Vaccinations for cats and kittens: What do I need to know?

What vaccines does a cat need? When is a kitten first vaccinated? What are the mandatory and essential vaccines in cats? How many vaccinations does a cat need? How often is a cat vaccinated?

Cats don’t actually have nine lives, so you need to do what you can to protect them. The key? The right cat vaccinations . Vaccines protect your cat from diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. They can also strengthen your immune system.

Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, your vet can help you determine which vaccines are best and how often your kitten should be vaccinated. It usually depends on your age, general health, and lifestyle. The vet will also think about how long vaccinations are supposed to last and how likely your cat will come in contact with a certain disease. Additionally, many state and local governments have laws about vaccines such as rabies.

Cat vaccinations are extremely important to keeping your pet healthy and should be given to your cat throughout its life.

Why do you have to vaccinate cats?

It is important to ensure that your cat is vaccinated to help ensure that it leads a healthy life. Feline vaccination is particularly useful in controlling infectious diseases and reducing their spread.

By vaccinating your cat, you are giving her immune system a chance to develop a protective response. Essentially, vaccines help the cat’s immune system prepare in advance to fight infectious diseases , giving them the best possible protection.

When should I get my kitten her first vaccinations?

The initial feline vaccination cycle consists of two injections given separately three to four weeks apart. The first vaccination would arrive at 8 weeks of age , while your kitten should be at least 12 weeks old at the time of his second vaccination.

– Previous diagnosis

Your vet will ask you questions about your kitty’s recent medical history, and if you have noticed that she has lost weight or has vomited.

It is important to try to find out if your cat has problems with food. You may have an interest in food and try to eat but give up or sometimes you will run backwards; or if, on the contrary, you don’t have much interest in food.

Your vet will likely need to do some tests on your kitten for possible illnesses before vaccinating him.


When will my kitten be able to leave after vaccinating it?

Strictly speaking, a kitten will not be fully protected by feline vaccines until 10 days after the second vaccination. Therefore, it is very important that you be careful where you allow your kitten to go until then.

If your kitten shows worrisome symptoms like weakness or vomiting, see the vet as soon as possible.

It’s also worth making sure your kitty is familiar enough with the local environment before she sets out on her adventures.

Is it necessary to vaccinate cats annually?

Viruses change over time (think the flu ) and by regularly vaccinating your pet, it will be covered for new emerging strains that may not have been around for the past few years.

Feline vaccines are rigorously tested and controlled to minimize the risk that they will cause “harm” to your pet, and are therefore some of the safest medicines to be used routinely.

Before vaccination, all the above diseases were commonly found and it is the vaccine that has made them “disappear.”

In areas with low vaccination rates, many of these diseases are still very common, and this shows that these diseases still exist and are not being eradicated.

It is heartbreaking to see an animal die from a vaccine-preventable disease.


What vaccines does a cat need?

The vaccinations your kitty receives mostly cover a combination of common and serious diseases:

–  Feline infectious enteritis (FIE, feline panleukopenia , feline parvovirus)

– Feline herpes virus (FHV-1) and feline calcivirus (FCV) 

– Feline chlamydophilosis

– Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

These diseases are fortunately quite rare among vaccinated animals these days, but this is mainly due to the general vaccination regimen. In unvaccinated animal areas, these diseases are very common and often fatal.

1. Main vaccines for cats

The main feline vaccines are those recommended for all cats (it could be said that they are practically mandatory vaccines for cats and their health) and are classified as follows:

·         Feline panleukopenia (FPV)

·         Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1)

·         Feline calcivirus (FCV)

2. Secondary vaccines for cats

Nonessential feline vaccines should be administered to cats in specific risk categories based on an individual risk / benefit assessment based on the following:

  • Lifestyle of the cat individually.
  • Cat sitter lifestyle

3. Vaccines according to geography

According to experts, the vaccines that would be found in this category are the following:

  • Rage
  • Feline leukemia
  • Chlamydophila felina
  • Feline infectious peritonitis
  • Dermatophyte vaccines

Rabies Vaccine in Cats: Should It Be a Primary Vaccine?

Experts don’t all agree that Rabies is an essential vaccine in cats, although most do believe that feline rabies should be a primary vaccine for cats , just as it is for dogs.

