Vaccinations are an important part of keeping your cat healthy their whole life. At Carrier Animal Hospital we offer all the vaccines your cat needs to be protected from dangerous diseases. Here, our Grand Prairie vets discuss the essential vaccines your cat requires and when you should have your kitten vaccinated.
Why should I vaccinate my cat?
To prevent your kitten from getting a range of dangerous Feline-specific diseases, it's important to get them vaccinated. Once your kitten has had their first round of vaccinations it's just as important to follow up with regular booster shots during your cat's lifetime.
Booster shots 'boost' your cat's protection against a variety of feline diseases, because the effectiveness of the initial vaccine wears off. Booster shots for different vaccines are given based on varying schedules. Your veterinarian will inform you when you should bring your cat back for their booster shots.
There are two basic types of cat vaccinations.
Core vaccinations are recommended for all cats. These vaccinations are considered vital for protecting your cat from the following common and serious feline conditions:
- Feline calicivirus (FCV)
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
- Feline herpesvirus type I (FHV, FHV-1)
Non-core vaccinations are suitable for some cats, depending on their lifestyle. Your vet will let you know which non-core vaccines they recommend for your cat. Non-core vaccines can provide protection from:
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
- Chlamydophila felis
When will my kitten need their first shots?
When your kitten is approximately six to eight weeks of age they should visit the veterinarian to get their first round of vaccinations. After that, your kitten should receive a series of vaccines at three or four-week intervals until they are roughly 16 weeks old.
When should I take my cat to the vet for their booster shots?
Adult cats should get their booster shots either yearly or every three years depending on the vaccine. Your vet will let you know when you should take your adult cat back for their booster shots.
Is my kitten fully protected after their first round of shots?
Your kitten isn't fully vaccinated until they have gotten all of their injections when they are about 12-16 weeks old. Once they've gotten all of their initial vaccinations your kitten will be protected against the diseases covered by the vaccines.
If you want to let your kitten outdoors before they have gotten all of their vaccines, we recommend keeping them confined to low-risk areas such as your backyard.
Do I need to vaccinate my indoor cat?
You might not think that your indoor cat has to be vaccinated, but many states require cats that are over 6 months old to be vaccinated against rabies. When you have your cat vaccinated your vet will give you a certificate of vaccination that you should keep in a safe place.
In terms of your cat's health, it's always best to err on the side of caution. Cats can be curious creatures. Our vets recommend that indoor cats get all of the core vaccinations to keep them safe from diseases they may be exposed to if they happen to escape the safety of your home.