Vaccinations For Kittens And Cats
Kittens need a series of a few different vaccinations to give them full protection. The schedule typically starts when theyre about 6 to 8 weeks old, and runs until theyre about 16 weeks. After that, cats need boosters every year to a few years to help keep their immunity going strong. We always recommend keeping vaccination records handy to help you make sure theyre up to date.
Kitten Vaccination Schedule And Costs
Kittens are most susceptible to infectious diseases when they are under 6 months of age. Thats why its so important to give your kitten the protection they need with the right vaccinations.
Mother cats pass maternal antibodies through their milk during nursing. These antibodies do offer some degree of protection against diseases, but they also interfere with, or even inactivate, the bodys response to vaccination.
For this reason, core kitten vaccinations start at 6-8 weeks of age and are boosted every 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 16-20 weeks old. Core vaccines should be boosted one year after the initial series.
What Happens If You Dont Vaccinate Your Cat
Cats can develop a number of illnesses if they dont have their shots, but feline leukemia is one of the worst. This illness is a top cause of feline death with a fatality rate of nearly 90%. Feline immunodeficiency virus, also known as cat AIDS, is a serious, lifelong illness transmitted by unvaccinated cats.
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Can I Trim My Kitten’s Toenails
Kittens have very sharp toenails that can wreak havoc on cat owners and their furniture. You can trim your kittens nails with your regular fingernail clippers or with nail trimmers specifically designed for cats, but you must do so carefully. If you take too much off the nail, you will cut into the quick which will result in bleeding and pain.
Here are a few helpful pointers:
- Cats often have clear or white nails, so you can see the pink quick through the nail. This is a small pink triangle visible near the base of the nail. If you avoid this pink area, you should be safely away from the quick.
- When cutting toenails, use sharp trimmers. Dull trimmers tend to pinch or crush the nail and cause pain even if you are not in the quick. A good set of human nail trimmers are often sufficient. Many larger clippers meant for dogs do not trim cats nails well and can cause splintering of the nails.
- Have styptic powder on hand in case bleeding occurs. These products can be purchased from pet stores or your veterinarian. In an emergency, a bar of soap can be used to help stop the bleeding.
- Playing with your kittens feet and rewarding her with treats after nail trims is a good way to help encourage good behavior for future nail trims.
If you are unsure about trimming your kittens nails, ask your veterinary healthcare professionals for help. They can teach you how to make the procedure easy and painless for you and your kitten.
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.
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Can I Deworm My Kitten Myself
All kittens should be treated for common parasites such as roundworms and hookworms at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of age. This can be done at a veterinarian, or at home. To deworm a kitten at home, you’ll need a digital scale, a 1cc syringe, and a bottle of oral dewormer which can be purchased online or at a pet supply store.
How Much Does The Distemper Vaccine For Cats Cost
The cost depends on your location and your choice of veterinarian: you should phone around your local area to discover the range of prices in the market place. In general, the fee represents a combination of a veterinary clinical examination of your pet as well as the cost of the virus vaccine itself.
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How Often Do Cats Need Shots
Generally, adult cats need shots every one to three years depending on their lifestyle, health assessment, and the vets recommendation. However, adult cats that had their vaccinations and boosters already, do not need to get new shots so often. Kittens are more at risk for different kinds of diseases and therefore need to get shots more often.
Knowing which vaccines your cat needs and the proper age to administer them gives you a great chance of protecting your cat for a long time. Vaccines can help strengthen their immune system by producing necessary antibodies and keep bacterial infections and viruses away.
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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Titer Testing For Cats
A titer is a test that is done using a sample of your cats blood to measure the level of antibodies to a specific disease. Antibodies are proteins made by the body as a response to antigens. Antigens are foreign substances or stimuli to the body, such as viruses, bacteria, or vaccinations, that cause the body to mount an immune response.
Vaccine titers are used as a screening tool to determine whether or not to revaccinate for a particular disease. If a vaccine titer comes back high, this indicates that your cat, if exposed to that disease, should be able to fight it off.
How Do Vets Treat Fpv In Cats
The veterinarian will try to stop the symptoms of FPV by treating your cat with intravenous fluids and antibiotics. There is no specific medication that can cure FPV. Treatment will differ depending on the strain and health of your individual cat. Most treatments include the IV and antibiotics combination, often with 24/7 care.
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Why Should I Vaccinate My Kitten
Vaccinations are a crucial part of the preventative care system you should provide your kitten. By vaccinating them, you safeguard your kitten from contracting severe illnesses that can have major health implications. Many of these diseases are highly contagious and some of them cannot be treated. Its vital that you protect your kitten by building their immunity when they are young.
Are There Any Risks With Vaccinating My Kitten
Vaccines are very safe for your kitten and they shouldnt suffer any long-term ill effects. Its quite common for them to be a bit lethargic or out of sorts after the jab but they usually recover quickly. Very rarely a kitten may suffer breathing difficulties or seizures. If youre at all worried its best to contact your vet straight away.
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Are There Any Risks Associated With Cat Vaccinations
Any living being can have an allergic or adverse reaction to vaccines, but this is very rare. Cats usually tolerate vaccines very well. After their shots, the veterinarian and his team will then provide information on the normal and undesirable side effects your pet might experience after being vaccinated.
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Last updated: May 30, 2021
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.
1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!
2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE
Kitten Vaccine Side Effects
Side effects of vaccinations are usually mild if they occur at all, although in rare instances, unexpected severe reactions can occur. Your veterinary team should discuss these possible issues with you so you know what to monitor for.
