Cat vaccinations play a vital role in protecting against various viruses, risk of exposure and bacterial infections. Some vaccines also help boost the immune system of cats and contribute to their overall health and well-being.

Veterinarians help determine which vaccines your cat may require based on its health, age, lifestyle, and physiology while also taking into account preventative care. Most kittens need vaccines as early as they are born, whereas adult cats typically only need vaccines once every year or, sometimes, once every three years.

Apart from protecting your pet against viruses and bacteria, vaccinations make recovering and recuperating from health diseases easy and fast.

Two Types of Cat Vaccinations All Pet Parents should Know

To decide which cat vaccination and booster shot are the best for kitties can be overwhelming for pet parents and you should always consult your feline practitioners when it comes to your questions or concerns. However, there are two types of common vaccinations recommended by veterinarians and researchers:

Core Vaccinations

Core vaccinations are recommended to all kittens and cats, irrespective of their age, health, and environmental influences. You can consider them mandatory shots that all cats must get by birth or as they grow old.

Non-Core Vaccinations:

You can call non-core vaccinations optional or a discretionary cat vaccination because only some cats will get these. Non-core vaccines are given to cats who are prone to get infected by a hazardous virus or infection. Cats who live outdoors are at maximum risk of getting exposed to more infectious diseases. Therefore, they require non-core vaccines as recommended by veterinarians.

To help you find the right vaccine for your cat, we have listed below some routine vaccinations and their benefits.  

Also, find out why your cats need this vaccination schedule and how you can bear the cost of these shots by investing in cat health insurance and having peace of mind knowing pet insurance coverage such as Wagmo wellness plans will cover your routine needs.

Why Do Your Cats Need Vaccination?

By now, you know that vaccinations help your cats to grow stronger and healthier. But there are other reasons as well that make vaccination more significant like:

1) To Obtain a Pet License

A pet license is an ideal way to register your cat’s identification with the government which helps you find your pet if it goes missing. And some states have made getting your pets vaccinated mandatory to obtain a pet license.  

2) To Make Traveling Easy and Convenient

If your cat is your travel companion, you must consider getting it vaccinated with the necessary shots. Some airlines require you to produce vaccine records and certifications to board a flight with your cats, making vaccination significant.  

3) To Get Cat-Care Services

If you are a working pet parent and require a cat daycare, you must get your cat vaccinated with all core vaccines. Most pet-sitting services and pet care homes want your cats to have routine shots as they also prevent spreading the infection to fellow animals.  

4) To Maintain a Healthy Environment

Vaccinations play a crucial role in protecting families, especially kids, against different viruses and exposure to infection. If your cat is healthy, you will eventually have a safe and happy environment at home.

Routine Cat Vaccinations That Your Pet Must Get

Below are some most common shots (both core and non-core) that need to be given to all kittens and cats at the right age and time:

Vaccine for Rabies

The Rabies vaccine is one of the most common cat vaccinations given to every kitten. Rabies is a viral and fatal disease caused due to the bite of an infected mammal. It severely affects the spinal cord and brain of a feline. Note that it can transfer from animals to humans, which makes the rabies vaccine more significant.

Though cats are not believed to be the natural carriers of rabies, they can still get it from other infected animals. As mentioned above, the rabies vaccine also contributes to public safety as it is transmissible to humans as well. This cat vaccination is given to kittens within 8-weeks of age.

Vaccine for Feline Calicivirus and Feline Rhinotracheitis

Feline Calicivirus and Feline Rhinotracheitis are the two most common types of upper respiratory infections that every cat gets infected with once in its lifetime. Both the viruses are transmissible and can lead to different oral diseases and respiratory infections. Severe Feline Calicivirus or FCV can cause critical gingivitis and nasal discharge.

FCV vaccine may not stop the spread of the virus, but it helps protect a cat against critical health and periodontal diseases. It also protects your cat against high levels of exposure. This shot is typically given to kittens as early as 6-weeks old until 16-weeks of age.

Vaccine for Feline Distemper  

Cat vaccination for feline panleukopenia (FPL) or feline distemper is a core vaccine. It is a fatal viral disease that washes off white blood cells from young cats. The primary symptoms of FPL include diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting.

FPL vaccines induce high antibodies in your cat's body that help it fight viral disease. The vaccine tends to protect a cat for up to seven years. It also strengthens the immune system of the feline. You can also get a combined shot for FCV, feline rhinotracheitis, and FPL for your cat, known as a distemper shot or FVRCP. You can expect your veterinarian to give this vaccine to your cat between the ages of 6-weeks to 16-weeks old.

Vaccine for Feline Leukemia Virus

The vaccine for feline leukemia is categorized under non-core because it is given to cats more susceptible to getting the virus. Feline leukemia or FeLV is a common type of viral disease found in cats. It is a type of blood cancer that starts to kill off white blood cells in the body.

FeLV is a non-curable viral disease that makes prevention the only way to stop the spread and chance of getting the virus. FeLV vaccine plays a critical role in this as it helps prevent viral shedding and protect at-risk cats. This cat vaccine must be given to kittens as early as 8-weeks of age. They may also need to get revaccinated before they turn 16-weeks-old.

Vaccine for Bordetella

It is another non-core cat vaccination, specifically for outdoor cats or cats that stay at kennels or cat daycare homes with other pets. Bordetella is a viral infection that causes mild sneezing, ocular discharge, coughing, fever, and nasal discharge in young cats.

A serious Bordetella condition may lead to fatal pneumonia, a significant reason to get your cat vaccinated. Bordetella vaccine helps boost immunity and induce antibodies to fight against the virus. Kittens must get this vaccine as early as 4-weeks-old.

Why Get a Cat Health Insurance Plan?

A cat health insurance plan covers the cost of routine vaccination, both core, and non-core, at the same price you pay for the insurance. There are many pet parents like you who do not know the kind of vaccines your cat needs at every stage. That’s why cat insurance for routine care helps you understand your cat’s needs better.

Cat health insurance also connects you with highly experienced veterinarians that examine your cat regularly to maintain good overall well-being. With routine veterinarian visits, you may also get information about what non-core vaccination your cat needs based on their behavior, eating and sleeping pattern, and physiology.

Opt for cat insurance for routine care to monitor the development and recovery of your cat against any health-related problem. All this eventually helps you save on the expenses and cost of medical bills, routine checkups, and veterinarian visits.

Wagmo offers different pet wellness plans, covering dental care, vaccinations, daily checkups, and pet treatments. You can take our quiz and choose a pet wellness and pet insurance plan that suits your budget and offers coverage for your feline’s health needs.