cat vaccinations

What exactly are cat vaccinations?

Cat vaccinations are when we give your cat or kitten n or your injections, and these injections are tiny amounts of a piece of a virus that stimulate an immune response. If your cat is exposed to this disease, they're able to mount an immune response and avoid getting sick. 

What cat vaccinations are typically recommended, and what are they for?


  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP). Commonly called the "distemper" shot, this combination vaccine protects against three diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (sometimes called "feline distemper").
  • Rabies. Rabies virus is fatal, and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection. Rabies vaccinations for cats are required by law in most states.
  • Feline Leukemia (Felv). Felv is a viral infection that is only transmitted through close contact, and this vaccine is generally only recommended for cats that go outdoors and younger cats.

What is the vaccination schedule for kittens versus adult cats and senior cats?

For kittens, we're going to do a series of vaccines generally. Most of the vaccines are a series of two, sometimes three, depending on the kitten's age, and we're going to include FVRCP, Leukemia, and Rabies. I didn't mention that before, but the Rabies vaccine is essential for cats also.

Are there risks or side effects associated with cat vaccinations?

Some cats can be a little bit sluggish. There's an extremely rare case of anaphylaxis, in which the cat collapses. I can't say that I've seen one in the last 20 years, and there have been some rare instances with older vaccines. Cats used to be prone to getting a type of sarcoma at the vaccine site, but I believe that all the vaccine companies have done such great jobs in making sure this doesn't happen anymore because I never see it. Side effects are rare, and the potential for these diseases is truly great if we don't vaccinate. For that reason, the vaccine way outweighs any potential complication.

If my cat is going to be strictly living indoors, do they still need to be vaccinated?

Yes! We highly recommend that cats have the core vaccines when they're kittens, and then if somebody moves into a high rise or something and they want to stick with rabies and FVRCP, that's fine. But, for the most part, we find that things change over a matter of a cat's life over 15 years, and where you were in a high rise before, and now you live outside, and you haven't thought about it, now you're exposing a cat that has a sort of a virgin immune system. If they get exposed, they're going to be at high risk. We recommend that everybody keeps up on the core vaccines regardless because we have found so many instances where these animals wind up a lifestyle having change and are getting out accidentally, and then they are exposed.

Why is it essential to avoid missing a cat vaccination?

Your cats are not vaccinated if they miss their vaccines, and we believe that vaccines are crucial for preventing terrible diseases. We don't want you missing any vaccine.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (734) 453-0485, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Cat Vaccination FAQs

Is it safe to get multiple cat vaccinations at the same time?

Yes, it is safe. And because I know most cats don't enjoy car rides very much, the preference is to go ahead and get them all at one time. A rare cat doesn't feel well after a vaccine, just like a person who receives a flu vaccine. And in those instances, we can discuss splitting them apart, but I think that the benefits of getting them all done at one time for a cat way outweigh the multiple trips that would be required for them to come in.

Once my cat is vaccinated, will they need boosters?

Yes, your cat will need boosters. So, when kittens come to us, we're going to give them a series of kitten boosters because they need more to mount that long-term immune response. But then, after that, cats are going to be vaccinated annually. Certain vaccines are annual, and we can spread some out as they age a little bit, but for the most part, every cat needs to come into the veterinary office at least once a year to update its vaccine. Cats also require a health assessment and parasite control, and so many other things that it's vital to come once a year.

What should I do if I miss my cat's vaccine due date?

Don't worry; make the appointment and get in as soon as you can.

If my cat is vaccinated, is it safe to be around other animals that are not vaccinated?

Yes, that's the purpose of vaccines—so cats can be exposed and have no risk. Even if your cat had a tussle with a raccoon or something, and that raccoon had rabies, if your cat is vaccinated, they will be able to mount an immune response and not get rabies. So that's why it's essential to keep up on it.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (734) 453-0485, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.