stay indoors all the time it is still very important. There is still the chance that they could get out or that a wild animal could get inside and still infect your cat with diseases. When you have your cat vaccinated your vet will provide you with a certificate of vaccination which you should store in a safe place.
The health and safety of your cat is important and the best way to protect your feline friend is by ensuring that they are fully vaccinated. 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.