What vaccines does my cat need? How often do they need them?

Rabies, and FVRCP (Sometimes referred to as Distemper), are considered core vaccines and are very important. New York State law requires all cats to be given the Rabies vaccination.

Rabies is a 100% fatal disease of mammals. Because there is no effective treatment and the disease can also infect humans, vaccination against the rabies virus is required by law in most states. Typically, the rabies vaccine is administered to pets in a separate injection at the same time as the feline distemper combination vaccine. However, the rabies vaccine can also be given alone (at a separate visit) or at the same time as other vaccines (such as the feline leukemia vaccine).

FVRCP vaccine- Otherwise known as the feline distemper vaccine, stands for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus, and Panleukopenia. 

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR)- An infectious disease caused by feline herpes virus. It’s the major leading cause of upper respiratory disease and conjunctivitis in felines.
  • Calcivirus- a common respiratory infection in cats. It attacks the lungs and nasal passages, and causes ulceration of the tongue, intestines, and musculoskeletal system. It’s highly communicable in non-vaccinated cats, and it’s commonly seen in shelters, multi-cat facilities, breeding catteries, and poorly ventilated households.
  • Panleukopenia-Also referred to as feline distemper. In young kittens, this can be deadly. It attacks the intestines, musculoskeletal system, and brain.

Non-Core Vaccines

For cats, we offer the option of vaccinating against feline leukemia, especially for outdoor cats.

What vaccines does my new kitten need, and when?

Typically, your kitten will be given the FVRCP (Feline Distemper) vaccine at 8, 12, then 16 weeks. At 16 weeks, they will also get their first Rabies vaccination and are ready to be spayed or neutered.