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Pet Vaccines: Schedules for Cats and Dogs

Vaccination Schedule for Cats: Core and Non-core Vaccines

Cat Vaccine
Initial Kitten Vaccination (at or under 16 weeks)
Initial Adult Cat Vaccination (over 16 weeks)
Booster Recommendation
Comments
Rabies
Single dose as early as 8 weeks of age, depending on the product. Revaccinate 1 year later.

2 doses, 12 months apart

Required annually or every 3 years, depending on vaccine used. State regulations may determine the frequency and type of booster required.

Core cat vaccine. Rabies is 100% fatal to cats, with no treatment available. Prevention is key.

Feline Distemper (Panleukopenia)

As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age.

2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart

1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.

Core cat vaccine. Feline distemper is a severe contagious disease that most commonly strikes kittens and can cause death.

Feline Herpesvirus
As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age

2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart

1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.

Core cat vaccine. Feline herpesvirus causes feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), a very contagious upper respiratory condition.  

Calicivirus
As early as 6 weeks, then every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age
2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart
1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then every 3 years.
Core cat vaccine.  A very contagious upper respiratory condition that can cause joint pain, oral ulcerations, fever, and anorexia.  
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
As early as 8 weeks, then 3-4 weeks later
2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart
1 dose is given a year after the last dose of the initial series, then annually
Non-core cat vaccine. 
Should test FeLV negative first. Transmitted via cat-to-cat contact. Can cause cancer, immunosuppressant
Bordetella
At 8 weeks, then 2-4 weeks later
2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart
Annually
Non-core cat vaccine.   
A contagious upper respiratory condition.

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WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on November 07, 2013

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