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Vaccinations - Cats

A quick note on vaccinations.

Did you know that there are over 10 vaccinations available for cats?

Which ones does your cat need?

As traditional veterinarians, we are concerned about over-vaccination. We realize that some vaccinations are necessary but that each cat should have a vaccination program tailored to its' lifestyle. As traditional veterinarians, we tend to minimize vaccination and will be glad to discuss your pet's individual needs during the examination/consultation. Here is a short list of the more common vaccinations for cats:


Rabies is a disease nearly everyone has heard of. It is contracted when an animal is bitten by another animal that has been infected and Rabies is always fatal. Rabies vaccinations are required in many states for cats. Even if you have an indoor cat, you should consider the vaccine. In nearly all cases, an animal will need to be put down if it has been infected with rabies. Almost all cases of Rabies in California involved indoor cats!

Poway Veterinary | Poway Vaccinations - Cats | CA | Advanced Care Veterinary Hospital |

Panleukopenia Virus

The more common name for this virus is “distemper”. It is a highly

contagious disease which is why vaccination is recommended. Symptoms

include fever, seizures, loss of appetite, and possibly death. Kittens

are born with a natural immunity for the first few weeks of their lives.

Vaccinations should start at around 8 weeks old and there is a series

of 3 vaccinations given at 3-4 week intervals. Your cat should also

receive a vaccination every 1-3 years.


Caused by the herpes virus, Rhinotracheitis is an upper respiratory

infection that is highly contagious. The infection could prove to be

fatal in young kittens, so the vaccination is highly recommended. The

vaccine lasts for 1-3 years, so follow up vaccinations are necessary.


Calicivirus is a virus that causes an upper respiratory infection. It

is very contagious through contact with infected cats. Symptoms include

fever, gum disease, mouth ulcers, and sneezing. More advanced forms of

the virus are more severe and can cause fatality. Cats do not need to

exhibit symptoms in order to transmit the disease to other cats. The

contagious nature of this disease makes it important for your cat to

receive a vaccination every 1-3 years.

Feline Leukemia Virus

This is another virus that is spread through direct contact with an

infected cat. For this reason the vaccine is highly recommended for

outdoor cats, or cats that are frequently in contact with other cats.

All kittens and newly adopted cats should be tested for the presence of

this virus (and FIV) before vaccination. This is an optional vaccine for

indoor only cats, but should still be considered in the first year or

two of life.

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