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Calling the Shots

By Dr. Jessica Vogelsang

Calling the Shots

Deciding how and why to vaccinate your cat is a tricky proposition. The American Association of Feline Practitioners publishes the most widely used guidelines based on the recommendations of the Feline Vaccine Advisory Panel.

Based on the most current 2006 publication, vaccinations are divided into three categories:

  • Core: All cats should be vaccinated with the FVRCP vaccine, which combines three preventive agents, and the rabies vaccine
  • Non-core: FELV, FIV, chlamydia and Bordetella may be advisable depending on lifestyle
  • Not generally recommended: Giardia, FIP

The number and frequency of suggested boosters vary, but you can find a summary here . Some cat owners are opting to check vaccine titers (tests that evaluate antibody levels in the bloodstream) to help determine if the booster schedule can be stretched beyond the usual three years for core vaccinations.

Using these recommendations as a starting point, you can discuss your cat’s lifestyle and risk factors with your veterinarian to determine the optimal vaccination protocol for your furry friend,

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a small-animal veterinarian from San Diego. When she's not at work or with her family of two and her four-legged creatures, you can find her blogging about life with pets at Dr. Vogelsang's blogs have previously appeared on The Daily Cat.

Posted on January 14, 2011

Cindy says: Hi, I got a cat about two years ago, and it said he was vaccinated. I haven't thought about this anymore until I visited your website. I know that he is LONG overdue on vaccination. But what vet do I take him to? What do I tell the vet to vaccinate him for? Please help me!!! I want my cat to be healthy.

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