Cat and Kitten Vaccinations

Any healthy cat or kitten needs vaccinations against common or particularly dangerous diseases—they’re quite effective in eliminating or greatly reducing the risk. As part of Immunization Awareness Month, your Temecula veterinarian answers some of your most common questions about feline vaccinations below.

What Are Vaccines, Anyway?

Vaccines introduce antigens to your cat’s immune system, which look like diseases to the body but don’t actually induce symptoms. The immune system is then mildly stimulated, allowing it to recognize and fight off the particular disease if the real thing ever comes along.

What Vaccines Does My Cat Need?

Core vaccines are considered essential for all cats. These usually include the feline distemper, calicivirus, herpes virus, and rabies vaccinations. Other vaccines are known as non-core, and may not be necessary for all cats. Some examples are the feline leukemia vaccine, bordetella vaccine, and feline immunodeficiency virus vaccine. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you exactly what your cat needs.

Are Vaccines Legally Required?

While all core vaccines may not be legally required, the rabies vaccine is a legal requirement just about everywhere. Most areas require booster shots on the rabies vaccine in yearly intervals or once every three years.

When Do Kittens Need Vaccinations?

After your kitten is weaned off of the mother’s milk—at about six to eight weeks of age—many veterinarians recommend giving a kitten the first series of vaccinations. Immunizations will continue until your cat is 16 weeks old, at which point they’ll enter the adult revaccination schedule.

Do Adult Cats Need Revaccinations?

Yes, adult cats will need revaccinated regularly. The exact schedule will depend on your cat’s environment, age, medical history, and the vaccine itself. Many vaccines require updates once a year, while some may need boosters every three years or longer.

Your Temecula veterinarian will help you set up a schedule for your cat’s vaccinations. Set up an appointment at the clinic as soon as possible to get your cat or kitten started.

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