Vaccinations For Kittens

Vaccinations for kittens and cats will vary depending on the age of the kitten, the environment he will be living in and his possible exposure to disease, among many other factors. Owners should bring their kitten to visit a veterinarian as soon as possible after getting a new kitten, to both get the kitten checked for any existing problems or diseases and to establish a vaccination schedule with the vet for the coming months and years.

Generally, kitten vaccinations can begin when a kitten is six to eight weeks old. Booster vaccinations, which are follow-up vaccinations that ensure the continued protection of the kitten from disease, are generally required every three to four weeks until the cat is 16 weeks old.

Rabies Vaccination for Kittens

Kittens must be 16 weeks old before they can receive a rabies vaccine, which is one of the most important vaccines a kitten can receive. Rabies vaccines are among the core recommended vaccines for all kittens.

Core Vaccines

Core vaccines are vaccinations that are recommended for all cats. These vaccines protect against diseases that are either very common or very dangerous. Core vaccines should be given regularly, between every year and every three years depending on particular risk and veterinarian/pet owner preferences.

Rabies vaccinations can be given every year to every three years.

FVRCP Vaccination for Kittens

Other than the rabies vaccines, the most important series of vaccinations a kitten can receive is the FVRCP vaccine series. These vaccines can begin when a kitten is six to eight weeks old, and a booster should be given every three to four weeks until the kitten is 16 weeks old. At this point, the vaccination is generally recommended every one to three years.

FVRCP stands for:

Other vaccinations may also be recommended by a veterinarian and will usually follow a similar vaccination schedule to the FVRCP schedule. These include:

Each of these vaccinations can help protect a kitten’s health, but not all of these vaccines will be necessary for all cats.

Talk to your veterinarian about specific risk factors for these diseases before deciding which ones to vaccinate your cat against. Cats are more at risk for diseases when they:

  • are allowed to roam freely outside
  • come into contact frequently with other cats
  • come into contact frequently with other wild or domesticated animals
  • live in multi-cat households
  • stay at cat boarding locations or catteries.

Chances are, if your cat lives indoors all of the time and doesn’t have contact with the elements or with other animals, he may not need all of these vaccinations and will have a very low risk of developing any of these diseases. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend an appropriate vaccination schedule for your cat.