Vaccinations are a necessary part of your cat or kittens preventive care, setting them up for lifelong health and happiness. Our Nashville veterinary team suggests that you follow this kitten vaccination schedule to help protect your cat from a variety of preventable but potentially fatal diseases.
Why should I get my cat vaccinated?
Vaccinations are the best form of preventive care for your kitten, protecting them from contracting a number of serious Feline-specific diseases, it is essential to have your kitten vaccinated. After your kitten's first vaccinations it is equally important to follow up with regular booster shots throughout your cat's lifetime.
Booster shots 'boost' your cat's protection against a range of feline diseases, as the effectiveness of the initial vaccine wears off. Booster shots for different vaccines are given on varying schedules. Your vet will let you know when to bring your cat back their booster shots.
The Main Types of Cat & Kitten Vaccinations
Here are the main types of kitten vaccinations that your cat may receive:
Core vaccinations are recommended for all cats. These vaccinations are considered vital for protecting your cat from the following common and serious feline conditions:
- Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
- Feline calicivirus (FCV)
- Feline herpesvirus type I (FHV, FHV-1)
Non-core vaccinations are suitable for some cats, based on their lifestyle. Your vet will advise you as to which non-core vaccines are recommended for your cat. Non-core vaccines include protection against:
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
- Chlamydophila felis
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
When should my new kitten receive their first round of vaccinations?
You should set up a visit when your kitten is around six to eight weeks old to receive their first set of kitten vaccinations. After that, your kitten should receive a series of vaccinations every three to four weeks until they are fully vaccinated.
When is the best time to bring my kitten in for booster shots?
Adult cats should receive booster shots either yearly or every three years depending on the vaccine. Your vet will advise you on when you bring your adult cat back for their booster shots.
Will the first round of vaccinations provide my kitten with enough protection?
Your kitten is not fully vaccinated until they have received all of their injections, at about 12-16 weeks of age. Once they have received all of those initial vaccinations your kitten will be protected against the diseases covered by the vaccines.
If you want to allow your kitten outdoors before they have received all of their vaccines, it is a good idea to keep them confined to low-risk areas such as your own backyard.
Why is it important to have my indoor cat receive vaccinations?
You may not think that your indoor cat needs to be vaccinated, however many states including Tennessee require that cats over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against rabies. When you have your cat vaccinated your vet will provide you with a certificate of vaccination which you should store in a safe place.
You should never wait until something happens to try to protect your cat, ensuring adequate preventive care will save you from future complications that can be costly. Cats can be curious creatures. Our vets recommend that indoor cats receive all of the core vaccinations to protect against diseases they may be exposed to if they manage to escape the safety of home.