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

allie    rochester, NY

7/27/2010 4:23:16 PM

some vets and cat breeders are opting to wait til 12 weeks to start the shots

Tempest    Alamogordo, NM

6/25/2007 9:29:06 PM

Getting your cats vaccinated is very important and I can say personally that I am glad that I had both of mine. I don't worry for them as much as I would if they weren't treated.

kino    Spring Valley, CA

5/20/2007 11:05:13 AM

thanks for sharing

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