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COMMON FELINE VIRAL DISORDERS for immunization consideration:
Distemper is actually a virus known as “Panleukopenia”, causing significant illness to cats of all ages-almost always being fatal in young kittens. Symptoms unfortunately are very nondescript; including listlessness, lack of appetite, & depression.

While this is primarily a respiratory-spread virus, it can also be ingested by young kittens leading to significant upper respiratory infections. Symptoms may be; runny eyes & nose, sneezing, and difficulty breathing combined with depression, lack of appetite, & depression.

Similar to Calicivirus, this virus also causes upper respiratory infections, & infection results in similar symptoms.

Caused by a bacterium, Chlamydia has depends on very close contact between kittens and infected cats of all ages. This bacterium is one of the most common causes of infectious conjunctivitis in cats. At this point, Sunnyview Animal Care does not recommend regular vaccination for this bacterium. Alterations to this protocol would depend on lifestyle & if the owner is planning on breeding or allowing other cats into the home.

Feline Leukemia is a virus which acts to suppress your cat’s immune system,s ability to defend against other infections increasing their overall susceptibility to disease. Unfortunately, infection with this virus is almost always fatal, after an extended period of chronic, debilitating disease. Sunnyview Animal Care recommends testing all kittens for this disease and, vaccination according to lifestyle &/or potential exposure to other carrier cats.

Rabies virus like Leptospirosis can lead to serious infections in people, & is usually transmitted by the bite from an infected animal however, ingestion of a recently deceased carrier such as mice or bats may also lead to this devastating, invariably fatal disease for all mammals. The reservoir for rabies in our province is primarily bats and, at this point their population numbers are very low but expected to increase in the coming few years. Sunnyview Animal Care recommends rabies vaccination after 16 weeks of age, then boosted up one year, then on a three-year cycle for the entire life of your animal. This vaccine is mandatory for travel with your pet into the United States. Of all the vaccines utilized in our veterinary practice, rabies is considered the most effective and least likely to cause any reaction or discomfort post immunization.


Kitten vaccinations are a prudent consideration in order to start your new family friend off in the right direction. Your kitten should be immunized using Distemper, Calicivirus, & Rhinotracheitis (“FCVRP”) vaccine at the following ages; 6-8 weeks of age, 10-12 weeks of age, & 16 weeks of age. Your kitten’s overall vaccination strategy will depend on other cats in the home, your kitten’s expected lifestyle, or other factors which will form part of the Wellness Assessment.

In summary, it is important for our clients to understand that immunity to any disease we vaccinate for, does not start immediately; instead immunity develops over 10-14 days, requires at least one follow-up booster (in kittens we recommend two follow-up boosters one month apart for a total of three) which also takes 10 or 14 days to reach full effect.


Once are kittens are vaccinated two or three times one month apart using FCVRP and, in combination with Rabies immunization at 16 or 20 weeks, Sunnyview Animal Care recommends that FCVRP & Rabies immunization be repeated at the one-year anniversary of the last vaccination-typically at one(1) year & four(4) months of age. The use of Feline Leukemia immunizations will depend on the results of any Feline Leukemia testing combined with if your kitten will be going outdoors.

After your cat’s first-year immunization/wellness visit, & in concert with the annual Wellness Assessment, your veterinarian will discuss the vaccination protocol for your pet based on its travel history, activity level, breed, and if you allow your cat to go outdoors or plan on frequent cat boarding. Typically this results in a three-year rotational immunization strategy for your cat involving; An FCVRP booster given in the second year, likely a wellness examination only in the third year, & a Rabies booster given in the fourth year.

This three-year rotation cycle is continued for a maximum of three cycles in total-ending for most cats between 8-11 years of age. Please Note Feline Leukemia immunization does not form part of the current “Core” vaccination recommendations at this time-but is a client of Sunnyview Animal Care, there is no examination fee if you feel this vaccination becomes warranted for your pet’s/families’ situation – we only charge the costs of the vaccination for active patients.


At This time, the team at Sunnyview recommends a different approach to the health care of geriatric Pets – Namely our ‘Twice for Life Senior Pet Wellness’ plans, where ‘annual vaccinations’ – other then possibly the administration of a Rabies booster every 3 years – stop to be replaces with an examination, BCS, & health assessment with blood-screening for developing conditions.