What If I Adopted My Kitten
If you adopt a kitten or cat from us, they’ll be vaccinated before they leave our care. That’s one of the reasons we charge an adoption fee when we rehome an animal.
Some kittens may be rehomed before they’re ready for their second set of vaccinations. If this is the case, we’ll let you know and may arrange for you and your kitten to come back at a later date. Otherwise, you can make arrangements with your local vet.
If you’re looking to buy a cat from a breeder, take a look at our advice on what to look for when buying a kitten.
Vaccines Truths And Myths
As with many medical interventions, there is often a misunderstanding of the benefits and risks of vaccination. This misunderstanding can sometimes lead well intentioned cat owners to make misinformed decisions about this vital aspect of feline health maintenance. Here are some examples of truths and myths regarding feline vaccination.
- Vaccination protects all cats by making disease transmission less likely
- No vaccine is 100 percent effective, and the effectiveness of different vaccines varies
- Although uncommon, all feline vaccines carry the risk of feline injection site sarcoma
- Vaccinating a cat against a disease can treat that disease
- Vaccinating a cat against a disease causes that disease
- All cats should receive every vaccine available for cats
What Are The Core Vaccines That My Kitten Must Have
Your kitten must be vaccinated against the following diseases:
- Cat flu: caused by various pathogens, including feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus . Cat flu affects the eyes, mouth and airways.
- Feline panleukopenia virus : an often-fatal viral infection causing diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Feline leukaemia virus : this suppresses the immune system, leaving the infected cat highly vulnerable to other diseases.
Your vet will be able to assess your kittens risk profile and the best age for vaccination. They will draw up a vaccination programme specifically suited to your kitten and their needs.
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When Should My Kitten Receive Their First Shots
You should bring your kitten to see your vet for their first round of vaccinations when they are about six to eight weeks old. Following this, your kitten should get a series of vaccines at three-to-four week intervals until they reach approximately 16 weeks old.
Kitten Vaccination Schedule
- Review nutrition and grooming
- Blood test for feline leukemia
- Fecal exam for parasites
- Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia
- Examination and external check for parasites
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia
- First feline leukemia vaccine
- Rabies vaccine
- Second feline leukemia vaccine
More About Vaccinating Your Cat
Kittens are old enough to be vaccinated once they are 8-9 weeks old. They will have an initial injection, and then a second about 3 weeks later, as well as a thorough health check, and discussion about all aspects of kitten-care, including neutering, flea and worm protection, diet and behaviour. This is known as the primary course. Kittens should then have an annual vaccination appointment each year, throughout their lives, in order keep their immunity topped up and maintain protection.
For adult cats, if you are not sure if your cat has had vaccinations previously, or if you know that they have not had a vaccination appointment within the last 12 months, your cat may need to restart their vaccinations with a primary course, just as if they were a kitten. Adult cats can start the primary course at any time, but if you know your cat is currently not protected by vaccination, the course should be started as soon as possible.
Although your cat will need a vaccination appointment every year, not all the vaccines will be given at every appointment. This is because different vaccines last for different amounts of time, and the need for some vaccinations may be lifestyle dependent. Your vet will be able to advise on the best schedule for your cat.
The medical exam also allows the vet to check if there are any visible reasons to delay vaccination, for example if your cat is already fighting an active infection.
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Do All Kittens Have Worms
Not all kittens have worms , but most of them do. The same milk that protects nursing kittens from disease and provides nutrition also carries intestinal worms, so drinking mothers milk can transfer worms to young kittens shortly after birth. Infection can occur even earlier – before kittens are born – because some intestinal parasites are transmitted to kittens through the blood stream while they are still in the womb. Since kittens can become infected so early and since intestinal parasites can cause severe illness, treatment needs to begin when the kitten is only a couple of weeks old.
A microscopic examination of a stool sample will identify which worms the kitten is infected with so a specific treatment plan can be prescribed. Since many kittens are infected with the more common intestinal worms, your veterinarian may routinely administer a broad-spectrum dewormer that is safe and effective against several species of intestinal worms. This medication, which kills adult worms, is given every 2-3 weeks to target the most susceptible stage of the worms lifecycle. For other types of intestinal parasites, different medications and treatment intervals are required.
“Not all kittens have worms, but most of them do.”
There are other less common parasites that can infect kittens, such as coccidia and giardia that require special treatment. Both of these parasites can be identified with a stool sample examined under the microscope.
Planning For A Healthy Future
The right vaccines will help your kitten stay protected against disease. And this is just one of many steps youll take as a new cat owner to make sure that your feline friend is set up for a long, healthy life.
