Vaccines for Cats

Pets come into contact with lots of potential illness on a daily basis.  This is why vaccinations are so important. Keeping your pet current on vaccines is the easiest way to prevent some common diseases including feline distemper and feline leukemia.  You can be assured that we follow a risk based vaccination protocol.  This means your pet is not going to be vaccinated for diseases they are unlikely to be exposed to and often decreases the total number of vaccines your pet receives

Vaccines Recommendations for Cats

The staff at Chuckanut Valley Veterinary Clinic is committed to your pet’s health.   Vaccinations are an important part of preventative medicine to ensure your pet has a long and healthy life.  The necessary vaccines are dependent on your pet’s lifestyle and exposure to other animals.  During your appointment we will ask a number of questions to ensure that only the necessary vaccines are administered.  Due to recent research the schedule of some vaccines has altered slightly.  The following is a brief overview of the available vaccines.  Please note that your pet may not receive all vaccines each year.

Cats are at risk for a rare, but serious type of cancer known as injection site sarcoma, a very invasive type of tissue tumor. This cancer has been linked to previous injection sites particularly those vaccines with an adjuvant which is a chemical additive that encourages an immune reaction to the vaccine. Killed virus vaccines, such as some rabies and feline leukemia virus vaccines, must have an adjuvant added to induce immunity for the disease.  At our clinic, we assess your cat’s risk to ensure that only the necessary vaccines are administered and the American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines for vaccine placement are followed.

  • Core vaccine/FVRCP (Feline rhinotracheitis, Calici, Panleukopenia): This vaccine is considered “core” because all cats will require this vaccine.  It protects against several diseases resulting in respiratory disease and potentially fatal bone marrow suppression in the case of panleukopenia. This is a modified live virus vaccine and has no added adjuvant (chemical additive to cause tissue reaction).  Recent research has demonstrated that the protective immunity may last much longer than previously found.  Your cat will receive this vaccine several times as a kitten, again at 1 year of age and then likely every 3 years.
  • Rabies: This vaccine is also considered “core”. Every cat must legally receive rabies vaccinations. The first vaccine is administered after 15 weeks of age, one year later, then on a yearly basis.  We recommend that even exclusively indoor cats receive rabies vaccines due to the potential indoor exposure of bats and the legal implications of human bite exposure.  We use a new type of rabies vaccine which does NOT have an added adjuvant.
  • Feline Leukemia: FelV is a potentially fatal viral infection transmitted through bite wounds or prolonged exposure to an infected cat.  Cats that have exposure to a known carrier cat in the household or have unsupervised visits outside need this vaccine yearly.  Our vaccine uses a recombinant DNA, non-adjuvanted, needle free vaccine system (VetJet) reducing the irritation and inflammation of the tissue after vaccination