Cat Vaccination Schedule

"Cat vaccination schedule is provided below for core (required) and non-core or optional vaccines."

The cat vaccination schedule is based on the age of the cat, risk of infection and the length of time immunity lasts after vaccination.

Kittens are born with antibodies from the mother causing many vaccines not to take hold and in turn immunize the cat from infection. This is why most immunizations are given twice between 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age. After the first two, most vaccines are given at a one year interval and then every three years.

Cat Vaccination Schedule by Vaccine Type:

Core Vaccines




Feline Distemper (panleukopenia)

10 weeks, 14 weeks, 1 year, then every 3 years

Provides complete protection.

Feline Herpes Virus Type I (FHV-I)

10 weeks, 14 weeks, 1 year, then every 3 years

Causes up to 90% of upper respiratory infections. Does not provide complete protection, but lessens severity of illness

Feline Calicivirus (FCV0

10 weeks, 14 weeks, 1 year, then every 3 years

Like FHV-1 causes up to 90% of upper respiratory infections. Provides partial protection, lessens severity of illness


12 or 16 weeks of age, 1 year, then every 3 years

Non-Core or Optional Vaccines




Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

Up to 16 weeks

Not necessary after 16 weeks, cats own immune system will protect against virus. Often recommended for outdoor cats.

Chlamydiosis N/A Affects the upper respiratory tract and eyes. Available treatment options so vaccine not usually recommended.
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) N/A Mixed scientific support for this vaccine.
Dermatophytosis N/A Skin infection caused by the microsporum canins fungus. No mixed scientific evidence of vaccine effectiveness.

Bordetella bronchiseptica infection


Only for cats at risk for this type of respiratory infection. Vaccine lessens symptoms.


After 8 weeks

Causes gastrointestinal problems and for cats that are susceptible to the disease.

Dangers of Cat Vaccination

Some researchers believe that chemicals in vaccines that are added to help the vaccine take hold or work can cause cancer (sarcoma) at the site of injection. For this reason there are some alternative vaccines that do not contain adjuvants such as PreVax Rabies vaccine from Merial.

If you decide not to vaccinate your cat you might want consider dietary supplements that boost the immune system which wards off disease such as PetAlive Immunity & Liver Support Formula to boost immune system function and liver health in cats. Be sure to consult with a holistic veterinarian if you decide to go with this approach.


The Latest Feline Vaccination Protocols
Michael R. Lappin, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM
Department of Clinical Sciences
Colorado State University


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