Myth: Older Cats No Longer Need Vaccination
Your senior cat has been vaccinated all their life. Surely, in their old age, they have built-up enough immunity to skip the booster?
Actually, no. While this is a logical argument, sadly this isnt the case.
Firstly, even with a healthy, strong immune system, the protection drops over time and needs boosting.
Secondly, older animals have weaker immune systems. This means they are less able to fight infections and depend more on vaccine protection, rather than less. Thus, it becomes more important, not less, for seniors to get their booster shot.
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.
Why Do Indoor Cats Need Vaccinations
If your cat lives exclusively indoors, they will still need to be vaccinated against cat flu and panleukopenia, but may not need the FeLV vaccine. This is because FeLV only usually spreads between cats in close and regular contact, but cat flu and panleukopaenia are very infectious and can spread on clothes, shoes, and other surfaces. If you have an indoor cat, discuss their vaccinations with your vet to find the best schedule for them.
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What Vaccines Do Kittens Need
When you adopt a new kitten, you run through the checklist of what you need, like cat litter, kitten food, toys, and scratching posts. The last thing on your mind is an immediate trip to the vet, but your kittens first vaccinations will protect them against deadly diseases that are common among cats, both young and old. So, what shots do kittens need and when?
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.
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How Do Kitten Vaccines Work
When kittens are born, they receive temporary immunity from infectious diseases from their mothers. Mother cats pass on protective antibodies through their milk, which kittens absorb into their bloodstream immediately after theyre born. This immunity lasts for several weeks and then declines.
As their immune systems mature, kittens need to remain protected against disease this is where vaccines come in. Vaccines teach a kittens immune system to build antibodies against infectious diseases and help prevent future infections.
The timing of kitten vaccines is extremely important. It should be after the antibodies from their mother start to fade but not after theyre completely gone. Getting this timing right is vital to successful immunization. Kittens generally begin receiving immunizations starting at six to eight weeks old, with boosters at three to four-week intervals, completing the regiment when theyre around four months old.
How Long Do Cat Vaccines Last
The length of vaccination protection depends on the disease, the type of vaccine used and your cats immune system. As a general rule, FeLV vaccination protection lasts for about a year, and herpes, calici and panleukopenia last for around three years. However, this can last a little longer if youve kept your cats vaccines up to date throughout their lives. If youre unsure whether your cat is still protected by their vaccines, speak to your vet to discuss their specific situation.
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What Vaccines Do Cats Need The Differences Between Core And Noncore Vaccines
AAFP offers two vaccine categories: Core and Noncore.
1. Core vaccines are those recommended for all cats. The AAFP Advisory Panel recommends that the following fall into this category:
2. Noncore vaccines should be administered to cats in specific risk categories on the basis of an individual risk/benefit assessment, based on:
3. Geography. The Advisory Panel believes that the following vaccines fall into this category:
When Should Kittens Be Vaccinated
Your kitten will need two sets of vaccinations to get them started – their first set at nine weeks old and a second booster set at three months old. After this, kittens and cats usually need ‘booster’ vaccinations once a year.
Until your kitten is fully vaccinated , you should keep him or her inside.
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Getting Your Kitten Vaccinated
We recommended bringing your kitten in for their first round of vaccinations when they are between six and eight weeks old. Below is a series of vaccinations your kitten should given in three to four week intervals .
- Fecal exam for parasites
- Blood test for feline leukemia
- Review nutrition and grooming
- Vaccinations for chlamydia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and panleukopenia
- Examination and external check for parasites
- Second vaccinations for calicivirus rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia
- Second feline leukemia vaccine
- Rabies vaccine
Veterinary Care And Vaccinations For Kittens
Its a no-brainer, but your cat must be immunised to protect her from harmful, sometimes fatal, disease.
Before you pick up your new kitten and take it home, make sure that they have had their first vaccination. Kittens should receive they first vaccination between 6 to 8 weeks of age. This first vaccination starts to build your kittens defences against any potentially serious diseases.
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Kitten Vaccination Schedule: A Guide For New Cat Owners
Reviewed by Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM.
Congratulations on your new kitten! All of the snuggles, playtime, and endless joys of having a feline friend in your life are finally here.
As you cross off items on your new kitten checklist, one of the most important things you can do for your new family member is to take them to the veterinarian for their kitten examinations and vaccinations.
Vaccinations are essential for protecting your kitten from certain illnesses and preventing the spread of disease. In this article, well walk you through kitten vaccine basics, tell you what to expect at your first check-up, and give you a sample cat vaccination schedule to follow.
What Are Some Early Signs And Symptoms That My Kitten Might Have Health Issues
Watch for diarrhea that does not go away after a few days, vomiting, and kittens not being interested in eating. Those are common signs. Also, you might see upper respiratory signs like sneezing and/or eye issues. Those are the common signs that you might see and, if you do see those, obviously let us know so we can figure out what’s wrong with your kitten.