After your kitten has received their vaccines, talk to your veterinarian about the best path forward for your cat whether thats choosing the right cat food, finding a great brush, or discussing environmental enrichment to prevent stress-related diseases and improve quality of life. And while youre at it, read on for more vaccination pro tips here!
Preventive care and insurance can help
While vaccines are an essential part of preventive kitten care, some illnesses can still arise. In the event that your kitty needs a vet visit, pet insurance can help you say yes to the best care possible now, and in the future.
Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states. It is offered as an optional add-on non-insurance benefit. Pumpkin is responsible for the product and administration. For full terms, visit pumpkin.care/customeragreement.
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Why Does My Kitten Need Two Rounds Of Shots
When your kitten is nursing, he gets antibodies from his mother’s milk. These antibodies protect your kitten from many illnesses and support his developing immune system. Sometimes these antibodies can cause the first round of shots to be ineffective. For this reason, vets recommend that kittens get their first round of shots at 10 weeks and second round of shots at 14 weeks. After the second round of vaccinations, kittens will need boosters at one year and every three years after for all of their recommended vaccinations.
Cat Vaccines And The Law
You might be wondering if there is a state law that requires cat vaccines. Most states do not have some laws pertaining to vaccinating cats, though any veterinarian will tell you that vaccinations are recommended.
In the majority of states, there is a minimum required age that cats will have to get their vaccinations. That tends to be between three and six months of age. Check your local laws to see how they apply to you. You will also find that your veterinarian will know what the local laws are and will make recommendations that line up with the local laws. If you adopt a cat, be sure she is all up to date on her vaccinations.
Even if a vaccination is not required by law where you live, you should still consider getting your cat vaccinated. Cats that have their vaccines at the recommended age will live longer and healthier and be less likely to contract common diseases. Talk to your vet about which vaccines are recommended for your area, as there may be specific diseases your cat needs to be vaccinated against where you live.
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Core Vaccines For Cats
Core vaccines are vaccines that all cats should get.
The basic core starts with vaccination for calicivirus , herpes virus and panleukopenia , Dr. Eldredge told The Dodo. Feline leukemia and rabies are also considered to be core vaccines for most cats.
Herpes virus , calicivirus and panleukopenia are all covered in one combination vaccine called the FVRCP vaccine, while the vaccines for feline leukemia and rabies are administered individually.
How Much Do Cat Vaccinations Cost
Prices can vary from practice to practice and costs will depend on which vaccinations your cat or kitten receives. Speak to your vet to see if they offer a health care plan for your pet. These allow you to spread the cost of preventative veterinary treatment, such as regular health checks, annual vaccinations and flea and worm treatments. We might be able to help with vet costs if you meet our eligibility criteria.
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The Problem With Titers
Typically, vaccines are given every year. With titers, there is no way to predict what the levels will be in three to six months, even if they tested high at the time of the titer testing. Many factors can affect the immune system and its level of resistance. Factors such as disease, stress, or medications can impact it, and therefore there is no consistency over time regarding what the antibody levels could be. This could put your cat at risk until you go in for another titer test.
What Diseases Can Vaccinations Protect Against
Cats are commonly vaccinated against:
- Cat flu
- Feline infectious enteritis
- Feline leukaemia virus
Your vet can advise which vaccinations your cat or kitten will need to help protect them from infectious diseases. When you get your kitten, one of the first things you should do is register them with a local vet, who will be able to carry out the vaccinations your kitten needs.
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What Happens If My Puppy Or Kitten Misses A Vaccination Or Booster
Vaccinations remain one of the best methods of protecting our animals from the many dangerous and even deadly diseases that could threaten their health. They work in an identical way to human vaccines by triggering the production of antibodies that can fight the disease which they are designed to prevent.
As pet owners, we are told by our veterinarians that it is essential that our animals receive their vaccinations and boosters on time. This is because each vaccine is only effective at triggering the production of antibodies to fight the disease it protects against for a set amount of time, and further doses are needed to continue the protection.
So, what happens if something arises which means that your puppy or kitten misses their vaccination or booster? Heres what you need to know about puppy/kitten vaccinations and what you should do if an appointment for this important preventative medication is missed.
What Are The Recommended Kitten And Cat Vaccination Schedules
Kitten vaccinations and cat vaccinations are dependent upon several factors, including preexisting medical conditions and indoor or outdoor living situations. You should always discuss these factors with a veterinarian to determine what your cat vaccine schedule should be. However, we have listed an approximate cat vaccine schedule here for an ‘average’ indoor housecat to give you an idea of a cat vaccination timeline:
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Is My Kitten Protected After Their First Round Of Shots
Until they have received all of their vaccinations , your kitten will not be fully vaccinated. Once all of their initial vaccinations have been completed, your kitten will be protected against the diseases or conditions covered by the vaccines.
