Shots Your Kitten Doesn't Need

While certain vaccines and immunizations are important to the health of your cat, there are some kitten shots that are not necessary. There is quite a bit on controversy now surrounding the idea of certain vaccines that may not only be harmful to the health of your kitten, but may even be completely unnecessary. It will be helpful to understand how vaccinations work, which shots you may want to take advantage of and which may be offered without necessary cause.

Vaccinations and How They Work

When faced with a potentially large vet bill for the first year of your kitten's life, you may begin to wonder which shots your kitten doesn't need. In order to help you come to a more informed decision regarding cat meds, it will be helpful to clarify what a vaccination is and what it truly does. Vaccinations are injections of a certain type of medication that is aimed to prevent the body from being infected by a deadly or infectious disease. Often, these injections include a small dose of the actual disease itself, initially designed to assist the immune system in creating antibodies for that disease. This, in turn, should prevent the kitten from ever contracting the disease or infection in question. Some vaccinations, however, can cause serious side effects, such as allergies, rash, skin infection or other cat illness symptoms. Additionally, some vaccinations are offered as a cure for problems that may be easily prevented or treated naturally and without medication.

Shots to Consider

There are shots your kitten doesn't need, but because young cats have a weakened immune system for several months after they are born, they are highly susceptible to several deadly diseases. Vaccinations for feline herpes and upper respiratory infections are recommended as part of a kitten's first shots and are generally included in the DRCC/FVRCP collection of immunizations. These shots have been tested for many years and are known to be reliable and effective and don't tend to cause many side effects. The rabies vaccine is also required in most states, though it's not clear if it's necessary on a yearly basis. Research shows that the rabies vaccine is effective for at least 3 years and excessive immunizations may only be a marketing tactic to increase revenue. Check your state's laws to see if a new triennial vaccination policy has been implemented.

Shots Your Kitten Doesn't Need

All types of vaccinations may be recommended to you, but there are several shots your kitten doesn't need. Many of these vaccinations are for kitten diseases or illness that may be nearly always fatal, however, if research studies don't show the shot to have any effect in preventing the disease, the vaccination is unnecessary. Additionally, some of these shots can cause severe reactions or even death from certain types of cancers caused by the injection. The only time you may want to consider the following vaccinations is if your cat is at high-risk for contracting the disease.


  • FEL/FIV 
  • Feline FIP
  • Yellow fever immunization
  • Chlamydia
  • Ringworm or dermatophytosis
  • Bordetella
  • Giardia