Vaccinations are an important part of keeping your cat healthy. Just like in humans, vaccines prevent infectious diseases that could have a lasting impact on their wellbeing. Your veterinarian should discuss a vaccine schedule with you when you bring your kitten or cat in for their first appointment (if you need a veterinary appointment in Homer Glen, IL, contact our team at Colonial Manor Animal Hospital). We understand many pet parents may be in need of a refresher or still have questions.
When to Start Your Kitten on Vaccines
Kittens are a lot of fun, not to mention adorable, but they do require even more responsibility. Most kittens are ready for their initial vaccinations between six and eight weeks of age. They will then need a couple rounds of booster shots until they are four months of age.
We sometimes get asked if cats are legally required to get vaccines in Illinois. While the state does not specifically mandate most vaccines, there is a law in place (as of January 1, 2020) that requires all cats in the state 4 months of age or older to have current rabies vaccines.
Routine Vaccinations Throughout Your Cat's Life
In order to maintain immunity to dangerous infectious diseases, your cat will need regular updates on their vaccines throughout their life. Here are some of the common vaccines you should be aware of and when they will need updates:
- Rabies - A booster shot is needed one year after the initial shot. Following that, every three years is usually sufficient.
- Feline Leukemia Virus - Kittens will need a booster when they reach one year of age. After that, indoor cats will usually be okay without further vaccination while outdoor and indoor/outdoor cats will need boosters annually.
- Feline Herpes Virus - Kittens will need multiple doses of this one, then another one after one year has passed since the last dose. Following that, booster shots will be needed once every three years.
- Calicivirus - Like Feline Herpes vaccines, a booster of the Calicivirus vaccine is needed one year after the last initial dose, then once every three years.
- Bordetella - One booster a year after the initial shot, then once a year following.
- Feline Distemper - One dose a year after the first one, then once every three years following.
Please reach out to our veterinarian at Colonial Manor Animal Hospital if you have further questions about when your cat needs their shots or would like more information about the illnesses they protect against.
Potential Side Effects from Feline Vaccines
It's perfectly normal to have some concern about vaccines for your cat. The good news is that there are no side effects in the vast majority of cases, while others may only experience minor flu-like symptoms (similar to the symptoms felt by many humans who get vaccines). There is some research that shows a small risk of injection site sarcoma in cats following vaccines, but the risk remains low, and most people feel the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Call Colonial Manor Animal Hospital Today!
Ready to schedule an appointment for cat vaccines in Homer Glen, IL? Give our veterinary team at Colonial Manor Animal Hospital a call today!