What Vaccines Should a Ragdoll Cat Have?

What Vaccines do Ragdoll Cats Need?

By Jennie @ Ragdoll Cats World

April 5, 2022

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Ragdoll cats are a breed of cat that is known for their large size and adorable personality. They are a popular breed of cat and there are many people who want to know what vaccines to give their ragdoll cat.

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What Vaccines Do Ragdoll Cats Need?

Ragdoll cats are susceptible to a number of diseases, some of which can be prevented by vaccines.  It is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccine schedule for your cat.


Distemper/parvovirus combination vaccine

Ragdoll cats are susceptible to both distemper and parvovirus. Distemper (panleukopenia) is a viral infection that can cause fever, coughing, and vomiting. Parvovirus is a virus that can cause severe illness in cats, leading to pneumonia, dehydration, and even death. Ragdoll cats should be vaccinated against both viruses as part of their regular veterinary care.

This vaccine is recommended for all ragdoll cats at 8 weeks old and again at 12 weeks old.

The distemper vaccine is actually three or four vaccines in one. The three-way killed distemper shot vaccinates for panleukopenia (FPV), rhinotracheitis (FVR), and calicivirus (FCV) viruses.

All of these viruses are related to respiratory diseases, which can cause serious illness in any cat. The four-way killed distemper shot includes the previous three vaccines plus Chlamydia, a type of bacteria that can cause infection.

The three-way killed distemper vaccine can be given as early as six weeks of age, and pregnant cat females can also receive the vaccine.

The four-way killed distemper vaccine can be given to kittens from eight weeks of age, although some cat breeders believe that it should not be given to kittens until they are at least twelve weeks old.

When you pick up your kitten, it will likely have had two distemper shots. The breeder will tell you when the next shot is due. You must not neglect to have it administered. A kitten normally will have three to four distemper shots as a kitten, with an annual booster.



Feline leukaemia vaccine

Ragdoll cats are susceptible to feline leukemia, a cancer that affects the white blood cells in the body. The virus that causes leukemia can be spread through contact with saliva, blood, or other body fluids from an infected cat.

Some people are concerned about the safety of the FeLV vaccine for cats. There have been reports of adverse reactions in some Ragdoll cats after getting the vaccine.

Many cat breeders believe that since Ragdolls are strictly indoor cats and that the feline leukemia virus is caught from contact with other cats, there is little need to risk using this vaccine. Other cat breeders believe otherwise.  If you plan to show your Ragdoll cat, you will want to consider getting this vaccination. Speak to your veterinarian to receive the most up to date advice.

The leukemia virus vaccine is usually given twice, at one-month intervals at three to five months of age, with a booster annually.


Rabies Vaccine

Rabies is a viral disease that can be fatal to cats. It is caused by the rabies virus, which is spread through contact with saliva or blood from an infected animal. Rabies symptoms in cats may include fever, seizures, and paralysis. If left untreated, rabies can lead to death.

In some states and countries, it is mandatory for all cats to receive the rabies vaccine. If you do not have your cat vaccinated, you may face legal consequences.  If you live in an area where rabies vaccine is not required, most Ragdoll breeders believe that it’s not worth taking the risk in getting the vaccine, since Ragdolls are indoor cats. Talk to your breeder and ask your veterinarian about this if you have any concerns. The Rabies vaccine is given at four months of age and annually thereafter.

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Feline infectious peritonitis vaccine

Ragdoll cats are susceptible to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a serious infection of the peritoneal cavity. Signs of FIP in a cat include fever, poor appetite, and vomiting. If left untreated, FIP can lead to death.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the FIP vaccine and there is limited evidence to show its effectiveness.  The vaccine is administered by drops placed in the nose, and it’s only available in a modified live form. Some cat breeders believe that vaccinating their kittens against feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) may actually cause the disease in some cases. Getting your Ragdoll vaccinated again FIP may affect your health guarantee with your breeder if you go against their advice. Speak to your veterinarian before making any decisions.



What Are the Risks of Not Giving These Vaccines?

If your Ragdoll cat does not receive the required vaccinations, there are risks associated with this. Not vaccinating a Ragdoll cat puts them at risk for diseases like rabies, feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and calicivirus (FCV). These diseases can be deadly if contracted, and could also result in serious health complications for your pet. By getting your Ragdoll cat vaccinated against these diseases, you’re ensuring their safety and that of your other pets in the household.

Ragdoll cats are a healthy breed of cat and do not need many vaccines. However, you should consult with your veterinarian before deciding whether or not to vaccinate your cat.


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Written by Jennie @ Ragdoll Cats World

I'm Jennie, the creator of Ragdoll Cats World. I have been owned and loved by Ragdoll Cats for almost twenty years after getting my first Ragdoll kittens, Huey and Choo-Choo back in 2003. They lived to the grand old age of 18 and 17 and they even made the move from London to Australia with me! We now have two Ragdoll cats, Violet and Ocean, and a Maine Coon cat named Eddie, and we love sharing our knowledge of all things related to Ragdoll Cats with you at Ragdoll Cats World!

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