Cat Vaccine Protocols
We recommend that vaccinations begin at 6-8 weeks of age if the kitten has nursed well from the mother. (If an orphan-vaccines should be started earlier).
- The first vaccine given is to prevent panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and calici viruses. This is repeated at 10-12 weeks of age and again at 14-16 weeks of age. Repeating the vaccine is necessary because maternal antibodies may interfere with vaccinations until the kitten is 14-16 weeks of age.
- Rabies vaccine is administered at 12-16 weeks of age and is required by NJ law.
- At the first or second visit FeLV (leukemia virus), FIV (immunodeficiency virus), and FeBart (the cat scratch fever bacterium) testing is performed.
- Fecal (stool) examinations are performed at 2 of the first 3 visits (please bring a sample with you). De-worming medications for common internal parasites are administered at the first two visits regardless of past fecal or parasite history.
- Monthly internal and external parasite prevention is begun at the first visit.
- Leukemia virus vaccination is recommended for those cats that may have any exposure to the outdoors or to cats that have been outdoors. This vaccine is given at 10-12 weeks of age and repeated at 14-16 weeks of age.
- Sterilization surgery (castration or ovariohysterectomy) is performed at 6 months of age. Microchipping for permanent identification is also performed at this time.
All vaccines are boostered at 12-15 months of age. Rabies and leukemia virus vaccines are then boostered every year while panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and calici vaccines are boostered every third year.
For those cats with exposure to the outdoors or to cats that have been outdoors, yearly testing for FeLV, FIV, FeBart, and Heartworm is strongly recommended. All cats should also have a fecal examination yearly.
Please remember that these recommendations are general guidelines. The attending veterinarian will make the final determination of the protocols that are appropriate for your pet.