Vaccines All Cats Should Have
All cats should get vaccinations against the following common diseases:
*Panleukopenia virus (distemper)
*Feline calicvirus (FCV)
*Feline herpes virus (rhinotracheitis)
The first three are typically given when kittens are about 8 weeks old, followed by annual booster shots for a few years thereafter. The rabies vaccine is usually done when a cat is 4-6 months old, with boosters every 1-3 years depending on the type of vaccine used.
Non-core vaccines are a good idea if the cat is at risk for certain diseases. Such vaccinations include:
- Feline chlamydiosis-this vaccine is not necessary unless the cat is at high risk of infection due to living among other infected cats.
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS or FlV)-this disease is spread through bite wounds, so only outdoor cats and cats that live with other aggressive cats are likely to be at risk. Original FlY vaccines are given 2-3 weeks apart, with annual boosters afterward. The vaccination is not always effective in preventing the disease.
- Feline leukemia virus (FeL!] -first vaccinations are given at 9 and 12 weeks of age, with booster shots annually or at longer intervals. Cats should receive this vaccination if they are allowed to go outside, if they mingle with large numbers of cats, if they live in a household with a FeLV-infected cat, or they live in a household where the infectious status of other cats is unknown. Indoor cats that live alone or with cats that do not have FeLV, particularly if they are past the age of 4 months, do not need FeL V vaccinations.