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Cat Vaccination Guide USA – Everything You Need to Know!

In need of a cat vaccination guide? You’re in the right place!

If you have an unvaccinated cat, you will most likely be anxious to get things sorted as quickly as possible so that your cat is protected.

However, there are a lot of vaccines for cats out there. Are they all necessary, or even safe? It can be a big source of worry, especially for new cat owners.

But that’s why we thought it’d be a great idea to cover exactly what you need to know! In this article, we’ll cover what vaccines are recommended for your kitty.

So, let’s get into it!

Cat Vaccination Guide – Core vs Non-Core Vaccines

There are two distinct categories of vaccines. These are known as “Core” and “Non-Core”.

A core vaccine is one that is generally recommended for all cats. They protect against infectious diseases that may be very dangerous with a high mortality rate, along with widespread and contagious viruses.

Core vaccines tend to protect the cat for a long time and are proven to be very efficient and safe. There is very little chance of experiencing any severe cat vaccination side effects.

On the other hand, non-core vaccines aren’t recommended for all cats. This is because they protect against diseases that are uncommon or not a big threat to their life.

However, they may still be recommended by vets for cats with unique lifestyles or situations that cause them to have a higher risk for such diseases.

As an example, a non-core vaccine known as the FeLV vaccine is routinely recommended by vets. However, it can only be given to kittens that have already tested negative for the virus. Discuss with your vet about whether this vaccination is right for your cat.

In contrast, core vaccinations are always recommended. Let’s take a look at them now!

Rabies Vaccine

Rabies is an untreatable disease, which always results in the death of the cat. In the case of infection, euthanasia is usually the recommended course of action.

Therefore, protecting your cat against rabies is incredibly important. Once an infection takes hold, there’s nothing that can be done.

There are two different kinds of rabies vaccines that are generally used across the States. One gives protection for a single year, while another keeps your cat protected for three.

Regardless of which form of the vaccine is used, it is given as a single dose at 12-16 weeks of age. The first booster shot is given a year later.

Then, depending on which type of vaccine is being used, further booster shots will occur either annually or every three years.

Combination Vaccine

The second core vaccination given to cats is actually a combination of various vaccines into a single shot. This is to lessen the number of injections your cat needs to have.

The combination vaccine will protect against the following viruses:

  • Herpesvirus 1
  • Calicivirus
  • Panleukopenia Virus

These viruses can cause nasty illnesses and can be very contagious. Vaccinating to avoid infection is heavily recommended.

Once the cat is six weeks of age, the initial dose can be given. Additional doses follow every two to three weeks until the cat has reached sixteen weeks old.

The first booster will be given one year later. Afterward, your cat will be due a booster every three years.

Cat Vaccination Guide – Keep them Healthy and Protected

Vaccinating your new kitten can be a scary prospect, but it offers them protection from some horrible diseases that can potentially cut their life short.

You can find more information on both core and non-core vaccinations for cats here.

Once you have gone through the initial round of vaccinations, it can be a good idea to keep a plan of upcoming boosters, so that you don’t miss any!

We hope this article has given you everything that you need to know about cat vaccination. Stick around the blog for even more great content!


Ryan Jones

Ryan is a freelance writer for hire specializing in Pets and Animals. He works closely with various pet sites with the aim to educate people on everything there is to know about our cute furry companions. When he isn’t writing professionally he is usually keeping his cat Snow out of trouble!

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