VACCINES FOR CATS AND KITTENS
Rabies vaccination is recommended for all cats, whether or not they are strictly indoors. Rabies is a deadly virus that can be contracted by wildlife, pets and humans! Indoor cats are at risk for rabies if they escape from the home or if wildlife gets in, such as bats or raccoons.
Distemper (FVRCP) vaccination is a combination vaccine that covers several diseases. This vaccine protects against herpesvirus, calicivirus and paneleukopenia virus (feline distemper). Herpesvirus and calicivirus can cause serious respiratory infections and panleukopenia can cause devastating immune deficiency. We recommend the “distemper” vaccine for all cats, whether or not they are strictly indoors. Viruses are spread by direct contact between cats, but they can also be brought into your home on your shoes and clothing.
Leukemia vaccination is recommended for all kittens and all adult cats who have any access to cats from outside the home (this means that if any cats go outside, all your cats should be vaccinated). Leukemia is a virus that causes immune dysfunction and contributes to tumor formation. It is spread by contact with infected cats. Kittens are particularly sensitive to this virus.
Age To Start Vaccines: Start at 6 weeks.
Time Frame For Boosters: Boosters are given every 3-4 weeks until your kitten is over 16 weeks old.
What Is Needed:
- Rabies: Single dose at 16 weeks
- Distemper: Given every 3-4 weeks between 6 weeks and 16 weeks
- Leukemia: Series of 2 vaccines starting after 10 weeks and at least 2 weeks apart
- Fecal test: Checks for intestinal parasites. Testing is suggested until 2 negative results achieved.
- Heartworm/Flea/Intestinal parasite preventatives: Given every 30 days, year-round
- Spay/Neutering: Can be done at 4 months of age *Note: If a kittens’ vaccines are stopped before 16 weeks of age, it is possible that they will not develop long lasting immunity. They are not fully vaccinated until they have completed the full series of kitten shots!
Many breeders, pet stores and rescues give puppies de-wormers. The de-wormer does not mean a fecal test is unnecessary! De-wormers are not 100% effective and often do not protect against all different types of intestinal parasites.
Adult Cat Schedule
MONTHLY: Every 30 days, Heartworm/Flea/Intestinal Parasite preventatives should be administered
YEARLY: Physical exam, Heartworm test, Fecal test, Rabies vaccine, Distemper vaccine if high
risk, leukemia vaccine if any cats in the house have exposure to cats from outside the home. We
recommend regular wellness bloodwork screening.
EVERY 3 YEARS: Distemper vaccine can be given every three years when appropriate.