Vaccinations for Cats

Our primary goal in recommending any course of action with your kitten or cat is to ensure their health and well-being. The doctors at Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital recommend pet vaccinations to prevent and control infectious disease that may be dangerous to your cat. We also believe that vaccinating every pet against every possible disease may be harmful. Our vaccination program is based on the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Academy of Feline Medicine new guidelines for revaccination of cats.

Although no age group can be considered entirely free from risk, kittens less than 6 months of age are generally more susceptible to infection than adult cats and therefore represent the principal target population for feline vaccination protocols.

The following recommendations are simply guidelines, and we will design a vaccination program specifically for your cat that protects against infectious disease and is as safe as possible.

Wellness Health Exams

Regardless of the vaccines that your cat may require, we recommend a physical exam every 12 months to evaluate your pet’s health. Senior cats should have a physical exam every 6 months. Remember, cats age faster than humans. Every 1 year of your pet’s life is equivalent to 5 human years. During the regular checkups our veterinarians can identify any developing problems including dental disease, heart disease, kidney disease and other problems which might not be apparent to you at home.  With early detection, many of these diseases may be treated or even prevented.  Although your pet’s vaccine protocol may change, an exam every 6-12 months with a veterinarian is still crucial to insure your cat’s continued health.

Cat Vaccine Recommendations:

  • FVRCP
    • Kittens under 16 weeks and adult cats that have never been vaccinated: Series of 2 vaccines 4 weeks apart, booster one year later, then every three years thereafter.
    • Adult Cats:  Minimum of 2 annual boosters, then every 3 years.
  • Rabies
    • Kittens under 16 weeks: We do not vaccinate.
    • Kittens over 16 weeks and adult cats: 1 dose, then booster vaccine every 3 years.
  • FeLV (feline leukemia)
    • We recommend a vaccination series for cats who spend time outdoors or all cats in a multiple-cat household if any of them go outdoors. Initial blood testing is recommended for FELV and FIV in all cats.
    • Kittens: 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart beginning at 8 weeks of age or older.
    • Adult cats: Boosters every year thereafter.
  • FIV
    • This vaccine is not recommended.

Vaccine Reactions

Even with this new conservative protocol, some cats may have vaccine reactions. Your cat may be lethargic or sore after vaccination, which is a normal response. However, if you notice that your cat vomits, stops eating, or develops a lump at the site of the vaccine injection, or other signs of illness, please call the animal hospital as soon as possible.

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