Vaccinating Your Cat

Routine vaccinations for cats have changed the way we manage cat health. Starter vaccines and regular updates provide cats with an enhanced level of protection against feline leukemia, upper respiratory infections, and other diseases.

There are four core vaccinations given to cats:

  • Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper): This vaccination is given to cats on their initial vet visit (if over 6 weeks), and then every 3-4 weeks until the cat is 12 weeks old. A booster is given one year later and then no more than every three years. It is highly recommended for all cats.
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus (FHV/FCV): This vaccination is given on the same schedule as the distemper vaccination. It is also highly recommended for all cats.
  • Rabies: The rabies vaccine is given at 12 weeks or older. It is highly recommended for all cats and in some areas required by law.
  • Feline Leukemia: Recommended for all cats who are at risk for exposure, this vaccine is given in 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart and annually thereafter.

Other available vaccinations are: Chlamydophila, Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Bordetella, Giardia, and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Whether to include these vaccinations for your cat will depend on its age, breed, health and exposure potential. Your vet can help you decide if vaccinations outside of the “core” recommended are advisable for your cat.