2001-Tue Jan 22 06:19:16 EST 2019
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
“What vaccines should my cat get?” This is a question veterinarians hear on a fairly regular basis. Because of advances in science and vaccine technology, and a growing body of information about infectious diseases, the answer you may have gotten 15 years ago is different from the answer you will get today.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, “medical decisions concerning vaccine selection and administration protocols are among the most complicated medical decisions facing veterinarians today.” Here’s why:
“The reasons are numerous and include, but are not necessarily limited to,
Other contributing factors that affect a veterinarian’s decision as to whether any given cat should receive a vaccine include:
Much has been made of the risks of vaccination in recent years. Unfortunately, this debate has fueled a largely unwarranted backlash against vaccinations in general, which protect cats from dangerous (and sometimes fatal) diseases while also protecting humans from diseases (such as rabies) that are transmissible across species. In light of the oft-politicized and sometimes emotionally charged discussion of vaccination, it’s crucial to remember that vaccines have played a significant role in enabling both humans and animals to live longer and healthier lives in a world rife with microbial pathogens.
Nonetheless, not all vaccines are appropriate for all pets. This is why a thorough evaluation of each individual patient’s potential for disease exposure and the risks/benefits associated with his vaccination are fundamental to deciding whether a pet gets vaccinated. Vaccination decisions should always be made in consultation with a veterinarian so they can be tailored to meet a cat’s individual needs.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ vaccination guidelines, the following vaccines are considered “core” (indispensable) vaccines for all cats in the United States:
For kittens, the rabies vaccine should be administered as a single dose as early as 8 to 12 weeks of age (depending on vaccine type and label recommendations). For adults receiving an initial rabies vaccine, one dose is considered protective. For all cats, a second dose one year after the initial vaccine is recommended. Following that, the vaccine should be administered every one to three years, depending on the product’s labeling.
The panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1), and feline calicivirus (FCV) vaccines are typically administered as a combination vaccine according to the following schedule: All kittens should receive two vaccinations three to four weeks apart between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks. Should the initial vaccination take place after 16 weeks, two vaccines three to four weeks apart are recommended. All kittens should receive a booster one year after vaccination and then at intervals of every three years.
The following vaccines are considered “non-core,” which is to say they are optional vaccines that cats can benefit from based on their risk for exposure to the diseases in question:
The American Association of Feline Practitioners has categorized another group of vaccines as “not generally recommended.” This categorization does not mean that the vaccines are bad or dangerous. This designation simply means that widespread use of the vaccine is not currently recommended for pet cats. They are:
Vaccination remains one of the most important services your veterinarian offers, and although vaccination is a routine procedure, it should not be taken for granted. It also allows a regular opportunity for your veterinarian to perform a physical examination, which is very important for keeping your cat healthy. Protecting patients is your veterinarian’s primary goal, and developing an appropriate vaccine protocol for your pet is as important as any other area of medicine. For more information on all these vaccines and the diseases they target, reference each of these vaccine’s individual discussions.
American Association of Feline Practitioners 2006 Feline Vaccination Guidelines
AVMA Vaccination Principles
This article has been reviewed by a Veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
Thank you for subscribing.