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Vaccinations: Cats

Vaccines work to help your cat's immune system ward off specific illnesses and diseases. Having your cat properly vaccinated is a vital step to take for pet health and happiness. As your cat ages, he or she will need certain booster shots to maintain protection. Vaccines are categorized as either core vaccines or non-core vaccines.

What are Core Vaccines?

There are some vaccines ALL cats need to protect them from illness. Core vaccines are foundational in providing your cat with a solid health regime. These are the standard core vaccines administered to all cats:

  • Feline distemper
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline herpes virus type 1
  • Rabies

What are Non-Core Vaccines?

There are some vaccines that are necessary for outdoor cats. If your cat spends any time out-of-doors, the following vaccines are important to protect against health risks commonly found in the outdoor environment:

  • Bordetella
  • Chlamydophila felis (also known as C felis)
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Feline leukemia virus

The Average Cat Vaccination Schedule

This is a basic guide for responsible cat owners about Los Angeles cat vaccinations. If you have any questions about cat vaccines, contact our team at our veterinarian clinic in Eagle Rock.

Your Cat's Age Vaccinations
6 - 8 weeks Calicivirus, Distemper, Herpes Virus Type 1
10 weeks Chlamydophila
12 weeks or older Rabies, Feline Leukemia
Adult (Every 1 - 2 years) Calicivirus, Distemper, Herpes Virus Type 1, Feline Leukemia, Rabies

Do Indoor Cats Need to Be Vaccinated?

There are several serious animal illnesses that indoor cats can acquire. The right core vaccinations can be an important step in protecting your cat from the health risks associated with these diseases. Do you have an indoor cat? We are ready to discuss which vaccinations your kitty should have to stay healthy and live a longer life.

When Should My Kitten Get Their First Rabies Shot?

Kittens should receive a first rabies shot at about 12 weeks, followed by a second vaccination a year later. A booster shot should be administered every year or three years afterwards to continue protection against this fatal disease.

What If I Don't Know My Cat's Vaccination History?

For many cats adopted from shelters, the vaccination history may be unknown. At Affordable Animal Hospital, we recommend the following approach:

Your cat should receive two distemper shots about 3-4 weeks apart, your cat should also receive two shots for feline leukemia about 3-4 weeks apart, and rabies vaccinations should also be administered.

Vaccinating Pregnant or Nursing Cats

We recommend that vaccinations should not be given to a pregnant or nursing cat, unless the manufacturer of the vaccine has been tested for safety during pregnancy or nursing. Vaccinating a nursing cat will not pass on vaccine protection to growing kittens. Another reason to not vaccinate pregnant or nursing cats is that their body is under a great stress already. Your cat will be better prepared for any vaccination after having time to recover from pregnancy and nursing kittens.

Will My Cat Feel Sick After Vaccination?

Most cats heal fairly quickly after getting vaccinations. Occasionally, cat owners report negative symptoms after their pet is vaccinated. If you notice any of the following, do not hesitate to contact our vet so we can evaluate your concerns:

  • Appetite loss
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Sluggishness
  • Skin problems (such as hives or discoloration)
  • Swelling or redness at the vaccination site
  • Vomiting

Do My Cat's Vaccines Take Effect Immediately?

Unfortunately, cat vaccines don’t work at once in protecting against illness or disease. Your cat's vaccines take about 14 days to take effect. Why? After the vaccine is administered, a cat’s immune system must recognize and then respond to the vaccine. This process takes time. For most pets, vaccines begin to take effect about five days after their vaccination. The full effect of the vaccine is reached by 14 days after the vaccination. Some vaccines need to be spaced apart to ensure that each has adequate time to become fully effective.

Contact Our Friendly, Caring Vet

Cat lovers should make a habit of having their pet regularly examined and vaccinated at a high quality – but affordable – vet clinic. Your cat can be exposed to many serious illnesses and diseases over a lifetime. Scheduling an appointment with our vet can go a long way toward keeping your cat happy and healthy for many years ahead. Our dedicated, caring staff is here to help you keep your cat healthy, happy and safe. Meet with us for a free consultation (for first time clients) at our Eagle Rock vet clinic and learn more about our low cost cat vaccinations in Los Angeles. Our goal is to offer high quality pet health care at rates that you can afford.

Contact Us


Affordable Animal Hospital Orange

1826 N. Tustin St.
Orange, CA 92865

(714) 409-5898

Mon-Sat: 9am-6pm


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