Mild side effects can include:
Soreness at the site of injection
Lump at the site of injection
Moderate side effects can include:
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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.
How Often Should We Vaccinate Cats
When asking What vaccines do cats needHow often do cats need shots is a question some cat owners have, who insist were over-vaccinating.
When it comes to duration of immunity, the Guidelines are pretty solid, as we have some pretty solid studies Dr. Nordone says.
However, sometimes there are no owners those are the cats who land at animal shelters. Dr. Julie Levy, professor of shelter medicine at the Maddies Shelter Medicine Program, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, also served on the AAFP Panel. Its rewarding that the unique needs of shelters are reflected in the Vaccine Guidelines, she says. More cats are surviving shelters, and their health and welfare is an investment worth making. We know that cats will be saved when we vaccinate immediately. Cats are particularly prone to stress and illness in a shelter environment. Dr. Scherk adds, Regarding feline leukemia, testing cats prior to vaccination is essential to ensure negative status. Inadvertent use of FeLV vaccine in a cat infected with FeLV is not harmful, but it is also of no benefit.
The AAFP Advisory Panel recommends administering FeLV vaccines to all kittens but considers the vaccine to be noncore for cats after their one-year booster unless they are at risk of exposure because they have access to outdoors, live with known FeLV-infected cats or live in a multiple-cat environment where the status of all cats coming and going may not be known.
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How Do I Prevent Fleas On My Kitten
No matter where you live, fleas may be a threat to your kitten and to your household. Fleas spend a short time on your kitten and then venture out into your home. Adult fleas feed on the cats blood, then hop off their host to lay eggs in the environment. Eggs hatch and the emerging larvae live and feed in your home. Larvae mature into pupae which lie dormant in your carpets, furniture, and floorboards. The pupae eventually hatch into adult fleas. The entire flea life cycle can take as little as 3-4 weeks under ideal conditions in unfavorable conditions, the cycle can take as long as a year. Therefore, it is important to kill fleas on your new kitten before they can become established in your home.
“Many of the flea control products that are safe on dogs are dangerous for kittens.”
Many of the flea control products that are safe on dogs are dangerous for kittens, so consult your veterinarian before choosing a flea control product. There are many safe oral and topical medications that control fleas, treat intestinal worms, and prevent heartworms all at the same time. These products are administered once a month, even in young kittens, and will protect both your cat and your home from fleas. Newer flea prevention products last 3-8 months. For more information on flea control, see the handout Flea Control in Cats.
When Do Cats Need Shots
Kittens are highly at risk of several kinds of diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. At the age of 8 weeks old, your kitten may receive its first few shots. A series of shots should be done within 3 to 4 months.
Vaccination after birth is not highly recommended because there are still conditions that you might not know about the kitten. Kittens should receive a booster shot a year after their series of vaccinations. Adult cats can receive their booster shot after a year or every 3 years.
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How Much Does A Cat Vaccine Cost
The cost of a vaccine ranges from $45 to $85 for the first time. It can get higher if your cat is in a series of vaccines. After the first year of vaccination, it can go down to $29 to $35 per shot. These costs may still vary depending on the place where you live, the location of the vet, and the needs of your cat.
Cat Vaccines: Which Do Kittens And Adult Cats Need
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While I am in no way a history buff, I feel that knowing the past can aid the future, especially when it comes to the effectiveness of vaccines. Additionally, I found it interesting and a bit gross how the first inoculation took place.
Dr. Edward Jenner administered the first vaccine in 1796. During that time, there was a smallpox epidemic, and millions of people were dying. The physicist noticed that milkmaids developed pustules but didnt become sick with smallpox if they were exposed to cowpox prior. So the brilliant man took the pus from a milk maids hand and injected it into a boy. This simple process allowed the boy to be resistant to future exposures of smallpox. This act of brilliance paved the way for vaccines.
It was a chemist named Louis Pasteur who developed the first vaccine in 1879 relating to animal diseases. His success with his rabies vaccine on animals in 1884 prompted its use in humans.
Vaccines, for both humans and pets, are developed for those diseases that tend to have high mortality and/or high incidence rates. Vaccinations have been saving lives for centuries.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
The disease can cause death due to pneumonia in kittens and immunocompromised adult cats.
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What Vaccines Do Cats Need Are We Under
When researching this article, I did not speak to experts with all possible perspectives, of which there are many on the topic of vaccines, or I could have authored a book. I spoke with leaders with undeniable expertise, many who helped craft the American Association of Feline Practitioners Guidelines for Vaccines.
Love or hate vaccines, its a fact: Vaccination plays an important role in the control of infectious diseases, both for an individual as well as for the cat population at large . Every several years, feline experts come together to update the AAFP vaccine guidelines. The most recent panel, in 2013, was chaired by Dr. Margie Scherk, editor of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
After reviewing literature regarding feline vaccines, Dr. Scherk comes down with a vastly different conclusion compared with what some cat caretakers contend. She says, Were not over-vaccinating were actually under-vaccinating cats.
Her explanation is that, for starters, too many cats never see a veterinarian until that individual cat is clearly very ill. Obviously, if the cat isnt seeing a veterinarian, the cat isnt getting vaccinated. Also, concerns of some cat caretakers is a roadblock: about the need for specific vaccines, that their own cat is being vaccinated too often, concerns about injection site sarcoma and, in some instances, the vaccine cost.