Why should I get my cat vaccinated?
It’s essential to have your kitten vaccinated to protect them from numerous serious feline-specific diseases. After your kitten has had its first vaccinations, it’s equally important to follow up with regular booster shots throughout your cat’s life to ensure they’re protected.
As the effectiveness of the initial vaccine wears off, booster shots “boost” your cat’s protection against many feline diseases. The schedule for these booster shots will depend on the vaccine. Your vet can let you know when it’s time to bring your cat back for their booster shots.
There are two basic types of vaccinations for cats.
All cats should receive core vaccinations. These vaccinations are considered most important for protecting your cat from these common and serious feline conditions:
- Feline calicivirus (FCV)
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
Non-core vaccinations are appropriate for some cats. Depending on your cat’s lifestyle, your vet can offer advice regarding which non-core vaccines are recommended for your cat. Non-core vaccines offer protection against:
- Clamydophilia felis
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
When should my kitten get their first shots?
Most kitten vaccination schedules indicate kittens should see the veterinarian for their first round of vaccinations at about six to eight weeks of age. After this, your kitten should receive a series of vaccines at three to four-week intervals until they are approximately 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, 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.
Do I need to get my indoor cat vaccinated?
You may not think that your indoor cat needs to be vaccinated, however many states including Arizona require that cats should first be immunized against rabies at three months of age. When you have your cat vaccinated your vet will provide you with a certificate of vaccination which you should store 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.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. If you are concerned about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.