Everyone who loves its cat wants it to never get sick and not get infected. This is possible only if the cat is vaccinated. Like other animals, cats are vaccinated to develop immunity against various infectious diseases. Vaccination is used for extra protection in addition to the body’s immune system. Vaccines are usually injected under the skin. Each vaccine develops immunity against a specific disease.

Factors that determine the vaccination schedule of your cat

When you take your cat to a veterinarian for vaccination against any specific disease he will ask you about

Age of your cat

Adult cats and kitten have different vaccination schedules. So you must have an exact idea about the age of your cat.

Previous vaccination history

If a cat has got vaccination earlier then you must have a vaccination card or record to make your veterinarian aware of the next vaccination.

Does your cat got infection frequently?

If your cat catches any infection easily then you need to vaccinate your cat against multiple diseases.

Does your cat suffer from any infectious disease during the time of vaccination?

 If your cat has any infectious disease at the time of vaccination then you need to make your veterinarian aware of this. Because in the case of infectious disease, your cat will not get the vaccination.

Veterinarian for cat vaccination in a veterinary clinic. Cropped image of a man holding a Sphinx cat as a veterinarian gives a syringe injection

What is type of vaccines; required for cats?

Some vaccines are essential for all cats called core vaccines. Because of severe nature and widespread infectious disease.

While others are recommended by your veterinarian based on the lifestyle of your pet and contact with other cats called non-core vaccines.

These vaccines are given only if your cat is at genuine risk of exposure to the infectious disease.

Core vaccines

Core vaccines which are recommended for all cats against:

  1. Rabies
  2. FVRCP
  3. Feline rhinotracheitis
  4. Feline calci virus
  5. Feline pan leukopenia virus

Rabies

It is a very fatal disease in which the cat’s nervous system affected and can be transmitted to a human, so every pet should get a vaccination against rabies

FVRCP

It is also called as distemper shot, this combination vaccine provides protection against three infectious diseases:

Feline rhinotracheitis

A cat suffering from this virus may develop coughing, sneezing, and lung infection.

Feline calci virus

This virus is associated with the infection of your respiratory system and inflammation of gums and teeth.

Sometimes it causes hair loss as well as hepatitis and even death in cats.

Feline pan leukopenia virus

It is also known as feline parvovirus, which is a fatal disease with a high death rate in kittens. They suffer from vomiting and diarrhea that leads to decreased energy in your pet.

Non-core vaccines (Lifestyle vaccines)

These vaccines are recommended for some cats depending upon their circumstances and lifestyle.

Cats get non-core vaccines against:

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

This virus is found throughout the world. And transmitted through urine faeces and saliva of infected cat to a healthy cat. Some cats having a strong immune system, don’t show the signs of getting an infection. This vaccine is recommended as a core vaccine for kittens.

Chlamydophila Felis

It mainly causes eye infection in cats and respiratory system infections in kittens.

Treatment of affected cats with antibiotics gives appropriate results.

Vaccination is also helpful to develop immunity in your pets against this disease.

Bordetella bronchiseptica

This infection is commonly known as cat flu. It occurs in stressed cats and those living in the form of colonies. It causes pneumonia in young kittens.

Vaccination is helpful to control infection in cats which are living in the form of Colonies.

Feline immune deficiency virus (FIV)

This is the most common among cats that go outdoor and involved in fighting with other cats. The infection mostly spread through cat bites.

Vaccination provides protection against FIV in cats at risk of exposure.

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)

It mostly occurs in domestic cats. It causes weight loss, fever, and accumulation of fluids in the abdomen of a cat. Vaccination against FIP provides a valuable degree of protection to domestic cats.

Indoor cats should receive the vaccination or not?

Indoor cats should get vaccination only if they come in contact with other cats. Or they are taken outside for boarding and pet shows. As there are many other cats from different environment bringing infections at the same place. So your indoor cat should be vaccinated in that case.

Vaccination schedule for cats

First vaccinationBooster (2nd) vaccinationFinal vaccinationBooster vaccination
6-8 weeks age10-12 weeks age14-16 weeks ageannually
FVRCPFVRCP (2nd shot)FVRCP (3rd shot)FVRCP, FIV FeLV FIP Chlamydophila Felis, Bordetella  
FIVFIV, FeLV, Chlamydophila Felis, Bordetella  FIV, FeLV, FIP, Chlamydophila Felis, Bordetella   

*Rabies virus vaccine is administered as per state laws in every country

What is booster vaccination?

A booster dose of vaccination is given after the first dose and an extra amount of vaccine is given to the cat. It increases the immunity level against any specific disease for which the cat is vaccinated.

How are vaccines injected in a cat?

First make your cat comfortable by diverting her attention.

Pinch the skin around the scruff vision of cat as it is loose to hold easily and cat will feel comfortable

Insert the needle into the skin and inject the vaccine.

When a kitten should receive its first vaccine?

When a kitten is born to a cat, it develops immunity from his mother through feeding on milk. Milk from mothers contains immunity against infections.

After 6 to 8 week this immunity level starts lowering down and it is time to get it vaccinated. After three to four weeks, she gets her second booster vaccine. In this way a veterinarian sets a vaccination schedule for a cat later on.

When a cat should not receive the vaccination?

If an unhealthy cat is vaccinated then she may not develop a vaccine response. It may have some adverse effects on the cat’s health.

Following are the conditions in which cat vaccination should not be done

  • Cancer
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Lactation
  • Chemotherapeutic treatment

Possible side effects of vaccination

Vaccination provides potential protection against infectious diseases but at the same time, it also has some side effects on a cat’s health for a limited period.

Cat’s owner should be aware of these possible side effects after vaccinating its cat.

The following are the side effects that your cat may experience after the administration of the vaccine.

  • Fever
  • Dullness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty
  • Breathing
  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling at the site of injection
  • Lack of appetite

If these signs exists for prolonged time then you should consult your veterinarian for possible treatment.

How to take care of your cat after receiving a shot?

Every vaccine causes a little bit of an allergic reaction for a limited period. Some cats show little response after receiving vaccination but others may seek comfort zone for some time.

Here are some reactions which a cat may show after being vaccinated:

  • Provide your cat a worm warm, cozy place to take enough rest.
  • Provide her with its favorite food and check if she has free excess to water and food.
  • Avoid playing with the cat just after vaccination as she wants to be alone
  • Avoid Patting on the area where the vaccine is injected as it causes pain to the cat

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