Essential Vaccinations for Cats and Kittens

Cats and kittens need several vaccines to prevent the occurrence of some frequent feline diseases, some of which may be fatal. The vaccinations should be administrated at certain ages, but your vet may recommend to postpone a vaccination or get one ahead of its time. The initial shots as well as their boosters are designed to protect your cat and build up immunity to certain feline diseases.

8 Weeks Old Pet Vaccinations

When the kitten is 8 weeks old, the following vaccines should be administrated:

  • Distemper vaccine (panleukopenia virus),
  • Rhinotracheitis (feline herpes virus)
  • Calci virus (FCV).

The rabies vaccine is important to protect both the cat and his owner.

Shots for Cats at 12 Weeks

At the age of 12 weeks, a new series of essential vaccinations should be administrated. This series should contain the calci virus, the panluekopenia virus and the herpes virus.

Vaccinations at 16 Weeks

When the cat is 4 months old, he should get some more vaccinations: the rabies booster, the feline herpes virus, the calci virus and the distemper vaccine.

1 Year Old Cats

At the age of 1 year, the cat should get a few booster vaccines: the cat distemper vaccine, the calci virus, the rabies booster and the Chlamydia vaccine.

These are the essential vaccines that every cat should get. However, you can talk with your vet about a few extra vaccinations, such as the leukemia vaccine (FeLV) or the AIDS or FIV vaccine.

Additional Considerations

Additional vaccines may be recommended if your cat lives among other infected pets or if he has genetic predisposition to certain diseases.

Regular vaccinations will be administered to all cats and kittens to maintain their health. The vaccines are more important to kittens and older cats, which have weaker immune systems.

The feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) vaccine has been contested by many scientists because of the multiple side effects it may have. Avoid this vaccine if possible.

The Giardiasis is another vaccine that pet owners ask for, to prevent cat giardia. However, the vaccine is not yet proven effective to prevent this disease.

Don't vaccinate pregnant cats; the kittens may get deformations or in the worst case the cat may abort spontaneously.

Make sure the vaccines are administrated by your vet, because giving these shots in the wrong place may result in paralysis or infections.

The vaccines should be carefully prepared, otherwise they might cause the disease they are meant to prevent.