Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, there’s no one correct way to care for your furry friend’s health but investing in wellness plans for cats is a good start to help you navigate. A vet can guide you through the specifics of your pet’s care, adjusting your approach depending on their overall health, age, and lifestyle. That being said, there are some common vaccines needed to ensure wellness for cats and kittens.

Why cat vaccinations are vital

Many serious feline diseases are preventable. As in human vaccinations, feline shots boost your cat’s immune system against specific conditions and keep them from contracting one of the many serious feline-specific diseases that afflict cats.

Most vets recommend vaccinations for cats, even indoor cats. Cats are curious and clever,even the most docile of pets can make a break for outside. In the worst-case scenario, you want to ensure your cat can return to you safely and healthy if it does run away. An indoor cat could also catch airborne germs that come in through doors or windows, so it’s best to be cautious with your cat’s wellness.

Many municipalities also require that cats receive certain vaccinations at specific points in their lives. This law counts even if they stay indoors. When your cat is vaccinated, you should receive proof of vaccination from your veterinarian—make sure to keep it safe. You may have to pull it out one day.

Key feline vaccines

Kittens under six months are the prime recipients of vaccinations because they’re most susceptible to dangerous infectious diseases. Because antibodies are passed to the kitten from its mother, young kittens don't need their first vaccines until about six to eight weeks old. After that, they should receive repeated booster shots every three to four weeks following vaccination, up until sixteen weeks.

Any cat over the age of sixteen weeks will receive two shots three to four weeks apart. All cats should receive a booster shot a year after. While professionals still debate how often cats should get booster shots going forward, it’s a safe bet to see that your outdoor cat receives a booster annually. An indoor-only cat can receive a booster shot every three years. Wellness plans for cats can help pet parents cover the cost.

All cats should get  vaccines for the following common but dangerous conditions:

Rabies

The rabies vaccine is essential because not only can this fatal disease be transferred between cats, it’s both transmissible and deadly to humans. Cats aren’t natural carriers of rabies, but they can be infected by a bite from an infected cat and then pass it to people or other animals long before they show any symptoms.Rabies is an endemic disease worldwide, and rabies vaccines are required by law in most areas.

Feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia

This combination shot, mostly known by its abbreviation FVRCP,  allows veterinarians to give a cat or kitten only one injection to protect against three infectious and possibly fatal diseases. It’s also sometimes referred to  as the “distemper shot.”

Depending on your cat’s lifestyle, primarily on whether they’re indoor-only or indoor-outdoor cats or if they are in contact with other cats, your veterinarian may advise you to give them other shots. Veterinarians will recommend protection against:

Feline Leukemia (FeLV)

FeLV is a worldwide disease transmitted between cats through several bodily fluids. Infection with FeLV is not a death sentence, as many cats remain in a latent state throughout their lives, but many also don’t.FeLV is often recommended as a core vaccine for kittens. Your veterinarian can help you determine what’s best for your cat regarding a booster schedule.

Bordetella

Bordetella is a bacteria that causes highly contagious respiratory infections. If your cat is in contact with other cats, such as at a groomer or boarding kennel, your vet will likely recommend this vaccine.

Cat wellness plans

Your cat’s health and wellness can be best cared for by protecting them from ever getting sick in the first place. Cat Wellness Plans and Kitten Wellness Plans offered by Wagmo Pet Wellness Insurance cover the cost of these regular preventative measures.

Cat Wellness Plans help cover the standard costs incurred while caring for a pet that you would be paying anyway to ensure their health and happiness, such as standardized vaccinations. Different levels of plans mean there’s always coverage to suit your budget. Wellness plans start at only $20/month.
Find out how to get your cat’s essential wellness needs met by a Wagmo Pet Wellness Plan.