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Your Kitten Needs A Vaccination Schedule To Stay Happy And Healthy
Your little catling is a sweet bundle of pouncy, purry love one that needs your help to stay healthy, happy, and safe. One of the most important things you can do for your kittyBAE is to make sure they get their vaccinations against disease. Heres what to know about which vaccinations they need, when they need them, and how much you can expect to pay.
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.
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Can You Recommend Something For Pet Identification
All cats should have identification. Even strictly-indoor cats have been known to escape the confines of their safe homes and become lost. Cats often do not tolerate collars well, so ID tags are not the best option for pet identification. The best way to identify your cat is to have your veterinarian insert a microchip under the skin. A microchip, pictured to the right with pennies for scale, is a tiny device that is implanted with a needle much like any other injection. The microchip contains a unique number that you register with a database along with your contact information.
Veterinary hospitals, Humane Societies, and animal shelters have electronic scanners that detect the presence of a microchip and access your cat’s unique identification. Microchips and data registry assist the reunion of cats with their families throughout the United States and Canada. For more details, see handout Microchipping Your Cat.
Adding a kitten to your family is a lot of fun. Remember that kittens are very energetic, so be prepared to build play routines into your daily routine. Discourage play that encourages your kitten to play with your hands directly and offer kitten safe, stimulating toys. Providing your kitten with the health care she needs will set her up for a long, healthy, happy life.
What Vaccines Do Kittens Need As Required By State Law Rabies
Rabies is the other core vaccine your state will require your kitten to receive. Rabies is a fatal disease that causes fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion. It is spread from many types of wild animals to domestic pets and can be spread to humans. Depending on your state laws and the veterinarian, your kitten can receive this vaccination at about 12 weeks old.
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When Are Kitten Shots Given
Did you know a kitten’s disease-fighting ability begins with a healthy mother cat? According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , kittens take in disease-fighting antibodies from the mother cat’s milk when they nurse. Most kittens are weaned by around 8 weeks and receive their first vaccinations around the age of 6 to 8 weeks. Boosters will continue to be given every three to four weeks until the kitten reaches 16 weeks old or until the full series of vaccinations are complete.
If you adopt a cat older than that, your vet will help you identify what vaccines are recommended, what age you should begin with the shots and how long they’ll need to be given.
How Much Are Cat Vaccines
The cost of your cats vaccines will vary depending on where you get them done. If you go to the vet, you can probably expect an office visit charge in addition to the cost of the vaccine. There are some clinics that will vaccinate your cat for free. And if youre about to adopt a cat, some rescues and shelters will include the costs of the vaccines he already got in your cats adoption fees.
On average, your cats core vaccines alone can cost $40 to $80 for the first years worth of shots. The non-core costs range from $15 to $20 for the year.
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Can A Vaccinated Cat Still Catch Cat Flu
Although vaccinations provide excellent protection, none can guarantee 100% cover. So yes, theoretically, a vaccinated cat could still catch cat flu, but it is significantly less likely. In addition to this, if a vaccinated cat catches a disease they have been vaccinated against, they are likely to develop less symptoms and have a much quicker recovery.
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.
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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.
How Kitten Vaccinations Work
Kittens receive a series of vaccines over an 8- to 12-week period beginning at between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Some vaccines might be given together in one injection that is called a combination vaccine. At your kitten’s first veterinary exam, your vet will discuss a vaccination schedule as well as other treatments, such as deworming and beginning parasite prevention.
The vaccine injection itself is typically not very painful. Your kitten may feel a little pinch or sting, but many do not react at all.
At the first vaccine visit, your veterinarian will do an examination before vaccinating your kitten. Vaccines should never be given to a kitten with a fever or illness as the vaccine will not be effective. Giving a vaccine to a sick kitten can actually make her feel worse.
After a vaccine is administered, immunity is not immediate. It takes about seven to 10 days after the second vaccination to become effective. However, kittens with remaining maternal antibodies for that disease will not be affected by the vaccine. There is no way to be certain if a kitten still has maternal antibodies, so boosters are necessary. True immunity is uncertain until about 16 to 18 weeks of age, or until all kitten boosters are completed. Avoid exposing your kitten to unknown animals until all vaccinations have been given.
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Preventing Problems With Your Kitten During Vet Visits
As always, if you have any questions about your cat or wonder when you should schedule an exam, call your vet to discuss them. If your kitten becomes sick at any point, it is important to contact your vet without delay. Illnesses in kittens can become serious very quickly.
Establishing a relationship with your vet and a new pet is always smoother in a non-emergency situation. Finding out the clinic hours and who to call for emergencies will put you ahead of the game.
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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