Vaccine Timeline

Make sure your kitten is up-to-date on his shots by consulting this guide.

By Stacy N. Hackett

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KittenVaccinations are an important part of your kittens health regimen. These shots boost his immune system and help protect him from common feline diseases. The American Association of Feline Practitioners publishes vaccine guidelines that recommend which vaccines to administer, when to give them, and where on the cats body the shot should be injected.

According to these guidelines, vaccines can be classified as core or non-core vaccines. Core vaccines include the FVRCP combination shot that protects against feline rhinotracheitis, calici and panleukopenia viruses, and the vaccine that protects against rabies. Non-core vaccines include those that offer protection against feline leukemia virus, chlamydophila, feline infectious peritonitis, giardia and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Working with your veterinarian, you can evaluate your cats environment and lifestyle to determine if your cat needs any or all of the non-core vaccines. Cats that roam outside, for example, may benefit from the added protection these vaccines provide.

The following list provides guidelines on when to have your cat vaccinated with certain vaccines. The list is provided for information purposes only; consult your veterinarian to develop a vaccination timeline suitable for your specific pet.

Core Vaccines
FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis (herpes), calicivirus and panleukopenia). First shot administered at 6-8 weeks of age. Series administered every two-three weeks until 12 weeks of age. Boosters given at 1 year of age, then once every three years.

Rabies virus. First shot administered at 4 months of age. Boosters given every one to three years, depending on type of vaccine and requirements stipulated by local rabies regulations.

Non-Core Vaccines
FeLV (feline leukemia virus). First shot administered at 8 weeks of age. Second in series administered at 11 weeks of age. Boosters given once every one to three years.

Chlamydophila. First shot administered at 8 weeks of age. Second in series administered at 11 weeks of age. Boosters given annually.

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Reader Comments

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

10/29/2012 12:58:42 PM

Anna -- Your kitten is still young! He will benefit greatly from your cautionary care. The vaccines are a course of treatment, so your kitten might need more than one shot. Talk it over with your vet, and please discuss neutering as well. You can do this as young as 6 months of age.

Anna    SB, CA

10/26/2012 3:18:29 PM

So what if my kitten did not receive those shots? And is close to 4 months old? I adopted him when he was just over 3 months, so he missed getting his shots early. What is the time line to get the shorts now, and boosters? I understand he should get the core ones asap, but would he be just getting one dose because he is older? Thank you!

Tiffany    Charlevoix, MI

10/24/2012 2:33:19 PM

My cats are vaccinated for just about everything, they are strictly indoor only kitties but i love this site and send all my new kitty parent here... Ive have never seen a kitten have a bad reaction to being vaccinated anyone who says their cat got sick from going to the vet needs have their head checked or go to a better vet

Medea    Toronto, ON

8/30/2012 11:43:58 AM

My 2 month old kitten had been recently given a set of her vaccinations and now is experiencing severe reactions. I have her currently on antibiotics but so far she still has a runny nose and somewhat teary eyes. I am so worried as I am now hearing wheezing in her chest. So no more veterinarians for me...I have discovered this website:


and will heal her myself!! Hope you find it informative as I have

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