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First Shots...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ok, well not to sound dumb or anything...but what exactly are the "shots" that every cat needs? Everyone always says to get them spayed/neutered, (which I know,) and their shots. But what are they, and what are they for? Can a kitten/cat live a healthy life without them? All of my cats are either a few months past a year, or a year. And the stray kitties I have are 3 to 4 months. The older ones are neutered, the younger ones soon as I can. My older guys seem fine to me, but I just wanted to know what the "shots" are and for. My biggest problem is that you hear TONS about spaying/neutering, but you never hear what else they need. Except for, I have to go get their "shots". If anyone has any information, which I'm sure someone will, please let me know. If my cats are missing out on something that they need I want to fix that.

All ears in Ohio,
post #2 of 3
There are three sets of shots given usually starting at 8 weeks. When they are started later there may not be three sets, I'm not sure. The core vaccine is a combo one called FVRCP. I know it includes a vaccine for distemper and calcivirus and there are two others included but I'm not sure what they are. My vet gives this three times spaced about three weeks apart. I think some vets give it twice rather than three times. If the cat is going to be an outside cat he should be given a leukemia shot. My cats are indoor so I didn't get this one. Leukemia is only transmitted by fluid contact with an infected cat. There is a vaccine for feline AIDS but many vets including mine recommend against it. It isn't as contagious as leukemia usually only transmitted by a deep bite wound such as Tom cats fighting. It will cause a positive result on the initial test for AIDS for the rest of the cats life. Rabies vaccine is given at four monthes. All shots are repeated at one year. After that there is a lot of controversy about boosters. Many vets still repeat annually, some repeat every three years for an inside cat. Rabies boosters are dictated by the laws where you live.
post #3 of 3
We recommend that all cats at least have their FVRCP (Distemper) vaccination and a Rabies vaccination. The FVRCP covers feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia, two of which are upper respiratory viruses and one is similar to parvo in dogs. We give an initial vaccine and a booster, then we give another a year later, then they go every three years.

For the rabies vaccine, it is not required in the state of Ohio, but because it is a zoonotic (and always fatal) disease we recommend it for not only the cat's safety, but for your's also. The rabies vaccine that we use is a feline only vaccination and is given annually.

Feline Leukemia vaccine is only recommended if your cat will go outside, or come in contact with cats that go out.

The FIV and FIP vaccinations are not recommended at this time.

Hope this helps clear things up for ya!
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