If youd like to allow your kitten outdoors before they have been vaccinated against all the diseases listed above, we recommend keeping them restricted to low-risk areas, like your own backyard.
Cat And Kitten Vaccinations: Vet’s Guide To Everything You Need To Know
27 April 22
If youve got a new feline friend, heres everything you should know about kitten vaccinations
Are you a proud pet parent with some questions about kitten vaccinations? When you take on a new family member of the furry and purry kind, there are lots of things to think about.
Remember, your vet is always available to help with any questions that you might have, but heres some information about kitten vaccinations that should help.
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How Do Vaccines Work
Vaccines or vaccinations work by stimulating the animal’s immune system, so that their bodies natural defences are prepared and fully equipped with antibodies to fight against any diseases. Unfortunately if your cat is not properly vaccinated, their bodies’ immune system will not be armed to fight off any virus or bacterial infection.
Why Should I Get My Indoor Cat Vaccinated
Though you may not think your indoor cat requires vaccinations, by law cats must have certain vaccinations in many states. For example, a common law requires cats over the age of 6 months to be vaccinated against rabies. In return for the vaccinations, your veterinarian will provide you with a vaccination certificate, which should be stored in a safe place.
When considering your cats health, its always prudent to be cautious, as cats are often curious by nature. Our vets recommend core vaccinations for indoor cats to protect them against diseases they could be exposed to if they happen to escape the safety of your home.
There are two basic types of vaccinations for cats.
Core vaccinations should be given to all cats, as they are essential for protecting them against the following common but serious feline conditions:
Rabies kills many mammals every year. These vaccinations are required by law for cats in most states.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia Typically known as the distemper shot, this combination vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.
Feline herpesvirus type I
Non-core vaccinations are appropriate for some cats depending on their lifestyle. Your vet will provide advice about which non-core vaccines your cat should have. These offer protection against:
Feline immunodeficiency virus and Feline Leukemia
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Do Kittens Only Need To Be Vaccinated Once
Kittens need a course of vaccinations to ensure they are covered against severe diseases. The RCP vaccination must be given in a course of three injections, four weeks apart. It must then be repeated every year to ensure their immunity lasts. If youre not sure which vaccinations your kitten needs, your veterinarian will be able to help.
What Vaccinations Should I Make Sure My New Kitten Has
Vaccinating your kitten helps protect their health, making it vital they are placed on the right vaccination programme at the appropriate age.
There are several vaccines available, and in general terms they can be split into two categories:
- Core vaccines
- Non-essential vaccines
Core vaccines are recommended for all kittens and cats regardless of their lifestyle, whilst non-essential will be recommended depending on the risk of exposure to the specific disease or virus.
Your vet is the best person to recommend the most suitable vaccination programme for your kittens lifestyle.
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Are There Risks Associated With Cat Vaccinations
Cat vaccinations stimulate your kitten or cat’s immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This can cause mild symptoms to occur ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions. Cat vaccinations can cause other risks like injection site tumors and immune disease, however such incidences are extremely rare and are usually linked to pre-existing genetic and medical conditions. Because of the potential for injection site reactions, we give each vaccine in a specific location that is noted in the cat’s medical record.
The fact is, the rewards of cat vaccinations far outweigh any risks. Cat vaccines have saved countless lives and play a vital role in the battle against feline infectious disease. As with any medical procedure, there is a small chance of negative side effects. In most cases, the risks are much smaller than the risks of disease itself.
Core Vaccinations What Basic Vaccines Kittens Need
Core vaccines are a kittens first vaccinations that protect against the most common and fatal diseases for cats and are recommended by all veterinarians.
Feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia are what shots kittens need to get a healthy jump on life. Theyre often combined into one vaccine that can be administered as early as 6 weeks of age, with booster shots administered every 3-4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age. To avoid over vaccinating, most vets recommend starting this vaccine at 8 weeks of age, with boosters at 12 and 16 weeks.
- Feline Rhinotracheitis is triggered by the common feline herpes virus. It can cause sneezing, runny nose, drooling, crusty eyes, lethargy, and weight loss. If left untreated, it can lead to dehydration, starvation, and eventually death.
- Calicivirus affects the respiratory system and may cause ulcers in the mouth. When it progresses, it can result in pneumonia. Young kittens and senior cats are most at risk.
- Panleukopenia, or distemper, is spread from cat to cat and is so common that almost all cats will be exposed to it at some point in their life. Once a cat contracts this disease, they can die within 12 hours. Symptoms include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and fever.
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