The three main cat vaccinations we recommend are Rabies, the FVRCP vaccination, and the FeLV (Feline Leukemia) vaccination ($40 package). These three are the core cat vaccinations.
Rabies is the most important vaccination for cats as it’s required by law in Texas. Just like with dog vaccinations, cats need to be vaccinated against Rabies once at 4 months, with a booster 12 months after the initial vaccination.
From that point on, cats need to be vaccinated against Rabies either yearly or tri-annually depending on which vaccination is used.
Update: Rabies was recently diagnosed in Cleburne county in a puppy adopted out from Cleburne animal shelter! All cats should be vaccinated against Rabies by 4 months of age to be protected.
FVRCP Combo ($18)
The FVRCP vaccination is an important vaccination for cats that covers a combination of several diseases:
Herpes (rhinotracheitis) – R
Calici – C
panleukopenia (feline distemper) – P
(FVRCP stands for ‘feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia’).
This is the core vaccination for cats, covering some of the most deadly feline diseases. It’s especially critical for kittens to be vaccinated with the FVRCP vaccination and receive at least 2 boosters.
Feline Leukemia ($20)
The FeLV vaccination protects cats from the feline leukemia virus.
Feline leukemia is usually spread by a carrier cat coming into contact with an unprotected cat. The virus can be spread by a bite, or even by mutual grooming. In kittens, the virus could have been passed along from their mother.
There are no obvious signs of infection in early stages. Anywhere from a month to a year after first being infected, the infected cat’s health starts declining. Symptoms include having less appetite, losing weight, not grooming as frequently, and sleeping more.
Even with treatment, 85% of infected cats die within 3 years.
Cat Vaccinations Schedule
There’s a lot of difference in opinion on how often cats need to be vaccinated, making it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all cat vaccination schedule.
For some cats, a vaccination can last their entire lifetime. For others, only a few years. The reason most veterinarians recommend annual cat vaccinations is because it’s a safe, easy way to keep your cat protected.
The only way to tell if your cat is actually protected against certain diseases is by performing a titer test. What these tests do is look at your cat’s antibodies, and see if they’re protected or not.
However, these titer tests are very expensive, and impractical for the average cat owner. This is why our baseline recommendation is you get your cat vaccinated annually, but we’re more than happy to work with your situation and talk about your options.
This vaccination schedule only applies to adult cats. Kitten vaccinations are incredibly important, and when cats are young they should get several vaccinations, each a month apart.
Rabies – Annual Vaccination (Triannual in Some Cases)
Rabies vaccinations are required by law, and we give out a one year vaccination due to some county restrictions in Texas. A three-year Rabies vaccination is available, but keep in mind that Texas law requires that the first Rabies vaccination is a one-year, and check your county laws to make sure that they don’t require a one-year.
We also carry the three-year Rabies at our Low Cost Pet Vet clinic in Irving, Texas.
FVRCP – Annual or Triannual Vaccination
We recommend annual vaccinations for FVRCP but for indoor cats, every three years is a safe bet (as long as they have been vaccinated several times with the FVRCP vaccination already).
FeLV – Annual Vaccinations
Not enough is known about the duration of the FeLV vaccination to guarantee that your cat will be protected past a year. We recommend annual vaccinations.
If you have any concerns or additional questions about what vaccinations your cat needs and/or how often, feel free to contact us!
Protect your cat this weekend at one of our vaccination clinics located across Dallas-Fort Worth! Check our schedule here.