What core vaccines do indoor cats need?

Original Question: What core vaccinations should be given to an indoor adult cat with no interaction with other animals ever? - Valerie

What core vaccines do indoor cats need? Aug 23, 2018

Hi Valerie,

Thanks for your question.

Most veterinarians adopt the guidelines put forth by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). It’s suggested that the primary series of vaccinations, defined as core vaccines, are as follows:

  • 8 weeks of age – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP)
  • 12 weeks of age – Same as 8 weeks
  • 16 weeks of age – Same as 8 weeks + Rabies

You’ll want to discuss these recommendations with your veterinarian regarding your pet’s individual risk of being exposed to these diseases in the area where you live and your pet’s lifestyle, travel agenda and regular exposure to other animals socially or through boarding and grooming facilities. It’s important to think of these as recommended guidelines and not requirements. It’s important that your veterinarian educate you about this and let you make the decision. I don’t dictate a plan to my clients, I work to build a vaccine program that is tailor-made to them and their pet, rather than our hospital’s agenda. However, you have to keep in mind that your veterinarian is not just responsible for protecting your pet, but also the other pets in your area by keeping diseases under control with a vaccination program across all the patients he is responsible for and this is why these are core vaccines. There has to be a balance between these two goals. All vaccine programs should be tailored to each pet with the additional effort of controlling the serious ‘core’ diseases in all pets.

I encourage you to watch our video “Which Vaccines Should I Give My Dog or Cat?”, “How Often Vaccines Need Boosters & The Benefits of Titer Testing for Dogs & Cats” and “Everything You Need to Know About Vaccine Reactions” for more information on this topic.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Clayton Greenway

Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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