Important Vaccines for Cats

Vaccination is an integral part of routine health care for cats. Regular vaccination guarantees that your feline friend maintains optimum health and wellness throughout its lifespan. Vaccines for cats help in the prevention of serious and life-threatening diseases. Here are the core vaccines that your cat should have by now. If you still haven’t had your cat vaccinated, it’s not too late as these vaccines may be given to them at any stage of life.


Feline Panleukopenia

Feline Panleukopenia or Feline Distemper is very common among kittens but may also be seen in older cats. Given this, it is important that kittens are vaccinated for Feline Distemper as this medical condition is highly contagious in nature.

The virus that causes Feline Panleukopenia affects different parts of a cat’s body. Common signs and symptoms of Distemper are:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Fever

Feline Distemper, when left untreated, can lead to death.  Pet parents are advised to have their kittens vaccinated until 16 weeks old.

Feline Viral Respiratory Disease Complex

Injectable vaccines that contain strains of herpesvirus(FHV) and calicivirus(FCV) are commonly recommended by veterinarians for kittens and are normally administered with Feline Panleukopenia vaccine. As early as 6 weeks of age, kittens may already be vaccinated with FHV and FCV vaccines.

Pet parents may also opt to have their fur babies administered with vaccines in droplet form in the eyes and nose.

Other respiratory diseases that can be prevented with the help of CORE vaccination are chlamydia psitacci and pneumonitis.


Cats are susceptible to catching rabies varies. This is especially true among those who are allowed to wander outdoors by their pet parents. The number of rabies in cats in the United States has risen in recent years, thus this vaccine is almost, always one of the first vaccines administered to cats.

Rabies is a deadly virus that attacks the nerve tissues. Infected animals are known to withdraw from socializing with people and other cats. There are also cases that rabid cats become more aggressive than usual. Rabies is a violent, deadly, and incurable. This makes it all the more important for pet parents to get their cats vaccinated before it’s too late. Cats are ideally vaccinated at 16 weeks of age or older. Booster shots, on the other hand, are given a year after the initial dose and then after every three years for succeeding booster doses.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Cats, especially those that are always outdoors, are highly susceptible from getting infected with FIV by other cats. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus just like Human Immunodeficiency Virus targets the immune system. Once infected, cats develop a weak immune system which in turn makes them highly susceptible to contracting other illnesses too. An FIV vaccine is ideally given together with Core vaccines and is then followed by two more boosters spaced two to four weeks apart.

These vaccinations are relatively inexpensive and are available in veterinary clinics and even in animal shelters.