The Feline Vaccination Advisory Panel routinely assesses and investigates advancements in cat vaccinations in order to provide recommendations that are supported by science. The panel, which is recognized as a reliable source of cat immunization guidelines, is made up of committed feline doctors and researchers.
Cat Vaccinations can be categorized into two groups:
- basic vaccines (highly recommended by most vets)
- non-essential or elective immunizations (sometimes recommended by your vet)
All cats, regardless of where they reside or the conditions they are in, should receive the necessary core vaccinations. Noncore vaccinations are those that are suitable for some cats in specific situations (or lifestyle vaccines).
Schedule for Cat Vaccinations
The chance of a cat contracting an infectious illness depends on a variety of circumstances. The following elements will be taken into account by your vet when determining your cat’s immunization schedule:
- Age Medical background
- history of vaccinations
- How probable it is that they may encounter a pathogen
- illness severity brought on by a pathogen
- States’ laws
- Name of the vaccination
- To come up with an ideal, tailored immunization plan for your cat, talk to your veterinarian about lifestyle choices and risk factors.
Here are some general cat immunization recommendations to get you started:
Kittens (up to 1 year of age)
- FVRCP, 6–8 weeks (core)
- FeLV (core)
- FVRCP, 10–12 weeks (core; first or second shot)
- FeLV (core; first or second shot)
- FVRCP at 14–16 weeks (core; only if first shot given at 10-12 weeks)
- FeLV (core; only if first shot given at 10-12 weeks)
One year after the first season:
- FVRCP enhancer
- Booster for rabies
- Senior and adult cats (Over 1 year old)
Annually: FELV (optional non-core vaccine)
- Every 1-3 years: FVRCP (every year for indoor/outdoor, extremely young, or geriatric cats; every 3 years for indoor/outdoor, outdoor-only)
- Rabies (1-year or 3-year vaccine depending on state laws)
Depending on state regulations and the vaccine brand being used, the rabies immunization is administered either annually or every three years. Rabies is crucial not just because it affects cats but also because it is a disease that may be lethal to people and is contagious. Cats are not inherently disease carriers, but they can get the illness from any sick creature that bites them and subsequently spread it to other people. Clinical indications of violence, confusion, and death quickly advance after a stage of incubation. All pet cats should have the rabies vaccine because the disease is widespread across the world.
The AAFP recommendations do not identify the rabies vaccination as a core vaccine, yet it is mandated by law in most areas.Maintaining your cat’s rabies vaccination is important for public safety as rabies is a zoonotic illness that may spread from animals to people.
Vaccine for FVRCP (Core)
The FVRCP vaccine is a three-in-one vaccination that combines the other three essential immunizations. Instead of injecting a cat three times in one visit, this enables vets to efficiently deliver the immunizations all at once:
- FVR/FHV-1, or feline rhinotracheitis virus and herpesvirus 1,
- Cat calici virus (FCV)
- Panleukopenia felina (FPV)
FVRCP may be performed on adult indoor cats every three years. Your veterinarian could advise annual FVRCP vaccinations if your cats are young, indoor/outdoor, or both. A core vaccination booster given 7–10 days prior to boarding or other stressful conditions for cats may be beneficial.
FPV Feline Panleukopenia
Cat parvovirus, sometimes referred to as feline panleukopenia, is a highly contagious illness with a high fatality rate in young kittens. Vomiting and diarrhea follow the first symptoms of lower energy and decreased appetite, which are typical of the illness. White blood cells are also destroyed by the virus, making young kittens considerably more vulnerable to secondary illnesses.
feline rhinotracheitis virus (FVR/FHV-1)
Feline rhinotracheitis virus, often known as feline herpesvirus, produces severe upper respiratory infection symptoms. Sneezing, nasal congestion, discharge, and conjunctivitis are a few signs you could experience. It can also result in pneumonia and mouth ulcers in certain people. Following the first infection, the virus enters a latency stage in the nerves, which the cat then recovers from. Even if the cat has not been re-exposed to the disease, the virus might reactivate under stressful conditions, causing the cat to begin to display indications of infection once more.
FCV, or Feline Calicivirus
The term “feline calicivirus” refers to a group of viral strains that can cause mouth ulcers as well as upper respiratory infection symptoms including sneezing and nasal discharge. FCV is believed to be connected to persistent gingivitis/stomatitis, a highly painful gum and tooth infection. Some of the deadliest strains result in hepatitis, mortality, hair loss, crusting on various body regions, and other physical symptoms.
There are several pet insurance or cat insurance plans that provide coverage for cat vaccines. However, it must be noted that those companies may provide them as add-ons in pet insurance plans.