Most people mistakenly believe that if their cats live strictly indoors they cannot be exposed.

Rabies kills 100% of infected cats , in addition to being dangerous when exposed to humans. So in conclusion, all cats should be vaccinated against feline rabies.

How often is a cat vaccinated against rabies?

It is an annual vaccination. The first rabies vaccine should be given at 5 months of age, and once a year thereafter.


Do I need my cat to be vaccinated against everything?

This depends on the specific circumstances and your cat’s possible exposure. Some of these viruses can be spread inside and outside the home, through clothing, or simply through the environment.

In general, houses where there is only one cat and it does not go outside, it has a low risk of catching the Feline Leukemia Virus, and many times in this case this vaccine is omitted.

How often is a cat vaccinated?

Annual vaccination of all kittens is recommended, because their status (indoor or outdoor, low or high risk) may change, and susceptibility to persistent infection is believed to be higher in kittens.

Kittens need a series of 2-3 shots 3-4 weeks apart, followed by a feline booster one year later. Once they have had these primary vaccines, the frequency of feline vaccination varies.

The frequency of feline vaccination depends on the cat’s lifestyle, disease, and type of vaccine . For indoor cats, a booster shot every three years would suffice. Your vet can always recommend the best vaccination plan for your cat.

Side Effects of Cat Vaccines

The vast majority of cats that get vaccinated will be fine. Although modern vaccines are incredibly safe and reliable, like any vaccine, they can occasionally make your pet sick for 24 hours after vaccination .

In some cats, small nodules may appear at the injection site and be sore . These small nodules should disappear in a few days.

Very occasionally, animals can suffer a hypersensitivity reaction and these can be serious, so they must be treated urgently by the veterinarian.

There is some evidence that very occasionally and rarely, cats can develop certain types of mass around the area where the injection was given. This can be potentially very serious, and if you see lumps around the area that don’t seem like they are going to go away, get it checked out by your vet as soon as possible.

Cat vaccination schedule

Here we leave you a feline vaccination calendar against the most dangerous viruses. Protect your cat from the risk of suffering from any of these diseases.

The best guide to know when to vaccinate a kitten:


Average price of vaccines for cats in 2019

A vaccinated kitten or cat is protected against fever, diarrhea, vomiting, ulcers, pneumonia, cancer, and other symptoms of feline flu, feline infectious enteritis, and possibly feline leukemia virus. How much will you have to pay for cat and kitten vaccinations to keep your pet healthy? We’ve surveyed two dozen UK veterans to find the average cost of vaccinations for cats and kittens, to help you plan ahead.

We collect quotes for cat and kitten vaccines from all over Spain to determine the average vaccination costs. Data showed that some vets are twice as expensive as other vets, so if you’re looking to save money, check prices with some local vets before booking.

Cost of vaccines for kittens

According to our research, the average cost of a kitten vaccination course was € 63.30 when feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is included to protect outdoor or social animals. If you and your vet decide that your feline does not need protection against FeLV, the kitten vaccination course would be around 18% cheaper, costing around € 51.90. Sample prices in our study ranged from € 45 to € 87 for the full FeLV course, showing the significant difference in prices between vets.

A kitten vaccination course includes two series of injections and protects against feline flu and feline infectious enteritis, in addition to the FeLV option for outdoor cats, cats kept in a cattery, etc. Kittens can receive their first set of shots around 9 weeks of age and the second set of shots around three months of age.


Cost of vaccines for cats

The average cost of an annual booster vaccine for cats is € 43.7, including FeLV, or € 39.9 without it. FeLV is essential for cats that can come into contact with other cats, such as cats that are outdoors or those that can stay in a cattery from time to time. The annual booster for cats is usually cheaper than vaccination for kittens, mainly because a booster includes only one set of shots.


Cost of rabies vaccine

If you are taking your cat abroad, they will need a rabies vaccine to return to their country. We found that a rabies vaccine costs around € 51 on average in Spain, but prices in our study ranged from € 40 to € 60. Some veterinary practices offer a ‘pet passport’ package that includes the rabies vaccine and costs around € 125. Important Tip: Make sure your pet is microchipped before receiving the rabies vaccine so that it can be properly tracked and linked to your cat.



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