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Vaccines and cats

Vaccines and cats

Posted by Patricia on 26th Jun 2023

If you're looking for a trusted source on cat vaccines, in addition to your vet, check out PetMD, cited below. They keep up with any new developments from their Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel.

According to the Panel, "core cat vaccines" are recommended by most veterinarians for just about all cats and include FBRCP, FeLV, and rabies.

FBRCP is first given when the kitten is between 6 and 8 weeks old. Then a booster shot is given every three or four weeks until they are about 16-20 weeks old. After that, another booster is given when they are just over a year old, then another booster every 3 years for the rest of their lives. The number of boosters might seem excessive, but the FBRCP regime will prevent Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, a nasty and sometimes deadly respiratory infection.

The FeLV vaccine is given yearly to prevent cat Feline Leukemia, a very contagious and deadly virus. Currently, there is no treatment to eliminate the FeLV virus from a cat once he becomes infected. Veterinarians suggest a cat be tested for FeLV if he is a new household member or if he's been exposed to another cat with the virus.

A rabies shot (1-year or 3-year) is required for of-age felines in most states. Animal Law, cited below, has a chart detailing each state and their requirement. Unfortunately, there's no state-level requirement for rabies vaccination in Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota. However, many cities and counties in those states may have their own rabies ordinances.

While the rate of cats getting rabies is lower than the number of dogs, it is still possible. Per PetMD, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that more than 250 cats in the United States are infected with rabies each year.

"Noncore vaccines" are sometimes also given by a vet if a cat is at high risk for acquiring a specific issue, such as Bordetella or Chlamydia infections. "At risk" would include cats who have a chronic condition, or are nursing mothers, kittens, or felines of any age living in areas where the prevalence of such disease is high.

No matter the advice you may find online, always let your vet be your final word as to what immunizations your cat should have and how often.

Quote to remember, "Cats are bundles of love, wrapped in a fur coat." - L.M. Montgomery



"Cat Vaccinations"

Animal Law

"Table of State Rabies Laws Concerning Cats"