Our cat vaccination protocol follows the guidelines set by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These guidelines promote vaccines that are much safer for cats, and need to be given less frequently. We only use Merial PUREVAX. These vaccines are non-adjuvanted, which means they don’t contain potentially harmful additives that have been linked to tumor formation in cats.
We do not want to expose any of our patients to these risks, and are happy to offer much safer vaccines that are just as effective as their adjuvanted counterparts.
Our Cat Vaccinations
There are three primary vaccines we offer at our hospital. Whether your cat is indoors or outdoors from Southbury, Oxford, or elsewhere, they need to be up-to-date on their vaccinations to stay protected. Our vaccines include:
Required by law for all cats, regardless of indoor or outdoor status. This vaccine is first given to a kitten when they are at least 12 weeks old. You may be familiar with the three-year rabies vaccine, which we don’t use because it contains the harmful adjuvants previously mentioned, whereas the PUREVAX does not. Following this initial vaccination, your feline will be re-vaccinated for rabies once a year for the rest of their life.
- Distemper (FVRCP)
Kittens can receive this vaccination as early as 8 weeks old. Boosters are given 3-4 weeks apart until the kitten has reached at least 16 weeks of age. They’re re-vaccinated exactly one year later, and then every three years thereafter.
For our adult patients who never received or completed the distemper series when they were kittens, we’ll ensure their protection by administering a proper distemper series.
- Feline Leukemia (FeLV)
We recommend feline leukemia for all of our patients when they’re kittens, and prefer to vaccinate for it when they’re at least 16 weeks of age. This is given as a series of vaccines 3-4 weeks apart. If your cat is strictly indoors, we’ll discontinue this vaccination at 1-2 years of age. For our adventurous feline patients who spend time outdoors, we’ll re-vaccinate once a year until they’re 3 years old. After that, they’ll be re-vaccinated every 3 years until they turn 10. Once your feline reaches 10 years of age, they should be sufficiently protected from the disease.
Feline leukemia cannot be cured once the virus has become active, and can be fatal. We recommend testing all cats at least twice in their life or more if they go outside. Please call our office at (203) 264-2287 if you have any questions regarding our feline vaccine protocols or need to schedule an appointment.