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Vaccines are an essential part of your pet’s protection against serious infectious diseases. Some diseases are common or easily spread, making vaccines imperative for all cats (e.g.: distemper, leukemia). Other diseases require direct contact so cats that may go outdoors or to kennels/groomers need these vaccines. Your veterinarian will help you determine the best protocol for your pet.

THE KEY POINT: Vaccines should be given until the kitten has completed the entire series.

  • Stopping vaccines early is not advised. A cat’s immune system may not fully respond to an incomplete series or one stopped before 4 months of age.
  • Longer intervals between vaccines risks infection if the puppy’s antibody levels fall, making it susceptible to disease.
  • Leukemia testing (a blood test) is strongly advised prior to starting leukemia vaccines. The vaccine will not protect a cat already infected with the virus.

Vaccines available to protect your cat:

Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) A virus, highly contagious, infecting the eyes, nose, mouth and sometimes lungs.
Calicivirus (C) A virus, highly contagious, infecting the eyes, nose, mouth and sometimes lungs.
Panleukopenia (P) A virus, highly contagious, infecting the intestines and blood cells. (Cat distemper). Often fatal.
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) A virus, highly contagious, damages the cat’s immune system. Fatal.
Rabies (R) A virus fatal to humans and animals.

 

Kitten’s Age Do Today Remainder of Vaccines Needed
8 wks FVRCP,
fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV 11 wks
FVRCP,
FeLV 14 wks
R 17 wks
9 wks FVRCP,
FeLV fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV 12 wks
FVRCP,
R 15 wks
10 wks FVRCP,
FeLV fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV 13 wks
FVRCP,
R 16 wks
11 wks FVRCP,
FeLV fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV 14 wks
FVRCP,
R 17 wks
12 wks FVRCP,
FeLV fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV, 15 wks
R 18 wks
13 wks FVRCP,
FeLV fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV, 16 wks
R 19 wks
14 wks FVRCP,
FeLV fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV, 17 wks
R 20 wks
15 wks FVRCP,
FeLV fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP,
FeLV, 18 wks
R 21 wks
16 wks or older FVRCP,
FeLV,
R, fecal,
leuk. test
FVRCP, FeLV,
19 wks or 3 weeks later

After completing the initial vaccine series and an annual booster of all vaccines, FVRCP and Rabies are given every 3 years. IVS recommends annual visits with a “staggered” vaccine protocol. FeLV is required annually.

A microscopic examination of the stool for parasites (fecal) is very important in all kittens. It should be repeated yearly.