The Vaccination Schedule For Cats

Cats need vaccinations to help them stay healthy throughout their lives. In this blog, our Riverbank vets explain why vaccinations are important for our feline friends and talk about the cat and kitten vaccination schedule.

Getting Your Cat Vaccinated

Getting your kitten vaccinated is key when it comes to protecting them from a range of serious Feline-specific diseases. After your kitten's first vaccinations, it's just as critical to follow them up with routine booster shots.

Booster shots 'boost' your cat's protection against a range of feline diseases as the effectiveness of the first vaccine begins to wear off. Cats are given different booster shots based on varying schedules. Your vet will tell you when your cat should be receiving their booster shots.

Vaccines For Cats

There are two main types of cat vaccinations.

Core vaccinations are recommended for all cats. These vaccinations are considered essential for protecting your kitty from common and serious feline illnesses and conditions, such as:

  • Rabies
  • Feline herpesvirus type I (FHV, FHV-1)
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV)
  • Panleukopenia (feline distemper)

Non-core vaccinations are advisable for some cats depending on their lifestyle. Your vet will let you know which non-core vaccines they suggest for your feline friend. Non-core vaccines can protect your kitty from: 

  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Bordetella
  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

When Kittens Should Get Their First Shots

When your kitten is approximately six to eight weeks old, you should bring them to the vet to get their first set of vaccinations. Following this, your kitten should get a series of vaccines every three to four weeks until they are roughly 16 weeks of age.

When Cats Should Get Their Booster Shots

Your vet will suggest bringing your adult cat in for their booster shots either once a year or once every three years, depending on the specific vaccine and your cat's individual needs.

Are Kittens Safe After Their First Round of Shots?

Your kitten won't be fully vaccinated until they have been given all of their injections (when they are about 12-16 weeks of age). After they have been provided with all of their initial vaccinations, your kitten will be protected against the diseases the vaccines cover.

We recommend keeping your furry friend confined to low-risk areas (such as your own backyard) if you want to let them outside before they are fully vaccinated

Why Indoors Cats Should be Vaccinated

You may not think your indoor cat needs to be vaccinated, but most states require cats over 6 months of age to be vaccinated against rabies. When your kitty gets vaccinated, your vet will give you a certificate of vaccination, which you should keep in a safe place. 

When it comes to your cat's health, it's always better to err on the side of caution. Cats can be curious creatures. Our vets recommend core vaccinations for all indoor cats, so they can be protected from any diseases they may be exposed to if they manage to escape the safety of home. The recommended vaccination schedule for indoor cats is typically the same as all others.

Contact our vets in Riverbank today if it's time for your kitty's vaccinations or booster shots.