River City Cat Clinic

2617 Riverside Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95818



Vaccinations For Your Cat 

Veterinary Symbol

Which Vaccine(s) does my cat need?

At River City Cat Clinic, we promote lifestyle/risk based vaccination. Our healthcare team will review your cat's lifestyle to help you determine what is the right vaccination choice for you and your pet. We base our guidelines on the most current AAFP recommendations.

What are the different type of vaccinations available?

FVRCP (Herpesvirus, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia (aka the common respiratory pathogens))-modified live
FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus)-recombinant 
Purevax Rabies (Rabies Virus)-recombinant

Do you use the 1yr or 3yr Rabies vaccine?

Rabies vaccination using killed virus has been one of the major culprits of vaccine site sarcoma (tumors) in cats. See more info on that below. Due to this risk, we only use recombinant type vaccinations that are considered less risky than killed vaccines. Unfortunately, the brand new 3 year recombinant vaccine is at least triple the price of any other rabies vaccine. Therefore at this time, we only use the 1 year recombinant vaccine, which comes at a cost similar to all other rabies vaccine types.

What can I expect after vaccination?

Common mild symptoms should self-resolve in about 12-24hrs. If they persist or seem severe, seek medical attention. 
Symptoms Include:
-slightly more sleepy
-reduced appetite  
-low grade fever

What is a vaccine reaction?

Vaccine reactions are a more pronounced response by your cat's immune system to vaccination. These can be quite severe and result in death if left untreated. If your cat experiences any of these signs after vaccination, seek medical attention immediately. 
Symptoms Include:
-sudden onset vomiting/diarrhea
-difficulty breathing
-unusual swelling-often in the face

I've heard cats can get cancer from vaccines. Is this true?

Vaccine-Site Sarcomas can occur at the site of vaccination administration. These are very aggressive tumors. Fortunately, they are rare (estimated 1 in 10,000). The odds of getting the tumor is far less than the risk of catching the disease. The risk of tumor can be lowered with risk-based vaccine selections and with the use of recombinant vaccines. Due to their increased association with tumor development, killed vaccines are not used at our clinic.

My cat is old and doesn't go outside. Does it even need vaccines?

The most at-risk group of cats for many viruses are the very young and the very old. We modify the vaccines needed and the frequency based on their age and lifestyle. Unless your cat has a specific medical condition that makes vaccination a true medical risk, it should be vaccinated.

Does Rabies Virus even really exist anymore?

Yes! There have been recent reports of bats infected with Rabies in downtown Sac near the Golden 1 Center and the West Sacramento/Yolo Bypass region. Bats, raccoons, and skunks are the largest carriers of the virus in our region. Remember, bats come indoors. There have been reports of indoor-only cats acquiring rabies from bats. Worse yet, there are reports of humans acquiring rabies from their indoor only cats that played with a bat. Rabies virus has no cure and it is deadly. This is why we recommend even the most isolated cats still be vaccinated.

Where can I read more information?


AAFP Brochure: