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Cat Vaccination Schedules

Following proper cat vaccination schedules is important. Vaccinating your cat helps keep him healthy. Many cat health problems can be easily prevented. Immunity is critical to your cat’s well-being, and regular inoculations ensure his immune system works properly. Cat vaccination schedules help ensure your cat gets the vaccinations he needs to prevent common illnesses from unnecessarily striking your beloved pet.

Feline vaccinations can be separated into Core and Non-Core classes. Core vaccinations are those that are recommended for all kitten and any cats for which vaccination records are not available. Core vaccines protect against serious, life-threatening illnesses that are widespread throughout the cat population. There are normally standard cat vaccination schedules for core vaccinations. Non-Core vaccinations are those which owners should discuss with their vet, depending on variables like geography, environment of the pet and other similar factors. These vaccines protect against less serious diseases that are generally not life-threatening. The vaccination schedules for non-core vaccines may vary based on the needs of your pet.

Core feline vaccinations are feline panleukopenia, also known as feline distemper, feline cacivirus (FCV), and feline hepresvirus type 1 (FHV-1). For cats over 16 weeks of age, one modified live virus dose of each is recommended. A booster shot should be given at one year, and every subsequent three years. Kittens under 16 weeks of age should receive parenteral (not through the digestive tract) dose at 6-8 weeks, 9-11 weeks, and again at 12-16 weeks of age. Feline rabies is also a core vaccine. An inoculation with killed rabies vaccine should be given to kittens at 12-16 weeks of age. A booster shot should be given at one year, and every subsequent three years. Some veterinarians administer recombinant vaccines rather than killed; discuss the differences with your vet.

Non-Core feline vaccines include feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Bordetella bronchoseptica, feline immunodeficiency virus, Chlamydophilosis, and Giardia. Your veterinarian can help determine which vaccinations your cat should receive and when, based on the cat’s environment.

A healthy adult cat should see the vet once a year, for a comprehensive exam and routine vaccinations, based on the recommended cat vaccination schedule. This “preventive maintenance” can help identify potential problems early, and help keep your cat in the best possible health. Identifying and treating potential problems early, paired with vaccinating your cat against common diseases, is key to your cat’s health. Following your vet’s recommended cat vaccination schedules helps assure your cat a long and healthy life.


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