What Shots do Cats Need on Yearly Basis?

Like humans, pets need regular doctor’s visits to ensure that they are healthy, which also leads to happiness for both of you. Part of a veterinary visit for a cat involves getting a few shots. Just like humans, there are diseases that can be contracted, but they are also preventable, if the right vaccinations are done, and they do require being given at certain times in a cat’s life in order to give them the best protection against the feline diseases. When cats are just little kittens, they go through a battery of vaccinations to get them started in their protection against these diseases. But as cats grow, they may only require booster injections to help keep the vaccinations active in their systems, and continuing to protect your cat from contracting these diseases. Most times, these boosters are only required on a  yearly basis. Not everyone is familiar with what vaccinations cats need on a yearly basis, so if you have ever needed to know, here is a list of the shots that cats need on a yearly basis in order to keep them healthy.

Core and non-core

Vaccinations have been divided into two categories; the Core vaccines, and non-core. So what is the difference? The American Association of Feline Practitioners determined which vaccinations were fundamental for a cat to get, due to the nature of the disease it was protecting them against. They are vital. The other vaccinations were determined to be at the discretion of the cat’s vet, and it would primarily depend on the lifestyle of the cat, as to whether or not the cat might need the vaccine.

The core vaccines include: 

  • Feline distemper
  • Feline calici virus
  • Feline herpes virus type I (rhinotrachetitis)
  • Rabies

Non-core vaccines

  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Bordatella
  • Chylamydophila felis
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus

The core vaccines are typically given over a period of time during their first year of life, and may require a booster shot a year later. Rabies injections used to be given yearly, until a longer lasting vaccination was developed, making the booster only needed once every three years.

Non-core vaccinations are given at a veterinarians discretion. If he feels a feline has the potential of contracting a particular disease or virus, at a greater risk, he may recommend that the non-core vaccinations be given. If the cat lives a lifestyle that he feels there is slim chance of the feline coming in contact with, or contracting a particular (non-core) disease or virus, he may not want to over-vaccinate the kitty.

Over-all, it is really hard to say which vaccines are truly given on a yearly basis. Today, a lot has to do with a cat’s individual health, their age, and other factors. Only a veterinarian can determine which vaccines are needed beyond kittenhood and beyond the core vaccinations.


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