We will discuss three of the most common vaccines given to cats. Two of these are considered core vaccines, and the other one is specifically for at-risk cats.
The rabies vaccine is given to kittens between 12-16 weeks of age. The first vaccine is good for one year, and each booster is good for either one or three years thereafter depending on the label and state laws. This disease is the same in cats as we see in dogs. It is transmitted through the saliva of an affected animal and results in severe neurological disease leading to death.
This vaccine protects against three diseases, which include Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (herpes), Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (feline distemper). The first dose is given between 6-9 weeks of age followed by boosters every 3 weeks until 16 weeks of age. It is boostered again at one year and then every 3 years thereafter. Feline herpes and calicivirus both cause upper respiratory disease and eye or oral lesions. Feline panleukopenia is a severe, but uncommon disease in cats today. It causes gastrointestinal and neurological disease.
The FeLV vaccine is the most common non-core vaccine we consider for cats. It can be given to kittens or adults, but it must be boostered 3 weeks after. It is only given to at-risk cats. Read more about FeLV in cats here!
Consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns related to vaccines for your cat!