Cat Vaccines: A Break Down Of Which Ones Should Be Given To Your Cat And When

picture of a docter preparing a vaccination

Cat vaccines play an important part in your cat's health. They help their bodies to build up antibodies to protect them from harmful diseases. These shots provide protection from a number of serious illnesses and even fatal diseases.

There are several different types of cat vaccines, below they will be separated into highly recommended and depending on exposure.



Highly Recommend


Feline Distemper

This is a combination vaccine which includes protection from panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. Feline panleukopenia causes fever, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. This virus can survive up to a year within it's environment. Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus both cause upper respiratory tract infection in cats.This will result in sneezing, nasal discharge and discharge from the eyes.

Age Given

The Feline Distemper vaccine is given at 8-10 weeks, 12-14 weeks, one year and every 3 years after.

As important as it is to vaccinate our cat's, it's also important to make the experience as easy on them as possible, to find out different ways to help your cat feel comfortable at the vets read Vet Visits: How To Comfort Your Cat To And At The Vets.


Rabies is a disease that affects the central nervous system of warm blooded animals, humans include. Rabies causes severe behavioural changes in cats such as; excessive hissing, scratching and aggression. Rabies is transmitted through saliva and can be fatal. To find out more about the rabies vaccine read Rabies Vaccine: How Important Is It To Your Cat's Health.


Age Given

The rabies vaccine is normally given at around twelve weeks or older. This vaccine can be given to your cat yearly or ever three years, depending on what type is available in your area.

Depending On Exposure


Feline Leukemia Virus(FeLV)

Feline Leukemia causes a common form of cancer called lymphoma in cats. This disease will result in vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and possible breathing difficulties. This is one of the cat vaccines that is recommended for kittens at risk of exposure to this virus, especially if your cat will be an outdoor cat. To find out more about feline lymphome read Feline Lymphoma: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment.

Age Given

It can be given as early as eight weeks, repeated in 3-4 weeks, and given yearly.

Feline Chlamydia

Chlamydia is caused by a parasite that causes upper respiratory tract infections, which can lead to lung disease within cats. This is considered an optional vaccination, depending on your cat's risk of exposure.

Age Given

This vaccine can be given at the same time as the Feline Distemper.


Ringworm, also called dermatophytosis, is not an actual worm, but a fungal infection of the hair and skin. Cats become exposed to ringworms when they are exposed to an infected animal, an object that has ringworms on it, or a contaminated environment. To find out more about how to detect if your cat has worms and how to treat it read How To Treat Worms In Cats.

Age Given

A ringworm vaccine is one of several cat vaccines created by Fort Dodge called Fel-O-Vax® MC-K. This vaccine must be given to healthy cats over 4 months of age, and comes in a course of 3 injections.

Bordetella bronchiseptica infection

Bordetella is a type of respiratory infection in cats. It causes sneezing, nasal discharge and discharge from the eyes. This is one of the cat vaccines that is recommended for cats who will be coming in contact with other cats such as; outdoor cats, boarding.

Age Given

This vaccine can protect your cat within two days of administration. Cats that are at risk may be vaccinated every six months, however only a single dose is required each year.


Giardiasis are parasites found in the intestines of cats and other animals. This virus causes weight loss, interferes with digestion, and a rough dry coat. Giardiasis is highly contagious and can be easily transferred from one animal to another.

Age Given

Fel-O-Vax Giardia vaccine is for healthy cats, 8 weeks of age or older.

Feline infectious peritonitis(FIP)

FIP is a viral disease found in cats. FIP comes in two forms, dry and wet. The signs of the dry form comes on more slowly than the wet, these signs includes; chronic weight loss, fever, lethargy, and loss of appetite. The wet form progresses more rapidly and the cat accumulates fluid within their abdomen. Kittens and cats with weaker immune systems tend to be more susceptible to this illness. Cats rarely get this disease so this vaccine is generally not recommended.

Age Given

The Vaccine is called Primucell FIP, and is considered generally safe for use in cats over sixteen weeks of age.

There Are Two Types Of Shots


Killed (inactive) and modified live virus are the two types of shots used in cat vaccines. The killed vaccines have been treated and therefore will not cause the illness to appear within your cat. The killed form usually requires more than one dose to provide sufficient protection.

The modified live virus usually requires a single dose for complete protection, however, although the virus usually only replicates to stimulate the cat's immune system to build up antibodies for protection, there have been cases among cats with weakened immune systems where the vaccine has resulted in the cat getting the disease. This is very rare, however If your cat is sick or pregnant, you should wait until your cat is well before he/she gets any of the above cat vaccines.

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Cat Health Insurance: Pros And Cons - A Discussion On Both The Positives And Negatives Of Getting Cat Health insurance.

Feline Distemper: Causes, Symptoms,Treatments - Feline distemper, also known as feline panlekopenia (FPV), is an infectious disease that affects cats. Discussing the causes, symptoms and different treatment options.

Feline Aids: Causes, Symptoms And Treatments -Feline aids, also known as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), affect 1.5 to 3 percent of healthy cats. Read to find out the causes, symptoms to be aware of and treatment options of this disease.

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