Pet Care Blog

Cat Vaccination Schedule: What You Need To Know

Vaccinations are a cornerstone of preventive care. Getting your cat vaccinated protects your feline friend against a host of serious diseases. Our Southeast Memphis vets recommend following this vaccination schedule to protect your cat's longterm health.

The Importance of Vaccinations

It is essential to have your kitten vaccinated in order to protect your them from contracting a variety of serious feline specific illnesses. Following your kitten's initial round of vaccinations it is equally important to follow up with regular booster shots to help keep your cat healthy over the course of their lifetime. 

Booster shots keep your cat protected, as the effectiveness of the initial vaccines wear off. Different vaccines have different schedules for giving booster shots. See the schedule below, or ask your vet when your cat should have their booster shots. 

Indoor Cats

When it comes to your cat's health it's always better to err on the side of caution. Cats can be adventurous and tend to find ways to sneak out the door to explore the outside world. Our Memphis vets recommend that indoor cats receive all of the core-vaccinations to protect against diseases they may be exposed to if they manage to escape the safety of home.

It is also important to note that many states, including Tennessee require that all cats over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against rabies. Your vet will provide you with a certificate of vaccination when you bring your cat in for their shots. 

Outdoor Cats

Outdoor cats often come into contact with other animals, diseases, or parasites that make them vulnerable to more illnesses. Core vaccines are important for all cats and kittens, but other specific vaccinations should be given to cats who spend time outdoors on a regular basis. 

Contact your veterinarian to determine the right vaccination schedule for your kitten or adult cat.

Typical Vaccination Schedule for Cats

Note: Your vet may recommend other variations of these schedules based on factors such as your cat's lifestyle and any pre-existing health conditions. 

Kitten Vaccination Schedule

6 - 10 Weeks

  • FVRCP for Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper)
  • Rabies vaccine*
  • FeLV Feline leukemia
  • FIV Booster for Feline immunodeficiency virus
  • Feline herpesvirus
  • Bordatella
  • Chlamydia

11 - 14 Weeks

  • FVRCP for Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper)
  • FeLV Feline leukemia
  • FIV Booster for Feline immunodeficiency virus

15+  Weeks

  • FVRCP final booster for Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper)
  • FeLV Feline leukemia
  • FIV Booster for Feline immunodeficiency virus

Adult Cat Vaccination Schedule


  • Rabies vaccine*
  • FeLV Feline leukemia
  • Bordatella

Every 3 Years

  • Panleukopenia (feline distemper)
  • Calicivirus
  • Feline herpesvirus

*Rabies: Rabies is 100% fatal. Rabies is contagious and no treatment is available. Rabies prevention is crucial. The rabies vaccination may be required annually or every 3 years, depending on the vaccine used.

Other Vaccinations

Your vet may recommend other vaccinations outside of this list, depending on where you live, your cat's medical history, risk levels for certain diseases, and other factors. Be sure to follow your vet's recommendations for vaccinating your cat or kitten.

Possible Side Effects

Most cats will not experience any side effects from their vaccinations, or experience only a minor, brief reaction. However, on rare occasions more serious side effects may occur. If you notice any of the following, contact your vet immediately to determine if other treatment is required.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Swelling near the area of injection
  • Loss of appetite
  • Immobility or limping
  • Lethargy

Vaccine Protection

Your kitten's health is not fully protected until they have received all of their injections, at about 12-16 weeks. If you want to allow your kitten outdoors before they have received all of their vaccines, it's best to keep them confined to low risk areas such as your own backyard.

Is it time to have your kitten or adult cat vaccinated? Contact Southwind Animal Hospital in Southeast Memphis to book an appointment for your cat to have their shots.

Cat vaccination schedule, Southeast Memphis vets

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