Vaccines have been an integral part of preventive health care programs for several decades. No other medical development has been as successful as vaccination in controlling deadly diseases in companion animals.
Vaccinations can be divided into two broad categories: core vaccines – those recommended for all cats, and non-core vaccines – those that may or may not be necessary, depending on the individual cat’s lifestyle and circumstances.
Currently, vaccines against panleukopenia, herpesvirus, calicivirus, and rabies fall into the core vaccine category. The most commonly used vaccine against panleukopenia, herpesvirus and calicivirus is a multivalent vaccine: it contains viral antigens for several diseases together in the same dose, and is commonly abbreviated as the “FVRCP” vaccine.
Vaccines against feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Chlamydophila (a respiratory pathogen, formerly called Chlamydia), and Bordetella (another respiratory pathogen), are considered to be non-core. Some of the non-core vaccines have questionable efficacy and are not generally recommended. The veterinarians at The Cat Doctor can advise you as to which vaccinations are appropriate for your cat.
At The Cat Doctor, we recommend the following vaccination protocol:
- FVRCP #1: 7 weeks
- FVRCP #2: 10 weeks
- FVRCP #3: 13 weeks
- FVRCP #4: 16 weeks
- Rabies: 16 weeks
One year later: FVRCP booster and Rabies booster. FVRCP booster gives immunity for 3 years. Rabies is given annually.
All cats must be vaccinated against Rabies as required by Pennsylvania State Law.