Recommended shots for cats:
Cat vaccines are one of the best ways to ensure your cat is protected from deadly infectious feline diseases. We recommend the following shots for cats:
- feline distemper
- feline leukemia, and
- feline rabies
These illnesses are the most common feline diseases. They often prove deadly to cats of all ages, but are especially dangerous for kittens.
Your kitten should begin to receive vaccines against these diseases at approximately six weeks of age, once the maternal antibodies from his mother’s milk have begun to lose their protectiveness.
Following the initial vaccination series, your maturing cat will require a booster set of vaccinations every one to three years depending on vaccine type and local ordinances. These additional vaccinations are necessary to keep your pet’s immune system ready to fight off disease.
The rabies vaccination is required by law in many cities and counties. The vaccine should be given when the cat is eight-to twelve-weeks old, depending on the vaccine type, and then one year later. The vaccine should be given every one to three years after this, depending on the vaccine type and the local rabies-vaccination requirements. If you adopt a mature cat and are unsure of the rabies vaccination history, you will need to get your cat vaccinated as if it were of kitten age to ensure your cat is protected.
The most-common combination vaccine, usually called FVRCP, protects your cat against three diseases: feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, and disease caused by feline calicivirus. Feline panleukopenia, also called feline distemper, is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease in cats.
Generally, the first FVRCP vaccination is given when your cat is six to eight weeks old. The vaccine is then repeated at three- to four-week intervals until the kitten is sixteen weeks old. After this initial vaccination series, boosters are given one year later and then every three years, to keep the cat protected.
An adult cat that is adopted without a health history would receive two vaccination boosters three to four weeks apart. The initial vaccination series should be boosted one year later and then every three years, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners guidelines.
As with the other vaccines, if you have adopted an adult cat without a rabies vaccination history, she will need to begin a schedule of shots for cats as if she were a kitten.