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Core Vaccinations for Cats


Virulent Systemic Feline Calicivirus

A new vaccine, CaliciVax, was recently introduced to combat virulent systemic feline calicivirus. It is an adjuvanted killed virus. CaliciVax contains a VS-FCV strain, as well as the older strain of FCV. It is labeled for injection in healthy cats 8 to 10 weeks of age, with a second dose in three to four weeks and annual boosters thereafter. However, the risks of using an adjuvanted vaccine may not be worth it, unless VS-FCV has been confirmed in your area.

This vaccine was introduced in 2007, after the most recent AAFP vaccination guidelines were issued. Its ultimate efficacy will be proved only with widespread, long-term use.

Rabies (Core)

State and city statutes establish requirements for rabies vaccinations. All rabies vaccinations should be administered by a veterinarian, and in many states this is the law. A cat being shipped across some state lines must have a current rabies vaccination, and a certificate attesting to that fact must accompany the cat.

There are three types of rabies vaccines available: These include recombinant, nonadjuvanted canary pox vectored, and killed adjuvanted. All of them are injectable. In general, it is recommended that kittens receive a single dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine at 8 or 12 weeks of age, depending on the vaccine used. Adult cats with unknown vaccination history should also receive a single dose of killed or recombinant rabies vaccine. For the recombinant vaccines, boosters are recommended annually. For the killed rabies vaccines, a booster is required at one year, and thereafter, three years using a vaccine approved for three-year administration.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

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