Which Vaccines Does Your Cat Need?

Annual wellness care and vaccines for your cat(s) is an integral part of maintaining their health. While they are kittens, it is even more crucial to keep up on vaccines since their young immune systems are still not strong enough to fight off infectious diseases. As they grow, they will continue to require annual vaccinations to remain protected. The main vaccines required and/or suggested for kittens and cats are:

  • Rabies- A contagious disease which can be fatal to both animals and humans. Most states require this vaccine by law, for both cats and dogs, Maryland is no exception. Kittens will receive their first dose during their round of kitten vaccines, then again a year later, and as adults, they are required every 3 years.

*** It is important to know that some cats can be sensitive to adjuvants in the rabies shot. There is evidence to show that these adjuvants can cause vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma, a specific type of cancer. Please check with your veterinarian before your cat gets the rabies vaccine to make sure it is adjuvant-free.***

  • “FCVRP”: Feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia vaccine (or feline distemper)- This vaccine protects kittens and cats from common viruses which typically affect cats. Kittens will receive several doses of this vaccine to help build up their immune system, with annual or triennial doses in adult cats, dependent on environmental factors, which you can discuss with your veterinarian.
  • Feline leukemia- An immune-compromising and very contagious respiratory virus contracted with exposure to other infected felines. Kittens which are housed or exposed to other cats, or are allowed outdoors, should have this series of vaccine and then an annual booster added to their annual wellness and vaccine regimen. If your cat will remain indoors with no exposure to possibly other infected kittens or cats, you may be able to avoid this vaccine, but speak with your veterinarian first. 

We want you and your feline companion to have a long and healthy life together, so please speak with your Washington, DC veterinarian about any questions or concerns you may have. To schedule your cat’s annual exam and vaccinations, give us a call today at 703-356-5000.