Article and Guides

Cats - Vaccinations for Cats

Feline vaccination is the administration of antigenic material (the vaccine) in cats to produce immunity to a feline disease. Vaccines can prevent or ameliorate the effects of infection by a pathogen. Currently, there are geographically defined core vaccines and individually chosen non-core vaccine recommendations for cats. In many areas, the core vaccines consist of rabies vaccine and a single combined FVRCP vaccine shot which protects against FVR (Feline viral rhinotracheitis) caused by (FHV-1 - Feline HerpesVirus 1), FCV (Feline calicivirus) and FPV (Feline panleukopenia virus - feline distemper) (Core vaccines sometimes consist of rabies vaccine & a single combined vaccine shot which protects against Feline panleukopenia virus and respiratory diseases Feline viral rhinotracheitis, Feline calicivirus, and Chlamydophila felis). Most vaccination protocols recommend a series of vaccines for kittens, with vaccine boosters given at one year of age. Frequency of vaccination thereafter varies with exposure risk, the disease and vaccine type. Most vaccines are given by subcutaneous (under the skin) or intramuscular (into the muscle) injection. Respiratory tract disease vaccination may be given intra-nasally (in the nose) in some cases.


Core Vaccines (FHCP and Rabies):
  1. start at 8 weeks old with FHCP
  2. repeat FHCP every 3 to 4 weeks until 12 weeks old or older
  3. give Rabies Vaccine at 12 weeks or older
  4. give FHCP and Rabies one year later

Non-core Vaccines (FeLV):
  1. kittens must be at least 9 weeks old to receive vaccine
  2. give 2 doses of FeLV with a 3 week interval
  3. repeat FeLV one year later


Core Vaccines (FHCP and Rabies):
If previously unvaccinated or unknown vaccination history:
  1. give FHCP and Rabies Vaccine
  2. repeat FHCP 3 weeks later If vaccine history is known:
  3. give FHCP every 3 years
  4. give Rabies Vaccine one year after initial vaccine, then every 3rd year

Non-core Vaccines (FeLV):
If previously unvaccinated or unknown vaccination history:
  1. give 2 doses of FeLV with a 3 week interval