You must know the pros and cons of vaccinating your cat if you’re a pet owner. While some cats can be healthy without vaccination, others may not survive without protection from diseases such as feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
Why is the vaccine needed in cats?
If you’re a cat owner, it’s essential to understand why your pet needs vaccinations. Although cats are not susceptible to the same diseases as humans, they can still get sick and even die from contracting certain infections. Unfortunately, many of those illnesses are severe in cats—including rabies and feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
Vaccination helps protect them against these potentially dangerous diseases by preventing them from spreading through contact with other animals or people. It also reduces the number of cases of these conditions that enter our communities through pets being allowed outside without proper protection against disease transmission factors such as fleas and ticks.
Cat vaccination schedule
Numerous factors influence the risk that a cat will contract an infectious disease. Your veterinarian will examine the following variables when determining your cat’s immunization schedule:
- Medical record
- Immunization record
- Exposure to pathogens
- Infection severity
- State laws
- Manufacturer of the vaccine
Discuss your cat’s lifestyle and risk factors with your vet to select a vaccination plan.
General cat vaccination guidelines:
Kittens (up to 1 year of age) (up to 1 year of age)
One year after the initial series:
- FVRCP booster
- Rabies booster
Adults and Elderly Cats (Over one year old)
Every 1-3 years:
Contraindications of the vaccine in cats
The following are contraindications to vaccination:
- Cats with allergies to any of the ingredients in the vaccine
- Cats who have had an allergic reaction to a previous vaccine. If your cat has previously had an allergic response to this product, please consult your veterinarian before administering another dose.
- Cats who have reacted to a previous injection; if you suspect that it might be due to this product and not something else, please get in touch with us immediately so we can help evaluate whether or not it’s wise for you and your pet’s health risk assessment.
- Pregnant or nursing female cats (gestation period) – we recommend waiting until after delivery or nursing stops before administering any new vaccines
How often do cats need vaccinations?
Vaccinations are a great way to protect your cat from diseases. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that cats receive vaccinations yearly or as your veterinarian recommends.
Cats can be given vaccines at any time of the year and will not have an adverse reaction if you give them their shots at any point during the year. Vaccines are safe and effective for all ages of cats, including kittens who haven’t had all their shots yet!
Is it safe to vaccinate pregnant cats?
Vaccination during pregnancy is not recommended. The risk of harm to the fetus is low, and there are no benefits to vaccinating pregnant cats.
Vaccination during lactation (breastfeeding) may be considered but should only be done under veterinarian supervision.
How old should a kitten be before they get its first vaccine?
The current CDC recommends that kittens receive their first vaccine at 8, 10, and 12 weeks of age.
If your kitten is older than these recommended ages, you can still vaccinate them. Still, it would help if you spoke with your veterinarian about when they should get vaccinated. If a kitten doesn’t receive all three doses of the vaccine before they reach 16 weeks of age (4 months old), it won’t be protected against feline panleukopenia (kitten parvovirus). This disease can cause severe illness in young cats if left untreated, so ensure your vet checks up on their welfare at least once every month during this period – even if you think they look fine!
How long does the immunity last after vaccination?
The immunity lasts for a year or longer. Once your cat is vaccinated, it will not need to be vaccinated again for one year. After that period, you should give your pet another round of vaccinations to protect against the remaining diseases still prevalent in our area.